Art for episode 1240

1240: Meat Must Flow

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 3m
May 7th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Sir Dave, Duke of America's Heartland and the Arabian Peninsula, Ann Comfort, Ty McMahan, Sir Roly of Crystal Palace, slayer of the concrete dinosaurs, Drew Sample

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Scott of the High Plains., Joe Bisesi, Sir Jobiwan of Weekapaug, Captain Luke, Knight of the Barbary Coast, Sir Dave of the Gold Coast, Sonja Bosenberg

Cover Artist: Trent Drak

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Models and Data
Code Review of Ferguson's Model '' Lockdown Sceptics
Wed, 06 May 2020 22:26
by Sue Denim
Imperial finally released a derivative of Ferguson's code. I figured I'd do a review of it and send you some of the things I noticed. I don't know your background so apologies if some of this is pitched at the wrong level.
My background. I wrote software for 30 years. I worked at Google between 2006 and 2014, where I was a senior software engineer working on Maps, Gmail and account security. I spent the last five years at a US/UK firm where I designed the company's database product, amongst other jobs and projects. I was also an independent consultant for a couple of years. Obviously I'm giving only my own professional opinion and not speaking for my current employer.
The code. It isn't the code Ferguson ran to produce his famous Report 9. What's been released on GitHub is a heavily modified derivative of it, after having been upgraded for over a month by a team from Microsoft and others. This revised codebase is split into multiple files for legibility and written in C++, whereas the original program was ''a single 15,000 line file that had been worked on for a decade'' (this is considered extremely poor practice). A request for the original code was made 8 days ago but ignored, and it will probably take some kind of legal compulsion to make them release it. Clearly, Imperial are too embarrassed by the state of it ever to release it of their own free will, which is unacceptable given that it was paid for by the taxpayer and belongs to them.
The model. What it's doing is best described as ''SimCity without the graphics''. It attempts to simulate households, schools, offices, people and their movements, etc. I won't go further into the underlying assumptions, since that's well explored elsewhere.
Non-deterministic outputs. Due to bugs, the code can produce very different results given identical inputs. They routinely act as if this is unimportant.
This problem makes the code unusable for scientific purposes, given that a key part of the scientific method is the ability to replicate results. Without replication, the findings might not be real at all '' as the field of psychology has been finding out to its cost. Even if their original code was released, it's apparent that the same numbers as in Report 9 might not come out of it.
Non-deterministic outputs may take some explanation, as it's not something anyone previously floated as a possibility.
The documentation says:
The model is stochastic. Multiple runs with different seeds should be undertaken to see average behaviour.
''Stochastic'' is just a scientific-sounding word for ''random''. That's not a problem if the randomness is intentional pseudo-randomness, i.e. the randomness is derived from a starting ''seed'' which is iterated to produce the random numbers. Such randomness is often used in Monte Carlo techniques. It's safe because the seed can be recorded and the same (pseudo-)random numbers produced from it in future. Any kid who's played Minecraft is familiar with pseudo-randomness because Minecraft gives you the seeds it uses to generate the random worlds, so by sharing seeds you can share worlds.
Clearly, the documentation wants us to think that, given a starting seed, the model will always produce the same results.
Investigation reveals the truth: the code produces critically different results, even for identical starting seeds and parameters.
I'll illustrate with a few bugs. In issue 116 a UK ''red team'' at Edinburgh University reports that they tried to use a mode that stores data tables in a more efficient format for faster loading, and discovered '' to their surprise '' that the resulting predictions varied by around 80,000 deaths after 80 days:
That mode doesn't change anything about the world being simulated, so this was obviously a bug.
The Imperial team's response is that it doesn't matter: they are ''aware of some small non-determinisms'', but ''this has historically been considered acceptable because of the general stochastic nature of the model''. Note the phrasing here: Imperial know their code has such bugs, but act as if it's some inherent randomness of the universe, rather than a result of amateur coding. Apparently, in epidemiology, a difference of 80,000 deaths is ''a small non-determinism''.
Imperial advised Edinburgh that the problem goes away if you run the model in single-threaded mode, like they do. This means they suggest using only a single CPU core rather than the many cores that any video game would successfully use. For a simulation of a country, using only a single CPU core is obviously a dire problem '' as far from supercomputing as you can get. Nonetheless, that's how Imperial use the code: they know it breaks when they try to run it faster. It's clear from reading the code that in 2014 Imperial tried to make the code use multiple CPUs to speed it up, but never made it work reliably. This sort of programming is known to be difficult and usually requires senior, experienced engineers to get good results. Results that randomly change from run to run are a common consequence of thread-safety bugs. More colloquially, these are known as ''Heisenbugs''.
But Edinburgh came back and reported that '' even in single-threaded mode '' they still see the problem. So Imperial's understanding of the issue is wrong. Finally, Imperial admit there's a bug by referencing a code change they've made that fixes it. The explanation given is ''It looks like historically the second pair of seeds had been used at this point, to make the runs identical regardless of how the network was made, but that this had been changed when seed-resetting was implemented''. In other words, in the process of changing the model they made it non-replicable and never noticed.
Why didn't they notice? Because their code is so deeply riddled with similar bugs and they struggled so much to fix them that they got into the habit of simply averaging the results of multiple runs to cover it up'... and eventually this behaviour became normalised within the team.
In issue #30, someone reports that the model produces different outputs depending on what kind of computer it's run on (regardless of the number of CPUs). Again, the explanation is that although this new problem ''will just add to the issues'' '... ''This isn't a problem running the model in full as it is stochastic anyway''.
Although the academic on those threads isn't Neil Ferguson, he is well aware that the code is filled with bugs that create random results. In change #107 he authored he comments: ''It includes fixes to InitModel to ensure deterministic runs with holidays enabled''. In change #158 he describes the change only as ''A lot of small changes, some critical to determinacy''.
Imperial are trying to have their cake and eat it. Reports of random results are dismissed with responses like ''that's not a problem, just run it a lot of times and take the average'', but at the same time, they're fixing such bugs when they find them. They know their code can't withstand scrutiny, so they hid it until professionals had a chance to fix it, but the damage from over a decade of amateur hobby programming is so extensive that even Microsoft were unable to make it run right.
No tests. In the discussion of the fix for the first bug, Imperial state the code used to be deterministic in that place but they broke it without noticing when changing the code.
Regressions like that are common when working on a complex piece of software, which is why industrial software-engineering teams write automated regression tests. These are programs that run the program with varying inputs and then check the outputs are what's expected. Every proposed change is run against every test and if any tests fail, the change may not be made.
The Imperial code doesn't seem to have working regression tests. They tried, but the extent of the random behaviour in their code left them defeated. On 4th April they said: ''However, we haven't had the time to work out a scalable and maintainable way of running the regression test in a way that allows a small amount of variation, but doesn't let the figures drift over time.''
Beyond the apparently unsalvageable nature of this specific codebase, testing model predictions faces a fundamental problem, in that the authors don't know what the ''correct'' answer is until long after the fact, and by then the code has changed again anyway, thus changing the set of bugs in it. So it's unclear what regression tests really mean for models like this '' even if they had some that worked.
Undocumented equations. Much of the code consists of formulas for which no purpose is given. John Carmack (a legendary video-game programmer) surmised that some of the code might have been automatically translated from FORTRAN some years ago.
For example, on line 510 of SetupModel.cpp there is a loop over all the ''places'' the simulation knows about. This code appears to be trying to calculate R0 for ''places''. Hotels are excluded during this pass, without explanation.
This bit of code highlights an issue Caswell Bligh has discussed in your site's comments: R0 isn't a real characteristic of the virus. R0 is both an input to and an output of these models, and is routinely adjusted for different environments and situations. Models that consume their own outputs as inputs is problem well known to the private sector '' it can lead to rapid divergence and incorrect prediction. There's a discussion of this problem in section 2.2 of the Google paper, ''Machine learning: the high interest credit card of technical debt''.
Continuing development. Despite being aware of the severe problems in their code that they ''haven't had time'' to fix, the Imperial team continue to add new features; for instance, the model attempts to simulate the impact of digital contact tracing apps.
Adding new features to a codebase with this many quality problems will just compound them and make them worse. If I saw this in a company I was consulting for I'd immediately advise them to halt new feature development until thorough regression testing was in place and code quality had been improved.
Conclusions. All papers based on this code should be retracted immediately. Imperial's modelling efforts should be reset with a new team that isn't under Professor Ferguson, and which has a commitment to replicable results with published code from day one.
On a personal level, I'd go further and suggest that all academic epidemiology be defunded. This sort of work is best done by the insurance sector. Insurers employ modellers and data scientists, but also employ managers whose job is to decide whether a model is accurate enough for real world usage and professional software engineers to ensure model software is properly tested, understandable and so on. Academic efforts don't have these people, and the results speak for themselves.
Rode review of Imperial Model
- poor software dev practices
- even with the same inputs, outputs are not repeatable or reproduceable
- no regression testing after changes
- the models are completely unreliable and decisions based on them need to be reevaluated
Stochastic - Wikipedia
Thu, 07 May 2020 08:01
Randomly determined process
Stochastic refers to a randomly determined process.[1] The word first appeared in English to describe a mathematical object called a stochastic process, but now in mathematics the terms stochastic process and random process are considered interchangeable.[2][3][4][5][6] The word, with its current definition meaning random, came from German, but it originally came from Greek σÏόχÎς (st"khos), meaning 'aim, guess'.[1]
The term stochastic is used in many different fields, particularly where stochastic or random processes are used to represent systems or phenomena that seem to change in a random way. The term is used in the physical sciences such as biology,[7] chemistry,[8] ecology,[9] neuroscience,[10] and physics[11] as well as technology and engineering fields such as image processing, signal processing,[12] information theory,[13] computer science,[14] (including the field of artificial intelligence), cryptography[15] and telecommunications.[16] It is also used in finance, due to seemingly random changes in financial markets[17][18][19] as well as in medicine, linguistics, music, media, colour theory, botany, manufacturing, and geomorphology.
Stochastic social science theory is similar to systems theory.
Etymology [ edit ] The word stochastic in English was originally used as an adjective with the definition "pertaining to conjecturing", and stemming from a Greek word meaning "to aim at a mark, guess", and the Oxford English Dictionary gives the year 1662 as its earliest occurrence.[1] In his work on probability Ars Conjectandi, originally published in Latin in 1713, Jakob Bernoulli used the phrase "Ars Conjectandi sive Stochastice", which has been translated to "the art of conjecturing or stochastics".[20] This phrase was used, with reference to Bernoulli, by Ladislaus Bortkiewicz,[21] who in 1917 wrote in German the word stochastik with a sense meaning random. The term stochastic process first appeared in English in a 1934 paper by Joseph Doob.[1] For the term and a specific mathematical definition, Doob cited another 1934 paper, where the term stochastischer ProzeŸ was used in German by Aleksandr Khinchin,[22][23] though the German term had been used earlier in 1931 by Andrey Kolmogorov.[24]
Artificial intelligence [ edit ] In artificial intelligence, stochastic programs work by using probabilistic methods to solve problems, as in simulated annealing, stochastic neural networks, stochastic optimization, genetic algorithms, and genetic programming. A problem itself may be stochastic as well, as in planning under uncertainty.
Mathematics [ edit ] In the early 1930s, Aleksandr Khinchin gave the first mathematical definition of a stochastic process as a family of random variables indexed by the real line.[25][22][a] Further fundamental work on probability theory and stochastic processes was done by Khinchin as well as other mathematicians such as Andrey Kolmogorov, Joseph Doob, William Feller, Maurice Fr(C)chet, Paul L(C)vy, Wolfgang Doeblin, and Harald Cram(C)r.[27][28] Decades later Cram(C)r referred to the 1930s as the "heroic period of mathematical probability theory".[28]
In mathematics, the theory of stochastic processes is considered to be an important contribution to probability theory, [29] and continues to be an active topic of research for both theoretical reasons and applications.[30][31][32]
The word stochastic is used to describe other terms and objects in mathematics. Examples include a stochastic matrix, which describes a stochastic process known as a Markov process, and stochastic calculus, which involves differential equations and integrals based on stochastic processes such as the Wiener process, also called the Brownian motion process.
Natural science [ edit ] One of the simplest continuous-time stochastic processes is Brownian motion. This was first observed by botanist Robert Brown while looking through a microscope at pollen grains in water.
Physics [ edit ] The name "Monte Carlo" for the stochastic Monte Carlo method was popularized by physics researchers Stanisław Ulam, Enrico Fermi, John von Neumann, and Nicholas Metropolis, among others. The name is a reference to the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco where Ulam's uncle would borrow money to gamble.[33] The use of randomness and the repetitive nature of the process are analogous to the activities conducted at a casino.Methods of simulation and statistical sampling generally did the opposite: using simulation to test a previously understood deterministic problem. Though examples of an "inverted" approach do exist historically, they were not considered a general method until the popularity of the Monte Carlo method spread.
Perhaps the most famous early use was by Enrico Fermi in 1930, when he used a random method to calculate the properties of the newly discovered neutron. Monte Carlo methods were central to the simulations required for the Manhattan Project, though were severely limited by the computational tools at the time. Therefore, it was only after electronic computers were first built (from 1945 on) that Monte Carlo methods began to be studied in depth. In the 1950s they were used at Los Alamos for early work relating to the development of the hydrogen bomb, and became popularized in the fields of physics, physical chemistry, and operations research. The RAND Corporation and the U.S. Air Force were two of the major organizations responsible for funding and disseminating information on Monte Carlo methods during this time, and they began to find a wide application in many different fields.
Uses of Monte Carlo methods require large amounts of random numbers, and it was their use that spurred the development of pseudorandom number generators, which were far quicker to use than the tables of random numbers which had been previously used for statistical sampling.
Biology [ edit ] Stochastic resonance: In biological systems, introducing stochastic "noise" has been found to help improve the signal strength of the internal feedback loops for balance and other vestibular communication.[34] It has been found to help diabetic and stroke patients with balance control.[35] Many biochemical events also lend themselves to stochastic analysis. Gene expression, for example, has a stochastic component through the molecular collisions'--as during binding and unbinding of RNA polymerase to a gene promoter'--via the solution's Brownian motion.
Creativity [ edit ] Simonton (2003, Psych Bulletin) argues that creativity in science (of scientists) is a constrained stochastic behaviour such that new theories in all sciences are, at least in part, the product of a stochastic process.
Computer science [ edit ] Stochastic ray tracing is the application of Monte Carlo simulation to the computer graphics ray tracing algorithm. "Distributed ray tracing samples the integrand at many randomly chosen points and averages the results to obtain a better approximation. It is essentially an application of the Monte Carlo method to 3D computer graphics, and for this reason is also called Stochastic ray tracing."[citation needed ]
Stochastic forensics analyzes computer crime by viewing computers as stochastic processes.
Finance [ edit ] The financial markets use stochastic models to represent the seemingly random behaviour of assets such as stocks, commodities, relative currency prices (i.e., the price of one currency compared to that of another, such as the price of US Dollar compared to that of the Euro), and interest rates. These models are then used by quantitative analysts to value options on stock prices, bond prices, and on interest rates, see Markov models. Moreover, it is at the heart of the insurance industry.
Geomorphology [ edit ] The formation of river meanders has been analyzed as a stochastic process
Language and linguistics [ edit ] Non-deterministic approaches in language studies are largely inspired by the work of Ferdinand de Saussure, for example, in functionalist linguistic theory, which argues that competence is based on performance.[36][37] This distinction in functional theories of grammar should be carefully distinguished from the langue and parole distinction. To the extent that linguistic knowledge is constituted by experience with language, grammar is argued to be probabilistic and variable rather than fixed and absolute. This conception of grammar as probabilistic and variable follows from the idea that one's competence changes in accordance with one's experience with language. Though this conception has been contested,[38] it has also provided the foundation for modern statistical natural language processing[39] and for theories of language learning and change.[40]
Manufacturing [ edit ] Manufacturing processes are assumed to be stochastic processes. This assumption is largely valid for either continuous or batch manufacturing processes. Testing and monitoring of the process is recorded using a process control chart which plots a given process control parameter over time. Typically a dozen or many more parameters will be tracked simultaneously. Statistical models are used to define limit lines which define when corrective actions must be taken to bring the process back to its intended operational window.
This same approach is used in the service industry where parameters are replaced by processes related to service level agreements.
Media [ edit ] The marketing and the changing movement of audience tastes and preferences, as well as the solicitation of and the scientific appeal of certain film and television debuts (i.e., their opening weekends, word-of-mouth, top-of-mind knowledge among surveyed groups, star name recognition and other elements of social media outreach and advertising), are determined in part by stochastic modeling. A recent attempt at repeat business analysis was done by Japanese scholars[citation needed ] and is part of the Cinematic Contagion Systems patented by Geneva Media Holdings, and such modeling has been used in data collection from the time of the original Nielsen ratings to modern studio and television test audiences.
Medicine [ edit ] Stochastic effect, or "chance effect" is one classification of radiation effects that refers to the random, statistical nature of the damage. In contrast to the deterministic effect, severity is independent of dose. Only the probability of an effect increases with dose.
Music [ edit ] In music, mathematical processes based on probability can generate stochastic elements.
Stochastic processes may be used in music to compose a fixed piece or may be produced in performance. Stochastic music was pioneered by Iannis Xenakis, who coined the term stochastic music. Specific examples of mathematics, statistics, and physics applied to music composition are the use of the statistical mechanics of gases in Pithoprakta, statistical distribution of points on a plane in Diamorphoses, minimal constraints in Achorripsis, the normal distribution in ST/10 and Atr(C)es, Markov chains in Analogiques, game theory in Duel and Strat(C)gie, group theory in Nomos Alpha (for Siegfried Palm), set theory in Herma and Eonta,[41] and Brownian motion in N'Shima.[citation needed ] Xenakis frequently used computers to produce his scores, such as the ST series including Morsima-Amorsima and Atr(C)es, and founded CEMAMu. Earlier, John Cage and others had composed aleatoric or indeterminate music, which is created by chance processes but does not have the strict mathematical basis (Cage's Music of Changes, for example, uses a system of charts based on the I-Ching). Lejaren Hiller and Leonard Issacson used generative grammars and Markov chains in their 1957 Illiac Suite. Modern electronic music production techniques make these processes relatively simple to implement, and many hardware devices such as synthesizers and drum machines incorporate randomization features. Generative music techniques are therefore readily accessible to composers, performers, and producers.
[ edit ] Stochastic social science theory is similar to systems theory in that events are interactions of systems, although with a marked emphasis on unconscious processes. The event creates its own conditions of possibility, rendering it unpredictable if simply for the number of variables involved. Stochastic social science theory can be seen as an elaboration of a kind of 'third axis' in which to situate human behavior alongside the traditional 'nature vs. nurture' opposition. See Julia Kristeva on her usage of the 'semiotic', Luce Irigaray on reverse Heideggerian epistemology, and Pierre Bourdieu on polythetic space for examples of stochastic social science theory.[citation needed ]
The term "Stochastic Terrorism" has fallen into frequent use [42] with regard to Lone wolf (terrorism). The terms "Scripted Violence" and "Stochastic Terrorism" are linked in a "cause <> effect" relationship. "Scripted Violence" rhetoric can result in an act of "Stochastic Terrorism." The phrase "scripted violence" has been used in social science since at least 2002.[43]
Author David Neiwert, who wrote the book Alt-America, told Salon interviewer Chauncey Devega:
Scripted violence is where a person who has a national platform describes the kind of violence that they want to be carried out. He identifies the targets and leaves it up to the listeners to carry out this violence. It is a form of terrorism. It is an act and a social phenomenon where there is an agreement to inflict massive violence on a whole segment of society. Again, this violence is led by people in high-profile positions in the media and the government. They're the ones who do the scripting, and it is ordinary people who carry it out.
Think of it like Charles Manson and his followers. Manson wrote the script; he didn't commit any of those murders. He just had his followers carry them out.[44]
Subtractive color reproduction [ edit ] When color reproductions are made, the image is separated into its component colors by taking multiple photographs filtered for each color. One resultant film or plate represents each of the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black data. Color printing is a binary system, where ink is either present or not present, so all color separations to be printed must be translated into dots at some stage of the work-flow. Traditional line screens which are amplitude modulated had problems with moir(C) but were used until stochastic screening became available. A stochastic (or frequency modulated) dot pattern creates a sharper image.
See also [ edit ] Jump processSortitionStochastic processNotes [ edit ] ^ Doob, when citing Khinchin, uses the term 'chance variable', which used to be an alternative term for 'random variable'.[26] References [ edit ] ^ a b c d "Stochastic". Lexico UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press. ^ Robert J. Adler; Jonathan E. Taylor (29 January 2009). Random Fields and Geometry. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 7''8. ISBN 978-0-387-48116-6. ^ David Stirzaker (2005). Stochastic Processes and Models. Oxford University Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-19-856814-8. ^ Lo¯c Chaumont; Marc Yor (19 July 2012). Exercises in Probability: A Guided Tour from Measure Theory to Random Processes, Via Conditioning. Cambridge University Press. p. 175. ISBN 978-1-107-60655-5. ^ Murray Rosenblatt (1962). Random Processes. Oxford University Press. p. 91. ^ Olav Kallenberg (8 January 2002). Foundations of Modern Probability. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 24 and 25. ISBN 978-0-387-95313-7. ^ Paul C. Bressloff (22 August 2014). Stochastic Processes in Cell Biology. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-08488-6. ^ N.G. Van Kampen (30 August 2011). Stochastic Processes in Physics and Chemistry. Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-08-047536-3. ^ Russell Lande; Steinar Engen; Bernt-Erik S...ther (2003). Stochastic Population Dynamics in Ecology and Conservation. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-852525-7. ^ Carlo Laing; Gabriel J Lord (2010). Stochastic Methods in Neuroscience. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-923507-0. ^ Wolfgang Paul; J¶rg Baschnagel (11 July 2013). Stochastic Processes: From Physics to Finance. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-3-319-00327-6. ^ Edward R. Dougherty (1999). Random processes for image and signal processing. SPIE Optical Engineering Press. ISBN 978-0-8194-2513-3. ^ Thomas M. Cover; Joy A. Thomas (28 November 2012). Elements of Information Theory. John Wiley & Sons. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-118-58577-1. ^ Michael Baron (15 September 2015). Probability and Statistics for Computer Scientists, Second Edition. CRC Press. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-4987-6060-7. ^ Jonathan Katz; Yehuda Lindell (2007-08-31). Introduction to Modern Cryptography: Principles and Protocols. CRC Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-58488-586-3. ^ Fran§ois Baccelli; Bartlomiej Blaszczyszyn (2009). Stochastic Geometry and Wireless Networks. Now Publishers Inc. pp. 200''. ISBN 978-1-60198-264-3. ^ J. Michael Steele (2001). Stochastic Calculus and Financial Applications. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-0-387-95016-7. ^ Marek Musiela; Marek Rutkowski (21 January 2006). Martingale Methods in Financial Modelling. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-3-540-26653-2. ^ Steven E. Shreve (3 June 2004). Stochastic Calculus for Finance II: Continuous-Time Models. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-0-387-40101-0. ^ O. B. SheÄ­nin (2006). Theory of probability and statistics as exemplified in short dictums. NG Verlag. p. 5. ISBN 978-3-938417-40-9. ^ Oscar Sheynin; Heinrich Strecker (2011). Alexandr A. Chuprov: Life, Work, Correspondence. V&R unipress GmbH. p. 136. ISBN 978-3-89971-812-6. ^ a b Doob, Joseph (1934). "Stochastic Processes and Statistics". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 20 (6): 376''379. doi:10.1073/pnas.20.6.376. PMC 1076423 . PMID 16587907. ^ Khintchine, A. (1934). "Korrelationstheorie der stationeren stochastischen Prozesse". Mathematische Annalen. 109 (1): 604''615. doi:10.1007/BF01449156. ISSN 0025-5831. ^ Kolmogoroff, A. (1931). "'ber die analytischen Methoden in der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung". Mathematische Annalen. 104 (1): 1. doi:10.1007/BF01457949. ISSN 0025-5831. ^ Vere-Jones, David (2006). "Khinchin, Aleksandr Yakovlevich": 4. doi:10.1002/0471667196.ess6027.pub2. ^ Snell, J. Laurie (2005). "Obituary: Joseph Leonard Doob". Journal of Applied Probability. 42 (1): 251. doi:10.1240/jap/1110381384 . ISSN 0021-9002. ^ Bingham, N. (2000). "Studies in the history of probability and statistics XLVI. Measure into probability: from Lebesgue to Kolmogorov". Biometrika. 87 (1): 145''156. doi:10.1093/biomet/87.1.145. ISSN 0006-3444. ^ a b Cramer, Harald (1976). "Half a Century with Probability Theory: Some Personal Recollections". The Annals of Probability. 4 (4): 509''546. doi:10.1214/aop/1176996025 . ISSN 0091-1798. ^ Applebaum, David (2004). "L(C)vy processes: From probability to finance and quantum groups". Notices of the AMS. 51 (11): 1336''1347. ^ Jochen Blath; Peter Imkeller; Sylvie RÅ'lly (2011). Surveys in Stochastic Processes. European Mathematical Society. pp. 5''. ISBN 978-3-03719-072-2. ^ Michel Talagrand (12 February 2014). Upper and Lower Bounds for Stochastic Processes: Modern Methods and Classical Problems. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 4''. ISBN 978-3-642-54075-2. ^ Paul C. Bressloff (22 August 2014). Stochastic Processes in Cell Biology. Springer. pp. vii''ix. ISBN 978-3-319-08488-6. ^ Douglas Hubbard "How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business" p. 46, John Wiley & Sons, 2007 ^ H¤nggi, P. (2002). "Stochastic Resonance in Biology How Noise Can Enhance Detection of Weak Signals and Help Improve Biological Information Processing". ChemPhysChem. 3 (3): 285''90. doi:10.1002/1439-7641(20020315)3:3<285::AID-CPHC285>3.0.CO;2-A. PMID 12503175. ^ Priplata, A.; et al. (2006). "Noise-Enhanced Balance Control in Patients with Diabetes and Patients with Stroke" (PDF) . Ann Neurol. 59: 4''12. doi:10.1002/ana.20670. PMID 16287079. ^ Newmeyer, Frederick. 2001. "The Prague School and North American functionalist approaches to syntax" Journal of Linguistics 37, pp. 101''126. "Since most American functionalists adhere to this trend, I will refer to it and its practitioners with the initials 'USF'. Some of the more prominent USFs are Joan Bybee, William Croft, Talmy Givon, John Haiman, Paul Hopper, Marianne Mithun and Sandra Thompson. In its most extreme form (Hopper 1987, 1988), USF rejects the Saussurean dichotomies such as langue vs. par´le. For early interpretivist approaches to focus, see Chomsky (1971) and Jackendoff (1972). parole and synchrony vs. diachrony. All adherents of this tendency feel that the Chomskyan advocacy of a sharp distinction between competence and performance is at best unproductive and obscurantist; at worst theoretically unmotivated." ^ Bybee, Joan. "Usage-based phonology." p. 213 in Darnel, Mike (ed). 1999. Functionalism and Formalism in Linguistics: General papers. John Benjamins Publishing Company ^ Chomsky (1959). Review of Skinner's Verbal Behavior, Language, 35: 26''58 ^ Manning and Sch¼tze, (1999) Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing, MIT Press. Cambridge, MA ^ Bybee (2007) Frequency of use and the organization of language. Oxford: Oxford University Press ^ Ilias Chrissochoidis, Stavros Houliaras, and Christos Mitsakis, "Set theory in Xenakis' EONTA", in International Symposium Iannis Xenakis, ed. Anastasia Georgaki and Makis Solomos (Athens: The National and Kapodistrian University, 2005), 241''249. ^ Anthony Scaramucci says he does not support President Trump's reelection on YouTube published August 12, 2019 CNN ^ Hamamoto, Darrell Y. (2002). "Empire of Death: Militarized Society and the Rise of Serial Killing and Mass Murder". New Political Science. 24 (1): 105''120. doi:10.1080/07393140220122662. ^ DeVega, Chauncey (1 November 2018). "Author David Neiwert on the outbreak of political violence". Salon . Retrieved 13 December 2018 . Further reading [ edit ] See the stochastic process of an 8-foot-tall (2.4 m) Probability Machine comparing stock market returns to the randomness of the beans dropping through the quincunx pattern on YouTube. from Index Funds Advisors IFA.comFormalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition by Iannis Xenakis, ISBN 1-57647-079-2Frequency and the Emergence of Linguistic Structure by Joan Bybee and Paul Hopper (eds.), ISBN 1-58811-028-1/ISBN 90-272-2948-1 (Eur.)The Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model provides documentation and computer code for modeling stochastic processes in Visual Basic for Applications.External links [ edit ] The dictionary definition of stochastic at Wiktionary
Coronavirus: Government scientist Neil Ferguson resigns from SAGE after breaking lockdown rules | UK News | Sky News
Tue, 05 May 2020 14:26
Professor Neil Ferguson has resigned from the government's scientific advisory group (SAGE) after reports he broke coronavirus lockdown rules.
The leading epidemiologist from Imperial College said he had made an "error of judgement" in a statement announcing his departure.
As a prominent member of SAGE, his resignation represents a blow for the group and ministers he is helping guide policy around the pandemic.
"I accept I made an error of judgement and took the wrong course of action," he said.
