1231: Mask QR Raid

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

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April 5th, 2020
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Assay - Wikipedia
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 09:40
This article is about assays associated with biological applications. For assays of various metals, see
metallurgical assay. For the French commune in the Indre-et-Loire department, see
Assay, Indre-et-Loire.
An assay is an investigative (analytic) procedure in laboratory medicine, pharmacology, environmental biology and molecular biology for qualitatively assessing or quantitatively measuring the presence, amount, or functional activity of a target entity (the analyte). The analyte can be a drug, biochemical substance, or cell in an organism or organic sample.[1][2] The measured entity is often called the analyte, the measurand, or the target of the assay. An assay usually aims to measure an analyte's intensive property and express it in the relevant measurement unit (e.g. molarity, density, functional activity in enzyme international units, degree of effect in comparison to a standard, etc.).
If the assay involves exogenous reactants (the reagents), then their quantities are kept fixed (or in excess) so that the quantity and quality of the target are the only limiting factors. The difference in the assay outcome is used to deduce the unknown quality or quantity of the target in question. Some assays (e.g., biochemical assays) may be similar to chemical analysis and titration. However, assays typically involve biological material or phenomena that are intrinsically more complex in composition or behavior, or both. Thus, reading of an assay may be noisy and involve greater difficulties in interpretation than an accurate chemical titration. On the other hand, older generation qualitative assays, especially bioassays, may be much more gross and less quantitative (e.g., counting death or dysfunction of an organism or cells in a population, or some descriptive change in some body part of a group of animals).
Assays have become a routine part of modern medical, environmental, pharmaceutical, and forensic technology. Other businesses may also employ them at the industrial, curbside, or field levels. Assays in high commercial demand have been well investigated in research and development sectors of professional industries. They have also undergone generations of development and sophistication. In some cases, they are protected by intellectual property regulations such as patents granted for inventions. Such industrial scale assays are often performed in well equipped laboratories and with automated organization of the procedure, from ordering an assay to pre-analytic sample processing (sample collection, necessary manipulations e.g. spinning for separation, aliquoting if necessary, storage, retrieval, pipetting, aspiration, etc.). Analytes are generally tested in high throughput autoanalyzers, and the results are verified and automatically returned to ordering service providers and end users. These are made possible through use of advanced Laboratory informatics system that interfaces with multiple computer terminals with end users, central servers, the physical autoanalyzer instruments, and other automata.
Etymology Edit According to Etymology Online,[3] the verb assay means "to try, endeavor, strive; test the quality of", from Anglo-French assaier, from assai (n.), from Old French essai "trial", and the noun assay thus means "trial, test of quality, test of character", mid-14th century, from Anglo-French assai and the meaning "analysis" is from the late 14th century. For assay of currency coins, this literally meant analysis of the purity of the gold or silver or whatever precious component was used to represent the true value of the coin. This might have translated later (possibly after the 14th century) into a generalized meaning of analysis,[citation needed ] e.g. of an important or principal component of a target inside a mixture such as an active ingredient of a drug inside the inert excipients in a pharmacological formulation which originally used to be measured by its actual action on an organism (e.g. lethal dose or inhibitory dose).
General steps Edit An assay (analysis) is never an isolated process. It must be combined with pre- and post-analytic procedures. The information communication (e.g. request to perform an assay and further information processing) or specimen handling (e.g. collection, transport and processing) that are done until the beginning of an assay are the preanalytic steps. Similarly, after the assay, the result may be documented, verified and transmitted/communicated in steps that are called post-analytic steps. Like any multi-step information handling and transmission systems, variation and errors in the communicated final results of an assay involve corresponding parts in every such step; i.e. not only analytic variations and errors intrinsic to the assay itself but also variations and errors involved in preanalytic and post analytic steps. Since the assay itself (the analytic step) gets much attention,[4] steps that get less attention by the chain of users, i.e. the preanalytic and the post analytic steps, are often less stringently regulated and generally more prone to errors '' e.g. preanalytic steps in medical laboratory assays may contribute to 32''75% of all lab errors.[5]
Assays can be very diverse, but generally involve the following general steps:
Sample processing and manipulation in order to selectively present the target in a discernible or measurable form to a discrimination/identification/detection system. It might involve a simple centrifugal separation or washing or filtration or capture by some form of selective binding or it may even involve modifying the target e.g. epitope retrieval in immunological assays or cutting down the target into pieces e.g. in Mass Spectrometry. Generally there are multiple separate steps done before an assay and are called preanalytic processing. But some of the manipulations may be inseparable part of the assay itself and will not thus be considered pre-analytic.Target-specific DISCRIMINATION/IDENTIFICATION principle: to discriminate from background (noise) of similar components and specifically identify a particular target component ("analyte") in a biological material by its specific attributes. (e.g. in a PCR assay a specific oligonucleotide primer identifies the target by base pairing based on the specific nucleotide sequence unique to the target).Signal (or target) AMPLIFICATION system: The presence and quantity of that analyte is converted into a detectable signal generally involving some method of signal amplification, so that it can be easily discriminated from noise and measured - e.g. in a PCR assay among a mixture of DNA sequences only the specific target is amplified into millions of copies by a DNA polymerase enzyme so that it can be discerned as a more prominent component compared to any other potential components. Sometimes the concentration of the analyte is too large and in that case the assay may involve sample dilution or some sort of signal diminution system which is a negative amplification.Signal DETECTION (and interpretation) system: A system of deciphering the amplified signal into an interpretable output that can be quantitative or qualitative. It can be visual or manual very crude methods or can be very sophisticated electronic digital or analog detectors.Signal enhancement and noise filtering may be done at any or all of the steps above. Since the more downstream a step/process during an assay, the higher the chance of carrying over noise from the previous process and amplifying it, multiple steps in a sophisticated assay might involve various means of signal-specific sharpening/enhancement arrangements and noise reduction or filtering arrangements. These may simply be in the form of a narrow band-pass optical filer, or a blocking reagent in a binding reaction that prevents nonspecific binding or a quenching reagent in a fluorescence detection system that prevents "autofluorescence" of background objects.[citation needed ]Assay types based on the nature of the assay process Edit Time and number of measurements taken Edit Depending on whether an assay just looks at a single time point or timed readings taken at multiple time points, an assay may be:
An end point assay, in which a single measurement is performed after a fixed incubation period; orA kinetic assay, in which measurements are performed multiple times over a fixed time interval. Kinetic assay results may be visualized numerically (for example, as a slope parameter representing the rate of signal change over time), or graphically (for example, as a plot of the signal measured at each time point). For kinetic assays, both the magnitude and shape of the measured response over time provide important information.[6]Number of analytes detected Edit Depending on how many targets or analytes are being measured:
Usual assays are simple or single target assays which is usually the default unless it is called multiplex.Multiplex assays are used to simultaneously measure the presence, concentration, activity, or quality of multiple analytes in a single test. The advent of multiplexing enabled rapid, efficient sample testing in many fields, including immunology, cytochemistry, genetics/genomics, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology.[7]Result type Edit Depending on the quality of the result produced, assays may be classified into:
Qualitative assays, i.e. assays which generally give just a pass or fail, or positive or negative or some such sort of only small number of qualitative gradation rather than an exact quantity.Semi-quantitative assays, i.e. assays that give the read-out in an approximate fashion rather than an exact number for the quantity of the substance. Generally they have a few more gradations than just two outcomes, positive or negative, e.g. scoring on a scale of 1+ to 4+ as used for blood grouping tests based on RBC agglutination in response to grouping reagents (antibody against blood group antigens).Quantitative assays, i.e. assays that give accurate and exact numeric quantitative measure of the amount of a substance in a sample. An example of such an assay used in coagulation testing laboratories for the commonest inherited bleeding disease - Von Willebrand disease is VWF antigen assay where the amount of VWF present in a blood sample is measured by an immunoassay.Functional assays, i.e. an assay that tries to quantify functioning of an active substance rather than just its quantity. The functional counterpart of the VWF antigen assay is Ristocetin Cofactor assay, which measures the functional activity of the VWF present in a patients plasma by adding exogenous formalin-fixed platelets and gradually increasing quantities of drug named ristocetin while measuring agglutination of the fixed platelets. A similar assay but used for a different purpose is called Ristocetin Induced Platelet Aggregation or RIPA, which tests response of endogenous live platelets from a patient in response to Ristocetin (exogenous) & VWF (usually endogenous).Sample type and method Edit Depending on the general substrate on which the assay principle is applied:
Bioassay: when the response is biological activity of live objects. Examples includein vivo, whole organism (e.g. mouse or other subject injected with a drug)ex vivo body part (e.g. leg of a frog)ex vivo organ (e.g. heart of a dog)ex vivo part of an organ (e.g. a segment of an intestine).tissue (e.g. limulus lysate)cell (e.g. platelets)Ligand binding assay when a ligand (usually a small molecule) binds a receptor (usually a large protein).Immunoassay when the response is an antigen antibody binding type reaction.Signal amplification Edit Depending on the nature of the signal amplification system assays may be of numerous types, to name a few:
Enzyme assay: Enzymes may be tested by their highly repeating activity on a large number of substrates when loss of a substrate or the making of a product may have a measurable attribute like color or absorbance at a particular wavelength or light or Electrochemiluminescence or electrical/redox activity.Light detection systems that may use amplification e.g. by a photodiode or a photomultiplier tube or a cooled charge coupled device.Radioisotope labeled substrates as used in radioimmunoassays and equilibrium dialysis assays and can be detected by the amplification in Gamma counters or X-ray plates, or phosphorimagerPolymerase Chain Reaction Assays that amplify a DNA (or RNA) target rather than the signalCombination Methods Assays may utilize a combination of the above and other amplification methods to improve sensitivity. e.g. Enzyme-linked immunoassay or EIA, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay.Detection method or technology Edit Depending on the nature of the Detection system assays can be based on:
Colony forming or virtual colony count: e.g. by multiplying bacteria or proliferating cells.Photometry / spectrophotometry When the absorbance of a specific wavelength of light while passing through a fixed path-length through a cuvette of liquid test sample is measured and the absorbance is compared with a blank and standards with graded amounts of the target compound. If the emitted light is of a specific visible wavelength it may be called colorimetry, or it may involve specific wavelength of light e.g. by use of laser and emission of fluorescent signals of another specific wavelength which is detected via very specific wavelength optical filters.Transmittance of light may be used to measure e.g. clearing of opacity of a liquid created by suspended particles due to decrease in number of clumps during a platelet agglutination reaction.Turbidimetry when the opacity of straight-transmitted light passing through a liquid sample is measured by detectors placed straight across the light source.Nephelometry where a measurement of the amount of light scattering that occurs when a beam of light is passed through the solution is used to determine size and/or concentration and/or size distribution of particles in the sample.[8]Reflectometry When color of light reflected from a (usually dry) sample or reactant is assessed e.g. the automated readings of the strip urine dipstick assays.Viscoelastic measurements e.g. viscometry, elastography (e.g. thromboelastography)Counting assays: e.g. optic Flow cytometric cell or particle counters, or coulter/impedance principle based cell countersImaging assays, that involve image analysis manually or by software:Cytometry: When the size statistics of cells is assessed by an image processor.Electric detection e.g. involving amperometry, Voltammetry, coulometry may be used directly or indirectly for many types of quantitative measurements.Other physical property based assays may useOsmometerViscometerIon Selective electrodesAssay types based on the targets being measured Edit DNA Edit Assays for studying interactions of proteins with DNA include:
DNase footprinting assayFilter binding assayGel shift assayProtein Edit Bicinchoninic acid assay (BCA assay)Bradford protein assayLowry protein assay[9]Secretion assayRNA Edit Nuclear run-onRibosome profiling Cell counting, viability, proliferation or cytotoxicity assays Edit A cell-counting assay may determine the number of living cells, the number of dead cells, or the ratio of one cell type to another, such as numerating and typing red versus different types of white blood cells. This is measured by different physical methods (light transmission, electric current change). But other methods use biochemical probing cell structure or physiology (stains). Another application is to monitor cell culture (assays of cell proliferation or cytotoxicity).A cytotoxicity assay measures how toxic a chemical compound is to cells.
MTT assayCell Counting Kit-8 (WST-8 based cell viability assay)SRB (Sulforhodamine B) assayCellTiter-Glo® Luminescent Cell Viability AssayCell counting instruments and methods: CASY cell counting technology, Coulter counter, Electric cell-substrate impedance sensingCell viability assays: resazurin method, ATP test, Ethidium homodimer assay (detect dead or dying cells), Bacteriological water analysis, Clonogenic assays, ...Environmental or Food Contaminants Edit Bisphenol FAquatic toxicity testsSurfactants Edit An MBAS assay indicates anionic surfactants in water with a bluing reaction.Other cell assays Edit Many cell assays have been developed to assess specific parameters or response of cells (biomarkers, cell physiology). Techniques used to study_cells include :
reporter assays using i.e. Luciferase, calcium signaling assays using Coelenterazine, CFSE or CalceinImmunostaining of cells on slides by Microscopy (ImmunoHistoChemistry or Fluorescence), on microplates by photometry including the ELISpot (and its variant FluoroSpot) to enumerate B-Cells or antigen-specific cells, in solution by Flow cytometryMolecular biology techniques such as DNA microarrays, in situ hybridization, combined to PCR, Computational genomics, and Transfection; Cell fractionation or ImmunoprecipitationMigration assays, Chemotaxis assaySecretion assaysApoptosis assays such as the DNA laddering assay, the Nicoletti assay, caspase activity assays, and Annexin V stainingChemosensitivity assay measures the number of tumor cells that are killed by a cancer drugTetramer assay detect the presence of antigen specific T-cellsGentamicin protection assay or survival assay or invasion assay to assess ability of pathogens (bacteria) to invade eukaryotic cellsMetastasis Assay
Petrochemistry Edit Crude oil assayVirology Edit The HPCE-based viral titer assay uses a proprietary, high-performance capillary electrophoresis system to determine baculovirus titer.
The Trofile assay is used to determine HIV tropism.
The viral plaque assay is to calculate the number of viruses present in a sample. In this technique the number of viral plaques formed by a viral inoculum is counted, from which the actual virus concentration can be determined.
Cellular secretions Edit A wide range of cellular secretions (say, a specific antibody or cytokine) can be detected using the ELISA technique. The number of cells which secrete those particular substances can be determined using a related technique, the ELISPOT assay.
Drugs Edit Testing for Illegal DrugsRadioligand binding assayQuality Edit When multiple assays measure the same target their results and utility may or may not be comparable depending on the natures of the assay and their methodology, reliability etc. Such comparisons are possible through study of general quality attributes of the assays e.g. principles of measurement (including identification, amplification and detection), dynamic range of detection (usually the range of linearity of the standard curve), analytic sensitivity, functional sensitivity, analytic specificity, positive, negative predictive values, turn around time i.e. time taken to finish a whole cycle from the preanalytic steps till the end of the last post analytic step (report dispatch/transmission), throughput i.e. number of assays done per unit time (usually expressed as per hour) etc. Organizations or laboratories that perform Assays for professional purposes e.g. medical diagnosis and prognostics, environmental analysis, forensic proceeding, pharmaceutical research and development must undergo well regulated quality assurance procedures including method validation, regular calibration, analytical quality control, proficiency testing, test accreditation, test licensing and must document appropriate certifications from the relevant regulating bodies in order to establish the reliability of their assays, especially to remain legally acceptable and accountable for the quality of the assay results and also to convince customers to use their assay commercially/professionally.
See also Edit Analytical chemistryMELISAMultiplex (assay)Pharmaceutical chemistryTitrationReferences Edit ^ The American heritage dictionary of the English language (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. 2006. ISBN 9780618701735. ^ Abate, Frank (2001). J. Jewell, Elizabeth (ed.). The new Oxford American dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195112276. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary - Assay". etymonline. Douglas Harper. 2016 . Retrieved 13 August 2016 . ^ Bonini, P; Plebani, M; Ceriotti, F; Rubboli, F (May 2002). "Errors in laboratory medicine". Clinical chemistry. 48 (5): 691''8. PMID 11978595. ^ Hammerling, Julie A. (1 February 2012). "A Review of Medical Errors in Laboratory Diagnostics and Where We Are Today: Table 1". Laboratory Medicine. 43 (2): 41''44. doi:10.1309/LM6ER9WJR1IHQAUY. ^ Sittampalam, GS (2004). "Assay Guidance Manual [Internet]". ncbi.nlm.com. Eli Lilly & Company and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences . Retrieved 12 August 2016 . ^ Banks, Peter (7 June 2010). "Multiplexed Assays in the Life Sciences". biotek.com. BioTek Instruments Inc . Retrieved 13 August 2016 . ^ "Nephelometry". The Free Dictionary. Farlex. 2016 . Retrieved 9 September 2016 . ^ Lowry OH, Rosebrough NJ, Farr AL, Randall RJ (November 1951). "Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent". J. Biol. Chem. 193 (1): 265''75. PMID 14907713. External links Edit Blair, Andrew Alexander (1911). "Assaying" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclop...dia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 776''778. This includes a detailed, technical explanation of contemporaneous metallic ore assay techniques. The dictionary definition of assay at Wiktionary
ELISA - Wikipedia
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 09:39
The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (, ) is a commonly used analytical biochemistry assay, first described by Engvall and Perlmann in 1971.[1] The assay uses a solid-phase enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to detect the presence of a ligand (commonly a protein) in a liquid sample using antibodies directed against the protein to be measured. ELISA has been used as a diagnostic tool in medicine, plant pathology, and biotechnology, as well as a quality control check in various industries.
In the most simple form of an ELISA, antigens from the sample are attached to a surface. Then, a matching antibody is applied over the surface so it can bind to the antigen. This antibody is linked to an enzyme, and in the final step, a substance containing the enzyme's substrate is added. The subsequent reaction produces a detectable signal, most commonly a color change.
Performing an ELISA involves at least one antibody with specificity for a particular antigen. The sample with an unknown amount of antigen is immobilized on a solid support (usually a polystyrene microtiter plate) either non-specifically (via adsorption to the surface) or specifically (via capture by another antibody specific to the same antigen, in a "sandwich" ELISA). After the antigen is immobilized, the detection antibody is added, forming a complex with the antigen. The detection antibody can be covalently linked to an enzyme or can itself be detected by a secondary antibody that is linked to an enzyme through bioconjugation. Between each step, the plate is typically washed with a mild detergent solution to remove any proteins or antibodies that are non-specifically bound. After the final wash step, the plate is developed by adding an enzymatic substrate to produce a visible signal, which indicates the quantity of antigen in the sample.
Of note, ELISA can perform other forms of ligand binding assays instead of strictly "immuno" assays, though the name carried the original "immuno" because of the common use and history of development of this method. The technique essentially requires any ligating reagent that can be immobilized on the solid phase along with a detection reagent that will bind specifically and use an enzyme to generate a signal that can be properly quantified. In between the washes, only the ligand and its specific binding counterparts remain specifically bound or "immunosorbed" by antigen-antibody interactions to the solid phase, while the nonspecific or unbound components are washed away. Unlike other spectrophotometric wet lab assay formats where the same reaction well (e.g., a cuvette) can be reused after washing, the ELISA plates have the reaction products immunosorbed on the solid phase, which is part of the plate, and so are not easily reusable.
History Edit Before the development of the ELISA, the only option for conducting an immunoassay was radioimmunoassay, a technique using radioactively labeled antigens or antibodies. In radioimmunoassay, the radioactivity provides the signal, which indicates whether a specific antigen or antibody is present in the sample. Radioimmunoassay was first described in a scientific paper by Rosalyn Sussman Yalow and Solomon Berson published in 1960.[2]
As radioactivity poses a potential health threat, a safer alternative was sought. A suitable alternative to radioimmunoassay would substitute a nonradioactive signal in place of the radioactive signal. When enzymes (such as horseradish peroxidase) react with appropriate substrates (such as ABTS or TMB), a change in color occurs, which is used as a signal. However, the signal has to be associated with the presence of antibody or antigen, which is why the enzyme has to be linked to an appropriate antibody. This linking process was independently developed by Stratis Avrameas and G. B. Pierce.[3] Since it is necessary to remove any unbound antibody or antigen by washing, the antibody or antigen has to be fixed to the surface of the container; i.e., the immunosorbent must be prepared. A technique to accomplish this was published by Wide and Jerker Porath in 1966.[4]
In 1971, Peter Perlmann and Eva Engvall at Stockholm University in Sweden, and Anton Schuurs and Bauke van Weemen in the Netherlands independently published papers that synthesized this knowledge into methods to perform EIA/ELISA.[5][6]
Traditional ELISA typically involves chromogenic reporters and substrates that produce some kind of observable color change to indicate the presence of antigen or analyte. Newer ELISA-like techniques use fluorogenic, electrochemiluminescent, and quantitative PCR reporters to create quantifiable signals. These new reporters can have various advantages, including higher sensitivities and multiplexing.[7][8] In technical terms, newer assays of this type are not strictly ELISAs, as they are not "enzyme-linked", but are instead linked to some nonenzymatic reporter. However, given that the general principles in these assays are largely similar, they are often grouped in the same category as ELISAs.
In 2012, an ultrasensitive, enzyme-based ELISA test using nanoparticles as a chromogenic reporter was able to give a naked-eye colour signal, from the detection of mere attograms of analyte. A blue color appears for positive results and red color for negative. Note that this detection only can confirm the presence or the absence of analyte, not the actual concentration.[9]
Types Edit There are many ELISA tests for particular molecules that use the matching antibodies. ELISA tests are broken into several types of tests based on how the analytes and antibodies are bonded and used.[10][11] The major types are described here.[12]
Direct ELISA[13] Edit The steps of direct ELISA follows the mechanism below:
A buffered solution of the antigen to be tested for is added to each well (usually 96-well plates) of a microtiter plate, where it is given time to adhere to the plastic through charge interactions.A solution of nonreacting protein, such as bovine serum albumin or casein, is added to each well in order to cover any plastic surface in the well which remains uncoated by the antigen.The primary antibody with an attached (conjugated) enzyme is added, which binds specifically to the test antigen coating the well.A substrate for this enzyme is then added. Often, this substrate changes color upon reaction with the enzyme.The higher the concentration of the primary antibody present in the serum, the stronger the color change. Often, a spectrometer is used to give quantitative values for color strength.The enzyme acts as an amplifier; even if only few enzyme-linked antibodies remain bound, the enzyme molecules will produce many signal molecules. Within common-sense limitations, the enzyme can go on producing color indefinitely, but the more antibody is bound, the faster the color will develop. A major disadvantage of the direct ELISA is that the method of antigen immobilization is not specific; when serum is used as the source of test antigen, all proteins in the sample may stick to the microtiter plate well, so small concentrations of analyte in serum must compete with other serum proteins when binding to the well surface. The sandwich or indirect ELISA provides a solution to this problem, by using a "capture" antibody specific for the test antigen to pull it out of the serum's molecular mixture.
ELISA may be run in a qualitative or quantitative format. Qualitative results provide a simple positive or negative result (yes or no) for a sample. The cutoff between positive and negative is determined by the analyst and may be statistical. Two or three times the standard deviation (error inherent in a test) is often used to distinguish positive from negative samples. In quantitative ELISA, the optical density (OD) of the sample is compared to a standard curve, which is typically a serial dilution of a known-concentration solution of the target molecule. For example, if a test sample returns an OD of 1.0, the point on the standard curve that gave OD = 1.0 must be of the same analyte concentration as the sample.
The use and meaning of the names "indirect ELISA" and "direct ELISA" differs in the literature and on web sites depending on the context of the experiment. When the presence of an antigen is analyzed, the name "direct ELISA" refers to an ELISA in which only a labelled primary antibody is used, and the term "indirect ELISA" refers to an ELISA in which the antigen is bound by the primary antibody which then is detected by a labeled secondary antibody. In the latter case a sandwich ELISA is clearly distinct from an indirect ELISA. When the "primary" antibody is of interest, e.g. in the case of immunization analyses, this antibody is directly detected by the secondary antibody and the term "indirect ELISA" applies to a setting with two antibodies.
Sandwich ELISA Edit A sandwich ELISA. (1) Plate is coated with a capture antibody; (2) sample is added, and any antigen present binds to capture antibody; (3) detecting antibody is added, and binds to antigen; (4) enzyme-linked secondary antibody is added, and binds to detecting antibody; (5) substrate is added, and is converted by enzyme to detectable form.
A "sandwich" ELISA is used to detect sample antigen.[14] The steps are:
A surface is prepared to which a known quantity of capture antibody is bound.Any nonspecific binding sites on the surface are blocked.The antigen-containing sample is applied to the plate, and captured by antibody.The plate is washed to remove unbound antigen.A specific antibody is added, and binds to antigen (hence the 'sandwich': the antigen is stuck between two antibodies). This primary antibody could also be in the serum of a donor to be tested for reactivity towards the antigen.Enzyme-linked secondary antibodies are applied as detection antibodies that also bind specifically to the antibody's Fc region (nonspecific).The plate is washed to remove the unbound antibody-enzyme conjugates.A chemical is added to be converted by the enzyme into a color or fluorescent or electrochemical signal.The absorbance or fluorescence or electrochemical signal (e.g., current) of the plate wells is measured to determine the presence and quantity of antigen.The image to the right includes the use of a secondary antibody conjugated to an enzyme, though, in the technical sense, this is not necessary if the primary antibody is conjugated to an enzyme (which would be direct ELISA). However, the use of a secondary-antibody conjugate avoids the expensive process of creating enzyme-linked antibodies for every antigen one might want to detect. By using an enzyme-linked antibody that binds the Fc region of other antibodies, this same enzyme-linked antibody can be used in a variety of situations. Without the first layer of "capture" antibody, any proteins in the sample (including serum proteins) may competitively adsorb to the plate surface, lowering the quantity of antigen immobilized. Use of the purified specific antibody to attach the antigen to the plastic eliminates a need to purify the antigen from complicated mixtures before the measurement, simplifying the assay, and increasing the specificity and the sensitivity of the assay. A sandwich ELISA used for research often needs validation because of the risk of false positive results.[15]
Competitive ELISA Edit A third use of ELISA is through competitive binding. The steps for this ELISA are somewhat different from the first two examples:
Unlabeled antibody is incubated in the presence of its antigen (sample).These bound antibody/antigen complexes are then added to an antigen-coated well.The plate is washed, so unbound antibodies are removed. (The more antigen in the sample, the more Ag-Ab complexes are formed and so there are less unbound antibodies available to bind to the antigen in the well, hence "competition".)The secondary antibody, specific to the primary antibody, is added. This second antibody is coupled to the enzyme.A substrate is added, and remaining enzymes elicit a chromogenic or fluorescent signal.The reaction is stopped to prevent eventual saturation of the signal.Some competitive ELISA kits include enzyme-linked antigen rather than enzyme-linked antibody. The labeled antigen competes for primary antibody binding sites with the sample antigen (unlabeled). The less antigen in the sample, the more labeled antigen is retained in the well and the stronger the signal.
Commonly, the antigen is not first positioned in the well.
For the detection of HIV antibodies, the wells of microtiter plate are coated with the HIV antigen. Two specific antibodies are used, one conjugated with enzyme and the other present in serum (if serum is positive for the antibody). Cumulative competition occurs between the two antibodies for the same antigen, causing a stronger signal to be seen. Sera to be tested are added to these wells and incubated at 37 °C, and then washed. If antibodies are present, the antigen-antibody reaction occurs. No antigen is left for the enzyme-labelled specific HIV antibodies. These antibodies remain free upon addition and are washed off during washing. Substrate is added, but there is no enzyme to act on it, so a positive result shows no color change.
Reverse ELISA Edit A fourth ELISA test does not use the traditional wells. This test leaves the antigens suspended in the test fluid.[16][17]
Unlabeled antibody is incubated in the presence of its antigen (sample)A sufficient incubation period is provided to allow the antibodies to bind to the antigens.The sample is then passed through the Scavenger container. This can be a test tube or a specifically designed flow through channel. The surface of the Scavenger container or channel has ''Scavenger Antigens'' bound to it. These can be identical or sufficiently similar to the primary antigens that the free antibodies will bind.The Scavenger container must have sufficient surface area and sufficient time to allow the Scavenger Antigens to bind to all the excess Antibodies introduced into the sample.The sample, that now contains the tagged and bound antibodies, is passed through a detector. This device can be a flow cytometer or other device that illuminates the tags and registers the response.This test allows multiple antigens to be tagged and counted at the same time. This allows specific strains of bacteria to be identified by two (or more) different color tags. If both tags are present on a cell, then the cell is that specific strain. If only one is present, it is not.
This test is done, generally, one test at a time and cannot be done with the microtiter plate. The equipment needed is usually less complicated and can be used in the field.
Commonly used enzymatic markers Edit The following table lists the enzymatic markers commonly used in ELISA assays.
OPD (o-phenylenediamine dihydrochloride) turns amber to detect HRP (Horseradish Peroxidase), which is often used to as a conjugated protein.[18]TMB (3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine) turns blue when detecting HRP and turns yellow after the addition of sulfuric or phosphoric acid.[18]ABTS (2,2'-Azinobis [3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid]-diammonium salt) turns green when detecting HRP.[18]PNPP (p-Nitrophenyl Phosphate, Disodium Salt) turns yellow when detecting alkaline phosphatase.[18]Applications Edit Human anti-IgG, double antibody sandwich ELISA
Because the ELISA can be performed to evaluate either the presence of antigen or the presence of antibody in a sample, it is a useful tool for determining serum antibody concentrations (such as with the HIV test[19] or West Nile virus). It has also found applications in the food industry in detecting potential food allergens, such as milk, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and eggs[20] and as serological blood test for coeliac disease.[21][22] ELISA can also be used in toxicology as a rapid presumptive screen for certain classes of drugs.
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay plate
The ELISA was the first screening test widely used for HIV because of its high sensitivity. In an ELISA, a person's serum is diluted 400 times and applied to a plate to which HIV antigens are attached. If antibodies to HIV are present in the serum, they may bind to these HIV antigens. The plate is then washed to remove all other components of the serum. A specially prepared "secondary antibody" '-- an antibody that binds to other antibodies '-- is then applied to the plate, followed by another wash. This secondary antibody is chemically linked in advance to an enzyme.
Thus, the plate will contain enzyme in proportion to the amount of secondary antibody bound to the plate. A substrate for the enzyme is applied, and catalysis by the enzyme leads to a change in color or fluorescence. ELISA results are reported as a number; the most controversial aspect of this test is determining the "cut-off" point between a positive and a negative result.
A cut-off point may be determined by comparing it with a known standard. If an ELISA test is used for drug screening at workplace, a cut-off concentration, 50 ng/ml, for example, is established, and a sample containing the standard concentration of analyte will be prepared. Unknowns that generate a stronger signal than the known sample are "positive." Those that generate weaker signal are "negative".
Dr Dennis E Bidwell and Alister Voller created the ELISA test to detect various kind of diseases, such as dengue, malaria, Chagas disease, Johne's disease, and others.[23] ELISA tests also are used as in in vitro diagnostics in medical laboratories. The other uses of ELISA include:
detection of Mycobacterium antibodies in tuberculosisdetection of rotavirus in fecesdetection of hepatitis B markers in serumdetection of hepatitis C markers in serumdetection of enterotoxin of E. coli in fecesdetection of HIV antibodies in blood samplesSee also Edit ImmunoscreeningLateral flow testMagnetic immunoassaymicrotitre platePlaque reduction neutralization testPlate readerSecretion assayAgglutination-PCRNotes and references Edit ^ Engvall, E (1972-11-22). "Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Elisa". The Journal of Immunology. 109 (1): 129''135. ISSN 0022-1767. PMID 4113792. ^ Yalow, Rosalyn S.; Berson, Solomon A. (1960). "Immunoassay of endogenous plasma insulin in man". The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 39 (7): 1157''75. doi:10.1172/JCI104130. PMC 441860 . PMID 13846364. ^ Lequin, R. M. (2005). "Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA)/Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)". Clinical Chemistry. 51 (12): 2415''8. doi:10.1373/clinchem.2005.051532. PMID 16179424. ^ Wide, Leif; Porath, Jerker (1966). "Radioimmunoassay of proteins with the use of Sephadex-coupled antibodies". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 130 (1): 257''60. doi:10.1016/0304-4165(66)90032-8. ^ Engvall, Eva; Perlmann, Peter (1971). "Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantitative assay of immunoglobulin G". Immunochemistry. 8 (9): 871''4. doi:10.1016/0019-2791(71)90454-X. PMID 5135623. ^ Van Weemen, B.K.; Schuurs, A.H.W.M. (1971). "Immunoassay using antigen'--enzyme conjugates". FEBS Letters. 15 (3): 232''236. doi:10.1016/0014-5793(71)80319-8. PMID 11945853. ^ Leng, S. X.; McElhaney, J. E.; Walston, J. D.; Xie, D.; Fedarko, N. S.; Kuchel, G. A. (2008). "ELISA and Multiplex Technologies for Cytokine Measurement in Inflammation and Aging Research". The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 63 (8): 879''84. doi:10.1093/gerona/63.8.879. PMC 2562869 . PMID 18772478. ^ Adler, Michael; Schulz, Sven; Spengler, Mark (2009). "Cytokine Quantification in Drug Development: A comparison of sensitive immunoassay platforms". Chimera Biotech. ^ de la Rica, Roberto; Stevens, Molly M. (2012). "Plasmonic ELISA for the ultrasensitive detection of disease biomarkers with the naked eye". Nature Nanotechnology. 7 (12): 821''4. doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.186. hdl:10044/1/21938. PMID 23103935. ^ R., Crowther, J. (1995). ELISA : theory and practice. Totowa, N.J.: Humana Press. ISBN 978-0896032798. OCLC 32130600. ^ ROBERT., HNASKO (2016). ELISA (SOFTCOVER reprint OF ed.). [Place of publication not identified]: HUMANA. ISBN 978-1493953851. OCLC 960834982. ^ "What is an ELISA?". R&D Systems . Retrieved 31 January 2020 . ^ Spence, Zachary (2018-10-18). "Biochemistry 8th ed - Jeremy M. Berg": 83. ^ Schmidt, SD; Mazzella, MJ; Nixon, RA; Mathews, PM (2012). Aβ measurement by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Methods in Molecular Biology. 849. pp. 507''27. doi:10.1007/978-1-61779-551-0_34. ISBN 978-1-61779-550-3. PMID 22528112. ^ Kragstrup, Tue W; Vorup-Jensen, Thomas; Deleuran, Bent; Hvid, Malene (2013). "A simple set of validation steps identifies and removes false results in a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay caused by anti-animal IgG antibodies in plasma from arthritis patients". SpringerPlus. 2 (1): 263. doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-263. PMC 3695686 . PMID 23875127. ^ 7767404, Charbonnet, Derrick, "United States Patent: 7767404 - Apparatus and method for single-step immunosorbent assay for single and multiple analytes", issued August 3, 2010 ^ 8735142, Charbonnet, Derrick & Norman Scott Evans, "United States Patent: 8735142 - Systems and methods for immunosorbent assays for single and multiple analytes", issued May 27, 2014 ^ a b c d "Enzyme Substrates for ELISA". Thermo Fisher Scientific - US . Retrieved 2018-06-06 . ^ MedlinePlus Encyclopedia ELISA/Western blot tests for HIV ^ "Food Allergen Partnership" (Press release). FDA. January 2001 . Retrieved August 20, 2015 . ^ Sblattero, D.; Berti, I.; Trevisiol, C.; Marzari, R.; Tommasini, A.; Bradbury, A.; Fasano, A.; Ventura, A.; Not, T. (2000). "Human recombinant tissue transglutaminase ELISA: an innovative diagnostic assay for celiac disease". The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 95 (5): 1253''7. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2000.02018.x. PMID 10811336. ^ Porcelli, Brunetta; Ferretti, Fabio; Vindigni, Carla; Terzuoli, Lucia (2014). "Assessment of a Test for the Screening and Diagnosis of Celiac Disease". Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis. 30 (1): 65''70. doi:10.1002/jcla.21816. PMC 6807240 . PMID 25385391. ^ Griffin, J. F. T.; Spittle, E.; Rodgers, C. R.; Liggett, S.; Cooper, M.; Bakker, D.; Bannantine, J. P. (2005). "Immunoglobulin G1 Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay for Diagnosis of Johne's Disease in Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)". Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. 12 (12): 1401''9. doi:10.1128/CDLI.12.12.1401-1409.2005. PMC 1317074 . PMID 16339063. External links Edit Trouble shooting ELISA FAQA guide to assist in ELISA experimentsElisa Test and the Basic Principles AssociatedThe ELISA technique illustratedCytokine ELISA KitsAn animated tutorial comparing direct, indirect and sandwich ELISA methods"Introduction to ELISA Activity '' beginner walkthrough of ELISA used for detecting HIV, including animations at University of ArizonaAnimated video overview of competitive ELISA formatsELISA at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
MSM and GOV cannot be trusted
Donation notes content shows people are appreciative
Journalist are debating the president instead of asking writer poignant questions, which is far more powerful
Dems are trying to manifest a federal lock down order.
Pinocchio Pandemic
China media flip through NY Times China connection. NYTimes is mother ship
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Sun, 05 Apr 2020 06:20
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The media changing from flu to full on Trump hate was the turning point
China's Long Tentacles Extend Deep Into American Media | The American Conservative
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:53
The companies that own our major networks all do business in China. And that's just the beginning.
The English-language daily newspaper 'China Daily' are on display in the lobby of the Winters Hotel in Berlin, Germany, 28 March 2014. Photo: Jens Kalaene | usage worldwide (Photo by Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)
One unfortunate casualty of media consolidation could be the objectivity of news at a time of rising tensions with China. According to Gallup, public approval of the media's response to the coronavirus pandemic is the lowest out of the nine institutions surveyed, the only net negative on the list. Many more Americans approve of the president's response.
There are three reasons why the public is right to be skeptical, all of which have been on display during the coronavirus pandemic. One is a credulity toward experts. Max Fisher of the New York Times tweeted on Monday, in response to growing skepticism toward Chinese claims that they've brought the outbreak under control, ''If your well-grounded concern is that official Chinese data can never be trusted, it's worth considering that the WHO is vouching firsthand for the country having achieved a major turnaround.''
The tweet linked to an interview with Canadian epidemiologist and World Health Organization advisor Bruce Aylward, who spent last Friday dodging a Hong Kong journalist's questions about Taiwan in an interview that really has to be seen to be believed. Setting aside the other evidence that the WHO has been co-opted by China, this is a little embarrassing.
The second reason is the worldview of most journalists. These were the same people who told the public in February they should be more worried about the flu, or stigma against Asian Americans, than the virus itself.
The third reason is that many media companies either do business with China or are paid by the government in some way. This one is potentially more insidious than the other two.
The companies that own the major news networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS, all do significant business in China. On the print side, top U.S. newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times have been criticized for running paid China Daily inserts. What they were paid for these inserts is still unknown.
By contrast, conservative news companies are much less involved in China. Conservative radio giant Salem, whose attempt to buy Tribune several years ago provoked an enormous freakout from media reporters over consolidation, is all-American. And Fox, after several troubled attempts to break into the Chinese market'--including sending a News Corp team to help build People's Daily a website'--has mostly given up, after selling its Asia-Pacific operations to Disney over the last two years.
Disney owns ABC and has a park in Shanghai. It also owns ESPN, which was criticized for its coverage of China's retaliation against the NBA earlier this year over one team owner's support of the Hong Kong protests. But other than ABC, Disney is relatively uninvolved in news.
Comcast, on the other hand, has a much larger footprint in the U.S. media landscape, between NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC. The company's role in fostering cultural exchange is truly historic: they've brought to millions of American homes a customer service experience akin to a utility provider in a communist country, and have invested billions to bring ''Minion Land'' and a Harry Potter village to Beijing, with the help of a state-owned investment vehicle.
What might the Chinese government do if it were displeased with something that ran on MSNBC? Perhaps they'd have a tense conversation with their partners at 30 Rockefeller Plaza about the forthcoming slate of movie releases in China. Or it might be worse, given their decision to cut off all NBA games to retaliate against one team owner.
But evidently China is pleased with their partnership so far, and no NBC journalists had their residency permits pulled earlier this month. A March 10 post on the New York consulate's website touted a recent meeting with Comcast execs:
Comcast Corporation is not only the participator of the increasingly close cultural exchanges, but also the contributor and beneficiary of deeper economic exchanges between China and the US. The NBC and the Universal Studios Theme Park in Beijing are witnesses of the in-depth development of Sino-US economic and trade relations and increasingly close cultural exchanges.
Consul General Huang Ping made a point of discussing China's response to the coronavirus, as well as news coverage in the U.S.: ''China's prevention and control practices have earned valuable time and experience for other countries. '...We hope that the NBC and other U.S. media will objectively and fairly report China's efforts to control the epidemic.''
At this point, there should be no doubt that the Chinese government would not view it as objective or fair to question their initial response to the epidemic or their case numbers now. And it's not hard to see an implied threat in the consulate's statement: nice theme park you've got there, it'd be a shame if something happened to it.
A few weeks after the meeting, NBC News stories appeared saying the only new coronavirus cases in China had come from foreigners, and another one about China asserting its global leadership. These stories would no doubt be considered objective and fair by the Chinese diplomatic corps, but it's a level of credulity NBC News would never take with, say, the Trump administration.
This kind of corruption looks very different from Paul Manafort trying to sneak an ostrich jacket through customs. Yet it's still troubling all the same.
J. Arthur Bloom is the managing editor at The American Conservative.
Check mark recovery
G-Men tough times
I thanked you on the soc meds! I just wanted to send you a quick
note about how this economy is affecting the trash business. Keep in
mind I don’t work for the govt but one of the large trash companies at a local
division in Kalamazoo MI.
are a subscription service with a few municipal contracts.
There is three different line of business industrial, commercial and
residential. I’ve worked in residential for 13 years. The
industrial line is losing accounts due to some factories and all construction
being deemed not essential. Restaurants only doing carry out and some stores
not even open has cut into the commercial line. Those 2 line of business
have lost 40%. Residential has lost 4,000 accounts due to people not
paying there bill in the last few weeks. Residential has about 65,000
customers. All this has lead to cut hours.
Residential has 3 types of pickups. trash, recycle, and yard waste.
Yard waste was suppose to start April 1 for the season but deemed not
essential. Trash drivers with automated trucks were told not to touch
trash unless absolutely necessary. Recycle sorting center were shut down
cause they don’t want the sorters touching the recycle. Most well
probably be put into the landfill. I’ve been cut down to 40 hours which I
normal work 50+ this time of year.
your trash
speed around us
me a garbage man not sanitation engineer
Nura headphones
James 'Maggie' Megellas, Fond du Lac war hero, dies at age of 103
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 11:10
World War II veteran James "Maggie" Megellas of Colleyville, Texas, the most decorated officer in the history of the famed U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division, speaks about sacrifices made for freedom during a dedication of the main Nijmegen, the Netherlands, bridge in honor of the American paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne who lost their lives fighting for the bridge in World War II 65 years ago to the day, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009. The event commemorated the 65th anniversary of his fellow paratroopers killed during the daring daylight river crossing where outnumbered Americans routed a much larger German force to gain control of Nijmegen's key bridges which occurred, Sept. 20, 1944, during Operation Market Garden. (Photo: Fond du Lac Reporter archives)
FOND DU LAC - World War II hero and Fond du Lac's famed son, James "Maggie" Megellas, has died '-- just weeks after celebrating his 103rd birthday.
The U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division announced Megellas passed Thursday, in his sleep, at his home in Collyville, Texas.
"This loss will be felt by us all. Remember, paratroopers never die, they just slip away," the division said in a Facebook post Friday morning.
Born on March 11, 1917, into Fond du Lac's Greek community, Megellas went on to become the first city council president and the most decorated officer of the 82nd Airborne Division during his service in World War II.
He was a senior at Ripon College when Pearl Harbor was attacked and barely six months later, landed in Italy as a commissioned officer on the eve of the Anzio beach invasion. During his time in combat leadership, Megellas was seriously wounded twice during actions in the Italian mountains, parachuted into the bloody battles of Holland's Operation Market Garden, took out a German tank with two hand grenades during the Battle of the Bulge and helped liberate a Nazi prisoner of war camp.
His heroic exploits earned the war veteran two Bronze Stars, two Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross. In 1945, he was the first American to receive the "Military Order of Willhelm Orange Lanyard" from the Dutch Minister of War in Berlin.
Efforts by supporters of Megellas to see him awarded the Medal of Honor went on for decades, but it never came to fruition, despite introduction of legislation on his behalf from several political leaders. He was recommended for the award after the attack in Belgium, but it as downgraded to a Silver Star due to details omitted from the report.
On Jan. 28, 1945, in a firefight in Herresbach, Belgium, Megellas single-handedly disabled a German Mark V tank by throwing a grenade at it, and then jumped atop the tank, and threw another into the crew compartment. Not a single person in his platoon was lost that day, while the official count lists over 100 enemy soldiers killed and captured.
Jim Megellas listens as he is introduced to speak about his book, "All the Way to Berlin," in 2016 at the Fond du Lac Public Library. The book translation into Dutch is on the left. (Photo: USA TODAY NETWORL-Wisconsin file photo)
State Assembly Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) was still a Fond du Lac City Council member when he first spoke with Megellas. He said the two swapped stories of similar issues the city faced during both their tenures.
"I was stunned by this man's accomplishments, which are worthy of the Medal of Honor he unfortunately never received," Thiesfeldt said. "And I was always impressed by the vitality, this a man who lived to be 103, and the great pride he had in his country '-- the same pride he had in his fellow soldiers."
James Megellas, left, is pictured with Robert Kennedy, who was making a campaign appearance at the Hotel Retlaw in support of his brother John Kennedy's run for president in 1960 during Wisconsin's spring primary. James Megellas was a candidate for Congress. (Photo: Courtesy of Norman Lenburg Photo)
Recognizable by his wild shock of gray hair and ramrod straight posture '-- even in old age, Megellas shared his war stories openly, and felt it was important that future generations remember the great sacrifices made by U.S. forces during World War II. His description of his unit crossing the Netherland's Waal River in rowboats under pointblank German fire is harrowing, and scene is immortalized in the 1977 classic war film, "A Bridge too Far." In it, Megellas' role is portrayed by actor John Ratzenberger.
Fond du Lac County Executive Allen Buechel said he admired the centenarian for his commitment to his country, not just during the war, but throughout his life.
"I would listen to him tell of his war experiences, which for anyone who has ever been in combat, many of those experiences are unthinkable, yet he spoke about in a way that made people understand what our military had to go through," Buechel said.
Throughout his life, Megellas remained beloved in his hometown, and was given a hero's welcome whenever he returned home. He last visited the city in 2019, for the celebration of his 102nd birthday.
"Everything I ever was, came from Fond du Lac," Megellas told The Reporter.
American Legion Trier-Puddy Post #75 is named the James "Maggie" Megellas Fond du Lac County Veterans Memorial Building. In 2016, the city's post office was renamed the Lieutenant Colonel James 'Maggie' Megellas Post Office. A city park near the Meadowlands subdivision also bears his name.
In 2010, Megellas was honored by the nation of Holland for his incomparable valor. On Sept. 30, 1944, while leading his platoon on a combat patrol, First Lt. Megellas crawled forward alone, killed two outpost guards and the crew of a machine gun nest. Advancing forward with his patrol, they then attacked and destroyed the main enemy defenses.