"I have therefore stepped back from my involvement in SAGE.
"I acted in the belief that I was immune, having tested positive for coronavirus and completely isolated myself for almost two weeks after developing symptoms.
"I deeply regret any undermining of the clear messages around the continued need for social distancing to control this devastating epidemic.
"The government guidance is unequivocal, and is there to protect all of us."
While SAGE has around 50 members, Professor Ferguson had become one of the most prominent after featuring in some of the the government's regular coronavirus briefings.
Exclusive: Government scientist Neil Ferguson resigns after breaking lockdown rules to meet his married lover
Tue, 05 May 2020 19:23
The scientist whose advice prompted Boris Johnson to lock down Britain resigned from his Government advisory position on Tuesday night as The Telegraph can reveal he broke social distancing rules to meet his married lover.
Professor Neil Ferguson allowed the woman to visit him at home during the lockdown while lecturing the public on the need for strict social distancing in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The woman lives with her husband and their children in another house.
The epidemiologist leads the team at Imperial College London that produced the computer-modelled research that led to the national lockdown, which claimed that more than 500,000 Britons would die without the measures.
Prof Ferguson has frequently appeared in the media to support the lockdown and praised the "very intensive social distancing" measures.
The revelation of the "illegal" trysts will infuriate millions of couples living apart and banned by the Government from meeting up during the lockdown, which is now in its seventh week.
On at least two occasions, Antonia Staats, 38, travelled across London from her home in the south of the capital to spend time with the Government scientist, nicknamed Professor Lockdown.
The 51-year-old had only just finished a two-week spell self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus.
Prof Ferguson told the Telegraph: "I accept I made an error of judgment and took the wrong course of action. I have therefore stepped back from my involvement in Sage [the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies].
"I acted in the belief that I was immune, having tested positive for coronavirus, and completely isolated myself for almost two weeks after developing symptoms.
"I deeply regret any undermining of the clear messages around the continued need for social distancing to control this devastating epidemic. The Government guidance is unequivocal, and is there to protect all of us."
The first of Ms Staat's visits, on Monday March 30, coincided with a public warning by Prof Ferguson that the one-week-old lockdown measures would have to remain until June.
Ms Staats, a left-wing campaigner, made a second visit on April 8 despite telling friends she suspected that her husband, an academic in his 30s, had symptoms of coronavirus.
She and her husband live together with their two children in a £1.9 million home, but are understood to be in an open marriage. She has told friends about her relationship with Prof Ferguson, but does not believe their actions to be hypocritical because she considers the households to be one.
But one week before the first tryst, Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, and Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, clarified during the daily Downing Street press conference that couples not living together must stay apart during lockdown.
Prof Ferguson sat on Sage, whose advice has guided the Government response during the pandemic, as well as the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), which advises the chief medical officer and the Department of Health.
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, recently reminded the public that it was "illegal to be outside the home for one of any other than four reasons". Those reasons are medical emergency, daily exercise, essential food shopping and certain types of work.
Police in England and Wales have handed out more than 9,000 fines during the lockdown '' equivalent to one every five minutes, while Scotland's chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, was forced to resign last month after making two trips to her second home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: "Scientists like him have told us we should not be doing it, so surely in his case it is a case of we have been doing as he says and he has been doing as he wants to.
"He has peculiarly breached his own guidelines, and for an intelligent man I find that very hard to believe. It risks undermining the Government's lockdown message."
Sir Charles Walker, a senior Conservative MP, said: "People will be desperately missing those that they love, and I totally understand if that separation becomes too much to bear at times."
Ms Staats declined to comment.
Who is Neil Ferguson, the Imperial College London virus modeller and Government scientific adviser?'‹The scientist who convinced Boris Johnson of UK coronavirus lockdown, criticised in past for flawed researchHow Neil Ferguson, the architect of lockdown, was brought down by failing to obey his own rules
Coronavirus shock: How Neil Ferguson was bankrolled by major pharmaceutical companies | UK | News | Express.co.uk
Wed, 06 May 2020 10:39
Express. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. NEIL FERGUSON, one of the Government's senior scientific advisors on the coronavirus response was financed by the pharmaceutical industry in the run-up to the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic, unearthed reports reveal. PUBLISHED: 15:07, Mon, May 4, 2020 | UPDATED: 15:22, Mon, May 4, 2020
Professor Neil Ferguson is one of the most senior advisors to the Government on the coronavirus outbreak. Tasked with shaping the UK's response, Prof Ferguson sits on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) with several other scientists.
He spearheads a team at Imperial College London which produces the mathematical prediction models largely credited with prompting the Government to impose the current lockdown.
Prof Ferguson has a history in working as an epidemiologist for over 20 years, though he began and finished his studies in the field of physics.
Just as Prof Ferguson's prediction models have proved decisive in the ongoing fight against coronavirus, so too were his models used as a precedent in the fight against Swine Flu (N1H1).
His team at Imperial College predicted a scenario in which 65,000 people in the UK died '' a significant benchmark in the WHO's decision to issue a pandemic.
Coronavirus UK latest: Neil Ferguson previously received fees from pharmaceutical companies (Image: GETTY)
Swine Flu: Before the N1H1 outbreak Ferguson had ties with GSK and Roche (Image: BBC)
In the end, the UK death toll from Swine Flu stood at 457.
Added to this, the controversy over so-called ''conflicts of interest'' with those who advised the World Health Organisation (WHO) but had simultaneous ties with the pharmaceutical industry.
The WHO requires all advisors to declare any conflicts of interest prior to their being recruited.
In 2010, the WHO revealed the names of 16 experts and advisors on its emergency committee which recommended the declaration of the Swine Flu pandemic '' five of them having had links with the pharmaceutical industry.
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Neil Ferguson: The Epidemiologist is one of the UK's most senior scientific government advisors (Image: Imperial College London)
The 2018 documentary ''TrustWHO'' noted how Prof Ferguson, who was on the committee, ''reported conflicts of interest''.
The film's maker, Lilian Franck, said: ''Neil Ferguson declares consultancy fees from GlaxoSmithKline, Baxter, and Roche.
''The manufacturers of the Swine Flu vaccines and medications.
''Not a problem for the WHO.''
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At the time, in an interview with the pharmaceutical publication, Scrip, Prof Ferguson explained the extent of his ties to the companies.
He said: "I chose to end the relationship with GSK and Roche in 2007 due to the mounting pressures of other (more important) work, and because I wanted to pursue advisory work with public bodies which is more easily done without current relationships with commercial companies."
He added: ''I think it would be difficult to find a true expert on influenza vaccines and antiviral drugs who has not worked at some time with pharma companies.
''The development of such products is undertaken by commercial companies, they have the data, and they are interested in research which relates to their products.
Coronavirus death toll: UK deaths from COVID-19 are gradually falling (Image: Express Newspapers)
''I think science generally benefits from links between academic and commercial research, as does the quality of scientific advice offered to public health agencies."
The pandemic proved a perfect financial opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry.
JPMorgan estimated some $7-10billion (£5-8bn) was made off 2009 vaccine profits alone.
When contacted by Express.co.uk, Prof Ferguson said he had no conflicts of interest in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.
Big pharma latest: GSK and Roche were among the companies Ferguson received fees from (Image: GETTY)
{%=o.title%}He said: ''I have no commercial consultancy interests, and have not had for several years.
''For the reasons previously stated, I have no links with pharmaceutical and/or vaccine companies related to work on pandemics.
''My only links to vaccine and pharmaceutical companies are in the area of dengue (a mosquito borne virus which is a research interest of mine).
''I receive no personal income or expense payments from that work.
''I am a co-investigator on a research grant funded by a pharmaceutical company to analyse early preclinical data on a novel drug to treat dengue fever.''
Most read in UK
Naked hypocrisy: How Professor Lockdown's mistress was telling the public to stay at home | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 07 May 2020 07:59
Professor Neil Ferguson is a regular guest on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. One such appearance was on March 30. It was the 7.50am slot, to be precise, when Prof Ferguson, not surprisingly, repeated the Government's 'stay-at-home' message.
How ironic '' to put it mildly '' this particular soundbite, on that particular morning, seems with hindsight.
What no one realised at the time was that Prof Ferguson, whose coronavirus research prompted the lockdown, was not alone as he was being interviewed from his home on Today; he was entertaining a guest who was, how shall we say, not a 'member of his household'.
The guest in fact was his girlfriend, Antonia Staats. She is 38 and married. He is 51 and understood to be separated from his wife. Might Miss Staats have even been in Prof Ferguson's bed at the time he went on air? It was early morning, after all.
Pictured: Antonia Staats, 38, works for Avaaz, a global online activist network. She and her band of Left-wing colleagues had their own message for the general public: 'Stay at home'
Professor Neil Ferguson (pictured) has now admitted he made a grave 'error of judgment' and resigned from his Sage role
The affair, in other words, has not only opened up Prof Ferguson to accusations of hypocrisy but also ridicule.
'Lockdown, Pants Down, Steps Down,' is how the Guido Fawkes website headlined the revelation which resulted in Prof Ferguson's immediate resignation as a Downing Street adviser.
He was a key member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) which has been informing the Government's response to the pandemic, earning him the nickname 'Professor Lockdown,' a rather unfortunate sobriquet in the circumstances.
But he has never fitted the popular stereotype of a bookish academic. He is a fitness fanatic who normally wears jeans, T-shirt and jacket. And Miss Staats, a Left-wing campaigner and a mother of two, is certainly not the typical 'other woman'. She is believed to be in an open marriage.
The two met about 18 months ago through the online dating site OkCupid. Perhaps we should not be too surprised given Prof Ferguson's background. The data-driven matchmaking app '' created by four Harvard maths students '' uses scientific modelling to work 'algorithm magic' to find a 'mathematical soulmate'.
Few will see their relationship in such romantic terms, however, given the scandal surrounding their 'illegal' trysts.
Prof Ferguson is understood to be living apart from his wife Kim, 54. They married in 2004 and have a teenage son.
His estranged wife is the daughter of a respected Oxford deputy headmaster and lives in a £1million, end of crescent, terrace townhouse (jointly owned with Prof Ferguson) in the fashionable Jericho district of Oxford, an area beloved of the town's liberal elite.
She describes herself as a 'sustainability educator' and is the director of several companies devoted to green issues '' possibly the only things she has in common with her husband's younger lover.
Antonia Staats grew up in Isny, southern Germany, went to university in Berlin and came to London to obtain a masters in Asian politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where her husband works.
He is a Cambridge graduate and senior lecturer in Arabic Linguistics at SOAS and has met Prof Ferguson; they share an interest in data science.
Pictured: Antonia Staats joins other campaigners from Avaaz in holding a photo-call outside Parliament with a man dressed as Prime Minister Boris Johnson, pushing the plunger on a "No-Deal Bomb"
Pictured: Chris Lucas, husband of Antonia Staats, who is Prof Neil Ferguson's married mistress
Miss Staats herself works for Avaaz, a global online activist network. Avaaz '' meaning 'voice' in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages '' says its mission is to 'close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want'.
Two weeks before the UK was plunged into lockdown, she and her band of Left-wing colleagues had their own message for the general public: 'Stay at home'. Everyone, the group declared, should 'avoid unnecessary close contact and stay at home when we can.' More than half-a-million signed up to the online pledge.
The revelations about Avaaz makes news of Miss Staats's secret assignations with Prof Ferguson all the more incredible.
Before being deleted, her Facebook account highlighted some of her other activities with Avaaz.
In 2016, she took to social media in search of young Londoners who were unhappy with the referendum result as part of her 'Pleasedontgouk' campaign.
The following year she was pictured protesting outside Parliament against Rupert Murdoch's media empire, which she accused of 'pulling the strings' of Theresa May's government.
Even though German-born Miss Staats was ineligible to vote in December's general election, she was busy encouraging others to vote tactically.
Avaaz has also fought vociferously for greater protection for 'Press abuse victims' and wanted the second part of the Leveson inquiry '' intended to examine relationships between journalists and the police '' to go ahead.
Oh, yes, and Miss Staats is also a climate change campaigner. Curiously, though '' or predicatably some might say '' her Facebook posts reveal she is happy to jet back to Germany for ski holidays.
She spoke about her middle class life with an au pair and a cleaner and her relationship with her husband on the 'Life in Pandemic' podcast which was 'broadcast' on March 31, the day after she stayed at Prof Ferguson's London home when he appeared on the Today programme.
'Chris [her husband] has it incredibly easy in the sense that we already had a set-up working from home,' she said. 'You know we have little other stuff to worry about, right? You know we're not renting. Even with the reduced schedule, I still get paid the same amount as when I was working kind of proper full days.
'And I didn't have to scramble to find remote access to what I need for work, or, you know, monitors, computers, whatever I need at home, we had all of that and even so, it's a strain.'
She continued: 'I think strained has sounded too negative, but it's an interesting relationship challenge. I mean, for, you know, Chris and my relationship'... because we spend a lot more time and quite different time with each other all of a sudden, right?'
It must be especially challenging '' or strained '' of course, if you have an 'open marriage' and you want to spend time with someone else.
Pictured: The south London home of Antonia Staats
One wonders what Prof Ferguson's family, or rather his parents, make of his lover's supposedly open marriage? They are pillars of the community back in his native Wales. His father John, 73, is a member of the local parish council while his mother Kathy, 74, was a librarian who later became an Anglican priest, for the parish of Bro Arwystli in the Diocese of Bangor.
'We're very proud of him [Prof Ferguson],' she told the local paper after their son became one of the most famous scientists in the country. 'We worry about him but we're very proud of him.' How many times has Miss Staats visited Prof Ferguson during the lockdown? At least twice, that we know of. Millions of couples kept apart during the past weeks will take a dim view of their potentially dangerous liaisons. She travelled across London '' Miss Staats is understood to live in south London, Professor Ferguson in west London '' to see him. The first of Miss Staats' visits, on Monday March 30, coincided with a public warning by Prof Ferguson that the week-old lockdown would have to remain until June.
A few days earlier, he announced, again on BBC Radio 4's Today programme '' that he was self-isolating in his flat.
'I've been in so many meetings in the last few weeks,' he told listeners. 'We think there's infectiousness for about a day before symptoms '' and I was actually in a Downing Street Press conference. The more serious point it kind of highlights the need for the response which has been enacted.'
Miss Staats made a similar revelation '' about her husband '' at around the same time on the 'Life in Pandemic' podcast.
'Chris has not been feeling great and thinks he's got it,' she said. 'But, you know, we can't know for sure. So what now? Do we assume he's had it? And if so, does that change how comfortable we would feel going to see his parents or not? But until there is a test that would be widely available to help establish whether you have indeed gone through it or not, you just don't know.'
Nevertheless friends, it has been reported, say that she was in Prof Ferguson's flat on the morning of his 7.50am slot on Today.
On April 8, Miss Staats was at his flat again. The contradiction of what he says in public and what he does in private was highlighted two days later on April 10, again on Today. 'We clearly don't want these measures to continue any longer than is absolutely necessary,' he said. 'I mean the economic costs, social costs, personal and health costs are huge, but we don't want to set out polices which maintain the suppression of transmission of this virus.'
Prof Ferguson has now admitted he made a grave 'error of judgment' and resigned from his Sage role. He said he 'acted in the belief that I was immune, having tested positive for coronavirus and completely isolating myself for almost two weeks after developing symptoms.'
His mother-in-law, Eileen Pirie, 79, said: 'I think it is absolutely disgraceful the things that are being said about him. All of this derision because he invited a woman into his flat? Is this really such a big deal? Neil has organised, not single-handedly but to a great degree, our getting out of this huge and awful situation that we are all in.'
Miss Staats has reportedly told friends she did not believe their actions in meeting to be hypocritical as she considers the households to be one.
Few people, one suspects, would agree with her.
The IHME coronavirus model keeps being wrong. Why are we still listening to it? - Vox
Mon, 04 May 2020 08:37
How many people are likely to die in the United States of Covid-19? How many hospital beds is the country going to need? When will case numbers peak?
To answer those questions, many hospital planners, media outlets, and government bodies '-- including the White House '-- relied heavily on one particular model out of the many that have been published in the past two months: the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
The model first estimated in late March that there'd be fewer than 161,000 deaths total in the US; in early April, it revised its projections to say the total death toll through August was ''projected to be 60,415'' (though it acknowledged the range could be between 31,221 and 126,703).
The model has been cited often by the White House and has informed its policymaking. But it may have led the administration astray: The IHME has consistently forecast many fewer deaths than most other models, largely because the IHME model projects that deaths will decline rapidly after the peak '-- an assumption that has not been borne out.
On Wednesday, the US death count passed the 60,000 mark that the IHME model had said was the likely total cumulative death toll. The IHME on April 29 released a new update raising its estimates for total deaths to 72,433, but that, too, looks likely to be proved an underestimate as soon as next week. Even its upper bound on deaths '-- now listed as 114,228 by August '-- is questionable, as some other models expect the US will hit that milestone by the end of May, and most project it will in June.
One analysis of the IHME model found that its next-day death predictions for each state were outside its 95 percent confidence interval 70 percent of the time '-- meaning the actual death numbers fell outside the range it projected 70 percent of the time. That's not great! (A recent revision by IHME fixed that issue; more on this below.)
This track record has led some experts to criticize the model. ''It's not a model that most of us in the infectious disease epidemiology field think is well suited'' to making projections about Covid-19, Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch told reporters.
But if that's the case, how has it risen to such prominence among policymakers? Other models have done better than IHME's at predicting the course of the epidemic, and many of them use approaches epidemiologists believe are more promising. Yet it's the IHME model that has generally guided policymakers, for the most part, in the direction of focusing on a return to normal.
One potential explanation for its outsize influence: Some of the factors that make the IHME model unreliable at predicting the virus may have gotten people to pay attention to it. For one thing, it's more simplistic compared to other models. That means it can be applied in ways more complicated models could not, such as providing state-level projections (something state officials really wanted), which other modelers acknowledged that they didn't have enough data to offer.
Meanwhile, its narrow confidence intervals for state-by-state estimates meant it had quotable (and optimistic) topline numbers. A confidence interval represents a range of numbers wherein the model is very confident the true value will lie. A narrow range that gives ''an appearance of certainty is seductive when the world is desperate to know what lies ahead,'' a criticism of the IHME model published in the Annals of Internal Medicine argued. But the numbers and precise curves the IHME is publishing ''suggests greater precision than the model is able to offer.''
The criticism of the IHME model, and an emerging debate over epidemiology models more broadly, has brought to light important challenges in the fight against the coronavirus. Good planning requires good projections. Models are needed to help predict resurgences and spot a potential second wave. Dissecting what the IHME model got wrong, what other models got right, and how the public and policymakers read these models is essential work in order to create the best pandemic plans possible.
What's wrong with the IHME model of the coronavirus?Models of disease spread are meant to help decision-makers in an environment where math will outperform intuitions. Most people have a hard time thinking about exponential growth, which is why many were taken by surprise in March as the virus spread. That's why models can be useful.
Models usually lay out some foundational assumptions and offer projections based on those assumptions. The IHME model seeks to project death rates and hospitalization rates assuming widespread social distancing and strong measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Since testing is so unreliable at identifying the infection rate, the model uses only death rates as data (though evidence from all-cause mortality data suggests we're undercounting coronavirus-caused deaths, too).
That projected hospitalization rate was one of the things that set it apart, IHME researcher Ali Mokdad told me. It was one of the few models offering that projection, and it was actionable information governments could grab on to and plan around.
Another reason it rose in prominence was IHME's decision to model the effects of strong social distancing measures. That choice proved correct '-- strong measures were indeed taken across the US '-- and the lower death numbers the model churned out as a result reportedly led to it being received favorably by the Trump administration.
But as the weeks have passed, it has become clear that the IHME's projections have been too optimistic, and slow to adjust to reflect the fact that deaths have plateaued rather than rapidly decreasing to zero. The IHME has been regularly updating its model as new data comes in, but the updates have often been slow enough that the numbers are absurd by the time they're changed in an update. For example, in late April the model still stated the expected total death toll was 60,000, even as the US was clearly only a few days from that milestone.
Mokdad told me when we talked that a fix was in the works, and it went up a few days later: The model now projects 73,433 deaths by August. That, too, is probably an underestimate '-- most other models project that total will be reached next week.
In the IHME's defense, it does offer a 95 percent confidence interval that is more accurate than the topline numbers. That range goes from 59,343 '-- significantly less than the number of people already dead of the virus '-- to 114,228. That might sound like a wide range, but it's still optimistic, and the actual toll is on track to lie outside that range entirely. MIT projects the US will surpass that upper bound in mid-June, and the Los Alamos forecast, like the MIT one, predicts the country will burst through the IHME's 95 percent confidence interval in around six weeks.
That's one of the core complaints about the IHME model: its confidence intervals seem too narrow, both for its next-day and several-months-ahead predictions. For instance, when used to predict the number of deaths in a state the very next day (which doesn't require any complex modeling of the long-term effects of uncertain policies), other researchers found the true deaths were outside of the 95 percent confidence interval given by the model 70 percent of the time. Those are embarrassingly poor results.
The day-to-day numbers are jumpy because some counties don't report numbers every day, Mokdad told me. ''The model is kind of confused because states are not reporting deaths consistently,'' he said, adding, ''The model assumes deaths will increase and then come back down,'' and so it reacts poorly when deaths instead vary day to day. Smoothing over the course of a week '-- the latest update the IHME team made '-- means the model should be more predictive.
Indeed, the latest update to the model solves the problem where the next-day deaths are usually outside the model's confidence interval by giving the model extremely wide confidence intervals. That's commendable. It is better to be honest about your extremely high uncertainty than to claim certainty you don't have.
That might lead to unsatisfying models with extremely wide ranges '-- 176 to 3,885 deaths today '-- but if that's an accurate reflection of the state of uncertainty, then so be it. It's better to have a wide confidence interval, acknowledging your uncertainty, than to have a narrow one that is usually wrong. And if next-day deaths are usually wrong, as IHME's are, that undermines confidence in the long-term predictive value of the model.
(But while the IHME has made its day-to-day confidence intervals larger, it still has very narrow confidence intervals for its projections several weeks into the future '-- which is odd, as there should be even more uncertainty about those.)
An even bigger issue with the IHME model is that the way the model is published can obscure its problems. When it's updated, it can be hard to see what its old, obviated predictions were. A website, covid-projections.com, has been set up so that you can look at the predictions made by old versions of the IHME model (and at the history of other models). The IHME models are frequently fairly far off.
The IHME model is unusual compared to other epidemiological models for its design, too. While most of the models use standard epidemiology modeling tactics like SEIR (susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered modeling) or use computer simulations, the IHME model is effectively just about fitting a curve from early data in China and Italy to the disease's trajectory elsewhere.
The IHME model is based ''on a statistical model with no epidemiologic basis,'' the Annals of Internal Medicine critique argues.
The IHME team has defended its model against those complaints.
''We're willing to make a forecast. Most academics want to hedge their bets and not be found to ever be wrong,'' IHME director Christopher Murray told Politico. ''That's not useful for a planner '-- you can't go to a hospital and say you might need 1,000 ventilators, or you might need 5,000.''
The model has gotten better, but flaws remainThe change to the model has certainly improved it, but some problems with the confidence intervals remain. The new model acknowledges extremely high uncertainty about what will happen tomorrow '-- in my state, California, it says there will be between 5 and 103 deaths tomorrow. That's a really wide range.
But on May 20, the model is entirely sure there will be zero deaths. The 95 percent confidence interval runs from zero deaths to ... zero deaths.
The IHME's model of deaths in California reports lots of uncertainty about what will happen tomorrow but extremely high confidence about what will happen in late May. That's an extremely strong claim. I pressed the IHME team about whether they were sure of it. Mokdad said the model's zero-deaths predictions were correct: ''Based on the graph, in certain states, yes '-- in California, May 17, zero. The virus is not circulating anymore; you would expect it to go to zero.''
But the virus is still circulating in California. On April 28, there were 1,187 new cases reported in the state. Even if all infections in California stopped instantly today, it is likely that some already infected people would die in mid-May or later.
California's case numbers (like those of many states) are declining, but only slowly, as social distancing has limited the spread of the virus but not fully stopped it. That ties into another problem with the IHME model: It assumes that social distancing measures, once put in place, are always sufficient to rapidly decrease case numbers to zero.
In the report explaining the model, the researchers write that they look at four measures: ''School closures, non-essential business closures including bars and restaurants, stay-at-home recommendations, and travel restrictions including public transport closures. Days with 1 measure were counted as 0.67 equivalents, days with 2 measures as 0.334 equivalents and with 3 or 4 measures as 0.''
In other words, the model has a built-in assumption that once three of those measures have been put into place, cases will rapidly fall to zero. No new data can change that assumption, which is why the model continues to project zero deaths by mid-May in any area that hasn't lifted social distancing restrictions, even though case numbers have only plateaued rather than declined in many areas.
There are many similar frustratingly confident predictions: On July 12, the model says, we'll need between 0 and 12 hospital beds in the whole US for coronavirus patients, and there will be 0 deaths at any point after July 12.
Why the IHME model's problems shouldn't be used as an indictment of epidemiology more broadlyAll these concerns make it frustrating to many epidemiologists that the IHME model is the one being widely used and cited. ''That the IHME model keeps changing is evidence of its lack of reliability as a predictive tool,'' epidemiologist Ruth Etzioni told Stat News in an article about the problems with the model. ''That it is being used for policy decisions and its results interpreted wrongly is a travesty unfolding before our eyes.''
Alex Merz, a microbiologist at the University of Washington's School of Medicine, has written that ''@IHME_UW's overly optimistic modeling projections contributed to this debacle'' of the coronavirus's rapid spread in the US, and condemned their ''amazing shrinking error band that, preposterously, constricts to zero uncertainty in mid-June. That is not only bad science communication '-- it is bad science.''
The IHME model has also brought the discipline under fire from other fields. Tyler Cowen, whose widely read blog Marginal Revolution has linked many of the papers demonstrating how poorly the IHME model works, argued ''now really is the time to be asking tough questions about epidemiology, and yes, epidemiologists.''
That's not fair, many epidemiologists say '-- the model doesn't use any of the standard tools of the discipline, and they hate it too.
''That the IHME model keeps changing is evidence of its lack of reliability as a predictive tool''
''The IHME approach departs from classic epidemiological modeling,'' epidemiological modelers at the University of Texas at Austin argued. ''Rather than using systems of equations to project the person-to-person transmission of the virus, the [IHME] model postulates that COVID-19 deaths will rise exponentially and then decline in a pattern that roughly resembles a bell curve (i.e., normal distribution).'' (Their paper puts forward their own attempt at modeling the disease with a curve-fitting approach, but one tweaked to use better data and to better represent uncertainty.)
So it might not be fair to draw conclusions about the field as a whole from one model that mostly avoided using its standard tools.
Moreover, the public should be aware that there are better models. The Imperial College model that the British government relied on to inform their country's coronavirus strategy has held up reasonably well, with case numbers loosely tracking the model's predictions for what would happen if social distancing were implemented (as it was shortly after the model was published). It, too, has been frequently revised in response to new data and has come under criticism for overconfidence, but the inaccuracies are smaller and less pervasive, and the initial numbers before any revisions weren't that far off.
Other models, employing more standard epidemiological approaches, perform even better '-- though usually in narrower domains, like trying to project just the peak of the outbreak, or just the rate of new cases.
The IHME team says their model performed pretty well on key problems like predicting the peak in most states (it'll be clear in coming weeks how true that is) and that they're continuing to revise it to make it better. Meanwhile, as the debate over epidemiological models heats up, it's fair to say that holding the shortcomings of the IHME model against epidemiology as a whole isn't fair.
We don't have all the answersBut that still leaves the question: Why did the IHME model become so popular?
The flaws I've noted above were also features that made the model appealing when it was first launched. It was optimistic, projecting lower deaths than other models. It was clear and precise, with narrow confidence intervals. It projected hospitalizations, which few others were doing '-- though those projections turned out to be wrong because not enough was known to project hospitalizations well at that stage. In a time of uncertainty, the IHME model was compelling.
But it turns out the uncertainty being reflected in a lot of other, better models is showing up for a reason '-- there really is still a lot unknown about the course this disease will take.
As my colleague Matt Yglesias has written, ''We need to value scientists and listen to experts, but part of listening means understanding that right now, what they're saying is that they do not have all the answers.''
Given the enormous uncertainty ahead, responsible scientists are avoiding giving dramatic topline numbers they're unsure of, emphasizing the very wide confidence intervals on their estimates, and being careful not to publish results that the Trump administration or the public may interpret as definitive.
But people keep searching for definitive answers (understandably so), and so any model that is presented more confidently will rise to prominence over models that are humbler and better reflect the confusion.
The IHME model is one of several released by researchers at the University of Washington, but it has been far more widely cited and discussed than the others '-- despite being less accurate.
Ultimately, the problem may not be that some models are inaccurate. It was predictable that some models would be inaccurate, with the situation as confusing as it is. There are dozens of models, and ideally we'd be doing something like aggregating them and weighting each according to how well it has performed so far in predicting the crisis.
The current process is almost exactly the opposite of that. Most models are nearly ignored, while a few are cited by the White House and widely referred to in the press. The process that makes some models prominent is not a process that picks out the best of the best '-- and in fact, it may actively be picking out worse models, by emphasizing ones with notable numbers and statistics to cite, by leaning into the seductive ''appearance of certainty'' that researchers have warned about.
In other words, the fact that many epidemiological models are performing badly isn't great, but it could be part of a productive process of arriving at better models. But the media, policymakers, and the public need to be conscious of what kind of models we gravitate to and why. If we elevate the ones we like and quote numbers from them as if they're definitive, then the models will certainly end up shedding more heat than light.
Sign up for the Future Perfect newsletter and we'll send you a roundup of ideas and solutions for tackling the world's biggest challenges '-- and how to get better at doing good.
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Johns Hokins Bloomberg SChool drop EMP on early opening states with unfinished slide deck got leaked to media. IHME updates model the next day
Government report predicts coronavirus cases will surge to 200,000 a day by June 1 - The Washington Post
Mon, 04 May 2020 18:27
A draft government report projects covid-19 cases will surge to about 200,000 per day by June 1, a staggering jump that would be accompanied by more than 3,000 deaths each day.
The document predicts a sharp increase in both cases and deaths beginning about May 14, according to a copy shared with The Washington Post. The forecast stops at June 1, but shows both daily cases and deaths on an upward trajectory at that point.
The White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disavowed the report, although the slides carry the CDC's logo. The creator of the model said the numbers are unfinished projections shown to the CDC as a work in progress.
The work contained a wide range of possibilities and modeling was not complete, according to Justin Lessler, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who created the model. He said he didn't know how the update was turned into a slidedeck by government officials and shared with news organizations. The data was first reported by the New York Times.
''I had no role in the process by which that was presented and shown,'' said Lessler, who added that the data was presented as an ''FYI'' of work still in progress to officials within FEMA. ''It was not in any way intended to be a forecast.''
Lessler said that while the exact numbers and charts in the CDC document may differ from the final results, they do show accurately how covid-19 cases could spiral out of control. He said 100,000 cases per day by the end of the month is within the realm of possibility. Much depends on political decisions being made today.
Sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter to track the outbreak. All stories linked in the newsletter are free to access.
''There are reopening scenarios where it could get out of control very quickly,'' Lessler said.
One federal official said the data was presented at a recent briefing for the National Response Coordination Center, a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, that coordinates federal support during major incidents and emergencies. The official, who was not authorized to discuss internal government briefings, spoke on the condition of anonymity.
It was not immediately clear whether the projections, which also carry the logos of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, are based on ramped up testing, the attempt to reopen some states, the time lag between a rise in cases and deaths or some combination of those factors.
The White House issued a statement Monday that ''this is not a White House document, nor has it been presented to the Coronavirus Task Force or gone through interagency vetting. This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force, or data that the task force has analyzed.
''The President's phased guidelines to open up America again are a scientific driven approach that the top health and infectious disease experts in the federal government agreed with. The health of the American people remains President Trump's top priority, and that will continue as we monitor the efforts by states to ease restrictions.''
A spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the agency did not issue the projections.
The forecast is at odds with remarks made Sunday evening by President Trump, who said the United States could eventually suffer as many as 100,000 deaths. At 3,000 deaths per day and rising, the national total would quickly outstrip that number if the new report is correct.
A senior White House official said the document would not change the White House planning on reopening.
White House officials have been relying on other models to make decisions on reopening, including the IHME model and a ''cubic model'' prepared by Trump adviser and economist Kevin Hassett and the Council of Economic Advisers.
On Monday, however, the IHME model '-- widely used by states and heavily relied upon in the past by the white House '-- also revised its deaths significantly upward to reflect the reopenings in several states.
The IHME model '-- created by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington '-- now estimates America will reach nearly 135,000 deaths by August 1. That number is more than double its mid-April estimate of 60,308 deaths.
IHME's higher projections ''reflect the effect of premature relaxation of restrictions,'' said its creator Christopher Murray. ''In this era where those mandates being relaxed, people should be aware the risk of infection is still there.''
The number of deaths estimated by the IHME model by June 1 is still much lower than those in the draft government report. But the IHME model has consistently is considered among the more optimistic projections.
Even more optimistic than that, however, is the ''cubic model'' prepared by Trump adviser Hassett. People with knowledge of that model say it currently shows deaths dropping precipitously in May '-- and essentially going to zero by May 15.
Despite the White House's optimistic rhetoric, experts warn the country could be living with a sizable covid-19 case load for some time.
''We don't have the testing. We don't have the contract tracing. We can't detect a rebound. It's really problematic place to be. This is not where we want to be,'' said Jeffrey Shaman, one of the country's leading epidemiologists at Columbia University.
What is especially concerning, Shaman said, is that there is a two week lag between actions such as reopening and detection of its effects because of the delay in symptoms and hospitalization.
Researchers at the Center for Infectious Disesease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota issued a report Thursday that suggested the pandemic would last 18 to 24 months, reappearing in waves of varying intensity.
On Sunday, Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said efforts to mitigate spread of the virus had helped but not succeeded in quelling its spread. He said on CBS's Face the Nation that the United States faces the possibility of ''persistent spread'' of the virus that could spark a significant outbreak at any time if schools and workplaces ''let down their guard.''
''While mitigation didn't fail, I think it's fair to say that it didn't work as well as we expected. We expected that we would start seeing more significant declines in new cases and deaths around the nation at this point, and we're just not seeing that,'' Gottlieb said.
The largest number of deaths in the United States in a single day since the pandemic began occurred on April 21, when 2,874 people died. (A total of 6,147 deaths were reported on April 14, but they included New York City adding more than 3,000 probable deaths to the daily total.)
To date, 1.16 million people have been infected by the coronavirus and more than 67,000 have died. Both figures are widely believed to undercount the actual totals.
US coronavirus deaths projection doubles - predicting more than 134,000 fatalities | The Independent
Tue, 05 May 2020 09:55
More than twice as many people in the US may die of coronavirus, according to a new model that is frequently used by the White House, as health officials revise projections amid fears recently relaxed quarantine measures and expired stay-at-home orders could extend the epidemic in many states through the summer.
The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) projects 134,475 US deaths, with a range of 95,092 to 242,890, up to early August, based on a report released on 4 May.
Its report follows a similar projection from federal officials, first obtained by The New York Times, showing a daily death toll increase from Covid-19 to as many as 3,000 per day by 1 June.
Download the new Independent Premium appSharing the full story, not just the headlines
The White House has disputed the findings, claiming that the report has not been vetted by the coronavirus task force and is ''not reflective of any of the modelling done by the task force or data that the task force has analysed''.
But the sharp rise in the projected death toll in both reports reflects what health officials have feared as the country looks to ''reopen'' local economies in the middle of the public health crisis.
IHME attributes the doublings of its numbers to the ''rising mobility in most US states as well as the easing of social distancing measures'' within the next few weeks.
''Growing contacts among people will promote transmission of the coronavirus,'' the university said. ''Increases in testing and contact tracing, along with warming seasonal temperatures '' factors that could help slow transmission '' do not offset rising mobility, thereby fuelling a significant increase in projected deaths.''
IHME director Christopher Murray said that the ''evolution of the epidemic'' relies on the balance within each state of its social distancing efforts along with warming weather, testing rates and contact tracing efforts.
''We expect that the epidemic in many states will now extend through the summer,'' he said.
In March, the university's model initially estimated fewer than 161,000 total deaths in the US. That figure was revised in early April to more than 60,000, with a range as high as 126,000.
left Created with Sketch. right Created with Sketch.
1/13 Cheryll Mack, 46, a registered nurse in the emergency department, poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift outside the hospital where she works. "The Covid-19 spread has affected a lot of livelihood, a lot of people's lives. It has created a crisis, death in general. So I would like to ask not one single person, but all people worldwide, to converge and join the platform that this is something that nobody can fight individually," said Mack.
Reuters
2/13 Dr Laura Bontempo, 50, an emergency medicine doctor wears her personal protective equipment she uses when she sees patients, while posing for a photograph after a nine-hour shift, outside the hospital. "The hardest moments have actually been separating families from patients, there is a no-visitor policy now and taking people away from their loved ones is very challenging," Bontempo said. "I'm used to treating sick patients. I treat sick patients all the time. It's very different knowing that the patient you are treating, is actually a risk to you as well. That's the main difference here. No one who works in hospitals is afraid of treating sick people. Just want to keep staff safe and the patients safe at the same time."
Reuters
3/13 Ernest Capadngan, 29, a registered nurse who works at a biocontainment unit poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift, outside the hospital. "The hardest moment during the shift was just seeing Covid patients die helpless and without their family members beside them," Capadngan said.
Reuters
4/13 Martine Bell, 41, a nurse practitioner in an emergency department, poses for a photograph after a six-hour shift outside the hospital where she works. "The hardest thing in all of this, has been taking care of fellow healthcare providers. It really hits home and it's really scary when you see someone that could be you coming in and now you're taking care of them. It's also hitting home that once healthcare providers start getting sick, who is going to be taking care of the public," Bell said. "It's very stressful, everyone is on edge. We don't know who's coming in next, or how sick they're going to be, or if we are going to get a whole bunch of people or if we're not going to get no one. It's a really stressful and just a completely unusual time for all of us."
Reuters
5/13 Kaitlyn Martiniano, 25, a registered nurse who works at a biocontainment poses for a photograph after a 12.5-hour shift, outside the hospital. "We have a lot of patients and they are pretty sick right now but we have not yet been hit as hard as New York or Seattle, so I feel like we are very lucky with that so far. Every day you have to just be optimistic." Said Martiniano. "I think the reason that we are not being hit as hard right now is because so many things are closed, and because so many people are staying at home."
Reuters
6/13 Tracey Wilson, 53, a nurse practitioner in an intensive care unit (ICU), poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift, outside the hospital where she works. "I had a patient fall out of bed today and I had to call his wife and tell her and she couldn't come see him, even though she pleaded and begged to come see him," Wilson said. "There is a lot of unknowns and with that unknown is a lot of anxiety and stress that we're not used to dealing with."
Reuters
7/13 Meghan Sheehan, 27, a nurse practitioner in an emergency department, poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift, outside the hospital where she works. "I think the hardest moment has been the fear that lives within all of us. There is a lot of unknown right now. We fear what's going to happen tomorrow, how the emergency department will look next week when we come in. We have fears about our own colleagues, whether they will fall ill. We also fear that we could be asymptomatic carriers and bring this virus home to our families and our loved ones. There has been a lot of fear over our supplies and whether we'll run out. And then obviously there is the fear that we will see patients and not be able to do everything we normally can to help save patients' lives," Sheehan said.
Reuters
8/13 Kimberly Bowers, 44, a nurse practitioner in an ICU, poses for a photograph after a 13-hour shift, outside the hospital. "The hardest moment was a young woman who died and her family wasn't able to be here with her," Bowers said. "I think right now, it's just frustrating and scary just not knowing what comes next."
Reuters
9/13 Tiffany Fare, 25, a registered nurse who works at a biocontainment unit poses for a photograph after a 13-hour shift, outside the hospital where she works. "One of the hardest moments was having to see a family member of a Covid patient, say goodbye over an iPad, rooms away. That was a tough one, I can't imagine how hard it would be to be saying goodbye, you can't see your loved one and then they're gone," Fare said. "My team has been really great to me. We've worked really well together and we've really come together in this crisis. We don't really know each other, we all come from different units within the same hospital, so for us to come together and work so well as a team, it's been a journey but I think that's what is giving me hope."
Reuters
10/13 Dr Kyle Fischer, 35, an emergency medicine doctor, poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift, outside the hospital where he works. "Since it's a new virus, we don't have any experience with it. For most diseases I am used to seeing it and taking care of it and this, I don't have any starting place. I know what I'm hearing from New York, I've read all of the papers it seems like, but no one knows what the correct answers are, so there's a huge amount of uncertainty and people are really, really sick. So it's hard to second guess whether or not you are doing the right thing when you think you are but you never quite know," said Fischer.
Reuters
11/13 Julia Trainor, 23, a registered nurse at a surgical ICU, poses for a photograph after a 14-hour shift, outside the hospital. "The hardest moment was having to put a breathing tube in my patient who could no longer breathe for herself and after the breathing tube went in, we called her family and the husband, of course, couldn't visit her because of visitor restrictions at the hospital. So I had to put him on the phone and hold the phone to her ear, as he told her that he loved her so much and then I had to wipe away her tears as she was crying," said Trainor. "I'm used to seeing very sick patients and I'm used to patients dying but nothing quite like this. In the flip of a switch, without the support, they're completely isolated. They're very sick. Some of them recover and some of them don't. But the hardest part, I would think, is them having to go through this feeling like they are alone."
Reuters
12/13 Lisa Mehring, 45, a registered nurse who works in a biocontainment unit with Covid-19 patients, poses for a photograph after a 12.5-hour shift, outside the hospital where she works in Maryland. "Seeing these new moms have babies has been the hardest moment along with having do their pumping for the new moms and them not being able to be with their newborn children, it's hard to think of the family that they are missing," Mehring said.
Photos Reuters
13/13 Jacqueline Hamil, 30, a registered nurse in an emergency department, poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift outside the hospital. "The hardest moment of my shift today, I was in charge, and we had a really sick patient that was in a really, really small room and usually, when we have sick crashing patients, we can have a ton of resources and a ton of staff go in and help with the nurse and the doctors that are taking care of that patient. But due to the patient being ruled out for the coronavirus, we could only have five or six people in the room at a time and putting on all the gowns and gloves and masks and face shields to protect us in case the patient does have coronavirus, it takes a while, so the nurse that was in there, ended up being in the room for you know 6, 7 hours with minimal breaks and it was hard being in charge and knowing that she was stuck in the room and really nothing I could do to help her," Hamil said.
Reuters
1/13 Cheryll Mack, 46, a registered nurse in the emergency department, poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift outside the hospital where she works. "The Covid-19 spread has affected a lot of livelihood, a lot of people's lives. It has created a crisis, death in general. So I would like to ask not one single person, but all people worldwide, to converge and join the platform that this is something that nobody can fight individually," said Mack.
Reuters
2/13 Dr Laura Bontempo, 50, an emergency medicine doctor wears her personal protective equipment she uses when she sees patients, while posing for a photograph after a nine-hour shift, outside the hospital. "The hardest moments have actually been separating families from patients, there is a no-visitor policy now and taking people away from their loved ones is very challenging," Bontempo said. "I'm used to treating sick patients. I treat sick patients all the time. It's very different knowing that the patient you are treating, is actually a risk to you as well. That's the main difference here. No one who works in hospitals is afraid of treating sick people. Just want to keep staff safe and the patients safe at the same time."
Reuters
3/13 Ernest Capadngan, 29, a registered nurse who works at a biocontainment unit poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift, outside the hospital. "The hardest moment during the shift was just seeing Covid patients die helpless and without their family members beside them," Capadngan said.
Reuters
4/13 Martine Bell, 41, a nurse practitioner in an emergency department, poses for a photograph after a six-hour shift outside the hospital where she works. "The hardest thing in all of this, has been taking care of fellow healthcare providers. It really hits home and it's really scary when you see someone that could be you coming in and now you're taking care of them. It's also hitting home that once healthcare providers start getting sick, who is going to be taking care of the public," Bell said. "It's very stressful, everyone is on edge. We don't know who's coming in next, or how sick they're going to be, or if we are going to get a whole bunch of people or if we're not going to get no one. It's a really stressful and just a completely unusual time for all of us."
Reuters
5/13 Kaitlyn Martiniano, 25, a registered nurse who works at a biocontainment poses for a photograph after a 12.5-hour shift, outside the hospital. "We have a lot of patients and they are pretty sick right now but we have not yet been hit as hard as New York or Seattle, so I feel like we are very lucky with that so far. Every day you have to just be optimistic." Said Martiniano. "I think the reason that we are not being hit as hard right now is because so many things are closed, and because so many people are staying at home."
Reuters
6/13 Tracey Wilson, 53, a nurse practitioner in an intensive care unit (ICU), poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift, outside the hospital where she works. "I had a patient fall out of bed today and I had to call his wife and tell her and she couldn't come see him, even though she pleaded and begged to come see him," Wilson said. "There is a lot of unknowns and with that unknown is a lot of anxiety and stress that we're not used to dealing with."
Reuters
7/13 Meghan Sheehan, 27, a nurse practitioner in an emergency department, poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift, outside the hospital where she works. "I think the hardest moment has been the fear that lives within all of us. There is a lot of unknown right now. We fear what's going to happen tomorrow, how the emergency department will look next week when we come in. We have fears about our own colleagues, whether they will fall ill. We also fear that we could be asymptomatic carriers and bring this virus home to our families and our loved ones. There has been a lot of fear over our supplies and whether we'll run out. And then obviously there is the fear that we will see patients and not be able to do everything we normally can to help save patients' lives," Sheehan said.
Reuters
8/13 Kimberly Bowers, 44, a nurse practitioner in an ICU, poses for a photograph after a 13-hour shift, outside the hospital. "The hardest moment was a young woman who died and her family wasn't able to be here with her," Bowers said. "I think right now, it's just frustrating and scary just not knowing what comes next."
Reuters
9/13 Tiffany Fare, 25, a registered nurse who works at a biocontainment unit poses for a photograph after a 13-hour shift, outside the hospital where she works. "One of the hardest moments was having to see a family member of a Covid patient, say goodbye over an iPad, rooms away. That was a tough one, I can't imagine how hard it would be to be saying goodbye, you can't see your loved one and then they're gone," Fare said. "My team has been really great to me. We've worked really well together and we've really come together in this crisis. We don't really know each other, we all come from different units within the same hospital, so for us to come together and work so well as a team, it's been a journey but I think that's what is giving me hope."
Reuters
10/13 Dr Kyle Fischer, 35, an emergency medicine doctor, poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift, outside the hospital where he works. "Since it's a new virus, we don't have any experience with it. For most diseases I am used to seeing it and taking care of it and this, I don't have any starting place. I know what I'm hearing from New York, I've read all of the papers it seems like, but no one knows what the correct answers are, so there's a huge amount of uncertainty and people are really, really sick. So it's hard to second guess whether or not you are doing the right thing when you think you are but you never quite know," said Fischer.
Reuters
11/13 Julia Trainor, 23, a registered nurse at a surgical ICU, poses for a photograph after a 14-hour shift, outside the hospital. "The hardest moment was having to put a breathing tube in my patient who could no longer breathe for herself and after the breathing tube went in, we called her family and the husband, of course, couldn't visit her because of visitor restrictions at the hospital. So I had to put him on the phone and hold the phone to her ear, as he told her that he loved her so much and then I had to wipe away her tears as she was crying," said Trainor. "I'm used to seeing very sick patients and I'm used to patients dying but nothing quite like this. In the flip of a switch, without the support, they're completely isolated. They're very sick. Some of them recover and some of them don't. But the hardest part, I would think, is them having to go through this feeling like they are alone."
Reuters
12/13 Lisa Mehring, 45, a registered nurse who works in a biocontainment unit with Covid-19 patients, poses for a photograph after a 12.5-hour shift, outside the hospital where she works in Maryland. "Seeing these new moms have babies has been the hardest moment along with having do their pumping for the new moms and them not being able to be with their newborn children, it's hard to think of the family that they are missing," Mehring said.
Photos Reuters
13/13 Jacqueline Hamil, 30, a registered nurse in an emergency department, poses for a photograph after a 12-hour shift outside the hospital. "The hardest moment of my shift today, I was in charge, and we had a really sick patient that was in a really, really small room and usually, when we have sick crashing patients, we can have a ton of resources and a ton of staff go in and help with the nurse and the doctors that are taking care of that patient. But due to the patient being ruled out for the coronavirus, we could only have five or six people in the room at a time and putting on all the gowns and gloves and masks and face shields to protect us in case the patient does have coronavirus, it takes a while, so the nurse that was in there, ended up being in the room for you know 6, 7 hours with minimal breaks and it was hard being in charge and knowing that she was stuck in the room and really nothing I could do to help her," Hamil said.
Reuters
More than 68,000 people in the US have died from Covid-19-related illness, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
No hype, just the advice and analysis you need
Nearly 1.2 million cases of the virus have been identified in the US as of 4 May, accounting for roughly one-third of all global cases.
The latest IHME forecast follows new modelling that ''captures the impact of changes in social distancing mandates, changes in mobility, and the impact of testing and contact tracing'' and ''enables predicting a resurgence if and when more social distancing mandates are relaxed''.
Mr Murray said the model ''is the basis for the sobering new estimate of US deaths''.
Leaked UN Memo: COVID-19 Could Kill 2 Million in Bangladesh
Tue, 05 May 2020 14:20
A leaked United Nations memo has warned that up to 2 million people could die of the coronavirus disease in Bangladesh if the government does not take appropriate action to stem the virus in the densely populated country, according to a report from an investigative website.
The report published over the weekend by NetraNews, a Sweden-based non-profit news portal covering Bangladesh, came as health officials in the country confirmed only one new infection over the past three days amid criticism that the government had not made adequate preparations to combat the virus.
NetraNews quoted the World Health Organization's country chief, Bardan Jung Rana, as saying that the memo '' titled ''Country Preparedness and Response Plan'' (CPRP V1) '' was written jointly by U.N. agencies, including WHO, the Bangladesh government and development partners.
The memo, which appeared to be a draft, reportedly circulated last week among diplomats in Dhaka.
''Given the extraordinary human densities in Bangladesh, globally accepted modeling techniques and parameter assumptions forecast the impact of COVID-19 without interventions between half a million up to 2 million lives lost during the epidemic wave. These figures are not surprising when considered against modeling in other countries but they are astounding and should serve as a call to action,'' the draft report stated.
''The challenges in Bangladesh are compounded by a weak health system and the risks of a complete saturation of the health system early in the epidemic, leaving patients in severe or critical condition from COVID or other conditions without adequate health care facilities throughout much of the epidemic.''
Contacted by BenarNews, U.N. and World Health Organization officials neither confirmed nor denied the report.
The United Nations office in Dhaka, without referring to NetraNews report, issued a statement on Saturday explaining the ''Country Preparedness and Response Plan,'' saying it is ''a planning document prepared jointly by the United Nations in Bangladesh and concerned government counterparts with participation of a number of civil society partners and other actors.''
It said that ''[t]he globally accepted modeling techniques guiding this document use an assumption of no interventions to stem to spread of the virus in order to portray the possible magnitude of the outbreak.''
The statement went on to praise Bangladesh's government for rapidly instituting interventions including enforced quarantines and social distancing along with the closure of schools and public places.
''The United Nations is fully supportive of the measures the government of Bangladesh has been taking to slow the spread of COVID-19,'' it said.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen said he had seen reporting about the leaked document.
''This is a total violation of the U.N. charter. According to its rule, the U.N. should have consulted the host government before finalizing any statement,'' Momen told BenarNews.
''They can only circulate [the document] if the host government approves [it],'' he said, adding, ''They have not shared the document with us.''
A Bangladesh think tank leader said this was not the first leaked document.
''The U.N. memo was basically for internal communication and was not for public consumption,'' said Munshi Faiz Ahmad, chairman of the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies, a state-owned think tank. ''I think, someone intentionally leaked the memo.
''The U.N. system must not authenticate the leaked memo. I also would not confirm if I was in their position because if they do so, they may face charges of violating rules,'' he told BenarNews.
49 confirmed cases
Meanwhile, an official with the government-run Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), reported on Monday that only one new COVID-19 case was confirmed over the weekend, increasing the nationwide total to 49. Five deaths have been recorded in Bangladesh, a country of more than 164 million people, since the first case was confirmed on March 8.
Dr. A.S.M. Alamgir, the principal scientific officer in charge of the institute's medical entomology wing, said the findings were accurate. The institute is Bangladesh's focal agency in its fight against COVID-19.
''We completely follow the protocol prescribed by the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control to select people to collect samples. We must not take samples haphazardly,'' he told BenarNews. ''If we do not get any positive results, should we give wrong and inflated figures?''
Speaking to reporters on Monday, IEDCR director Dr. Meerjady Sabrina Flora said hundreds of people were tested over the weekend '' 53 on Friday, 109 on Saturday and 153 on Sunday.
Globally, nearly 37,000 people have died and at least 770,000 others have been infected, according to the latest data compiled by disease experts at Johns Hopkins University in the United States.
Bangladesh health officials have been conducting press briefings over Facebook Live for about a week. On Sunday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque told reporters that he was in precautionary quarantine after his personal officer tested positive for COVID-19.
Doctors question testing methods
Meanwhile, two hospital officials raised concerns about the lack of reported cases in Bangladesh.
''The figure given by the IEDCR is absolutely unacceptable. Will it be correct to conclude that a pond has 10 fish by netting 10 fish in a corner of the pond '' the IEDCR is doing such a practice,'' Dr. M .H. Choudhury Lelin, chairman of the Health and Hope Hospital in Dhaka, told BenarNews.
He said the IEDCR announced it had collected samples from 1,338 people in 22 days, and 49 had tested positive for the coronavirus.
''The IEDCR is only collecting the blood samples from suspected patients who returned from abroad or came in contact with returnees. This approach is not correct,'' he said.
Lelin cited the example of an old Dhaka man infected with COVID-19, who had not returned from abroad or been in contact with any returnees from oversees. The man alerted the IEDCR, but they turned him away, telling him that he had no coronavirus infection, Lelin alleged. He said the man later went to pray at a local mosque.
''As his condition deteriorated, he was admitted to a hospital, where he died,'' Lelin said, adding that the institute only then collected a blood sample and determined that he was infected with the coronavirus.
''Every day we see people with coronavirus die in different parts of country. The local administrations have been sealing off the entire villages,'' Lelin said. ''But the IEDCR did not collect samples, what does this mean?''
He said efforts to hide results would allow COVID-19 to spread.
Dr. Kanak Kanti Barua, the vice chancellor of the Bangladesh's only medical university, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, offered a similar view.
''I personally think the number of COVID-19 patients in Bangladesh would be higher if we could test more people. The IEDCR should test more people to get the right picture of the situation,'' he told BenarNews.
''The spread of COVID-19 is big health challenge for us. We should work with the U.N. and other stakeholders to confront the situation.''
Government report predicts coronavirus cases will surge to 200,000 a day by June 1 - The Washington Post
Tue, 05 May 2020 14:23
A draft government report projects covid-19 cases will surge to about 200,000 per day by June 1, a staggering jump that would be accompanied by more than 3,000 deaths each day.
The document predicts a sharp increase in both cases and deaths beginning about May 14, according to a copy shared with The Washington Post. The forecast stops at June 1, but shows both daily cases and deaths on an upward trajectory at that point.
The White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disavowed the report, although the slides carry the CDC's logo. The creator of the model said the numbers are unfinished projections shown to the CDC as a work in progress.
The work contained a wide range of possibilities and modeling was not complete, according to Justin Lessler, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who created the model. He said he didn't know how the update was turned into a slide deck by government officials and shared with news organizations. The data was first reported by the New York Times.
''I had no role in the process by which that was presented and shown,'' said Lessler, who added that the data was presented as an ''FYI'' of work still in progress to officials within the Federal Emergency Management Agency. ''It was not in any way intended to be a forecast.''
The estimates showing an increase to 200,000 cases and 3,000 deaths daily are high compared to other epidemiological models. Many models, while not as high, are also predicting increasing cases and deaths as states move to reopen.
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Lessler said that while the exact numbers and charts in the draft document may differ from the final results, they do show accurately how covid-19 cases could spiral out of control. He said 100,000 cases per day by the end of the month is within the realm of possibility. Much depends on political decisions being made today.
''There are reopening scenarios where it could get out of control very quickly,'' Lessler said.
One federal official said the data was presented at a recent briefing for the National Response Coordination Center, a part of FEMA, which coordinates federal support during major incidents and emergencies. The official, who was not authorized to discuss internal government briefings, spoke on the condition of anonymity.
It was not immediately clear whether the projections, which also carry the logos of the departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, are based on ramped- up testing, the attempt to reopen some states, the time lag between a rise in cases and deaths or some combination of those factors.
The White House issued a statement Monday that ''this is not a White House document, nor has it been presented to the Coronavirus Task Force or gone through interagency vetting. This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force, or data that the task force has analyzed.
Read the document
''The President's phased guidelines to open up America again are a scientific driven approach that the top health and infectious disease experts in the federal government agreed with. The health of the American people remains President Trump's top priority, and that will continue as we monitor the efforts by states to ease restrictions.''
A spokeswoman for the CDC said the agency did not issue the projections.
The forecast is at odds with remarks made Sunday evening by Trump, who said the United States could eventually suffer as many as 100,000 deaths. At 3,000 deaths per day and rising, the national total would quickly outstrip that number if the new report is correct.
A senior White House official said the document would not change the White House planning on reopening.
White House officials have been relying on other models to make decisions on reopening, including the IHME model and a ''cubic model'' prepared by Trump adviser and economist Kevin Hassett and the Council of Economic Advisers.
On Monday, however, the IHME model '-- widely used by states and heavily relied upon in the past by the White House '-- also revised its deaths significantly upward to reflect the reopenings in several states.
The IHME model '-- created by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington '-- is now estimating that the United States will reach nearly 135,000 deaths by August 1. That number is significantly higher than its mid-April estimate of 60,308 deaths.
The IHME's new higher projections ''reflect the effect of premature relaxation of restrictions,'' said its creator Christopher Murray. ''In this era where those mandates are being relaxed, people should be aware the risk of infection is still there.''