Richard LaRiviere, left, and James Megellas, both lieutenants at the time, are shown in Leicester, England, during World War II. Magellas later won a Silver Star for his actions. (Photo: The Market Garden Committee Foundation)
As his withdrew his platoon through enemy lines and under mortar fire, Megellas personally carried a wounded man while firing his Thompson machine gun with one hand.
'We never expected to get out alive," Megellas said in a 1977 interview with The Reporter. "My best friend and I promised each other that if one of us lived, we'd visit the other's mother at the end of the war."
His heroic service to his country is commemorated in the movie: "Maggie's War: A True Story of Courage, Leadership and Valor in World War II," and in Megellas' own autobiography: "All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe."
In the movie, which aired on PBS stations across the country, Megellas is seen as "someone who defied the odds, who embodies heroism, who views recognition in terms of 'all of us,' and who understands the meaning of a cause greater than one's self."
James Megellas, third from right in back row, poses with a Dutch family shortly after the jump into Holland on Sept. 17, 1944. (Photo: Courtesy of Market Garden Committee Foundation)
Megellas was discharged from the Army as a captain, continued as a citizen-soldier, and retired as a lieutenant colonel.
After the war, Megellas returned to Fond du Lac for several years, where he met his wife, Carole Laehn. In 1960, he was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to the directorship of the U.S. Agency for International Development and was posted to Yemen, Panama and Vietnam, where he helped to rebuild the country after the war.
Prior to his departure, he presented JFK and his wife Jackie the key to the city at The Retlaw Hotel during a campaign visit to Fond du Lac in February 1960.
Megellas made an unsuccessful run as a Democrat against William Van Pelt to represent Wisconsin's 6th District in 1958 and 1960.
Until their sons Steven and Jim were in middle school, the family lived in several different countries, staying the longest in Bogota, Columbia.
Megellas retired to Texas, but traveled throughout the world for specials honors and appearances. He made more than 500 speeches in his life, most recently at the United States Military Academy at West Point, inspiring young cadets to strive for honor, truth and valor.
''I always conclude by telling the story of a concentration camp we liberated during the war,'' he said in 2019. ''When we talked with the survivors, we realized the greater cause we were fighting for. We were fighting for the all the things we believed in.''
Contact reporter Sarah Razner at 920-907-7909 or srazner@gannett.com, or Sharon Roznik at 920-907-7936 or sroznik@gannett.com
Pictured is a painting by Simon Smith titled ''Act of Valor.'' Shown standing is James Megellas shortly after single-handedly disabling a German Panther tank on Jan. 28, 1945, in the town of Herresbach, Belgium. (Photo: Submitted)
RELATED: 'Just like us': How Wisconsin held captive, and made peace with, German POWs in World War II
RELATED: America's '-- and Fond du Lac's '-- great war hero James Megellas celebrates 101st
RELATED: Grothman urges Medal of Honor for World War II hero, 101-year-old James Megellas
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Spanish flu - Wikipedia
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 08:49
1918 pandemic of H1N1 influenza virus
Spanish fluDiseaseInfluenzaVirus strainH1N1LocationWorldwideFirst outbreakunknownFirst reportedUnited StatesDateJanuary 1918 '' December 1920Confirmed cases500 million (estimate)Deaths
17''50 million (estimate)The Spanish flu (also known as the 1918 flu pandemic[2]) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic.[3] Lasting from January 1918 to December 1920, it infected 500 million people '' about a quarter of the world's population at the time. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million[4] to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history.[5][6]
To maintain morale, World War I censors minimized early reports of illness and mortality in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.[7] Newspapers were free to report the epidemic's effects in neutral Spain, such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII, and these stories created a false impression of Spain as especially hard hit. This gave rise to the name Spanish flu. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify with certainty the pandemic's geographic origin, with varying views as to its location.
Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill the very young and the very old, with a higher survival rate for those in between, but the Spanish flu pandemic resulted in a higher than expected mortality rate for young adults.[11] Scientists offer several possible explanations for the high mortality rate of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Some analyses have shown the virus to be particularly deadly because it triggers a cytokine storm, which ravages the stronger immune system of young adults. In contrast, a 2007 analysis of medical journals from the period of the pandemic[13][14] found that the viral infection was no more aggressive than previous influenza strains. Instead, malnourishment, overcrowded medical camps and hospitals, and poor hygiene promoted bacterial superinfection. This superinfection killed most of the victims, typically after a somewhat prolonged death bed.[15][16]
The Spanish flu was the first of two pandemics caused by the H1N1 influenza virus; the second was the swine flu in 2009.[17]
History Hypotheses about the source United Kingdom The major UK troop staging and hospital camp in ‰taples in France has been theorized by researchers as being at the center of the Spanish flu. The research was published in 1999 by a British team, led by virologist John Oxford.[18] In late 1917, military pathologists reported the onset of a new disease with high mortality that they later recognized as the flu. The overcrowded camp and hospital was an ideal site for the spreading of a respiratory virus. The hospital treated thousands of victims of chemical attacks, and other casualties of war, and 100,000 soldiers passed through the camp every day. It also was home to a piggery, and poultry was regularly brought in for food supplies from surrounding villages. Oxford and his team postulated that a significant precursor virus, harbored in birds, mutated and then migrated to pigs kept near the front.[19][20]
A report published in 2016 in the Journal of the Chinese Medical Association found evidence that the 1918 virus had been circulating in the European armies for months and possibly years before the 1918 pandemic.[21]
United States There have been statements that the epidemic originated in the United States. Historian Alfred W. Crosby stated in 2003 that the flu originated in Kansas, and popular author John M. Barry described a January 1918 outbreak in Haskell County, Kansas, as the point of origin in his 2004 article.
A 2018 study of tissue slides and medical reports led by evolutionary biology professor Michael Worobey found evidence against the disease originating from Kansas as those cases were milder and had fewer deaths compared to the situation in New York City in the same time period. The study did find evidence through phylogenetic analyses that the virus likely had a North American origin, though it was not conclusive. In addition, the haemagglutinin glycoproteins of the virus suggest that it was around far prior to 1918 and other studies suggest that the reassortment of the H1N1 virus likely occurred in or around 1915.[23]
China One of the few regions of the world seemingly less affected by the 1918 flu pandemic was China, where there may have been a comparatively mild flu season in 1918 (although this is disputed due to lack of data during the Warlord Period of China, see Around the globe). Multiple studies have documented that there were relatively few deaths from the flu in China compared to other regions of the world.[24][25][26] This has led to speculation that the 1918 flu pandemic originated in China.[27][25][28][29] The relatively mild flu season and lower rates of flu mortality in China in 1918 may be explained due to the fact that the Chinese population had already possessed acquired immunity to the flu virus.[30][27][25]
In 1993, Claude Hannoun, the leading expert on the 1918 flu for the Pasteur Institute, asserted the former virus was likely to have come from China. It then mutated in the United States near Boston and from there spread to Brest, France, Europe's battlefields, Europe, and the world with Allied soldiers and sailors as the main disseminators.[31]
In 2014, historian Mark Humphries argued that the mobilization of 96,000 Chinese laborers to work behind the British and French lines might have been the source of the pandemic. Humphries, of the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, based his conclusions on newly unearthed records. He found archival evidence that a respiratory illness that struck northern China in November 1917 was identified a year later by Chinese health officials as identical to the Spanish flu.[33]
A report published in 2016 in the Journal of the Chinese Medical Association found no evidence that the 1918 virus was imported to Europe via Chinese and Southeast Asian soldiers and workers and instead found evidence of its circulation in Europe before the pandemic.[21] The 2016 study suggested that the low flu mortality rate (an estimated 1/1000) found among the Chinese and Southeast Asian workers in Europe meant that the deadly 1918 influenza pandemic could not have originated from those workers.[21]
A 2018 study of tissue slides and medical reports led by evolutionary biology professor Michael Worobey found evidence against the disease being spread by Chinese workers, noting that workers entered Europe through other routes that did not result in detectable spread, making them unlikely to have been the original hosts.[23]
Other Hannoun considered several alternative hypotheses of origin, such as Spain, Kansas, and Brest, as being possible, but not likely.[31] Political scientist Andrew Price-Smith published data from the Austrian archives suggesting the influenza began in Austria in early 1917.
Spread As U.S. troops deployed en masse for the
war effort in Europe, they carried the Spanish flu with them.
When an infected person sneezes or coughs, more than half a million virus particles can spread to those nearby.[35] The close quarters and massive troop movements of World War I hastened the pandemic, and probably both increased transmission and augmented mutation. The war may also have increased the lethality of the virus. Some speculate the soldiers' immune systems were weakened by malnourishment, as well as the stresses of combat and chemical attacks, increasing their susceptibility.
A large factor in the worldwide occurrence of this flu was increased travel. Modern transportation systems made it easier for soldiers, sailors, and civilian travelers to spread the disease.[38] Another was lies and denial by governments, leaving the population ill-prepared to handle the outbreaks.[39]
In the United States, the disease was first observed in Haskell County, Kansas, in January 1918, prompting local doctor Loring Miner to warn the US Public Health Service's academic journal. On 4 March 1918, company cook Albert Gitchell, from Haskell County, reported sick at Fort Riley, a US military facility that at the time was training American troops during World War I, making him the first recorded victim of the flu.[40][41][42] Within days, 522 men at the camp had reported sick.[43] By 11 March 1918, the virus had reached Queens, New York.[38] Failure to take preventive measures in March/April was later criticised.
In August 1918, a more virulent strain appeared simultaneously in Brest, France; in Freetown, Sierra Leone; and in the U.S., in September, at the Boston Navy Yard and Camp Devens (later renamed Fort Devens), about 30 miles west of Boston. Other U.S. military sites were soon afflicted, as were troops being transported to Europe.[45] The Spanish flu also spread through Ireland, carried there by returning Irish soldiers.[citation needed ] The Allies of World War I came to call it the Spanish flu, primarily because the pandemic received greater press attention after it moved from France to Spain in November 1918. Spain was not involved in the war and had not imposed wartime censorship.[46]
Mortality Around the globe The difference between the influenza mortality age-distributions of the 1918 epidemic and normal epidemics '' deaths per 100,000 persons in each age group, United States, for the interpandemic years 1911''1917 (dashed line) and the pandemic year 1918 (solid line)
Three pandemic waves: weekly combined influenza and pneumonia mortality, United Kingdom, 1918''1919
Estimates vary as to the total number who died. An estimate from 1991 says it killed 25''39 million people. A 2005 estimate put the death toll at probably 50 million (less than 3% of the global population), and possibly as high as 100 million (more than 5%). However, a reassessment in 2018 estimated the total to be about 17 million,[4] though this has been contested.[52] With a world population of 1.8 to 1.9 billion,[53] these estimates correspond to between 1 and 6 percent of the population.
This flu killed more people in 24 weeks than HIV/AIDS killed in 24 years. The Black Death, which lasted much longer, killed a much higher percentage of the world's then smaller population.[55]
The disease killed in many parts of the world. Some 12-17 million people died in India, about 5% of the population.[56] The death toll in India's British-ruled districts was 13.88 million.[57] Arnold (2019) estimates at least 12 million dead.[58]
Estimates for the death toll in China have varied widely,[59] a range which reflects the lack of centralised collection of health data at the time due to the Warlord period. The first estimate of the Chinese death toll was made in 1991 by Patterson and Pyle, which estimated China had a death toll of between 5 and 9 million. However, this 1991 study was later criticized by later studies due to flawed methodology, and newer studies have published estimates of a far lower mortality rate in China.[24][60][61] For instance, Iijima in 1998 estimates the death toll in China to be between 1 and 1.28 million based on data available from Chinese port-cities.[62] As Wataru Iijima notes,
"Patterson and Pyle in their study 'The 1918 Influenza Pandemic' tried to estimate the number of deaths by Spanish influenza in China as a whole. They argued that between 4.0 and 9.5 million people died in China, but this total was based purely on the assumption that the death rate there was 1.0''2.25 per cent in 1918, because China was a poor country similar to Indonesia and India where the mortality rate was of that order. Clearly their study was not based on any local Chinese statistical data."[63]
The lower estimates of the Chinese death toll are based on the low mortality rates that were found in Chinese port-cities (for example, Hong Kong) and on the assumption that poor communications prevented the flu from penetrating the interior of China.[59] However, some contemporary newspaper and post office reports, as well as reports from missionary doctors, suggest that the flu did penetrate the Chinese interior and that influenza was bad in some locations in the countryside of China.[64]
In Japan, 23 million people were affected, with at least 390,000 reported deaths.[65] In the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), 1.5 million were assumed to have died among 30 million inhabitants.[66] In Tahiti, 13% of the population died during one month. Similarly, in Samoa 22% of the population of 38,000 died within two months.
In New Zealand, the flu killed an estimated 6,400 Pakeha and 2,500 indigenous Maori in six weeks, with Māori dying at eight times the rate of Pakeha.[68][69]
In Iran, the mortality was very high: according to an estimate, between 902,400 and 2,431,000, or 8% to 22% of the total population died.
In the U.S., about 28% of the population of 105 million became infected, and 500,000 to 675,000 died (0.48 to 0.64 percent of the population).[71] Native American tribes were particularly hard hit. In the Four Corners area, there were 3,293 registered deaths among Native Americans.[72] Entire Inuit and Alaskan Native village communities died in Alaska.[73] In Canada, 50,000 died.[74]
In Brazil, 300,000 died, including president Rodrigues Alves.[75] In Britain, as many as 250,000 died; in France, more than 400,000.[76]
In Ghana, the influenza epidemic killed at least 100,000 people. Tafari Makonnen (the future Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia) was one of the first Ethiopians who contracted influenza but survived.[78] Many of his subjects did not; estimates for fatalities in the capital city, Addis Ababa, range from 5,000 to 10,000, or higher. In British Somaliland, one official estimated that 7% of the native population died.
This huge death toll resulted from an extremely high infection rate of up to 50% and the extreme severity of the symptoms, suspected to be caused by cytokine storms. Symptoms in 1918 were unusual, initially causing influenza to be misdiagnosed as dengue, cholera, or typhoid. One observer wrote, "One of the most striking of the complications was hemorrhage from mucous membranes, especially from the nose, stomach, and intestine. Bleeding from the ears and petechial hemorrhages in the skin also occurred". The majority of deaths were from bacterial pneumonia,[82][83] a common secondary infection associated with influenza. The virus also killed people directly by causing massive hemorrhages and edema in the lungs.
Patterns of fatality A nurse wears a cloth mask while treating a patient in Washington, DC
Seattle police wearing masks in December 1918
Emergency hospital set up in Kansas
Army hospital on Long Island, New York
Red Cross workers transport a victim in St. Louis, Missouri
The pandemic mostly killed young adults. In 1918''1919, 99% of pandemic influenza deaths in the U.S. occurred in people under 65, and nearly half of deaths were in young adults 20 to 40 years old. In 1920, the mortality rate among people under 65 had decreased sixfold to half the mortality rate of people over 65, but 92% of deaths still occurred in people under 65. This is unusual, since influenza is typically most deadly to weak individuals, such as infants under age two, adults over age 70, and the immunocompromised. In 1918, older adults may have had partial protection caused by exposure to the 1889''1890 flu pandemic, known as the "Russian flu".[86]
According to historian John M. Barry, the most vulnerable of all '' "those most likely, of the most likely", to die '' were pregnant women. He reported that in thirteen studies of hospitalized women in the pandemic, the death rate ranged from 23% to 71%.[87]Of the pregnant women who survived childbirth, over one-quarter (26%) lost the child.
Another oddity was that the outbreak was widespread in the summer and autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere); influenza is usually worse in winter.[89]
Alberta's provincial board of health poster
Modern analysis has shown the virus to be particularly deadly because it triggers a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body's immune system), which ravages the stronger immune system of young adults. One group of researchers recovered the virus from the bodies of frozen victims and transfected animals with it. The animals suffered rapidly progressive respiratory failure and death through a cytokine storm. The strong immune reactions of young adults were postulated to have ravaged the body, whereas the weaker immune reactions of children and middle-aged adults resulted in fewer deaths among those groups.[90]
In fast-progressing cases, mortality was primarily from pneumonia, by virus-induced lung consolidation. Slower-progressing cases featured secondary bacterial pneumonia, and possibly neural involvement that led to mental disorders in some cases. Some deaths resulted from malnourishment.
A study conducted by He et al. (2011) used a mechanistic modeling approach to study the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic. They examined the factors that underlie variability in temporal patterns and their correlation to patterns of mortality and morbidity. Their analysis suggests that temporal variations in transmission rate provide the best explanation, and the variation in transmission required to generate these three waves is within biologically plausible values.
Another study by He et al. (2013) used a simple epidemic model incorporating three factors to infer the cause of the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic. These factors were school opening and closing, temperature changes throughout the outbreak, and human behavioral changes in response to the outbreak. Their modeling results showed that all three factors are important, but human behavioral responses showed the most significant effects.
Deadly second wave The second wave of the 1918 pandemic was much deadlier than the first. The first wave had resembled typical flu epidemics; those most at risk were the sick and elderly, while younger, healthier people recovered easily. By August, when the second wave began in France, Sierra Leone, and the United States,[93] the virus had mutated to a much deadlier form. October 1918 was the deadliest month of the whole pandemic.[94]
This increased severity has been attributed to the circumstances of the First World War. In civilian life, natural selection favors a mild strain. Those who get very ill stay home, and those mildly ill continue with their lives, preferentially spreading the mild strain. In the trenches, natural selection was reversed. Soldiers with a mild strain stayed where they were, while the severely ill were sent on crowded trains to crowded field hospitals, spreading the deadlier virus. The second wave began, and the flu quickly spread around the world again. Consequently, during modern pandemics, health officials pay attention when the virus reaches places with social upheaval (looking for deadlier strains of the virus).
The fact that most of those who recovered from first-wave infections had become immune showed that it must have been the same strain of flu. This was most dramatically illustrated in Copenhagen, which escaped with a combined mortality rate of just 0.29% (0.02% in the first wave and 0.27% in the second wave) because of exposure to the less-lethal first wave.[97] For the rest of the population, the second wave was far more deadly; the most vulnerable people were those like the soldiers in the trenches '' adults who were young and fit.
Devastated communities A chart of deaths from all causes in major cities, showing a peak in October and November 1918
Coromandel Hospital Board (
New Zealand) advice to influenza sufferers (1918)
Even in areas where mortality was low, so many adults were incapacitated that much of everyday life was hampered. Some communities closed all stores or required customers to leave orders outside. There were reports that healthcare workers could not tend the sick nor the gravediggers bury the dead because they too were ill. Mass graves were dug by steam shovel and bodies buried without coffins in many places.[99]
Several Pacific island territories were hit particularly hard. The pandemic reached them from New Zealand, which was too slow to implement measures to prevent ships, such as the SS Talune, carrying the flu from leaving its ports. From New Zealand, the flu reached Tonga (killing 8% of the population), Nauru (16%), and Fiji (5%, 9,000 people).
Worst affected was Western Samoa, formerly German Samoa, which had been occupied by New Zealand in 1914. 90% of the population was infected; 30% of adult men, 22% of adult women, and 10% of children died. By contrast, Governor John Martin Poyer prevented the flu from reaching neighboring American Samoa by imposing a blockade. The disease spread fastest through the higher social classes among the indigenous peoples, because of the custom of gathering oral tradition from chiefs on their deathbeds; many community elders were infected through this process.[101]
In New Zealand, 8,573 deaths were attributed to the 1918 pandemic influenza, resulting in a total population fatality rate of 0.7%. Māori were 8 to 10 times as likely to die as Pakeha, because of their relative poverty, more crowded housing, rural population and lesser immunity to disease.[101]
In Ireland, the Spanish flu accounted for 10% of the total deaths in 1918.[citation needed ]
Less-affected areas China may have experienced a relatively mild flu season in 1918 compared to other areas of the world.[103][104][30][105] However, there was no centralised collection of health statistics in the country at the time, and some reports from its interior suggest that mortality rates from influenza were perhaps higher in at least a few locations in China in 1918.[64] However, at the very least, there is little evidence that China as a whole was seriously affected by the flu compared to other countries in the world.[106] Although medical records from China's interior are lacking, there was extensive medical data recorded in Chinese port-cities, such as then British-controlled Hong Kong, Canton, Peking, Harbin and Shanghai. This data was collected by the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, which was largely staffed by non-Chinese foreigners, such as the British, French, and other European colonial officials in China.[107] As a whole, accurate data from China's port cities show astonishingly low mortality rates compared to other cities in Asia.[107] For example, the British authorities at Hong Kong and Canton reported a mortality rate from influenza at a rate of 0.25% and 0.32%, much lower than the reported mortality rate of other cities in Asia, such as Calcutta or Bombay, where influenza was much more devastating.[107][108] Similarly, in the city of Shanghai '' which had a population of over 2 million in 1918 '' there were only 266 recorded deaths from influenza among the Chinese population in 1918.[107] If extrapolated from the extensive data recorded from Chinese cities, the suggested mortality rate from influenza in China as a whole in 1918 was likely lower than 1% '' much lower than the world average (which was around 3''5%).[107] In contrast, Japan and Taiwan had reported a mortality rate from influenza around 0.45% and 0.69% respectively, higher than the mortality rate collected from data in Chinese port cities, such as Hong Kong (0.25%), Canton (0.32%), and Shanghai.[107]
In Japan, 257,363 deaths were attributed to influenza by July 1919, giving an estimated 0.4% mortality rate, much lower than nearly all other Asian countries for which data are available. The Japanese government severely restricted sea travel to and from the home islands when the pandemic struck.
In the Pacific, American Samoa[109] and the French colony of New Caledonia[110] also succeeded in preventing even a single death from influenza through effective quarantines. In Australia, nearly 12,000 perished.[111]
By the end of the pandemic, the isolated island of Maraj", in Brazil's Amazon River Delta had not reported an outbreak.[112] Saint Helena also reported no deaths.[113]
The death toll in Russia has been estimated at 450,000, though the epidemiologists who suggested this number called it a "shot in the dark". If it is correct, Russia lost roughly 0.4% of its population, meaning it suffered the lowest influenza-related mortality in Europe. Another study considers this number unlikely, given that the country was in the grip of a civil war, and the infrastructure of daily life had broken down; the study suggests that Russia's death toll was closer to 2%, or 2.7 million people.[64]
Aspirin poisoning In a 2009 paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, Karen Starko proposed that aspirin poisoning contributed substantially to the fatalities. She based this on the reported symptoms in those dying from the flu, as reported in the post mortem reports still available, and also the timing of the big "death spike" in October 1918. This occurred shortly after the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and the Journal of the American Medical Association both recommended very large doses of 8 to 31 grams of aspirin per day as part of treatment. These levels will produce hyperventilation in 33% of patients, as well as lung edema in 3% of patients.
Starko also notes that many early deaths showed "wet", sometimes hemorrhagic lungs, whereas late deaths showed bacterial pneumonia. She suggests that the wave of aspirin poisonings was due to a "perfect storm" of events: Bayer's patent on aspirin expired, so many companies rushed in to make a profit and greatly increased the supply; this coincided with the Spanish flu; and the symptoms of aspirin poisoning were not known at the time.
A street car conductor in
Seattle in 1918 refusing to allow passengers aboard who are not wearing masks
As an explanation for the universally high mortality rate, this hypothesis was questioned in a letter to the journal published in April 2010 by Andrew Noymer and Daisy Carreon of the University of California, Irvine, and Niall Johnson of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. They questioned the universal applicability of the aspirin theory, given the high mortality rate in countries such as India, where there was little or no access to aspirin at the time, compared to the death rate in places where aspirin was plentiful.
They concluded that "the salicylate [aspirin] poisoning hypothesis [was] difficult to sustain as the primary explanation for the unusual virulence of the 1918''1919 influenza pandemic". In response, Starko said there was anecdotal evidence of aspirin use in India and argued that even if aspirin over-prescription had not contributed to the high Indian mortality rate, it could still have been a factor for high rates in areas where other exacerbating factors present in India played less of a role.
End of the pandemic After the lethal second wave struck in late 1918, new cases dropped abruptly '' almost to nothing after the peak in the second wave. In Philadelphia, for example, 4,597 people died in the week ending 16 October, but by 11 November, influenza had almost disappeared from the city. One explanation for the rapid decline in the lethality of the disease is that doctors became more effective in prevention and treatment of the pneumonia that developed after the victims had contracted the virus. However, John Barry stated in his 2004 book The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History that researchers have found no evidence to support this position. Some fatal cases did continue into March 1919, killing one player in the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals.
Another theory holds that the 1918 virus mutated extremely rapidly to a less lethal strain. This is a common occurrence with influenza viruses: there is a tendency for pathogenic viruses to become less lethal with time, as the hosts of more dangerous strains tend to die out (see also "Deadly Second Wave", above).
Long-term effects A 2006 study in the Journal of Political Economy found that "cohorts in utero during the pandemic displayed reduced educational attainment, increased rates of physical disability, lower income, lower socioeconomic status, and higher transfer payments received compared with other birth cohorts."[117] A 2018 study found that the pandemic reduced educational attainment in populations.[118]
The flu has been linked to the outbreak of encephalitis lethargica in the 1920s.
Legacy Academic Andrew Price-Smith has made the argument that the virus helped tip the balance of power in the latter days of the war towards the Allied cause. He provides data that the viral waves hit the Central Powers before the Allied powers and that both morbidity and mortality in Germany and Austria were considerably higher than in Britain and France.
Despite the high morbidity and mortality rates that resulted from the epidemic, the Spanish flu began to fade from public awareness over the decades until the arrival of news about bird flu and other pandemics in the 1990s and 2000s. This has led some historians to label the Spanish flu a "forgotten pandemic".
There are various theories of why the Spanish flu was "forgotten". The rapid pace of the pandemic, which, for example, killed most of its victims in the United States within less than nine months, resulted in limited media coverage. The general population was familiar with patterns of pandemic disease in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: typhoid, yellow fever, diphtheria and cholera all occurred near the same time. These outbreaks probably lessened the significance of the influenza pandemic for the public. In some areas, the flu was not reported on, the only mention being that of advertisements for medicines claiming to cure it.
Additionally, the outbreak coincided with the deaths and media focus on the First World War. Another explanation involves the age group affected by the disease. The majority of fatalities, from both the war and the epidemic, were among young adults. The number of war-related deaths of young adults may have overshadowed the deaths caused by flu.
When people read the obituaries, they saw the war or postwar deaths and the deaths from the influenza side by side. Particularly in Europe, where the war's toll was high, the flu may not have had a tremendous psychological impact or may have seemed an extension of the war's tragedies. The duration of the pandemic and the war could have also played a role. The disease would usually only affect a particular area for a month before leaving. The war, however, had initially been expected to end quickly but lasted for four years by the time the pandemic struck.
1918 influenza epidemic burial site in
Auckland, New Zealand
Regarding global economic effects, many businesses in the entertainment and service industries suffered losses in revenue, while the healthcare industry reported profit gains.Historian Nancy Bristow has argued that the pandemic, when combined with the increasing number of women attending college, contributed to the success of women in the field of nursing. This was due in part to the failure of medical doctors, who were predominantly men, to contain and prevent the illness. Nursing staff, who were mainly women, celebrated the success of their patient care and did not associate the spread of the disease with their work.[125]
In Spain, sources from the period explicitly linked the Spanish flu to the cultural figure of Don Juan. The nickname for the flu, the "Naples Soldier", was adopted from Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernndez Shaw's 1916 operetta, The Song of Forgetting (La canci"n del olvido). The protagonist of the operetta was a stock Don Juan type. Federico Romero, one of the librettists, quipped that the play's most popular musical number, Naples Soldier, was as catchy as the flu. Davis argued the Spanish flu''Don Juan connection allowed Spaniards to make sense of their epidemic experience by interpreting it through their familiar Don Juan story.
Research An electron micrograph showing recreated 1918 influenza virions
The origin of the Spanish flu pandemic, and the relationship between the near-simultaneous outbreaks in humans and swine, have been controversial. One hypothesis is that the virus strain originated at Fort Riley, Kansas, in viruses in poultry and swine which the fort bred for food; the soldiers were then sent from Fort Riley around the world, where they spread the disease.[127] Similarities between a reconstruction of the virus and avian viruses, combined with the human pandemic preceding the first reports of influenza in swine, led researchers to conclude the influenza virus jumped directly from birds to humans, and swine caught the disease from humans.[128]
Others have disagreed, and more recent research has suggested the strain may have originated in a nonhuman, mammalian species. An estimated date for its appearance in mammalian hosts has been put at the period 1882''1913. This ancestor virus diverged about 1913''1915 into two clades (or biological groups), which gave rise to the classical swine and human H1N1 influenza lineages. The last common ancestor of human strains dates to between February 1917 and April 1918. Because pigs are more readily infected with avian influenza viruses than are humans, they were suggested as the original recipients of the virus, passing the virus to humans sometime between 1913 and 1918.
An effort to recreate the 1918 flu strain (a subtype of avian strain H1N1) was a collaboration among the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the USDA ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. The effort resulted in the announcement (on 5 October 2005) that the group had successfully determined the virus's genetic sequence, using historic tissue samples recovered by pathologist Johan Hultin from an Inuit female flu victim buried in the Alaskan permafrost and samples preserved from American soldiers[133] Roscoe Vaughan and James Downs.[134][135]
On 18 January 2007, Kobasa et al. (2007) reported that monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) infected with the recreated flu strain exhibited classic symptoms of the 1918 pandemic, and died from cytokine storms '' an overreaction of the immune system. This may explain why the 1918 flu had its surprising effect on younger, healthier people, as a person with a stronger immune system would potentially have a stronger overreaction.[137]
On 16 September 2008, the body of British politician and diplomat Sir Mark Sykes was exhumed to study the RNA of the flu virus in efforts to understand the genetic structure of modern H5N1 bird flu. Sykes had been buried in 1919 in a lead coffin which scientists hoped had helped preserve the virus.[138] The coffin was found to be split and the cadaver badly decomposed; nonetheless, samples of lung and brain tissue were taken.[139]
In December 2008, research by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin linked the presence of three specific genes (termed PA, PB1, and PB2) and a nucleoprotein derived from 1918 flu samples to the ability of the flu virus to invade the lungs and cause pneumonia. The combination triggered similar symptoms in animal testing.
In June 2010, a team at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine reported the 2009 flu pandemic vaccine provided some cross-protection against the 1918 flu pandemic strain.
One of the few things known for certain about the influenza in 1918 and for some years after was that it was, out of the laboratory, exclusively a disease of human beings.
In 2013, the AIR Worldwide Research and Modeling Group "characterized the historic 1918 pandemic and estimated the effects of a similar pandemic occurring today using the AIR Pandemic Flu Model". In the model, "a modern day 'Spanish flu' event would result in additional life insurance losses of between US$15.3''27.8 billion in the United States alone", with 188,000''337,000 deaths in the United States.
In 2018, Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biology professor at the University of Arizona who is examining the history of the 1918 pandemic, revealed that he obtained tissue slides created by William Rolland, a physician who reported on a respiratory illness likely to be the virus while a pathologist in the British military during World War One.[144] Rolland had authored an article in the Lancet during 1917 about a respiratory illness outbreak beginning in 1916 in ‰taples, France.[145][146] Worobey traced recent references to that article to family members who had retained slides that Rolland had prepared during that time. Worobey extracted tissue from the slides to potentially reveal more about the origin of the pathogen.
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America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-54175-6 '' via Google Books. Davis RA (2013). The Spanish Flu: Narrative and Cultural Identity in Spain, 1918. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-137-33921-8 '' via Google Books. Denoon, Donald (2004). "New Economic Orders: Land, Labour and Dependency". In Denoon, Donald (ed.). The Cambridge History of the Pacific Islanders. CUP. p. 247. ISBN 978-0-521-00354-4. dos Reis, Mario; Hay, Alan J.; Goldstein, Richard A. (29 September 2009). "Using Non-Homogeneous Models of Nucleotide Substitution to Identify Host Shift Events: Application to the Origin of the 1918 'Spanish' Influenza Pandemic Virus". Journal of Molecular Evolution. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. 69 (4): 333''345. doi:10.1007/s00239-009-9282-x. ISSN 0022-2844. PMC 2772961 . PMID 19787384. Ewald PW (1994). Evolution of infectious disease . OUP. ISBN 978-0-19-506058-4. Fox, Maggie (29 December 2008). "Researchers unlock secrets of 1918 flu pandemic". Reuters . Retrieved 2 September 2009 . Fox, Maggie (16 June 2010). "Swine flu shot protects against 1918 flu: study". Reuters. Galvin J (31 July 2007). "Spanish Flu Pandemic: 1918". Popular Mechanics . Retrieved 2 October 2011 . Garret TA (2007). Economic Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Implications for a Modern-day Pandemic (PDF) . Gladwell M (29 September 1997). "The Dead Zone". New Yorker. Hays JN (1998). The Burdens of Disease: Epidemics and Human Response in Western History. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-8135-2528-0 '' via Google Books. He DH, Dushoff J, Day T, Ma J, Earn DJ (2011). "Mechanistic modelling of the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic". Theoretical Ecology. 4 (2): 283''288. doi:10.1007/s12080-011-0123-3. ISSN 1874-1738. He D, Dushoff J, Day T, Ma J, Earn DJ (September 2013). "Inferring the causes of the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic in England and Wales". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 280 (1766): 20131345. doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.1345. PMC 3730600 . PMID 23843396. Honigsbaum M (2008). Living with Enza: The Forgotten Story of Britain and the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-21774-4. Humphries, Mark Osborne (2014). "Paths of Infection: The First World War and the Origins of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic". War in History. 21 (1): 55''81. doi:10.1177/0968344513504525. Johnson NP, Mueller J (2002). "Updating the accounts: global mortality of the 1918''1920 "Spanish" influenza pandemic". Bulletin of the History of Medicine. 76 (1): 105''115. doi:10.1353/bhm.2002.0022. PMID 11875246. Knobler S, Mack A, Mahmoud A, Lemon S, eds. (2005). "1: The Story of Influenza". The Threat of Pandemic Influenza: Are We Ready? Workshop Summary (2005). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. pp. 60''61. Kobasa D, Jones SM, Shinya K, Kash JC, Copps J, Ebihara H, Hatta Y, Kim JH, Halfmann P, Hatta M, Feldmann F, Alimonti JB, Fernando L, Li Y, Katze MG, Feldmann H, Kawaoka Y (January 2007). "Aberrant innate immune response in lethal infection of macaques with the 1918 influenza virus". Nature. 445 (7125): 319''323. Bibcode:2007Natur.445..319K. doi:10.1038/nature05495. PMID 17230189. Kohn GC (2007). Encyclopedia of plague and pestilence: from ancient times to the present (3rd ed.). Infobase Publishing. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-8160-6935-4 '' via Google Books. Dorratoltaj, Narges (29 March 2018). Carrell, Heidi (ed.). "What the 1918 Flu Pandemic Can Teach Today's Insurers". AIR Research and Modeling Group . Retrieved 28 May 2019 . Morrisey, Carla R. (1986). "The Influenza Epidemic of 1918". Navy Medicine. 77 (3): 11''17. Noymer A, Carreon D, Johnson N (April 2010). "Questioning the salicylates and influenza pandemic mortality hypothesis in 1918''1919". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 50 (8): 1203. doi:10.1086/651472. PMID 20233050. Pankhurst R (1991). An Introduction to the Medical History of Ethiopia. Trenton: Red Sea Press. ISBN 978-0-932415-45-5. Patterson KD, Pyle GF (1991). "The geography and mortality of the 1918 influenza pandemic". Bulletin of the History of Medicine. 65 (1): 4''21. PMID 2021692. Philips H (2010). "The re-appearing shadow of 1918: trends in the historiography of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic". Canadian Bulletin of Medical History. 21 (1): 121''134. doi:10.3138/cbmh.21.1.121. PMID 15202430. Porras-Gallo M, Davis RA, eds. (2014). "The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918''1919: Perspectives from the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas". Rochester Studies in Medical History. 30. University of Rochester Press. ISBN 978-1-58046-496-3 '' via Google Books. Potter CW (October 2001). "A history of influenza". Journal of Applied Microbiology. 91 (4): 572''579. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2672.2001.01492.x. PMID 11576290. Price-Smith AT (2008). Contagion and Chaos. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-66203-1. Qureshi AI (2016). Ebola Virus Disease: From Origin to Outbreak. Academic Press. ISBN 978-0128042427 '' via Google Books. Rice GW (2005). Black November; the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in New Zealand (2nd ed.). University of Canterbury Press. ISBN 978-1-877257-35-3. Simonsen L, Clarke MJ, Schonberger LB, Arden NH, Cox NJ, Fukuda K (July 1998). "Pandemic versus epidemic influenza mortality: a pattern of changing age distribution". The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 178 (1): 53''60. CiteSeerX . doi:10.1086/515616. JSTOR 30114117. PMID 9652423. Starko KM (November 2009). "Salicylates and pandemic influenza mortality, 1918''1919 pharmacology, pathology, and historic evidence". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 49 (9): 1405''1410. doi:10.1086/606060. PMID 19788357. (summary by Infectious Diseases Society of America and ScienceDaily, 3 October 2009)Starko, Karen M. (2010). "Reply to Noymer et al" (PDF) . Clinical Infectious Diseases. 50 (8): 1203''1204. doi:10.1086/651473. Taubenberger JK, Reid AH, Janczewski TA, Fanning TG (December 2001). "Integrating historical, clinical and molecular genetic data in order to explain the origin and virulence of the 1918 Spanish influenza virus". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. 356 (1416): 1829''1839. doi:10.1098/rstb.2001.1020. PMC 1088558 . PMID 11779381. Taubenberger, Jeffery K.; Reid, Ann H.; Lourens, Raina M.; Wang, Ruixue; Jin, Guozhong; Fanning, Thomas G. (October 2005). "Characterization of the 1918 influenza virus polymerase genes". Nature. 437 (7060): 889''893. Bibcode:2005Natur.437..889T. doi:10.1038/nature04230. PMID 16208372. Taubenberger JK, Morens DM (January 2006). "1918 Influenza: the mother of all pandemics". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 12 (1): 15''22. doi:10.3201/eid1201.050979. PMC 3291398 . PMID 16494711. Vana G, Westover KM (June 2008). "Origin of the 1918 Spanish influenza virus: a comparative genomic analysis". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 47 (3): 1100''1110. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2008.02.003. PMID 18353690. Vilensky JA, Foley P, Gilman S (August 2007). "Children and encephalitis lethargica: a historical review". Pediatric Neurology. 37 (2): 79''84. doi:10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2007.04.012. PMID 17675021. Further reading Beiner G (2006). "Out in the Cold and Back: New-Found Interest in the Great Flu". Cultural and Social History. 3 (4): 496''505. Brown J (2018). Influenza: The Hundred Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History. New York: Atria. ISBN 978-1501181245. Duncan, Kirsty (2003). Hunting the 1918 flu: one scientist's search for a killer virus (illustrated ed.). University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-8748-5. Humphries, Mark Osborne. The Last Plague: Spanish Influenza and the Politics of Public Health in Canada (University of Toronto Press; 29013) examines the public-policy impact of the 1918 epidemic, which killed 50,000 Canadians.Johnson N (2006). Britain and the 1918''19 Influenza Pandemic: A Dark Epilogue. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-36560-4. Johnson, Niall (2003). "Measuring a pandemic: Mortality, demography and geography". Popolazione e Storia: 31''52. Johnson N (2003). "Scottish 'flu '' The Scottish mortality experience of the "Spanish flu". Scottish Historical Review. 83 (2): 216''226. doi:10.3366/shr.2004.83.2.216. Kolata G (1999). Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-15706-7. Little J (2007). If I Die Before I Wake: The Flu Epidemic Diary of Fiona Macgregor, Toronto, Ontario, 1918. Dear Canada. Markham, Ont.: Scholastic Canada. ISBN 978-0-439-98837-7. Noymer A, Garenne M (2000). "The 1918 influenza epidemic's effects on sex differentials in mortality in the United States". Population and Development Review. 26 (3): 565''581. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2000.00565.x. PMC 2740912 . PMID 19530360. Oxford JS, Sefton A, Jackson R, Innes W, Daniels RS, Johnson NP (February 2002). "World War I may have allowed the emergence of "Spanish" influenza". The Lancet. Infectious Diseases. 2 (2): 111''114. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(02)00185-8. PMID 11901642. Oxford JS, Sefton A, Jackson R, Johnson NP, Daniels RS (December 1999). "Who's that lady?". Nature Medicine. 5 (12): 1351''1352. doi:10.1038/70913. PMID 10581070. Pettit D, Janice Bailie (2008). A Cruel Wind: Pandemic Flu in America, 1918''1920 . Murfreesboro, TN: Timberlane Books. ISBN 978-0-9715428-2-2. Phillips, Howard. "The recent wave of 'Spanish' flu historiography." Social History of Medicine 27.4 (2014): 789''808. https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hku066Phillips H, Killingray D, eds. (2003). The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918: New Perspectives. London and New York: Routledge. Rice, Geoffrey W.; Edwina Palmer (1993). "Pandemic Influenza in Japan, 1918''1919: Mortality Patterns and Official Responses". Journal of Japanese Studies. 19 (2): 389''420. doi:10.2307/132645. JSTOR 132645. Tumpey TM, Garc­a-Sastre A, Mikulasova A, Taubenberger JK, Swayne DE, Palese P, Basler CF (October 2002). "Existing antivirals are effective against influenza viruses with genes from the 1918 pandemic virus". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 99 (21): 13849''13854. Bibcode:2002PNAS...9913849T. doi:10.1073/pnas.212519699. PMC 129786 . PMID 12368467. External links The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918''1919: A Digital Encyclopedia Largest digital collection of newspapers, archival manuscripts and interpretive essays exploring the impact of the epidemic on 50 U.S. cities (Univ. of Michigan).Spanish Flu: The History Channel WebSite (26 March 2020)
China's deadly coronavirus-lie co-conspirator '-- the World Health Organization
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 08:50
The fog of war obscures much about the novel coronavirus pandemic. But two facts seem absolutely certain. First, China's Communist authorities have lied, concealed and misled about the origins of the epidemic and the toll of the virus in China. Second, the World Health Organization has acted as Beijing's handmaid.
The result: The global toll of the tragedy will be much greater than it need have been.
We shouldn't be surprised that the Beijing regime lies about the epidemic: It lies about, well, ­everything. From economic data to air pollution figures, the Communist Party doctors information to protect and promote itself.
Naturally, in the face of a grave national-health threat, the incentive for dissembling was tremendous. So Beijing spun and suppressed information about the outbreak and impact of the coronavirus.
Independent Chinese journalists have detailed the Wuhan coverup: They report that a Chinese lab isolated and identified the strange new virus last December '-- but that the authorities ­ordered it to stop its work, get rid of its specimens and keep quiet. It took almost another month for the government to acknowledge that a SARS-like contagion, spread by human contact, was exploding in Hubei province.
When the late Dr. Li Wenliang, the heroic whistleblower, tried to warn the public about the coronavirus, he was detained, charged with ''spreading false rumors'' and accused of ''seriously disrupting social order.'' All discussion about the virus is now censored.
As for China's official figures on cases and deaths: These are obviously an undercount, possibly a preposterous one. Regarding prevalence: China's health numbers didn't even count infected patients if they tested positive but remained asymptomatic.
Concerning deaths: News reports indicate that delivery of funeral urns has spiked in Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic. Whereas Beijing currently admits to some 3,300 coronavirus fatalities nationwide, Chinese netizens cited by Radio Free Asia are claiming the Wuhan tally alone is far higher than that.
One widely circulating guess is that the true figure is closer to 40,000. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's scientific advisers have concluded that paramount leader Xi Jinping's regime has downplayed the true number of cases in China ''by 15 to 40 times.'' As Bloomberg reported this week, the US intelligence community has likewise informed the White House that China's reported ­infection and death totals are implausibly low.
Then there is the Communist Party's active disinformation campaign abroad. This month, for example, in a tweet that garnered 160 million views, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson suggested that the coronavirus might actually be American in origin '-- brought to Wuhan by the US military!
Which brings us to the WHO's malfeasance in this affair. The WHO should have known at the outset that it was dealing with a bad-faith actor in Beijing. Yet ­instead of immediately insisting upon access, openness and transparency from China, WHO leadership followed the Chinese lead and at times even took the Chinese line.
The very fact that truth-seekers are left counting urns is an indictment not only of the Beijing ­regime, but also of the WHO. To help stem the pandemic, the WHO should have been tirelessly pressing China to tell the truth.
Far from sounding an alarm, however, the UN outfit was ­impassive while Beijing stonewalled international health ­authorities for weeks. Indeed, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the Chinese regime for its ''transparency'' in the crisis. Tedros, ­recall, was Beijing's candidate for WHO chief and owes his job to China's campaign for him at the United Nations.
At the end of January, when President Trump ordered a travel ban against entry to the United States from China and other coronavirus ''hot spots,'' Tedros, echoing Chinese authorities, roundly criticized the decision, insisting it would ''have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.'' By March 12, when the WHO finally declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, misbegotten deference to the Chinese government had ­incalculably impeded the effort to contain the contagion.
When the full history of this episode is eventually written, the Chinese Communist Party will bear massive responsibility for this plague that has swept the earth. So will a World Health Organization that seemed too interested in the health of the Chinese regime at the moment of truth.
Dan Blumenthal heads Asia studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where Nicholas Eberstadt holds the Wendt Chair in Political Economy.
Texas business' helmets requested for COVID-19 treatment
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 07:34
A spacesuit-like helmet ventilation device manufactured by a Texas mom-and-pop business is in high demand as doctors across the world request it to treat COVID-19 patients, according to a new report.
Sea-Long Medical Systems Inc. in the small town of Waxahachie, run by Chris Austin, previously fielded a few dozen orders a week for the device, originally designed to supply oxygen to patients being treated in hyperbaric chambers, NBC News reported.
Now, Austin says '''overwhelmed' doesn't scratch the surface'' as thousands of orders pour in each day, from top hospitals in the US and even as far as the United Arab Emirates.
''We really look at where is the need,'' Austin told the network. ''We know New York has a stronger need. We know Boston. We know Chicago. '... But we also know that we have to get what we can to Italy.''
The devices, which only cost $162 apiece, could help free up ventilators '-- which cost five figures '-- for the most critically ill COVID-19 patients, the network reported.
Sea-Long Medical SystemsThe helmets were originally designed to run through ventilators, but with the help of Dr. Bhakti Patel, a pulmonologist at the University of Chicago and her mentor, Dr. John Kress, the company has modified them to be hooked up to a hospital's regular oxygen supply.
The team also added a viral filter to avoid exposing others to COVID-19.
''I would love for there to be a silver bullet for this pandemic,'' Patel told NBC. ''My best hope is that the way it changes the game is that maybe it shaves off the number of patients who need a ventilator '-- even if it's 1 out of 3 or 1 out of 5.''
This week, the helmet has already been used on an 81-year-old man with COVID-19 at the University of Chicago Medical Center, producing ''encouraging results,'' Kress told the outlet.
Doctors in Italy also found that it helped some coronavirus patients.
Sea-Long Medical SystemsBack in 2016, Patel tested the Sea-Long helmet against an oxygen mask for a group of 83 intensive care patients suffering from acute respiratory distress, the outlet reported.
The results clearly swung in the helmet's favor '-- with patients who used them requiring ventilation 18.2 percent of the time, compared to 61.5 percent who wore the masks. Helmet-using patients also had a better 90-day survival rate, according to the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In the US, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania have ordered the helmets, NBC reported. The company '-- which has seen droves of volunteers offering to help '-- has also received orders from Canada, Mexico and across Europe, Austin said.