The number of deaths estimated by the IHME model by June 1 is still much lower than those in the draft government report. But the IHME model is considered among the more optimistic projections.
Even more optimistic than that, however, is the ''cubic model'' prepared by Trump adviser and economist Kevin Hassett. People with knowledge of that model say it shows deaths dropping precipitously in May '-- and essentially going to zero by May 15.
Despite the White House's optimistic rhetoric, experts have warned that the country could be living with a sizable covid-19 case load for some time.
''We don't have the testing. We don't have the contract tracing. We can't detect a rebound. It's a really problematic place to be. This is not where we want to be,'' said Jeffrey Shaman, one of the country's leading epidemiologists at Columbia University.
What is especially concerning, Shaman said, is that there is a two-week lag between actions such as reopening and detection of its effects because of the delay in symptoms and hospitalization.
Researchers at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota issued a report Thursday that suggested the pandemic would last 18 to 24 months, reappearing in waves of varying intensity.
On Sunday, Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus had helped but not succeeded in quelling its spread. He said on CBS's Face the Nation that the United States faces the possibility of ''persistent spread'' of the virus that could spark a significant outbreak at any time if schools and workplaces ''let down their guard.''
''While mitigation didn't fail, I think it's fair to say that it didn't work as well as we expected. We expected that we would start seeing more significant declines in new cases and deaths around the nation at this point, and we're just not seeing that,'' Gottlieb said.
The largest number of deaths in the United States in a single day since the pandemic began occurred on April 21, when 2,874 people died. (A total of 6,147 deaths were reported on April 14, but they included New York City adding more than 3,000 probable deaths to the daily total.)
To date, 1.16 million people have been infected by the coronavirus and more than 67,000 have died. Both figures are widely believed to undercount the actual totals.
US could see 3,000 deaths from the coronavirus per day by June 1 - Business Insider
Tue, 05 May 2020 14:22
An estimated 3,000 Americans could die from COVID-19 each day by June 1, according to internal Trump administration projections that The New York Times published Monday.If 3,000 people died from the virus every day during the month of June, that would mean 90,000 people would die, which would surpass the current death toll of 68,000.About 1,750 people in the US are currently dying in the US each day, according to the report.The leaked document was based on a draft model a researcher presented to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Washington Post reported.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.COVID-19 deaths could spike this month as lockdowns lift, according to a leaked, internal, draft projection from the Trump administration that The New York Times and Washington Post published Monday.
The leaked document estimates 3,000 people could die from the coronavirus each day in the US by June 1. If that projection were to hold throughout June, it could mean 90,000 people could die next month.
Justin Lessler, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, drafted the model and presented it to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Post reported. The leaked document says it's a CDC "Prevention Situation Update" and has logos from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
But Lessler told the Post that the document was based on his unfinished modeling. "I had no role in the process by which that was presented and shown. This data was presented as an FYI to CDC '... it was not in any way intended to be a forecast," he said.
The leaked document also projects about 200,000 people could be infected each day with the virus '-- up from 30,000 per day presently '-- by the beginning of June.
On Sunday, the US reported 1,719 new deaths from COVID-19, according to the CDC. While 3,000 new deaths per day by June 1 is the middle estimate in the leaked document, the draft model ranges from 750 to 15,000 deaths per day by then. By May 15, it projects 250 to 10,000 deaths per day, with 1,000 as the middle estimate.
White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said the leaked report hasn't been vetted by multiple agencies and wasn't a White House document.
"This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force or data that the task force has analyzed," he said.
But Lessler told the Post that if states end their lockdowns too soon, the projections in the document are possible.
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"These preliminary analyses were provided to FEMA to aid in scenario planning '-- not to be used as forecasts '-- and the version published is not a final version. These preliminary results are not forecasts, and it is not accurate to present them as forecasts," the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said in a statement.
The school continued: "The information illustrates that there are some scenarios, including the premature relaxation of social distancing, that are likely to cause significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States."
COVID-19 spread globallyDeath projections are increasing as states lift their lockdownsMajor cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles have experienced the largest outbreaks in the US so far, according to Johns Hopkins University. In other areas of the country, outbreaks have been reported among incarcerated populations and at meat processing plants.
More than 1.1 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US, and at least 68,285 have died from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins.
The grim, leaked projections come as state leaders across the US begin to relax social distancing regulations that were put in place in order to reduce the transmission of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. On Friday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp relaxed the state's stay-at-home order for most residents '-- and 1,000 new people in the state were diagnosed with the virus that day.
Over half of US states plan to relax stay-at-home orders this week, but the vast majority of them do not yet have adequate testing resources experts say are needed to safely do so, the Associated Press reported Saturday. Health experts and leaders have been warning for months of a second wave of COVID-19 cases and deaths if social distancing measures are ended prematurely.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump predicted the virus would kill as many as 100,000 Americans, an increase from the 60,000 he projected it would kill a few weeks ago.
"Look, we're going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people," he said during a Fox News town hall. "That's a horrible thing. We shouldn't lose one person out of this."
The president also on Sunday said there could be a vaccine for the novel coronavirus by the end of the year, though experts have estimated the search for an effective treatment could last 18 months. Experts have also warned that a rushed vaccine could come with risks, including the potential to make the disease worse in infected individuals.
But until we have a vaccine or viable treatment for the disease, experts maintain that social distancing and widespread testing are the best ways to contain outbreaks.
Back to Work
The signer during Lightfoot haircut presser
Texas barbershops, salons may reopen May 8; gyms reopen May 18, Gov. Abbott says | kvue.com
Tue, 05 May 2020 16:24
CORONAVIRUS On May 1, some Texas businesses, such as restaurants and malls, began to open their doors again as part of Gov. Abbott's plan to reopen the state.
AUSTIN, Texas '-- On Tuesday, May 5, Gov. Greg Abbott gave an update on what the state is doing in response to coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
During the press conference, Gov. Abbott announced barbershops, salons, tanning salons and nail salons can reopen Friday, May 8 in Texas. Abbott recommended using an appointment system only, but said if you allow walk-ins, make sure customers keep six feet of distance from each other. Stylists and customers are encouraged to wear facemasks.
The governor also announced Texas gyms and exercise facilities may reopen starting May 18 at 25% capacity.
Showers and locker rooms must remained closed at gyms during the first phase of reopening, according to Abbott. Equipment must be disinfected before and after use, and customers should wear gloves and keep six feet of distancing while inside, Abbott said.
Abbott said there was not a reopening date for bars in Texas. He said he'd like to hear from bar owners about their strategies they believe they can put in place to operate safely.
Non-essential manufacturers may also start business again starting May 18 with 25% occupancy and a staggered workflow so employees will not all be working at once, Abbott said.
Texas education officials announced three options for graduation ceremonies:
Outdoor ceremonies with social distancing between family groupsHybrid ceremonies with one student at a time photographed receiving their diplomaVehicle ceremonies with drive-by graduations, similar to the birthday parades that have become popular across the countryGov. Abbott said 427,210 Texans have been tested for coronavirus as of May 5, and of those, 33,369 have tested positive. The governor said 19,000 people were tested on May 5 alone. Abbott said 906 Texans have died, there were 15,672 active cases and there were 1,888 hospitalizations as of May 5. 16,791 people have recovered from COVID''19, according to Abbott.
Abbott emphasized the "positivity rate" which is the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus compared to the overall amount of testing.
19,000 hospital beds were available statewide for coronavirus patients, 2,000 of those being ICU beds. Abbott said there were 6,600 ventilators available. Abbott said, in the coming days, the "number of available beds for coronavirus patients" should decrease as they are dedicated back to hospital patients with "other types of diseases and healthcare challenges."
"While we have been responding to every healthcare need of those who test positive for COVID-19, there have been some who have needed to be diagnosed for cancer ... for heart disease or some other type of physical ailment," Abbott said. "It is so important that anybody with any type of ailment whatsoever have access to doctors and hospitals and healthcare they need."
WATCH THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE HERE:
On May 1, some Texas businesses such as restaurants, retail stores and malls began to open their doors again as part of phase one Gov. Abbott's plan to reopen the state. The next part of the governor's plan, phase two, could begin by May 18 and would allow even more businesses such as nail salons to reopen and expand the capabilities of phase one businesses.
Before phase two begins, Gov. Abbott said there must be two weeks of data showing that the virus is continuing to be contained.
The statewide stay home order is also no longer in effect. Gov. Abbott let the order expire on April 30.
WATCH: Timeline: Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to reopen Texas amid COVID-19 pandemic
Markets rise on states opening, dems go nuts and start scaring people about too early etc
Masks are worn. By super heroes commercial from dole
99 degrees outside - I can barely survive
Sweden tames its 'R number' without lockdown | The Spectator
Mon, 04 May 2020 15:11
Photo by FREDRIK SANDBERG/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images
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Sweden has been the world's Covid-19 outlier, pursuing social distancing but rejecting mandatory lockdown. Schools, bars and restaurants are open '' albeit with strong voluntary social distancing compliance and streets that often look almost as empty as Britain's. Has this been enough? Sweden's public health agency has now published a study of its R number, a metric which the UK is using to judge the success of the lockdown. The UK objective is to push R below one, by which it means it wants the number of new cases to fall. Last week, the UK's R number was estimated at 0.8 (± 0.2 points), a figure described as an achievement of lockdown. But Sweden's reading is 0.85, with a smaller error margin of ±0.02pts.
This raises an interesting question: might voluntary lockdowns work just as well? And might they keep the virus at a manageable level with lower social and economic costs?
The UK government has used modelling from Imperial College London, which makes some firm assumptions about lockdown. Imperial's graph, below, shows its argument: shielding, voluntary social distancing, even school closures are shown to make very little difference to the spread of the virus (ie, the R number). But lockdown, by contrast, is shown to be a game-changer with the R sinking immediately. This graph below, if taken at face value, makes an open-and-shut case for lockdown.
But is it true? We don't know because "the R" is notoriously difficult to pin down and the UK has not been issuing estimates. But Imperial also applied its UK assumptions to Sweden, warning that its rejection of lockdown was likely to leave the virus rampant with an R of between 3 and 4. That is to say: every person infected would give it to three or four others. Its modelling envisaged Sweden paying a heavy price for its rejection of lockdown, with 40,000 Covid deaths by 1 May and almost 100,000 by June.
The latest figure for Sweden is 2,680 deaths, with daily deaths peaking a fortnight ago. So Imperial College's modelling '' the same modelling used to inform the UK response '' was wrong, by an order of magnitude. Sweden has now published its own graph, saying its R was never near the 4 that Imperial imagined. More importantly, its all-important R level (all-important to the UK anyway '' it has never much featured in the Swedish discussion) has in fact been below the safe level of 1 for the last few weeks.
The value of 'the R' is not a known number: it can only be guessed at, because the actual number of infections can only be guessed at. But this is a ball park issue: is this virus growing exponentially, or is it in retreat? Imperial's models said that, without lockdown, the virus would grow exponentially in Sweden. Instead, it fell. Why?
As Johan Norberg has written, Imperial's model 'could only handle two scenarios: an enforced national lockdown or zero change in behaviour. It had no way of computing Swedes who decided to socially distance voluntarily. But we did.' Anders Tegnell, Sweden's state epidemiologist, has seen his trust ratings soar. Some Swedes are even having his face tattooed on their arm.
When Imperial first made its models, everyone was guessing. We know more now. Every day, in The Spectator's Covid-19 email, we bring new studies that add more detail to our understanding of the virus. At present, Britain is considering the South Korean model: an ambitious combination of tech, surveillance, track and trace. But given that Sweden achieved what Imperial College had thought undoable, without the surveillance or the tech or the loss of liberty, its lessons are also worthy of consideration.
Sweden's Prime Minister has said he is relying on 'Folkvett' '' people's wit, or common sense. As Boris Johnson considers his options, he should also ask whether a folkvett option '' described in a recent Spectator leading article as a 'trust the public' approach '' might work for Britain.
PS Here's a No. 10 briefing on the R number, from last week...
Sweden achieved what Imperial College had thought undoable, without the surveillance or the tech Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images
Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic | AIER
Mon, 04 May 2020 18:44
Woman running through the mud at the Woodstock Music Festival, New York, US, 17th August 1969. (Photo by Owen Franken/Corbis via Getty Images))
In my lifetime, there was another deadly flu epidemic in the United States. The flu spread from Hong Kong to the United States, arriving December 1968 and peaking a year later. It ultimately killed 100,000 people in the U.S., mostly over the age of 65, and one million worldwide.
Lifespan in the US in those days was 70 whereas it is 78 today. Population was 200 million as compared with 328 million today. It was also a healthier population with low obesity. If it would be possible to extrapolate the death data based on population and demographics, we might be looking at a quarter million deaths today from this virus. So in terms of lethality, it was as deadly and scary as COVID-19 if not more so, though we shall have to wait to see.
''In 1968,'' says Nathaniel L. Moir in National Interest, ''the H3N2 pandemic killed more individuals in the U.S. than the combined total number of American fatalities during both the Vietnam and Korean Wars.''
And this happened in the lifetimes of every American over 52 years of age.
I was 5 years old and have no memory of this at all. My mother vaguely remembers being careful and washing surfaces, and encouraging her mom and dad to be careful. Otherwise, it's mostly forgotten today. Why is that?
Nothing closed. Schools stayed open. All businesses did too. You could go to the movies. You could go to bars and restaurants. John Fund has a friend who reports having attended a Grateful Dead concert. In fact, people have no memory or awareness that the famous Woodstock concert of August 1969 '' planned in January during the worse period of death '' actually occurred during a deadly American flu pandemic that only peaked globally six months later. There was no thought given to the virus which, like ours today, was dangerous mainly for a non-concert-going demographic.
Stock markets didn't crash. Congress passed no legislation. The Federal Reserve did nothing. Not a single governor acted to enforce social distancing, curve flattening (even though hundreds of thousands of people were hospitalized), or banning of crowds. No mothers were arrested for taking their kids to other homes. No surfers were arrested. No daycares were shut even though there were more infant deaths with this virus than the one we are experiencing now. There were no suicides, no unemployment, no drug overdoses.
Media covered the pandemic but it never became a big issue.
As Bojan Pancevski in the Wall Street Journal points out, ''In 1968-70, news outlets devoted cursory attention to the virus while training their lenses on other events such as the moon landing and the Vietnam War, and the cultural upheaval of the civil-rights movements, student protests and the sexual revolution.''
The only actions governments took was to collect data, watch and wait, encourage testing and vaccines, and so on. The medical community took the primary responsibility for disease mitigation, as one might expect. It was widely assumed that diseases require medical not political responses.
It's not as if we had governments unwilling to intervene in other matters. We had the Vietnam War, social welfare, public housing, urban renewal, and the rise of Medicare and Medicaid. We had a president swearing to cure all poverty, illiteracy, and disease. Government was as intrusive as it had ever been in history. But for some reason, there was no thought given to shutdowns.
Which raises the question: why was this different? We will be trying to figure this one out for decades.
Was the difference that we have mass media invading our lives with endless notifications blowing up in our pockets? Was there some change in philosophy such that we now think politics is responsible for all existing aspects of life? Was there a political element here in that the media blew this wildly out of proportion as revenge against Trump and his deplorables? Or did our excessive adoration of predictive modelling get out of control to the point that we let a physicist with ridiculous models frighten the world's governments into violating the human rights of billions of people?
Maybe all of these were factors. Or maybe there is something darker and nefarious at work, as the conspiracy theorists would have it.
Regardless, they all have some explaining to do.
By way of personal recollection, my own mother and father were part of a generation that believed they had developed sophisticated views of viruses. They understood that less vulnerable people getting them not only strengthened immune systems but contributed to disease mitigation by reaching ''herd immunity.'' They had a whole protocol to make a child feel better about being sick. I got a ''sick toy,'' unlimited ice cream, Vicks rub on my chest, a humidifier in my room, and so on.
They would constantly congratulate me on building immunity. They did their very best to be happy about my viruses, while doing their best to get me through them.
If we used government lockdowns then like we use them now, Woodstock (which changed music forever and still resonates today) would never have occurred. How much prosperity, culture, tech, etc. are losing in this calamity?
What happened between then and now? Was there some kind of lost knowledge, as happened with scurvy, when we once had sophistication and then the knowledge was lost and had to be re-found? For COVID-19, we reverted to medieval-style understandings and policies, even in the 21st century. It's all very strange.
The contrast between 1968 and 2020 couldn't be more striking. They were smart. We are idiots. Or at least our governments are.
[Note an earlier version of this article featured a photo not from Woodstock 1969. This photo from the montage at the Atlantic.]
Coronavirus: Newsom slams Yuba, Sutter counties for re-opening
Wed, 06 May 2020 00:32
Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses his plan for the gradual reopening of California businesses during a news conference at the Display California store in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Newsom has scolded two rural counties for allowing some businesses to reopen in defiance of his statewide coronavirus restrictions. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday sharply criticized two Northern California counties that have defied his health guidelines and begun to re-open restaurant dining rooms, gyms, hair salons and shopping malls.
''They are making a big mistake. They are putting their public at risk,'' Newsom said of Yuba and Sutter counties. ''They are putting our progress at risk. These are exceptions. The overwhelming majority of Californians are playing by the rules and doing the right thing.''
The issue highlights the latest example of local communities bucking Newsom and state public health leaders' orders as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, and the delicate balancing act he is trying to perform between limiting the spread of the disease while governing a huge state with 40 million residents and dramatically different economies, politics and rates of COVID-19.
The two counties, north of Sacramento, are mostly rural. Yuba County has 72,000 residents and Sutter County about 95,000. Combined, they have 50 reported cases of COVID-19 and three deaths. By contrast, the Bay Area, with more than 7 million residents, 9,118 cases and 330 deaths, has more stringent rules that generally allow only ''essential'' businesses, including supermarkets, banks and gas stations, to operate.
Last week, the health officer for both Yuba and Sutter, Dr. Phuong Luu, issued a new health order that allowed a much wider range of businesses to open than nearly every other county in California. The new rules took effect Monday.
''COVID-19 is dangerous and scary but it is not the only health issue,'' Luu said in a statement Monday. ''We cannot wait for a vaccine without seeing extreme economic damage done to our community. The consequences of waiting will be additional health concerns brought on by stress and the very real dilemma for those with limited resources whether to buy life-saving food or life-saving medicines. As the bi-county health officer, I have to think of the totality of health for the entire community.''
Luu's order allows dine-in restaurants, retail operations, shopping malls, construction, real estate businesses, gyms and fitness studios, hair salons and barbershops, nail salons, spas, massage-therapy centers and tattoo parlors in the two counties to operate as long as they follow safety guidelines and draw up a plan to keep customers at least six feet apart and require employees to regularly clean and disinfect.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the two counties ''has plateaued'' for the past three weeks, she said.
Asked about the major loosening of rules at his Tuesday news conference, Newsom said the plans are premature and dangerous.
''They put those businesses at risk and the health of their communities at risk,'' the governor said.
''We believe in ready aim fire, not ready fire aim,'' he added.
But leaders in the two outlier counties defended the decision to open.
''In the North State, our communities have met the scientific criteria for re-opening, and we're not going to wait for San Francisco and Los Angeles in order to re-open,'' said Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City. ''If this is truly about science and not politics, the governor shouldn't push back against local public health officers.''
Despite his criticism of the two counties Tuesday, Newsom did not indicate whether there will be any state enforcement of his shelter-in-place rules or other consequences for local communities that violate his orders.
''I think he's hoping that persuasion works,'' said Jack Pitney, a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College. ''Heavy-handed enforcement could itself be unpopular. If it's not enough, he has yet another difficult choice. What does he do by way of consequence? I don't envy his job right now.''
Modoc County, located in remote northeastern California on the Oregon border, allowed businesses, schools and churches to reopen Friday. The county, with 10,000 residents, has not reported a single case of coronavirus.
That's not the case statewide. On Tuesday, there were 58,657 cases statewide '-- including 2,546 new cases, the most ever in one day '-- and 9,118 in the greater Bay Area. There also were 93 new deaths reported in California on Tuesday, bringing the total number statewide to 2,375, according to data compiled by this news organization.
Generally speaking, Californians support the shelter-in-place rules, polls show. A survey of 8,800 registered state voters released Friday by the UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies found that by 69%-30% Californians said they are more concerned about the health effects of ending the shelter-in-place rules too soon than the economic effects.
California put in place shelter-at-home rules before other states and has a lower death rate than other states. Newsom reiterated Tuesday that he plans to announce new rules later this week to allow more businesses statewide, including bookstores, florists, clothing stores and sporting goods stores, to re-open starting Friday, as long as they make sales at the curbside, have employees wear masks and take other precautions. The announcement does not include offices, seated dining at restaurants, or shopping malls or schools. And county health officers still will be allowed to keep tighter restrictions in place if they feel they are needed.
Newsom noted Tuesday that as stores and other businesses open across the state in the coming days and weeks, Californians should be prepared for a different experience.
''We're not going back to normal,'' Newsom said. ''It's a new normal with adaptations and modifications, until we get to immunity and a vaccine.''
Last week, after seeing images of big crowds on Southern California beaches, Newsom administration officials considered closing every beach in California and all 280 state parks. After reportedly receiving push back from Democratic elected officials, he announced that only beaches in Orange County would be closed, a move that set off lawsuits and protests there.
Tuesday, Newsom announced his administration had reached a compromise with three Orange County cities '-- Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Dana Point '-- to re-open their beaches. It came a day after similar compromises were worked out with officials in Laguna Beach and San Clemente to open beaches, but only during limited hours, and if beachgoers were walking, running or otherwise exercising.
''It's the spirit of collaboration and cooperation that's necessary as we move forward,'' he said.
The governor added, however, that people should continue to wear face masks, wash their hands and practice social distancing, in part because many people who have COVID-19 don't always have symptoms, particularly at first.
''I think we can continue this progress as long as we continue to take seriously this virus,'' he said.
''You may be young and healthy, but if you run up and give grandma a big hug, and all of a sudden, five or six days later, grandma is in the ICU.''
''Let's not develop amnesia,'' he added. ''Let's not run a 90-year dash.''
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Coronavirus: China, Vietnam, UAE top list as citizens rank government response
Thu, 07 May 2020 06:06
Commuters wear protective masks as they exit a train at a subway station during Monday rush hour on April 13, 2020 in Beijing, China.
Lintao Zhang | Getty Images
As countries across the globe are left grappling with the coronavirus crisis, most people are not satisfied with their leaders' response to the outbreak, according to a new report.
Citizens from just seven out of 23 countries rate their governments' coronavirus containment measures as broadly positive, based on the "Global Crisis Perceptions" index released Wednesday by insights agencies Blackbox Research and Toluna.
The research, which surveyed approximately 12,500 people across 23 countries between April 3 and 19, asked respondents to rate their nations across four key indicators: national political leadership, corporate leadership, community and media.
China, where the virus is thought to have originated, ranked highest in the citizens' survey, with a score of 85 out of 100. The world's second-largest economy was followed by Vietnam (77), the United Arab Emirates (59) and India (59), in a list which saw Asian countries take the top spots.
New Zealand (56), which has received international acclaim for its handling of the virus and last week began easing restrictions, was the only Western country to score higher than the global average of 45. Australia (43), the U.S. (41), and all four western European countries surveyed '-- Germany (41), the U.K. (37), Italy (36) and France (26) '-- all ranked below the global average.
Countries' coronavirus response rankingChina '-- 86Vietnam '-- 77UAE '-- 59India '-- 59Malaysia '-- 58New Zealand '-- 56Taiwan '-- 50Philippines '-- 49Indonesia '-- 48Singapore '-- 48South Africa '-- 47Australia '-- 43Germany '-- 41U.S '-- 41Mexico '-- 37U.K. '-- 37Iran '-- 36Thailand '-- 36Italy '-- 36South Korea '-- 31Hong Kong '-- 27France '-- 26Japan '-- 16A dent to national psyches The largely dissatisfactory response, from Western countries in particular, could reflect a hit to national psyches in terms of their expectations about preparedness for unexpected events, noted David Black, founder and chief executive officer of Blackbox Research.
"For many of these countries, this pandemic is unprecedented. Governments are still coming to terms with a crisis they did not expect, and public confidence suffered as a result," said Black.
"Meanwhile, a significant part of Asia has had their leadership shaped by past epidemics, such as SARS and MERS," referring to two other deadly respiratory diseases caused by strains of coronavirus that were predominantly in Asia and the Middle East, respectively.
In terms of the business response to the pandemic, citizens of China and Vietnam were alone in giving their countries' corporations a response rating of over 50. Meanwhile, respondents in France (10), Hong Kong (7), and Japan (6), rated their business response the poorest.
The report also found a disparity in major economies' ability to emerge from the crisis. The majority (85%) of Chinese people said they believe their country will come out of the crisis stronger, compared to less than half (41%) of Americans.
Testing
President queries Tanzania coronavirus kits after goat test - Reuters
Wed, 06 May 2020 09:39
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Coronavirus test kits used in Tanzania were dismissed as faulty by President John Magufuli on Sunday, because he said they had returned positive results on samples taken from a goat and a pawpaw.
Magufuli, whose government has already drawn criticism for being secretive about the coronavirus outbreak and has previously asked Tanzanians to pray the coronavirus away, said the kits had ''technical errors''.
The COVID-19 testing kits had been imported from abroad, Magufuli said during an event in Chato in the north west of Tanzania, although he did not give further details.
The president said he had instructed Tanzanian security forces to check the quality of the kits. They had randomly obtained several non-human samples, including from a pawpaw, a goat and a sheep, but had assigned them human names and ages.
These samples were then submitted to Tanzania's laboratory to test for the coronavirus, with the lab technicians left deliberately unaware of their origins.
Samples from the pawpaw and the goat tested positive for COVID-19, the president said, adding this meant it was likely that some people were being tested positive when in fact they were not infected by the coronavirus.
''There is something happening. I said before we should not accept that every aid is meant to be good for this nation,'' Magufuli said, adding the kits should be investigated.
As of Sunday, Tanzania had recorded 480 cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths but unlike most other African countries, Dar es Salaam sometimes goes for days without offering updates, with the last bulletin on cases on Wednesday.
Slideshow (2 Images) Magufuli also said that he was sending a plane to collect a cure being promoted by Madagascar's president. The herbal mix has not yet undergone internationally recognised scientific testing.
''I'm communicating with Madagascar,'' he said during a speech, adding: ''They have got a medicine. We will send a flight there and the medicine will be brought in the country so that Tanzanians too can benefit.''
COVID-19 infections and fatalities reported across Africa have been relatively low compared with the United States, parts of Asia and Europe. But Africa also has extremely low levels of testing, with rates of only around 500 per million people.
Writing by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Alexander Smith
Icke PCR test is for RNA of the viurs (amplified) s a very common strand, thus easy to inflate 'infections'
CDC tests failed. Were they unable to get RNA samples?
More testing makes it look like number of cases are going up. But the death rate also declines from this!
Social Distancing
Climate change has taught us that Humans are dangerous. Fits perfectly with so called 'infected' persons of covid-19
Violent arrest raises concerns about NYPD distancing patrols
Mon, 04 May 2020 06:07
NEW YORK (AP) '-- A New York City police officer who was caught on video Saturday pointing a stun gun at a man and violently taking him to the ground over an alleged social distancing violation has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty pending an internal investigation.
Bystander video showed the plainclothes officer, who was not wearing a protective face mask, slapping 33-year-old Donni Wright in the face, punching him in the shoulder and dragging him to a sidewalk after leveling him in a crosswalk in Manhattan's East Village.
''The behavior I saw in that video is simply not acceptable,'' Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday. He said earlier in the day that there will be a careful look into what happened.
Police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Frances O'Donnell said Wright ''took a fighting stance against the officer'' when he was ordered to disperse and was arrested on charges including assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.
The charges have been deferred pending further investigation, a Manhattan District Attorney's Office spokesperson said.
A message seeking comment was left with the police officers union.
Wright's arrest and that of two other people minutes earlier on the same block across from a public housing complex raised new questions about the police department's use of force, the role of officers in enforcing social distancing measures and inconsistency in how they're applied.
The manner of Wright's arrest appeared to echo that of 20-year-old Fitzroy Gayle, who was seen on bystander video pleading for help as several officers wrestled him into submission on a Brooklyn sidewalk in early March.
Jennvine Wong, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society's Cop Accountability Project, said footage of the arrests Saturday stood in sharp contrast to photos and video '-- including some tweeted out by the police department '-- showing officers in crowded city parks handing out face masks and gently reminding people to stay 6 feet apart.
''This certainly isn't the first time and this isn't even the first time in this pandemic that we've seen evidence of discriminatory policing by the NYPD,'' Wong said.
Carolyn Martinez-Class, of the police watchdog Communities United for Police Reform, said: ''This incident illustrates why public health professions and community partners should be responsible for social distancing education and creating norms '-- not police.''
The police department assigned 1,000 officers to social distancing patrols over the weekend as temperatures reached the high 70s (about 25 degrees Celsius). On Saturday, they issued 51 summonses, including 43 in city parks. At a news conference Sunday, Shea said he was aware of just three arrests.
Minutes before the confrontation with Wright, video from a nearby security camera showed officers used force in arresting a couple for allegedly failing to comply when asked to disperse. O'Donnell said officers saw that one of them, a 31-year-old man, had a ''bag of alleged marijuana in plain view.''
The bystander video of Wright's arrest showed the plainclothes officer, Francisco Garcia, helping take one of those people to the ground before turning his attention to Wright, who was moving toward the area of that arrest from about 10 to 15 feet away.
Garcia '-- in a black T-shirt, jeans and a Yankees cap '-- turned toward Wright and cursed at him to ''(get) back right now,'' according to the video. At the same time, the officer pulls up his Taser and points it toward Wright, possibly triggering the device.
Garcia continued toward Wright and eventually holstered his Taser. It wasn't clear what Wright was doing because he wasn't in the frame the entire time, though just before Garcia tackled him, he was seen stopping and standing in front of the officer with what appeared to be a clenched fist at his side.
''What you flexing for? Don't flex,'' Garcia said, before grabbing Wright and wrestling him to the ground, slapping and punching him in the process. The officer then took Wright's arm and dragged him from the crosswalk where he landed back onto the sidewalk and pushed him onto his stomach.
The video then showed another officer stepping in and helping handcuff Wright.
Kneeling on the top of Wright's back or neck to keep him down, the plainclothes officer started jawing and cursing at bystanders.
One of them yelled back: ''he didn't even do nothing.''
___
Follow Sisak on Twitter at twitter.com/mikesisak
Social Censorship
Google et al are making the AOL mistake
Spotify removes podcast featuring David Icke, while Apple stalls
Wed, 06 May 2020 10:47
Spotify David Icke
Spotify
Spotify has removed a controversial podcast featuring an interview with conspiracy theorist David Icke.
The streaming service pulled the episode, published by London Real on April 7, hours after CNBC brought it to the company's attention on Wednesday.
"That episode has been removed from the Spotify platform as it is a violation of our content policies," a spokesperson told CNBC.
Apple is yet to remove the same podcast from its podcast platform. Apple did not respond to CNBC's request for comment.
The podcast is titled "David Icke - The coronavirus conspiracy: How Covid-19 will seize your rights & destroy our economy."
London Real host Brian Rose starts the episode by explaining how his last interview with Icke went viral, receiving more than 7 million listens and more comments than any other London Real episode. "That tells me one thing, people want to hear your opinion," he said.
In the episode, which is 2 hour 33 minute long, Icke doubts the existence of coronavirus and links it to 5G.
The existence of coronavirus is scientifically proven and scientists have found no evidence to suggest there is any link to 5G. The conspiracy theory has led some people to set fire to 5G masts in Britain.
The World Health Organization updated its coronavirus myth-busting web page last month to inform people that 5G doesn't spread Covid-19.
The next-generation 5G mobile network relies on signals carried out by radio waves, which are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The scientific consensus is that 5G is safe and poses no risk to humans.
Other tech companies have already pulled Icke's content from their platforms.
On May 2, YouTube removed Icke's channel after repeatedly telling him that he was violating YouTube's policies by posting misleading information about the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 1, Facebook took down Icke's official page after concluding he had posted "health misinformation that could cause physical harm".
U.K. media regulator Ofcom ruled on April 20 that a lengthy TV interview with Icke on the coronavirus was a risk to the public's health. It was broadcast on the small, London-focussed TV channel London Live.
On the same day, the regulator "issued guidance" to ITV after presenter Eamon Holmes made comments about 5G and coronavirus on the popular breakfast show "This Morning."
The Unabomber was a tech-obsessed crazed killer '' but 40 years on, technologists are starting to wonder if some of his theories might be true - The National
Thu, 07 May 2020 07:31
The scale of the intrusion of technology into our lives is now so extensive and complex that it is near impossible for individuals to grasp'' and some nervous technologists are starting to sound an awful lot like Ted Kaczynski
But for the series Manhunt: Unabomber, currently playing on Netflix, few people under the age of 60 would have heard of Ted Kaczynski and the 17-year campaign of terror he waged against what he saw as the runaway Frankenstein's monster of technological progress.
There is some irony here. Kaczynski dismissed television as ''an important psychological tool of the system'', designed to control the masses '' but now the box-set generation has been introduced to his murderous mission to halt what he believed was the erosion of human freedom and dignity by our unthinking embrace of technology.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the start of that campaign. Between 1978 and 1995 the Harvard-educated maths genius, who became known to the FBI as the Unabomber, planted 16 bombs, killing three people and injuring 23 more. Most of his targets were involved with technology, albeit to varying degrees. He was caught only when the New York Times and Washington Post agreed to publish his 35,000-word manifesto called Industrial Society and its Future and its themes were recognised by his brother, who turned him in.
Kaczynski, who had retreated to an off-grid cabin in Montana to plot the overthrow of technological society, was quite literally the proverbial voice in the wilderness. Forty years on, however, it could be argued that the Unabomber was a visionary to whom we should all now be paying very close attention indeed.
Of course, it goes against the grain to credit a killer. But as Dr David Skrbina, a philosophy lecturer at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, puts it: ''The challenge is to make a firm separation between the Unabomber crimes and a rational, in-depth, no-holds-barred discussion of the threat posed by modern technology''. Kaczynski, says Dr Skrbina, ''has much to offer to this discussion [and] his ideas have no less force, simply because they issue from a maximum security cell''.
If anything, technological developments in the world outside that cell in the past 40 years have served only to reinforce Kaczynski's message. Take the so-called ''transhumanism'' movement, with futurists such as Ray Kurzweil gleefully herding us towards the dystopian surrender of our humanity, to a hybrid amalgamation of artificial intelligence and flesh and blood '' the so-called singularity, upon us as soon as 2029, according to Google's blue-sky thinker. This was a theme embraced by electric-cars-to-rockets multi-billionaire Elon Musk at the World Government Summit in Dubai last year. In the fast-approaching era of artificial intelligence, he proclaimed, human beings must merge with machines or become obsolete.
In his manifesto, Kaczynski wrote cogently of his fear that ''the technophiles are taking us all on an utterly reckless ride'' and that technology ''will eventually acquire something approaching complete control over human behaviour''. He was especially fearful of the rise of artificial intelligence '' a concern shared today by thinkers including the cosmologist Stephen Hawking. ''A super-intelligent AI,'' Professor Hawking has warned, ''will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals and if those goals aren't aligned with ours, we're in trouble.''
Kaczynski was way ahead of him. Twenty years earlier, he predicted that computer scientists would ''succeed in developing intelligent machines that can do all things better than human beings. As society and the problems that face it become more and more complex and as machines become more and more intelligent, people will let machines make more and more of their decisions for them''.
Eventually ''the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently'', at which stage ''the machines will be in effective control''. People won't be able to turn off the machines "because they will be so dependent on them that turning them off would amount to suicide''.
Think of the astonishing and largely unforeseen technological developments that have taken place and the ethical and social dilemmas many of them are now posing, in the 40 years since Kaczynski made his first bomb: the internet, the personal computer, supercomputer, tablet, smartphone, mass surveillance, GPS, email, wifi, broadband, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, robotics, wearables, drones, autonomous vehicles '' to name a few.
Then there's the rise of giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter, tracking and harvesting every facet of our digital lives, to say nothing of the Trojan horse toys we willingly bring into our homes, such as Amazon's Echo and Google's Home '' always listening, increasingly watching and constantly learning about you and your habits.
Consider Kaczynski's observation that ''if the use of a new item of technology is initially optional, it does not necessarily remain optional because the new technology tends to change society in such a way that it becomes difficult or impossible for an individual to function without using that technology''. Now contrast that with the declaration by the United Nations that access to the internet is nothing less than an inalienable human right, right up there with food, shelter and education.
Which of this doesn't chime with Kaczynski's fear that the human race might ''drift into a position of such dependence on the machines that it would have no practical choice but to accept all of the machines' decisions'', at which point ''the human race would be at the mercy of the machines''?
The scale of the intrusion of technology into our lives is now so extensive and complex that it is near impossible for individuals to grasp. But some technologists, at least, are starting to wonder if it isn't all getting out of hand '' and in the process are beginning to sound an awful lot like Kaczynski.
Last week the San Francisco-based Centre for Humane Technology, a group of ''deeply concerned former tech insiders'', launched a campaign to ''realign technology with humanity's best interests''. Technology, it announced, ''is hijacking our minds and '... eroding the pillars of our society: mental health, democracy, social relationships and our children''.
As a 75-year-old man serving eight consecutive life sentences in a maximum security prison in Colorado might be forgiven for saying, I told you so.
Updated: February 22, 2018 05:18 PM
Mikovitz
COVID-19 only kills people who were flu vaccinated. |
Mon, 04 May 2020 18:33
Judy Mikovits, Ph.D. is a cellular and molecular biologist,1 researcher and was the founding research director of the Whittemore Peterson Institute that researches and treats chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in Reno, Nevada.
She is likely one of the most qualified scientists in the world to comment on this disease because of her groundbreaking research in molecular biology and virology.
Mikovits is absolutely brilliant, but like many gifted researchers, her complex discussions on science quite challenging for the average lay person to follow.
For this reason, I present her interview in a different format, cutting and splicing pieces together to present a more cohesive and coherent presentation of her many important points. I would encourage you to watch the initial, very short, videos first, so you will be well-grounded, and if you are motivated, watch the entire interview at the bottom of this article.
Because there were so many surprising and important revelations in this interview I will present part 2 next week along with an interview with Bobby Kennedy, Jr which will revolve more on the vaccine issue.
Mikovits Doesn't Believe SARS-CoV-2 Is the Cause of COVID-19One of the most shocking revelations Mikovits reveals is that she doesn't believe SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of COVID-19 but merely serves to activate or wake up a dormant XMRV infection. To support her assertion, she states that COVID-19 patients have the same cytokine signature as the gammaretrovirus XMRV, which she published many years ago.
XMRV stands for ''xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus.'' Xenotrophic refers to viruses that only replicate in cells other than those of the host species. So, XMRVs are viruses that infect human cells yet are not human viruses.2
The XMRV retrovirus is actually the virus that has the same cytokine storm signature as COVID-19, not coronaviruses, which are far more benign. (I delve into what retroviruses are in another section further below.)
Additionally, there may be other infections that also are contributing to the infection, such as Borelia and Babesia or parasites, which may be why some of the antiparasite drugs like Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine are working.
Vaccine Gammaretroviruses Have Adapted and Are AerosolizedGetting back to the issue of gammaretroviruses, Mikovits research showed that many of our vaccines are contaminated with them. How did this happen? In short, vaccine viruses were replicated and grown in animal cell cultures that were already contaminated with retroviruses. In other words, the root of the problem stems from the use of contaminated cell culture lines.
Vaccine manufacturing frequently involves the use of animal tissues and many vaccines are grown animal culture cell lines. As noted in the 2010 paper, ''Of Mice and Men: On the Origin of XMRV,'' published in Frontiers in Microbiology (which Mikovits did not work on):3
''The novel human retrovirus xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) is arguably the most controversial virus of this moment. After its original discovery in prostate cancer tissue from North American patients, it was subsequently detected in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome from the same continent '...
The detection of integrated XMRV proviruses in prostate cancer tissue proves it to be a genuine virus that replicates in human cells, leaving the question: how did XMRV enter the human population?
We will discuss two possible routes: either via direct virus transmission from mouse to human '... or via the use of mouse-related products by humans, including vaccines. We hypothesize that mouse cells or human cell lines used for vaccine production could have been contaminated with a replicating variant of the XMRV precursors encoded by the mouse genome.''
Mikovits goes even further, explaining that, ''It became clear in 2011 that these [gammaretro]viruses had adapted to become aerosolized.'' This is a rather shocking finding, and this, Mikovits says, is what allows the gammaretroviruses to spread in laboratories from one cell line to another.
This could be related to research catalyzed by Charles Lieber, the former head of Harvard's chemistry department, who is a nanoscience experts and was arrested by federal authorities earlier this year for working with the Wuhan Virology Institute.
Lab workers may also be inadvertently spreading them as they are using cell lines contaminated with retroviruses in vaccine production that could result in the spread of these retroviruses via the finished vaccine. Mikovits suspects COVID-19 may in fact be a type of vaccine-derived or vaccine-induced retroviral infection.
''I don't believe [COVID-19] is infection from without,'' she says. ''I believe the spread across [210] countries4 is from injection, and there's enough evidence to support that.''
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SARS-CoV-2 '-- A Combination of SARS, Gammaretroviruses and HIVAnother of her theories is that SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely to have had a zoonotic origin but is likely synthetically produced. She believes it originated in and escaped or leaked from a biosafety laboratory. Mikovits believes both scenarios might be at play, where a lab-created virus, SARS-CoV-2, is causing serious infection and/or death only in those who have underlying retroviruses in their bodies.
Mikovits suspects that people who do not have retroviral infections, SARS-CoV-2 causes no or only mild symptoms. Another possibility is that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the result of growing coronaviruses in retrovirus-contaminated cell lines, producing a gammaretrovirus-carrying virus. According to Mikovits, her 2009 through 2011 work suggested 25 million to 30 million Americans were carriers of XMRVs and other gammaretroviruses. That estimate is over a decade old now so the number is likely far higher.
''There is a family of gammaretroviruses, most likely [in] contaminated blood supply and vaccines that are still to this day, almost 10 years later, being injected,'' she says.
''We don't need an infectious virus if you inject the blueprint, if you inject the provirus. And '... there are a lot of data to support COVID-19 is not SARS-CoV-2 alone, that it's SARS-CoV-2 and XMRVs (human gammaretroviruses) and HIV.''
Might Wearing a Mask Worsen Your Odds of Illness?Mikovits is also highly critical of the recommendation (and in some places mandate) to wear a face mask or fabric cover such as a bandana around your face. She believes:
''Wearing a mask is going to cause more secretions and give more cells a home and amplify any viruses. [Wearing a mask is] immune suppressive; it's going to limit your body's ability to produce Type 1 interferon.
You're driving the infection in yourself and you're not preventing the spread. [Instead], you're amplifying [replication of] not just [SARS-CoV-2] but also many other [viruses], including your XMRVs, influenza or other dormant viruses.
What keeps those dormant viruses dormant? Your natural killer (NK) cells, your mast cells, your macrophages. That's where you're getting the inflammatory signature.
So, every virus you amplify is driving the inflammatory signature, and you're going to get sick. [The resulting illness] doesn't have to be SARS-CoV-2 at all. You're making yourself sick [by bringing dormant viruses out of dormancy]. It's insanity.''
Wearing a face mask after getting a live flu vaccine may further worsen your odds, she says. Why? Because you're injecting three or more live flu virus strains into your body, which lowers your immune function. You're also going to shed the viruses contained in the vaccine. If you wear a mask, Mikovits says, you'll shed those viruses into the mask, which could encourage illness.
On the other hand, not wearing one might jeopardize the health of others. ''If you're shedding [the viruses] into the air, you're going to make somebody else get another upper respiratory infection that's going to allow [SARS-CoV-2] to make them sicker,'' she warns.
Why PCR Testing Is a Bad IdeaWe're also being lied to about the prevalence of infection. We're seeing inflated case numbers for the simple reason that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer requires doctors to do testing in order to confirm that a patient is in fact infected with SARS-CoV-2 or died from COVID-19. The numbers now include ''suspected'' and ''assumed'' cases.
Naturally, without widespread and accurate testing, there's no way to get a clear idea of how prevalent the infection is, and how many actually get sick and die from it. The initial emphasis on PCR testing resulted in massive false positives and greatly inflated numbers of those infected.
As noted by Mikovits, confirming each case through testing matters greatly, as there are hundreds, if not thousands, of microbes that can cause upper respiratory infections, including seasonal influenza viruses. None of those should be lumped in with COVID-19 if we want to understand the true nature and danger of this disease.
What's more, the initial decision to use RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) testing instead of antibody testing was an unwise one, as it virtually guaranteed an overestimation of the problem. RT-PCR is now being used to diagnose an active infection by detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material.5 However, by doing that, you end up with high rates of false positives. Mikovits explains how the RT-PCR test works:
''We're taking a swab and scraping some epithelial cells [from the back of the sinuses or throat] because that's what coronaviruses infect '... We get a little RNA '-- because it's an RNA virus '-- we reverse-transcribe that, meaning write it backwards with enzymes in the lab, and then we amplify it [through a] polymerase chain reaction '...
We're only taking a piece of the virus, we're not taking the whole virus '... The first thing about [the PCR] test is, it was admitted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC that the tests put out by the CDC were contaminated.
And when you amplify something a million times, or 10 million times '-- whatever they do in the 30 cycles or so '-- it's logarithmic that RNA then is way overestimated '... [But] no [viral] particle was identified or isolated from your saliva or from your nasal passages. Nobody took the secretions from your nose or your mouth and isolated the [actual] viruses.
[When I isolated] HIV in 1983, I isolated it from saliva. What you do is you take the virus and grow it in any human cell, in an appropriate cell line, and you make many copies. [Viral replication] means you have [a positive test for] that virus. Then you sequence the whole virus.
A PCR [test, on the other hand] can give you a lot of false positives [by amplifying RNA fragments].
We [also] showed the people that had [HIV] infection had antibodies; that they had been fully exposed and it was not a piece of nucleic acid in a biopsy or in their throat or in their nose. [A piece of nucleic acid] is not a virus. And it's certainly not infectious.
If RNA is there and in the tiniest amount, I'm not going to cough it on somebody, especially if I'm not coughing. I'm not going to breathe that [out and infect] somebody because there's no evidence of an infectious virus.''
Better Testing Strategy: AntibodiesRather than using PCR testing, ''what should have been done is test for antibodies,'' Mikovits says. This is what was done in South Korea. An antibody test will tell you whether you had the infection at some point, and have developed a strong immune response or immunological memory that will allow you to fight the infection should you encounter it again.
''Epidemiology is not done with PCR. In fact, Kary Mullis who invented PCR, Nobel Laureate, and others, said PCR was never intended for diagnostic testing. So that puts that to bed.
It takes nothing to develop a really good serology [i.e., antibody] test '... [It takes] a few weeks. It's pretty easy because the people who have recovered have antibodies. So, you isolate those antibodies, you take their plasma, you purify the antibodies, and then you can grow them.
Then you develop the tests'... It's usually ELISA or Western Blot [which check for] the protein and the antibody binds. You form an immune complex, and you detect it with a dye. You can do that test with a finger stick '... and it takes 15 minutes to get the answer, almost like a pregnancy test.''
My belief is that the use of PCR instead of a proper antibody test was intentional, as it inflates the case numbers. Mikovits agrees, saying ''I wouldn't get any tests right now. I'd simply wash my hands and drink hot lemon water as I always do for any flu season.''
Evidence SARS-CoV-2 May Be a Lab-Created VirusIn the Epoch Times documentary, ''Tracking Down the Origin of the Wuhan Coronavirus,'' Mikovits details some of the evidence supporting the view that SARS-CoV-2 is not a naturally-evolved virus, but rather a laboratory concoction.
One piece of evidence is that the virus contains a protein envelope from the HIV virus. It's also very similar to SARS which, according to bioweapons expert Francis Boyle, is an engineered bioweapon.
As explained by Mikovits, an Indian paper6 ,7 detailed the presence of Gp120, a protein envelope from the HIV virus. That paper was quickly retracted due to political pressure. However, Mikovits colleague, Luc Montagnier, made a similar discovery, finding Gp41 in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the transmembrane domain of the HIV virus.
''The folks from India also had GAG. That's structural proteins. That gives you a clue that it wasn't a CRISPR technique or a pseudotyping where the envelope was expressed in a gene therapy-type of way. If it were CRISPR, you wouldn't put the GAG sequences in there.
What was done is, the virus was acquired as they grew SARS-CoV-2 in Vero-E6 cells '-- the monkey kidney cells where you get HIV.
Simian immune deficiency virus was the origin, and we were told all the way back in the 80s that somebody forgot to cook their food in Africa and a few promiscuous men spread this [HIV] virus around the world. So, you can see again the patterns of the lies and of what people end up believing.''
The addition of this envelope protein from HIV gives SARS-CoV-2 the ability to impair the immune system. It also contributes to its pathogenicity. Mikovits continues her explanation:
''The first thing is, you must grow a virus to make a lot of it. So, you grow it in cell lines. They didn't take [SARS-CoV-2] from the bat and it jumped into a human. It normally goes through another cell [from] a monkey or a smaller animal. The cell line that supports the growth and expansion [of viruses] are monkey kidney cells.
Maybe [SARS-CoV-2] is not engineered at all '... but the end result is, now it not only infects the epithelial cells of the lungs, it infects the white blood cells, it infects the immune cells. We see the splenomegaly in large spleens, we're seeing penias, cytopenias. We're losing cells like HIV-killing T-cells '...
So, it's got not only an expanded host range, but also disease symptoms that make no sense for a coronavirus. Hence, we're killing people because they're treating an upper respiratory infection, and you're getting that inflammatory disease signature because you're infecting the very innate immune response, the macrophages, the monocytes, the natural killer cells, the T cells. And it's primarily the T-cells in the macrophages because those are the cells HIV 120 and Gp41 infect through CCR5 in the CD4 receptor.
So now you're going to lose your adaptive immune response, you're going to drive the inflammation. And it's the fire [of inflammation] that does the tissue damage.''
Another piece that hints at SARS-CoV-2 being a manufactured virus is the construction of its spike proteins, which bind to ACE2 receptors to gain access into the cell. This appears to be an engineering feature. According to Mikovits, it's quite clear that the spike proteins came from the original SARS virus, which also infects through ACE receptors.
There are also ''single point mutations there that make it far more infectious, easier to spread,'' she says, ''and how those were acquired, nobody really can say.'' At least not yet. Nanotechnology may also have been used to aerosolize it for ease of transmission.
''The nano[size] further increases the host range. So now you can go into every cell. Now you can go across the blood brain barrier. That's nano. Now you don't need a receptor. You can breathe it, it can go into every cell of the body. You don't need the gatekeeper. You don't need the receptor. You don't need the lock and key.''
Contaminated Cell Line Shared With Wuhan BiolabAccording to Mikovits, one contaminated cell line is the Vero monkey kidney cell line called Vero E6, which was given by Fort Detrick '-- a U.S. Army Medical Command installation that hosts many of our national biological defense programs and houses the National Cancer Institute laboratory where she used to work '-- to the biosafety 4 laboratory (BSL-4) in Wuhan, China. This cell line is what the Wuhan lab used to grow and study coronaviruses, she says.
The Vero cell line is listed in the 2015 paper,8 ''A SARS-like Cluster of Circulating Bat Coronaviruses Shows Potential for Human Emergence,'' co-written by University of North Carolina researchers and Dr. Shi Zhengli, a Chinese virologist at the Wuhan lab who in 2010 published a paper9 discussing the weaponization of the SARS virus.
The contaminated Vero monkey kidney cells were also used in the production of polio vaccines, Mikovits notes. The original polio vaccines were passed through mice brains, as we didn't have cell lines in the 1930s when that vaccine was originally developed. According to Mikovitz, the spread of this Vero retrovirus has occurred through laboratory workers and hospital caretakers for decades.
''That's why the family studies we did were so important,'' she says, referring to studies in which retroviral transmission was tracked to determine how it spread between family members.10
Alas, whenever patterns were detected, she was always directed to cover them up. Her refusal to hide the information from the public was what led to her firing in 2011. According to Mikovits, we're seeing the same pattern of sweeping evidence under the rug now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
''The patterns are the same as far as the science goes, and the patterns are the same as far as the political corruption, the plague of corruption, in covering up data,'' she says.
Mikovits Pioneering Research in XMRVIn 2009, Mikovits got embroiled in controversy when she wrote a paper reporting that a retrovirus known as xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus may play a causal role in CFS and other diseases, including autism. I interviewed her about this intriguing and complex story in December 2018 (see linked sentence).
Her career background and past troubles also involved Fauci who, according to Mikovits, is guilty of scientific fraud. She details this in her book, ''Plague of Corruption: Restoring Faith in the Promise of Science.''
According to Mikovits, Fauci does not appear to have changed his stripes, and is still misleading the public and hiding the truth about SARS-CoV-2, just like he did with the HIV virus and retroviral-associated diseases.
''I think the way to think about the background of what's going on right now is to go back to my first interactions with Dr. Tony Fauci when I was a 25-year-old lab technician in the National Cancer Institute. At that time, we had isolated '-- from blood and saliva '-- the lymphadenopathy virus.
[Lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV)] was the name given to it by Luc Montagnier, the Nobel Laureate, [who] first isolated and discovered that virus and its association with HIV/AIDS.11
In that situation, Fauci delayed the serology testing [to find out] who was exposed [to HIV]. It was politicized such that the only people that were [said to be] susceptible to getting infected with HIV was gay men [and] IV drug users.
The country was told not to worry about it. It was only spread through blood and body fluids and shouldn't be a problem for most other people. So, the testing that could have been done wasn't done because of political reasons, and the treatments weren't done because Fauci had patents, and '-- we didn't know this at the time '-- the wrong type of treatment was used. That led to the spread and [death] of millions worldwide '...''
The Discovery of Human GammaretrovirusesUltimately, Mikovits and her colleagues discovered that the HIV virus was spread through a contaminated blood supply. After that, they proceeded to look into other ''clearly retroviral-associated diseases,'' such as CFS,12 certain kinds of autism, cancers, leukemias and lymphomas.
Gammaretroviruses13 are viruses that can cause cancer, leukemia and immune deficiencies in various animals. Examples include murine leukemia virus, feline leukemia virus and mink focus forming virus. As explained in a 2011 paper on gamma retroviruses:14
''Retroviruses are evolutionary optimized gene carriers that have naturally adapted to their hosts to efficiently deliver their nucleic acids into the target cell chromatin, thereby overcoming natural cellular barriers '...
Retroviral vectors are fascinating and efficient delivery tools for the transfer of nucleic acids. As a hallmark, all retroviruses are capable of reverse transcribing their single stranded RNA genome into double stranded DNA, which will be stably integrated into the host cell genome.
As highly evolved parasites they act in concert with cellular host factors to deliver their nucleic acid into the nucleus, where they exploit the host cell's machinery for their own replication and long-term expression occurs.''
The key take-home here is that retroviruses are ''integrated into the host cell genome,'' and infection can result in ''long-term expression.'' In other words, once they're in your body, they can remain dormant, only to reactivate when conditions are favorable. In this regard, they're quite different from your average virus that, when you're exposed, invades your cells, replicates and causes symptoms, and is eventually eliminated from your body through your immune response.
In 2009, Mikovits and her team discovered and isolated the first human gammaretrovirus family of retroviruses, known then as XMRVs. As mentioned earlier, XMRV stands for ''xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus.'' Xenotrophic refers to viruses that only replicate in cells other than those of the host species. So, XMRVs are viruses that infect human cells yet are not human viruses.15
My Entire Interview With Judy MikovitsTo reiterate some of the key take-home messages Mikovits delivers in this interview:
' She believes COVID-19 '-- the disease '-- is not caused by SARS-CoV-2 alone, but rather that it's the result of a combination of SARS-CoV-2 (which appears to have been manipulated to include components of HIV that destroys immune function). Previous XMRV (human gammaretroviruses) infection may facilitate SARS-CoV-2 to express the COVID-19 illness.
Put another way, COVID-19 may be initiated by SARS-CoV-2 but dependent upon a preexisting infection with and awakening of other viruses such as XMRV, gamma retroviruses, possibly Lyme and other coinfections, including parasites, and this is why anti-parasitic medications like hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin help.
' Blood products and vaccines are contaminated with XMRVs that can damage your immune system and cause CFS, cancer and other chronic diseases. The viruses spread within laboratories as they have adapted to become aerosolized, and contaminate cell lines used in vaccine production and other viral research, including research on coronaviruses.
' Flu vaccines have spread a host of dangerous viruses around the world, which can then interact with SARS COV-2.
' It is possible to develop safer oral vaccines, and interferon alpha could be a valuable treatment alternative against COVID-19. Aside from interferons, other treatment strategies discussed in our interview include hyperbaric oxygen therapy, cannabinoids (CBD), peptide T and antioxidant support.
' SARS-CoV-2 is more dangerous and virulent than typical coronaviruses because it includes sequences of HIV, SARS and another virus, which enable it to infect more than just your respiratory epithelium. It can also infect blood cells and hematopoeitic organs such as the spleen.
Last but not least, if this topic intrigues you, be sure to pick up a copy of her new book, ''Plague of Corruption: Restoring Faith in the Promise of Science.'' You can also find more information on her website, plaguethebook.com.
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/05/03/is-the-new-coronavirus-created-in-a-lab.aspx?cid_source=dnl&cid_medium=email&cid_content=art1HL&cid=20200503Z2&et_cid=DM527860&et_rid=863513939
As for the coming vaccine, that's also something people need to be aware of '' urgently
The vaccine is already made. It kills fertility in both men and women.
Fauci knew about HCQ in 2005 -- nobody needed to die
Wed, 06 May 2020 15:21
Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose ''expert'' advice to President Trump has resulted in the complete shutdown of the greatest economic engine in world history, has known since 2005 that chloroquine is an effective inhibitor of coronaviruses.
How did he know this? Because of research done by the National Institutes of Health, of which he is the director. In connection with the SARS outbreak - caused by a coronavirus dubbed SARS- CoV - the NIH researched chloroquine and concluded that it was effective at stopping the SARS coronavirus in its tracks. The COVID-19 bug is likewise a coronavirus, labeled SARS-CoV-2. While not exactly the same virus as SARS-CoV-1, it is genetically related to it, and shares 79% of its genome, as the name SARS-CoV-2 implies. They both use the same host cell receptor, which is what viruses use to gain entry to the cell and infect the victim.