Amid the surging demand, the cost of the device will not rise, he added.
''This probably sounds sappy,'' he said. ''But we think of what if that was our son or daughter or grandfather sitting there in that bed gasping for air and we have to explain to him: 'I'm sorry. We don't have anything for you.' ''
With economic crisis looming EU overlords legalize food made from worms & baby crickets. Are they going to serve that in Brussels? '-- RT Op-ed
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 07:16
By Guy Birchall, British journalist covering current affairs, politics and free speech issues. Recently published in The Sun and Spiked Online.
Brussels plans to drop rules preventing some countries from serving up insects and worms for human consumption. I know that getting a food delivery is tough at the moment, but are we really desperate to swap crisps for crickets?
Probably best not to read this while you're eating but, with the news being wall-to-wall Covid-19 at the moment, a little story may have passed you by. While most of the world is consumed by the fight against the pandemic, the European Union is quietly set to authorise the sale of insects for human consumption. At some point over the next few weeks, its Food Safety Authority is expected to allow mealworms, locusts, and adult crickets onto our plates.
The timing of this may seem a little odd, given that unusual eating practices involving animals in Wuhan are the most likely origin of the virus wreaking havoc on the globe, but apparently these bugs are perfectly safe. Companies won't just be doling out bags of freshly fried crickets, either: burgers, granola and even pasta have all been made out of such creepy crawlies. This is presumably because they think it will be easier for us to wolf down worms provided that they look more like normal food. And not wriggly things that just came out of the earth.
Christophe Derrien, the secretary general of the industry organisation International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed told the Guardian:''We believe that insects for food is one solution for some of the biggest challenges we are facing on the planet. In the context of scarce resources, and insect production is not too demanding, you have the capacity to produce high-quality protein. That is a very promising solution.''
Also on rt.com In 2020 prepare to eat bugs, bags and weed Eating insects is common across areas of South America, Africa and Asia. They are, as Mr Derrien points out, an excellent source of protein. Locusts are reportedly so alike to prawns that people with a crustacean allergy are advised against eating them because of the potential to trigger an anaphylactic reaction.
This all may well be true. For my part, however, I am finding it all a bit, well, yuck. I just can't see myself as a bug-eating kind of guy. I have a visceral reaction against the very idea of chomping through a cricket. Call me old fashioned, but I'd rather eat a Dorito than a dragonfly if I'm after something crunchy. I feel the same way about snails: pour as much garlic butter over them as you want and call them escargot all day-long, but I just don't swallow it.
But, wait: Greta would approve of all this. Eating bug burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner is all about saving the planet! Animal meat and associated methane, bad; chomping on mealworms, good. Crickets 1, Carbon 0.
There's a real effort going on to convince people to eat them and their ilk. Googling the term ''edible insects'' sends you to hundreds of articles and dozens of videos of people earnestly telling anyone who'll listen why insects should be in our pantries. The list of supposed benefits include being good for our health, cheap to farm and saving the planet.
Read more
The EU's climate change innovation chief is firmly in favour of creepy-crawly catering. Kristen Dunlop of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (that name's even more of a mouthful than a locust) predicted that insects could even join quinoa and kale as a new ''superfood.'' She told an audience in Amsterdam last year: ''We need protein and we need to continue to eat it. And we need to be able to support an exponentially growing population. But we must do so in a way that stops destroying species around us. We know that insect protein is very good protein and it's also cultivatable in a way that has significantly less carbon environment impact than cultivating millions of cattle, sheep and pigs.''
Despite these measures being endorsed from on high, one imagines it's unlikely that the dining rooms of Brussels and Strasbourg will be full of Eurocrats ordering la carte cockroaches rather than crabs in the near future. Some of the more hipster areas of London and Berlin may make insect-munching trendy once they realise that vegan falafel starters are a little old hat, but I don't see the wider public queuing up for stir-fried caterpillars any time soon.
There's something in the psyche of those pushing the environmental agenda that is about a desire to debase all of us for the crime of being human. Every new idea from them is denying a perceived indulgence in favour of something a little worse. Regular milk is bad, so we must have soya, coconut or almond substitutes. Chicken and beef burgers are bad, so now we must switch to invertebrate-based alternatives. And has anyone done any research into their methane emissions? Just saying.
Also on rt.com 'Didn't know it's virus reservoir': Chinese travel blogger forced to apologize for eating BAT on camera (VIDEO) While people should be free to eat pretty much whatever they please '' with the possible exceptions of cannibals and those who like to tuck into medium-rare bats, perhaps '' I won't be taking up the new suggested diet any time soon. Call me unadventurous, label me a climate-denier, but I think I'm going to stick to sourcing my protein from boring old farm animals. The insect-eating advocates can just bug off.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
FAQs on Diagnostic Testing for SARS-CoV-2 | FDA NON CORONA SPECIFIC
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 06:48
A: The alternative recommendations below are made in the context of limited quantities of testing supplies during this public health crisis, based on the best available evidence and in consultation with outside experts. We have included a list of examples of products, including catalog numbers for different distributors. The absence of a specific product from this list does not imply unacceptability of that product if it is of the correct type. Other companies may write to FDA at CDRH-EUA-Templates@FDA.HHS.GOV to request their products be included here.
The information provided is not an endorsement of any one product over another of the same type. We note that the information below is not intended to alter any already issued EUA for a COVID-19 diagnostic test nor is it intended to speak to any specific FDA regulatory requirement. Rather, as stated above, the information is being provided to help address availability concerns regarding certain critical components of COVID-19 diagnostic tests during this pandemic.
If you have validated additional alternatives, FDA would like to see your validation data informally through an email to CDRH-EUA-Templates@FDA.HHS.GOV. If FDA's review of validation data indicates that it could be applicable more broadly, and you agree to FDA sharing that information on our website for use by other laboratories, FDA intends to update our FAQs so other laboratories can learn from this validation data.
Specimen CollectionFDA believes that a nasopharyngeal specimen is the preferred choice for swab-based SARS-CoV-2 testing.
If a nasopharyngeal specimen is not available, then any of the following are acceptable:
oropharyngeal specimen collected by a healthcare professional (HCP);mid-turbinate specimen by onsite self-collection or HCP (using a flocked tapered swab); oranterior nares specimen by onsite self-collection or HCP (using a round foam swab).Multiple specimens may be taken with a single swab. If a separate swab is used for collecting specimens from two different locations in the same patient, both swabs may be placed in the same vial in order to conserve collection and assay supplies. At this time, anterior nares and mid-turbinate specimen collection are only appropriate for symptomatic patients and both nares should be swabbed. There is currently not enough information to recommend nasal or mid-turbinate testing for asymptomatic persons.
Other swab specimens (i.e., tongue swabs) may have decreased sensitivity, so caution should be exercised when interpreting negative results.
More data are necessary on the validity of buccal swabs or saliva specimens alone.
For patients with productive cough, a sputum sample is an acceptable lower respiratory specimen.
Due to concerns with specimen stability, transport, and appropriate collection materials, self-collection at home or at sites other than designated collection sites staffed by HCPs is currently not recommended.
FDA believes that sample collection with a flocked swab, when available, is preferred. Collection should be conducted with a sterile swab. If the applicator handle requires additional trimming, the trimming should be performed with a sterile pair of scissors to prevent contamination of the sample. Swab recommendations are based on limited available evidence, and expert opinion suggests further research is needed in this area.
Please be aware that the CDC does not recommend use of calcium alginate swabs or swabs with wooden shafts, as they may contain substances that inactivate some viruses and inhibit PCR testing (see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/guidelines-clinical-specimens.html).
To avoid specimens being wasted, if a lab is presented with a specimen that was collected or identified in a sub-optimal manner, e.g. with a swab for which there is less evidence of effectiveness, FDA believes that it would still be appropriate for the lab to accept the specimen for analysis and note the circumstances on the report. These specimens may have decreased sensitivity, so caution should be exercised when interpreting negative results.
Below is a list of individually wrapped swabs. All swabs are flocked unless noted. Some swabs may be acceptable for specimen collection at multiple locations and are therefore listed under each location.
Nasopharyngeal:Puritan: 25-3316-H, 25-3316-U, 25-3317-H, 25-3317-U, 25-3318-H, 25-3318-U, 25-3319-H, 25-3319-U, 25-3320-H, 25-3320-U, 25-3320-H EMB 80, 25-3320-U EMB 80, 25-3320-H EMB 100, 25-3320-U EMB 100, 25-1406 1PF 50ff, 25-800 1PD 50**, and 25-800 1PD ALUM 50**Copan: 503CS01, 518CS01, 501CS01, and 502CS01BD: 220252 and 220251DHI/Quidel: 503CS01.DHIFisher Healthcare : 23600952, 23600956 and 23600950Oropharyngeal:Puritan: 25-1506 1PF SOLIDf, 25-1506 1PF 100f, 25-3206-H, 25-3206-U, 25-3706-H, 25-806 1PD** and 25-806 1PD BT**Copan: 502CS01, 519CS01, 164KS01** and 175KS01**BD: 220250Fisher Healthcare: 23600950, 23600957 and 1490650**Mid-Turbinate:Copan: 56380CS01, 56750CS01, 56780CS01Anterior Nares:Puritan: 25-3206-H, 25-3206-U, 25-3706-H, 25-1506 1PF 100f , 25-1506 1PF solid f, 25-1506 1PF BTf, 25-1506 1PF TT MCf, 25-1506 2PF BT f, 25-1406 1PF BT***fCopan: 502CS01, 519CS01BD: 220144f, 220145 f, 220250DHI/Quidel: 20103fFisher Healthcare: 23600950, 23600957f Foam swab** Polyester swab
Additionally, swabs may be provided with transport media as identified below.
Transport MediaVTM/UTM remains the preferred transport media. Examples of universal transport media for viruses and molecular transport media are listed here. All of the products listed below include a nasopharyngeal (NP) flocked swab unless noted otherwise.
Copan: 305C, 307C, 360C and 519CS01*Puritan: UT-367, UT-317, UT-302*, UT-366** and UT-300***Hardy/Healthlink: 330CHLBD: 220526, 220527, 220528*, 220529, 220531DHI/Quidel: 330C***Fisher Healthcare: 23001718, 23600952, 23600956, 23600950 and 23600957*PrimeStore MTM: LH-1-02 and LH-1-03**** flocked oropharyngeal swab** Polyester swab*** no swab
In the absence of VTM/UTM, alternative transport media can be used to collect and transport patient samples for molecular RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 assays. These recommendations apply to swab-based specimen collection by healthcare providers (HCP), and to anterior nares (nasal) and mid-turbinate specimen collection onsite by self-collection. The best available evidence indicates that these transport media will stabilize the SARS-CoV-2 RNA without meaningful degradation.
Labs can create their own viral transport media. Refer to CDC's SOP#: DSR-052-01: Preparation of Viral Transport Media. Specimens can be stored for up to 72 hours at 4'ƒ.
Liquid Amies media may be used for viral transport when universal transport media is not available. Specimens can be stored in liquid Amies media for up to 72 hours at 4'ƒ. All of the products listed below include a nasopharyngeal (NP) flocked swab unless noted otherwise.
Copan: 481C, 482C 480C* and 480CFA*Puritan: LA-117, LA-116-H and LA-100***BD: 220246, 220532 and 220245*ThermoFisher: R723481, R723482 and R723480*Hardy/Healthlink: 481C, 482C 480C* and 480CFA*VWR: 89136-656, 89136-658, 89136-654* and 76181-494*Fisher Healthcare: 23600901, 23600902, 23600900* and 23600905** flocked oropharyngeal swab*** no swab
Other solutions may also be used for viral transport when universal transport media is not available. FDA recommends use of phosphate buffered saline (PBS), including molecular grade PBS when available, and other similar formulations including Delbecco's PBS, to collect and transport samples for molecular RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 assays. If PBS is not available, normal saline may be used. FDA believes that a sterile glass or plastic vial containing between 1mL and 3mL of PBS or normal saline is appropriate. Specimens can be stored up to 72 hours at 4'ƒ. All the products listed below are examples of 1-3 mL of normal saline distributed in a vial without a swab.
ThermoFisher: R064430, R064432, R064434, R064436 and R064438Hardy/Healthlink: D185, K248, R45 and R55Edge Biologicals: T-0625 and T-0110fThere is limited data available on test performance with specimens which have been frozen in any transport media; therefore, specimen stability should be investigated if freezing is necessary.
Here We Go Again: China Puts County On Lockdown After New Corona Cluster Emerges | Zero Hedge
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 06:12
China is no longer fixed.
Having lied for the past two months about the severity and the extent of coronavirus pandemic which its virologists started in Wuhan, eager to convey the message that the crisis "under control" just so people return to work, full of hope and enthusiasm, rejoicing at the surge in China's just as fabricated PMI numbers, and willing to work their asses off (with Beijing generously willing to risk everyone's lives as the alternative is a complete collapse in China's economy) earlier today the US finally cracked down on the relentless barrage of Chinese lies, when US intelligence accused China of deliberately lying about its coronavirus figures.
Then, in a miraculous coincidence, just moments later Reuters reported that a county in central China's Henan province announced on Wednesday it had "virtually banned all outbound movement of people, following several cases of coronavirus infection in the area."
According to a post on its social media account, Jia county - which has a population of about 600,000 - said that no one can travel out of Jia county without proper authorization. Additionally, residents are not allowed to leave their homes for work unless they have clearance to do so.
According to local media reports, on March 29, Henan Province broke its 30-day streak of reporting no new coronavirus cases, saying one person tested positive after a trip to Pingdingshan, where Jia County is located. Specifically, on Saturday, Henan province reported one confirmed case in Luohe city; local authorities said the infected person had been in contact with two doctors based in Jia county who later tested positive for the virus even though they had showed no symptoms.
As a result, Bloomberg adds that starting April 1, all residential compounds will be under "closed-off management" and all residents need to wear masks and have temperature taken entering or exiting the compounds.
And so the virus is back to China, despite the best intentions of the Chinese World Health Organization and its Beijing sponsors to make it seem that China had managed to defeat the virus.
Needless to say this is a problem, because the risk of stop-start restrictions on people's movements mean that any calls for a V-shaped rebound in global economies and stocks can now be ignored as China will soon be forced to go through the entire shut down exercise all over again.
Indeed, as Bloomberg's Simon Flint wrote presciently overnight, "as China's economy restarts, there is every risk infection rates to tick higher once again, requiring renewed control measures and potentially the beginning of a stop-start pattern of lockdowns followed by eased restrictions."
"Multiply that pattern by the growing number of countries in lockdown - and the unknown impact of a rampant virus in nations with fewer restrictions - and the much hoped for V-shaped recovery could quickly become a series of W's"... and since "there is no blueprint for jump-starting a stalled economy in the midst of a global pandemic, a fresh waves of infections following production restarts could quickly snuff out any rally in global stocks."
In other words, back to square one we go, only maybe this time China will tell the truth.
Alibaba billionaire and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai donates millions of supplies to New York - CNN
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 05:59
By Cristina Alesci and Shannon Liao, CNN Business
Updated 5:15 PM EDT, Sat April 04, 2020
New York(CNN Business) Joe Tsai, the billionaire co-founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, and his wife Clara Wu Tsai, have donated 2.6 million masks, 170,000 goggles and 2000 ventilators to New York '-- the US epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
The supplies were split into two shipments. The first arrived on Thursday at Newark Liberty International Airport, while the second arrived on Saturday at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
"We kept hearing cries for (personal protective equipment) from our community and wanted to help," Clara Tsai told CNN in an interview. The state will allocate the second shipment but "it's our intention to help the most underserved institutions."
She cited Jacobi Medical Center and Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx, and Elmhurst Hospital in Queens as the institutions she and her husband thought might need the supplies the most.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo referenced the donations during a daily coronavirus briefing.
"I want to thank Joe Tsai, and Clara Tsai, and Jack Ma from Alibaba," said Cuomo, during a Saturday briefing. "This is a big deal and it's going to make a significant difference for us."
Hospitals in New York and across the country have been scrambling to find enough ventilators, masks and other protective gear needed for healthcare workers to battle the virus, which has killed about 60,000 people worldwide.
The Tsais have considerable ties to the New York community.
Joe Tsai, a Canadian Taiwanese businessman and philanthropist, owns the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and Brooklyn's Barclays Center arena. His co-founder, Jack Ma, made a separate donation of masks and testing kits in March.
Clara Tsai runs a charitable organization, the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, which oversees causes including economic mobility in Brooklyn.
The Tsais worked with the Greater New York Hospital Association to distribute the items in their first shipment. It contained 300,000 surgical masks that went toward 11 New York City-area nursing homes, 70,000 medical goggles donated to 11 New York City-area nursing homes and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, and 1000 ventilators that were donated to the Mount Sinai hospital system.
The Tsais are letting the state handle the allocation of the second shipment after hearing Governor Cuomo announce that the state would be centralizing resource allocation.
The shipment on Saturday contains 1 million surgical masks and 1.3 million KN95 masks, 100,000 medical goggles and 1000 ventilators.
KN95 is a mask produced in China that is similar in name as the N95, which is considered the gold standard of respirator masks as it filters out at least 95% of very small particles from the air. The US Food and Drug Administration cleared KN95 masks for use on Friday as long as certain criteria is met, including evidence demonstrating that the mask is authentic.
Maddow Craters To Lowest Weekly Ratings Of The Year After Mueller Conclusion | The Daily Caller
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 05:56
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Comments April 02, 2019 6:16 PM ET Font Size:
MSNBC primetime host Rachel Maddow brought in her worst weekly ratings of the year last week, following the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
News broke of Robert Mueller submitting his conclusion to Attorney General William Barr shortly before the close of business on Friday, March 22. Last week's television ratings were the first full week of coverage since the conclusion of the investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials.
Throughout the week, Maddow averaged 2,458,000 viewers with 392,000 people in the key age demographic 25-54, both of which mark yearly lows for the liberal television host, according to Nielsen Media Research. The week before she averaged 2,716,000 viewers with 479,000 in the demo.
NEW YORK, NY '' MARCH 15: Rachel Maddow Visits ''The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'' at Rockefeller Center on March 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for NBC)
Further, Maddow lost half a million viewers from the Monday before the report was concluded to the Monday after (last Monday). Her ratings proceeded to drop another 200,000 viewers the next day. (RELATED: Rachel Maddow Spends Opening Segment About Mueller Report On Verge Of Tears)
Maddow's MSNBC show has long used the Russian collusion narrative to criticize the Trump administration. Last July, the MSNBC host accused Trump of serving the ''interests of another country'' following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (RELATED: Fake News: Rachel Maddow Falsely Claims White House Edited Putin Tape)
She also released a list of 15 questions that were bothering her about the summary Barr provided to Congress.
By comparison, Fox News primetime hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham had record weeks for 2019. Carlson averaged 3.5 million viewers and 625,000 in the demo (both record-breaking), while Ingraham got nearly 3 million viewers and the second highest-rated demo for the year (504,000). Sean Hannity had higher ratings than his Fox News colleagues but he did not best previous records for the week.
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Fox News sweeps top five most-watched cable news programs for first quarter of 2020
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 05:54
| March 31, 2020 05:23 PM
| Updated Mar 31, 2020, 06:04 PM
Fox News had the top five most-watched cable news programs during the first quarter of 2020.
With the coronavirus pandemic increasingly taking up much of the media's focus, prime-time hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson had the top two shows, averaging more than 4 million viewers a night, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The Five, which starts at 5 p.m. ET; Laura Ingraham's evening program, which airs at 10 p.m.; and news anchor Bret Baier's program, which airs at 6 p.m., rounded out the top five. Each program averaged more than 3 million viewers. These five shows also finished in the top five of the key 25-54 age demographic, which helps determine ad rates.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who in recent quarters competed for the top-rated show against Hannity and Carlson, slipped out of the top five to sixth place. Her show also dropped an additional spot in the 25-54 age demographic, behind Fox News's The Story with Martha MacCallum, which airs at 7 p.m. ET. Maddow averaged an audience of 3 million people per day. Her viewership has rebounded somewhat, despite the drop in the rankings, as the numbers have also risen for Hannity and Carlson.
Overall viewership appears to be up across the board as people tuned into the news while major events unfolded, including President Trump's impeachment saga, the Democratic presidential primary, and, most recently, the coronavirus outbreak, which has many more people at home adhering to social distancing guidelines to stem the spread of the illness.
As people were stuck in their homes and eyeballs were glued to televisions, a number of Fox News opinion programs faced accusations that they downplayed the severity of the virus. However, Carlson was one of the leading voices encouraging the president to do just the opposite: take the threat of the virus seriously.
Maddow's ratings were up this time last year as she dedicated a great deal of coverage to special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, which ended in the spring. Last January, the MSNBC prime-time anchor averaged 3.3 million viewers a month.
Yet after the Mueller investigation ended, finding no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, her ratings dipped below 2.5 million viewers on average during the summer months. In the fourth quarter of 2019, during which heavy coverage was given to the House impeachment investigation that ended in December with two charges, Maddow's average viewership hovered around 2.5 million. Trump was acquitted of the two Ukraine-related articles of impeachment in February.
Lawrence O'Donnell, the MSNBC anchor whose 10 p.m. ET show comes on after Maddow's, finished second at the network with an average of 2.2 million viewers a night. That average audience size was good for eighth place in cable news rankings. He and Maddow were the only two non-Fox News programs to finish in the top 15.
CNN's top-watched program was The Lead with Jake Tapper, averaging 1.4 million viewers and coming in 22nd place.
FOX Business saw its highest-rated quarter ever in the total day and business day in ratings but still lost out to CNBC in both areas.
Nevada Governor Sisolak Found Hoarding Coronavirus Treatment Drug
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 05:51
Just about a week after the Trump hating Democrat Governor of Nevada limited the ability for physicians to prescribe Hydroxychloroquine to treat Corona virus, news broke that Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak's own Department of Corrections has been hoarding the drug for prisoners.
Sisolak claimed that he was doing so to prevent the hoarding of the medicine, despite the fact that you could only obtain it through a prescription.
UPDATE: Wicked Democrat Governor Sisolak WILL ALSO NOT ALLOW Nevadans to Prescribe Chloroquine as a Preventative Against the Coronavirus
Now, 360 News Las Vegas has discovered that Sisolak's Department of Corrections has begun hoarding the drug following his questionable decree. As is the case with most Democrats and many Trump haters, you must do as they say and not as they do.
TRENDING: HUGE! From CDC Website: Hospitals to List COVID-19 as Cause of Death Even if It's "Assumed to Have Caused Or Contributed to Death" - Lab Tests Not Required
Mindy Robinson, an America First activist and candidate for congress in Nevada's 3rd District, which includes Las Vegas, claimed that this revelation showed how Sisolak cares more about criminals than he does law abiding citizens.
Speaking exclusively to TGP, Robinson slammed Sisolak's hypocrisy.
''First Governor Sisolak awarded himself with magical ''emergency powers.'' Then he restricts the use of a life saving medication for coronavirus patients, over fears that people would somehow ''hoard'' a drug they needed a prescription for'...and now it turns out that our own prison system here in Nevada was hoarding the drug for their inmates the entire time. Seriously, where is this man's loyalties? Because it certainly isn't with the law abiding citizens of this state.''
The Nevada Governor allowing his state prisons to hoard the Coronavirus drug and preventing law abiding citizens from being prescribed the drug is par for the course.
All of this'... while President Trump works day and night to maintain sanity in America. Really makes you think. Why do the Democrats care more about criminals and illegals than they do American patriots?
Fox News Faces Lawsuit Over Its Coronavirus Coverage
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 05:50
(Mary Altaffer/AP)(CN) '' A transparency watchdog's lawsuit against Fox News over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic '' including repeatedly calling it a hoax during broadcasts '' is as novel as the coronavirus but likely won't get far, according to legal experts.
The Washington League for Transparency and Ethics sued Fox News on Thursday, saying the network's consistent downplaying of the pandemic in the early stages of the outbreak in the United States encouraged people to behave in ways contrary to what was required to stem the spread.
''Defendants knowingly disseminated false, erroneous, and incomplete information, which was reasonably relied upon by the public and which had the effect of delaying and interfering with the implementation of effective mitigation and countermeasures against the virus,'' the League said in the complaint. ''Defendants' actions created an ongoing uncertainty amongst some members of the public as to the dangers of the virus and the rapidity with which the virus spreads.''
WASHLITE said one of its members eventually contracted the coronavirus during epidemiological conditions the plaintiffs allege were created, in part, by the malfeasance of the network.
''The defendants have created an epidemiological hazard,'' WASHLITE said in the complaint. ''A subset of the population has and will continue to ignore or resist reasonable and necessary efforts to control and mitigate the virus and prevent mass death.''
Fox News dismissed the lawsuit as frivolous.
''Wrong on the facts, frivolous on the law,'' said Lily Fu Claffee, general counsel for Fox News Media. ''We will defend vigorously and seek sanctions as appropriate.''
Thursday's lawsuit in Washington state is the first known one of its kind filed against the conservative media organization, although it may not be the last.
Nor does the suit have a good chance of prevailing on the merits, according to one expert. Margaret Russell, a law professor at Santa Clara University who specializes in media law, said it will be tough to get a judge to sign off on the suit's central legal theory.
''It will not go far,'' she said of the case.
The lawsuit invokes the Consumer Protection Act in its complaint, but the law is a tough fit for their claims because it's not as though Fox News pundits are selling their speech directly or they are offering something for sale that is materially different than what they present it as.
''It will be difficult to apply the CPA to a network that has a different set of hosts with nuanced differences in their opinions,'' Russell said. ''Plus their product is speech and they are not selling it in a traditional sense. They're just offering opinions.''
The lawsuit also claims Fox News intentionally inflicted emotional distress by downplaying the virulence of Covid-19.
''If the standards of intentional infliction of emotional distress were applied to news organizations and public figures, there would be no end to lawsuits,'' Russell said.
Another problem is that news consumers have various avenues through which to collect their news.
''Certainly you could make an argument that there is a compelling public health problem at issue, but the classic First Amendment approach says you should combat false speech with true speech, or bad speech with good speech,'' Russell said.
Nevertheless, the professor could envision future suits, perhaps were plaintiffs relied on information provided by the network and went about their daily lives only to contract the disease to the detriment of their health.
Even those claims would run up against the First Amendment principles of freedom of the press.
''On the one hand you have a compelling interest in public health, but on the other hand you have an equally compelling interest in freedom of the press,'' Russell said.
Fox News has long endured criticism for its coverage of the coronavirus during the early stages of the outbreak, with Sean Hannity calling the disease a hoax, Trish Reagan, another host, claiming the outbreak was a fiction invented by Democrats to attack the president and a litany of hosts downplaying the deadly and contagious disease by comparing it favorably with the common cold or the seasonal flu.
However, Tucker Carlson, a prominent Fox News personality with a primetime slot at the network, has remained a notable exception, rigorously covering the disease's spread while calling for an urgent response from state and federal officials. The network also sidelined Reagan after she called the virus a pretext for Democrats to re-impeach Trump.
However, Fox News itself is worried about exposure to legal liability, according to Gabriel Sherman, a Vanity Fair reporter who frequently uses contacts inside Fox News to expose the inner workings of the conservative media network.
''When I've been talking to Fox insiders over the last few days, there's a real concern inside the network that their early downplaying of the coronavirus actually exposes Fox News to potential legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this,'' Sherman said in an interview published on Sunday.
The network has altered the tone of its coverage in recent weeks, treating the pandemic as a serious threat and an evolving news story.
Fox News was also not the only news organization to initially underplay the seriousness of the threats posed by the coronavirus. The Washington Post, Vox and others ran several stories at the beginning of the global outbreak that compared Covid-19 to the seasonal flu. But those stories were written in January, well before the disease spread to the United States and wrought havoc to devastating effect in Italy, Spain and other parts of Europe.
Reporting by the New York Times indicates that for two weeks in late February and early March, when the pandemic began to take off in the United States, Fox News was more focused on providing cover for Donald Trump's posture on the issue than the dissemination of the facts.
Fox News personalities like Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Jesse Waters were downplaying the disease, even as executives introduced disinfectant cleaning into their office and placed hand sanitizer conspicuously around the building, according to the story.
Criticism of the network has not been restricted to the lawsuit.
On Thursday, 74 journalism professors who signed an open letter to Fox News on Thursday saying its coverage was ''a danger to public health.''
''Urgently, therefore, in the name of both good journalism and public health, we call upon you to help protect the lives of all Americans '-- including your elderly viewers '-- by ensuring that the information you deliver is based on scientific facts,'' the letter said.
Far-Left Media Group Asks FCC To Censor Trump Press Conferences
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 05:49
The spectacularly misnamed "Free Press" group seeks government control over conservative speech and conservative media.
An influential far-left media group has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to develop a wide-ranging censorship plan of President Donald Trump's press conferences. ''Free Press,'' the group calling for the censorship of broadcasts of the press conferences, says in its petition that it's a ''life and death'' issue. They are asking the FCC to limit the public's right to hear directly from the president about the federal government's handling of the global pandemic, that any broadcasts of his press conferences come with a pronounced disclaimer, and that media figures with different political views than the progressive organization be further censored.
''This is a sweeping and dangerous attempt by the far left to weaponize the FCC against conservative media outlets and elected officials. They want to turn the FCC into a roving speech police empowered to go after the left's political opponents,'' says FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.
While the requests are extreme, Free Press has previously taken far-left views about government control of the media and turned them into orthodox Democratic Party positions. The group successfully lobbied the FCC under President Obama to regulate the internet via Title II ''net neutrality'' rules, later repealed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has described Free Press as ''a spectacularly misnamed Beltway lobbying group.''
FCC rules regulating the broadcast of intentional hoaxes could be used to limit media coverage of President Trump, Free Press argues. The Commission's previous ruling that the government has a ''compelling interest in preventing substantial public harm,'' could be interpreted to prevent unregulated media coverage of the president, Free Press argues. The group posits no limit to its theory, setting up a system where the FCC could shut down any group pushing ideas it doesn't like.
To make their case, they cite President Trump's discussion of an anti-malarial treatment that some doctors had been using to treat COVID-19. He specifically said that even if it didn't work as treatment, it had been used for so long in humans, that the risk was low. ''It's been around for a long time, so we know if things don't go as planned, it's not going to kill anybody,'' he said.
Free Press argued that a man without COVID-19 who died after ingesting fish tank cleaner at home, outside the direction of any medical professional, was a victim of Trump's remarks and that therefore its censorship plan should be adopted. Citing anti-Trump activists who blamed Trump for this death, Free Press called Trump's support for the treatment ''deadly disinformation.'' The group also claimed that Trump had engaged in a ''mischaracterization of the efficacy'' of hydroxychloroquine.
In recent days, the FDA approved the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients. And the New York Times conceded that the drug ''helped to speed the recovery'' of a group of patients who were stricken by the Wuhan Coronavirus.
Free Press cofounder and longtime board member Robert W. McChesney is an avowed socialist. He has made his views clear, saying ''In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.'' He also said of his work, ''[w]e need to do whatever we can to limit capitalist propaganda, regulate it, minimize it, and perhaps even eliminate it.'' He has also praised Venezuela's control of the media.
Free Press's censorship plan echoes one suggested last year by Democrat FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. Her plan was to censor e-cigarette ads on television in the name of ''public interest.'' The plan has statutory and constitutional obstacles, notes Jacob Sullum.
Particularly since the election of Trump in 2016, progressive groups have been making a concerted effort to use the government to limit the expression of conservative speech. These prominent groups and representatives are openly signaling that they would use the power of the FCC to censor conservative speech if they were to gain control of the commission under a Democratic president.
Newspaper headlines: Queen's 'rousing message' of strength to nation - BBC News
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 23:19
By BBC News Staff
Image caption An image of the Queen in royal blue fills half of the Sunday Telegraph's broadsheet front page, along with words from her address to the nation about the coronavirus, due on Sunday evening. "Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any," the paper reports that she will say. Image caption The same quote gives the Sunday Express its headline. The paper says that as the virus claims another 708 lives, including that of a child aged five, the Queen urges Britons to make their descendants proud amid the crisis. Image caption The Mail on Sunday calls it a "rousing message" as the monarch invokes what she calls national characteristics of "self-discipline", "quiet good-humoured resolve" and "fellow-feeling". The paper reports that the prime minister's pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, has also been struck by the virus. Image caption The Queen's call for the nation to be strong comes as 14% of doctors are off work due to the virus, according to the Sunday Times. The paper also says the NHS is having to pay millions in rent each month to Abu Dhabi, the owner of London's ExCeL centre, to operate the Nightingale Hospital. Image caption "Care home time bomb," warns the Sunday People as it reports of an MP's anger after 13 people died in one week at a single centre. The paper says a shortage of equipment, testing and staff is putting older people at risk. Image caption The Sunday Mirror takes aim at what it calls "corona crisis vultures", alleging that a firm in which Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has a stake sees the epidemic as a money making opportunity. Somerset Capital Management says it is a "once in a generation" chance for investors, the paper says. Image caption And the Daily Star on Sunday features a woman who says she is carrying the child of England footballer Kyle Walker and claims he is treating her unfairly. "You rat, Kyle!" is the headline. Get news from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning
With virus crisis raging, Pelosi and Schiff ramp up new Trump investigations
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 23:16
The team is back in action. On Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. The new panel will have the authority to investigate any aspect of the virus emergency and the Trump administration's handling of it.
Pelosi's announcement came a day after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called for a 9/11-style independent commission to investigate "mistakes" in the virus response. Shortly after that, Schiff told the Washington Post that in Congress, House Democrats must investigate the Trump administration's handling of virus testing and the government's distribution of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.
"We need to make sure there's no favoritism in terms of political allies, no discrimination against states or governors based on lack of presidential flattery," Schiff said, indicating the probe would be aimed squarely at President Trump.
Less than three months after sending to the Senate impeachment articles to remove the president from office and less than two months after the Senate trial ended in Trump's acquittal, the Pelosi-Schiff team is up and running again.
In a "Dear Colleague" letter, Pelosi said she envisions a coronavirus committee along the lines of the Truman Committee, created shortly before World War II to investigate defense spending. Pelosi said the new committee, which will be headed by Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, will be "bipartisan." It is not entirely clear why the speaker said that; all committees in the House are bipartisan and run by the majority party. The Intelligence Committee, run by Schiff, that pushed impeachment through the House was "bipartisan." And the new committee will be, too.
Pelosi also stressed that the select committee will oversee the spending of $2 trillion provided for in the latest coronavirus relief bill. That is certainly a huge amount of money, the spending of which will have to be scrutinized for waste. Congress has a legitimate responsibility to oversee such an enormous federal expenditure.
But Pelosi also gave Democrats room to go after Trump for whatever reason they choose. "The committee will be empowered to examine all aspects of the federal response to the coronavirus," she wrote. Among those powers, she added, will be the ability to "press to ensure that the federal response is based on the best possible science and guided by the nation's best health experts." That could mean just about anything.
Republicans are wary of watching Pelosi and Schiff '-- he told the Post his committee is already examining virus warnings the Intelligence Community reportedly gave the White House '-- resume their efforts to target the president.
First, some in the GOP argue the recent relief bill had all sorts of oversight mechanisms built into it. That is what a lot of the debate surrounding the bill was about. There is a special "Oversight Commission" to be created in Congress, a "special inspector general" to monitor spending through the Treasury Department, and another committee of inspectors general to watch things. Pelosi and other Democrats insisted on strong oversight measures in the bill and then turned around and created yet another body in the select committee.
"This seems really redundant," Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said after Pelosi's announcement.
And then there is the fact that Pelosi's colleagues were the ones who, during the debate over the relief bill, tried to insert costly Democratic policy priorities that had nothing to do with coronavirus. Many were ultimately left out of the bill, but some, such as $25 million for the Kennedy Center and $75 million for public broadcasting, became law. (The Kennedy Center intensified the outrage when, after the big grant from Congress, it nevertheless stopped paying its musicians.)
"Congress should look into why Nancy Pelosi insisted on $25 million for the Kennedy Center," said Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup in a text exchange. "The Center has not been converted to a hospital to treat coronavirus patients, but it's reported they are laying off most of their staff." Wenstrup, who is a doctor and wants "after-action reviews" at federal agencies when the virus crisis is over, said he supports a bill for Congress to rescind the $25 million grant.
"I'd rather have a select committee to investigate how so much liberal pork got into the Covid response bill," texted Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Those are legitimate concerns. But Republicans have yet another worry. Some House Democrats have been engaged in a long campaign to remove the president from office, using whatever weapon '-- Russia, Stormy Daniels, Ukraine, Michael Cohen, emoluments, whatever '-- might be available at the moment. Now, the United States is in the midst of a terrible, life-and-death crisis with the virus and its health and economic effects, and the investigation machine is revving up once more.
"It's the same old, same old," said Rep. Jim Jordan, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. "They never miss a beat to get political and go after the president."
Vox Popoli: Mailvox: Q objectives
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 19:19
A reader sends a list of 10 objectives that were compiled on December 14, 2018. It is fascinating to observe how much the ground has shifted since then:Objective #1: Stop the Human Trafficking.This goal has been underway full speed since day 1. With deadly efficiency, no mercy and special forces. Under the radar and below the public news cycle.Objective #2: Weaponize MIL-INTEL Against Them. This plan has been underway since Inauguration Day. Trump visited CIA HQ on his first full day in office. Obama's secret pardons require post-2016 crimes.Objective #3: Remove Rogue Nukes & Comms.Think North Korea nuke mountain collapse 2017. Think Iran. Syria. Ukraine. Venezuela. Pakistan. Think Subs. Missiles. CERN. EMP & SATCOMs.Objective #4: Secure Senate & Supreme Court.McCain. Flake. Corker = no real GOP majority. Kennedy. Roberts = no real conservative court. Senate and SC solved with real majority 11.18.Objective #5: Form a Trusted Global AllianceThink fall of Saudi Arabia in Oct 2017. Think Xi. Abe. Moon & Kim in Nov 2017. Think Putin. Brazil. Italy. Mexico, etc... 2018.Objective #6: Strengthen US Military/EconomyMilitary completely funded through all of 2019. Tax cuts and low interest puts normies at ease. Caravans. Gangs. Antifa pretext for Martial Law. [Note: Corona-chan will serve much better and has already been implemented in Hungary - VD]Objective #7: Expose Media & Social GiantsThink advent of QAnon and Trump's Twitter. Showcase media hypocrisy day after day. Showcase social media censorship daily.Objective #8: Voter Fraud & Voter ID.Let "them" repeat crimes in 2018 midterms. Build iron-clad cases with obvious verified fraud. Use fraud evidence as pretext for 2020 voter ID.Objective #9: Control Financial System.Force Queen. Macron. May. Merkel to submit. Force alliance to hand over SWIFT encryption keys. Force FED restructure & pardon all intra-gov debt. [Note: again, Corona-chan has proven useful in this regard. - VD]Objective #10: Remove & Arrest Cabalists.Pick off 1 or 2 "old guard" each month with "deaths". Pick off 100-200 "CEO's" each month with "MeToo". Pick off 10K-20K "suddenly" when "Storm is Upon Us."It's clear from this review that the Q narrative has provided a considerably more reliable map with which to anticipate future events than the establishment news narrative has. The one thing that is obviously missing is Corona-chan, which has proven to be a much more useful tool than any of those that were previously conceived.I was asked earlier today about the negativity being expressed by some otherwise reliable individuals whom I respect, and my response was to note that a) they are not Americans, and therefore b) are unfamiliar with how the God-Emperor customarily operates. Their analysis is not necessarily incorrect, it is merely incomplete in that it fails to take into account President Trump's unparalleled ability to anticipate and ju-jitsu the enemy's actions.Labels: conspiracy, mailvox
l E T 17 on Twitter: "Pneumonia Deaths have fallen off a cliff this year, I wonder what could have caused this to happen'.....🤷🏼''‚¸ https://t.co/54TzjR9YCb" / Twitter
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 18:39
tracie bobo @ TracieBobo
5h I was diagnosed with flu & pneumonia December, 2019. Was the strangest case of the flu I had ever had and the first time ever getting pneumonia. Strange body aches, headaches, trouble breathing, nasty cough & symptoms lingered for weeks. Whatcha bet it was the Chinese virus???
View conversation · R2142 @ Rayzor2142
5h It is PRECISELY WHY deaths are mysteriously being changed to C O V I D so they get more Federal Money. It's a scam in the system and hospital are not what you think they are. In place to make money anyway they can. Even at our expense and our lives.
View conversation · Bizzy B @ BizzyB62858913
3h There were 30k pneumonia and flu deaths last year which is average!.... what they're doing is lumping all respiratory deaths and labeling them as covid deaths ... spreading fear and desperation... question is why???... I think the answer to that is becoming clear day by day!
View conversation ·
Prepared for the worst, electrical grid workers isolate as coronavirus spreads
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 15:34
Just outside of Albany, New York, 37 electrical grid operators and support staffers are currently cut off from outside human contact, living two to a trailer, to make sure the state's power stays on.
''We've had it in our plans as a hypothetical drill that we walk through every year to practice,'' said Rich Dewey, the president of the New York Independent Systems Operator, which oversees the state's energy grid and deployed those sequestered workers. ''But we've never actually had to put it into practice.''
While Americans' daily lives have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, those who maintain the U.S. electrical grid are enacting emergency measures to minimize the chance that Americans' electrical service will be interrupted.
The grid is distributed across the country, with 16 ''reliability coordinators,'' like New York's systems operator, who are the main oversight organizations with the ultimate authority to make sure the lights stay on. (The organizations don't generate the power, but they coordinate its distribution.)
Jim Robb, president of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, a nonprofit regulator that oversees the risks and reliability of the grid, said the coronavirus pandemic has pushed them into action.
''Pretty much all of them have activated backup control systems. They've started to sequester their staff. They're doing very thoughtful shift rotations to ensure they have time to deep-clean facilities between shifts,'' Robb said
Preparation can mean extreme measures, including ensuring that crucial staff members can essentially live at work.
''Some utilities have started to lay in beds, ready-to-eat meals, all of those kinds of things so their workers can stay on site and not have to mix in society,'' Robb said. ''Utilities in other parts of the country that aren't quite at that level of severity are getting prepped for moving into that mode right now.''
New York has been the state hit hardest by the coronavirus, and so it is fully sequestering the employees at its main and backup control centers. Each is staffed with 14 operators, plus support staffing for food and cleaning, all of whom tested negative for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
They've lived without other human contact since March 24, and don't have an end date in sight.
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''They can actually talk on the phone with their family, Facetime, but they don't have contact with anybody in the outside world,'' Dewey said.
In recent years, energy authorities like the Edison Electric Institute have gamed out emergency plans for previous pandemics, like SARS and Avian Flu, that did not disrupt American daily life the way the coronavirus has.
''A lot of our continuity planning as a sector has its roots in pandemic planning,'' Scott Aaronson, the institute's head of security and preparedness, said. ''Those were top of mind for these always-evolving playbooks.''
But Aaronson stressed that the lengths being taken now have only been planned, that the coronavirus outbreak is putting them to the test, including crucial details of just how the virus has spread.
"The details of a pandemic really matter," Aaronson said. "So, for example, in this instance, the details of the pandemic are: highly contagious, asymptomatic patients for 10 days. That changes how you keep employees healthy, and away from each other to ensure that you have this complement of people that you need to keep things operational.''
On March 19, the Department of Homeland Security issued sweeping definitions of which industries constitute critical infrastructure, including energy, advising they ''have a special responsibility in these times to continue operations'' and suggesting ''separating staff by off-setting shift hours or days and/or social distancing'' when workers can't do their jobs from home.
The industry's official COVID-19 guidance is updated on the fly.
''We're writing that as we go," Aaronson said. "It started as a six-page document two weeks ago. It's a 30-page document today. It's probably going to be a hundred pages by the time we get through."
Much of the industry's planning guidelines have so far come from overseas. It started the first week of February, ''when it became clear that the situation in China was more significant,'' Robb said. Then it turned to Europe.
''Looking over at Italy and Spain and the U.K. is really like us looking 7-10 days in the future,'' Aaronson said. ''One of the things we learned from Italy in particular is that incremental doesn't work. Just expect this is going to get worse.''
One aspect of the response that isn't fully addressed for energy workers, or for most of America, is a complete supply of personal protective equipment and testing for asymptomatic workers. Testing ''is set to happen but it isn't uniform across the country by any stretch of the imagination,'' Aaronson said. ''Masks, same thing.''
Securing the electrical grid also means added cybersecurity efforts.
Cyberattacks against the electrical grid are a near constant, though the segregated and complicated ways in which parts of the grid are tied to the internet makes it extremely difficult for hackers to gain the kind of access that could actually interrupt power.
But cybersecurity experts are on high alert for hackers trying to exploit the transition of so many workers to working from home, said Jason Christopher, the principal cyber-risk adviser at Dragos, a cybersecurity company.
The employees who are suddenly working from home aren't usually the ones with direct access to online industrial controls, he said.
''It's not just going from the dirty, dirty internet down into our cleaner, more pristine critical operations," Christopher said.
And fortunately so far, Christopher said, there don't appear to be any major, sustained campaigns to hack into remote workers.
''One thing to also consider is that pandemics disrupt everyone, including threat actors,'' he said.
In acht talen roept de 'Social Distance Bus' Amsterdammers op afstand te houden | Het Parool
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 15:20
De Social Distance Bus rijdt vanaf dinsdag door de stad. Beeld Gemeente Amsterdam De mogelijkheid dat ze een boete van 400 euro krijgen, daar kijken de mannen die rondhangen bij winkelcentrum Ganzenpoort toch wel van op. De sanctie voor wie onvoldoende afstand houdt of andere voorzorgsmaatregelen tegen het coronavirus in de wind slaat, was hier op deze zonnige parkeerplaats in Zuidoost nog niet helemaal doorgedrongen. ''Zoveel?!''
Het besef dat ze anderhalve meter afstand moeten houden is duidelijk al wel gekomen. De mannen staan bepaald niet meer schouder aan schouder. De discussies zijn verhit als altijd, maar nu met minstens een meter tussenruimte. Onderweg naar de supermarkt dragen heel wat Bijlmerbewoners mondkapjes.
Vanuit een busje prenten de jongerenwerkers Patricia Winklaar en Lisette Koomen het ze nog eens in. Uit de luidspreker op het dak van de zogeheten Social Distance Bus schallen waarschuwingen dat ze zoveel mogelijk binnen moeten blijven en dat iedereen het virus kan krijgen (''Corona discrimineert niet.''). En dat ook nog in het Spaans, Engels, Papiaments, Somalisch, Arabisch en Turks. In de Ghanese taal Twi eindigt de boodschap met een ferm 'amen'.
Bij Ganzenpoort hoort de uit Ghana afkomstige John Apj (58) de boodschap dus ook in zijn moedertaal voorbijkomen. Het helpt, denkt hij. Niet omdat hij geen Nederlandse tv-programma's kijkt. Die kijkt hij wel. ''Maar daar gebruiken ze vaak moeilijke woorden. Op deze manier begrijpen alle mensen het.''
Mond-tot-mond-reclameHet is een boodschap die je niet vaak genoeg kunt brengen, zo verklaart stadsdeelvoorzitter Tanja Jadnanansing de komst van het busje. ''Niet iedereen wordt via radio, tv en sociale media even goed bereikt. Via het gesproken woord en mond-tot-mond-reclame resoneert de boodschap. Ze gaan het er onderling over hebben.''
In Zuidoost is de uiteenlopende herkomst van de bevolking dan natuurlijk altijd iets om rekening mee te houden. Vandaar de vele talen die klinken vanuit de Social Distance Bus. Tegelijk kan ook Jadnanansing zich nauwelijks nog voorstellen dat de ernst van de situatie aan iemand voorbijgegaan is. Het is een pandemie immers en die beheerst overal het nieuws. Het busje is ook niet alleen voor Zuidoost. Na woensdag komen andere delen van de stad aan de beurt.
Het is een 'reminder' zegt ook Winklaar, die zelfs even het idee kreeg dat de mannen bij Ganzenpoort een stapje verder uit elkaar gingen staan toen het busje voorbij kwam. Ze bedoelt maar: het moet de overheid wel menens zijn als die helemaal de moeite neemt om een busje met luidspreker te sturen.
Veel bekijksHoeveel schrik het coronavirus sommige mensen aanjaagt blijkt ook wel als Winklaar voor buurthuis De Bonte Kraai wordt aangeschoten. Een man die een gespannen indruk maakt en angstvallig afstand houdt, wijst naar het mondkapje van de jongerenwerker. Kan hij er bij de bus eentje krijgen? Als het antwoord 'nee' is, maakt hij zich meteen weer uit de voeten.
De opvallende auto, die doet denken aan het busje van The A-team, trekt hoe dan ook veel bekijks. Bij winkelcentrum De Kameleon halen veel voorbijgangers hun telefoon tevoorschijn om een filmpje te maken, de bewoners van de flats hangen over het balkon. Maar even later komt van boven dan toch het verzoek om weer verder te rijden, met die lawaaimaker op het dak.
Lees ook:Coronamaatregelen verlengd tot 28 april, scholen dicht tot meivakantie
Fact check: Did Obama administration deplete N95 mask stockpile?
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 14:51
The claim: The Obama administration used and did not replenish the nation's emergency stockpile of medical supplies, including N95 masksAs the novel coronavirus pandemic strains health care systems, questions around the U.S. government's response have circulated in the media and online.
On March 26, The Daily Wire published an article centering on the Obama administration's role in using and allegedly failing to replenish the federal stockpile of N95 masks.
''The Obama administration significantly depleted the federal stockpile of N95 respirator masks to deal with the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009 and never rebuilt the stockpile despite calls to do so,'' the piece begins.
USA TODAY investigation:US never spent enough on emergency stockpile, former managers say
The article draws from the reporting of outlets including Bloomberg News and the Los Angeles Times. According to Bloomberg News, ''after the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009, which triggered a nationwide shortage of masks and caused a 2- to 3-year backlog orders for the N95 variety, the stockpile distributed about three-quarters of its inventory and didn't build back the supply.''
''After the swine flu epidemic in 2009, a safety-equipment industry association and a federally sponsored task force both recommended that depleted supplies of N95 respirator masks, which filter out airborne particles, be replenished by the stockpile,'' the Los Angeles Times reported.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said during a press conference the country's stockpile of personal protective equipment, including medical gear like N95 masks, is almost depleted.
A history of the national emergency stockpileEstablished in 1999 to prepare the country for threats like pandemics, natural disasters and acts of bioterrorism, the United States has used and maintained its Strategic National Stockpile of medical supplies during times of acute crisis in the health care system.
The reserve was originally named the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile, but was renamed during a 2003 restructuring when additional materials were added to the supply. The stockpile is jointly managed by the departments of Defense and Health and Human Services.
While officials rarely discuss specifics about the reserve, like the exact locations and value of its contents, the fund's restocking contracts are largely public, including a July 2019 deal for vaccines valued at $1.5 billion.
Warnings about the United States' lack of preparedness for a serious pandemic have come from both inside the federal government and elsewhere since at least the early 2000s and as recently as last year.
Fact check:Did Bill Gates predict the coronavirus in 2015?
''SARS has infected relatively few people nationwide, but it has raised concerns about preparedness for large-scale infectious disease outbreaks,'' a 2003 analysis from the Government Accountability Office reads.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in April 2019 the BioDefense Summit that a pandemic was among his top concerns, CNN reported on Friday. "Of course, the thing that people ask: 'What keeps you most up at night in the biodefense world?' Pandemic flu, of course. I think everyone in this room probably shares that concern," Azar told the summit. (His full remarks are available on the HHS website.)
Fact check:A Bill Gates-backed pandemic simulation in October did not predict COVID-19
The stockpile has been used at least 13 times since its creation, including during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and 2001 anthrax attacks. Also during the George W. Bush administration, the national stockpile was deployed in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and then again for Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, according to the stockpile's history published by the HHS.
In 2005, the Bush administration published a report that urged investment in local and national stockpiles, increasing domestic production capacity and coordinating research efforts toward cures and vaccines. In 2006, Congress approved expanding the stockpile to include protective gear like N95 surgical masks.
During the presidency of Barack Obama, the national stockpile was seriously taxed as the administration addressed multiple crises over eight years. About "75 percent of N95 respirators and 25 percent of face masks contained in the CDC's Strategic National Stockpile ('¼100 million products) were deployed for use in health care settings over the course of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic response," according to a 2017 study in the journal Health Security.
Again according to NIH, the stockpile's resources were also used during hurricanes Alex, Irene, Isaac and Sandy. Flooding in 2010 in North Dakota also called for stockpile funds to be deployed. The 2014 outbreaks of the ebola virus and botulism, as well as the 2016 outbreak of the zika virus, continued to significantly tax the stockpile with no serious effort from the Obama administration to replenish the fund.
ProPublica reported on April 3 that congressional budget battles in the early years of the Obama administration contributed to stockpile shortages. But the article notes available funds were used not to replenish masks: "With limited resources, officials in charge of the stockpile tend to focus on buying lifesaving drugs from small biotechnology firms that would, in the absence of a government buyer, have no other market for their products, experts said. Masks and other protective equipment are in normal times widely available and thus may not have been prioritized for purchase, they said."
During the presidency of Donald Trump, analysts have warned the United States is not prepared for a serious pandemic.
'Gross misjudment':Experts say Trump's decision to disband pandemic team hindered coronavirus response
''We assess that the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support,'' the 2019 World Threat Assessment from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence states.
The Trump administration has not taken significant steps to replenish the masks in the Strategic National Stockpile.
Our rating: TrueWe rate this claim TRUE because it is supported by our research. There is no indication that the Obama administration took significant steps to replenish the supply of N95 masks in the Strategic National Stockpile after it was depleted from repeated crises. Calls for action came from experts at the time concerned for the country's ability to respond to future serious pandemics. Such recommendations were, for whatever reason, not heeded.
Our fact-check sources:Department of Health and Human Services, Strategic National Stockpile: HistoryGovernment Accountability Office, 2003 Report on Public Health CapacityHealth Security, Personal Protective Equipment Supply Chain: Lessons Learned from Recent Public Health Emergency ResponsesHomeland Security Council, 2005 National Strategy for Pandemic InfluenzaNational Institute of Health, The Strategic National Stockpile: Origin, Policy Foundations, and Federal Context2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community
Idiots 'BURNING 5G masts' after conspiracy that 'radiation sparked coronavirus' is spread by celebs '' The Sun
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 14:02
CONSPIRACY nuts are reportedly setting phone masts alight and targeting engineers after a bizarre claim 5G "radiation" caused the deadly coronavirus spread.
The theory originated last month after a video filmed at a US health conference claimed Africa was not as affected by the disease because it is "not a 5G region".
'š ¸ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates 10
Conspiracy theorists are setting 5g phone masts alight after a bogus coronavirus theory spread Credit: SnapperSK 10
This mast was set alight in Birmingham Credit: SnapperSKThe myth was quickly debunked after the World Health Organisation confirmed there were thousands of Covid-19 cases in Africa.
The government has also confirmed there is "no evidence to suggest that 5G has anything to do with Covid-19".
Celebs have been slammed for sharing the conspiracy theory, including Jason Gardiner and Callum Best, who posted similar claims that 5G can impact the immune system.
But the claims have still been doing the rounds on WhatsApp via a lengthy voice note - with phone masts now being set alight in the UK.
Engineers are now also being targeted with social media users encouraging each other to destroy the masts in a Stop 5G Facebook group.
Credit: SnapperSKPolice and fire crews were scrambled to one inferno in Birmingham last night when a 70ft mast erupted in flames.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated but both emergency service was able to confirm the fire was deliberate at this stage.
Hundreds of people have commented on shocking videos of the blaze posted on the Facebook group.
One person wrote: "Good needs to be done everywhere evil domination is coming".
Another said: "It is time to act now. Any 5g tower in your area burn it down! Collect people and stand and fight this. Act now before it's too late!"
Others have posted pictures of masts near their homes, with users urging them to "destroy" it.
While one person in a separate group is keeping a "league" table for cities setting the masts on fire.
The group has now been forced to warn users not to attack engineers.
A post at the top of the site reads: "We have been notified by certain members of the public that some individuals in this group have decided to target telecoms workers, as they believe and claim them to be 'criminals and genocidists'.
"You know who you are. If you continue to conduct yourselves like this you will be banned from this group."
The 5G coronavirus theory thought to have gained popularity last month when a YouTube video supporting the claims was heavily criticised for spreading bogus information during a very real crisis.
Those working in the sector say there is "quite a big collective" trying to stop 5G from being rolled out across the UK.
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One telecoms engineer, who didn't wish to be named, said: "There are Facebook groups posting videos of the masts being set on fire and people encouraging others to do the same.
"Wuhan was a test bed for the 5G rollout but is a dumbfounded connection."
Mobile UK, who represent networks EE, 02, Three and Vodafone, confirmed to The Sun Online some workers had been abused over the false claims.
They said in a statement: "During this challenging situation, it is concerning that certain groups are using the COVID-19 pandemic to spread false rumours and theories about the safety of 5G technologies.
"More worryingly some people are also abusing our key workers and making threats to damage infrastructure under the pretence of claims about 5G.
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"This is not acceptable and only impacts on our ability as an industry to maintain the resilience and operational capacity of the networks to support mass home working and critical connectivity to the emergency services, vulnerable consumers and hospitals.
"The theories are baseless and are not grounded in accepted scientific theory.
"The mobile industry is putting 100% of its effort into ensuring that the UK remains connected and our workers and the mobile operators have rightly been recognised by the Government as key to the national effort."
Fire crews and police were scrambled to this blaze in Birmingham Credit: SnapperSK 10
Conspiracy theorists believe 5G is behind the virus Credit: SnapperSK 10
Some engineers have also been attacked Credit: SnapperSK
Edible insects set to be approved by EU in 'breakthrough moment' | Insects | The Guardian
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 13:39
Show caption Producers of insect-based foods such as dried mealworms (above) are preparing to scale up their operations. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
InsectsFood safety agency's decision could put mealworms, locusts and baby crickets on menus
It is being billed as the long-awaited breakthrough moment in European gastronomy for mealworm burgers, locust aperitifs and cricket granola.
Within weeks the EU's European Food Safety Authority is expected by the insect industry to endorse whole or ground mealworms, lesser mealworms, locusts, crickets and grasshoppers as being safe for human consumption.
The ruling is likely to lead to the final authorisation of their sale across the EU as a ''novel food'' by as soon as the autumn, opening up opportunities for mass production of a range of insect dishes to be sold across Europe for the first time.
''These have a good chance of being given the green light in the coming few weeks,'' said Christophe Derrien, the secretary general of the industry organisation International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed.
''We reckon these authorisations will be a breakthrough for the sector so we are looking for those authorisations quite impatiently. They are taking the necessary time, they are very demanding on information, which is not bad. But we believe that once we have the first novel food given a green light from EFSA that will have a snowball effect.''
In the eyes of leading players in the insects-as-food industry, the potential for their high-protein delicacies has been held back by a lack of EU-wide approval.
There's a fly in my waffle! Scientists experiment with larva fat to replace butter The UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Finland have taken a permissive approach to a 1997 EU law that requires foods not eaten before that year to get novel food authorisation.
Those national regulators decided the EU law did not pertain to animals used for food. As a result, a host of insect-based products can be found in British, Dutch, Belgian and Finnish supermarkets. About 500 tonnes of insect-based food for human consumption is produced every year.
But such products are banned in France, Italy and Spain, among other countries. In 2018, a new EU law sought to bring some clarity. It stipulated that insect-based dishes would also require novel food authorisation.
A transition period was established to allow companies already producing food from insects to operate until they received a judgment on the safety of the species they work with and final approval by the EU's institutions.
Indeed, companies such such as Protifarm in the Netherlands, Micronutris in France, Essento in Switzerland and Entogourmet in Spain are said to be preparing to ramp up their operations.
''We have many of our members building bigger factories because the key to success is to upscale your companies and produce on a mass scale. And this is already happening,'' Derrien said. ''We are expecting the next few years will be very interesting ones and obviously the novel food authorisations will definitely help.''
He added: ''The sort of foods ranges from whole insects as an aperitif or as snacks to processed insects in bars or pasta or burgers made out of insects. We believe that insects for food is one solution for some of the biggest challenges we are facing on the planet. In the context of scarce resources, and insect production is not too demanding, you have the capacity to produce high-quality protein. That is a very promising solution.''
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A tale of two surges: Wall Street soars amid New York City's coronavirus toll - World Socialist Web Site
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 13:30
25 March 2020''It was the best of times, it was the worst of times'' was Charles Dickens' famous opening passage in his fictional treatment of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities. These words found stark and fresh expression in New York City Tuesday as billionaires gorged themselves on Wall Street, while the rest of the population confronted a mounting toll in death, sickness and human suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.
Of the two curves pointing upwards, that of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the rise in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in New York, the latter was the steepest.
The number of cases is now doubling every three days, rising on Tuesday to 25,665 across New York state, with over 15,000 of them concentrated in New York City. The death toll is also rising steadily, with at least 192 fatalities in the city alone. America's largest and most densely populated city has become the epicenter of a pandemic that threatens the lives of millions.
People walk past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)While authorities had predicted that the pandemic's ''tsunami'' would begin breaking over New York in two to three weeks' time, it appears to have already arrived. The city is woefully ill-prepared, with its hospitals expected to buckle under the impact of tens if not hundreds of thousands seeking care.
None of this, however, stopped the financial feeding frenzy on Wall Street, which saw its steepest one-day rise since 1933, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring 11 percent. The floor of the New York Stock Exchange was empty, closed down on Monday after a trader tested positive for COVID-19, with the massive buying spree conducted electronically.
Wall Street's 2,000-point rise was in response to the imminent passage of the grotesquely misnamed CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), a $2 trillion bonanza for big business, a fresh infusion on top of $2 trillion more pledged by the US government to prop up the financial assets held by the major banks. Shares of industries to be bailed out'--cruise companies, resorts and airlines'--jumped by between 30 and 40 percent.
Many of New York's billionaires and multimillionaires who profited off of this record rise have already decamped from the stricken city, emptying out luxury apartment buildings in Manhattan and heading off to mansions in the Hamptons and farms in New England, or taking private jets to bunkers in the West'--no doubt taking the virus with them and infecting the army of employees it takes to maintain their lifestyle.
Meanwhile, in the city, the signs that the virus is spreading are everywhere.
At Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, which serves one of the most heavily immigrant populations in the country, a line snaked down the block Tuesday for the fifth day in a row as sick people waited behind police barricades to get into the emergency room. Nurses at the hospital reported that among those who tested positive were workers who were told that they could not afford to self-quarantine for even a day without losing their jobs and becoming unable to feed their families.
The majority of the working class in New York, as throughout the United States, is caught in this tragic dilemma. They have no money to sustain themselves over the course of a prolonged shutdown, and the pittance being offered by the US Congress will do nothing to change that. The large population of undocumented immigrant workers that sustains the city's service economy will receive not even the miserable sum on offer.
Both President Donald Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have made cynical political appeals to the fears of working class families that they will go hungry or homeless and small businesses will go under by suggesting that people can soon return to work, despite the spread of the virus.
On Tuesday, the New York City Transit Authority announced that it had been compelled to slash subway service, cutting more than 1,000 trips over the past week because of a sharp rise in the number of train operators and conductors calling in sick. At least 23 transit workers had confirmed COVID-19 cases, while many more had been forced to self-quarantine because of contact with infected co-workers.
The cascading effect of these cuts is felt in passengers packed shoulder to shoulder on trains, facilitating the spread of the virus to ever wider layers of the population.
Similarly, the city announced on Tuesday that it is negotiating with private trash-hauling companies because of fear that the spiking number of sanitation workers stricken with the virus'--61 already tested positive and 26 more quarantined'--will end up leaving garbage piling up on the streets.
In another tragic expression of the virus' spread, it was reported on Monday that a 36-year-old principal at a Brooklyn school, Dezann Romain, died as a result of complications of the coronavirus. New York City's Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio had resisted shutting down the city's schools until threatened with mass sickouts by teachers, who had denounced him for having ''blood on his hands.''
This impact on essential service workers is an indicator of how wide the virus has already spread throughout the city's population. There is growing anger among these workers and New York's working class as a whole over the failure of the city and the employers to provide them with even minimal protection from the disease.
According to official estimates, the city will need 140,000 hospital beds to deal with New Yorkers stricken by the disease, with only 53,000 available. To save patients' lives, 30,000 ventilators will be required, when there are no more than 5,000 in the city. Hospitals are being told that they must expand their capacity by 100 percent, but there is no indication of how a staff already stretched beyond endurance is to deal with such a doubling of their load. The inevitable outcome is that medical staff will be forced to choose between who will live and who will die.
Late Tuesday, soldiers in camouflage uniforms together with New York police erected tents and positioned refrigerator trucks outside Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan as a makeshift morgue for the anticipated overflow of bodies. Similar arrangements are being made at all of the city's major hospitals.
Doctors, nurses and health care workers are woefully short of personal protective equipment, with supplies of masks and face shields running low at every hospital and expected to run out within weeks. The inevitable result will be that these workers will themselves become a significant portion of those who become sick and die.
The Republican Trump and the Democrat Cuomo traded barbs on Tuesday, with the New York governor protesting the pitiful amount of aid being offered by Washington and the US president claiming that Cuomo should have bought more ventilators for his state years earlier.
The reality is that both parties have decimated public health services over the course of decades. The existing US two-party political system, based upon defending the interests of America's financial and corporate oligarchy, is organically incapable or responding to the present crisis outside of the pursuit of policies that impose its full burden upon the working class and condemn millions to die.
The glaring contradiction between the orgy of financial parasitism on Wall Street and the suffering inflicted upon millions in the city of New York poses the inescapable answer to the present crisis. The trillions of dollars being put into the pockets of the financial oligarchy must be seized and utilized in a globally coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The giant banks and corporations must be placed under public ownership and democratic control in order to mobilize all of society's resources to combat the pandemic and provide for universal access to health care and a guaranteed livable income, housing and other necessities for every worker, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, who is unable to work because of it.
The global coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that the very preservation of human life is incompatible with the capitalist system and requires society's reorganization upon socialist foundations.
Bill Van Auken
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Bail Out Journalists. Let Newspaper Chains Die. - The New York Times
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 12:39
The media equation
The coronavirus is likely to hasten the end of advertising-driven media, our columnist writes. And government should not rescue it.
Elizabeth Green, a founder of Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization reporting on education issues, in Washington, D.C. Credit... T.J. Kirkpatrick Elizabeth Green was musing the other day about buying 261 newspapers.
You could, this Sunday, purchase Gannett, the biggest newspaper chain in the country, for a mere $261 million '-- about a quarter of what Michael R. Bloomberg spent on his presidential campaign.
And Ms. Green, a founder of the nonprofit education news organization Chalkbeat, is one of the few people who may be able to raise the money to pull off a deal like that.
But she quickly realized that Gannett wasn't worth it: Buying it would mean signing up to pay off a high-interest loan from a giant New York private equity firm and relying on an advertising business model that may be in its death throes because of the coronavirus.
It's a moment of deep crisis for the local news business, which could have been blown over by a light breeze and is now facing a hurricane. But it's also a moment of great promise for a new generation of largely nonprofit local publications.
The time is now to make a painful but necessary shift: Abandon most for-profit local newspapers, whose business model no longer works, and move as fast as possible to a national network of nimble new online newsrooms. That way, we can rescue the only thing worth saving about America's gutted, largely mismanaged local newspaper companies '-- the journalists.
''We need to accept that what local news is today is already dying,'' said Ms. Green, 35.
She had that realization 12 years ago when she was a local education reporter. Her newspaper, The New York Sun, went under, and she created a new nonprofit organization to stay on the beat she loved. Now, her vision has expanded. She has co-founded the American Journalism Project, which aims to create a huge network of nonprofit outlets, some organized around subjects like education or criminal justice, others focused on covering a town, a city or a state. She wants to replace the hundreds of local newspapers now owned by hedge funds that are slowly being bled dry.
''We need to keep the values, keep the people, keep the lessons learned '-- and get rid of the shareholders and get a better business model,'' she said.
Ms. Green has been working to expand one obviously needed coverage area, public health, to all 50 states, working with the nonprofit news service Kaiser Health News.
And on the local level, she and John Thornton, the other founder of the American Journalism Project, are working on a new project: backing a nonprofit outlet in West Virginia. It will be led by Greg Moore, a former Charleston Gazette-Mail executive editor, and Ken Ward, a reporter at the paper who won a MacArthur ''Genius'' grant for his coverage of damage done by the coal and gas industries to people's lives. The not-yet-named new outlet (candidates include ''Mountain State Muckraker'') will begin with a staff of about 10, seven of them journalists, a news team on the same scale as the diminished local paper.
''There's all this 'doom and gloom for local journalism stories' that have happened in the last week or so, and I hope that other people see what we're doing and understand that the important thing is the journalism '-- it's the stories, it's the investigations '-- that's what matters,'' Mr. Ward said. He will also be on the staff of the nonprofit investigative powerhouse ProPublica and will have support from Report for America, another growing nonprofit organization that sends young reporters to newsrooms around the country.
The news business, like every business, is looking for all the help it can get in this crisis. Analysts believe that the new federal aid package will help for a time and that the industry has a strong case to make. State governments have deemed journalism an essential service to spread public health information. Reporters employed by everyone from the worthiest nonprofit group to the most cynical hedge fund-owned chain are risking their lives to get their readers solid facts on the pandemic, and are holding the government accountable for its failures. Virtually every news outlet reports that readership is at an all-time high. We all need to know, urgently, about where and how the coronavirus is affecting our cities and towns and neighborhoods.
But the advertising business that has sustained the local newspapers '-- the car dealers, retailers and movie theaters that for generations filled their pages with ads '-- has gone from slow decline to free fall.
So the leaders trying to get the local news industry through this economic shock need to confront reality. The revenue from print advertising and aging print subscribers was already going away. When this crisis is over, it is unlikely to come back. Some local weeklies recently shut down for good.
Many of the worthy suggestions for saving the news business dodge this central issue. Margaret Sullivan, at The Washington Post, suggested a broad ''coronavirus stimulus plan,'' and a column in The Atlantic called for a huge government spending on public health ads. Without careful restrictions, a huge share of that government money will go to doomed newspaper chains for whom a major goal, as Gannett's chief executive said on his last earnings call in late February, is paying a dividend to shareholders unwise enough to invest in his doomed business. (Gannett executives declined to speak to me for this column.)
So what comes next? That decision will be made in the next few months '-- by public officials, philanthropists, Facebook (which is expected to announce another wave of local news funding soon) and other tech companies, and people like you.
The right decision is to consistently look to the future, which comes in a few forms. The most promising right now is Ms. Green's dream of a big new network of nonprofit news organizations across the country on the model of The Texas Tribune, which Mr. Thornton co-founded. There are also a handful of local for-profit news outlets, like The Seattle Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe, with rich and civic-minded owners, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, which is owned by the non-profit Lenfest Institute for Journalism. And there is a generation of small, independent membership or subscription sites and newsletters like Berkeleyside.
Hundreds of devoted local journalists will be looking for jobs as soon as they can think about anything other than what the coronavirus is doing to local nursing homes and hospitals. We should be helping them, and paying for them, to build these new institutions, large and small.
Government support, as Report for America's co-founder, Steven Waldman, suggests, could tip toward the new nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Facebook and Google could focus on backing them, rather than paying them to make YouTube videos. A group of journalists in California is now working on a ''Marshall Plan'' to push the state's dying outlets into making ''brute-force instant transitions'' to a sustainable digital model, said Neil Chase, a former San Jose Mercury News executive editor who now leads the nonprofit CalMatters.
The people who run the big newspaper chains '-- Gannett, Tribune, the bankrupt-but-ambitious McClatchy, and the ruthless Media News Group '-- disagree, of course. They argue that the dream of digital advertising on a scale that can compete with Google, an original argument for mergers, is still within reach; and that they can cut and centralize their way to stability.
They also point out that these new models carry real risks of their own, and they're right about that. I've learned first hand. I was chairman of the board of the New York nonprofit newsroom The City '-- one of the most promising of the new guard '-- as it struggled to get its stories read. I've watched my wife build a small news outlet from scratch on the hard soil of local advertising and subscriptions at Bklyner. Newcomers will have to scramble to maintain staffs the size of even the most gutted local newsrooms. And nonprofit journalism can be boring, more attentive to its donors than its audience.
''It's a bad idea to let government and rich people take over the news business and let the distributors completely off the hook,'' said David Chavern, the president and chief executive of the News Media Alliance, the main newspaper industry lobbying group, which represents both chains and smaller local publishers and is seeking government help. (One legacy asset of the newspaper business is having a good lobbyist in Washington.) He argues that the best public policy, and the salvation for his members, is to force Google and Facebook to pay for the news on their platforms.
None of this is settled or easy. The most heated debate in places where the nonprofit news executives gather '-- these days, mostly an impromptu discussion on Slack '-- is whether it's ever safe or ethical to take government funding.
The name of their Slack channel? #apocalypsenow.
Nolte: Advertising Karma Hits Corporate Media and the New York Times Calls for Bailout
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 12:38
Due to the coronavirus and a healthy dose of karma, newspaper advertising is drying up, and these same newspapers are now laying staffers off and slashing salaries while the far-left New York Times' media columnist screams for a bailout.
Before I get to the karma part, here are the details'...
On Monday, we learned the Tampa Bay Times is suspending its print publication from seven to two days a week. That's not a typo. A newspaper that had been printing every day of the week will now print only on Wednesday and Sunday.
This, however, is not due to a lack of clicks.
''The company reported a surge in traffic to its website '... and growth in digital subscriptions over the last few weeks'' but ''the pandemic sent advertising sales into a plunge. In just the last two weeks, [advertising] cancellations have cost us more than $1 million, and there is no sign of quick recovery on the horizon. We must act now.''
Gannett, one of the largest newspaper companies in the country, publisher of, among others, USA Today, the Des Moines Register, and Arizona Republic, announced a sweeping round of furloughs. A memo from Gannett CEO Paul Bascobert asked employees to immediately make a ''collective sacrifice '... as soon as this week.''
''Our plan is to minimize long-term damage to the business by implementing a combination of furloughs and pay reductions,'' the memo explains.
Poynter points out that this is in direct response to ''big advertising declines.''
Finally, Chicago's Daily Herald is slashing newsroom salaries by 15 percent and salaries at its parent company by 20 percent.
And with this news, all released on Monday (the floundering BuzzFeed cut salaries by up to 25 percent last week), the far-left New York Times published a panicked and ludicrous bailout proposal'...
''The coronavirus is likely to hasten the end of advertising-driven media. '... And government should not rescue it,'' the Times columnist says, which is fair enough: The thought of my tax dollars funding people who hate me is a bit much.
What the Times wants, though, is sugar daddies to save journalism. Get this'...
The time is now to make a painful but necessary shift: Abandon most for-profit local newspapers, whose business model no longer works, and move as fast as possible to a national network of nimble new online newsrooms. That way, we can rescue the only thing worth saving about America's gutted, largely mismanaged local newspaper companies '-- the journalists.
The right decision is to consistently look to the future, which comes in a few forms. The most promising right now is Ms. Green's dream of a big new network of nonprofit news organizations across the country on the model of The Texas Tribune, which Mr. Thornton co-founded.
Government support, as Report for America's co-founder, Steven Waldman, suggests, could tip toward the new nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Facebook and Google could focus on backing them, rather than paying them to make YouTube videos.
Can you imagine what ''journalism'' would look like if it had no market pressure whatsoever? If you believe, as I do, that the media is as irresponsible, dishonest, destructive, and dangerous as it can possibly get '-- we're both wrong. If you remove all market incentive and pressure, if these outlets in no way have to attract and retain customers in order to stay in business, if earning the respect and trust of news consumers is no longer a concern, we haven't seen anything yet in the arena of an irresponsible, dishonest, destructive, and dangerous media.
Look at how much the Washington Post has collapsed into a smoldering pile of fake news upon the arrival of its sugar daddy, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Look at the destruction far-left CNN has wrought, not only to its own shattered ratings and reputation, but in places like Baltimore and Ferguson, because it's paid through a rigged cable TV system as opposed to having to court viewers.
Now imagine this cancer of no accountability spreading everywhere at the local level.
But I digress.
Now we come to the karma part'...
News consumption is up. Clicks are up. Subscriptions are up. But these media companies are still dying.
Why? Is it that as the economy shuts down, fewer companies are advertising, even though there's more traffic?
Well, that's certainly part of it, but here '-- and this is important '-- is where the true ravaging of those newspaper advertising rates is coming from:
In February, ''coronavirus'' became the second-most common word on block lists for news publishers, up from eighth-most common in January, according to Integral Ad Science data (The number one most-common was '-- you guessed it '-- ''Trump''). Across the open web, Coronavirus was the third-most common block list entry in February, after not even ranking in the top ten in January, IAS data showed'....
The pace of the blocking looks to be accelerating, too, as more advertisers add the word to their lists and the volume of content about the outbreak grows'...
Advertisers have always wanted to avoid coverage of the most upsetting topics, and many prefer to avoid the news altogether. Joe Barone, the managing partner of brand safety at GroupM, noted that less than one third of GroupM's clients are blocking coronavirus terms, and those that aren't either don't advertise against news at all or don't do a lot of keyword blocking in general.
Let me boil this down for you'...
Most advertisers purchase online advertising programmatically, through ad networks. With programmatic advertising, advertisers basically buy people, not publishers. They identify a person by, for example, past search history or they buy information, and then market directly to that specific person '-- whether that person is on their favorite sports site, news site, YouTube, wherever that person likes to visit'... The ads follow the person. Notable exceptions are porn sites.
Once upon a time, programmatic advertisers did not care where on the Internet they reached their target persons '-- if those persons liked Fox News or Breitbart News, Fox News or Breitbart News would get paid. If those persons liked CNN or the New York Times, CNN and the New York Times would get paid. That's how it was, until'...
Trump was elected, and the left-wing blacklisters came along.
And therein lies the karma.
Blacklisters like Media Matters and Sleeping Giants have mercilessly harassed advertisers advertising on right-of-center sites including Breitbart News, and have tried to get advertisers to block programmatic ads to conservative news websites in order to defund those websites '-- to put them out of business.
So, for example, using social media, boycotters send to ABC Company a screenshot of its advertising next to a Breitbart story that offends the left and asks something like, ''Do you support this HATE!?!?!'' (A lie to begin with). In their McCarthyite zeal to destroy Breitbart and other conservative publishers, the boycotters then harassed ABC company until it pulled its advertising.
And in so doing, the blacklisting left made a move antithetical to the central concept of programmatic advertising: they made the advertisers make conscious choices about where their ads would appear. And here's the rub'...
Turns out '-- as you read in the story excerpted above '-- advertisers not only care which news publishers their programmatic ads appear on, they began to care about which specific content their ads appeared against. Plane crash story? We don't want to sell cars next to that story! COVID-19? We don't want to sell cars against those stories! As is so often the case, the blacklisters created a monster that they can no longer control '-- a monster now running amok destroying establishment media outlets, too.
This changed the entire dynamic of advertising.
Terrified advertisers now, when placing ad buys, add words to a block list so that their product will not appear next to certain content. And now, as you read above, one of the most popular words on the block list is ''coronavirus,'' and what subject is every news outlet in America covering right now? The coronavirus. The very subject skittish advertisers want nothing to do with for fear a Sleeping Giants or a Media Matters or another member of the left-wing Appropriate Police will launch a hate jihad against them: How dare you profit from death!
Here's the short version: While Sleeping Giants and Media Matters were relentlessly pushing to blacklist Breitbart out of business, they ended up altering the way advertisers place their ads, and now that alteration is threatening to annihilate the mainstream news media whose ideas the blacklisters DO approve of.
And now we come to the moral of the story'...
All these establishment media outlets now suffering due to these hyper-sensitive advertisers said nothing when Sleeping Giants and Media Matters attacked conservative publishers like us. They said nothing in our defense. They said nothing about how these blacklisting campaigns are un-American and immoral. They said nothing about the principle of freedom of speech and thought. And now that silence is devastating their own newsrooms.
Worse still, some of these outlets, like far-left CNN, even joined the blacklisting campaign.
In fact, the same New York Times that's currently freaking out over the collapse of these media outlets is the same New York Times that shamefully published a how-to guide to ''destroy'' Breitbart News, and did so by explicitly praising the tactics employed by Sleeping Giants.
Like I said'... Karma.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.
The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order - WSJ
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 11:09
The surreal atmosphere of the Covid-19 pandemic calls to mind how I felt as a young man in the 84th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge. Now, as in late 1944, there is a sense of inchoate danger, aimed not at any particular person, but striking randomly and with devastation. But there is an important difference between that faraway time and ours. American endurance then was fortified by an ultimate national purpose. Now, in a divided country, efficient and farsighted government is necessary to overcome obstacles unprecedented in magnitude and global scope. Sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity, to the relation of societies with each other, and to international peace and stability.
Nations cohere and flourish on the belief that their institutions can foresee calamity, arrest its impact and restore stability. When the Covid-19 pandemic is over, many countries' institutions will be perceived as having failed. Whether this judgment is objectively fair is irrelevant. The reality is the world will never be the same after the coronavirus. To argue now about the past only makes it harder to do what has to be done.
The coronavirus has struck with unprecedented scale and ferocity. Its spread is exponential: U.S. cases are doubling every fifth day. At this writing, there is no cure. Medical supplies are insufficient to cope with the widening waves of cases. Intensive-care units are on the verge, and beyond, of being overwhelmed. Testing is inadequate to the task of identifying the extent of infection, much less reversing its spread. A successful vaccine could be 12 to 18 months away.
The U.S. administration has done a solid job in avoiding immediate catastrophe. The ultimate test will be whether the virus's spread can be arrested and then reversed in a manner and at a scale that maintains public confidence in Americans' ability to govern themselves. The crisis effort, however vast and necessary, must not crowd out the urgent task of launching a parallel enterprise for the transition to the post-coronavirus order.
Leaders are dealing with the crisis on a largely national basis, but the virus's society-dissolving effects do not recognize borders. While the assault on human health will'--hopefully'--be temporary, the political and economic upheaval it has unleashed could last for generations. No country, not even the U.S., can in a purely national effort overcome the virus. Addressing the necessities of the moment must ultimately be coupled with a global collaborative vision and program. If we cannot do both in tandem, we will face the worst of each.
Drawing lessons from the development of the Marshall Plan and the Manhattan Project, the U.S. is obliged to undertake a major effort in three domains. First, shore up global resilience to infectious disease. Triumphs of medical science like the polio vaccine and the eradication of smallpox, or the emerging statistical-technical marvel of medical diagnosis through artificial intelligence, have lulled us into a dangerous complacency. We need to develop new techniques and technologies for infection control and commensurate vaccines across large populations. Cities, states and regions must consistently prepare to protect their people from pandemics through stockpiling, cooperative planning and exploration at the frontiers of science.
Second, strive to heal the wounds to the world economy. Global leaders have learned important lessons from the 2008 financial crisis. The current economic crisis is more complex: The contraction unleashed by the coronavirus is, in its speed and global scale, unlike anything ever known in history. And necessary public-health measures such as social distancing and closing schools and businesses are contributing to the economic pain. Programs should also seek to ameliorate the effects of impending chaos on the world's most vulnerable populations.
Third, safeguard the principles of the liberal world order. The founding legend of modern government is a walled city protected by powerful rulers, sometimes despotic, other times benevolent, yet always strong enough to protect the people from an external enemy. Enlightenment thinkers reframed this concept, arguing that the purpose of the legitimate state is to provide for the fundamental needs of the people: security, order, economic well-being, and justice. Individuals cannot secure these things on their own. The pandemic has prompted an anachronism, a revival of the walled city in an age when prosperity depends on global trade and movement of people.
The world's democracies need to defend and sustain their Enlightenment values. A global retreat from balancing power with legitimacy will cause the social contract to disintegrate both domestically and internationally. Yet this millennial issue of legitimacy and power cannot be settled simultaneously with the effort to overcome the Covid-19 plague. Restraint is necessary on all sides'--in both domestic politics and international diplomacy. Priorities must be established.
We went on from the Battle of the Bulge into a world of growing prosperity and enhanced human dignity. Now, we live an epochal period. The historic challenge for leaders is to manage the crisis while building the future. Failure could set the world on fire.
Mr. Kissinger served as secretary of state and national security adviser in the Nixon and Ford administrations.
Science clash: Imperial vs Oxford, and the sex smear that created rival Covid-19 studies
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 10:50
They are heavyweights of the academic world, trading metaphorical punches over the right to proclaim themselves the most influential scientific body in the country.
In one corner is Imperial College, with academics such as Professor Neil Ferguson who are able to claim they have the ear of the Government itself. In the other is Oxford University, led by scientist and author Professor Sunetra Gupta.
The two groups clashed last month when they produced starkly contrasting studies into the possible course of the coronavirus outbreak, with both papers spawning dramatic headlines.
The Imperial paper predicted that up to 250,000 people could die if stringent measures were not enacted quickly '' a prediction Boris Johnson clearly took to heart in initiating the UK lockdown.
The Oxford paper flagged up the equally eyebrow-raising, if more reassuring, possibility that half of us have had the virus already.
What many in the scientific community know but the vast majority of the British public does not, however, is that the rivalry between these two eminent research groups goes back a lot further than the past few weeks.
It began 20 years ago when the leading lights of both groups worked together at Oxford and stems from a sexual smear that resulted in a senior academic, Professor Sir Roy Anderson, leaving to set up his own team at Imperial College in London.
In 1999, Prof Gupta, then already an established author, had been coming to the end of a five-year fellowship in Oxford University's zoology department. She applied for a readership and a panel was convened to decide the matter. It was chaired by Sir Roy, then a Linacre professor of zoology and a Government adviser on various epidemiological matters, who had worked alongside the 34-year-old.
The eight-strong panel voted to award her the readership by six votes to two '' but further debate ensued during which, it later emerged, Sir Roy had suggested she was being supported by the head of the zoology department because she had had a relationship with him.
When Prof Gupta, who was married, found out about the slur, she was appalled and demanded an apology. With none forthcoming she asked the university to intervene, but at first got little traction. "It seems to me the university was trying to brush it under the carpet," she said later.
Prof Gupta succeeded in extracting a full apology from SIr Roy Credit : John CairnsMeanwhile, to her mind, Professor Anderson was behaving in a "peculiar" way towards her. She said afterwards: "He tried to take away the office that came with the job, and he took away the responsibility of running an MSc course without telling me. It was starting to be a bit ridiculous."
But she persevered and, nine months later, succeeded in extracting a full apology from Sir Roy. Admitting that there was "no foundation in truth whatsoever" for the smear, Sir Roy wrote in a letter that "I sincerely regret the distress and embarrassment which was caused to you as a result of my making this allegation. I have the highest professional respect for you and your work".
For Prof Gupta, the matter was ended, but the damage to Sir Roy's career looked terminal. He was suspended by the university and then reinstated, but was eventually forced out by his own colleagues.
But his departure turned into a new beginning for him and others. He went to Imperial College, ironically Prof Gupta's alma mater, and set up a mathematical modelling team which proceeded to set the agenda over the coming decades by producing policy-influencing studies on big viral issues.
Together with his protege Prof Ferguson, who joined him there, he produced work on the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001. It was credited with shaping the Government's controversial culling strategy, which led to the deaths of six and a half million animals.
Eight years later, Prof Ferguson, then an adviser to the Government and the World Health Organisation, sounded the alarm over swine flu, warning that it could cost up to four million lives globally and floating a study on the anti-viral benefits of closing all UK schools. In the end, schools mostly stayed open and the worldwide death toll was 18,500.
This time, however, in terms of influencing Government actions, the Imperial team has hit the jackpot. As part of Sage (the Scientific Advice Group for Emergencies), Prof Ferguson has access to the heart of Government.
His report last month so shook the Prime Minister and his advisers that it reportedly prompted them to shift tack, moving from gradually attempting to achieve "herd immunity" to a lockdown of most businesses, with people only allowed to leave their homes under limited circumstances.
Most accepted the draconian measures as necessary despite the lack of a peer-reviewed model, but there was the odd raised eyebrow over the absence of much scientific debate.
"I am surprised that there has been such unqualified acceptance of the Imperial model," Prof Gupta said shortly after its publication.
That was certainly not the case in respect of her paper, which said there was an immediate need for large-scale serological surveys to assess the stage of the epidemic. She was slated for everything from supposedly ignoring the data, to the crime of going "straight to the media".
Prof Gupta, who is not on the Sage committee, refused to criticise the Imperial study but defended her own, saying: "The truth is that the study essentially focuses on a very simple concept which is that we don't know which fraction of the population is truly vulnerable to severe disease and death.
"That's what's astonishing here, because there are no assumptions here. That is a misrepresentation of the paper, because we don't make an assumption about the fraction vulnerable to disease and death."
Prof Ferguson said on Friday night that he and Prof Gupta had "the greatest respect for each other". "Sunetra chatted last night," he said. "We're friends, colleagues. It's not influencing the science today at all. Sunetra and I have always got on. I never fell out with her, and actually she will give you the same view.
"I would say at the moment she came out with an interesting but speculative paper. I don't think it will be supported by the data, but she had every right to publish it. I give my views. It doesn't affect our personal relationship at all, and it's not a reflection on any sort of personal relationship.
"She does a very different sort of modelling, she is interested in the evolution of infectious disease. I think data will be coming out in the next day or so which will indicate that actually we don't have anything close to 50 per cent of the population infected."
Prof Ferguson said he and Prof Gupta had 'the greatest respect for each other' Credit : YouTubeOf the events of 20 years ago, Prof Ferguson said: "Roy made mistakes. I think a lot of people, in terms of how they handled that, have made mistakes. I stayed well clear of it '' I maintained a good relationship with both Roy and Sunetra.
"I don't actually see Roy very much nowadays. We don't really overlap, and he hasn't been involved in any of the work that we're doing."
A spokesman for Prof Gupta said: "Prof Gupta remains friendly with Prof Neil Ferguson and greatly respects his academic work. Historically, Prof Gupta has not been involved with public policy bodies, including Sage, as her work is more focused on the mathematical modelling to identify vaccine targets. Typically, she does not take on such advisory roles."
A spokesman for Oxford University said: "The university and its researchers are focused fully on their work to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. No one is giving any attention to historic matters which have been considered closed for many years."
Sir Roy, now the director of the Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research at Imperial was unable to comment on Friday due to illness.
Leading scientist predicted pandemic on November 25th, 2019 - The Cosmic Tusk
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 08:48
3/28/2020 PROFOUND Brothers of the Serpent podcast with Chandra Wickramasinghe
On November 25th, 2019, Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe made the following stark warning, weeks before the coronavirus emerged.
On the basis of this data, there appears to be a prima facie case for expecting new viral strains to emerge over the coming months and so it would be prudent for Public Health Authorities the world over to be vigilant and prepared for any necessary action. We need hardly to be reminded that the spectre of the 1918 devastating influenza pandemic stares us in the face from across a century.
Chandra Wickramasinghe, Current Science, November 25, 2019 [See published notification ''Space Weather and pandemic warnings?'']
More intriguing is the discovery of bacteria and microbes in unlikely places, such as the stratosphere, 30 to 40 kilometres above the surface of the planet, and more excitingly on the outside of the International Space Station. In the case of the ISS, contamination has been ruled out and the physics suggests that it is not possible for the microbes to have been lofted up from the earth's surface.
''Viruses, ET and the octopus from space: the return of panspermia,'' Stephen Fleischfresser, Cosmos, April 24, 2019
Wickramasinghe is an internationally respected Sri Lankan polymathmatical scientist in his 81st year, who has maintained since his days at Cambridge in the early 1970's that viruses transit more or less constantly to earth from space and infect our planet's fauna.
Over the course of the next thirty years Chandra and his dearest friend, the late Sir Fred Hoyle, engaged in an historically significant scientific disagreement with consensus 20th century astronomical, biological and medical opinion. Their evidence for ''Panspermia'' and disease from space was mocked, their ideas actively suppressed, and their peers abandoned them without responsibly reviewing their work.
Fortunately for the planet Hoyle and Wickramasinghe did not bend to consensus, and published more than 70 papers concerning Panspermia and disease from space in Nature and other journals. None of these articles were adequately refuted or their evidence enthusiastically researched, only mocked and derided.
Well accepted mainstream evidence in support of the ability of life to sustain in and be transmitted from space has grown exponentially since the ancient controversy. For instance, here is biological scum collected from the surface of the International Space Station.
Despite the new evidence their predictions are now forgotten.
Let me be clear: Sir Fred Hoyle and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe are scientists '-- not ''pseudoscientists,'' as libeled by Space.com on March 19th. Fred Hoyle was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his astronomical contributions and science communication. Wickramasinghe has maintained a lifetime of distinguished global professorships and has continued to publish evidence for disease from space for fifty years, despite being branded a heretic:
Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1965 Professor of Mathematics, Vidyodaya University of Ceylon, 1966 Visiting Professor at Universities of Arizona and Maryland USA, 1966-1970 Visiting Professor at Yukawa Institute, Kyoto University, Japan, 1969 Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge; Tutor, Jesus College, Cambridge and College Supervisor in Mathematics; Member of the Graduate Staff of the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, University of Cambridge, 1966-1973 Visiting Professor at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, 1974 and 1976 Director, Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka, 1982-1984 UNDP Consultant/Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka, 1982-1984 Visiting Professor at Institute of Space and Astronautical Studies, Japan, 1993 Visiting Professsor, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, 1994 Professor and Head of the Dept.of Applied Maths and Astronomy, Univ. Coll., Cardiff, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy, University of Cardiff, Wales, 1990-2006 Professor and Director of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology (2006-2020)
Curriculum Vitae, N.C. Wickramasinghe
On November 25th, 2019, Dr. Wickramasinghe specifically warned us the Pandemic was coming. After corresponding regularly for two months on Coronavirus, Chandra shared this paper with the Tusk this week in an email, attached without comment as an aside. I suppose he considered it irrelevant right now.
But Chandra's spot-on warning is relevant. Heretics deserve vindication and Chandra is right. ''Superspreaders'' and ''Community Transmission'' are bullshit. These assumptions are unscientific ''patches'' to the current failed paradigm of virology, akin to ''spirits'' invoked in medieval times to explain what seemed inexplicable.
In light of this information, there may be very relevant and inexpensive mitigation measures such as widespread outdoor spray disinfection, which deserve reevaluation. Spraying public areas is well underway in many nations, but may be underappreciated as a control measure as the trillions of virus makes ''in-fall'' from the Troposphere in winter months. For instance, South Korea apparently has a comprehensive spray program, but none is underway in the United States.