The Virology Journal - the official publication of Dr. Fauci's National Institutes of Health - published what is now a blockbuster article on August 22, 2005, under the heading - get ready for this - ''Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread.'' (Emphasis mine throughout.) Write the researchers, ''We report...that chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS-CoV infection of primate cells. These inhibitory effects are observed when the cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage.''
This means, of course, that Dr. Fauci (pictured at right) has known for 15 years that chloroquine and it's even milder derivative hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) will not only treat a current case of coronavirus (''therapeutic'') but prevent future cases (''prophylactic''). So HCQ functions as both a cure and a vaccine. In other words, it's a wonder drug for coronavirus. Said Dr. Fauci's NIH in 2005, ''concentrations of 10 μM completely abolished SARS-CoV infection.'' Fauci's researchers add, ''chloroquine can effectively reduce the establishment of infection and spread of SARS-CoV.''
Dr. Didier Raoult, the Anthony Fauci of France, had such spectacular success using HCQ to treat victims of SARS-CoV-2 that he said way back on February 25 that ''it's game over'' for coronavirus.
He and a team of researchers reported that the use of HCQ administered with both azithromycin and zinc cured 79 of 80 patients with only ''rare and minor'' adverse events. ''In conclusion,'' these researchers write, ''we confirm the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine associated with azithromycin in the treatment of COVID-19 and its potential effectiveness in the early impairment of contagiousness.''
The highly-publicized VA study that purported to show HCQ was ineffective showed nothing of the sort. HCQ wasn't administered until the patients were virtually on their deathbeds when research indicates it should be prescribed as soon as symptoms are apparent. Plus, HCQ was administered without azithromycin and zinc, which form the cocktail that makes it supremely effective. At-risk individuals need to receive the HCQ cocktail at the first sign of symptoms.
But Governor Andrew Cuomo banned the use of HCQ in the entire state of New York on March 6, the Democrat governors of Nevada and Michigan soon followed suit, and by March 28 the whole country was under incarceration-in-place fatwas.
Nothing happened with regard to the use of HCQ in the U.S. until March 20, when President Trump put his foot down and insisted that the FDA consider authorizing HCQ for off-label use to treat SARS-CoV-2.
On March 23, Dr. Vladimir Zelenko reported that he had treated around 500 coronavirus patients with HCQ and had seen an astonishing 100% success rate. That's not the ''anecdotal'' evidence Dr. Fauci sneers at, but actual results with real patients in clinical settings.
''Since last Thursday, my team has treated approximately 350 patients in Kiryas Joel and another 150 patients in other areas of New York with the above regimen. Of this group and the information provided to me by affiliated medical teams, we have had ZERO deaths, ZERO hospitalizations, and ZERO intubations. In addition, I have not heard of any negative side effects other than approximately 10% of patients with temporary nausea and diarrhea.''
Said Dr. Zelenko :
"If you scale this nationally, the economy will rebound much quicker. The country will open again. And let me tell you a very important point. This treatment costs about $20. That's very important because you can scale that nationally. If every treatment costs $20,000, that's not so good.
All I'm doing is repurposing old, available drugs which we know their safety profiles, and using them in a unique combination in an outpatient setting."
The questions are disturbing to a spectacular degree. If Dr. Fauci has known since 2005 of the effectiveness of HCQ, why hasn't it been administered immediately after people show symptoms, as Dr. Zelenko has done? Maybe then nobody would have died and nobody would have been incarcerated in place except the sick, which is who a quarantine is for in the first place. To paraphrase Jesus, it's not the symptom-free who need HCQ but the sick. And they need it at the first sign of symptoms.
While the regressive health care establishment wants the HCQ cocktail to only be administered late in the course of the infection, from a medical standpoint, this is stupid. Said one doctor, ''As a physician, this baffles me. I can't think of a single infectious condition '-- bacterial, fungal, or viral '-- where the best medical treatment is to delay the use of an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, or anti-viral until the infection is far advanced.''
So why has Dr. Fauci minimized and dismissed HCQ at every turn instead of pushing this thing from jump street? He didn't even launch clinical trials of HCQ until April 9, by which time 33,000 people had died.
This may be why: ''Chloroquine, a relatively safe, effective and cheap drug used for treating many human diseases...is effective in inhibiting the infection and spread of SARS CoV.'' That's the problem. It is safe, inexpensive, and it works - in other words, there's nothing sexy or avant-garde about HCQ. It's been around since 1934.
Given human nature, it's possible, even likely, that those who are chasing the unicorn of a coronavirus vaccine are doing so for reasons other than human health. I can't see into anybody's heart, and can't presume to know their motives, but on the other hand, human nature recognizes that there's no glory in pushing HCQ, and nobody is going to get anything named for him in the history books. The polio vaccine was developed by Jonas Salk in 1954, and it is still known as the ''Salk vaccine.'' There will be no ''Fauci vaccine'' if HCQ is the answer to the problem.
So while Dr. Fauci is tut-tutting and pooh-poohing HCQ, Dr. Raoult and Dr. Zelensky are out there saving lives at $20 a pop. Maybe we should spend more time listening to them than the wizards-of-smart bureaucrats the Talking Snake Media fawns over.
Dr. Fauci is regarded by the Talking Snake Media as the Oracle at Delphi. The entire nation hangs on his every word. But if nobody is dying and nobody is locked down, his 15 minutes of fame fades to zero. Very few people are not going to be influenced by that prospect, especially when it's easy to keep the attention of the public by continuing to feed the panic.
It should not be overlooked that there is no money in HCQ for Big Pharma since HCQ is a generic that can be manufactured so cheaply there is little profit margin in it. On the other hand, the payday for a vaccine will literally be off-the-charts. Who knows what kind of behind-the-scenes pressure is being put on Fauci and others in the health care establishment?
There is a monstrous reputational risk for those who will be found to have dismissively waved off a treatment that could have been used from the very beginning, even back on February 15 when Dr. Fauci said that the risk from Coronavirus was ''minuscule.'' How many lives could have been saved if the heads of our multi-billion dollar health care bureaucracy had been advocating for HCQ treatment from day one? We'll never know. Instead, their advice has been dangerous and deadly in every sense of that word.
Someday - maybe even today - we will be able to identify the individuals who had the knowledge and expertise to make a global difference, but turned up their noses at the solution when it could have made all the difference in the world.
Bryan Fischer hosts "Focal Point with Bryan Fischer" every weekday on AFR Talk (American Family Radio) from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. (Central). He is author of The Boy to Man Book: Preparing Your Son for Manhood.
This column first appeared on The Stand, the official blog site for American Family Association.
This column is printed with permission. Opinions expressed in 'Perspectives' columns published by OneNewsNow.com are the sole responsibility of the article's author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network, OneNewsNow.com, our parent organization or its other affiliates.
Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017''2018 influenza season - ScienceDirect
Wed, 06 May 2020 20:15
Highlights'We examined virus interference in a Department of Defense dependent population.
'Vaccinated personnel did not have significant odds of respiratory illnesses.
'Vaccinated personnel were protected against influenza.
'Odds of virus interference by vaccination varied for individual respiratory viruses.
AbstractPurposeReceiving influenza vaccination may increase the risk of other respiratory viruses, a phenomenon known as virus interference. Test-negative study designs are often utilized to calculate influenza vaccine effectiveness. The virus interference phenomenon goes against the basic assumption of the test-negative vaccine effectiveness study that vaccination does not change the risk of infection with other respiratory illness, thus potentially biasing vaccine effectiveness results in the positive direction. This study aimed to investigate virus interference by comparing respiratory virus status among Department of Defense personnel based on their influenza vaccination status. Furthermore, individual respiratory viruses and their association with influenza vaccination were examined.
ResultsWe compared vaccination status of 2880 people with non-influenza respiratory viruses to 3240 people with pan-negative results. Comparing vaccinated to non-vaccinated patients, the adjusted odds ratio for non-flu viruses was 0.97 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.86, 1.09; p'¯='¯0.60). Additionally, the vaccination status of 3349 cases of influenza were compared to three different control groups: all controls (N'¯='¯6120), non-influenza positive controls (N'¯='¯2880), and pan-negative controls (N'¯='¯3240). The adjusted ORs for the comparisons among the three control groups did not vary much (range: 0.46''0.51).
ConclusionsReceipt of influenza vaccination was not associated with virus interference among our population. Examining virus interference by specific respiratory viruses showed mixed results. Vaccine derived virus interference was significantly associated with coronavirus and human metapneumovirus; however, significant protection with vaccination was associated not only with most influenza viruses, but also parainfluenza, RSV, and non-influenza virus coinfections.
Keywords Influenza vaccine
Virus interference
Department of Defense
Respiratory illness
Abbreviations DoDGRS The Department of Defense Global Respiratory Pathogen Surveillance Program
GEIS Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System
DHA/AFHSB, AF The Defense Health Agency/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch, Air Force Satellite Cell
USAFSAM United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine
LRMC Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
RSV Respiratory Syncytial Virus
AFCITA Air Force Complete Immunization Tracking Application
95% CI 95% Confidence Interval
Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Russian coronavirus doctors are mysteriously falling out of windows - Vox
Thu, 07 May 2020 06:38
Three Russian doctors working to treat coronavirus patients have mysteriously fallen out of windows in recent weeks, underscoring the country's struggling health care system '-- and leading to suspicions of foul play.
On April 24, Natalya Lebedeva, the chief of emergency medical services at a training base for Russian astronauts, fell out of a window at the hospital where she was being treated for a Covid-19 infection and died.
Yelena Nepomnyashchaya, the top doctor at a hospital in Siberia, fell out of a window during a conference call at her hospital and died on May 1 after a week in intensive care.
The next day, ambulance doctor Alexander Shulepov fell from a second-floor window at the hospital where he worked and had been receiving treatment for Covid-19. He remains in serious condition with a fractured skull.
Russian authorities are investigating all three incidents, and there is no official indication yet of what happened to the physicians. The circumstances around their falls, though, are more than a little suspicious.
For example, Nepomnyashchaya was on a conference call with a top Russian health official about plans for turning one of the buildings at her medical facility into a coronavirus treatment ward. She disagreed with the idea, and fell out of the window during the call, according to local media.
And Shulepov had, along with a colleague, posted a video online on April 22 '-- the day he was admitted for coronavirus care '-- complaining that he had been forced to work despite contracting the disease. Five days later, Shulepov retracted his comments, saying he had spoken in ''an emotional state.'' Less than a week later, he fell out of a window.
The circumstances around Lebedeva's fall at the Russian astronaut training center are less clear, with the hospital where she died releasing a statement saying she ''died tragically'' in an ''accident,'' with no additional details provided.
A medical staff worker in protective gear gets off an ambulance at the Novomoskovsky multipurpose medical center for patients with suspected coronavirus infections on May 5, 2020. Sergei Karpukhin\TASS via Getty Images So what's going on here? Is it possible this is all an unfortunate coincidence? Are Russian medical facilities, creaking under the strain of the coronavirus, struggling to keep people safe? Or is there something more nefarious going on? Is the Russian government surreptitiously killing people who speak out about the failures of the country's coronavirus response?
Nobody yet knows for sure, but it's worth looking into what we do know about each incident and the theories surrounding them.
What we know about the lives and falls of the three doctorsThe amount of available details on each case varies widely. But what's available at least allows for some idea of what happened.
Not much has yet come out on Lebedeva, the 48-year-old who led the emergency medical team in the astronaut training base in Star City, just on the outskirts of Moscow. Some reports indicate she may have helped treat Moscow's coronavirus ''patient zero.''
After she contracted the coronavirus, she was hospitalized at the Federal Scientific Clinical Center in Moscow on April 20. Four days later, she fell out of a sixth-floor window and died instantly.
The hospital labeled her plunge an accident in a statement, also offering some kind words about her time leading the medical team: ''She was a true professional in her field, saving human lives every day!'' But other than that, much remains a mystery.
More is known about what happened in the case of Nepomnyashchaya, the 47-year-old who ran the Krasnoyarsk Regional Hospital for War Veterans.
During an April conference call with Boris Nemik, the regional minister of health, she pushed back on demands for her to make 80 beds in a part of her hospital available to treat coronavirus patients. Reportedly, her biggest concern was that her staff didn't have enough personal protective equipment to treat Covid-19 patients.
The local Ministry of Health denied that her 50-foot fall from her office window had anything to do with the conference call. And Aleksey Podkorytov, the deputy head of the Krasnoyarsk region's government, offered some alternative explanations for her plunge.
Members of the International Space Station expedition 59/60, NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch and Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, walk during their final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts' Training Center in Star City outside Moscow on February 20, 2019. STR/AFP via Getty Images ''So many things could have happened,'' he told reporters in April. ''It could have been because it was spring, the overall stress, something in her family. It's difficult to say what could have happened. ... There was nothing extraordinary happening at the time, just a routine conference call with doctors' reports.''
As for Shulepov, who fell out of the Novousmanskaya hospital's second-floor window last Saturday, more is known because of what he posted online. On April 22, the 37-year-old physician and his colleague Alexander Kosyakin made a video in which they claimed they still had to work at their hospital despite falling ill with the coronavirus.
''Ambulance doctor Alexander Shulepov is next to me, he is just confirmed Covid-19,'' Kosyakin said in the video. ''The chief doctor is forcing us to work. What do we do in this situation?''
''We are not leaving the shift,'' Kosyakin continued. ''Myself and Alexander ha[ve] been working together for a month. This is the situation. Everyone says it's fake [but] these are real facts for you.'' They also noted that the southwestern city of Voronezh '-- where they both work '-- was low on personal protective equipment.
But five days later, Shulepov had changed his message in a new video posted to Instagram. ''I have a runny nose, otherwise all is well,'' he said, adding that ''we were high on emotions'' when he and Kosyakin made the first video.
Some think it's possible authorities put pressure on Shulepov. His colleague, Kosyakin, had previously complained about the lack of medical equipment and hospital leadership, leading police to question him for allegedly posting fake news.
Kosyakin, who spoke to CNN on Tuesday, seems suspicious about what happened to Shulepov. When he last checked in with his colleague on April 30, ''He felt fine, he was getting ready to get discharged from the hospital,'' Kosyakin said. ''And all of a sudden this happened, it's not clear why and what for, so many questions that I don't even have the answer to.''
Three incidents, three mysteries. It remains unclear what happened in each case, but experts have some thoughts.
Three leading theories for what's going onAsk a group of Russia experts what's going on with these cases and you'll likely get a different answer from each one. But three explanations seem to be the most prevalent: suicides, assassinations, and the perils of an ailing health care system.
SuicideDr. Vasiliy Vlassov, an epidemiologist at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, said these could be cases of death by suicide. ''I believe that this cluster is a reflection of really high incidence of suicides nowadays, because chief physicians are working under high pressure,'' he told me. Because guns are hard to obtain in the country, ''jumping is a reasonable option.''
Judy Twigg, an expert on Russia's health care system at Virginia Commonwealth University, agreed. She told me all three cases have ''intense stress'' in common, either over the lack of personal protective equipment in the hospitals where the individuals worked or because the people got sick themselves.
Further, the three cases happened outside Moscow, which has most of the funding and medical equipment needed to properly treat coronavirus patients. The facilities where the three doctors worked, like many others in the country and around the world, ''are breaking more under the strain,'' Twigg said.
Workers at the construction site of a field hospital in Pavilion No. 75 at the VDNKh exhibition center during the pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease on May 4, 2020. Mikhail Tereshchenko\TASS via Getty Images Death by suicide is a plausible theory, as suicide is a persistent national problem. According to the World Health Organization, Russia has the third-highest suicide rate in the world. In 2016, the latest year for which there's complete data, about 122 people a day died by suicide in Russia, adding up to around 45,000 deaths.
That explanation is bolstered by reporting from the Russian daily Moskovsky Komsomolets, which quoted some of Lebedeva's colleagues claiming she had been accused of spreading the disease to her subordinates, so therefore it was possible she died by suicide.
Assassination''I would not be surprised if the security services were involved, sending a message to keep quiet on the crisis,'' said Alina Polyakova, president of the Center for European Policy Analysis.
For many, that might sound conspiratorial. Would the Russian government really kill medical professionals just because they questioned or criticized the country's handling of the coronavirus crisis?
But this theory is not as far-fetched as it may seem. ''It's not a conspiracy theory,'' Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonia's president from 2006 to 2016, tweeted on Monday. He added that ''defenestrations are a long term practice,'' using the technical term for the act of throwing someone out of a window.
There are previous cases of Russian officials allegedly trying to kill adversaries by pushing them out of windows. In 2017, Russian lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov was due to testify in a Moscow court against the government. But the day before he could do so, he fell from his fourth-floor apartment. The first news outlet to arrive at the scene? LifeNews, an outlet closely associated with Russia's security services.
In a 2017 interview with NBC News, Gorokhov '-- who'd fractured his skull but ultimately survived the fall '-- said what happened to him was likely foul play. ''This was no accident,'' he said. ''Someone planned this, but unfortunately I do not remember the details.'' He refused to elaborate further, saying he feared for his life and for the safety of his family.
There's also a pattern of Kremlin adversaries being assassinated through other, even more elaborate means. For example, in 2009 Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was poisoned in prison, likely because he had uncovered a massive government-linked fraud scheme that threatened top officials. Six years later, Boris Nemtsov, a top rival to President Vladimir Putin, was killed in the heart of Moscow. And in 2018, two Russians tried to kill with a nerve agent a former Kremlin spy living in the UK.
Murder, then, may not be completely out of the question.
A stressed health care systemAt a time when Russia's medical facilities are full and safety isn't a top concern, it's possible that three health care providers over the span of a few weeks made tragic missteps simply because they were tired and overworked.
''This is really about the destruction of our healthcare system,'' Anastasia Vasilyeva, a staunch Kremlin critic and head of the Alliance of Doctors Union, told CNN on Tuesday. ''A lot of clinics and hospitals have been closed. ... And, of course, this means it is very difficult to treat in such conditions a lot of patients with coronavirus.''
This is conceivable. Though Russia's health care system was relatively well prepared for a large public health crisis, at least compared to many other countries, it has a problem with old and faulty equipment. And many facilities outside the country's two major urban areas '-- Moscow and St. Petersburg '-- lack the resources to provide proper care.
But, as even President Vladimir Putin admits, the coronavirus crisis in the country is getting worse and worse.
''Ahead of us is a new stage, perhaps the most intense stage of the fight against the epidemic,'' Putin said in a national address last week, in which he also announced an extension of his nation's lockdown until May 11. ''The risks of getting infected are at the highest level, and the threat, the mortal danger of the virus persists.''
As Russia becomes one of Europe's worst-hit countries, it's possible that weary, ill physicians may have taken some missteps in such trying times.
The hope is that Russian authorities not only fully investigate what's happened but provide detailed, truthful answers. But given Russia's track record, that outcome could be the least likely of all.
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Vaccines and Such
Breaking NEWS: Can quercetin help us to avoid the threat of coronavirus infection? | Journal Online
Tue, 05 May 2020 00:55
NaturalHealth365) As COVID-19 continues its march across the globe '' and officials warn of a ''tsunami'' of newly-diagnosed cases and continuing fatalities in the U.S. '' a team of Canadian researchers is basing their hopes on quercetin, a flavonoid from plants.At the center of this flurry of optimism is research helmed by Dr. Michael Chr(C)tien, a renowned scientist at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal. Along with his co-researcher, Congolese scientist Majambu Mbikay, Dr. Chr(C)tien is currently awaiting approval to send the drug (derived from plants) to China for clinical trials that will test it against the novel coronavirus.
While this would be the first clinical study to test quercetin against COVID-19, natural health experts have long credited this natural plant pigment with the ability to deal with a variety of viruses. In fact, Dr. Chr(C)tien describes quercetin as a ''broad spectrum antiviral'' that has been shown in studies to be effective against such formidable diseases as SARS, the Ebola virus, and the Zika virus.
Incoming data from quercetin trial will be monitored minute-by-minute from MontrealIn a series of interviews and articles, Dr. Chr(C)tien has released details of the imminent study. Once the team is granted approval to send the quercetin to China, samples will be delivered to the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan.
Canadian and Chinese scientists will then collaborate on the trials, which will involve about 1,000 test patients. Drs. Chretien and Mbikay will join colleagues from the non-profit International Consortium of Antivirals (which Chr(C)tien helped to found in 2004 as a response to the SARS epidemic) in maintaining a round-the-clock communications center.
From there, they will be able monitor patients' progress in Wuhan, including viewing patients' charts and X-rays. According to Dr. Chr(C)tien, it may be possible to have results on quercetin's ability to treat COVID within 60 days of the beginning of the trial.
''Bingo! It works!'' Groundbreaking researcher's earlier studies on SARS and Ebola laid the groundwork for current COVID researchSince the 2003 SARS outbreak '' which infected over 8,000 patients in 26 countries '' Dr. Chr(C)tien has been studying potential treatments (including quercetin) for the virus, in the event that it resurfaces. And, while clinical trials haven't yet been performed, quercetin has shown great promise in combating SARS (severe acute respiratory distress) in animal models.
This is very significant, because COVID-19 is structurally similar to SARS. In fact, the new coronavirus is also known as SARS-CoV-2. And, earlier research has given cause for hope.
In a 2014 study published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Drs. Chr(C)tien and Mbikay concluded that a glucosylated form of quercetin (Quercetin 3-B-O-D glucoside) targeted various steps of viral entry and protected mice against the Ebola virus.
The team also learned that pre-treatment with quercetin, rather than post-treatment, offered the best protection. In a recent interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News Network, Dr. Chr(C)tien offered a more informal reaction to the Ebola study's encouraging results.
''Bingo! It worked!'' he recalled.
Dr. Chr(C)tien, who is generally recognized as one of the most renowned scientists and medical researchers in the world, has a strong emotional and professional connection with China.
He received training under noted Chinese researcher Dr. C.H. Li, and served as an honorary professor at both the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College.
This therapy is non-toxic, safe and pre-approved for use by humansThe good news: the FDA has already approved quercetin as safe for human consumption '' meaning that no animal testing is necessary. This also means that if the treatment works, it should be available quickly.
The quercetin will be in the form of easily-administered oral supplements. And, Dr. Chr(C)tien asserts that quercetin is so safe that even the high doses used in the study will not cause side effects.
Co-researcher Dr. Mbikay notes that quercetin would cost a mere $2 a day '' a negligible amount that stands in stark contrast to the $1,000-per- injection cost of existing COVID-19 treatments. ''It (quercetin) doesn't even compare in price,'' Dr. Mbikay pointed out.
He added that he is particularly hopeful that quercetin could eventually be used to ease outbreaks in African countries '' which he says lack the infrastructure for treating COVID-19.
A natural way to inhibit viral replication and defeat influenzaQuercetin, a plant pigment found in fruits and vegetables, is currently used to treat inflammatory diseases, reduce allergy symptoms and lower cholesterol.
But what is particularly relevant '' especially now '' is quercetin's ability to boost the immune system and interfere with viral replication. In a review published in Viruses, the authors concluded that quercetin inhibited viral infections in the early stages '' particularly during viral attachment and viral-cell fusion.
Quercetin has already shown the ability to inhibit both the A and B types of influenza, along with the H1N1 and the H3N2 viruses. Some forward-thinking physicians in the US already credit quercetin with being both safer and more effective than Tamiflu, the ''gold standard'' of medical therapies for influenza.
And, researchers are reporting that viruses seem to be incapable of developing immunity to quercetin '' another huge plus.
To boost your own intake of dietary quercetin, opt for healthy amounts of organic unpeeled apples, dark cherries, cocoa, dark leafy greens, green tea and onions.
Quercetin is also available as a supplement, with natural healers advising typical dosages of 500 mg twice a day. As always, consult your own integrative healthcare provider before adding quercetin to your immune-boosting routine.
Discover a safe way to improve quercetin bioavailability and ''supercharge'' its therapeutic potentialIt's simple: be sure to consume vitamin C! Natural health experts already know that vitamin C has antioxidant, immune system-boosting and antiviral effects.
As reported previously in NaturalHealth365, high-dose IV vitamin C is already being used throughout China to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak '' with three different new studies winning approval. On March 3, the government of Shanghai, China, announced its official recommendation that COVID-19 should be treated with high amounts of IV vitamin C.
Chinese scientists and physicians are reporting that high-dose vitamin C is achieving ''good results in clinical applications.'' They credit the nutrient with improving endothelial function and treating acute lung injury and respiratory distress.
In addition, vitamin C helps to regenerate quercetin and maintain its antioxidant properties '' leading researchers to believe that combining the two could pack a double virus-fighting punch. And preliminary research seems to back this up!
In a study published in Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, researchers found that a combination of 500 mg of quercetin and 250 mg of vitamin C lessened cell damage and caused a marker of inflammation to decrease by 62 percent.
Natural health experts are currently recommending dosages of 3,000 to 6,000 mg of vitamin C a day to fight viral infection. However, consult your own integrative doctor before supplementing, because you may need much more '' depending on the intensity of your infection.
Naturally, a strong immune system is of premier importance '' especially in times such as these. Staying well hydrated, getting good quality sleep, keeping physically active, and eating organic fresh food can pay off in terms of maintaining a strong immune system.
No doubt, the question of whether quercetin is effective against COVID-19 remains to be seen in clinical studies. Dr. Chr(C)tien, himself, is careful to warn against ''false hope.'' But, given the encouraging results of earlier studies, the hopes for quercetin may, indeed, be based in reality.
Sources for this article include:
TheCurrentNaturalhealthresearch.orgMacleans.ca
You have GOT to be kidding me, chapter 837: The enzyme that is used in the Quantum Dot ID that Bill Gates will use for the Mark of the Beast fake vaccine is called'... wait for it'... Luciferase | Barnhardt
Tue, 05 May 2020 19:02
''NanoBiT® and NanoBRET' technologies provide the sensitivity necessary to detect protein:protein interactions at the concentrations expressed in vivo. Both are bioluminescence-based methods that are particularly useful in viral studies due to the small size and bright signal of the luciferase used.''
Read up HERE.
Here's an article at MIT's website.
Here's the wiki article on Luciferase.
Bruce Jenner is a man. And furthermore I consider that islam must be destroyed.
Should Identity Politics Dictate Vaccine Research? | City Journal
Wed, 06 May 2020 10:16
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are not taking the coronavirus epidemic seriously, to judge from their funding priorities. On April 20, those two agencies announced the availability of grants to increase the ''diversity'' of biomedical research labs. Academic virologists working on respiratory failure, say, could receive hundreds of thousands more taxpayer dollars if they could find a ''diverse'' student to add to the project. No scientific justification for the new diversity hire is needed; indeed, high school students are eligible, despite the virtual certainty that they will contribute nothing of value. To the contrary, such new hires will be a drag on any medical advance, since the scientists must pledge to mentor the students, taking time and attention away from their scientific research. Those mentees will be chosen not because of their science skills'--they need present none'--but because of their group's underrepresentation in STEM.
The premier federal funders of biomedical research, in other words, apparently believe that a pandemic is the perfect moment to focus further on identity politics. If diversity trumps scientific merit in biomedical research, including in immunology and virology, then those research efforts cannot be particularly important, despite the experts' economy-crushing shutdown mandates.
The CDC, NIH, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have been color- and sex-coding their research grants for years, on the grounds that ''scientific innovation,'' in the words of the NIH, requires scientists from ''diverse backgrounds and life experiences.'' But the newly announced ''Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research'' exponentially boost those agencies' social-justice agenda. Besides the usual preferences for women, blacks, and Hispanics, the following categories now also qualify for diversity funding: being or having been homeless; being or having been in foster care; having been eligible for free school lunches; having no parents with a bachelor's degree; and having received WIC payments (a food program for low-income mothers) as a child or mother. The claim that being black or female increases one's chances of achieving a scientific breakthrough was always fanciful, but the idea that having been homeless or having had a mother on welfare is in any way relevant to genome sequencing or cancer treatment is preposterous. The NIH and CDC assert that the scientific enterprise requires a wide range of ''viewpoints.'' Different minds may in fact approach knotty problems differently. But having been in foster care is simply too remote from the challenge of developing a vaccine to block SARS-CoV-2 to be a valid substitute for scientific expertise.
The CDC may have struggled with coronavirus testing early on, but it and the NIH are fully up to speed when it comes to academic grievance studies. The latest ''Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research'' place great stock in ''intersectionality.'' STEM departments hoping for a research supplement will increase their chances by hiring females who are also an underrepresented minority, disabled, or from a ''disadvantaged background.'' Singly, these categories have nothing to do with scientific merit; they gain no additional relevance from having been aggregated.
The NSF, another federal funder of basic biomedical research, has also increased its identity-based spending during the pandemic. It recently announced that it would be pouring another $29 million of taxpayer dollars into its ADVANCE program. ADVANCE's premise is that STEM departments are rife with implicit bias against competitively qualified females and underrepresented minorities. Achieving gender and racial ''equity'' in STEM requires ''organizational change,'' which grantees can pursue via four supposedly distinct ''tracks:'' ''Institutional Transformation,'' ''Adaptation,'' ''Partnership,'' and ''Catalyst.'' (In fact, these largely indistinguishable ''tracks'' simply represent bureaucratic rhetorical churn.) Successful applications, whether in molecular bioscience or mechanical engineering, will apply ''intersectional approaches'' to institutional change, recognizing that ''gender, race, and ethnicity do not exist in isolation from each other and from other categories of social identity.''