But even if it is too late to address this particular scourge in light of the truth, the critical mass of public interest necessary for the public and gatekeepers to finally listen to Wickramasinghe may be at hand. The readers of this post (thank you my friend Graham Hancock) could assist immediately in the re-consideration of this important idea by posting, sharing, liking, and tweeting this crazy story. Perhaps the information will go viral.
I apologize for the long-winded introduction and hope you enjoy the wisdom of Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe below. This exchange will be updated periodically with additional questions and answers as things develop.
Take care.
Viruses, ET and the octopus from space: the return of panspermia
Previous Tusk posts concerning Wickramasinghe
Three recent Wickramasinghe publications on Coronavirus from space
Click ''Research'' tab here for bibliography and links to peer-reviewed papers
''No, the coronavirus didn't come from outer space. We promise.'' Chelsea Gohd, Space.Com, March 16, 2020
Protest letter to Space.com
Initial questions answered on February 11, 2020.
Q: Dr. C, thank you for joining us here at the Tusk. Do you believe person-to-person viral transmission occurs with Coronavirus or other viruses? If the infection comes from space, how do you account for the ''close quarters'' effect where infection rates run so much higher on cruise ships and such?
It appears that this new virus can be infective only on very close contact. The many cases occurring simultaneously on cruise ships or chalets in ski resorts can be explained if clouds carrying the virus come down in local regions. As for freak ''superspreaders'' this is a myth based on ignorance. If a group of people were exposed to a cloud of the virus and became simultaneously infected from a non-human environmental source of any kind, there would be a dispersion in the times before illness shows up. That is to say the incubation period would have statistical spread, so one case will appear first. To crown him/her a superspreader with a mysterious power is akin to a medieval myth (explained in the attached article).
This idea was first discussed scientifically by the late Sir Fred Hoyle and me in two books '' Diseases from Space (1979) and Evolution from Space (1980). Here we introduced the theory that comets carry bacteria and viruses and that impacts by comets were important for both the beginning of life on Earth and for its further evolution. The first point to make is that the standard view that life originates spontaneously on Earth in a primordial soup or in deep sea thermal vents has no evidence whatsoever to support it. Every experiment that has been done to demonstrate this possibility has been a dismal failure over more than 50 years. The molecular complexity of life '' the information content of life '' is of an exceedingly specific kind and is superastronomical in quantity, and so the origin of life could not have happened on Earth. A few years ago the very oldest evidence of microbial life on Earth was discovered in rocks dated 4300 million years ago '' and this was at a time when the Earth was being relentlessly pounded by comet and asteroid impacts. So there is little doubt now that life on Earth came from impacting comets, and the subsequent evolution of life happened against the backdrop of new bacteria and viruses being introduced via comets, adding new potential for evolution. It is this potential for evolution with new cosmic genes against which Darwinian evolution takes place. So there is no doubt cosmic viruses are in our genes. And this is the reason that new viruses coming from space today can relate to evolved life forms like ourselves.
Q: There is, to say the least, a lot of research and brain power being applied globally to Coronavirus. What are all those big brains and esteemed virologists missing in the data?
It is only relatively recently that scientists have been able to fully grasp the enormous magnitude of the microbial and viral content of the terrestrial biosphere. We now know that a typical liter of surface seawater contains at least 10 billion microbes as well as some 100 billion viruses'--the vast majority of which remain unidentified and characterized to date (See here.) Two years ago an international group of scientists collected bacteria and viruses that fell through the rarefied atmosphere near the 4000 meter peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain. They arrived at an astonishing tally of some 800 million viruses per square metre per day and an associated slightly smaller tally of bacteria '' all of which would of course ultimately fall to the Earth's surface (eg. Reported here). The assumption normally made is that all such viruses and bacteria necessarily originate on the Earth's surface and are swept upwards in air currents. But in such a model many horrendous difficulties associated with the upward transport processes of bacteria and viruses are ignored. I think a significant fraction of this vast number of falling microbes must actually originate outside the terrestrial biosphere and come from cometary sources '' viruses and bacteria that are expelled from comets.
Further evidence comes from sampling the stratosphere for its bacterial and viral content. By sampling the stratosphere at a height of 41 km, using equipment carried using balloons already in 2002 we arrived at an estimated in-fall from this height of 20-200 million bacteria per square meter per day, and 10 to 100 times more viruses, falling downwards to the Earth. These are facts that cannot be ignored, but all too often they are! So, if we take into account all the facts available to date we cannot avoid the conclusion that vast numbers of bacteria and viruses continue to fall through the Earth's atmosphere, and it seems inevitable that a significant fraction is of external origin.
Q: How are comets and their debris stream meteor showers related to the hypothesis?
Comets have of course been regarded with fear by many ancient cultures. Almost without exception comets have been thought to be bad omens '' bringers of pestilence and death. The evidence for comets being implicated in the origin of life and also of diseases on Earth was intensely controversial when these ideas were first proposed. Now there is a growing consensus that comets are in some way be connected to the origin of life. But most people are still fearful about going any further. But facts tell us a different story. If one looks at all the available facts on epidemics throughout history, comets and epidemics appear to be causally linked.
Stories of the sudden spread of plagues and pestilences punctuate human history throughout the millennia. The various epidemics, scattered through history and throughout the world often bear little or no resemblance one to another. But they share a common feature. They often affect entire cities, countries or even widely separated parts of the Earth in a matter of days or weeks.
The Greek Historian Thucydides describes one such epidemic '' the plague of Athens of 429 BC thus:
''It is said to have begun in that part of Ethiopia above Egypt'....On the city of Athens it fell suddenly, and first attacked the men in Piraeus; so that it was even reported by them that the Peloponnesians had thrown poison into the cisterns'.....''
This event from Classical Greece bears striking similarities to the modern events relating to the outbreak of the corona virus in China. Thucydides writes that many families were simultaneously struck by a disease with a combination of symptoms hitherto unknown. The idea of an enemy (the Peloponnesians) poisoning the drinking water rings true to what has happened in the Corona virus outbreak in China.
Very similar descriptions of a sudden onset and rapid global spread is relevant to almost all earlier as well as later epidemics. Extreme swiftness of transmission is hard to comprehend if, as is usually supposed, infection can pass only slowly from person to person or be carried by vectors such as lice and ticks, and more recently, monkeys, bats or snakes. Such explanations are particularly untenable for the many epidemics that occurred before the advent of air travel when movement of people across the Earth was a slow and tedious process.
The general belief, that is by no means well-proven, is that major pandemics, such as influenza, start by random mutation or genetic recombination of a virus or bacterium which then spreads across a susceptible population by direct person-to-person contact. If this is so, it is somewhat surprising that major pandemics tend to be relatively short-lived, usually lasting about a year, and that they do not eventually affect the entire human population, which would not have a specific immunity of any totally new pathogen. We might argue that a primary cometary dust infection is potentially the most lethal, and that secondary person-to-person transmissions have progressively reduced virulence resulting in a diminishing incidence of the disease over a limited period. Infections of a human population could occur directly by contact with ''infected'' meteoritic dust from an exploding cometary bolide, or indirectly by the original cometary infection passing first to rats, lice, primates, bats, snakes which can act as intermediaries.
One important piece of historic evidence that emerged 101 years ago relates to the great Influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 that caused some 20-30 million deaths worldwide.
Reviewing all the available data Dr. L. Weinstein wrote as follows:
''Although person-to-person spread occurred in local areas, the disease appeared on the same day in widely separated parts of the world on the one hand, but on the other, took days to weeks to spread relatively short distances. It was detected in Boston and Bombay on the same day, but took three weeks before it reached New York City, despite the fact that there was considerable travel between the two cities. It was present for the first time at Joliet in the State of Illinois four weeks after it was first detected in Chicago, the distance between those areas being only 38 miles'...'...'' L. Weinstein, New Eng.J.Med, May 1976
The lethal second wave of the influenza pandemic of 1918 thus showing up on the same day in Boston and Bombay defies the realities of human travel at the time. Before the advent of air travel so it was impossible for people to transfer the virus from Boston to Bombay or vice versa. As Sherlock Holmes would have said: ''The case is clear as daylight, my dear Watson: a new virus (or genetic trigger for a circulating virus) clearly fell through the skies simultaneously in locations that were separated by tens of thousands of kilometres.''
Over the following 12 months the infective agent probably became dispersed through the troposphere and came down with an expected seasonal modulation across much of the world.
The abrupt appearance in the literature of references to particular diseases is also significant to recall in that they probably indicate specific invasions of new pathogens. Thus the first clear description of a disease resembling influenza was probably recorded in the 17th century AD, while the earliest reference to the common cold in the literature was about the 15th century AD. Also, it is significant that many historic plagues such as the Plague of Athens (described in meticulous detail by Thucydides) have not been linked to easily recognisable modern counterparts.
A realisation that a cause of the kind we propose may be the most plausible possibility was hinted at by the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who expressed concern about the number of coronavirus cases ''with no clear epidemiological link''. Whilst the total number of cases outside China remains relatively new independent clusters continue to arise sporadically across the planet and is causing consternation and concern. This is precisely the pattern of incidence that we expect from a meteoroid dispersal model that we propose to represent the most likely cause. Whilst many of the clusters of COVID-19 far from Wuhan have been connected with travel to China, others have not. Of particular importance in this connection is the report of some 730 cases in Japan, over 400 in South Korea, over 100 in Northern Italy and 28 Iran '' as on 20 February 2020.
Could you summarize the most important facts with regard to COVID-19 outbreak and how they relate to your long standing theory of disease from space?
On October 11 2019 a meteoritic bolide (probably fragment of a comet) exploded in a brief flash in North East China. We think it probable that this bolide contained embedded within it a monoculture of infective COVID-19 virus particles that survived in the interior of the incandescent meteoroid seen in Fig 1. Although the fireball lit up the skies some 2000km north of Wuhan (the epicentre of the new virus outbreak) parts of the bolide would have, in our view fragmented before ignition and non-destructively dispersed as fine (virus-carrying dust) over Wuhan and a wider surrounding area. From the broad range of arguments that we shall develop in this article we consider the seemingly outrageous possibility (no doubt outrageous to many readers) that literally hundreds of trillions of infective viral particles were then released embedded in the form of fine carbonaceous dust from the flash-exploded bolide.In late November to early December 2019 first human cases 2019-nCoV appear in the Wuhan region and its environs (by all accounts unrelated to Wuhan meat and seafood market).Isolates of virus that have been now studied in many laboratories show very low or no mutation indicating that the incoming virus is essentially a ''monoculture''. This is dramatically different to the picture one gets if the main spread of the virus was through affected victims replicating the virus and spreading copies which inevitably would show mutations over a broad sample of isolates. Everyone in the Wuhan region would have been exposed to essentially the identical virus (including many animals , such as mammals, snakes and even perhaps vegetation).Unsubstantiated claims that people pass on the virus to others without, or before, they show any symptoms implies a very strange pattern of epidemiological behaviour forcing difficulties with the straight forward infective model of human-to-human transmission. On the other hand, the meteorite hypothesis is consistent with a wide regional ''environmental'' contamination which may include clothes, hair, cars, side-walks, trees, grassland, surface water pools and water reservoirs. From a crude look at the evidence it is amply clear that some degree of human-to-human transmission might have occurred, yet it is low or difficult, or confined to intimate family contacts. In the latter instance the contact transfer model is somewhat confused by the fact these intimate social units may have shared or sampled the same infected space.It is also significant that passengers on cruise ships in the China sea and beyond have also been affected without significant evidence of intimate contact with infected individuals. A similar phenomenon was also noticed during the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic when outbreaks were recorded in groups of people who were essentially in isolation at sea over many weeks.A very wide area in China is suspect to be contaminated by viral infall and this area is now evidently been quarantined '' an operation that would probably have been done rationally based on Chinese government sampling for COVID-19 RNA sequences.Foci of COVID-2019 including instances of no detectable epidemiological link to China have now been identified in countries distant from the Wuhan centre. These include 730 in Japan, over 400 in South Korea, over 100 in Northern Italy and 28 Iran .The predominant localisation of the virus within China is the most remarkable aspect of the disease, the first cases of which probably began to show up from November 2019 onward. The fatalities reported so far appears to be confined to individuals, particularly the elderly, with underlying health problems, and the death toll so far is said to be less than the thousands who have died in the US in the past 3 months from seasonal influenza.
But I think the evidence is overwhelming that the spread of this virus occurs primarily to environmental contamination '' the air and surfaces contaminated with falling virus.
The factors governing the actual pattern of global incidence for any particular extra-terrestrial invasion could be complex. If bacteria or viruses are dispersed in a diffuse cloud of small particles, the incidence of disease may well be global. On the other hand, a smaller disintegrating aggregate of infective grain clumps falling over a limited area of the Earth's surface could provide a geographically more localised outbreak of disease. This may have been the case for the Plague of Athens in 429 BCE and the Coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreak in recent weeks. Systematic effects such as air currents over the Earth's surface could also be relevant in controlling the transport and dispersal of clumps of infective particles.
In particular certain latitude belts might well be more favoured than others for either the accumulation and/or the settling of these particles, or indeed for their avoidance. High mountain ranges such as the Himalayas and the Alps that puncture the troposphere would be ideal locations that act like ''bath plugs'' for draining clouds of particles. So also would arctic regions, where the troposphere is particularly thin (6-7 km) during the winter, be first sites of descent. It would not be surprising to find a surge of cases of COVID-19 reported in the future in any of these geographical locations. Indeed, during the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, arctic communities in Alaska far removed from major population centre were ''mysteriously'' struck ; and like in some current situations reported for COVID-19 no epidemiologic link could be traced to distant centres of infection.
What is clear from the emerging data relating to the COVID-19 outbreak is that its spread is by no means easy via the normal person-to-person transmission routes '' eg droplet diffusion. However, a geographical localisation is evident in clusters that range in size from small to huge, clusters that now seem to be spread over a global scale. What we think is important to do is to begin to think in terms of environmental contamination of villages, towns and cities, rather than sources of virus carried by infected individuals alone.
Q: Chandra, I have noticed many nations are spraying disinfectant in public areas, but not the US. Does your comment above suggest the United State should spray disinfectant in order to remove the virus from public spaces? I thought Coronavirus did not live long on surfaces, or is still falling in?
I think it is vitally important that we approach such questions with humility. There remains much about this virus '' its origin and modes of spread that is very poorly understood. The prevailing confidence of ''expert'' opinions stems firstly from the assumption that the virus is known to have originated via animals, or perhaps a sequence of animals. This is far from proven; and if this one assumption turns out to be wrong all that rests upon it is open to serious question. Ongoing genetic studies that are currently being carried out by my collaborator Ted Steele, who is a distinguished biomedical scientist, is showing this could not be true. The alternative view that scientists have been taught to disregard as being crazy and inadmissible is that it came from space. Following the work that was started in the late 1970's in collaboration with the late Sir Fred Hoyle I have examined the epidemiology of many epidemics of respiratory viral diseases over several decades and presented a cogent case to say new viruses, in many instances, have an extraterrestrial origin. This sounds crazy and science-fiction like only because we have been locked into a paradigm of Earth-centred biology and Earth-centred evolution. There is now growing evidence for life '' its origin and all its evolutionary history '' being inextricably linked to the universe at large.
A major paradigm shift is now staring us in the face, and we are trying desperately to resist it at all cost. If the Earth's biosphere extends to infinity '' as is now absolutely clear '' the concept of COVID and other viruses coming from space is no longer to be considered impossible or outrageous in any way.
I believe there are good arguments for asserting that the present pandemic was a combination of several massive infall events (infall of virus laden dust) over the general latitude belt 40-60 degrees north followed by contagion and person to person spread. We have argued that the sudden onslaught starting in China and moving to South Korea, Iran, Italy looks very much like such events. In these cases, one has an instinct to think that surface cleaning will have an effect. The Chinese were seen disinfecting road surfaces, exterior of buildings '' everywhere '' with high speed jets of disinfectant. This may well have worked in their favour.
Q: Is there reason to believe that unprecedented attention and data gathering, and subsequent epidemiological follow-up studies, may reveal flaws in the current paradigm so egregious that the scientific thinking is forced to shift to disease from space?
I believe that in the fullness of time this will be so. Neglecting to admit our biological connection with the external universe could be a matter of life and death for humanity. We have stated many times that the technology for monitoring the stratosphere for incoming viruses does indeed exist at the present time. Having a stratospheric surveillance programme in place could forewarn us of future pandemics before they hit the ground and hit us hard. A paradigm shift towards admitting our cosmic connection and cosmic destiny is in my view long overdue.
Thank you, Chandra Wickramasinghe.
Readers please note the Q&A will continue and this post will be updated periodically as things develop. The most recent questions were asked on March 22nd, 2020.
chandrawickramasinghe coronavirus from space covid-19 from space disease from space graham hancock panspermia Sir Fred Hoyle
George Soros Groups Pushing Democrat Scheme for Mail-In Voting
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 08:21
Progressive organizations, many backed by billionaire activist George Soros, are at the front lines of a campaign advocating for a ''vote by mail'' system in the upcoming presidential election, citing fears that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic makes it too dangerous to vote in person.
President Donald Trump warned that voting by mail would hurt the Republican Party, lambasting Democrat proposals for more money in the coronavirus stimulus bill to fund absentee and vote-by-mail options.
''The things they had in there were crazy,'' Trump said. ''They had things '' levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again.''
Analysts have posited that such proposals help the Democratic Party. Republicans specifically fear the prospect of voter fraud, since mail-in voting would be much harder to authenticate.
Soros's Open Society Foundations have long sought to change the way Americans vote, also funding groups looking to expand the use of electronic and online voting systems nationwide.
Leading the mail-in ballot charge is the Brennan Center for Justice, located at NYU School of Law. The Brennan Center is heavily financed by Soros's Open Society Foundations and is the recipient of numerous Open Society grants. Breitbart News previously reported the Brennan Center was listed in leaked Open Society Foundations documents as receiving funds specifically earmarked for ''litigation to expand access to registration and improve ease of voting.''
Alongside the Brennan Center are a slew of progressive groups tied to Soros money that are working overtime to push mail-in voting. Some of the groups are using the coronavirus crisis to advocate permanent changes to the way Americans vote.
The Brennan Center released a blueprint for voting reform, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, that has been widely cited by news media as making a central argument for a universal vote-by-mail option.
The Brennan document was spotlighted by such outlets as the New York Times, Washington Post, Axios, Politico, the Guardian, and Reuters among many others.
Democrat Sens. Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Chris Coons (DE) cited the Brennan Center's coronavirus voting plan in a letter to House and Senate leaders, urging extra funding for the scheme. Klobuchar and Coons are among over a dozen Democrat senators who introduced a bill last month to allow for the widespread mail-in ballots, along with other updated voting measures for the upcoming presidential election. Democrat Reps. Suzan DelBene (WA), Earl Blumenauer (OR), and Jamie Raskin (MD) introduced a companion bill in the House.
The Brennan Center's plan calls for a ''universal vote-by-mail option for all voters.'' It advocates for ''inactive and recently purged voters (who may have been improperly removed from the rolls)'' to be sent provisional ballots by mail if they request a mail-in ballot.
The Brennan blueprint calls for expanded online voter registration and allows for mail-in ballots to be processed prior to the close of polls on Election Day.
The document lobbies for polling place modification and preparation including ''same-day registration, real-time address updates, and provisional balloting for certain individuals.'' Brennan doesn't define which ''certain individuals'' should receive same-day registration.
Brennan also advocates expanded early voting, with states offering at least two weeks of early in-person voting or a minimum of five days.
''This would be a massive undertaking but I think it's absolutely necessary to make sure that we are prepared to run our elections in November, and I think all the problems we have been having in primaries in the last few weeks is evidence we need to start now,'' said Lawrence Norden, the director of Election Reform at the Brennan Center and one of the report's authors.
The Soros-funded Brennan Center's mail-in ballot plan was weaponized by the Stand Up America activist group, which launched a nationwide program urging Americans to nudge Congress to fund the voting changes. The group's activities reportedly resulted in more than 19,000 calls to congressional offices in one day alone.
Stand Up America is funded by the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which is managed by the shadowy Arabella Advisors, a for-profit consultancy funded by far-left donors. The Soros-funded Democracy Alliance recommended that donors invest several million dollars into Sixteen Thirty Fund.
The massively Soros-funded American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which routinely partners with Brennan, has been pumping materials urging coronavirus voting legislation that pushes mail-in voting.
Soros's Open Society Foundations donated $50 million to the ACLU. The Brennan Center has been the recipient of numerous grants from Soros's Open Society Foundations totaling over $7,466,000 from 2000 to 2010.
Meanwhile, a coalition of progressive groups are reportedly mounting a multimillion-dollar campaign to not only change the presidential election system to mail-in voting during coronavirus, but to keep the mail-in balloting as part of the permanent way Americans will vote in the future.
The other groups in the mail-in advocacy coalition include the National Association of Non-Partisan Reformers, Public Citizen, Common Cause, National Vote at Home Institute and the Center for Secure and Modern Elections.
Common Cause is funded by Soros's Open Society Foundations. So is Public Citizen.
The Center for Secure and Modern Elections is a project of the left-leaning New Venture Fund, which doesn't disclose its donors.
The National Vote at Home Institute is partnered with the Soros-funded League of Women Voters, as well as the Soros-funded Common Cause.
The National Association of Non-Partisan Reformers lists its founding organization members as including FairVote. FairVote is a project of the Soros-funded Center for Voting and Democracy.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, ''Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.'' Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow.
Joshua Klein contributed research to this article. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKlein_
Schumer's Pathetic Attempt to Chastise Trump Backfires - Gregg Jarrett
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 08:16
assing notes in class is a whole new level when you are President of the United States and Senator Chuck Schumer. Yesterday President Trump wrote a letter, on Presidential Seal letterhead, of course, to respond to a very na¯ve letter he received from Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). And it was hilarious. Moral of the story, President Trump called out Senator Schumer for being ''missing in action, except when it comes to the 'press.'' The first sentence of the letter reads: ''Dear Senator Schumer: Thank you for your Democrat public relations letter and incorrect sound bites, which are wrong in every way.''
Trump is referring to the inaccurate details of Schumer's letter, in which he blames ''the tardiness and inadequacy of this Administration's response to the crisis becomes more painfully evident.'' Playing the victim, Schumer says ''shortages of protective equipment, tests, and medical supplies are now beyond acute in my home state of New York.'' Trump's response details four points including that Vice President Pence is in charge of the Task Force and has ''done a spectacular job,'' and The Defense Production Act (DPA) has been used by his administration to ''purchase billions of dollars'' worth of medical supplies, etc.
Trump: ''I've known you for many years, but I never knew how bad a Senator you are for the state of New York until I became President.''
In Schumer's letter, he gives a suggestion to Trump: ''It is long past the time for your Administration to designate a senior military officer to fix this urgent problem.'' Great suggestion, Schumer. So great, in fact, that it has already been done and you are too busy with your accusatory claims to understand facts. Trump's third point in the letter addressed Schumer's vanity directly: ''A senior military officer' is in charge of purchasing, distributing, etc. His name is Rear Admiral John Polowcyzk'...my team gave you this information, but for public relations purposes, you choose to ignore it.''
The fourth and final point addressed New York directly saying how many supplies have been given to the state such as hospitals, medical centers, supplies, ventilators and more. Trump tells Schumer ''you should have had New York much better prepared than you did.'' Then Trump goes in for the kill: ''if you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax, which went haplessly on forever and ended up going nowhere (except increasing my poll numbers), and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared.''
''No wonder AOC and others are thinking about running against you in the primary. If they did, they would likely win.'' pic.twitter.com/Mhh9Bhd8Lo
'-- Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) April 2, 2020
Ouch. But wait, there's more: ''No wonder AOC and others are thinking about running against you in the primary. If they did, they would likely win.'' Wrapping up the letter, Trump states ''I've known you for many years, but I never knew how bad a Senator you are for the state of New York until I became President.''
FBI Warns of Teleconferencing and Online Classroom Hijacking During COVID-19 Pandemic '-- FBI
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 18:53
As large numbers of people turn to video-teleconferencing (VTC) platforms to stay connected in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, reports of VTC hijacking (also called ''Zoom-bombing'') are emerging nationwide. The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language.
Within the FBI Boston Division's area of responsibility (AOR), which includes Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, two schools in Massachusetts reported the following incidents:
In late March 2020, a Massachusetts-based high school reported that while a teacher was conducting an online class using the teleconferencing software Zoom, an unidentified individual(s) dialed into the classroom. This individual yelled a profanity and then shouted the teacher's home address in the middle of instruction.A second Massachusetts-based school reported a Zoom meeting being accessed by an unidentified individual. In this incident, the individual was visible on the video camera and displayed swastika tattoos.As individuals continue the transition to online lessons and meetings, the FBI recommends exercising due diligence and caution in your cybersecurity efforts. The following steps can be taken to mitigate teleconference hijacking threats:
Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people.Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to ''Host Only.''Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.Lastly, ensure that your organization's telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security.If you were a victim of a teleconference hijacking, or any cyber-crime for that matter, report it to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. Additionally, if you receive a specific threat during a teleconference, please report it to us at tips.fbi.gov or call the FBI Boston Division at (857) 386-2000.
Zoom's privacy and security woes in the spotlight | WeLiveSecurity
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 18:53
The seemingly insatiable demand among people and businesses alike helps reveal a rash of privacy and security issues facing the platform
The seemingly insatiable demand among people and businesses alike helps reveal a rash of privacy and security issues facing the platform
As countless people are confined to their homes amid efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of videoconferencing software for work, education and leisure is exploding. Of all such communication tools du jour that were suddenly thrust into the limelight, probably none stands out as much as Zoom.
The skyrocketing demand among people and businesses alike has helped reveal a rash of privacy and security challenges facing the platform, which is now used even for daily meetings of the UK Government (though, interestingly, the UK Ministry of Defense forbids its employees from using the app).
The app's maker is weathering a storm of criticism from various quarters, including privacy advocates, security experts, several U.S. state attorneys general, a U.S. lawmaker, and the FBI. Bad news have kept piling up in recent days, prompting the company to respond.
On Wednesday, the firm's founder and CEO Eric S. Yuan apologized for the issues and outlined measures to beef up Zoom's security and privacy. He also announced a 90-day feature freeze, adding that the company was shifting all its engineering resources to ''focus on our biggest trust, safety, and privacy issues''.
Here's a rundown of five of the key issues Zoom has had to address since last week:
Zoom's privacy policy failed to mention that the iOS version of the its app was sending analytics data to Facebook even when the users don't have a Facebook account, according to a Vice report last week. The company acknowledged the issue and removed the Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK) for iOS. Zoom is still facing a class-action lawsuit in California over the practice.Despite claims to the contrary, the app's video and audio meetings don't support end-to-end encryption, according to research by The Intercept. Zoom later apologized and clarified that it uses transport encryption known as TLS. The key difference is that the latter doesn't put users' communications out of the company's reach.The app was also found to contain several security vulnerabilities, though they were all fixed in short order. Its Windows client was found susceptible to a UNC path injection flaw that could expose people's Windows login credentials and even lead to the execution of arbitrary commands on their devices. Two more bugs, this time affecting Zoom's MacOS client, could have enabled a local attacker to take control of a vulnerable computer.The company has also dropped Zoom's 'attendee tracking', a feature that made it possible for a meeting's host to check whether the participants were actually paying attention when the host was in screen-sharing mode.The FBI has released a warning against a phenomenon dubbed ''Zoom-bombing'' following multiple reports that trolls and pranksters invaded private meetings and school classes to display disturbing images.The issues could have affected a vast number of people, as the platform saw a surge from 10 million to 200 million daily users over the past three months. By Yuan's own admission, Zoom has been overwhelmed by its own unforeseen success.
''We now have a much broader set of users who are utilizing our product in a myriad of unexpected ways, presenting us with challenges we did not anticipate when the platform was conceived,'' he said.
How to stay safeEven in this remote-work era (and not only when it comes to videoconferencing), we shouldn't overlook the privacy and security side of things. No matter how slick and feature-rich any software is, it may bring new threats, and with them come added responsibilities. The most effective measures you can take to protect your security and privacy when using Zoom include:
Using passwords and/or vetting meeting participants with the help of Zoom's 'Waiting Room' feature.Limiting screen sharing to the host.Running Zoom's latest version.Refraining from sharing links or meeting IDs on social media.Indeed, consider using meeting IDs rather than links when inviting other participants, as there's been a surge in malicious Zoom-themed domains that seek to capitalize on the app's unexpected success.In order to stay safe when using videoconferencing apps, be sure to read our in-depth article on the topic:Work from home: Videoconferencing with security in mind
TomÅ Folt½n3 Apr 2020 - 10:30PM
Who's Right: Donald Trump or the Media? - American Renaissance
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 17:40
I've seen this posted everywhere; article after article in the mainstream media telling us to stop worrying about the coronavirus.
I checked them all, and every one is real.
''We Should Deescalate the War on the Coronavirus,'' by Robert Dingwall, Wired, January 29, 2020''As the coronavirus spreads, fear is fueling racism and xenophobia,'' by Jessie Yeung, CNN, January 31, 2020''You're Likely to Get the Coronavirus,'' by James Hamblin, The Atlantic, February 24, 2020''Is the Coronavirus Worse Than The Flu? Here's How the 2 Illnesses Compare,'' by Leah Groth, Health, February 26, 2020. The subtitle is, ''It depends on what you mean by 'worse.''' A doctor quoted in the story says the flu is worse, but that the coronavirus spreads more easily.''The Fear of the Coronavirus, and the Reality of the Flu,'' by Simon Murray, HCPLive, February 10, 2020. The final sentence says the outbreak ''serves as a surrogate for a good deal of xenophobia and fear of the country [China] itself.''''Panic over coronavirus could be caused by flu numbers,'' by Renae Skinner, KOAA, February 7, 2020''The Flu Is a Way Bigger Threat to Most People in The US Than Coronavirus. Here's Why,'' by Aylin Woodward, Business Insider, January 25, 2020''Heath official: You are more likely to catch flu in Oregon than deadly Wuhan coronavirus,'' by Stephanie Rothman and KVAL.com staff, KVAL, January 22, 2020''Is the new virus more 'deadly' than flu? Not exactly,'' Associated Press, February 18, 2020''Amid coronavirus panic, doctors remind public: Flu is deadlier, more widespread,'' by Denis Dador, Eyewitness News 7, March 4, 2020''MD Flu Deaths Climb As Flu More Worrisome Than Coronavirus,'' by Deb Belt, Patch, February 23, 2020''New coronavirus may be no more dangerous than the flu despite worldwide alarm: experts,'' by Tom Blackwell, National Post, February 3, 2020''Experts warn flu is greater risk than coronavirus,'' by WICS/WRSP staff, News Channel ABC 20, February 13, 2020''Want to Protect Yourself From Coronavirus. Do the Same Things You Do Every Winter,'' by Jamie Ducharme, Time, January 31, 2020''Doctor suggests worrying about the common flu, not coronavirus,'' by Michael Martin, Fox 17 West Michigan, January 31, 2020''New coronavirus is likely to go pandemic, but that's no reason to panic or overreact,'' by Bob England and Will Humble, AZCentral, February 25, 2020''Relax! Coronavirus is Less Dangerous Than the Flu, Says Epidemic Expert,'' by Mark Emem, CCN, January 31, 2020''The Flu Is Still a Bigger Health in the U.S. than Novel Coronavirus,'' by Lesley McClurg, KQED, January 29, 2020''Why are we panicked about coronavirus '' and calm about the flu?'' by Anthony DiFlorio, The Hill, February 4, 2020''Flu hitting Arizona more than usual this season, despite attention on coronavirus,'' by Mike Pelton, ABC 15, February 6, 2020''New coronavirus spreads more like flu than SARS: Chinese study,'' by Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters, February 19, 2020''Forget the Coronavirus: The Flu Pandemic of 1918 Killed More People in One Year than all of World War I,'' by Sebastien Roblin, National Interest, February 15, 2020''The Virus Killing U.S. Kids Isn't the One Dominating the Headlines,'' by Michael Daly, Daily Beast, February 6, 2020. Hint: It's a three-letter-word that begins with F.''Is Coronavirus Spreading Faster Than SARS, Ebola, and Swine Flu?'' by Dan Evon, Snopes, February 26, 2020''Why we panic about coronavirus, but not the flu,'' by Bob Herman, Axios, January 29, 2020''Coronavirus is deadly, but flu has claimed over 8,000 lives this season,'' by Jasmine Vaughn-Hall, York Daily Record, January 31, 2020Several articles reported that the flu had, at the time, killed more people than the virus. Today, journalists at many publications are slamming President Trump for having compared coronavirus to the flu, but their colleagues did the same thing. Vox didn't just compare coronavirus to the flu, but said the new disease might ''look more like the common cold than like SARS.''
Vox shamelessly deleted an article that assured readers we wouldn't get ''a deadly pandemic.''
This matters because many journalists now refuse to cover President Trump's press conferences. They say the briefings are ''falsehood-filled,'' to use New York Magazine's phrase. They want a monopoly on information, which is not reassuring when they are so reliably unreliable.
President Trump made the same mistake many journalists did, and he didn't act strongly when he should have. However, he did ban travel from China and imposed a quarantine on returning travelers.
He was blasted for that:
''Coronavirus quarantine, travel ban could backfire, experts fear,'' by Alice Miranda Ollstein, Politico, February 4, 2020''The US coronavirus travel ban could backfire. Here's how,'' by Catherine Shoichet, CNN, February 7, 2020''Coronavirus: could the US government's quarantine and travel ban backfire?,'' by Sam Levin, The Guardian, February 4, 2020On January 31, Joe Biden attacked President Trump's ''hysteria xenophobia [sic], hysterical xenophobia.'' In March, Bernie Sanders said if the choice were his, he wouldn't close the borders; he would listen to ''scientists'' instead.
This all seems ridiculous now that we are trapped in our own homes. It would have been better to have one large wall around the whole country rather than countless little ones inside it.
The press also heaped scorn on President Trump for offering ''false hope'' when he mentioned the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine.
''Coronavirus treatment: Dr. Donald Trump peddles snake oil and false hope,'' USA Today Editorial Board, March 21, 2020''Trump's claim that malaria drug can treat coronavirus gives hope, but little evidence it will work,'' by Berkeley Lovelace Jr., CNBC, March 26, 2020''Trump touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid-19. Don't believe the hype,'' by Oliver Milman, The Guardian, March 28, 2020Twitter removed a tweet from Laura Ingraham that claimed there were ''very promising results.'' Once again, a tech company decided what people should read.
President Trump didn't say it was a cure. He said there was promising evidence, but the New York Times tried to blame him when a couple foolishly drank fish-tank cleaner. The husband died and his wife barely survived. ''The drug, known as chloroquine phosphate or chloroquine,'' wrote Neil Vigdor in The New York Times, ''has been bandied about by President Trump during White House briefings on the coronavirus pandemic as a potential 'game changer'.'' But President Trump had not recommended that specific chemical '-- chloroquine phosphate '-- something the Axios news site admitted when it deleted a tweet blaming him.
On April 2, thousands of doctors reported in a poll that hydroxychloroquine actually is the most effective known treatment for coronavirus. A small study from China reported it is effective in treating patients with mild cases. A test of the drug's preventive power is also underway. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whom many Democrats want to be their presidential nominee, has already begun a larger clinical trial. It's wrong to claim hydroxychloroquine works, but President Trump wasn't just making things up. If he was selling ''snake oil,'' so is Andrew Cuomo.
President Trump should have done more to prevent this crisis. His claim that it could be over by Easter was stupid. Of course, had he done what was necessary, journalists would have said he was using Nazi tactics. Some do anyway.
The Forward claimed that President Trump referring to a ''foreign virus'' is ''as dangerous as coronavirus itself'' and ''straight out of the Nazi playbook.''''Trump Is Using Pandemic Panic to Ramp Up Attacks on Migrants,'' said The Nation. ''Be Careful,'' warned The Guardian. ''Trump may exploit the coronavirus for authoritarian ends.''If only. Had he done so a few months ago, I could take my family out to dinner instead of being stuck in my house.
In an emergency, we need to know whom we can trust for accurate information. President Trump sometimes exaggerates, dissembles, or outright lies, but so do journalists, usually because they want to attack the president. Worse, many journalists believe they should decide what we should know.
Whoever is right, our economy has collapsed, millions are unemployed, thousands are dead, and people are wearing masks just to go to the grocery store. You can make a strong case that if President Trump had taken ''racist'' measures sooner, we would have avoided the worst. Of course, if Joe Biden thinks ''hysterical xenophobia'' was the problem, Democrats would have made a terrible hash of things.
Journalists have power '-- more than most politicians. Read their stories from the last few months, and see how they used that power.
Nationalism isn't ''as dangerous as coronavirus.'' Nationalism could have stopped the virus. I'm frustrated with President Trump, but I'm furious with these journalists.
Billionaire founder of Zoom offloads more than $38M of company stock | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 17:28
The CEO and founder of Zoom Video Communications has offloaded more than $38million worth of stock in the company now facing intense scrutiny over alleged privacy breaches, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Zoom's profile and stock skyrocketed as millions of users turned to it to keep in touch with colleagues, friends and family during the COVID-19 crisis lockdowns. But it has been hit by a string of privacy concerns and allegations that the company failed to live up to its claim that communications were 'end to end encrypted.'
Instead, code in the original App allowed users' personal data to be disclosed to third parties, including Facebook.
Zoom launched an updated app on March 27 which, they claim has fixed the problem but two lawsuits have already been filed by users alleging breaches in privacy and the company is currently being investigated by the New York Attorney General and the FBI.
CEO of Zoom Video Communication Eric Yuan, 50, along with several senior executives sold millions of dollars' worth of their shares
Zoom has been hit by privacy concerns and allegations that the company failed to live up to its claim that communications were 'end to end encrypted'
Now, Security Exchange Commission insider trading records seen by DailyMail.com show that, while the company was struggling to address these privacy issues, CEO Eric Yuan, 50, along with several senior executives sold millions of dollars' worth of their shares. All have declared their sales to the SEC as legally required.
Janine Pelosi, Chief Marketing Officer, has made close to $14 million in trades since February
Yuan, whose $6.8billion fortune was built on the video conferencing platform and app which went public last April, made $10.5million on January 14, $12.5million on February 12 and $15.5million on March 16.
Chief Marketing Officer Janine Pelosi, 35, who today publicly admitted that the 'platform was not designed for consumers' and that the huge uptake in users forced Zoom to re-evaluate a lot - specifically privacy settings '' has made close to $14million in trades since February.
Records show that Pelosi has made 13 trades since 2019, for the most part steadily trading between 13 and 15,000 shares at a time.
But on February 18 she made by far her largest trade to date, selling 81,850 units of Zoom stock and pocketing $7.76million. She sold a further 31,850 units on March 9 and 15,623 units on March 16 in trades that brought $3.4million and $1.7million respectively.
Chief Financial Officer, Kelly Steckelberg has traded $5.3million of her shares and company Director Santiago Subotovksy has made $16.8million in two trades in March alone.
Reports of the platform's vulnerability to hacking were circulating as early as July 2019.
In recent weeks a string of reports including investigations posted on Vice's Motherboard exposed potential data breaches as Zoom's popularity surged with millions working from home and self-isolating through the coronavirus pandemic.
Among some of the issues faced by the platform is so-called 'Zoom bombing' in which hackers hijack video conferences to show pornography or hate messages. This is currently under investigation by the FBI.
Chief Financial Officer, Kelly Steckelberg (with Yuan at left) has traded $5.3million of her shares and company Director Santiago Subotovksy (right) has made $16.8million in two trades in March alone
Zoom's profile and stock skyrocketed as millions of users turned to it to keep in touch with colleagues, friends and family during the COVID-19 crisis lockdowns (stock photo)
The company's share price has dipped as Zoom has faced backlash. By close of day Wednesday stock had fallen 6 percent '' making it the third day straight of declines.
As of today the stock is down 12 percent. Yuan owns 20.5 -22 percent of the stock, according to reports.
His peak sale was at $110.7, though stock went higher (Subotovsky managed to sell at $121) and the sales at the beginning of the year were running around $80-$90.
When the company went public in April 2019 shares were $36. By the end of that day they'd gone up 72 percent.
And the stock price, which had rocketed up over 115 percent in the first two months of the year, has now toppled by 10 percent since March 27 alone.
A spokesperson for Zoom Video Communications told DailyMail.com that, 'As is common among public companies, certain Zoom executives and Board members have pre-set trading plans that will automatically generate at predetermined times with no input from them.'
He added, 'Additionally, a portion of Eric's trades are not sales, but donations to humanitarian causes,' and pointed out that all of the executives named still own a significant amount of Zoom stock and remained, 'extremely optimistic,' about the company's future.
Outrageous! Dr. Birx Went All-In on Bill Gates-Funded Coronavirus Model - Sits on Gates-Funded Foundation Board - Blunt Force Truth
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 17:13
Dr. Birx decided to throw away several proposed models for the Coronavirus outbreak and went all-in on a single model funded by Bill Gates.
As TGP reported Thursday, the IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) model for the Coronavirus the White House is relying on is complete garbage.
The US economy has been virtually shut down, unemployment spiked and small businesses are on the verge of shuttering based on faulty projections.
The IHME model, which is funded by Bill Gates, is using New York and New Jersey data and applying it to the rest of the US.
It predicted that over 121,000 Americans would be hospitalized Wednesday over the Coronavirus. The actual number? 31,142.
Read the full story from The Gateway Pundit
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Dismissed U.S. carrier captain gets hero's ovation from crew - Reuters
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 16:07
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The captain of a U.S. aircraft carrier relieved of his command after seeking stronger measures in response to a coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship was given a hero's ovation by his crew when he left the vessel, video posted on Twitter showed.
FILE PHOTO: Captain Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, addresses the crew during an all-hands call on the ship's flight deck in the eastern Pacific Ocean December 19, 2019. Picture taken December 19, 2019. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Huynh/Handout via REUTERS
A brief clip showed Captain Brett Crozier walking down the gangplank of the Theodore Roosevelt as crew members repeatedly chanted ''Captain Crozier, Captain Crozier!''
Crozier turned to wave at the crew after he stepped ashore in Guam.
The removal of Crozier, first reported by Reuters, was announced by acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who said the captain of the nuclear-powered vessel of 5,000 crew members had exercised poor judgment in the way he ''broadly'' distributed a letter to superiors.
In his four-page letter, Crozier, who took command in November, described a bleak situation aboard the carrier as more of his crew began falling ill.
He called for ''decisive action'': removing more than 4,000 sailors from the ship and isolating them, and wrote that unless the Navy acted immediately it would be failing to properly safeguard ''our most trusted asset - our sailors.''
The letter put the Pentagon on the defensive and alarmed the families of those on the vessel, whose home port is in San Diego.
President Donald Trump, when asked about the captain during a White House news conference on Thursday, disputed the notion that Crozier appeared to have been disciplined for trying to save the lives of sailors.
''I don't agree with that at all. Not at all. Not even a little bit,'' Trump said.
Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden said that the Trump administration showed ''poor judgment'' in relieving a warship commander who was trying to stem a coronavirus outbreak among his crew.
Separately, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told Reuters on Friday that Crozier would not be thrown out of the Navy, but rather reassigned as the Navy probed the incident.
Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Mary Milliken and Paul Simao
Gov. Bill Lee used cell phone data to issue stay-at-home order
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 15:45
Posted: Fri 12:24 AM, Apr 03, 2020
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) Governor Bill Lee said he's used cell phone data to see Tennesseans are becoming more active since he asked people to stay at home last month. That data, he said in a press conference on Thursday, weighed heavily on his decision to issue a stay at home order.
His use of cell phone data has some concerned for their privacy.
"It's been said your phones actually a tracking device that you can talk on, and that's pretty true," LMU Law Professor Stewart Harris said.
We're always looking for the newest gadget and latest app. We quickly accept terms and conditions without even thinking about it.
"We click on that button," Harris said.'I accept your terms of service I assert that I've read them,' but of course no one actually reads them. In those terms of service you're agreeing to that company to share whatever data it collects about you, and that's precisely what they do."
Harris said companies then sell that money to advertisers, other companies, and even the State of Tennessee.
"We saw the numbers of movement by their cell phone activity the movement of those cell phones and that data is what weighed into this decision," Governor Bill Lee said.
He said the state looked at data collected by a company called Unacast. It showed Tennesseans were becoming more active in recent days, which could increase the spread of the coronavirus.
"There was clearly a rise in movement back to levels we hadn't had for many days before," Lee said.
Harris said people shouldn't be too concerned about privacy in this case.
"What they are selling is aggregated information," Harris said. "The governor can look in aggregate what people in Tennessee are doing, but he can't look at what you're doing in particular that's the essential difference here."
He said while we all might not like giving up all this information, it's the way of the world now, and the governor is doing what he legally can to keep Tennesseans safe
"He needs as much data as he can get," Harris said. "In this particular circumstance, there doesn't seem to be much compromising of privacy interests of Tennesseans, so this is a good exercise of his powers."
Copyright 2020 WVLT News. All rights reserved.
Grand-niece of JFK and son missing after accident: report
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 15:42
By Natalie O'Neill
April 3, 2020 | 3:33pm
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean (pink dress), seen here with her husband David McKean (left) and family, has gone missing along with her son Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean. Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Gala and Auction
A grand-niece of President John F. Kennedy and her son disappeared off the coast of Maryland '-- and search crews have been scrambling to find them for nearly 24 hours, according to a report Friday.
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, was at her mother's home in Shady Side overlooking the Chesapeake Bay at 4 p.m. Thursday when she and her 8-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean, hopped into a canoe, according to the Washington Post.
The child had been kicking a ball with other kids when it fell into the water, and the pair went to retrieve it amid high winds, her husband, David McKean, told the paper.
''[They] popped into a canoe to chase it down. They just got farther out than they could handle, and couldn't get back in,'' David McKean said.
McKean, 40, was at the home of her mother, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, when she went missing, he said.
Maeve Kennedy McKean greets Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) during a rally. CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesDavid McKean refused to say whether the boat had been found, but the Maryland Department of Natural Resources police told the paper that one matching its description had been recovered.
A concerned person called authorities around 4:30 p.m. Thursday to say he had seen the canoe near the Columbia Beach pier, according to Capt. Erik Kornmeyer, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.
The caller reported that boaters were ''seen struggling to return to shore in a canoe'' near Herring Bay amid high winds before vanishing, the Coast Guard said.
Rescuers searched for the missing pair until nightfall Thursday and began again Friday morning, to no avail. A spokesman for the US Coast Guard told the Washington Post the wind in that part of the bay reached about 30 mph Thursday afternoon, with waves 2 to 3 feet high.
The Kennedy family has been plagued by tragedies ranging from the assassinations of McKean's grandfather and great-uncle to the death of her cousin Saoirse Kennedy Hill last year.
COVID-19 Plunges Eurozone Into Crisis With European Currency on Verge of Exploding - Sputnik International
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 15:39
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The coronavirus pandemic is now challenging the core European taboo under the European Treaty, the issuance of eurobonds, but as the situation becomes increasingly dramatic, EU member states are feeling the need for the strongest of medicine to get over the looming coronavirus-induced economic crisis.
On Thursday, the heads of European states held a teleconference organised by the European Council in an attempt to find solutions to avert an economic slump following the shutting down of Italy, Spain, and France's economies.