Science, of course, is not the only arena where identity politics has recently surged. The New York City health department requires that its contact tracers understand ''institutional and structural racism'' and have a ''demonstrated commitment'' to victims of such racism, i.e., ''people of color, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, [and] justice involved persons [translation: criminals].'' How such ''knowledge'' is supposed to affect the collection of health and contact data is unclear. The higher coronavirus death rate for blacks in some cities has been attributed to biased doctors and nurses, as well as to systemic societal injustice. Acknowledging behaviorally driven health disparities is taboo. Keeping essential workers on the job is said to be racist; reopening businesses to nonessential workers is also racist.
But the most audacious play for top-dog victim status comes from feminists. Politico magazine denounces ''Covid's War on Women.'' It may seem to be ''cause for celebration'' that more men than women are dying, Politico acknowledges. If there were any doubt about the cultural elite's contempt for masculinity, these glad tidings of joy should dispel it. (We will not pause to consider the effect of substituting ''blacks'' for ''men'' and ''whites'' for ''women.'') Nevertheless, Politico warns, despite the seeming good news, the pandemic has been ''worse for girls and women'' than for men, since those non-dead women are still around to bear more ''workplace risk.''
MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell took up the same theme on April 20. ''Women are being hit particularly hard by the coronavirus,'' Mitchell lamented. As the majority of service workers, women are now out of work and having to carry the burden of housework, Mitchell said. On the other hand, women workers are being exposed to the virus ''in a way that's disproportionate,'' according to Cecille Richards, founder of the women's political-action committee Supermajority and former head of Planned Parenthood. In other words, keeping women on the job reflects sexism; laying them off also reflects sexism.
It was not so long ago that New York governor Andrew Cuomo was announcing that saving just one life justifies any expenditure and any economic destruction that government might impose. Now we hear that the male body count is less important than the fact that female service workers are being exposed to the virus, even if that exposure carries a much lower risk of death. In fact, the sex disparities in coronavirus deaths often dwarf those racial disparities that we have been told are so concerning. In New York City, the coronavirus death rate for males was 70 percent higher than for females as of April 30: 190.5 per 100,000 of population for males, versus 112 per 100,000 of population for females. Yet New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams asserted in early April that the city's official responses to the virus had ''clearly'' discriminated against blacks, in light of the fact that blacks make up 23 percent of the city's population, but were 27.5 percent of virus fatalities where the race of the deceased was recorded.
We are accustomed to such demagoguery from politicians. But one might expect a little more rationality from our scientific leaders. Evidence-based thinking is not how you get ahead in academia or government, however. NIH director Francis Collins announced last June that he would boycott any academic conference or panel in the biomedical field where white males predominated. These male-dominated abominations are known as ''manels.'' A manel is evidence of the bias that prevents ''women and other groups underrepresented in science from achieving their rightful place in scientific leadership,'' Collins said. The NIH director apparently is as innumerate as the most analytically challenged academic vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion. Given the disparities in math and science skills, a lack of race proportionality (and, to a lesser extent, gender proportionality) in STEM is inevitable, absent radically lowered standards.
In 2017, 53 percent of all black eighth-graders failed to demonstrate basic competence in math, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. By contrast, 20 percent of white eighth-graders and 12 percent of Asian eighth-graders were nonproficient in math skills. Only 2 percent of black eighth-graders had advanced math skills, compared with 13 percent of white eighth-graders and 32 percent of Asian eighth-graders. These disparities do not close in high school or college. In light of this skills gap, Collins's explanation for the lack of proportional representation among biomedical scientists as a function of racism is irresponsible. A research lab racing to develop vaccines is not the place to try belatedly to close the academic achievement gap, even were such a goal within reach.
The skills divergence is not as great between males and females, but it is nevertheless significant, especially at the highest levels of math capacity, from which top-level researchers are drawn. Males outnumber females by a ratio of two to one on perfect to near-perfect scores on the math SAT (the College Board stopped reporting such fine-grained data several years ago). For math scores above 700, there were 157 boys in 2019 for every 100 girls. Females with high-end math skills tend to have strong verbal skills as well, unlike the average male math whiz. That double strength gives females a greater range of career choices. Many opt for more people-oriented work over a more solitary, ideas-based career in the hard sciences.
Hope in the coronavirus fight is now being placed in remdesivir, an anti-viral drug that appears to hasten the recovery of severely ill Covid-19 patients. Mark Denison of Vanderbilt University conducted the early research on other coronaviruses that led to remdesivir's development. He teamed up with pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences after learning about its drug portfolio at an academic conference; Denison's collaboration with Gilead would help bring remdesivir to market. Fortunately, that academic conference occurred before Francis Collins's diktat against manels. If the conference had shown the usual STEM sex-and-race skew, Collins would have recommended that it be boycotted and defunded. Remdesivir may have escaped a politicized end, but who knows what future discoveries will be stunted by the demand for sex-and-race proportionality in STEM?
The coming economic depression may deliver a body blow to the fount of race and gender victimology: America's bloated and politicized colleges. But identity politics has already worked its way into every American institution. The Trump administration has made no effort to eliminate the diversity obsession in federal science agencies. Now would be the time to do so. President Trump should order that scientific funding be granted on a purely meritocratic basis. Sex and race are irrelevant to scientific accomplishment. Not a single cent of taxpayer money should go toward promoting identity politics in STEM'--or anywhere, for that matter.
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and the author of the bestseller The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.
Photo: Eugeneonline/iStock
City Journal is a publication of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a leading free-market think tank. Are you interested in supporting the magazine? As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations in support of MI and City Journal are fully tax-deductible as provided by law (EIN #13-2912529). SUPPORT
Pricing HQC vs Remdesivir
Price for Remdesvir 10 day course of
treatment = $4,460 ($460/day)
https://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing/gilead-s-covid-19-therapy-remdesivir-worth-4-460-per-course-says-pricing-watchdog
Remdesvir min mfg cost = $0.93/day
HCQ = $0.08/day
CQ = $0.02/day
https://www.en-cphi.cn/news/show-60516.html
Does it work better, though?
"The results also 'suggested a survival benefit,' with a death rate of 8%
in patients who received remdesivir and 11% in those who got placebo, NIAID
[Fauci's outfit] said in a statement."
https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/gilead-s-remdesivir-speeds-recovery-1st-controlled-trial-readout-but-it-s-no-silver-bullet
Let's all go long Remdesvir, right?
China
Report: China hid coronavirus' severity to hoard supplies
Sun, 03 May 2020 16:03
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- U.S. officials believe China covered up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak '-- and how contagious the disease is '-- to stock up on medical supplies needed to respond to it, intelligence documents show.
Chinese leaders ''intentionally concealed the severity'' of the pandemic from the world in early January, according to a four-page Department of Homeland Security report dated May 1 and obtained by The Associated Press. The revelation comes as the Trump administration has intensified its criticism of China, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Sunday that China was responsible for the spread of disease and must be held accountable.
The sharper rhetoric against China coincides with administration critics saying the government's response to the virus was inadequate and slow. President Donald Trump's political opponents have accused the president and his administration of lashing out at China, a geopolitical foe but critical U.S. trade partner, in an attempt to deflect criticism at home.
The analysis states that, while downplaying the severity of the coronavirus, China increased imports and decreased exports of medical supplies. It attempted to cover up doing so by ''denying there were export restrictions and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data,'' the analysis states.
The report also says China held off informing the World Health Organization that the coronavirus ''was a contagion'' for much of January so it could order medical supplies from abroad '-- and that its imports of face masks and surgical gowns and gloves increased sharply.
Those conclusions are based on the 95% probability that China's changes in imports and export behavior were not within normal range, according to the report.
Trump has speculated that China could have unleashed the coronavirus due to some kind of horrible ''mistake.'' His intelligence agencies say they are still examining a notion put forward by the president and aides that the pandemic may have resulted from an accident at a Chinese lab.
Speaking Sunday on ABC's ''This Week,'' Pompeo said he had no reason to believe that the virus was deliberately spread. But he added, ''Remember, China has a history of infecting the world, and they have a history of running substandard laboratories.''
___
AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.
Ted Cruz Tries to Force Hollywood to Stand Up to Chinese Censorship '' Variety
Wed, 06 May 2020 09:42
Sen. Ted Cruz wants to cut off Defense Department cooperation for Hollywood productions that allow Chinese authorities to censor their films.
The Texas Republican announced a bill on Tuesday that would bar the Pentagon from working with productions unless they commit not to alter their content to accommodate Chinese censors.
Cruz was among those who vociferously objected last year when a trailer for ''Top Gun: Maverick'' showed that the Taiwanese and Japanese flags had been removed from Tom Cruise's flight jacket. Many critics noted that the companies behind the film '-- including Paramount, Skydance and China's Tencent Pictures '-- were preemptively seeking to appease Chinese censors.
The film '-- originally set for release in June, but pushed to December due to the pandemic '-- got extensive cooperation from the U.S. Navy.
Cruz's bill would also forbid the Defense Department from working with U.S.-China co-productions, where the Chinese partner is subject to Chinese censorship standards.
In a statement, the senator warned that China is using its economic power to buy up media companies and to coerce U.S. companies to censor themselves.
''The Chinese Communist Party spends billions and billions of dollars to mislead Americans about China and shape what our citizens see, hear and think,'' he said. ''All of these activities are part of China's whole-of-state approach to amass more influence around the world through information warfare '-- and we need to put a stop to it.''
The Motion Picture Association declined to comment.
Last July, Cruz told the Washington Free Beacon that the ''Top Gun: Maverick'' episode was symptomatic of a much deeper problem.
''Top Gun is an American classic, and it's incredibly disappointing to see Hollywood elites appease the Chinese Communist Party,'' he said at the time. ''The Party uses China's economy to silence dissent against its brutal repression and to erode the sovereignty of American allies like Taiwan. Hollywood is afraid to stand up for free speech and is enabling the Party's campaign against Taiwan.''
The military branches each have entertainment liaisons that review scripts for accuracy and help provide access to equipment, personnel, and military installations.
The Cruz bill would condition such assistance on a written agreement ''not to alter the content of the film in response to, or in anticipation of, a request by an official of the Government of the People's Republic of China or the Chinese Communist Party.''
The bill also allows the secretary of defense to withhold cooperation from any company deemed to have submitted to Chinese censorship in the recent past.
China took steps last year to ratchet up its censorship of films and TV. Films that have military or political themes are subject to particular scrutiny.
Overwhelming Majority Say Time To 'Decouple' From China
Wed, 06 May 2020 09:52
of them are in China. China has built itself up to be the world's go-to manufacturing hub, mostly all of it thanks to American multinationals. Now popular support is turning against them.
Getty
If there is one thing to come out of this pandemic, it is the fact that Americans believe the U.S. relationship with China has to change. Support for this runs across party lines and education levels.
The golden days of China as the go-to manufacturing hub for American companies is becoming a bygone era. At leasts that is what more than 70% of survey respondents say they want in a world post-pandemic.
Survey firm McLaughlin & Associates released their poll of American attitudes towards China on April 22 and it showed that 75% felt that the U.S. should end its dependence on China for medical imports, including things like N95 respirators and even ibuprofen, two markets China dominates.
That opinion holds across party lines with 62% of Democrats saying we need to end some or all dependence on China for medical equipment; 80% of Independents and 85% of Republicans.
When asked whether they agreed that post-pandemic life meant the U.S. and China trade relationship should change, 72% said they agreed and only 15% said they disagreed.
MORE FROM FORBES China Has 'Nationalized' Its N95 Mask Makers By Kenneth Rapoza in the world, surpassing Singapore ports in 2018. (Photo by Su Xiaozhou/VCG via Getty Images)
VCG via Getty Images
Even those who disapprove of President Trump agreed that decoupling was in order, with 62% of those self-identified as disliking the president saying so. Within Trump's camp, a whopping 86% said it was time to decouple.
Battleground and non-battleground states felt the same way about China, with around 72.5% saying they agreed the trade relationship had to change.
Moreover, some 60% of African-Americans said post-pandemic relations needed to change and 65% of Hispanics agreed, as well. College educated and non-college educated were also on board, with an average of 72.5% agreeing.
When asked if the U.S. should outright ''withdraw manufacturing from China'', the number was still high, but by a smaller margin with 59% for a withdrawal.
Most U.S. multinationals do not have greenfield projects in China and have to contract out for manufacturing. Apple AAPL, for example, does not own a factory in China, but Taiwanese owned Foxconn makes and assembles most of Apple's goods for both mainland consumers and for the export market. Foxconn does the same for other U.S. tech firms.
Within the 59% that wanted U.S. manufacturing to leave China, only the Democrats were slightly less likely to agree with that. Some 43% of Democratic Party supporters said they were for a removal of manufacturing from there compared to 70% Republicans and 62% Independents. This lower number suggests what many Democratic Party critics have said over the last few years '-- that the party has moved away from being a blue collar party and has embraced the A-list and Davos Man instead.
MORE FROM FORBES Coronavirus Could Be The End Of China As A Global Manufacturing Hub By Kenneth Rapoza Of interest in that particular survey question posed by McLaughlin is that 59% of both college and non-college educated people agreed with the U.S. withdrawing manufacturing from China.
Judging by the survey, most participants are not fond of the world's No. 2 economy.
When asked, ''Do you favor or oppose Washington mandating that American companies with essential manufacturing and technology depart China to help rebuild the American economy; and upon moving back home be given tax incentives and tax credits for the jobs they create in America?'' 72% were in favor and only 15% opposed.
Earlier this month, Japan offered its multinationals $2 billion to return manufacturing back home and another $200 million in incentives to those who left China to manufacture elsewhere in Asia.
Once again, with that universe of 72%, Democrats are more likely to disagree despite 57% being fine with providing companies with incentives to return home post-pandemic. Some 75% of Independents agreed with that statement as well as 84% of Republicans.
MORE FROM FORBES New Data Shows U.S. Companies Are Definitely Leaving China By Kenneth Rapoza Republicans are becoming the anti-China, pro-blue collar labor party, a risk to Democrats who are now being cornered into a party of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and the campus quad.
McLaughlin & Company is run by John McLaughlin, a former advisor and pollster for Donald Trump in 2016. His other political clients have included former Presidential candidate Steve Forbes and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to name a few.
Other takeaways from the survey suggest that 57% think the coronavirus response is shaping up to be an election issue, of which the majority of Democratic Party supporters back this view by wide margins.
A majority of Americans, 79%, think the country can unite around what President Trump calls ''the invisible enemy''.
And lastly, 70% of Americans surveyed said that China ''knowingly kept coronavirus data from international health professionals.'' This too scales across party lines.
Only 17% of Democrats think China was honest about their coronavirus findings, compared to 10% of Independents and 8% of Republicans. An equal number of college and non-college educated '-- 71% '-- said they agreed that China was not forthcoming with the new SARS coronavirus when it was first discovered in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, in December 2019.
Some 3.01 million people have contracted the virus since, with 209,661 deaths worldwide.
Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. I've spent 20 years as a reporter for the best in the business, including as a Brazil-based staffer for WSJ. Since 2011, I focus on business and investing in the big
'... Read More I've spent 20 years as a reporter for the best in the business, including as a Brazil-based staffer for WSJ. Since 2011, I focus on business and investing in the big emerging markets exclusively for Forbes.My work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Nation, Salon and USA Today. Occasional BBC guest. Former holder of the FINRA Series 7 and 66. Doesn't follow the herd.
Read Less
OTG
Plaid Class Action
Singapore to require smartphone check-ins at all businesses and will log visitors' national identity numbers ' The Register
Tue, 05 May 2020 09:12
Even parks and train stations encouraged to use QR codes. Which may show the limits of Bluetooth contact-tracing! A Singapore government promo for SafeEntry
Singapore will from May 12th require all businesses to adopt a system that checks visitors into and out of their premises using their smartphones, and has already made using the system compulsory before entering some venues.
Called ''SafeEntry'', the system is designed to enhance Singapore's coronavirus contact-tracing capabilities and requires visitors to either scan a QR code or allow their phones to be scanned to record a barcode in the national e-services app. That scans are taken when visitors enter and exit a premises.
Singapore's Ministry of Health says the service logs names, national identity numbers (or the equivalent for long-term residents) and mobile phone numbers, plus the time a user entered and exited a venue.
The resulting data is uploaded to a cloud service where, the Ministry says, it will only be used ''by authorised personnel for contact tracing purposes, and stringent measures are in place to safeguard the data in accordance with the Government's data security standards.''
Singapore's introducing the service in response as part of its effort to lift coronavirus-related restrictions on movement. After initially doing well to quell the virus' spread, the city-state recorded a spike in cases with most found in dormitories used to house foreign workers. The increase in cases prompted a new round of restrictions, dubbed ''circuit breaker'' measures. Now the national government wants to ease those restrictions and set Singapore on a road to just-about-normal from June 1st. To get there it is telling citizens it needs SafeEntry to improve contact-tracing.
While SafeEntry will be compulsory in all businesses and for those entering public venues like shopping malls, even train stations and parks will be encouraged to display barcodes so that visitors can check in and out.
Singapore was one of the first nations to adopt a Bluetooth-powered contact-tracing app, fueling plenty of global debate about the best way to deploy the technology. SafeEntry will advance that debate as its introduction surely suggests that contact-tracing apps have their limitations.
SafeEntry was developed by the same government agency that created TraceTogether. The latter was open-sourced '' perhaps SafeEntry will be too!
In Taiwan, meanwhile, the City of New Taipei will soon re-open sports centers and public libraries. To enter the former customers must fill out an online form that records basic personal information, travel history, and which facilities they intend to use, then use a QR code to register attendance. Library visitors will need to present their library cards and national identification card. ®
Sponsored: Practical tips for Office 365 tenant-to-tenant migration
De contactspeurders die ons zullen ondervragen als we corona hebben: ''We moeten weten wie uw minnares is. Maar we houden het geheim'' | De Krant | HLN
Thu, 07 May 2020 08:33
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Welcome Back to the Office. Your Every Move Will Be Watched. - WSJ
Wed, 06 May 2020 15:18
In Midtown Manhattan, thermal cameras will measure body temperatures as employees file into a 32-story office tower at Rockefeller Center. The building's owner, RXR Realty, said it is also developing a mobile app for tenants to monitor'--and score'--how closely their workers are complying with social distancing.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said it is preparing to launch this month a phone app for employers that traces contacts by analyzing workers' interactions in the office. More than 50 clients have expressed interest, including some of the nation's biggest banks, manufacturers and energy companies.
Advertising giant Interpublic Group of Cos . is exploring dividing its 22,000 U.S. employees into three separate groups, according to perceived health risks, which could include age. Workers could be asked to disclose medical and other personal information about themselves and, in some cases, family members.
Interpublic hasn't signed off on the system yet, but it's definitely ''on the front burner,'' said Eric Ossmann, chief medical officer at the medical-advisory firm Vigilint Protective Health Services, which is advising Interpublic. Interpublic said it has only begun preliminary discussions about the system.
''It is a reasonable approach, if you can get through the operational and some of the privacy and regulatory issues,'' Dr. Ossmann said.
Many office workers have become used to widespread security cameras and keycards that register entries and exits. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, buildings installed enhanced security measures, including logging in visitors and X-raying briefcases.
The arrival of Covid-19 is taking surveillance to a higher level, with some employers planning to track movements and gather personal information like never before in Western democracies. It marks a new chapter in the debate over privacy, and the trade-offs people are willing to make for safety.
Some companies now see the measures as perhaps the only way to reopen offices without risking a new rise in infections, at least until a vaccine becomes available.
Tracking employeesBuilding owners said the systems'--similar to measures used in China that helped slow the spread of the virus'--promote health and safety, so that employers can better monitor and enforce separation between workers, and quickly determine which employees could have come in contact with an infected colleague.
The pandemic's ''consequences are far-reaching, and it is going to change the way all these places work,'' said Amol Sarva, chief executive of flexible-office company Knotel, which is adding features to its app that would allow its customers to track the movements of employees. ''When you design a workplace, it's no longer going to be like 'Hey, is it cool and fun for my people?' A major criterion is going to be: 'Is this place safe and resilient?' ''
Massachusetts-based health-care software company Athenahealth Inc. is considering checking the temperatures of employees but doesn't want to track their movements. ''We trust our employees,'' said Fran Lawler, Athenahealth's chief human resources officer. ''I think our employees would feel like that is a bit invasive.''
Jason M. Schultz, professor of clinical law at New York University, who studies workplace monitoring, predicted the tools might remain after the pandemic. ''Employers don't really have any incentives to remove surveillance once they install it,'' he said.
When companies began sending their employees home in March, they focused on keeping productivity high despite the remote setups. In anticipation of workers returning to offices, some added basic precautions, such as extra cleaning, markers on the ground to direct foot traffic and more space between desks. Some plan to reduce overall numbers present by keeping some staff working at home or staggering shifts, and others plan to set up their own testing.
Other companies said these moves don't go far enough.
RXR, the real-estate company, is testing new systems on its own employees. ''We are using ourselves as the guinea pigs,'' RXR's Chief Executive Scott Rechler said.
The company aims to have its social-distancing app ready at the end of May. Workers' movements are tracked through their smartphones'--you get a higher score the more time in the office you are farther than 6 feet from another person. An individual would see his or her own score, and the employer would see aggregate data on how employees are complying with social distancing as a whole.
After the pandemic, RXR said the technology could be used to ensure the most efficient use of space and ''the overall wellness of our customers.''
Interpublic, whose ad agencies employ 9,700 people in New York City, began to think about how to safely bring back staffers in early April. After consultation with Dr. Ossmann, the company is exploring options including a system of classifying its U.S. employees in one of three levels.
A worker that tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, indicating they had the infection in the past, would be considered a ''Level 1'' employee'--the lowest risk'--and could return to work when states and cities lift work-from-home orders.
Those without antibodies but who are considered a low to moderate risk would count as ''Level 2.'' This group would include employees who are under 65 years old, don't live with high-risk people and don't have chronic diseases including diabetes or hypertension. This group could potentially return to work in a second wave.
Employees over 65, or those who are pregnant, smoke, have chronic diseases or health issues would be considered ''Level 3.'' These at-risk employees would have to wait the longest to return, Dr. Ossmann said.
A potential sticking point, said Casey Tinnesz, Interpublic's senior director of crisis management and business continuity, is that personal medical information about employees is private.
Dr. Ossmann has also advised Interpublic that there are shortcomings with Covid-19 antibody testing, including that some tests falsely show people have antibodies to the virus.
Measuring proximityOther companies have expressed interest in contact-tracing tools so they can pinpoint which employees may have been exposed to the virus, without needing to shut down entire floors of an office or individual manufacturing plants, said Tom Puthiyamadam, digital products leader at PwC. He said he and his colleagues host about 15 meetings a day with current and potential clients to explain the company's new tracing app.
The product, installed on an employee's phone, uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi data, along with other signals, to determine employees' proximity to each other within a company building. It doesn't track someone's location or analyze data outside of work, Mr. Puthiyamadam said.
If an employee tests positive for the coronavirus, HR administrators can log in to a web portal to determine which other employees may be at risk based on their proximity to that worker in a given time period.
Companies are also doing more to screen arrivals and prevent sick people from entering buildings in the first place. Some employers are now evaluating whether to send a daily questionnaire to workers early every morning, asking staffers how they feel, said Larry Gadea, chief executive of workplace software platform Envoy Inc.
He said at least one large technology client has asked the company to build such a tool. Envoy's software, used to check-in visitors, track packages and book meeting rooms, is used in 14,000 offices.
Answers to the questionnaire could determine who gains access to the office. Those feeling ill would be reminded to stay home, while employees who respond in a satisfactory way could be given a code to scan in an office lobby to gain entry.
Access management company Okta Inc. might require employees who want to work in one of their 12 global offices to register a day in advance and go through a health and safety check that includes questions about their temperature and other potential symptoms, according to the company's senior vice president of global workplace services Armen Vartanian.
Feevr, a thermal imaging device developed by X.Labs, said it is launching a precheck option loosely modeled on the Transportation Security Administration's precheck system at airports. The goal is to reduce lines at buildings of people waiting to have their temperatures checked.
Employees can log into Feevr's app at home every morning through a facial scan and take their temperature with a digital thermometer. The app sends the temperature to the employer with a timestamp. If it is below the fever threshold, the employee gets a pass for the day.
Envoy's Mr. Gadea said many employers plan to ask guests if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, and how they got to the office. Public transit is viewed as riskier than private cars.
There are still few agreed upon standards on what tools are effective, and how they should be used while respecting individual privacy, said Steven Feldstein, an associate professor at Boise State University, who studies digital surveillance.
''We're in a bit of a Wild West,'' he said. ''In the absence of federal guidelines in the U.S. or other even kind of less explicit formal regulations, but just norms, it's a little bit of a free for all right now in terms of who's doing what.''
Some employees might push back on contact-tracing efforts, perhaps by turning off their phones when meeting with people, NYU's Mr. Schultz said. Employers should clarify to workers what will likely happen if they are forced to self quarantine or take time away from the office, he said.
Existing employment laws that protect against discrimination by age or disability still apply in a pandemic, and asking all employees to disclose health information could open a company to legal liability, said Jennifer Merrigan Fay, an employment-law partner at Goodwin Procter LLP.
Companies have some additional leeway in a pandemic, she said. The White House's return-to-work guidelines call for employers to make accommodations for vulnerable workers, including those who are elderly or with serious underlying health conditions. That could include allowing people to continue doing their jobs from home.
''If employers are telling people that they cannot come back to work, or that they have to disclose information if they are asymptomatic about their health, I think that you'll absolutely see challenges to that,'' Ms. Merrigan Fay said.
At his building in Rockefeller Center, RXR's Mr. Rechler predicts office workers will get used to the new procedures, just as they did with security check-ins for visitors following 9/11.
Many workers then were nervous about returning to their high-rise offices, he recalled. Turnstiles in office lobbies became common, front desks started asking for ID cards and garages screened cars for bombs. These measures, once deemed extreme, helped people feel safe, and many are still in use today.
''Over time some of that anxiety went away, and I think the same thing will happen here,'' he said.
'--Suzanne Vranica contributed to this article.
Write to Konrad Putzier at konrad.putzier@wsj.com and Chip Cutter at chip.cutter@wsj.com
Outlook locked
EuroLand
Brussels rules, Deutschland drools! EU claims Germany has no say on its money-printing policy '-- RT Business News
Tue, 05 May 2020 14:28
As Germany's constitutional court ruled that the European Central Bank could have exceeded its powers with a massive quantitative easing (QE) effort, the EU was quick to note that European law trumps that of member states.
In Tuesday's ruling, the Federal Constitutional Court said that the German government failed to challenge the QE programme, launched in 2015 and reactivated last year. The judges in Karlsruhe also ruled that the stimulus scheme, known as the Public Sector Purchase Program (PSPP), did not respect the ''principle of proportionality,'' signaling that the eurozone's central bank went too far with its mandate.
Read more
''The ECB fails to conduct the necessary balancing of the monetary policy objective against the economic policy effects arising from the programme,'' the ruling reads. ''By unconditionally pursuing the PSPP's monetary policy objective'....while ignoring its economic policy effects, the ECB manifestly disregards the principle of proportionality.''
Spokesman for the European Commission Eric Mamer was quick to respond to the decision, saying that despite the assessment of the German court the bloc reaffirms ''the primacy of EU law.''
The ruling also challenges the decision of the highest EU court, with the judges saying that the review of the latter was ''not comprehensible.'' In 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled that the ECB's plan was valid and within the body's mandate.
Asked for comment by Reuters, the EU's top court also pointed at precedence of the bloc's law over member states' national ones, but did not elaborate on the specific case.
The German court ordered the country's central bank, the Bundesbank, to stop participating in the ECB's stimulus scheme in three months unless the ECB proves that the bond purchases are necessary.
Also on rt.com Covid-19 may plunge Germany into worst recession since WWII The ECB launched the controversial plan to boost the economy and keep inflation levels close to two percent back in 2015. The program was halted in 2018 and relaunched around a year later. The plan's total holdings were '‚¬2.7 trillion at the end of March, according to Bloomberg.
On top of that the central bank has launched an additional program to battle the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, planning to buy '‚¬750 billion of bonds this year to offset the economic consequences of the virus-related crisis. This aid was explicitly excluded from the court ruling, while some said that the decision may still create hurdles for mitigation of the crisis.
The euro dropped 0.7 percent against the US as news of the German court's decision emerged. The ruling has also sent key indices in the European markets lower.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
Space Force
"Hostile" Russia Excluded From Trump's 'Moon Mining Pact' Dubbed The Artemis Accords | Zero Hedge
Thu, 07 May 2020 06:54
In a bombshell exclusive, Reuters reports the Trump administration is readying plans to initiate a pact among US allies for mining the moon:
The Trump administration is drafting a legal blueprint for mining on the moon under a new U.S.-sponsored international agreement called the Artemis Accords, people familiar with the proposed pact told Reuters.
The agreement would be the latest effort to cultivate allies around NASA's plan to put humans and space stations on the moon within the next decade, and comes as the civilian space agency plays a growing role in implementing American foreign policy. The draft pact has not been formally shared with U.S. allies yet.