Mario Centeno, Portugal's finance minister and president of the Eurogroup, said that the main goal of Brussels in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis was to set up new "lines of defence" for the euro.
"Our aim is to add new lines of defence to the euro, preventing this economic crisis from morphing into a financial one. This is what will be at the #Eurogroup table this evening", he tweeted before the teleconference.Our aim is to add new lines of defence to the euro, preventing this economic crisis from morphing into a financial one. This is what will be at the #Eurogroup table this evening pic.twitter.com/XwFA1aBHrL
'-- Mrio Centeno (@mariofcenteno) March 24, 2020At the same time, Paul De Grauwe, a professor of European political economy at the London School of Economics and one of the most respected economists in Europe, made a shocking declaration, saying he is "very pessimistic about the future of the euro", and that "the Eurozone might blow up".
Of course, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen communicated the importance of the issue for all Europeans. She even conscientiously washed her hands on camera, humming Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", Europe's official anthem.
"When Europe really needed to be there for each other, too many initially looked out for themselves. When Europe really needed an 'all for one' spirit, too many initially gave an 'only for me' response. And when Europe really needed to prove that this is not only a 'fair weather Union', too many initially refused to share their umbrella", she said when delivering a speech at a European Parliament plenary session on Europe's coordinated response to the COVID-19 outbreak.EU states now need to make decisions to inject enough liquidity in the market to save companies from bankruptcy and the domino effect it would trigger for banks if their loans are not reimbursed, as well as for a high number of small- and medium-sized enterprises and private consumption of citizens, whose revenues are dwindling even if they have not lost their jobs.
For the European Central Bank (ECB), its President Christine Lagarde has already announced a purchase of European bonds worth 750 billion euros ($837 billion) by the end of 2020, but according to many economists, the need is much greater, especially in the worst-hit countries like Italy and Spain, which are also the most indebted. Meanwhile, Germany, the Netherlands, and the Nordic member states still refuse to wipe out the very large legacy debt of these countries.
Possible Blow-Up of EurozoneWhile European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks of an "all for one" spirit, Germany and other countries that have always respected the Maastricht Treaty, like Austria, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg do not want to pay for those who did not follow the rules, run annual deficits above 3 percent, and have a consolidated debt of much more than the 60 percent allowable maximum.
The bad pupils in the class are Greece, which is a desperate case, but also Italy, Spain, Belgium, and even France who only adhered to the Maastricht criteria for two years after their implementation in 1992.
A tourist wears a protective mask outside Puerta del Sol square amid the novel coronavirus outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 27, 2020
However, the current COVID-19 crisis seems to be so deep that a different type of agreement must be reached. According to Paul De Grauwe, Europeans must do everything to ensure that this temporary supply and demand shock will not have permanent consequences.
De Grauwe calls for a temporary unemployment benefit of 80-90 percent of gross wages and no bankruptcies to be declared during the confinement and post-confinement phases of the epidemic.
"The twin supply and demand shocks we are going through are likely to trigger many 'domino effects'. Companies with large fixed costs that suffer a sudden fall in income will quickly face financial difficulties or even bankruptcy. When that happens, the banks and other entities that have lent money to these companies will also be in trouble. A massive economic shock can lead to a banking crisis", de Grauwe said at a teleconference organised by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), a think tank subsidised by the European Commission.The economist stated that the crisis would affect not only businesses and banks, but would also pose fiscal risks to governments.
"But the falling dominoes will not stop there. Governments could also face fiscal dangers when they step in to mitigate the crisis. In the case of the current pandemic, national governments will need to save businesses from bankruptcy by granting financial support and subsidies, assist workers by funding temporary unemployment schemes, and possibly even come to the rescue of large banks", he continued.
In contrast to the 2008 financial crisis, the initial shock is now coming from the real economy being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires national governments to intervene on a massive scale.
"We now see that the Maastricht idea that a country must keep its debt low in order to prepare for emergencies was a good thing after all. Italy or Spain are not in that situation and are now struggling", German economist Daniel Gros said at the CEPR conference.
Moreover, de Grauwe expressed concerns that the Eurozone could "blow up" if Europe does not show solidarity.
"The more their debt increases, the greater the risk that their bondholders will panic, as we saw during 2010-2012 sovereign debt crisis. And the countries experiencing the largest debt increase as a result of the coronacrisis '-- Italy, Spain, and France '-- are among the four largest eurozone economies. If Europe cannot show solidarity, the public resentment, the political backlash against the EU would be enormous, and I am afraid this would lead to a blow-up of the Eurozone", he said.All European heads of state agree on one thing '-- there cannot be an unlimited guarantee for Italy's legacy public debt, which amounts to 132 percent of Italian GDP, even though it is not supposed to exceed 60 percent.
Eurobonds or Direct Transfer?For some time, Italian economists, bankers, and academics have been toying with the idea of eurobonds implying that the bloc would issue eurobonds and indebt itself to inject liquidity into the countries that need direct financial help to avoid bankruptcies and irreparable damage to their economy. The ECB will be in charge of that.
Christine Lagarde announced the ECB's readiness to buy up distressed governments' bonds through its programme, Outright Monetary Transactions, which was tested during the 2010 financial crisis, but this time without any strings attached.
People walk through a near-empty Duomo square, usually full of people, as a coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy continues to grow, in Milan, Italy February 28, 2020.
According to de Grauwe, the issuance of eurobonds is definitely needed in the current situation.
"This is an existential crisis, the issuance of eurobonds, which is the next step, is forbidden by the EU Treaty, but 'Salvus populi, suprema lex' ['the welfare of the people is the supreme law' in Latin], we need a massive issuance of eurobonds, otherwise this crisis would leave permanent legacy of unsustainable debt level, condemning these southern countries to decades of austerity. It would undermine the enthusiasm for Europe. I trust lawyers to come up with a creative solution for the member states to issue perpetual corona bonds, that would be bought a few years later by the ECB on the secondary market. It is time to set dogmas apart!" the economist explained.According to Daniel Gros, European nations should "organise a direct transfer", not in the form of a loan, to the countries most severely hit by the pandemic.
"We must organise a direct transfer to the countries that are impacted by the asymmetric shock. Italy is the worst-hit and one of the countries with the highest debt. It should not be in the form of a loan, or a eurobond. With a direct transfer from the European budget, their existing debt would not increase and it would be a concrete sign of solidarity. It would not be paid back and would not be a debt such as a eurobond. It would not be taken out of the current EU budget, which would need to be adapted, and it would only affect Italy and Spain. In other words, it would not need a huge increase of the European budget which now represents some 1.2 percent of the European GDP", Gros stated.
Options on the... ScreenOn 26 March, the 27 heads of state and government of the EU were supposed to meet again to negotiate a budget for 2021-2027 after failing to reach an agreement on 20 February. None of them could have imagined that one month later they would be discussing ways to respond to the most serious health crisis of the century via a videoconference.
Before the meeting with the council members, President of the European Council Charles Michel and European Commission chief von der Leyen participated in a G20 leaders' videoconference called by Saudi Arabia, who currently holds the G20 presidency.
Given that Europe is currently one of the epicentres of the global COVID-19 crisis, Michel and von der Leyen thanked all the G20 leaders for the solidarity shown toward the European Union and its member states most affected by the crisis. They also underlined that the bloc is committed to international cooperation in curbing this pandemic and will continue to assist vulnerable countries and communities around the world, especially in Africa.
The presidents of the council and the commission stressed that unprecedented events required unprecedented action and that fast, massive, and coordinated global action was necessary on the health and economic fronts to save lives and avoid a further economic crisis.
As for economic measures, the EU admitted having been late in perceiving the importance of the COVID-19 crisis.
Starting Monday, all member states were given permission to spend as much as they wanted over the 3 percent budget deficit limit.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
Dr. John Lee, How deadly is the coronavirus? It's still far from clear - James Fetzer
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:24
In announcing the most far-reaching restrictions on personal freedom in the history of our nation, Boris Johnson resolutely followed the scientific advice that he had been given. The advisers to the government seem calm and collected, with a solid consensus among them. In the face of a new viral threat, with numbers of cases surging daily, I'm not sure that any prime minister would have acted very differently.
But I'd like to raise some perspectives that have hardly been aired in the past weeks, and which point to an interpretation of the figures rather different from that which the government is acting on. I'm a recently-retired Professor of Pathology and NHS consultant pathologist, and have spent most of my adult life in healthcare and science '' fields which, all too often, are characterised by doubt rather than certainty. There is room for different interpretations of the current data. If some of these other interpretations are correct, or at least nearer to the truth, then conclusions about the actions required will change correspondingly.
The simplest way to judge whether we have an exceptionally lethal disease is to look at the death rates. Are more people dying than we would expect to die anyway in a given week or month? Statistically, we would expect about 51,000 to die in Britain this month. At the time of writing, 422 deaths are linked to Covid-19 '-- so 0.8 per cent of that expected total. On a global basis, we'd expect 14 million to die over the first three months of the year. The world's 18,944 coronavirus deaths represent 0.14 per cent of that total. These figures might shoot up but they are, right now, lower than other infectious diseases that we live with (such as flu). Not figures that would, in and of themselves, cause drastic global reactions.
Initial reported figures from China and Italy suggested a death rate of 5 per cent to 15 per cent, similar to Spanish flu. Given that cases were increasing exponentially, this raised the prospect of death rates that no healthcare system in the world would be able to cope with. The need to avoid this scenario is the justification for measures being implemented: the Spanish flu is believed to have infected about one in four of the world's population between 1918 and 1920, or roughly 500 million people with 50 million deaths. We developed pandemic emergency plans, ready to snap into action in case this happened again.
At the time of writing, the UK's 422 deaths and 8,077 known cases give an apparent death rate of 5 per cent. This is often cited as a cause for concern, contrasted with the mortality rate of seasonal flu, which is estimated at about 0.1 per cent. But we ought to look very carefully at the data. Are these figures really comparable?
Most of the UK testing has been in hospitals, where there is a high concentration of patients susceptible to the effects of any infection. As anyone who has worked with sick people will know, any testing regime that is based only in hospitals will over-estimate the virulence of an infection. Also, we're only dealing with those Covid-19 cases that have made people sick enough or worried enough to get tested. There will be many more unaware that they have the virus, with either no symptoms, or mild ones.
Any testing regime that is based only in hospitals will overestimate the virulence of an infection. That's why, when Britain had 590 diagnosed cases, Sir Patrick Vallance, the government's chief scientific adviser, suggested that the real figure was probably between 5,000 and 10,000 cases, ten to 20 times higher. If he's right, the headline death rate due to this virus is likely to be ten to 20 times lower, say 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent. That puts the Covid-19 mortality rate in the range associated with infections like flu.But there's another, potentially even more serious problem: the way that deaths are recorded. If someone dies of a respiratory infection in the UK, the specific cause of the infection is not usually recorded, unless the illness is a rare 'notifiable disease'. So the vast majority of respiratory deaths in the UK are recorded as bronchopneumonia, pneumonia, old age or a similar designation. We don't really test for flu, or other seasonal infections. If the patient has, say, cancer, motor neurone disease or another serious disease, this will be recorded as the cause of death, even if the final illness was a respiratory infection. This means UK certifications normally under-record deaths due to respiratory infections.
Now look at what has happened since the emergence of Covid-19. The list of notifiable diseases has been updated. This list '-- as well as containing smallpox (which has been extinct for many years) and conditions such as anthrax, brucellosis, plague and rabies (which most UK doctors will never see in their entire careers) '-- has now been amended to include Covid-19. But not flu. That means every positive test for Covid-19 must be notified, in a way that it just would not be for flu or most other infections.
In the current climate, anyone with a positive test for Covid-19 will certainly be known to clinical staff looking after them: if any of these patients dies, staff will have to record the Covid-19 designation on the death certificate '-- contrary to usual practice for most infections of this kind. There is a big difference between Covid-19 causing death, and Covid-19 being found in someone who died of other causes. Making Covid-19 notifiable might give the appearance of it causing increasing numbers of deaths, whether this is true or not. It might appear far more of a killer than flu, simply because of the way deaths are recorded.
If we take drastic measures to reduce the incidence of Covid-19, it follows that the deaths will also go down. We risk being convinced that we have averted something that was never really going to be as severe as we feared. This unusual way of reporting Covid-19 deaths explains the clear finding that most of its victims have underlying conditions '-- and would normally be susceptible to other seasonal viruses, which are virtually never recorded as a specific cause of death.
Let us also consider the Covid-19 graphs, showing an exponential rise in cases '-- and deaths. They can look alarming. But if we tracked flu or other seasonal viruses in the same way, we would also see an exponential increase. We would also see some countries behind others, and striking fatality rates. The United States Centers for Disease Control, for example, publishes weekly estimates of flu cases. The latest figures show that since September, flu has infected 38 million Americans, hospitalised 390,000 and killed 23,000. This does not cause public alarm because flu is familiar.
The data on Covid-19 differs wildly from country to country. Look at the figures for Italy and Germany. At the time of writing, Italy has 69,176 recorded cases and 6,820 deaths, a rate of 9.9 per cent. Germany has 32,986 cases and 157 deaths, a rate of 0.5 per cent. Do we think that the strain of virus is so different in these nearby countries as to virtually represent different diseases? Or that the populations are so different in their susceptibility to the virus that the death rate can vary more than twentyfold? If not, we ought to suspect systematic error, that the Covid-19 data we are seeing from different countries is not directly comparable.
Look at other rates: Spain 7.1 per cent, US 1.3 per cent, Switzerland 1.3 per cent, France 4.3 per cent, South Korea 1.3 per cent, Iran 7.8 per cent. We may very well be comparing apples with oranges. Recording cases where there was a positive test for the virus is a very different thing to recording the virus as the main cause of death.
Early evidence from Iceland, a country with a very strong organisation for wide testing within the population, suggests that as many as 50 per cent of infections are almost completely asymptomatic. Most of the rest are relatively minor. In fact, Iceland's figures, 648 cases and two attributed deaths, give a death rate of 0.3 per cent. As population testing becomes more widespread elsewhere in the world, we will find a greater and greater proportion of cases where infections have already occurred and caused only mild effects. In fact, as time goes on, this will become generally truer too, because most infections tend to decrease in virulence as an epidemic progresses.
One pretty clear indicator is death. If a new infection is causing many extra people to die (as opposed to an infection present in people who would have died anyway) then it will cause an increase in the overall death rate. But we have yet to see any statistical evidence for excess deaths, in any part of the world.
Covid-19 can clearly cause serious respiratory tract compromise in some patients, especially those with chest issues, and in smokers. The elderly are probably more at risk, as they are for infections of any kind. The average age of those dying in Italy is 78.5 years, with almost nine in ten fatalities among the over-70s. The life expectancy in Italy '-- that is, the number of years you can expect to live to from birth, all things being equal '-- is 82.5 years. But all things are not equal when a new seasonal virus goes around.
It certainly seems reasonable, now, that a degree of social distancing should be maintained for a while, especially for the elderly and the immune-suppressed. But when drastic measures are introduced, they should be based on clear evidence. In the case of Covid-19, the evidence is not clear. The UK's lockdown has been informed by modelling of what might happen. More needs to be known about these models. Do they correct for age, pre-existing conditions, changing virulence, the effects of death certification and other factors? Tweak any of these assumptions and the outcome (and predicted death toll) can change radically.
Much of the response to Covid-19 seems explained by the fact that we are watching this virus in a way that no virus has been watched before. The scenes from the Italian hospitals have been shocking, and make for grim television. But television is not science.
Clearly, the various lockdowns will slow the spread of Covid-19 so there will be fewer cases. When we relax the measures, there will be more cases again. But this need not be a reason to keep the lockdown: the spread of cases is only something to fear if we are dealing with an unusually lethal virus. That's why the way we record data will be hugely important. Unless we tighten criteria for recording death due only to the virus (as opposed to it being present in those who died from other conditions), the official figures may show a lot more deaths apparently caused by the virus than is actually the case. What then? How do we measure the health consequences of taking people's lives, jobs, leisure and purpose away from them to protect them from an anticipated threat? Which causes least harm?
The moral debate is not lives vs money. It is lives vs lives. It will take months, perhaps years, if ever, before we can assess the wider implications of what we are doing. The damage to children's education, the excess suicides, the increase in mental health problems, the taking away of resources from other health problems that we were dealing with effectively. Those who need medical help now but won't seek it, or might not be offered it. And what about the effects on food production and global commerce, that will have unquantifiable consequences for people of all ages, perhaps especially in developing economies?
Governments everywhere say they are responding to the science. The policies in the UK are not the government's fault. They are trying to act responsibly based on the scientific advice given. But governments must remember that rushed science is almost always bad science. We have decided on policies of extraordinary magnitude without concrete evidence of excess harm already occurring, and without proper scrutiny of the science used to justify them.
In the next few days and weeks, we must continue to look critically and dispassionately at the Covid-19 evidence as it comes in. Above all else, we must keep an open mind '-- and look for what is, not for what we fear might be.
John Lee is a recently retired professor of pathology and a former NHS consultant pathologist.
$12.8 billion Juul investment broke the law, FTC suit says | Ars Technica
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:21
unwinding '-- Most investments are fine. Investments to eliminate competition, not so much. Kate Cox - Apr 2, 2020 8:45 pm UTC
Enlarge / A person holds a Juul Labs Inc. e-cigarette next to packages of flavored pods on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018.
Back in 2018, cigarette maker Altria'--formerly known as Philip Morris'-- apparently saw the writing on the wall for the tobacco industry's future. In December of that year, the company dropped a cool $12.8 billion to gain a 35 percent minority stake in e-cigarette firm Juul. The Juul deal seemed like a particularly clever way to gain a massive toehold in the vaping market as traditional tobacco cigarette use waned'--too clever, it seems, as now the Federal Trade Commission is suing to unwind the deal.
The transaction "eliminated competition in violation of federal antitrust laws," the FTC said yesterday, announcing the unanimous vote to move forward with the suit.
At the time of the acquisition, Juul was the leading US e-cigarette brand, the FTC alleges, but Altria's own MarkTen product was already the second most popular brand by market share. Instead of continuing to compete, however, Altria arranged to reap the benefits of its competitor without outright acquiring it.
"Altria orchestrated its exit from the e-cigarette market and became Juul's largest investor," Ian Conner, director of the FTC's bureau of competition, said. "Altria and Juul turned from competitors to collaborators by eliminating competition and sharing in Juul's profits."
Altria, for its part, intends to "vigorously defend" the deal. "We believe that our investment in Juul does not harm competition and that the FTC misunderstood the facts,'' Altria general counsel Murray Garnick said. "We are disappointed with the FTC's decision, believe we have a strong defense, and will vigorously defend our investment."
A beleaguered buyAltria's rebranding in 2003 followed the massive "Big Tobacco" suits in the 1990s. Although the tobacco firms fought for decades over meeting some of the settlement terms they agreed to, the reputational damage the cigarette industry sustained in the opening years of the 21st century was both deep and broad.
While more than 40 percent of Americans were cigarette smokers in the 1960s, that figure had dropped to an all-time low of 13.7 percent by 2018. What we had instead, however, was a massive surge in e-cigarette use, or vaping. In 2017, about 11 percent of high school seniors reported using e-cigarette products containing nicotine. By 2018, that figure was 21 percent, and it rose to 25 percent last year.
Through 2019, however, Juul began to find itself in trouble with federal regulators. The Food and Drug Administration in September blasted Juul for allegedly advertising directly to students in schools without parental consent. A week later, the company pulled all its advertising and fired the CEO.
A whistleblower lawsuit and the tangle with regulators ended up hitting the company's bottom line as well. In October, along with its third-quarter results, Altria announced a $4.5 billion write-down on its Juul investment. The fourth quarter was no better: in January, Altria wrote down another $4.1 billion of its investment, estimating Juul's overall valuation to be about $12 billion'--less than that 35 percent stake was worth a mere year earlier.
Disaster in motion: 3.4 million travelers poured into US as coronavirus pandemic erupted - ABC News
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 09:57
An ABC News investigation offers sobering insight into how COVID-19 has spread and penetrated so broadly, so deeply and so quickly in the United States. It also helps explain why Americans, no matter where they live, must continue to heed the warnings of health officials to self distance and why the virus likely was here far earlier than first realized.
With the advent of COVID-19, the world has officially entered a dangerous new phase where a surge in international travel in recent decades served as the springboard -- jet fuel, really -- for an infectious disease potentially to kill hundreds of thousands in the U.S. and infect the global economy at breathtaking speed.
As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put it, "I have no doubt that the virus was here much earlier than any of us know, and we have the virus more than any other state because travelers from other parts of the world come here first."
Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.
Travel data of passengers arriving in the United States from China during the critical period in December, January and February, when the disease took hold in that country, shows a stunning 759,493 people entered the U.S.
"This is an astonishing number in a short period of time, illustrating how globalized our world has become. Just as people can hop continents with amazing ease, the infections they carry can too," said Dr. Vinayak Kumar, an internal medicine resident at the Mayo Clinic and a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.
Those travelers from China included more than 228,000 Americans returning home and hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals arriving for business, academics, tourism or to visit family.
"The numbers are clearly alarming," Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease specialist at South Shore Health, told ABC News. "It shows that globalization is here, and we have to be better prepared to deal with the impact this will have on all our lives in so many ways."
Added Wildes: "It is difficult to estimate the portion of travelers coming from China to the U.S. with COVID-19, but fair to speculate that a large number might have been infected at the time of travel."
A worker checks a delivery of 64 hospital beds from Hillrom to The Mount Sinai Hospital during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, U.S., March 31, 2020.
A worker checks a delivery of 64 hospital beds from Hillrom to The Mount Sinai Hospital during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, U.S., March 31, 2020. Andrew Kelly/ReutersWhile the majority of the travelers likely went to major population centers like New York, Seattle or Los Angeles, with so many arriving, any of the hundreds of thousands could have gone anywhere in the U.S.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University said the outbreak could have started as far back as November, and that there may have been hundreds of cases in Wuhan by early December. On Jan. 14, a different team of researchers from the University of Toronto warned that the outbreak could quickly jump from Wuhan to other major cities because of international travel.
President Donald Trump restricted travel from China effective Feb. 2, which likely saved lives. But by the time the president acted, much of the damage had already been unleashed, and some 18,000 Americans returned home from China in February and March, after the restrictions were in place. It's unclear how intensive, if at all, the screening was for the Americans coming home at that point.
"The United States banned travel to China 12 days after the world heard there was an outbreak of severe pneumonia in Wuhan. ... The problem was, it was too late," said Dr. Todd Ellerin, chief of Infectious Disease at South Shore Health and an ABC News Consultant. "Even though there had only been 12 confirmed cases in the U.S. on the day President Trump announces the travel ban, the reality was there were many more unconfirmed cases."
The data, gleaned from Commerce Department records and additional information compiled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the request of ABC News, represents the most detailed accounting yet of travelers coming into the U.S. from China and other countries where the virus quickly spread.
ABC News examined data from December, January and February on travelers entering the U.S. from eight of the hardest-hit countries: 343,402 arrived from Italy, 418,848 from Spain and about 1.9 million more came from Britain.
Julian Fernandez Mascaraque, 59, attends the burial of his mother Rosalia Mascaraque, 86, during the coronavirus outbreak in Zarza de Tajo, central Spain, Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
Julian Fernandez Mascaraque, 59, attends the burial of his mother Rosalia Mascaraque, 86, during the coronavirus outbreak in Zarza de Tajo, central Spain, Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Bernat Armangue/APCombined with those from China, that's more than 3.4 million people from just four countries -- nearly half, about 1.5 million, Americans returning home. Travel from Italy and Spain wasn't shut down until March 13, with U.K. arrivals restricted a few days later.
The data shows how a highly communicable disease can quickly move throughout an interconnected global community, spreading across the globe in a matter of hours. The novel coronavirus was off to the races before the international community knew what had hit it.
"I think this was bound to eventually happen," Kumar said. "The high volume of international travel, the lack of screening, the inconsistent hand-washing and cough control ... these laid down the perfect conditions for a disease to spread. Add that to a virus that is both largely asymptomatic and has a prolonged infectious period, and you have got a perfect storm of factors for a pandemic."
The world simply wasn't ready, even though scientists and medical experts had long warned of such a possibility.
"This is not new," said John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children's Hospital and an ABC News Consultant. "We've seen this with H1N1, SARS, Zika. We should have had the infrastructure to prepare for this. And we didn't.
"There was a lack of recognition that a coronavirus emerging in a market in Wuhan could be at our door in a matter of months. Now that it's hitting the U.S., for the first time really, people are aware of the interconnection and risk."
Medical experts who spoke to ABC News said it can't be known exactly how many of these travelers were infected or contagious, but that it's highly likely some portion carried the virus without exhibiting severe symptoms. Minor symptoms, including coughing, sneezing or a runny nose, may have been ignored, leading to people unknowingly spreading COVID-19.
The novel coronavirus "is extra complicated because of mildly symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission, which made it much more difficult to contain," Brownstein said. "We were caught flat-footed."
Among the millions of travelers likely were a number of biological ticking time bombs, passengers who'd later infect others at a rate at least double that of the typical flu carrier.
"SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the most disruptive infection the world has seen in the last 100 years, has some features that make it impossible to completely contain," Ellerin said.
It's time for governments to rethink how to mitigate the emergence of superbugs, experts told ABC News.
Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment moves a body from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center to refrigerated containers parked outside, April 2, 2020, in Brooklyn, New York.
Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment moves a body from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center to refrigerated containers parked outside, April 2, 2020, in Brooklyn, New York. Mary Altaffer/AP"We should recognize that any time there is an emergent event, there is a very good opportunity for global impact," Brownstein said. "We need to be thinking about emergent diseases as a global concern rather than [something] happening in a particular part of the world."
Additionally, there have been questions and criticisms about how quickly China alerted the international community, given the extraordinary scale of travel in and out of the country. Questions also have been raised about the Trump administration's public stance and early response -- was the U.S. aggressive enough early on, given the travel numbers? It's unclear how closely policymakers and health experts weighed the data -- or whether they had access to the data.
Political, business and health leaders now working together to battle COVID-19 risk a repeat of the pandemic without newer, better measures implemented going forward, experts said. That could include more infrastructure, more medical equipment and doctors at airports, new methodologies never before considered necessary: routinely checking passengers' temperatures, en masse or individually, using quarantine facilities at transportation hubs or storing gloves and masks on planes to be used by people feeling ill.
"This could be an opportunity for countries to provide rapid response to catastrophes and exchange ideas and information, given the advances in technology," Wildes said. "The medical advances in one country can be shared with other countries that will aid in the management of their patients and possible impact on their health care system. Researchers around the globe can work on the same problem with the aim to find treatment for a vast number of patients at the same time. This can serve as a early warning for other countries."
Wildes said, bottom line, it's all about cooperation: "We should realize that we are all in this together. We are all at risk of being exposed to the virus, so let us fight together so we all can be healthy together."
But there are no easy answers.
"Could China have announced to the world a couple of weeks earlier that there was concern that a SARS-like outbreak was occurring? Possibly," Ellerin said. "Could an immediate travel ban announced by China have slowed the spread of this virus even further? Likely. But, in the end, given the complexities of global travel and the insidious nature of this virus, even an immediate travel ban probably would not have fully contained this contagious pathogen."
In other words, the world had better get creative -- and fast.
What to know about coronavirus: How it started and how to protect yourself: coronavirus explained What to do if you have symptoms: coronavirus symptomsTracking the spread in the US and Worldwide: coronavirus map
China Daily's global development - Chinadaily.com.cn
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:58
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With a circulation of 4 million, China Watch is a monthly publication distributed to millions of high-end readers as an insert in mainstream newspapers around the world.
China Daily has also developed diversified cooperation with over 40 media organizations around the world, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, etc.
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Asia News Network consists of 21 mainstream news organizations in 19 Asian countries. China Daily is the founding member of ANN and plays a key role by exchanging stories and staff with mainstream media in other parts of Asia.
China Is Buying Influence In American Media, Does It Impact How They Cover The Communist Power? | The Daily Caller
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:57
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Publications across the country have been carrying inserts paid for by Chinese state media, replacing dwindling advertising revenue in legacy publications and raising questions about the extent to which these outlets have come to depend on foreign money.
Chinese inserts have been featured in roughly 40 major media outlets, including the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, and the Guardian, according to China Daily, which produces them. In some instances, China Daily material has been used to influence public opinion in a pro-China direction on specific issues.
For example, a four-page anti-Trump insert from the China Daily made its way into the Des Moines Register in Iowa last year. The goal was to sway public opinion against President Donald Trump's trade war.
The piece provoked backlash within the newspaper itself. News writer Donnelle Eller wrote a story that read, ''A Chinese government-run media company's four-page supplement in the Sunday Des Moines Register was intended to undermine farm-country support for President Donald Trump's escalating trade war, experts say.''
Register columnist Scott Paul was even harsher. While noting that many other papers had come to rely on Chinese advertorials, this instance was especially brazen. ''Such an ad buy from an official organ of the Chinese government isn't a new tactic,'' he wrote. ''Similar inserts from the China Daily have appeared in The New York Times, and at my home in the D.C. area, The Washington Post occasionally is delivered wrapped in them. But what sets apart the spread the Register saw fit to print is its sheer audacity; it ran just weeks before rancorous midterm elections, and its contents were specifically aimed at influencing them.''
The president responded with a tweet ripping the communist country over the insert, saying ''China is actually placing propaganda ads in the Des Moines Register and other papers, made to look like news. That's because we are beating them on Trade, opening markets, and the farmers will make a fortune when this is over!''
U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping meet business leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj.
A 2015 report from the Daily Caller News Foundation detailed how U.S. adversaries promote propaganda in American publications through these inserts. In addition to China, Russian state media also buys space in American newspapers through something called Russia Beyond The Headlines, which operates in similar fashion to China Daily. (RELATED: US Cuts Supply Of Parts To Five Chinese Supercomputer Developers)
Like China Daily, Russia Beyond The Headlines is owned and operated by the state. It seeks to buy influence in foreign countries and undermine the agenda of Russia's adversaries, and it does so by buying space in U.S. newspapers.
While in most cases, the inserts note that the material is paid advertising, they are formatted like a normal newspaper page, meaning some people could read these inserts and have no idea that they are actually communist propaganda. Even in times of international crises, China is shelling out unknown quantities of money to America's biggest newspapers. (RELATED: Washington Post Fact Checkers Inflate Trump Falsehoods)
Perhaps the best example of this came in 2017, when the U.S. was on the brink of a nuclear crisis with one of China's client states, North Korea. A China Daily article that ignored North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) threat came just one day after the hermit kingdom launched an ICBM and tensions between the U.S. and the Chinese-funded despotic regime in North Korea were at an all time high.
The inserts also aim to portray China's relationship with the U.S. as closer than it is, with posts titled Sino-U.S. Ties At 'New Historic Starting Point.''
The Post has repeatedly denied requests to divulge how much money the receive from Chinese propaganda sources, and China Daily did not respond to a request from the Daily Caller on how much they pay for each insert.
Washington, DC '' July 19, 2017: Views from the rooftop of the Washington Post. '' Image (Nicole S Glass/Shutterstock)
According to their website, the Post charges $34,340 per full page ad in its Sunday paper. If China Daily's inserts are several pages long, each edition could garner six figures for the Washington Post per issue in which it runs. According to the Hong Kong Free Press, a year-long ad deal with the UK Telegraph cost 750,000 pounds, or more than a million dollars. It is likely that the deal with the Washington Post is even more lucrative. (RELATED: More Than 600 U.S. Companies Sign Letter In Support Of Trump's Tariffs)
It should raise eyebrows that the editorial board of The Washington Post has been staunchly critical of the President's policies towards America's greatest geopolitical adversary, given this substantial income stream. The Post's editorial board has run headlines critical of Trump's china policies such as: ''Trump's Biggest Mistake In Trade War With China,'' and ''The Grave Consequence Of A US-China Schism.''
However, one editorial post in particular is perhaps more concerning than most. Earlier this year, the Trump administration placed additional sanctions on Huawei, a telecommunications company headquartered in China. The company operates in 170 countries, but pulled out of the U.S. last year. The company is worth over $700 billion dollars, but has consistently faced accusations of cyber-security violations (mostly from the U.S.) and was recently cut off from engaging in commerce in the U.S. amid accusations that it was skirting U.S. sanctions on Iran. (RELATED: REPORT: Google Distances Itself From Huawei After Trump Blacklists On Some Foreign Tech)
The Post followed up the Trump administration's decision to cut off commerce with a scathing editorial titled: ''The Trump Administration Owes The Public Answers About Its Restrictions On Huawei.''
The Post sided with China over the U.S. on a crucial national security issue. This is the same company that takes an undisclosed amount of money from Chinese state media.
On the other hand, the Post's editorial board has not refrained from criticizing the communist country. The board has slammed China's record on human rights with editorials titled: ''People In Hong Kong Want Their Freedom. Beijing Is About To Say Tough Luck,'' and ''China's High-Tech Repressions Threatens Human Freedom Everywhere,'' both of which were highly critical of the regime's poor human rights record.
We have no way of knowing how (or if) Chinese inserts affects the Washington Post's coverage of key geopolitical issues, but the overall lack of transparency raises more questions than answers.
Consul General Huang Ping Visits Comcast and Chinatown in Philadelphia
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:56
On February 27th, Consul General Huang Ping visited the headquarter of Comcast Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, and met with Michael Cavanagh, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Comcast Corporation, Kimberly Harris, Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation, and visited Chinatown in Philadelphia. Deputy Consul General Qian Jin accompanied during this visit.
Huang Ping said that Pennsylvania has a long history of exchanges and cooperation with China. As the Chinese middle class and the consumer market continues to expand, US companies have great potential for cooperation with China. We hope that Comcast continues its efforts to cooperate with China, enhance people-to-people exchanges, and contribute to the Sino-US relations based on coordination, cooperation, and stability.
Huang Ping said that the Consulate General in New York is committed to promoting friendly cooperation between China and the 10 states within our consular district. Though China-US relations encounter some problems currently, we believe that cooperation and friendship is in accordance with people's wishes and the only right option for China and the US. Comcast Corporation is not only the participator of the increasingly close cultural exchanges, but also the contributor and beneficiary of deeper economic exchanges between China and the US. The NBC and the Universal Studios Theme Park in Beijing are witnesses of the in-depth development of Sino-US economic and trade relations and increasingly close cultural exchanges. The Consulate General will do its best to facilitate the exchange and enhance mutual understanding between our two peoples.
Huang Ping emphasized that the Chinese government and the Chinese people have made great efforts and sacrifices in the fight with the COVID-19 epidemic, and adopted all-around strict prevention and control measures. China's prevention and control practices have earned valuable time and experience for other countries. The epidemic cannot be ignored, and countries including China and the United States need to strengthen cooperation and jointly respond. We hope that the NBC and other U.S. media will objectively and fairly report China's efforts to control the epidemic.
Michael and Kimberley said that Comcast Corporation attaches great importance to the Chinese market and is full of confidence in China's economic prospects. NBC, a subsidiary of the conglomerate, is one of the largest television stations in the United States. It has more than 30 years of history in China. Universal Studios Theme Park moves ahead smoothly in Beijing. The Corporation is committed to promoting the Sino-US cultural exchanges and cooperation. The Chinese Consulate General in New York facilitates the Corporation's visas to China. The unity and efforts of the Chinese government and people in the fight against the epidemic are commendable, and they have accumulated important experience for countries in fighting the epidemic. The epidemic will not change the long-term trend of the Chinese economy. China will overcome the epidemic soon.
After the meeting, Consul General Huang Ping visited the Comcast Technology Center and attended the Comcast Diplomatic Mission reception with other representatives of the diplomatic missions in the eastern United States. Huang Ping briefed the participating diplomats on the Chinese government's measures and latest progress in combating the COVID-19, and emphasized that while fighting its own epidemic, China will work with the international community to share information and experience, strengthen communication and cooperation, and jointly maintain international public health security. Diplomats from various countries complimented China for its tremendous efforts to fight the epidemic, expressed support to the Chinese people and frontline medical workers, and expressed its confidence in China to overcome the epidemic at the earliest date.
Comcast Corporation, which was founded in 1963, is a media and telecommunication conglomerate, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is largest cable TV and Internet access service provider in the United States and a Fortune 500 company. The Corporation has subsidiaries such as NBC universal, Xfinity, Universal Pictures, and Universal Theme Parks.
Consul General Huang Ping also visited Chinatown, Philadelphia, and met with representatives of the local overseas Chinese community to promote the prosperity of the local business affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Huang Ping called on the people to view the epidemic objectively and calmly, avoid overreaction and eliminate discrimination, and contribute to the Sino-US people-to-people exchanges.
At Chinatown, Consul General Huang Ping was interviewed by local media about China's efforts to fight the COVID-19 epidemic.
How Donald Trump Has Turned the Pandemic to His Advantage | The American Spectator
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:52
C OVID-19: The Reality Show has taken cable TV by storm. The plot is nominally about a war against an invisible Chinese invader that has already killed over 1,200 Americans. But on another level, it is a family sitcom, a successor to Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It to Beaver, and The Cosby Show.
The star is Daddy Donald, a brilliant if erratic father figure, who sometimes rambles on, as fathers are wont to do. He is ably supported by his younger brother, Uncle Mike, who is loyal, steady, competent, and boring. With every strand of his snow-white hair perfectly in place, Uncle Mike always says the right thing. He is as predictable as Donald is unpredictable. Consequently, we pay more attention to Donald, wondering what he will do next. Donald understands this and cultivates his reputation for unpredictability.
After a generation in which males, especially TV fathers, were portrayed as bumbling fools, Donald breaks the stereotype. He is a wartime president who appeals to about half the population, mostly male, as a decisive and creative leader who says what we had been thinking but were afraid to say.
Donald's co-star is Dr. Deborah Birx, an HIV/AIDS expert from the State Department who was brought in to coordinate the federal government's response to the coronavirus.
Dr. Birx exudes competence, as well as sensitivity, which is a rare combination. She has never heard a question, no matter how vapid, that wasn't ''a very good question,'' as far as she was concerned. She teaches her children patiently and sincerely in words that they can understand, but respectfully, without talking down to them. She is the empathetic mother figure who calms the situation and holds the family together.
Behind every successful man there is at least one very intelligent woman, and often more '-- and a man wise enough to listen to them. Dr. Birx doesn't steal the show, but she could.
Then there is her problematic older brother, Uncle Anthony. His problem is that he did too well in school and never got over it. He was once Dr. Birx's mentor, but she has now surpassed him in people skills. Unlike Anthony, she would never say in an interview that she wanted to push Donald aside at the microphone or cover her face in public when he made a wisecrack about the ''deep State Department.''
Granted, she might wince a little inside, but she would do her best to maintain a poker face. She knows who is the boss and that her influence depends upon him.
On the other hand, Uncle Anthony got a little too big for his britches and started to believe that he was in charge. To put him back in his place, Daddy Donald now calls him ''Tony'' and her ''Deb.'' This is in part to show how close he is to the experts, but it also reminds Tony that he too is just a regular guy, one of a multitude of advisers. For his sins, Tony now stands to the left of Donald, out of the TV picture, rather than at his right hand as he once did. Tony speaks now only when spoken to, which is after his former student has answered all the important questions.
Donald frequently has a problem with underlings like Uncle Anthony who come to believe they are indispensable, including chiefs of staff, secretaries of state, and national security advisers. Donald emulates his hero Andrew Jackson, a plain-spoken general and president who knew how to represent the common people. The down-to-earth style that Donald channels from Old Hickory misleads many who consider themselves to be his betters to think that they are running things. Donald shows them who is boss by dismissing them and censoring their tell-all books. This is merely a cost of doing business for Donald. Anthony is probably smart enough to understand that he too is expendable if he goes too far.
And then there is the off-screen cast. Cousin Andrew up in New York is never satisfied and complains vociferously in public that the $3 billion headed to his state government and $40 billion headed to his fellow New Yorkers is a merely ''a drop in the bucket.''
Even worse is second cousin twice removed Billy de Blasio, who demands that the government must ''order'' corporations to produce the medical supplies that he thinks he needs.
For him, it isn't about actually increasing medical supplies. We are doing that and will probably end up supplying tens of thousands of ventilators to the rest of the world. For Billy, it is about power and making those evil corporations do what he wants rather than leading them to act voluntarily and creatively in the public interest, and maybe to make a buck in the process. Maybe Billy doesn't understand that sometimes you can attract more flies with sugar than with vinegar. But perhaps he does understand that he can attract more votes in New York by lambasting corporations than by working with them.
Hovering over it all is Nancy, the Wicked Witch of the West. She has hexed Donald with the epitome of Catholic curses: ''I will pray for you.'' Try intoning those words sanctimoniously and see how good they make you feel about yourself.
By contrast, wise old Uncle Mitch points out he led the Senate to reach a $2 trillion bipartisan deal to save the economy, while all that Nancy engineered was the divisive partisan spectacle of impeachment in the House.
What makes this family show so interesting is that we all know people like these characters from our daily lives.
It is no small achievement to turn a pandemic into a top-rated TV show, but this one is being orchestrated by the media genius who brought us The Apprentice and an estimated $5 billion in free media coverage during the 2016 presidential election. The theme is the same now as in 2016: Donald will fight for you and your family. He cares. He is hands on, unconventional, outspoken, and brilliant. Despite what they try to tell you, this isn't Hurricane Katrina.
This messaging seems to be working: Donald's approval rating has jumped to the highest of his presidency in the latest Gallup poll, with 60 percent approving of his handling of the COVID-19 crisis. A good case has been made by some that COVID-19, while serious, was hyped out of proportion by the media. Perhaps the hype was merely to increase their ratings, but perhaps they also saw a chance to undermine President Trump's most obvious accomplishment, a strong economy. Some say that his opponents have been trying to ''talk down the markets'' for months with breathless predictions that there ''might be'' a recession before the election.
Others dismiss this hypothesis as a ''conspiracy theory,'' a term used to shrug off events embarrassing to Democrats that later often turn out to be true.
Regardless, counter-puncher that he is, President Trump has turned the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn to his advantage with his new reality show. His policies, particularly cutting off travel from infected areas early and his creative solutions to increase testing and the supply of masks and ventilators, also helped. But his recent rise in the polls has less to do with his policies than with the success of his most recent reality show.
Michael Flynn lawyer says client was prepared to 'audit' Obama spy officials before getting 'set up'
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:48
A lawyer for retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said her client was prepared to "audit" the U.S. intelligence community as White House national security adviser.
And that, according to former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, is partly why federal agents "set up" Flynn.
Flynn, 61, is fighting to dismiss the government's case against him. He pleaded guilty in December 2017 for lying to investigators about his conversations with Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak on sanctions on Russia and a United Nations resolution on Israel, but in January, he told the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., that he was "innocent of this crime."
Powell, who took over Flynn's defense last summer, told the Vicki McKenna Show on 1310 WIBA Madison on Tuesday that her client was "totally set up" because he threatened to expose wrongdoing by top intelligence officials in the Obama administration.
"He was going to audit the intel agencies because he knew about the billions Brennan and company were running off books," Powell said, referring to former CIA Director John Brennan.
Powell offered no evidence during the interview to support the claim, but her comments echo the findings of investigative journalist Lee Smith, the author of The Plot Against the President.
During a November interview on Maria Bartiromo's Insiders on Fox Nation along with Powell, Smith said Flynn was scrutinizing possible misconduct by the U.S. intelligence community.
"In addition to Gen. Flynn's name being cleared, I hope that his initiative to get to the bottom of what these people were doing '-- to audit the intelligence community ... that's something else we need to look at again," Smith said. "As well, his initiative to clean out the deep state."
They also discussed Stefan Halper, an academic who was given high-dollar Pentagon contracts to study Russia and China. Halper is also reported to be an FBI informant who had conversations with Trump campaign aides and is under scrutiny by U.S. Attorney John Durham's review of the Russia investigation.
"There's no telling how many billions of taxpayer dollars they're running off books for the different intel agencies ... and, of course, we see evidence of that ... with what was paid to Stefan Halper for his shenanigans. It just goes on and on," Powell alleged at the time.
Flynn was picked by former President Barack Obama to serve as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2012, but he was pushed out of the position after clashing with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others. He retired from the Army in 2014, a year before his stint was supposed to end.
''I was fired as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency after telling a congressional committee that we were not as safe as we had been a few years back,'' Flynn wrote in his 2016 book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.
The future Trump national security adviser was openly critical of the intelligence community prior to joining Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser in February 2016.
''They've lost sight of who they actually work for,'' Flynn said of the CIA to the New York Times in October 2015. ''They work for the American people. They don't work for the president of the United States '... It's become a very political organization.''
Flynn believed Obama was naive in the belief that killing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden would go a long way toward defeating jihadist terrorist groups. He also criticized what he saw as the intelligence community's failure to predict the rise of the Islamic State and was unhappy with Obama's characterization of the terrorist group as the ''JV team.''
It was apparently Flynn's 2015 interview with staffers from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction about his time as the director of intelligence for the International Assistance Security Force in Afghanistan casting doubt on the success of the war which led the Washington Post to begin its successful pursuit of the so-called ''Afghanistan Papers.''
''From the ambassadors down to the low level, [everyone claims that] we are doing a great job," Flynn told investigators. ''Really? So if we are doing such a great job, why does it feel like we are losing?''
BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Former DOJ Assistant US Attorney Admits FBI Examined Seth Rich's Computer and She Met with FBI and Mueller Gang But No 302 Has Been Provided to Date
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:44
More evidence confirms more FBI and Mueller gang lies and cover ups. This time a Deep State Anti-Trump former Assistant US Attorney claimed under oath that the FBI did examine Seth Rich's computer and that she met with an FBI Agent and prosecutor from the Mueller gang. This indicates the meeting should have been recorded in a form 302 but the FBI continues to claim no records related to Seth Rich are available!Previously we reported that after getting caught lying to the Courts and claiming there were no documents related to Seth Rich, emails between FBI Deep State lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were uncovered by Judicial Watch with the title ''Seth Rich'' .Attorney Ty Clevenger uncovered that the former Assistant US Attorney related to the case admitted that Rich's computer was inspected by the FBI and that there would be records related to this investigation. She now has been deposed and her comments are shocking, indicating she met with both the FBI and the Mueller gang!TRENDING: UN Wants a 10% Global Tax to Pay for New ''Shared Responsibility'' Program to Address Coronavirus Pandemic
Earlier this week Clevenger filed his request again asking for all information related to the Seth Rich case. This was based on recent testimony from former Assistant US Attorney Deborah Sines:
We have now obtained Ms. Sines' deposition. Here are some notes from what she said and data she provided:
The former Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) provided an affidavit which claims the following '' that she was inducted into the Fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers, that from 2016 to 2018 she was the lead AUSA on the murder case of Seth Rich and that she consulted with the FBI on the case:
Here is the full transcript of Deborah Sines under oath.
Testimony by former Assista'... by Jim Hoft on Scribd
Sines discussed her comments that she gave to Michael Isikoff (noted below) and confirmed that they were true but then states that she should not have said those things and she would not be able to provide more information on the statements. She confirmed that the FBI did examine Seth Rich's computer and that she met with an FBI Agent and a prosecutor from the Mueller gang.
This indicates that there should be a form 302 floating around with information from the discussion with the FBI and Mueller gang and also it confirms that Mueller did not mention this in his report.
Ms. Sines also states that she considered giving an interview to an individual named Andy Kroll with the Rolling Stone magazine because, of course, he's with ''the Rolling Stone'':
She also notes in an email she provided to the 'journalist' from the Rolling Stone that she didn't want to do anything to ''f**k that case up''.
Ms. Sines mentions that her former boss, Glen Kirschner, a guess on MSNBC, lined up her conversation with Michael Isikoff (p. 45). She also mentions that a current AUSA is investigating Seth Rich's murder (p. 42). (Below is Sines with Kirschner on NBC):
Hey All. I just learned that a @DatelineNBC episode about a murder case I handled w/@SinesDeborah will air this Saturday at 9 pm ET on @nbc w/an update about a new development. The case involves the disappearance of EPA employee Pam Butler. Hope you'll tune in on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/LmjAT2LEZw
'-- Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) January 31, 2020
After not answering a number of questions related to the Seth Rich case, Sines announces that she voted for Hillary Clinton. She then says she has no respect for President Trump. She thinks he incompetent, dangerous, dishonest, a blowhard show horse and a sexist (pp. 65-66). She has zero awareness on how this looks from a perspectived of an independent and objective attorney and investigator.
She says that she believes Russia made up the Seth Rich story and agreed with the Mueller report on what was said about Seth Rich (p. 96). She then claims Mueller is a man of integrity (p. 121).
Sines then states that she believes the indictments against the Russian agents made up by Mueller should not have been dismissed (p. 122). She even provided an email where she sent the Rich family a note after the Russians were indicted by Mueller hoping this would be the end of the Seth Rich story:
But Ms. Sines is mistaken. The Mueller sham case against the GRU is still in place. The Mueller sham case against 3 Russian companies and 13 Russians has been dismissed. (But they are all sham cases so it may be hard for Ms. Sines to keep them all straight.)
Overall, the more Ty Clevenger digs into the Deep State's actions with the Seth Rich case, the more corruption he uncovers.
Recent events as reported previously: We reported in mid-February how Attorney Ty Clevenger reported to the courts that despite numerous assurances from the FBI that they had no information related to Seth Rich, the FBI had been caught after emails related to Seth Rich were identified and provided to Judicial Watch. It looked like the FBI was lying to Clevenger all this time. (See timeline below).
In response, the DOJ immediately stepped in with a letter to the judge. In this letter the DOJ claimed the FBI had met its burden and its search would have located emails ''of investigative significance'':
The DOJ next said that after the Mueller sham, Hillary's email exoneration, the Ukraine Hoax, Fast and Furious, FISA Warrant abuse and much more, the FBI is ''entitled to a presumption of good faith'':
The DOJ then said that the FBI was not investigating Seth Rich's death and it has said so and there is no related case:
The DOJ then said that the FBI never said it had searched everyone's emails and claims it didn't identify the emails it later released because they were not ''substantive'' emails:
We next reported that Clevenger filed a motion for an evidentiary hearing as a result of the government's response: In his response, Clevenger showed that the FBI argued that they redacted the emails related to Seth Rich recently found and sent to Judicial Watch because they don't want to disclose investigative or prosecutorial activities. However, Clevenger argued that since the FBI claimed that there was no investigation or prosecution related to Seth Rich '' how can they redact for this reason when they claim there was no investigation?
Another material point that Clevenger made in his response was that the emails that were found were between FBI 'fraudsters' Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. He said that these two have shown how they will lie and cheat to cover up their misconduct (they are the adulterous Bonnie and Clyde of the FBI for Pete's sake):
Clevenger was on OAN discussing his situation recently:
The DOJ responded to Clevenger's request: This response came from the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard Donoghue.
Clevenger addressed his complaint to Donoghue but it is surprising that Donoghue responded directly to Clevenger's complaint and request. However, it is not surprising that Donoghue claims no wrong doing in the FBI efforts to obtain internal information related to Seth Rich and meet Clevenger's request:
Donoghue's response notes that Clevenger has been requesting this information since September 1, 2017 '' over two years ago. The DOJ and FBI argue that because they replied (omitting that they stated they had no information) that Clevenger's request for an evidentiary hearing should be ignored. The DOJ also argued that Mr. Hardy who was the individual who failed to provide information to Clevenger should not be questioned:
(The problem is no one in their right mind would trust the FBI and DOJ at this time in our history '' not after the Ukraine hoax and FISA abuse scandal. The FBI has been denying any information to Clevenger for more than two years and then redacts the information provided to Judicial Watch while never notifying Clevenger of the located emails on Seth Rich. OUTRAGEOUS!)
The judge denied Clevenger's request but provided no reason: The New York judge held a meeting on Wednesday and offered his decision on Clevenger's request:
The problem was the judge didn't provide a reason for the decision.
This is how we got here '' we reported on September 19th, 2019: Texas businessman Ed Butowsky filed a lawsuit where he outed reporter Ellen Ratner as his source for information on Seth Rich. The DNC operative [Rich] was murdered in the summer of 2016 in Washington DC. His murder was never solved. According to Butowsky's lawsuit, Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks the DNC emails before the 2016 election, not Russia.
This totally destroys the FBI and Mueller's claims that Russians hacked the DNC to obtain these emails.
Butowsky claims in his lawsuit:
Ms. Rattner said Mr. Assange told her that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron, were responsible for releasing the DNC emails to Wikileaks. Ms. Rattner said Mr. Assange wanted the information relayed to Seth's parents, as it might explain the motive for Seth's murder.
On November 9, 2016 Ellen Ratner admitted publicly that she met with Julian Assange for three hours the Saturday before the 2016 election. According to Ratner, Julian Assange told her the leaks were not from the Russians, they were from an internal source from the Hillary Campaign.
We later reported that Butowsky and his attorney, Ty Clevenger, requested and obtained documents from the FBI related to their case which we were able to analyze.
According to the duo, they obtained the transcript from former FBI Chief of Staff James Rybicki where he states that the Obama White House was the entity that was pushing the Russia conspiracy as early as October 2016 ''
Rybicki was corrupt cop James Comey's Chief of staff ''
Clevenger stated in a post online that ''
Newly released documents from the FBI suggest that the Obama White House pushed intelligence agencies to publicly blame the Russians for email leaks from the Democratic National Committee to Wikileaks.
This afternoon I received an undated (and heavily redacted) transcript of an interview of James Rybicki, former chief of staff to former FBI Director James Comey, that includes this excerpt: ''So we understand that at some point in October of 2016, there was, I guess, a desire by the White House to make some kind of statement about Russia's'...'' and then the next page is omitted.
Roger Stone's Indictment Trump friend Roger Stone was indicted after being charged by the Mueller gang based on this key question '' who provided the DNC and Podesta emails to WikiLeaks?
The corrupt FBI and Mueller team claim the emails were hacked but neither entity inspected the DNC server which was supposedly hacked.
The DNC instead hired a firm Crowdstrike, with connections to Mueller and former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who provided a redacted report to the FBI and Mueller stating the emails were hacked by Russia.
Former NSA whistleblower Bill Binney claims he has evidence the DNC emails were not hacked but copied most likely on to a flashdrive or something similar.
NSA Whistleblower and longtime intelligence analyst Bill Binney on continuation of #RussiaGate fever: "The problem with the Mueller Report & the Rosenstein indictment is it's based on lies."
FULL INTERVIEW: https://t.co/qiTOpvNd2q pic.twitter.com/tDSSSg0j0H
'-- Status Coup (@StatusCoup) June 3, 2019
Bill Binney, is more than an expert, he is ''A Good American''. Binney developed a system for the NSA that would have identified the 9-11 terrorist attack before it occurred, but the NSA shut down his project. This is all documented in the documentary ''A Good American''. We encourage you to watch this video about Binney's work with the NSA and their subsequent follow up after 9-11 below ''
We also reported: When Ty Clevenger requested documents from the FBI related to any investigation into the death of Seth Rich, they replied that they never investigated Seth Rich and they don't have any records on him ''
But when documents were requested from the NSA, they replied that they won't release their records regarding Seth Rich because it's a matter of national security ''
USC 552(b)(1) states: This section does not apply to matters that are'--
(A) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and (B) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order;
Attorney Ty Clevenger requested documents again from the FBI related to any communications related to the death of Seth Rich: Clevenger claimed that the FBI did not perform its search in good faith after first declaring that they did not have to perform the search. Clevenger also claims that his client, Ed Butowsky, has information that the Seth Rich's devices were inspected and he wants the results of those investigations ''
Clevenger wants the FBI to continue their search and not cover things up because their first review for documents related to Seth Rich was inadequate.
Next we reported on October 10, 2019 ==>> Clevenger requested that the US Department of Justice provide him documents he is requesting based on some new information and Clevenger also asked the court to allow him to compel the FBI to produce Mr. Hardy (the individual at the FBI who has not provided documents requested) and the chief of CART as witnesses at an evidentiary hearing ''
Clevenger made his request based on some new information that he obtained related to actions the FBI took related to Seth Rich. According to Michael Isikoff who is formerly with Newsweek and now with Yahoo (yes, the same individual involved in the Russia collusion hoax) the FBI had numerous activities related to Seth Rich. On page two of Clevenger's motion, Clevenger notes the following discussion that can be heard on Isikoff's podcast ''
So according to Deep State hack Isikoff ''
1 The FBI had been contacted by the DOJ about Seth Rich 2 The FBI had been examining Seth Rich's computer 3 The FBI was looking into Seth Rich's gmail account 4 The FBI investigated an attempt to hack into Seth Rich's computer 5 And, finally, confirmed liar Andrew McCabe from the FBI said there was nothing to the stories regarding Seth Rich!
Next on October 17, 2019, we reported the following ==>> Ty Clevenger reported that he received a response from the FBI and they basically said that the DOJ was lying. Clevenger writes ''
Now, back to today's events. In the response filed this afternoon, the FBI attacked the statements of Mr. Isikoff and Ms. Hines as ''unsworn'' and ''hearsay,'' and insisted that it did not need to conduct any more searches for records about Mr. Rich. Mind you, I'm just asking the FBI to pick up the phone and call its Computer Analysis Response Team (''CART'') and ask whether CART has any records about Seth Rich. The FBI refuses to do that, even though it has twice called the Washington Field Office (''WFO'') to ask whether WFO had any records about Mr. Rich.
According to the FBI, any CART records would have shown up in the index search of the FBI's Central Records System (''CRS''). As I explained in a September 17, 2019 motion, however, the FBI had already admitted that not everything gets entered in the CRS. And now we've got the former prosecutor who was assigned to Seth Rich's case admitting that the FBI investigated his electronic devices'... yet the FBI refuses to search for records in CART, the place where such records would most likely be found. Suspicious, no?
Clevenger requested a meeting with the FBI but he was out of luck. The FBI's denials stuck. It looked like the FBI was trying to hide something and either the FBI or the DOJ are a bunch of liars, or maybe both?
On Monday, January 27, 2020, we had a stunning update ==>> After previously claiming no FBI records could be found related to Seth Rich, emails were uncovered. These emails weren't just from anybody. These emails were between FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the two most corrupt individuals involved in the Russia Collusion Hoax.
In a set of emails released by Judicial Watch on January 22, 2020, provided by a FOIA request on Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, multiple emails were found referring to Seth Rich:
The emails are heavily redacted but we do know that Jonathan Moffa was also involved in the email exchange:
What's this'.... ðŸðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ pic.twitter.com/VRfobgWrt1
'-- Matt Couch 🎠(@RealMattCouch) January 26, 2020
What's also unreal is that the individual releasing the emails to Judicial Watch, David M. Hardy, is also the Deep State crook who claimed he couldn't find any emails related to Seth Rich to Ty Clevenger. Per Clevenger, he was never contacted by Hardy or the FBI to notify him that Seth Rich emails have been found.
Clevenger prepared an email and notified the court and provided the following complaint to US Attorney Durham, US Attorney Donoghue and DOJ Inspector General Horowitz:
In a post on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, we noted the following about the emails provided to Judicial Watch ==>> The initial response to the query from the Public Affairs Office of the Washington Field Office is telling. The Agent could have responded very simply''The FBI was not involved in any facet of the Seth Rich investigation. This was a local matter handled by the DC Police.
But that is not how the Agent responded. And then he took the step of adding in people at FBI Headquarters. How do we know this? The message from the Washington Field Office at 7:09 pm was sent to the Criminal Division to Agents Moffat and Strzok.
Ty Clevenger now has ample ammunition to return to court and insist that the FBI be required to identify all agents involved in these email chains and to discuss what they knew about the Seth Rich case. David Hardy declared under the penalty of perjury that there were no such emails. I doubt that the two judges involved in the relevant cases on this matter will be happy to learn that the FBI stonewalled a valid FOIA request.
Christopher Wray's FBI is still corrupt and dishonest and no effort has been made to clean house. There is likely no reason for the redactions in the emails to Judicial Watch as well as the delays in producing Seth Rich related emails.The FBI continues to lie and cover up its criminal deeds. Director Wray is part of the problem. The Deep State must go. Americans demand the truth!
GEORGE 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Office of the Press Secretary FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 2, 2020 Letter from President Donald J. Trump to Senator Charles E. Schumer. https://t.co/ECdCbmkTSK" / Twitter
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:39
Log in Sign up GEORGE 🇺🇸 @ TheCollectiveQ Office of the Press SecretaryFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEApril 2, 2020Letter from President Donald J. Trump to Senator Charles E. Schumer.
pic.twitter.com/ECdCbmkTSK 3:12 PM - 2 Apr 2020 from Washington, DC
Twitter by: GEORGE 🇺🇸 @TheCollectiveQ Talikka @ Talikka
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@TheCollectiveQ Why hasn't Chuck Schumer been arrested for threatening Supreme Court justices?
View conversation · GuardianAngelProject @ GuardAngProject
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@TheCollectiveQ Fricken hilarious! Crying Chuck Schumer
View conversation · ''ŒSherry '­¸'­¸'­¸ @ Sherry89498599
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@GuardAngProject @TheCollectiveQ pic.twitter.com/pPCsQKb5if View conversation · The Divine Sophia @ SpiritServicesL
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@TheCollectiveQ The great Bill Cooper knew all along what a slim ball Schumer is.
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Experts and Trump's advisers doubt White House's 240,000 coronavirus deaths estimate - The Washington Post
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:33
White House officials have refused to explain how they generated the figure '-- a death toll bigger than the United States suffered in the Vietnam War or the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They have not provided the underlying data so others can assess its reliability or provided long-term strategies to lower that death count.
Some of President Trump's top advisers have expressed doubts about the estimate, according to three White House officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. There have been fierce debates inside the White House about its accuracy.
At a task force meeting this week, according to two officials with direct knowledge of it, Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told others there are too many variables at play in the pandemic to make the models reliable: ''I've looked at all the models. I've spent a lot of time on the models. They don't tell you anything. You can't really rely upon models.''
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the vice president's office have similarly voiced doubts about the projections' accuracy, the three officials said.
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Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University epidemiologist whose models were cited by the White House, said his own work on the pandemic doesn't go far enough into the future to make predictions akin to the White House fatality forecast.
''We don't have a sense of what's going on in the here and now, and we don't know what people will do in the future,'' he said. ''We don't know if the virus is seasonal, as well.''
The estimate appeared to be a rushed affair, said Marc Lipsitch, a leading epidemiologist and director of Harvard University's Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics. ''They contacted us, I think, on a Tuesday a week ago, and asked for answers and feedback by Thursday, basically 24 hours,'' he said. ''My initial response was we can't do it that fast. But we ended up providing them some numbers responding to very specific scenarios.''
Other experts noted that the White House didn't even explain the time period the death estimate supposedly captures '-- just the coming few months, or the year-plus it will take to deploy a vaccine.
Almost the entirety of what the public knows about the death projection was presented on a single slide at a briefing Tuesday from the White House coronavirus task force. A White House representative said the task force has not publicly released the models it drew from out of respect for the confidentiality of the modelers, many of whom approached the White House unsolicited and simply want to continue their work without publicity.
A representative for Fauci did not respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Vice President Pence declined to comment. On a Thursday call with conservative leaders, Pence said it was ''difficult'' to view the models but ''the president thought it was important to share with the American people.''
Among epidemiologists, the estimate raised more questions than it answered '-- not just about methodology and accuracy but, perhaps more importantly, about purpose.
The primary goal of such models amid an outbreak is to allow authorities to game out scenarios, foresee challenges and create a coherent, long-term strategy '-- something some experts worry doesn't exist within the White House.
''I wish there were more of a concerted national plan. I wish it had started a month and a half ago, maybe two months ago,'' Shaman said.
Natalie Dean, a biostatistician who was not involved in the White House effort but is working on coronavirus vaccine evaluation with the World Health Organization, pointed out that ''the whole reason you create models is to help you make decisions. But you have to actually act on those projections and answers. Otherwise, the models are useless.''
The president's models
At Tuesday's briefing, Trump unveiled the government's projected death count, saying it was based on data ''that has been, I think, brilliantly put together.''
The coordinator of Trump's coronavirus task force, Deborah Birx, then projected a slide with a high-arcing mountain showing the worst-case scenario: 1.5 million to 2.2 million deaths if Americans and the government did absolutely nothing to stop the virus. And a smaller '-- but still imposing '-- hill with 100,000 to 240,000 deaths if measures such as social distancing are taken.
Birx said the projection was based on five or six modelers, including from Imperial College in Britain and Harvard, Columbia and Northeastern universities. ''It was their models that created the ability to see what these mitigations could do, how steeply they could depress the curve,'' Birx said.
But two models appeared to have been particularly influential: the one by Imperial College and one from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington (IHME).
At a news briefing Sunday, Birx explained the process this way: Her task force initially reviewed the work of 12 models. ''Then we went back to the drawing board over the last week or two, and worked from the ground up, utilizing actual reporting of cases,'' Birx said. ''It's the way we built the HIV model, the TB model, the malaria model. And when we finished, the other group that was working in parallel '-- which we didn't know about,'' referring to the IHME group.
The IHME model initially estimated deaths through this summer would total 38,000 to 162,000 '-- a lower projection than many others and beneath the White House's own estimate. But because of its lower figure and Birx's comments, experts believe it to be a main source for the White House's best-case scenario of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths.
Meanwhile, the White House appeared to rely on Imperial College for its worst-case scenario. That study estimated as many as 2.2 million U.S. deaths if no action was taken, 1.1 million deaths if moderate mitigation strategies were adopted, and an unspecified number if drastic measures were taken.
But as a common mathematician's refrain goes: A model is only as good as the assumptions it is built on.
Coronavirus modelers factor in new public health risk: Accusations their work is a hoax
Baked-in assumptions
Knowing the assumptions built into the White House officials' projected number could tell us a lot: exactly how contagious and deadly they believe the virus to be. It also would reflect their beliefs on how the federal government and states will behave in coming months and whether they will do enough to make a difference.
The IHME model assumes every state will quickly impose stay-at-home orders, which some states, including Alabama and Missouri, have yet to do. It also assumes the entire country will maintain these restrictions until summer. But Trump has extended the White House's restrictions until only April 30 and made clear he wants to reopen the country as soon as possible.
Another key question is what time period the White House's 100,000-to-240,000 projection covers. Imperial College's worst-case scenario calculated the toll exacted by the virus over a couple of years. But if the White House's projection covers only the next few months, like the IHME model does, the true death toll will almost certainly be larger because the United States will probably see additional waves of covid-19 until a vaccine is deployed.
And it is important to note, experts say, that the IHME model differs from many epidemiological models '-- another reason its death estimate may be lower, experts say.
Epidemiological projections are often based on what is called the Susceptible Infectious Recovered model (SIR). It is a mathematical way to represent three different populations in an outbreak: those vulnerable to infection, those who are infectious and those gradually removed from the equation by death or recovery.
IHME, however, took an entirely different approach. It is a statistical model that takes the trending curve of deaths from China, for example, and ''fits'' that curve to emerging death data from cities and counties to predict what might come next.
''It's a valuable tool, providing updated state-by-state projections, but it is inherently optimistic because it assumes that all states respond as swiftly as China,'' said Dean, a biostatistician at University of Florida.
In an interview earlier this week, the head of the IHME group, Christopher Murray, said his model was created for a different purpose from Imperial College's.
''The reason we created our model is to help hospitals plan. How many beds you'll need, how many ventilators, when the peak is likely coming,'' Murray said. The purpose of Imperial's model ''is to make people realize government intervention is crucial and what would happen without that.''
An audience of one
For the past decade, the federal government has been nurturing a group of about 50 epidemiologists and math modelers at universities. The U.S. government launched the effort when it became apparent that U.S. expertise in disease modeling was outstripped by England's world-class experts, said Dylan George, a former Obama administration official at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy who was involved in that effort.
Since January, the CDC has been working with that larger group of modeling teams but it has been unclear, especially in recent weeks, how much the White House was listening to their data and projections.
The handful of projections the task force has plucked from the group and used in White House discussions, administration officials said, are sometimes deployed with an audience of one in mind: Trump.
Officials have said the Imperial College's eye-popping 2.2 million death projection convinced Trump to stop dismissing the outbreak and take it more seriously. Similarly, officials said, the new projection of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths is what convinced Trump to extend restrictions for 30 days and abandon his push to reopen parts of the country by Easter, which many health experts believe could have worsened the outbreak.
But what remains unclear and alarming to many modelers is whether the White House is using their data to create a coordinated, coherent long-term strategy.
What's the plan?
Such a national strategy is critical because of the lag time in data that comes with outbreaks.
Any numbers we see today '-- confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths '-- lag two to three weeks behind how the virus is spreading. So decisions made by authorities based on that present-day data are, almost by definition, reactive and potentially come too late.
To get ahead of a virus like this one, authorities must use projections of the future to act in the present.
A White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak by name said the administration does have long-term plans and has been addressing those concerns in the daily briefings.
''Repurposing a [car] plant to make ventilators is great, but honestly '-- I'm not one to cast stones '-- but it could have been done earlier,'' said Shaman, the Columbia University epidemiologist whose models have been reviewed by the White House.
But Shaman doesn't think the White House's death projection is too low, nor does he think it's too late to act decisively.
''I think we can come in under 100,000 deaths. I do,'' he said. ''The jury is not yet in on this.''
Lena H. Sun contributed to this report.
Coronavirus: Google Releases Location Data | Silicon UK Tech News
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:19
Alphabet's Google division has on Thursday published data for 131 countries that shows whether people are obeying self-isolating and quarantine rules.
The 'Community Mobility Reports' from the search engine giant showed whether visits to shops, parks and workplaces dropped in March, Reuters reported.
March is when many countries around the world brought in their lock-down rules, and readers can click here to see the Google reports on their particular country.
Image credit: World Health OrganisationCommunity Mobility ReportsThe Google data comes after surveillance firm NSO Group this week claimed it was in talks with governments around the world about using its tracking software, which is already being tested by some nation states.
Google's analysis of location data meanwhile has come from billions of users' phones (those phones with a Google account that has location sharing enabled).
Google said that its Community Mobility Reports ''were developed to be helpful while adhering to our stringent privacy protocols and protecting people's privacy. No personally identifiable information, such as an individual's location, contacts or movement, will be made available at any point.''
The Google data is said to contain charts that compare traffic from 16 February to 29 March on tube, train and bus stations, as well as supermarkets and other broad categories of places.
Country breakdownsItaly of course remains one of the hardest hit countries in the world.
According to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), 13,915 people have died in that country, with Spain's death toll currently sitting at 10,348 as of Thursday 3 April 2020.
The Google data shows that Italians were obeying the lock-down rules, with visits to retail and recreation locations, including restaurants and cinemas, falling 94 percent, while visits to places of work fell 63 percent.
To underline how severe the impact Coronavirus is having in Italy, even visits to supermarkets pharmacies in Italy dropped 85 percent and park visits were down by 90 percent.
Meanwhile in the United States, California, which was the first to implement a statewide lock-down, visits to retail and recreation locations were cut by half.
But the Google data also showed that visits to supermarkets surged in countries such as Singapore, and the United Kingdom.
However, it should noted that the UK only implemented its lock-down rules on the evening on 22 March.
According to the WHO data, there are now 1,018,920 cases of Coronavirus around the world, and a total of 53,292 have died from Covid-19.
According to Reuters, Facebook has also shared location data with non-governmental researchers that are producing similar reports for authorities in several countries. But the social media giant has not published any findings.
Privacy focusGoogle explained the reason it is releasing this data in a blog post, and stressed it was addressing privacy concerns.
''In Google Maps, we use aggregated, anonymized data showing how busy certain types of places are '' helping identify when a local business tends to be the most crowded,'' Dr. Karen DeSalvo, chief health officer for Google Health and Jen Fitzpatrick, senior vice president for Google Geo, wrote in a blog post.
''We have heard from public health officials that this same type of aggregated, anonymized data could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat Covid-19,'' they wrote.
''These reports have been developed to be helpful while adhering to our stringent privacy protocols and policies,'' they added. ''The reports use aggregated, anonymized data to chart movement trends over time by geography, across different high-level categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.''
They said that the insights were created with aggregated, anonymized sets of data from users who have turned on the Location History setting, which is off by default.
''Users who have Location History turned on can choose to turn the setting off at any time from their Google Account, and can always delete Location History data directly from their Timeline,'' they said.
''These are unprecedented times and we will continue to evaluate these reports as we get feedback from public health officials, civil society groups, local governments and the community at large,'' they concluded. ''We hope these insights will add to other public health information that will help people and communities stay healthy and safe.''
Location dataLast month it was reported that European mobile operators were sharing location data with health authorities in Italy, Germany and Austria, in an effort to fight the spread of the pandemic.
Operators apparently shared data to show whether people were complying with local curbs on movement.
Days later, the British government reportedly approached at least one mobile operator regarding location data, to see if citizens were practising social isolation.
The government was said to be in talks with BT (which owns EE) over revealing mobile data to see if Brits are social distancing.
Mobile location data has been used heavily in South Korea in its fight against Coronavirus, as well as in other countries such as Israel.
Can you protect your privacy online? Take our quiz!
USNS Comfort Hospital Ship Was Supposed to Aid New York. It Has 3 Patients. - The New York Times
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:00
''It's a joke,'' said a top hospital executive, whose facilities are packed with coronavirus patients.
The Navy hospital ship Comfort has been docked at Pier 90 in Manhattan since its arrival on Monday. Credit... Chang W. Lee/The New York Times Such were the expectations for the Navy hospital ship U.S.N.S. Comfort that when it chugged into New York Harbor this week, throngs of people, momentarily forgetting the strictures of social distancing, crammed together along Manhattan's west side to catch a glimpse.
On Thursday, though, the huge white vessel, which officials had promised would bring succor to a city on the brink, sat mostly empty, infuriating executives at local hospitals. The ship's 1,000 beds are largely unused, its 1,200-member crew mostly idle.
Only 20 patients had been transferred to the ship, officials said, even as New York hospitals struggled to find space for the thousands infected with the coronavirus. Another Navy hospital ship, the U.S.N.S. Mercy, docked in Los Angeles, has had a total of 15 patients, officials said.
''If I'm blunt about it, it's a joke,'' said Michael Dowling, the head of Northwell Health, New York's largest hospital system. ''Everyone can say, 'Thank you for putting up these wonderful places and opening up these cavernous halls.' But we're in a crisis here, we're in a battlefield.''
The Comfort was sent to New York to relieve pressure on city hospitals by treating people with ailments other than Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.
President Trump left a nine-day sequester in the White House last week to travel to Norfolk, Va., to personally see off the ship as it set sail for New York, saying it would play a ''critical role.'' The ship's arrival on Monday was cheered as one of the few bright moments in a grim time for the city.
But the reality has been different. A tangle of military protocols and bureaucratic hurdles has prevented the Comfort from accepting many patients at all.
On top of its strict rules preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board, the Navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.
Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort; they must first deliver patients to a city hospital for a lengthy evaluation '-- including a test for the virus '-- and then pick them up again for transport to the ship.
At a morning briefing on Thursday, officials said three patients had been moved to the Comfort. After The New York Times published an article with that number, Elizabeth Baker, a spokeswoman for the Navy, said the number had increased to 20 by late in the day. ''We're bringing them on as fast as we can bring them on,'' she said.
Hospital leaders said they were exasperated by the delays.
Mr. Dowling said he has had to tear his hospitals apart, retrofitting any unused space, including lobbies and conference rooms, into hospital wards. His facilities now house 2,800 so-called Covid patients, up from 100 on March 20, he said. About 25 percent of those are in serious conditions in intensive care units.
Across the city, hospitals are overrun. Patients have died in hallways before they could even be hooked up to one of the few available ventilators in New York. Doctors and nurses, who have had to use the same protective gear again and again, are getting sick. So many people are dying that the city is running low on body bags.
At the same time, there is not a high volume of noncoronavirus patients. Because most New Yorkers have isolated themselves in their homes, there are fewer injuries from car accidents, gun shots and construction accidents that would require an emergency room visit.
Ultimately, Mr. Dowling and others said, if the Comfort refuses to take Covid patients, there are few patients to send. And given the pernicious spread of the disease in New York City, where nearly 50,000 were infected as of Thursday, dividing patients into those who have it and those who do not is pointless, he said.
The solution, he and others said, was to open the Comfort to patients with Covid-19.
''It's pretty ridiculous,'' he said. ''If you're not going to help us with the people we need help with, what's the purpose?''
Asked about Mr. Dowling's criticisms, the Defense Department referred to Mr. Trump's statements about the Comfort at his daily briefing. The president said only that the ship was not accepting patients with the coronavirus.
Late Thursday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York reached an agreement with Mr. Trump to bring Covid patients to the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, another alternative site operated by the military, with 2,500 hospital beds.
''I asked President Trump this morning to consider the request and the urgency of the matter, and the President has just informed me that he granted New York's request,'' Mr. Cuomo said in a statement.
There was no word about doing the same with the U.S.N.S. Comfort.
Capt. Patrick Amersbach, the commanding officer of the medical personnel aboard the Comfort, said at a news conference that, for now, his orders were to accept only patients who had tested negative for the virus. If ordered to accept coronavirus patients, he said, the ship could be reconfigured to make that happen.
''If our mission shifts, we do what we can to meet that mission,'' he said.
From the outset, readying the hospital ship for use in a pandemic proved a challenge. The Comfort was built to operate in battlefield conditions, and its physicians accustomed to treating young, otherwise healthy soldiers suffering from injuries related to gunshots and bomb blasts. Most people who are hospitalized with Covid-19 are older and infected with a novel pathogen that even the world's top medical researchers do not fully understand.
Any outbreak on board could quickly spread and disable the ship's operations. As a precaution, the ship's crew isolated for two weeks before embarking on their mission to New York. They must remain onboard for the duration of their mission in New York.
The ship has struggled to fulfill civilian missions in the past. After Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico in 2017, the Comfort was sent to relieve overextended hospitals, but ended up treating only a handful of patients each day.
A military physician who had previously served on the Navy's hospital ships said in an interview that conditions on board were suitable for soldiers, but, with its narrow bunked cots instead of modern hospital beds, it was not ideal for treating civilians.
Though military physicians are accustomed to battlefield situations, they are well-trained, and should be able to handle strains of the pandemic if ordered to treat patients with the coronavirus, he said.
''As military doctors,'' he said, ''they would absolutely do their best.''
Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.
Updated March 24, 2020
How does coronavirus spread?It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.
Is there a vaccine yet?No. The first testing in humans of an experimental vaccine began in mid-March. Such rapid development of a potential vaccine is unprecedented, but even if it is proved safe and effective, it probably will not be available for 12 to18 months.
What makes this outbreak so different?Unlike the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. It seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions '-- not just those with respiratory diseases '-- particularly hard.
What should I do if I feel sick?If you've been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
How do I get tested?If you're sick and you think you've been exposed to the new coronavirus, the C.D.C. recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there's a chance '-- because of a lack of testing kits or because you're asymptomatic, for instance '-- you won't be able to get tested.
What if somebody in my family gets sick?If the family member doesn't need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible, according to guidelines issued by the C.D.C. If there's space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don't forget to wash your hands frequently.
Should I wear a mask?Experts are divided on how much protection a regular surgical mask, or even a scarf, can provide for people who aren't yet sick. The W.H.O. and C.D.C. say that unless you're already sick, or caring for someone who is, wearing a face mask isn't necessary. The New York Times and other news outlets have been reporting that the wearing of face masks may not help healthy people, noting that while masks can help prevent the spread of a virus if you are infected, most surgical masks are too loose to prevent inhalation of the virus and the more effective N95 masks, because of shortages at health centers worldwide, should be used only by medical personnel. But researchers are also finding that there are more cases of asymptomatic transmission than were known early on in the pandemic. And a few experts say that masks could offer some protection in crowded places where it is not possible to stay 6 feet away from other people. Masks don't replace hand-washing and social distancing.
Should I stock up on groceries?Plan two weeks of meals if possible. But people should not hoard food or supplies. Despite the empty shelves, the supply chain remains strong. And remember to wipe the handle of the grocery cart with a disinfecting wipe and wash your hands as soon as you get home.
Can I go to the park?Yes, but make sure you keep six feet of distance between you and people who don't live in your home. Even if you just hang out in a park, rather than go for a jog or a walk, getting some fresh air, and hopefully sunshine, is a good idea.
Should I pull my money from the markets?That's not a good idea. Even if you're retired, having a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds so that your money keeps up with inflation, or even grows, makes sense. But retirees may want to think about having enough cash set aside for a year's worth of living expenses and big payments needed over the next five years.
What should I do with my 401(k)?Watching your balance go up and down can be scary. You may be wondering if you should decrease your contributions '-- don't! If your employer matches any part of your contributions, make sure you're at least saving as much as you can to get that ''free money.''
Why it Matters | The COVID Tracking Project
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 01:03
The COVID Tracking Project exists because every person, newsroom, and government agency in the United States deserves access to the most complete picture of COVID-19 testing data that can be assembled.
Without complete data, case counts can be deceptiveIn the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many wealthy countries pursued a strategy of widespread testing, allowing many of them to identify regional outbreaks early enough to successfully contain them. Others, including the US, have been much, much slower to implement mass testing. As has been extensively documented elsewhere, the US testing effort started very late, rolled out slowly and unevenly, and has yet to scale widely in most parts of the country.
Alongside the failure to test early or scale up quickly, central authorities have elected not to publish complete testing data. The CDC publishes a case count'--identified cases of COVID-19 confirmed by testing'--but no complete accounting of how many people have been tested. The CDC does offer an incomplete, lagging, national-level account of ''specimens tested,'' but since they report totals as specimens (usually more than one specimen is processed per person tested) and identified positives as people, it's impossible to coherently match totals with positives to infer a complete picture.
Case counts do have obvious value, and Johns Hopkins University maintains the gold-standard count of identified positive cases in the US. The problem with relying on case counts at the national and regional level is that a simple case count doesn't show the true location or comparative severity of outbreaks'--it shows where people are being tested, not where they are sick. A state that identifies only 3 cases after testing 2,000 people is probably in a very different stage of its outbreak from a state that identifies 3 cases after testing only 20 people.
Understanding the shape, speed, and location of regional outbreaks requires not just a number of positive tests, but the entire testing picture: how many people have actually been tested, and where, and what their results were. Unless we can show exactly where and when testing was done and how many people were tested, there's no way to evaluate what a given area's case counts and patient outcomes actually depict.
What it takes to get the dataThe work of continuously evaluating ever-changing official state/territory data sources, ingesting the data, verifying it, fortifying it with reporting when official sources go dark, and publishing it all requires a fast-moving, dedicated organization with a wide range of skills'--not something easily replicated within busy newsrooms and agencies. Every day, we use scrapers and trackers to alert us to changes, but most importantly, we get multiple sets of human eyes on each state and territory's official numbers. The work of data-gathering from official sources is now supplemented by a fast-growing group of local reporters who are constantly pushing authorities to release more complete information.
We're in for the durationWhen we started the project, building on two independently created reporting spreadsheets, we expected to be updating the dataset for a few days'--maybe a week'--until complete federal data emerged. It never did, so we're still here, and we'll keep at it till we're replaced by something better.
We also recognize that part of our work is the creation and maintenance of a historical record of the US government's response, now with the accompanying patient outcomes. As the pandemic imprints itself on the country, we are building an accurate record of what actually happened, day by day, state by state. Until that gets done elsewhere, we'll keep doing the counts.
How Many Americans Have Been Tested for Coronavirus? - The Atlantic
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 01:00
Getty / The Atlantic Editor's Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here.
Updated at 4:10 p.m. E.T. on March 7, 2020.
I t's one of the most urgent questions in the United States right now: How many people have actually been tested for the coronavirus?
This number would give a sense of how widespread the disease is, and how forceful a response to it the United States is mustering. But for days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has refused to publish such a count, despite public anxiety and criticism from Congress. On Monday, Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, estimated that ''by the end of this week, close to a million tests will be able to be performed'' in the United States. On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence promised that ''roughly 1.5 million tests'' would be available this week.
But the number of tests performed across the country has fallen far short of those projections, despite extraordinarily high demand, The Atlantic has found.
Read: You're likely to get the coronavirus
''The CDC got this right with H1N1 and Zika, and produced huge quantities of test kits that went around the country,'' Thomas Frieden, the director of the CDC from 2009 to 2017, told us. ''I don't know what went wrong this time.''
Through interviews with dozens of public-health officials and a survey of local data from across the country, The Atlantic could only verify that 1,895 people have been tested for the coronavirus in the United States, about 10 percent of whom have tested positive. And while the American capacity to test for the coronavirus has ramped up significantly over the past few days, local officials can still test only several thousand people a day, not the tens or hundreds of thousands indicated by the White House's promises.
To arrive at our estimate, we contacted the public-health departments of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We gathered data on websites, and we corresponded with dozens of state officials. All 50 states and D.C. have made some information available, though the quality and timeliness of the data varied widely. Some states have only committed to releasing their numbers once or three times a week. Most are focused on the number of confirmed cases; only a few have publicized the number of people they are capable of testing.
Read: The official coronavirus numbers are wrong, and everyone knows it
The Atlantic's numbers reflect the best available portrait of the country's testing capacity as of early this morning. These numbers provide an accurate baseline, but they are incomplete. Scattered on state websites, the data available are not useful to citizens or political leaders. State-based tallies lack the reliability of the CDC's traditional'--but now abandoned'--method of reporting. Several states'--including New Jersey, Texas, and Louisiana'--have not shared on their official website the number of coronavirus tests they have conducted overall, meaning their number of positive results lacks crucial context. Louisiana's governor has conducted press conferences noting the overall number of tests (5) and positive results (0).*The net effect of these choices is that the country's true capacity for testing has not been made clear to its residents. This level of obfuscation is unexpected in the United States, which has long been a global leader in public-health transparency.
The figures we gathered suggest that the American response to the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has been shockingly sluggish, especially compared with that of other developed countries. The CDC confirmed eight days ago that the virus was in community transmission in the United States'--that it was infecting Americans who had neither traveled abroad nor were in contact with others who had. In South Korea, more than 66,650 people were tested within a week of its first case of community transmission, and it quickly became able to test 10,000 people a day. The United Kingdom, which has only 115 positive cases, has so far tested 18,083 people for the virus.
Normally, the job of gathering these types of data in the U.S. would be left to epidemiologists at the CDC. The agency regularly collects and publishes positive and negative test results for several pathogens, including multiple types of the seasonal flu. But earlier this week, the agency announced that it would stop publishing negative results for the coronavirus, an extraordinary step that essentially keeps Americans from knowing how many people have been tested overall.
Read: What you can do right now about the coronavirus
''With more and more testing done at states, these numbers would not be representative of the testing being done nationally,'' Nancy Messonnier, the chief CDC official for respiratory diseases, said at the time. ''States are reporting results quickly, and in the event of a discrepancy between CDC and state case counts, the state case counts should always be considered more up to date.''
Then, last night, the CDC resumed reporting the number of tests that the agency itself has completed, but did not include testing by state public-health departments or other laboratories. Asked to respond to our own tally and reporting, the CDC directed us to Messonnier's statement from Tuesday.
Our reporting found that disorder has followed the CDC's decision not to publish state data. Messonnier's statement itself implies that, as highly populous states like California increase their own testing, the number of people the CDC reports as having been tested and the actual number of people tested will become ever more divergent. The federal tally of positive cases is now also badly out of date: While the CDC is reporting 99 positive cases of the coronavirus in the United States, our data, and separate data from Johns Hopkins University, show that the true number is well above 200, including those on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The White House declined to comment.
The haphazard debut of the tests'--and the ensuing absence of widespread data about the epidemic'--has hamstrung doctors, politicians, and public-health officials as they try to act prudently during the most important week for the epidemic in the United States so far.
O ur reporting found that the capacity to test for the coronavirus varies dramatically'--and sometimes dangerously'--from state to state.
California claims the highest testing capacity of any state, and has tested the most individuals so far. As of yesterday afternoon, it had tested 516 people, with 53 positive cases, a spokesperson for the Department of Health told us. The department now has the capacity to test 6,000 people every day, and it expects that capacity to expand to 7,400 people a day starting today, the spokesperson said.
Washington State, the site of the country's largest outbreak thus far, can test roughly 1,000 people a day. The state health department's laboratory can test 100 people a day; the rest of the testing is being done at the University of Washington's Virology Lab. Officials have found 70 positive cases in Washington so far, though a genetic study has estimated that there may be hundreds of untested people who have COVID-19 in the greater Seattle area.
Read: The problem with telling sick workers to stay home
Oregon, situated between the California and Washington hot spots, can test only about 40 people a day. Texas has 16 positive cases, according to media reports, but the health department's website still lists only three cases. The Texas Tribune has reported that the state can test approximately 30 people a day.
Other states can test even fewer. Hawaii can test fewer than 20 people a day, though it could double that number in an emergency, an official told us. Iowa has supplies to test about 500 patients a day. Arkansas, though not near a current known outbreak, is able to test only four or five patients a day.
On the East Coast, testing capacity varies significantly. New York State has 22 positive cases, including several cases of community transmission in Manhattan and Brooklyn. It can test 100 to 200 people a day. Neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut have not shared any information about how many tests they have run, or about their daily testing capacity.
Pennsylvania can test only about a dozen people a day, and Delaware can test about 50 people, our survey found. An official in Massachusetts, where two of 20 tests have come back positive, said that she did not know the Bay State's daily capacity, but that its health department ''currently [has] an adequate supply of test kits.''
Read: The gig economy has never been tested by a pandemic
These data come with an important caveat. Currently, most labs require two specimens to test one person. Single-specimen testing capability is being developed, but right now the top-line number of available tests should be cut in half. In other words, ''1.5 million tests'' should be able to test roughly 750,000 people. Some states, such as Colorado, told us how many specimens they could test a day (160), not how many patients (about 80). Other states shared the number of patients they could test, but not the number of specimens. In this story, we've standardized these numbers by dividing any specimen figure by two to give an estimate of the number of patients who can be tested.
Our reporting found that three factors determine the number of people who are tested for the coronavirus.
The first factor is the availability of tests. Until recently, very few physical tests were available, because of a mistake that the CDC made with a crucial component. The White House has pushed for and highlighted a massive increase in available tests, to perhaps 1 million in the next week. But labs have to be trained on how to set up and execute the relatively complex procedure.
The second factor is that the CDC sets the parameters for state and local public-health staff regarding who should be tested. The agency's guidelines were very strict for weeks, focusing on returning international travelers. Even as they have been loosened in the past few days, there are persistent reports that people'--including a sick nurse who had cared for a coronavirus patient'--have not been able to get tested.
Finally, the more people who contract the illness, the greater the demand for testing. Some weeks ago, the number of cases in the United States was probably much, much smaller than today. The upshot is that there is likely to be an explosion of Americans tested for the coronavirus in the next week, led by California and Washington, each of which has a substantial number of cases and has shown signs that the virus is spreading.
Read: The coronavirus is a truly modern epidemic
Even in an emergency, laboratories cannot be spun up immediately. The University of Washington, which appears to have the country's largest testing capacity outside of California'--it can test up to 1,000 people a day'--has been working on its own coronavirus test for several weeks.
A week ago, the FDA eased some regulations on the types of coronavirus tests that can be used. This means that testing capacity will increase, but not overnight.
It has not always been so challenging to get estimates of the number of Americans tested. Throughout February, the CDC published a regular tally of Americans who had been tested for the pathogen. Last Saturday, several days after the country's first case of community transmission was confirmed, that figure was 472.
Then the agency stopped updating the tally. It did not publish new numbers of how many Americans had been tested for the virus on Sunday or Monday, as public criticism of the sluggish response to the disease began to mount. On Tuesday, it announced that it would stop publishing the figure altogether.
Our reporting has found that the CDC has not made good on Messonnier's assurance that state numbers would be available and up to date. Many states are not reporting their results quickly: In our survey, we found that in some states, the most recently available numbers were days old.
Since the CDC's pullback, it has become extremely difficult to track the nation's growing capacity to test for the coronavirus.
There are material reasons for this. At first, the CDC did all the testing, so its results were easy to report. But as the outbreak grew, state public-health laboratories were brought into action. Each of them can do only so many tests, however, so university research laboratories have now joined the effort. Soon private laboratories such as LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics will begin testing people too. Both companies announced yesterday that doctors can now order tests. Still, no one is quite sure precisely when this new testing capability will start delivering results at scale.**
The more entities involved, the more complex the data-gathering effort grows. State public-health departments should be tracking tests from university labs and eventually private labs, but in this time of crisis, they may not have the capacity to gather those data. For example, a Washington public-health official told us that the state could test up to 100 people, but as noted, the University of Washington has far higher throughput. That suggests a positive implication of our reporting: more capacity nationwide than our, or any, data reflect.
Read: Here's who should be avoiding crowds right now
As more laboratories join in the effort, quality control will become more difficult. While each lab must have the FDA's permission to operate, under an Emergency Use Authorization, a new FDA policy allows labs to immediately begin testing people, and requires that they submit their paperwork to the agency within the next 15 days.
These types of measures are necessary because the United States' response to the coronavirus is far behind the spread of the disease within its borders. Testing is the first and most important tool in understanding the epidemiology of a disease outbreak. In the United States, a series of failures has combined with the decentralized nature of our health-care system to handicap the nation's ability to see the severity of the outbreak in hard numbers.
Today, more than a week after the country's first case of community transmission, the most significant finding about the coronavirus's spread in the United States has come from an independent genetic study, not from field data collected by the government. And no state or city has banned large gatherings or implemented the type of aggressive ''social distancing'' policies employed to battle the virus in Italy, Hong Kong, and other affluent places. (After this story was published, Austin, Texas, cancelled this month's SXSW festival.)
If the true extent of the outbreak were known through testing, the American situation would look worse. But health-care officials and providers would be better positioned to combat the virus. Hard decisions require data. For now, state and local governments don't have the information they need.
* This story originally stated that Louisiana had not shared the number of coronavirus tests conducted overall; the governor had shared them during press conferences.
**'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹This story has been updated with new information about testing capabilities at LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.
Robinson Meyer is a staff writer at
The Atlantic, where he covers climate change and technology.
Justin Hart on Twitter: "Wait. What did I just read?! I was doing some sleuthing trying to understand why the total NYC stats are so MASSIVE and I discovered: **NYC is ESTIMATING #COVID19 hospitalizations NOT ON TESTS but on symptoms that match known case
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 00:04
Justin Hart @ justin_hart
2h ðŸ""intense resource and time constraints on hospital reporting systems" No doubt! We've talked about the dangers of a society demanding real-time pandemic medical data in an election-night style format. But what's that NEXT PART about?5/
View conversation · Justin Hart @ justin_hart
2h "...we have estimated the number of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 who have ever been hospitalized by matching the list of key fields from known cases that are reported by laboratories."Now, word of caution - maybe this estimation is totally normal but essentially...6/
View conversation · Justin Hart @ justin_hart
2h NYC is estimating hospitalizations and cases by ASSUMING that OTHER patients who visited ERs with SIMILAR symptoms in a database should AUTOMATICALLY be counted as
#COVID19 patientsStop me if I'm wrong but that could be ONE of the factors as to WHY NYC has SUCH a big caseload?
View conversation · Justin Hart @ justin_hart
2h Now look - this may be SOP for a crisis like this... and I love a good regression formula... but 1) WAS it a regression formula? Or just a vlookup? Or worse yet... a filter?2) How far back did they go? What period of time does "Ever Hospitalized Cases" cover?Lot of questions
View conversation · Justin Hart @ justin_hart
2h I'll reiterate - NYC deserves our total support - they have been going through an awful hell.But when we're making HUGE decisions like shutting down the country for 30 days and HALF of the deaths are from 1 state... I want to make sure we have ALL of the information right.
View conversation · Patch Happens @ Finger_Fan
1h Gee, it would've been nice if we were able to implement widespread testing. That would have cleared a lot of the confusion up. But OH WELL.In the absence of that, I generally have faith that doctors can tell who has Covid-19 based on their symptoms. That's what their job is.
View conversation · Justin Hart @ justin_hart
1h I can totally see that point of view.But I had to dig to find the details behind this. It's just good to know this up front... I mean... it can also be fodder to say... "look, we didn't have enough tests or time!" But this is first place I've seen it.thx for the feedback.
View conversation ·
Lame Cherry: The Corona HAARP Cycle
Thu, 02 Apr 2020 23:59
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.I wanted to share this weather grab from the night of April 2nd, as I have never witnessed anything like this in fronts over the central United States smashing in on top of each other.Maggie said something about her area being weather like she has never seen. I have a theory on this that HAARP is being utilized to wash that Coronavirus right out of your hair. Keep people wet and they stay home, use rain inoculated with what is in contrails and it kills the virus.ResultMDLEPAAluminum0.1000.2000>Barium0.1000.0202.000Calcium1N/A1>Magnesium1N/A1>PH Field7.26.5 to 8.5Titanium0.100N/A0>Consider it a sort of cleaning agent, and New York is getting one hell of a hose down from a mysterious front off the coast which appeared.agtG  237Y
VIDEO - President Trump with Coronavirus Task Force Briefing | C-SPAN.org
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 07:50
April 4, 2020 2020-04-04T16:15:26-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/3ac/20200404162550001_hd.jpg President Trump, along with members of the Coronavirus Task Force, held a briefing on the federal government's response to the pandemic. The president announced the deplopyment of 1,000 medical military personnel to New York City. He also thanked the medical professionals and food supply workers, discussed additional medical supplies in production, reported on the testing of antibodies to guard against the virus, the availability of hydroxychloroquine into the supply chain for testing and medical use, and he stressed the importance for the country to get back to work. The president also warned ''this will be probably the toughest week, between this week and next week, and there'll be a lot of death, unfortunately.''President Trump, along with members of the Coronavirus Task Force, held a briefing on the federal government's response to the pandemic. The president'... read more
President Trump, along with members of the Coronavirus Task Force, held a briefing on the federal government's response to the pandemic. The president announced the deplopyment of 1,000 medical military personnel to New York City. He also thanked the medical professionals and food supply workers, discussed additional medical supplies in production, reported on the testing of antibodies to guard against the virus, the availability of hydroxychloroquine into the supply chain for testing and medical use, and he stressed the importance for the country to get back to work. The president also warned ''this will be probably the toughest week, between this week and next week, and there'll be a lot of death, unfortunately.'' close
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VIDEO - BRUTAL: 5 awful facts about WHO's Tedros Adhanom - YouTube
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 07:46
VIDEO - Did Bill Gates Just Reveal the Reason Behind the Lock-Downs? '' OffGuardian
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 07:42
Rosemary Frei
On March 24 Bill Gates gave a highly revelatory 50-minute interview (above) to Chris Anderson. Anderson is the Curator of TED, the non-profit that runs the TED Talks.
The Gates interview is the second in a new series of daily 'Ted Connects' interviews focused on COVID-19. The series's website says that:
TED Connects: Community and Hope is a free, live, daily conversation series featuring experts whose ideas can help us reflect and work through this uncertain time with a sense of responsibility, compassion and wisdom.''
Anderson asked Gates at 3:49 in the video of the interview '' which is quickly climbing to three million views '' about a 'Perspective' article by Gates that was published February 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
''You wrote that this could be the once-in-a-century pandemic that people have been fearing. Is that how you think of it, still?'' queried Anderson.
''Well, it's awful to say this but, we could have a respiratory virus whose case fatality rate was even higher. If this was something like smallpox, that kills 30 percent of people. So this is horrific,'' responded Gates.
''But, in fact, most people even who get the COVID disease are able to survive. So in that, it's quite infectious '' way more infectious than MERS [Middle East Respiratory Syndrome] or SARS [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome] were. [But] it's not as fatal as they were. And yet the disruption we're seeing in order to knock it down is really completely unprecedented.''
Gates reiterates the dire consequences for the global economy later in the interview.
''We need a clear message about that,'' Gates said starting at 26:52.
''It is really tragic that the economic effects of this are very dramatic. I mean, nothing like this has ever happened to the economy in our lifetimes. But '... bringing the economy back and doing [sic] money, that's more of a reversible thing than bringing people back to life. So we're going to take the pain in the economic dimension, huge pain, in order to minimize the pain in disease and death dimension.''
However, this goes directly against the imperative to balance the benefits and costs of the screening, testing and treatment measures for each ailment '' as successfully promulgated for years by, for example, the Choosing Wisely campaign '' to provide the maximum benefit to individual patients and society as a whole.
Even more importantly, as noted in an April 1 article in OffGuardian, there may be dramatically more deaths from the economic breakdown than from COVID-19 itself.
''By all accounts, the impact of the response will be great, far-reaching, and long-lasting,''
Kevin Ryan wrote in the article. Ryan estimated that well over two million people will likely die from the sequelae of the lock-downs and other drastic measures to enforce 'social distancing.'
Millions could potentially die from suicide, drug abuse, lack of medical coverage or treatment, poverty and lack of food access, on top of other predictable social, medical and public-health problems stemming from the response to COVID-19.
Gates and Anderson did not touch on any of those sequelae. Instead, they focused on rapidly ramping up testing and medical interventions for COVID-19.
Gates said at 30:29 in the interview that he and a large team are moving fast to test anti-virals, vaccines and other therapeutics and to bring them to market as quickly as possible.
The Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust with support from Mastercard and now others, created this therapeutic accelerator to really triage out [candidate therapeutics]'...You have hundreds of people showing up and saying, 'Try this, try that.' So we look at lab assays, animal models, and so we understand which things should be prioritized for these very quick human trials that need to be done all over the world.''
The accelerator was launched March 10 with approximately $125 million in seed funding. Three days later Gates left Microsoft.
Not long before that, on January 23, Gates's organization the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced it will fund three programs to develop COVID-19 vaccines. These are the advancing of DNA-vaccine candidates against MERS and Lassa fever, the development of a '''molecular clamp' platform'' that ''enables targeted and rapid vaccine production against multiple viral pathogens,'' and the manufacture and Phase 1 clinical study of an mRNA vaccine against COVID.
''The programmes will leverage rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as a new partnership. The aim is to advance nCoV-2019 vaccine candidates into clinical testing as quickly as possible,'' according to a news release.
Then at 32:50 in the video, Anderson asked whether the blood serum from people who have recovered from a COVID infection can be used to treat others.
''I heard you mention that one possibility might be treatments from the serum, the blood serum of people who had had the disease and then recovered. So I guess they're carrying antibodies,'' said Anderson. ''Talk a bit about that and how that could work and what it would take to accelerate that.''
[Note that Anderson did not ask Gates about, instead, just letting most of the population '' aside from people most vulnerable to serious illness from the infection, who should be quarantined '-- be exposed to COVID-19 and as a result very likely recover and develop life-long immunity. As at least one expert has observed, ''as much as ninety-nine percent of active cases [of COVID-19] in the general population are 'mild' and do not require specific medical treatment'' to recover.]
''This has always been discussed as, 'How could you pull that off?''' replied Gates. ''So people who are recovered, it appears, have very effective antibodies in their blood. So you could go, transfuse them and only take out white cells, the immune cells.''
However, Gates continued, he and his colleagues have dismissed that possibility because it's ''fairly complicated '' compared to a drug we can make in high volume, you know, the cost of taking it out and putting it back in probably doesn't scale as well.''
Then a few seconds later, at 33:45, Gates drops another bomb:
We don't want to have a lot of recovered people ['...] To be clear, we're trying '' through the shut-down in the United States '' to not get to one percent of the population infected. We're well below that today, but with exponentiation, you could get past that three million [people or approximately one percent of the U.S. population being infected with COVID-19 and the vast majority recovering]. I believe we will be able to avoid that with having this economic pain.''
It appears that rather than let the population be exposed to the virus and most develop antibodies that give them natural, long-lasting immunity to COVID-19, Gates and his colleagues far prefer to create a vast, hugely expensive, new system of manufacturing and selling billions of test kits, and in parallel very quickly developing and selling billions of antivirals and vaccines.
And then, when the virus comes back again a few months later and most of the population is unexposed and therefore vulnerable, selling billions more test kits and medical interventions.
Right after that, at 34:14, Gates talked about how he sees things rolling out from there.
Eventually what we'll have to have is certificates of who's a recovered person, who's a vaccinated person ['...] Because you don't want people moving around the world where you'll have some countries that won't have it under control, sadly. You don't want to completely block off the ability for people to go there and come back and move around. So eventually there will be this digital immunity proof that will help facilitate the global reopening up.''
[Sometime on the afternoon of March 31 the last sentence of this quote was edited out of the official TED video of the interview. Fortunately, recordings of the complete interview are archived elsewhere.]
In the October 2019 Event 201 novel-corona virus-pandemic simulation co-sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum and a division of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a poll that was part of the simulation said that 65% of people in the U.S. would be eager to take a vaccine for COVID-19, ''even if it's experimental.''
This will be tremendously lucrative.
Vaccines are very big business: this Feb. 23 CNBC article, for example, describes the vaccine market as six times bigger than it was 20 years ago, at more than $35 billion annually today, and providing a $44 return for every $1 invested in the world's 94 lowest-income countries.
Notably, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation '' which has an endowment of $52 billion '' has given more than $2.4 billion to the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2000, according to a 2017 Politico article. (While over the same time frame countries have reduced their contributions to the world body, particularly after the 2008-2009 depression, and now account for less than one-quarter of the WHO's budget.) The WHO is now coordinating approximately 50 groups around the world that are working on candidate vaccines against COVID-19.
The Politico article quotes a Geneva-based NGO representative as saying Gates is ''treated liked a head of state, not only at the WHO, but also at the G20,'' and that Gates is one of the most influential people in global health.
Meanwhile, officials around the world are doing their part to make sure everyone social distances, self-isolates and/or stays locked down.
For example, here's Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, at her and Toronto Mayor John Tory's March 30 press briefing:
''We find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic. We should expect some more people will get sick '' and for some, sadly, will die. This is why it is so important to stay at home to reduce virus spread. And to protect front-line workers, healthcare workers and our essential workers, so they can continue to protect us. People shouldn't have to die, people shouldn't have to risk death taking care of us because others won't practice social distancing or physical distancing.''
Yet look how close Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, is sitting to Haley Chazan, Senior Manager, Media Relations, for Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health of Ontario.
This was on Friday, March 27, just before the start of that day's daily press conference by Dr. Williams and Ontario's Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe:
They were sitting two seats, or just a couple of feet, apart. A short time later Chazan got up and stood even closer to Dr. Williams for a little while:
Dr. Williams and Chazan do not live together. Rather, Dr. Williams very likely knows '' just as Gates knows '' that there is little if any reason to worry about being in close contact with other people unless you or they are vulnerable to developing a severe illness from COVID-19. He surely knows, also, that if you contract COVID-19 and you're otherwise healthy you'll very likely have few symptoms, if any, and recover quickly. And that this exposure in fact is beneficial because in the process you will develop antibodies to the virus and have natural, long-lasting immunity to it.
Yet in the March 27 press conference, just like all the others he has participated in during the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Williams lectured the public about maintaining social distancing. He told people not to go outside on the coming weekend to enjoy the nice weather because, otherwise, they might walk past someone and not be two metres apart.
Dr. Williams is among the large cadre of powerful officials who've crashed the global economy by forcing tens of millions of small- and medium-sized businesses to close in the name of the need for forced, severe, social distancing and lock-downs.
They've shattered society, suspended most civil liberties and prohibited most activities and connections that keep people mentally and physically healthy. At the same time the officials have prioritized COVID-19 care over everything else and, as a result, severely limited billions of people's access to life-saving healthcare services ranging from acquiring medication and blood transfusions to having organ transplants and cancer surgeries.
Rosemary Frei has an MSc in molecular biology from a faculty of medicine and was a freelance medical journalist for 22 years. She is now an independent investigative journalist in Canada. You can find her recent detailed investigative analysis of COVID here and follow her on Twitter.
VIDEO - Wal-Mart Giant Voice System - No Agenda Show - YouTube
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 07:23
VIDEO - noagenda on 2020-04-04 23:26.mp4
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 07:04
VIDEO-Sue Mullins on Twitter: "This speaker is in a Walmart parking lot https://t.co/vnhOvcxTk8" / Twitter
Sun, 05 Apr 2020 05:31
Log in Sign up Sue Mullins @ smullins1a This speaker is in a Walmart parking lot
pic.twitter.com/vnhOvcxTk8 7:07 AM - 4 Apr 2020 Twitter by: Sue Mullins @smullins1a Steve in Burrowtown @ StevenCrowtown
20h Replying to
@smullins1a I've seen this before:
pic.twitter.com/vzESXD1xwC View conversation · Sue Mullins @ smullins1a
17h Replying to
@StevenCrowtown ðŸ‚ðŸ‚ðŸ‚
View conversation · Debora Galmiche @ GalmicheDebora
19h Replying to
@smullins1a Same at my Walmart as well! Never considered Walmart a hangout! ðŸ±ðŸ
View conversation · Sue Mullins @ smullins1a
17h Replying to
@GalmicheDebora I know , it cracked me up!
View conversation · AnonymousWesternmass @ anonymousW_M
13h Replying to
@smullins1a People think this will be over in a few weeks . This is the new normal . ðŸ¤...''‚¸ðŸ¤...''‚¸ðŸ¤...''‚¸
View conversation · Sue Mullins @ smullins1a
13h Replying to
@anonymousW_M God, I hope not...
View conversation · Peanut butter Sunflower ðŸŒ>> @ Squashblossomc1
17h Replying to
@smullins1a Same at my Wal-Mart in Vegas and they are funneling everyone through one entrance now. This is getting to be un real
View conversation · Sue Mullins @ smullins1a
17h Replying to
@Squashblossomc1 Yep!
View conversation · Elizabeth Lisa S. @ fsls
19h Replying to
@smullins1a Where is this Walmart?
View conversation · Sue Mullins @ smullins1a
17h Replying to
@fsls Ohio
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VIDEO-Feds arrest over 600 alleged Mexican cartel members | TheHill
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 23:26
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced Wednesday that more than 600 arrests have been made as a result of an interagency operation cracking down on Mexican cartel activity.
''Project Python,'' a DEA-led initiative, targeted members of Crtel de Jalisco Nueva Generaci"n (CJNG). According to the DEA, over the last six months federal law enforcement officials have been monitoring the activities of the accused.
The operation resulted in more than 600 arrests nationwide, 350 indictments and ''significant seizures of money and drugs,'' according to the agencies.
''Project Python marks the most comprehensive action to date in the Department of Justice's campaign to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately destroy CJNG,'' Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said in a statement.
Benczkowski cited an executive order President Trump Donald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE passed shortly after Trump was inaugurated in 2017 that condemned cartel operations in the U.S. and directed federal law enforcement to use the Threat Mitigation Working Group, which was put in place by the Obama administration in 2011.
''When President Trump signed an Executive Order prioritizing the dismantlement of transnational criminal organizations, the Department of Justice answered the call and took direct aim at CJNG. We deemed CJNG one of the highest-priority transnational organized crime threats we face," he said. "And with Project Python, we are delivering results in the face of that threat for the American people.''
According to the DOJ, CJNG is active in major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Houston and Atlanta.
The DOJ and DEA also announced a superseding indictment Wednesday on charges of alleged continuing criminal enterprise against Nemesio Ruben Oseguera Cervantes, also known as ''El Mencho,'' the leader of CJNG.
Last month Oseguera Cervantes's son was extradited from Mexico to the U.S. to be served drug trafficking charges. Two weeks ago, on Feb. 26, his daughter was arrested by federal officials for financial crimes.
VIDEO-Acyn Torabi on Twitter: "The President admits he fired the ICIG over the whistleblower report https://t.co/UwJ7wLJC1B" / Twitter
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 18:59
Log in Sign up Acyn Torabi @ Acyn The President admits he fired the ICIG over the whistleblower report
pic.twitter.com/UwJ7wLJC1B 2:00 PM - 4 Apr 2020 Twitter by: Acyn Torabi @Acyn Acyn Torabi @ Acyn
3h Replying to
@Acyn ''That man is a disgrace to IGs... He's a total disgrace.. That's my decision. I have the absolute right... He's a fake whistleblower and frankly somebody should sue his ass off''
pic.twitter.com/Sz4SotQJMs View conversation · Mark Farina @ djmarkfarina
3h Replying to
@Acyn Interesting how his demeanor became way more serious when he went on that rant? It's rather odd and unsettling that he was speaking more intently on that, than anything about coronavirus!
View conversation · Darren Rufford @ DarrenRufford
3h Replying to
@djmarkfarina @Acyn Malignant Narcissists will always focus on things the relate to them directly, especially grievances. This topic is literally more important to him than the pandemic.
View conversation · Sean Snyder ðŸ>> @ wolfsny66
3h Replying to
@Acyn So he admitted, on camera, it was retaliation.Isn't there some sort of Congressional process as a response to that ðŸ¤--
View conversation · Shannon wilson @ wilson5000_s
2h Replying to
@wolfsny66 @Acyn He's going to prison when this is all said and done with.
View conversation · ð'Žð'‹ð'¼ð'¾ð' ð'ð'Šð'ð'¾ð' ð'ð'ð'¼ð'‰ð'¾ð'ð'ŽðŸº @ FrancisWegner
3h Replying to
@Acyn pic.twitter.com/3JAlwXZmRy View conversation · My Good Friend @ UCanRollWithUs
2h Replying to
@FrancisWegner @AfroPower1 @Acyn Nothing inherently wrong with being a sex worker, but...
pic.twitter.com/ffOBC9wtG0 View conversation · Denise Wu @ denisewu
3h Replying to
@Acyn Guilty behavior
View conversation · Jzikah @ jzikah
3h Replying to
@Acyn He's saying the quiet parts out loud.
#Doh View conversation · Kelly Eells @ KellyCEells
2h Replying to
@jzikah @Acyn He ALWAYS says the quiet parts out loud because he knows he is untouchable.
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VIDEO-Daily Caller on Twitter: ""Do you think every state in this country should be prepared for mail-in voting?" President Trump: ''No, because I think a lot of people cheat... I think people should vote with voter ID... The reason they don't want vot
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 16:55
"Do you think every state in this country should be prepared for mail-in voting?"President Trump: ''No, because I think a lot of people cheat... I think people should vote with voter ID... The reason they don't want voter ID is because they intend to cheat!''
VIDEO - Deep State Exposed® on Twitter: "RETWEET! Bill Gates says mass public gatherings will not come back "at all" until every human being in the world is vaccinated!!! https://t.co/hDNDImH6yJ" / Twitter
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 16:41
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VIDEO - (20) Paul Buitink on Twitter: "Things are getting a wee Orwellian. https://t.co/NtooYHOZfL" / Twitter
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 15:12
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VIDEO - Zoom bombing: Video calls hacked with racial slurs and pornography - CBS News
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 15:01
The FBI is warning about reports of people intruding on Zoom calls with pornographic or hate images. The popular app said its number of users has ballooned from about 10 million to hundreds of millions with people isolated at home under coronavirus precautions.
But, attackers have discovered Zoom too, as one Long Island mother found out earlier this month.
Michelle, who asked that her last name not be used because she fears more online attacks, said her 14-year-old daughter was online in an "Ask the Rabbi" class for her private girls' Modern Orthodox high school when some boys "Zoom-bombed" it.
"First, the screens were completely black and they were saying all these anti-Semitic things, cursing them out, saying you f***ing Jews, et cetera," Michelle told CBS News Consumer Investigative Reporter Anna Werner. "And then one boy suddenly stripped and was naked."
Michelle said her daughter was upset. "She was very embarrassed by it, and she just said, 'I can't talk about it,'" Michelle said.
Wired editor and CBS News contributor Nicholas Thompson said hackers are taking advantage of the millions of new Zoom users.
"The internet brings out base instincts in people. It's true with every new platform," he said. Of novice users, he said, "They don't know the privacy settings. They don't know how to secure it, and so suddenly, they're vulnerable to monsters who want to interrupt and insult them."
Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan said his company wasn't prepared for the influx of novice users.
"I think this is a mistake and lesson learned," he said.
He said businesses using Zoom typically have IT departments that require employees to use passwords and enable additional security features, something first-time users often don't do.
"So this is something new, too. Quite often those are also first-time Zoom users, as well," Yuan said.
Asked if it's fair to blame the users and if the company has a responsibility to protect them, Yuan said, "Absolutely right, I think that's why I say we did not do a good job. When we offer the free service, we should have a training session, we should enable a password. Looking back, we should have done that. Absolutely. This is our oversight."
But Donnell Williams, who heads the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, was not completely satisfied with the company's answers. "It's not right," he said.
Williams had over 200 people in a Zoom conference meeting Wednesday when someone hacked in and drew a picture of male genitalia on the screen and then started making racist comments.
"And then the slurs, I mean, using the N-word. I mean, in front of all of my attendees, who are respected people in our community," Williams said.
Thompson said these hacks have hurt Zoom's reputation.
"I think there's going to be a brand hit for Zoom, without a doubt. People are going to have a few negative connotations about Zoom bombs and privacy failures for a long time with this company," he said.
On the other hand, he said, most people still want the service, including the people interviewed, on Zoom, for this story.
"I don't blame Zoom one bit," Michelle said. "This was a bad experience for these children, and hopefully it won't happen again, for sure."
Yuan said he's taking steps to address the problem. Passwords have now been put in place by default, and K-through-12 schools will use an additional security feature called the "waiting room," which allows users to see who's joining and restrict access. Anyone can add that feature in their settings.
For more on the steps the company has taken and to learn more about enabling security features on Zoom, you can read Yuan's blog.
(C) 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO - Bill Gates Dishes About President Donald Trump Meetings In Exclusive Video | All In | MSNBC - YouTube
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 14:59
VIDEO - Cisco CEO talks supporting hospitals, surging Webex traffic amid coronavirus outbreak - YouTube
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 14:42
VIDEO - More good news? Citizen reporters go & do what the media won't! - YouTube
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 14:00
VIDEO - (19) Roosh on Twitter: "In 2017, Donald Trump wanted to investigate the safety of vaccines. Bill Gates told him, "No... it's a dead end... don't do that." https://t.co/qa4aI6arxY" / Twitter
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 13:41
Log in Sign up Roosh @ rooshv In 2017, Donald Trump wanted to investigate the safety of vaccines. Bill Gates told him, "No... it's a dead end... don't do that."
pic.twitter.com/qa4aI6arxY 10:22 AM - 4 Apr 2020 Twitter by: 2ndfor1st @2ndfor1st Rowan Ryan @ RyanNationalist
1h Replying to
@rooshv Gates is up to something
View conversation · Wise Guy McGarnagle @ WMcgarnagle
1h Replying to
@rooshv investigations regarding safety is never something to be pooh-poohed.
View conversation · ðŸ>> Reasonable ''Rhetoric'' @ ReasonableLies
1h Replying to
@rooshv He wants to murder the majority of the planet and justify it with shady science. He is the emperor of gamma males.
View conversation · Susy Morgan @ SusanSkyfive
1h Replying to
@rooshv Oh. Did he want to keep Rockefeller's and his Eugenics Plan he learned from his daddy, "Secret"...like the Secret Society Baphomet Rituals w/menstrual blood & semen??? Hmmmm...wonder why NO info on the BILLIONS of $$$ LAUNDERED by Gates' foundations & Epstein connections.
View conversation · Colonel BuckTweet @ Bucktweet_Say
1h Replying to
@rooshv I've often wondered why conspiracy theorists always come to the conclusion that vaccines are bad. Can someone explain that to me?I'm really trying to understand.
View conversation · CryptoMutant @ CryptoMutant
58m Replying to
@Bucktweet_Say @rooshv How much would you need to trust an individual before letting them shoot something into your arm? That's how much trust I need to have in pharmaceutical companies and government agencies
View conversation · NoMask4Me🇺🇸 @ Judi_GolfGirl
1h Replying to
@rooshv @abbavitch Why does anybody care what Gates thinks about medicine/health etc..?
View conversation · Zapsavvy @ pattena1
53m Replying to
@rooshv @Annrhefn Burning Sir Bill Gates in effigy here today.
View conversation · rAjanItjJa @ rajanitjja
54m Replying to
@rooshv Thanks for this!
View conversation · Lovelee @ teenadee26
51m Replying to
@rooshv Ughh!! He's the devil! When is he going to be arrested?
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VIDEO - Corpses Lie For Days As Ecuador Struggles To Keep Up With COVID-19 Deaths : Coronavirus Live Updates : NPR
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 13:36
Corpses Lie For Days As Ecuador Struggles To Keep Up With COVID-19 Deaths Men load a coffin onto a pickup truck in front of General del Guasmo Sur Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The port city is the most affected by COVID-19 in the country. Corpses lie in apartments for days and morgues are overcrowded. The city administration requested four refrigerated containers in which the corpses can be temporarily stored. Marcos Pin Mendez/Picture alliance via Getty Imagees hide caption
toggle caption Marcos Pin Mendez/Picture alliance via Getty Imagees Men load a coffin onto a pickup truck in front of General del Guasmo Sur Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The port city is the most affected by COVID-19 in the country. Corpses lie in apartments for days and morgues are overcrowded. The city administration requested four refrigerated containers in which the corpses can be temporarily stored.
Marcos Pin Mendez/Picture alliance via Getty Imagees Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America but it is dealing with one of the region's worst outbreaks of COVID-19, with more than 3,100 identified infections and 120 deaths.
The epicenter of the country's outbreak is the Pacific port city of Guayaquil, where bodies are lying in the streets.
Guayaquil has registered about half of all Ecuador's coronavirus cases and patients have overwhelmed the city's hospitals. In addition, a nationwide curfew and bureaucratic red tape have hindered the work of undertakers.
As a result, the bodies of people who have died in their homes due to COVID-19 and other illnesses often lie for days, wrapped in bed sheets and plastic and decomposing in the tropical heat as relatives watch over them.
That's what happened to V­ctor Morand(C), a 38-year-old Guayaquil resident who died of respiratory failure. In an interview with the local Ecuavisa TV station, the victim's cousin Keyla Reyes was distraught.
"He's been dead for four days," said Reyes, who was nearly overcome by the stench and moved the body to the sidewalk. "We have been calling the police but no one comes."
Jonathan Escalante, a city health worker, told journalists that one of the bodies he had been dispatched to collect had been in the custody of relatives for a week.
"We acknowledge any errors and apologize to those who had to wait days for their loved ones to be taken away," Jorge Wated, who leads a government task force in Guayas province where Guayaquil is located, said in a televised speech Wednesday.
Still, even Guayaquil's mayor, Cynthia Viteri, seemed shocked by the apocalyptic scenes of cadavers in the streets. "What is happening to the public health system in this country?" she demanded.
A man wearing a face mask waits for the corpse of a relative outside a hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Ecuadorians express outrage over the way the government has responded to the number of deaths from COVID-19. Many suspect there are more deaths than the official count. Enrique Ortiz/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Enrique Ortiz/AFP via Getty Images A man wearing a face mask waits for the corpse of a relative outside a hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Ecuadorians express outrage over the way the government has responded to the number of deaths from COVID-19. Many suspect there are more deaths than the official count.
Enrique Ortiz/AFP via Getty Images One problem, says Guayaquil political analyst Martha Rold"s, is that over the past decade, government epidemiologists have scaled back their work amid budget cuts. In addition, the city sends thousands of migrant workers and exchange students to Italy and Spain, two of the countries hardest hit by the new coronavirus.
"A lot of people were returning to Ecuador to stay on vacation with their families. So there were a lot of people coming from Italy and Spain," Rold"s said.
In a speech Thursday, President Len­n Moreno warned that as many as 3,500 people could die of COVID-19 in and around Guayaquil. But he said he had sent a special task force to Guayaquil to collect the bodies and pledged to build a new cemetery to hold them.
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 13:20
VIDEO - The Chinese QR codes being used to curb coronavirus - Reuters - YouTube
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 11:42
VIDEO - U.S. Department of Homeland Security TV Commercial, 'Why: See Something, Say Something' - iSpot.tv
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 11:19
Get Full Metrics On This Ad 10 days of access across the site Media MeasurementNational Airings
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U.S. Department of Homeland Security TV Spot, 'Why: See Something, Say Something'
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VIDEO -1m30- Dr. Drew Talks America's Response To The Coronavirus, Fear-mongering, and Much More. - YouTube
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 11:06
VIDEO-FULL BRIEFING: President Trump, Task Force at the White House Friday - YouTube
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 08:53
VIDEO-WHOA! Dr. Fauci in 2017: President Trump Will Be Challenged By a "Surprise Global Disease Outbreak" (VIDEO)
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 08:21
Uncategorized By Jim HoftPublished April 3, 2020 at 9:17pm
Come again?Back in 2017 at forum on pandemic preparedness at Georgetown University Dr. Fauci made an interesting statement. Fauci told the audience the Trump administration will not only be challenged by ongoing global health threats such as influenza and HIV, but also a surprise disease outbreak.
That was quite a prediction considering it was back in 2017!
Via Ned Nikolav, Ph.D. and Healio.
TRENDING: Nevada Governor Sisolak Found Hoarding Coronavirus Treatment Drug
This is the same guy who told Americans not to worry about the coronavirus back in January.He completely missed it.
Here is the video'--
Popular Right Now Jacob Engels April 3, 2020 at 7:30am
Jim Hoft April 3, 2020 at 9:17pm
Kristinn Taylor April 1, 2020 at 7:32pm
Jim Hoft April 2, 2020 at 11:30am
Jim Hoft April 2, 2020 at 5:15pm
Jim Hoft April 2, 2020 at 10:36pm
Kristinn Taylor April 3, 2020 at 9:53pm
Cristina Laila April 2, 2020 at 5:50pm
VIDEO-Candace Owens on Twitter: "Here it is! @GovNedLamont pressed today about my earlier report that he LIED about the infant #coronavirus death. Look at this coward as he's too scared to answer'--now claiming they have no idea how the baby died! It wa
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 08:12
Jill Cole @ JCole1024
15h Replying to
@RealCandaceO @GovNedLamont Just making sure I understand this. If I die in a car accident and I test positive for COVID-19 in my autopsy, I'm counted as a COVID-19 death right now for "public health purposes"?
View conversation · Denise Gentile @ DeniseGentile5
14h Replying to
@JCole1024 @RealCandaceO @GovNedLamont Saw a report of a nurse saying that even at her hospital she knows of multiple instances where person died of heart attack and such but tested positive for Covid and they were told to put down it was a Covid death 🤯
View conversation · Dawn Michael, PhDðŸ'— @ SexCounseling
16h Replying to
@RealCandaceO @GovNedLamont Thank you Candace for taking such a strong stance on this to bring it out in the open!
View conversation · litourguide @ litourguide1
16h Replying to
@SexCounseling @RealCandaceO @GovNedLamont agree.
View conversation · Joe Reynolds @ jdr0779
16h Replying to
@RealCandaceO @GovNedLamont He asleep admitted in this clip that cause of death can often take weeks and months to determine, so how is MSM reporting all these COVID caused deaths so immediately?!?!
View conversation · J Kirby @ Kirby4titans
16h Replying to
@RealCandaceO @GovNedLamont I love how he says if they have symptoms or test positive, they count it...thats why the number count is trash
View conversation · litourguide @ litourguide1
16h Replying to
@Kirby4titans @RealCandaceO @GovNedLamont Where else is it happening? Curious Americans need to know.
View conversation · The_Baba @ TheBaba45302207
16h Replying to
@RealCandaceO @GovNedLamont wow. Can I say BullS***? Makes perfect sense to me. Claim all deaths, regardless of what actually caused it as a result of Covid19 to create more fear & panic in the populace. Dis/Misinformation... Thank you for sharing.
View conversation · Deanna J @ JohncoxDeanna
11h Replying to
@TheBaba45302207 @RealCandaceO @GovNedLamont Yep and they want to destroy the market so they can blame Trump. They want to capitalize on this coronavirus and push their political agendas. They don't care how many people die, in fact they hope for millions to die, so they can blame Trump.
View conversation ·
VIDEO-Brain Freeze: Joe Biden Calls CARES Act 'Namesake, Uh, of, Uh, of, You Know, Remarkable Feat of a Bipartisanship'
Sat, 04 Apr 2020 08:10
Joe Biden held another virtual Q&A on Thursday, and it did not go any better than all the others.
The Democrat frontrunner lost his train of thought, stumbled while apparently reading a teleprompter, and misstated facts:
''Ten million proud, hardworking Americans who need help now more than they've ever needed it,'' he said of the new unemployment statistics.
''Who are uh, who are about, uh '-- how, how they're going to make '-- they're worried about their rent, they're worried about how they're just going to get the next meal, worried about how they're going to pay the bills to keep the food in [sic] the table,'' he said.
Moments later, he got lost again.
''The U.S. government took important action last week,'' he said, careful not to give President Trump any credit, ''passing into law $2 trillion CARES Act. It was a namesake uh, of, uh, of, you know, remarkable feat of a bipartisanship that uh, Nancy and uh, Schumer, and Republican leaders put together.''
A strange moment came about five minutes in, when he read the domain of his website '-- his own name '-- and it seemed foreign to him.
''The White House, the White House should have the backs, their states, the backs of the states, not just taking '-- it's the responsibility of the White House and the federal government to help,'' he stumbled.
The likely Democrat nominee made an argument that effectively makes his November opponent the reason for every problem by saying Trump needs to help states run state programs, such as unemployment benefit systems.
Biden said Trump should ''stand up a team with empowered, that's empowered with a senior leadership to help states solve challenges that they inevitably are going to face distributing new unemployment benefits.''
Michigan residents have been suffering under the administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer because the antiquated unemployment system she oversees was ill-equipped to handle the crush of claims.
Biden said rescue money should go out to all types of businesses, not just ''to the well-connected, not just to a few splashingly announced examples.''
He said the rescue funds need to be made available to everyone, including ''workers who are laid, you know, have had their hours slashed, been laid off.''
While addressing Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, Biden confessed he forgot her question and asked her to repeat it.
He fielded other questions from the AP, CNN, and Reuters.
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.
VIDEO-Is COVID Martial Law Coming? | Real Jew News
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 18:38
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VIDEO-A Breakdown on Current Testing Procedures - YouTube
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:17
VIDEO-Bill Gates says federal government "needs to set the priorities'' on testing for coronavirus - YouTube
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:11
VIDEO-TODAY on Twitter: "''Shouldn't there be a national order, a national lockdown (rather than what we have now)?'' -@savannahguthrie ''In our country, there still is that issue of central government vs. the ability and the right of a state to make
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 07:57
Log in Sign up TODAY @ TODAYshow ''Shouldn't there be a national order, a national lockdown (rather than what we have now)?'' -
@savannahguthrie''In our country, there still is that issue of central government vs. the ability and the right of a state to make their own decision... Again, I agree with you.'' -Fauci
pic.twitter.com/976rqiVRL8 4:50 AM - 2 Apr 2020 Twitter by: TODAY @TODAYshow Iowagram @ hawkeyejulie
Apr 2 Replying to
@TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie we must keep in mind Fauci is a dr. He makes recommendations on HEALTH. Individual gov. make decisions based on his expertise, and what their individual state looks like.
View conversation · Charlie @ charliebrandt09
Apr 2 Replying to
@TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie Good interview. When I hear him I trust it. I don't get that from other outlets.
View conversation · concerned grandpa @ boomerguilt
Apr 2 Replying to
@TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie #PersonoftheYear#mostadmired#SexiestManAlive#MostReliableGive him any award you choseBut
#DrFauci is the only person I trust on
#COVID19Pandemic news
pic.twitter.com/W4N8wlZssx View conversation · Lorrie Jenkins @ ljmj0708
Apr 2 Replying to
@TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie Please stay true to the science
#DrFauci Please continue to stand your ground about what needs to be done. Don't fall into
#Trumps realm of lies. Thank you for your work and keeping us informed.
View conversation · CJagielski @ c_jagielski
Apr 2 Replying to
@TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie Thank you DNC spokesperson Savannah Guthrie.
View conversation · david click @ davidclick20
19h Replying to
@TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie Yes there should be a national shut down, I absolutely agree with Dr. Fauci on this. And that means closing all essential businesses as well. Only medical police and fire should be out on the streets. People need to be warned to buy what they need to last for the next three weeks
View conversation · R Boyd @ RRB4KU
24h Replying to
@TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie Uh, didn't the White House pitch that idea with NY, NJ & CT and get railed on by those governors, calling it unconstitutional?
View conversation · Shawnnya Kristen Colby Thomas @ ShawnnyaKristen
Apr 2 Replying to
@TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie Well said!
View conversation · Betty @ MeyersEA1
Apr 2 Replying to
@TODAYshow @SavannahGuthrie We need ration stamps because *the same people* are going to the store every day and picking up that "limit one" pkg of TP.Many who had supplies a month ago cannot get replacements. -E
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VIDEO-Mackenzie Gray on Twitter: "''There is no indication that the data that came out of China in terms of the infection rate and their death rate was falsified in any way'' '' Health Minister Hajdu #covid19 #cdnpoli https://t.co/iZNsLfCpo0 https://t.
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 00:04
Rachel Curran @ reicurran
12h Replying to
@Gray_Mackenzie ðŸ well except for the US intelligence report, which I guess is considered less reliable by the Canadian government than officially-sanctioned Chinese numbers.
View conversation · Doug Hill @ doughill58
12h Replying to
@reicurran @Gray_Mackenzie Another thing this gov't has impressed me with, is how good they are at burying their head in the sand. None are so blind as those who refuse to see. But when they admire China, I guess we can't be surprised.
View conversation · pinkicecube @ pinkicecube2020
12h Replying to
@Gray_Mackenzie @WHO It's pretty clear now that Trudeau's team is more concerned with 'staying on message' with
@WHO than informing and protecting Canadians. Absolutely appalling leadership.
View conversation · not inklessPW ðŸ'Ž @ inklessPW
3h Replying to
@pinkicecube2020 @lizzie363 and
2 others shortly after that clip with Pattie, Freeland was asked (in French) about the 16 tons of PPEs and masks that were shipped to China, she basically stated the needs of Chinese healthcare workers are equally urgent to those of Canadian healthcare workers
twitter.com/TondaMacC/stat'... View conversation · Snark Fuckerberg @ tskyyc_king
12h Replying to
@Gray_Mackenzie There is EVERY indication that the death rate in china is falsified. By a factor of 12-16X!
theepochtimes.com/real-death-tol'... View conversation · Jon_McMe' 🍺🇺🇸🇨ðŸ‡... @ JohnnieOil
11h Replying to
@tskyyc_king @Gray_Mackenzie Try 20 to 40X
View conversation · Brian Cates //Flynn & Breitbart's Army! @ drawandstrike
7h Replying to
@Gray_Mackenzie If this is from today, there is really no excuse for her saying this.
View conversation · VTejrep @ VTejrep
7h Replying to
@drawandstrike @Gray_Mackenzie She too, has been purchased by China
View conversation · No legacy is so rich as honesty- W. Shakespeare 🍁 @ Cdn_Eliana
11h Replying to
@Gray_Mackenzie Still wondering why the US was considering militarizing the border? If I was them, I sure as hell would. Our federal gov't are puppets of the CCP.
View conversation ·


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Fauci in 2017 - Trump will have to deal with a surprise pandemic TRUTH COMES OUT.mp3
Dr Drew explains how he was a member of Fauci's FEAR ARMY in 1983 for AIDS.mp3
Gates -3- not talked to the President but is acting like a hub otherwise.mp3
Gates -4- what does opening up look like - VACCINATIONS.mp3
Gates -5- the movies have helped condition us for thr HERO at the end VACCINES.mp3
Bill Gates explains how he hates Trump - in private foundation video chat.mp3
Gate -6- Certificates who is recovered and who is vaccinated.mp3
Gates -1- Intro - CBS with Bill Gates urging ENTIRE country to shut down.mp3
Gates -2- insinutates HIS people in CDC were cut back for vaccine deployment.mp3
coron virus ISO.mp3
Dr-Han various updates.mp3
Funniest Trump mopment at Sat presser.mp3
Lester Holt New York Anger NBC.mp3
Lester Holt New York THREE NBC.mp3
Lester Holt New York TWO NBC.mp3
Lester Holt using words NBC.mp3
Maher on Aid from Trump Sandeers.mp3
Maher Two trump will not leave with Sanders.mp3
mark miley on Fox re navy capt.mp3
mark miley on Fox TWO kills it.mp3
NPR on atkinson.mp3
sact cities report PBS.mp3
sact cities report PBSTWO.mp3
THE ventilators report NPR.mp3
THE ventilators report TWO NPR.mp3
Trump asides on shaking hands.mp3
TRUMP NEWS CON Blasts reporter.mp3
Trump on gracious follow maher.mp3
Trump on Jpoe Biden did not write that.mp3
Trump on OPec.mp3
Trump on the sacking of the captain of the roosevelt.mp3
Trump versius the venitlators Opener.mp3
Trumps call out media for panic.mp3
UBI on PBS cut off.mp3
why we noiw wear masks.mp3
Biden clip typical.mp3
Bill Maher sound check.mp3
Byron Pitts opener.mp3
Byron Ptts throws zinger Pence dodges ABC.mp3
Savanna asks Fauci if we should have NATIONAL lockdown order - Pesky Constitution.mp3
Surgeon General Jerome Adams on the facemask issue.mp3
Trump on mail in voting - NO.mp3
Jim Acosta CNN asks gotcha question Trump interesting answers and dates.mp3
What came out of the Oil Meeting thursday - production cuts possibly.mp3
Dutch Corona Bus announcements in 8 languages.mp3
Gavin newsom on Marshall Law.mp3
Health Minister Hajdu of Ottowa claims Chinese and WHO data was NOT falsified in any way.mp3
Corpses Lie For Days As Ecuador Struggles To Keep Up With COVID-19 Deaths.mp3
The President admits he fired the ICIG over the whistleblower report.mp3
March 11th Project Python DOJ DEA 600 arrests.mp3
Testing -3- Antibody test to go back to work Steve Hahn FDA answers.mp3
Testing -4- Trump hints at testing to travel on planes - airlines don't know.mp3
Testing -1- Birx explains spread not equal everywhere - 2 strains theory.mp3
Testing -2- Birx Italy and Spain are 12 days ahead of us GOOD NEWS.mp3
The Chinese QR codes being used to curb coronavirus - Reuters.mp3
  • 0:00
    but the podcaster podcaster let me
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    through let me go Adam Curry
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    Jhansi Dvorak's 2020 this is your
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    award-winning get money should media
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    assassination episode 1231 this is no
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  • 0:16
  • 0:20
    the drone star state in the morning
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  • 0:23
    I'm Adam curry and from northern Silicon
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    Valley where I'm remembering the ones
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    king of the online services I'm John C
  • 0:33
    Dvorak you kill me man
  • 0:38
    this is what you're thinking of the
  • 0:39
    genie service from General Electric back
  • 0:42
    in the days of prodigy yeah prodigy is
  • 0:46
    another one
  • 0:47
    yeah well prodigy was see hers wasn't it
  • 0:49
    Sears there's a it was three companies
  • 0:52
    they were doing a joint as a joint
  • 0:54
    venture with Sears and two others I
  • 0:56
    can't remember where they were all right
  • 0:57
    and that but then Jeannie demanded
  • 0:59
    Jeannie ever make it past the floppy
  • 1:01
    discs well they went what do you think
  • 1:05
    what would you think their years of
  • 1:06
    existence were gosh I really don't know
  • 1:10
    but that's a good I know a o L we know
  • 1:14
    prodigy I think it closed out for a
  • 1:16
    couple of years had the weird graphics
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    but Jeannie no I don't remember 1985 it
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    came out it ended until the end of 1999
  • 1:28
    huh yeah who still has a genie do they
  • 1:34
    even have email back there's just it was
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    just an account it was not it's not even
  • 1:38
    an email address at the time no they had
  • 1:40
    a whole system it was very much like
  • 1:42
    CompuServe hmm another phone before all
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    of them went graphical I mean once AOL
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    came out with the G GUI which stalled
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    the Internet I mean the web came out by
  • 1:53
    then it was rolling alone to say the
  • 1:54
    least because he had the dot-com crash
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    from the web right and at the same time
  • 1:59
    you had these other services that were
  • 2:01
    kind of struggling with how to how to
  • 2:03
    incorporate the mouse on how that gets
  • 2:05
    traction and then AOL just kind of wiped
  • 2:07
    them all out and AOL it was thought to
  • 2:09
    be the
  • 2:11
    operations gonna take over the web was a
  • 2:13
    joke oh no that's even a even AOL
  • 2:17
    thought that you've got mail they're
  • 2:19
    like ah you don't want that dangerous
  • 2:21
    Internet well here's a here's a way he
  • 2:23
    work he will Jen he words the way to go
  • 2:26
    exactly I got these new headphones which
  • 2:30
    I'm still trying to get used to all
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    right one of our producers turned me on
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    to the nura headphones in ura and what's
  • 2:40
    interesting about these is now they're
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    supposed to deliver an unparalleled
  • 2:45
    immersive experience with music which
  • 2:47
    they do 100% the reason why I have them
  • 2:51
    is inside the they're over the ear
  • 2:54
    headphones inside the cones they
  • 2:56
    actually have two tubes that go directly
  • 2:58
    into your ears
  • 3:00
    yeah which they'll like my hearing aids
  • 3:02
    which is what I need because then I can
  • 3:05
    crank it up as loud as I want without
  • 3:08
    any feedback zero feedback down yeah
  • 3:12
    well that's a plus yeah only only they
  • 3:14
    sound a little different than the other
  • 3:15
    ones so it you know it takes a little
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    getting used to
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    yeah your tubes man it's the future
  • 3:21
    no you're drilling in your brain you
  • 3:26
    would like these headphones they don't
  • 3:28
    like it I seriously liked because of the
  • 3:33
    sound or a pair and I still have one
  • 3:36
    pair of these had two pair at one time I
  • 3:38
    get one pair way of Sony electrostatic
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    would they leak
  • 3:44
    you can't crank those up really loud
  • 3:46
    they leak
  • 3:47
    well electrostatic sensitive to
  • 3:49
    everything I know but I have a hearing
  • 3:51
    issue so I need crutches man well past