Notably, and now grabbing international headlines, Russia is to be excluded from the pact, which is already sounding like a 'NATO in space' alliance of sorts, due to its "hostile" actions which includes ''threatening'' satellite maneuvers toward US spy satellites in Earth orbit.
Via APReuters continues:
The Artemis Accords, named after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's new Artemis moon program, propose ''safety zones'' that would surround future moon bases to prevent damage or interference from rival countries or companies operating in close proximity.
The pact also aims to provide a framework under international law for companies to own the resources they mine, the sources said.
The report notes further the moon is expected to be a future jumping off point for similar exploration and mining possibilities on Mars.
The White House has already named specific partner countries it expects to kickstart the moon mining pact with:
In the coming weeks, U.S. officials plan to formally negotiate the accords with space partners such as Canada, Japan, and European countries, as well as the United Arab Emirates, opening talks with countries the Trump administration sees as having ''like-minded'' interests in lunar mining.
Russia, a major partner with NASA on the International Space Station, won't be an early partner in these accords, the sources said, as the Pentagon increasingly views Moscow as hostile...
However, anonymous top US officials interviewed by Reuters sought to underscore: ''This isn't some territorial claim.''
The Artemis Accords ... propose ''safety zones'' that would surround future moon bases to prevent damage or interference from rival countries or companies operating in close proximity. Via @joroulette @Reuters https://t.co/X9cf2kObCw
'-- Sarah Cammarata (@sarahjcamm) May 6, 2020''The idea is if you are going to be coming near someone's operations, and they've declared safety zones around it, then you need to reach out to them in advance, consult and figure out how you can do that safely for everyone,'' the source added.
But we highly doubt Moscow will see it like this, given it looks like Washington is trying to claim moon resources exclusively for itself and its allies, even before the futuristic sounding industry of 'moon mining' gets its start, not to mention the question of whether the technology exists to mine the moon on a large scale.
An illustration by NASA shows Artemis astronauts on the moon, via AP.Since the launch of Trump's 'Space Force' - now officially the newest branch of the American military, critics warned of a coming and dangerous 'weaponization of space'. Russian officials and media especially underscored just such a likelihood.
The newly revealed 'Artemis Accords' sound precisely like a first monumental step toward this future scenario.
Meats and Such
Military Commissaries Limit Meat Purchases Amid Supply Chain Worries | Military.com
Mon, 04 May 2020 06:11
Citing supply chain strains and anticipated shortages as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the agency that manages military commissaries says some stores will start limiting how much fresh meat customers can purchase.
Starting May 1, commissaries within the 50 states and in Puerto Rico will limit purchases of fresh beef, poultry and pork, the Defense Commissary Agency announced Thursday evening. For fresh beef, pork, chicken and turkey, customers will be limited to purchasing two items per visit, according to the announcement.
"There may be some shortages of fresh protein products in the coming weeks," Robert Bianchi, a retired Navy rear admiral and the Defense Department's special assistant for commissary operations, said in a statement. "Enacting this policy now will help ensure that all of our customers have an opportunity to purchase these products on an equitable basis."
Military commissaries, located on military bases around the world, operate on a nonprofit basis and offer food items at cost. Considered a military benefit, they are open to active-duty troops, dependents, retirees and some other special veteran categories.
Related: Millions More Vets and Caregivers About to Get Commissary, Exchange Access
Individual stores will have the ability to increase or decrease limits based on their inventory, DeCA officials added in the release. Some commissaries have already been posting quantity limits on high-demand items, such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
The move to limit meat purchases is a troubling one that comes on the heels of an announcement from Tyson Foods, one of the largest meat-processing companies in the nation, that it was being forced to close down plants due to the virus. Eventually, the company warned, the closures would lead to shortages in stores.
"The food supply chain is breaking," company chairman John Tyson said in a full-page ad that appeared in the New York Times April 26.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump issued an executive order ordering Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to "take all appropriate action under that section to ensure that meat and poultry processors continue operations," calling the plants "critical infrastructure for the nation.
To that end, the administration will purchase $3 billion in excess dairy, produce and meat "to be distributed in order to assist Americans in need as well as producers with lost markets," the White House said in an announcement accompanying the order.
In DeCA's Thursday announcement, Bianchi said the supply chain for commissaries overseas remained strong.
"In addition, we continue to prioritize quantities for our overseas shipments, so we should be able to support the demand," he said. "If we experience any unexpected major hiccups in the pipeline, we will look at expanding shopping limits to other locations."
The release noted that purchase limits were also intended to head off the phenomenon of panic buying, which has led to bare shelves in supermarkets all over the country. As demand spiked, DeCA issued a March 14 directive allowing store managers to implement shopping limits as they saw fit to maintain stock availability. That directive remains in effect.
"We know this is a potentially stressful time for all concerned," Bianchi said. "But together we will meet these challenges and support our service members and their families throughout the duration of this crisis wherever necessary."
-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.
Read More: In First, DoD Awards Massive $7.2 Billion Contract to Single Company for PCS Moves
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Missouri coronavirus: More than 370 workers at a pork plant tested positive were asymptomatic - CNN
Mon, 04 May 2020 07:53
(CNN) 373 employees and contract workers at Triumph Foods in Buchanan County, Missouri, have tested positive for coronavirus. All of them were asymptomatic, according to a press release from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
The state of Missouri has reported 8,386 cases and 352 deaths statewide as of Sunday night, according to the Health Department Website.
Triumph, a pork processing plant, is located in St. Joseph, on the border of Missouri and Kansas.
It is just one of dozens of meat packing plants and food processing facilities across the country that have seen outbreaks of the virus, forcing shutdowns and sparking concerns of possible food shortages.
Ongoing testing at the plant Testing at the plant has been ongoing since last week and results have been coming in over the past few days, the release from DHSS said.
As of April 30, at least 1,500 had been tested, a previous release said.
"We continue to work this weekend contacting these asymptomatic patients and have initiated the process of contact tracing with those determined to be close contacts of our positive cases," Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS, said in the release.
DHSS wants those with symptoms or those who have been in contact with a positive case to reach out to their healthcare provider for testing.
17% of employees tested positiveMark Campbell, CEO of Triumph Foods, thanked employees for undergoing testing in a video message Sunday. "Being swabbed wasn't much fun, yet the test results will be critical to helping us understand where the coronavirus is in our facility and our communities."
Lab results indicate that 17% of those tested are positive for the virus, Campbell said.
Those with positive test results have been asked to stay home and self-isolate. They will be paid under the company's Covid wage continuation policy, according to Campbell.
The company is also providing care packages, including hand sanitizer and face masks, to infected workers. In an effort to slow the spread, the company continues to deep clean, sanitize and disinfect the facility, Campbell said.
CNN's Brad Parks contributed to this report.
Washington farmers' COVID plight: 'What do you do with a billion pounds of potatoes that you can't sell?' '' Potato News Today
Tue, 05 May 2020 09:42
The coronavirus pandemic has left Washington's farmers with at least a billion pounds of potatoes they can't sell, a new crop growing without any buyers and millions of dollars in debt they have no way to pay.Jeanette Marantos reports for the Los Angeles Times.
The state's fertile Columbia Basin produces nearly a quarter of the potatoes grown in the United States, 10 billion pounds in 2019. The vast majority '-- 90% '-- were turned into frozen French fries and shipped to restaurants, some in the United States but mostly to Asia.
Demand has increased steadily since 2008, said Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, and last year the region's processors had more orders than spuds. This year was shaping up to be the same until the coronavirus closed restaurants and schools around the globe.
Normally, Farmer Marvin Wollman's storage sheds would be nearly empty this time of year, but more than half his potatoes '-- ''Let's just say millions of pounds'' '-- are still piled high in the cavernous buildings, which are roughly the size of a football field with roofs nearly 30 feet high.
''We're afraid there's still going to be potatoes in storage when we go to dig up this year's crop in September,'' Wollman said. ''These are good potatoes. We don't want to throw them away. It's just, what do you do with them?''
As it turns out, getting rid of a billion pounds of spuds isn't easy '-- or cheap. It usually takes Washington farmers a year to sell that quantity to grocery stores.
''Now we're trying to move it in a couple months,'' Voigt said.
That means each of the 2 million citizens expected to use the state's food banks this year would have to take 500 pounds.
And moving all those potatoes would require filling at least 20,000 tractor-trailers '-- and paying for fuel.
The potato commission helped cover the cost of bagging and transporting Wollman's potatoes '-- about 7 cents a bag '-- to see what was possible. Voigt said it has also started a GoFundMe page to raise $100,000 to cover the costs of giving away another million pounds of potatoes around the state over the next few weeks.
That would still leave more than 999 million pounds in storage.
Weber Family Farms members and managers Deven Johnson, left, Josh Lyebert and Adam Weber stand on $1.1 million worth of ready-to-eat russet potatoes in one of the company's refrigerated storage bays in Quincy, Wash. (Karen Ducey / For The Times)But the clock is ticking and farmers are facing a similar plight as COVID-19 and the closure of schools and restaurants has kinked food distribution lines all over the country.
Congress recently approved $9.5 billion for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to help farmers with crops they can't sell. The maximum relief for single-commodity farmers is $125,000, but most borrow millions each year to cover their costs until their crop can be sold.
''It's like you're drowning in nine feet of water, and we take an inch away,'' said Rep. Kim Schrier, a freshman Washington Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee. ''You're still drowning.''
Washington potato farmers hope the U.S. Department of Agriculture will step in and buy their billion-pound glut, then donate the potatoes to food banks or even cattle ranchers as supplemental livestock feed.
Schrier said she couldn't answer whether that was likely.
JM Farms '-- named for its husband-and-wife owners, Jordan and Mia Reed '-- is facing an extra disadvantage compared to many other potato farmers: They grow only Ranger russets.
The elongated shape makes that ''long, perfect French fry'' favored by McDonald's and other chains, Jordan said. But unlike other varieties '--including Umatillas, Clearwaters and Caribous '-- Rangers can not be stored.
Last October, the Reeds secured contracts from the region's two potato processors and a $1.7-million loan to cover expenses. In March, they planted 485 acres of Ranger russets.
Then the processors called in April and canceled 75% of their contracts. They explained that the demand for fries had disappeared and their freezers were full. Suddenly the Reeds were growing 364 acres of potatoes with no place to go'...
He's considered plowing under his potatoes to grow something else '-- except if he does, he knows he'd lose at least $500,000 because of what he's already spent on the spuds.
His lenders understand this isn't his fault, he said, but a 36-year-old defaulting on $500,000? ''I don't recover from that,'' he said.
Read the full and extensive report in the Los Angeles Times here
Top photo: Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, and Washington state Rep. Mary Dye (R-Pomeroy) load up a pickup truck during a free potato giveaway at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Moses Lake, Wash..(Karen Ducey / For The Times)
ADOS
Lift Every Voice: The Biden Plan for Black America - Joe Biden - Medium
Mon, 04 May 2020 18:48
Among the greatest honors of my life was a trip I took to Memphis in October of 2018 to visit the National Civil Rights Museum and receive the institution's annual Freedom Award. While I was there, I had a chance to stand on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated half a century earlier, and reflect on all of the progress we'd made '-- and that which we hadn't '-- in the years since that unbearable day.
The motel balcony leads back into Dr. King's room '-- a room preserved just as it was on the night he was taken from us. The bed is unmade. Coffee cups are scattered on the table. There is a restless spirit in that room '-- of a dream deferred; of unfinished business.
The night before Dr. King was assassinated, he stood at the pulpit at Mason Temple and delivered what turned out to be his final sermon '-- a call to support sanitation workers who were striking for better pay. He commanded the congregation: ''Let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be.''
Fifty-two years later, his charge remains as vital as it was that night. We have made extraordinary strides along so many fronts '-- but for African American families, we have not yet made America what it ought to be. The truth is, African Americans can never have a fair shot at the American Dream so long as entrenched disparities are still allowed to chip away at opportunity. You don't have an equal chance when your schools are substandard, when your home is undervalued, when your car insurance costs more for no good reason, or when the poverty rate for African Americans is more than twice what it is for whites.
I believe that the moral obligation of our time is to rebuild our economy in a way that finally brings everyone along. That goal has always been the core of my candidacy '-- it's the very reason that I am running for President. And achieving it starts by rooting out systemic racism from our laws, our policies, our institutions, and our hearts.
This mission is more urgent now than ever before, as the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 have exposed '-- and cruelly exacerbated '-- the disparities long faced by African Americans. In April, I called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to collect more data that would shed light on how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting communities, including breaking down its impacts by race. The data we've seen so far suggests that African Americans are dying from COVID-19 at a far higher rate than whites. African Americans represent an especially high percentage of the front-line workers putting themselves at greater risk to sustain the economy and keep the rest of the country safe and fed '-- and are less likely to have a job they can do from home, forcing them to make the difficult choice between their health and a paycheck. Long-standing systemic inequalities may also be contributing to this disparity '-- including the fact that African Americans are more likely to be uninsured. While there's a lot we don't yet know about COVID-19, we do know that equitable distribution of resources '-- like testing and medical equipment '-- can make a difference in fighting the virus. We must make that a priority and take action now.
The virus is also having a disproportionate economic impact on African American families. African American small businesses have been hit hard, and over 90% of African American-owned businesses are estimated to be shut out of the initial relief program due to preexisting, systemic disparities in lending. This is especially dire given that African American families have less of a financial cushion to fall back on in hard times. Since the onset of this crisis, I have been calling for the nation's relief and recovery efforts to be equitable and just, including by designing relief programs in ways that steer clear of methods we know lead to disparate outcomes '-- so that funds can actually reach African American families, communities, and small businesses. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has failed to listen or act. If I were President today, I would make it a top priority to ensure that African American workers, families, and small businesses got the relief they need and deserve.
This is not a new priority for me '-- tackling systemic racism and fighting for civil rights is what brought me to public service as a local councilman in the years just after Dr. King's death, and it has been a driving force throughout my career ever since. I was proud to fight against discriminatory school district funding and housing practices in my own community as a young man '-- and prouder still of the work I did in the U.S. Senate, co-sponsoring the Civil Rights Act of 1990 to protect against employment discrimination, leading efforts to reauthorize and extend the Fair Housing Act, and spearheading multiple reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act to protect African Americans' right to vote.
This moment demands an overwhelming moral response. We need a comprehensive agenda for African Americans '-- a plan with the ambition to match the scale of the challenge, and one that recognizes that race-neutral policies are not a sufficient response to race-based disparities.
Today, I'm releasing a new plan to achieve equity for the African American community and take us one step closer to making America what it ought to be. The six pillars of my plan are as follows:
Advance the economic mobility of African Americans and close the racial wealth and income gap by investing in African American workers, businesses, and communities, and expanding African American homeownership and wealth building;Expand access to high-quality education and tackle racial inequity in our education system by investing in universal preschool, closing funding gaps by race, making college affordable, and tackling the student debt crisis;End health disparities by making far-reaching investments, expanding access to affordable health care, improving the quality of care African Americans receive, and making health equity a reality for African Americans;Strengthen America's commitment to justice by ending incarceration for drug use alone, reducing the number of people incarcerated, reinvesting those savings in communities affected by mass incarceration, and addressing systemic misconduct in police departments and prosecutors' offices;Make the right to vote and the right to equal protection real for African Americans by dramatically expanding the Department of Justice's ability to fight voter suppression and gerrymandering, bringing the full force of the federal government's authority to confront voter disinformation efforts targeting African Americans, and appointing a federal judiciary that looks like America;Address environmental justice by making historic investments, enforcing environmental justice legislation, and ensuring that African Americans are dealt in on the country's clean energy future.This plan will tackle some of the most stubborn and pervasive issues '-- including those that often go unnoticed '-- that hold back African Americans from receiving an equal shot.
African American entrepreneurs seeking capital are rejected at a rate nearly 20 percent higher than white entrepreneurs, and receive far less support when they do get funding. We're going to fix that by doubling the State Small Business Credit Initiative, doubling funding for a program that supports mission-driven lenders in low-income communities, expanding the New Markets Tax Credit to draw tens of billions of dollars to invest in communities that need it, and shoring up the Small Business Administration's budget and expanding the agency's programs that have proven most effective at helping African American-owned businesses get off the ground.
The first installment of the Paycheck Protection Program created in response to COVID-19 largely left out minority-owned businesses. We're going to fix that by providing entrepreneurs with technical assistance and legal and accounting support to ensure that they can apply for funding, producing a weekly dashboard to track exactly which businesses are receiving economic relief, and reserving half of all new relief funds for small businesses with 50 or fewer employees '-- a category that includes 98 percent of all minority- and women-owned businesses.
The gap between African American and white homeownership is larger today than it was when the Fair Housing Act was first passed in 1968 '-- a key contributor to the unacceptable racial wealth gap that persists between American households. We're going to fix that by investing $640 billion over ten years to ensure that every American has access to housing that is affordable and accessible, stable and safe, energy-efficient, and located near good schools. We'll create a tax credit of up to $15,000 for first-time homebuyers available at the moment they make their purchase, establish a new homeowners' and renters' bill of rights to bar deceptive and discriminatory practices and bring more accountability and oversight to mortgage brokers and landlords, end discrimination in credit reporting by creating a new public credit reporting agency to catch and eliminate racial disparities, and establish national standards for housing appraisals to put an end to the undervaluing of homes in African American neighborhoods.
The typical African American family holds about one-tenth the wealth of a typical white family '-- and the disparity has grown worse, not better, over the last fifty years. We're going to fix that by implementing Congressman Jim Clyburn's ''10''20''30'' Plan to ensure that federal programs are reaching persistently impoverished communities, and targeting new green infrastructure projects '-- and the good-paying jobs that come with them '-- to historically marginalized neighborhoods. In conjunction with that work, we'll expand on the Obama-Biden Administration's efforts to increase federal and state contracting opportunities for African American-owned businesses '-- including by increasing funds for the Minority Business Development Agency and expanding the work of its landmark Federal Procurement Center. We'll also close the digital divide by investing $20 billion in broadband infrastructure to reach underserved communities and passing the Digital Equity Act. And we'll make it easier for African Americans to retire with dignity by revamping employer retirement plans and putting them within reach of far more workers '-- and by making Social Security benefits more generous and equitable.
For too long, African Americans have not been adequately dealt into the middle class. We're going to fix that by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act and ending unequal pay, getting our essential workers the pay, protections, and dignity they deserve, strengthening public and private sector unions, and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. We'll provide high-quality, universal pre-K for every three- and four-year old in America, so that every child gets off to a good start '-- and close the funding gap between white and non-white school districts to ensure that African American families can thrive across generations. We'll tackle the student debt crisis '-- which disproportionately burdens African Americans '-- make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families with incomes below $125,000, and invest more than $70 billion in HBCUs and minority-serving institutions to equip the next generation of African American professionals to succeed.
There is much, much more to my plan '-- after all, the roots of inequity are sprawling, and touch nearly every corner of American policy and society. We need to take serious steps to reduce racial health disparities, and we need to put an end to forces that profit off of our criminal justice system. We need to restore the Voting Rights Act, and we need to ensure that every community has access to safe drinking water. Building a more equitable nation will require a broad and coordinated push across the full scope of our government and society '-- but it can, and must, be done.
I encourage you to read the full details of my plan here. And I look forward to making it a reality with the help of lawmakers, community leaders, and families across the country who aspire to the dream of Dr. King. In his words: ''Let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be.''
Flynn
Agent Orange - Flynn
Knows what happened in Libya, how HRC moved weapons from Libya to Syria
Knows how Ukraine played a vital role in supplying 'Moderate rebels' in Tunisia and Egypt for Arab Spring
Knows the lost MANPADS in Libya were re-purchased and CIA gave them to Qatar who sold them to the Taliban that shot down a US chopper with Seal Team on it
Knows who gave the 'stand down' order regarding Benghazi
He was going to audit the intelligence agencies
Tina Joe Digenova instead of Rogan
Former Ukrainian PM Tymoshenko received $5.5 MILLION in compensation from US resident for 'REPRESSIONS' '-- RT World News
Tue, 05 May 2020 00:44
Ukraine's ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has stunned the public and media by saying in her income declaration that she got $5.5 million from a ''US resident'' as compensation for Ukrainian government ''repressions.''
A financial disclosure statement filed in late April by Tymoshenko, who now serves as an MP in Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada, says she received a whopping 148 million hryvnias ($5.5 million) as part of a pre-trial settlement in a case filed over her persecution at the hands of the Ukrainian authorities back in 2011-2014.
Yet, Tymoshenko's declaration doesn't disclose anything about the lawsuit, besides the name of an American law firm, Reid Collins & Tsai LLP, as the source of the tranche. The legal company's website mentions nothing about any cases related to the former Ukrainian prime minister.
Also on rt.com Poisoning that shaped 15 years of Ukraine politics never happened '' prosecutor on Yushchenko case The former prime minister also took to Facebook to provide some additional clarifications on this issue after the media hype. Yet, her post left more questions than answers since she only said she reached a pre-trial settlement with a ''US resident'' in the case dealing with her persecution in Ukraine.
Back in 2011, she was sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of abuse of power. The case was related to a 2009 gas deal she struck with Russia. The case sparked an angry reaction in European capitals as well as in Washington, which all called it politically motivated. The European Court of Human Rights declared her sentence to be ''illegal,'' European leaders called for a boycott of Kiev and the US Senate threatened Ukraine with sanctions over the issue.
Moscow also criticized Kiev over its treatment of Tymoshenko. The then-president, Dmitry Medvedev, called her case ''a political affair'' and said that persecution of a political opponent is ''absolutely unacceptable'' and ''casts a shadow'' on both Ukraine and ''those who make such decisions.''
Eventually, Tymoshenko spent just about a year behind bars and two more in a hospital as she suffered from a spine disorder. She was freed during the 2014 Maidan coup that toppled former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.
The latest known case Tymoshenko filed in a US court was a lawsuit against the co-owner of natural gas transport company RosUkrEnergo, Dmytro Firtash, whom she accused of corruption. This case dates back to the times preceding her own sentencing by a Ukrainian court, though.
Also on rt.com Resentful Kiev blames... Russia as Council of Europe chief says Ukraine is not yet sovereign In fact, the Ukrainian politician herself stands accused of ''organized crime.'' A US company, Universal Trading & Investment Co., Inc. (UTICo), accuses the former prime minister and her husband of running a money-laundering scheme that allowed them to legalize bribes worth millions of dollars.
The mysterious circumstances of the ''compensation payment'' prompted some Ukrainian media to doubt if the hefty sum has anything to do with a court settlement.
Some of them suspected it of being another money laundering scheme while others noted that Tymoshenko's lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko, who also happens to be her fellow party member and a Ukrainian MP, declared receiving a total of 133 million hryvnias ($4.9 million) from the same company in 2019. He did not mention any ''repressions'' or ''compensations,'' though, but simply described it as ''foreign income.''
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How Michael Flynn Became Target Zero in Obama's Russia Collusion Plot - American Thinker
Tue, 05 May 2020 10:18
May 5, 2020
If there was any doubt that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was Target Zero in the Russia Collision conspiracy or that President Barack Obama was an active co-conspirator, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway put those doubts to bed last week.
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''I would remind everybody that President Obama told President-elect Trump he had two things to worry about: North Korea and Michael Flynn,'' Conway said last Thursday on Fox's America Newsroom.
''Folks, that's just weird on its face,'' Conway continued, as if folks needed to be told. ''You gotta worry about a nuclear-capable dictator in North Korea, and you gotta worry about a general of 37 years who served in'... the Obama administration.''
Conway's comments came in the wake of the unnerving revelation that FBI higher-ups actively plotted to drive Flynn, the designated national security adviser, from the Trump White House.
'); googletag.cmd.push(function () { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1567099776462-0'); }); } ''What's our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?'' wrote an FBI official, believed to be former FBI counterintelligence director Bill Priestap. ''If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide. Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [redacted] & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it.''
This revelation shocked even Bush confidantes into outrage. ''On what planet is it ever acceptable for FBI agents to discuss how or if they can get someone fired?'' tweeted Ari Fleischer, former Bush White House spokesman. ''Comey and his top officials were out of control.''
Lost in the hubbub was the question of why it was Flynn who so concerned Barack Obama. The more general answer is that Flynn was the one Obama appointee not afraid to speak his mind. Appointed to head the Defense Intelligence Agency in April 2012 by Obama, Flynn was forced out two years later for, well, speaking his mind.
Although news reports at the time were circumspect about the reasons for Flynn's departure, a leaked email from retired Gen. Colin Powell in September 2016 spoke to the sentiments of Obama insiders: ''I asked why Flynn got fired. Abusive with staff, didn't listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc. He has been and was right-wing nutty every [ sic] since.''
Flynn, of course, did not get to be a lieutenant general by being a bad and abusive manager. He abruptly became bad and abusive by not being an Obama sycophant, especially on Islamic issues. Nor did Flynn become a target of the Russia collusion conspirators for his presumed right-wing nuttiness.
Flynn almost assuredly became Target Zero for his willingness to expose and undo what Obama considered his signature foreign policy achievement, the Iran nuclear deal. Obama may have suspected that the deal was fatally flawed, but there was one thing he knew, namely that the deal was built on a framework of lies and deceptions.
''The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns,'' the oddly incautious Obama foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes boasted of the Iran con job. ''We created an echo chamber. They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.''
Flynn, by contrast, was saying things that invalidated the Rhodes talking points. In March 2015, while Obama's people were selling a swooning media the deal's imagined virtues, Flynn was sharing some inconvenient truths.
"Iran is also a country with ballistic missiles, cyber capabilities. They are also still a state-sponsor of terrorism,'' Flynn told Chris Wallace on Fox News. ''And here we are dealing with them as though we're going to give them a carte blanche -- I know it will be some number of years to have a nuclear capability. Give me a break!"
Had Flynn remained a nutty outlier restricted to the conservative news ghetto, the Obama crowd could have ignored him. When Flynn moved into Trump's inner circle, he morphed from nuisance to threat.
On February 26, 2016, the conspirators began their sabotage campaign against Flynn with an article in Yahoo News. The article led the with the seemingly shocking revelation that Trump was ''receiving foreign policy advice from a former U.S. military intelligence chief who wants the United States to work more closely with Russia.''
The co-author of that article was one Mark Hosenball. As I detailed in a December 2019 article in American Thinker, Hosenball, wittingly or otherwise, served as the CIA's chief propagandist in the investigation into the 1996 destruction of TWA Flight 800. I told Hosenball as much in 2003 when I met him at the Newsweek office where he was then working. As the reader might suspect, it was an unpleasant encounter.
In 2016, Hosenball was still apparently carrying water for the intelligence community. Three sources, allegedly ''former foreign policy officials in past administrations,'' tipped him off to this seemingly ominous news of Flynn's softness on Russia.
In retrospect, what makes the article suspect is that Russia had not yet become the media's public enemy number one, let alone the White House's. In July 2015, for instance, Obama called Russian President Vladimir Putin to thank him for his help securing the Iran nuclear pact.
Obama had reason to be grateful. No foreign leader had more influence over the mullahs than Putin. As Obama told Tom Friedman of the New York Times, ''We would have not achieved this agreement had it not been for Russia's willingness to stick with us and the other P5-Plus members in insisting on a strong deal.''
In July 2015, it was still respectable for an American president to collaborate with Putin. If fact, as even Hosenball acknowledged, other Republican candidates had been criticizing Obama for being ''weak in standing up to the Russian leader.'' Indeed, Obama had famously mocked Mitt Romney in a 2012 debate for taking the Russian threat seriously.
''Weird'' as it may seem, the conspirators at the White House chose to frame Russia in order to frame Flynn. To pull this off, they had to validate Romney's claim in 2012 that Russia was ''our No. 1 geopolitical foe.''
When Romney made this claim during the 2012 foreign policy debate, Obama countered with a scripted zinger: ''The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War's been over for twenty years.'' As Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler noted at the time, the Obama jab ''spawned approving headlines.''
For eight years, the headlines went wherever Obama directed them. Seeing how willing the media were to validate ''what we had given them to say'' about Russia and Flynn, the conspirators subsequently played the Russia card on Trump. I am sure even Obama was shocked at how well the whole damn thing played out -- at least until it didn't.
Jack Cashill's forthcoming book, Unmasking Obama, is available for pre-order at Amazon.
If there was any doubt that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was Target Zero in the Russia Collision conspiracy or that President Barack Obama was an active co-conspirator, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway put those doubts to bed last week.
''I would remind everybody that President Obama told President-elect Trump he had two things to worry about: North Korea and Michael Flynn,'' Conway said last Thursday on Fox's America Newsroom.
''Folks, that's just weird on its face,'' Conway continued, as if folks needed to be told. ''You gotta worry about a nuclear-capable dictator in North Korea, and you gotta worry about a general of 37 years who served in'... the Obama administration.''
Conway's comments came in the wake of the unnerving revelation that FBI higher-ups actively plotted to drive Flynn, the designated national security adviser, from the Trump White House.
''What's our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?'' wrote an FBI official, believed to be former FBI counterintelligence director Bill Priestap. ''If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide. Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [redacted] & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it.''
This revelation shocked even Bush confidantes into outrage. ''On what planet is it ever acceptable for FBI agents to discuss how or if they can get someone fired?'' tweeted Ari Fleischer, former Bush White House spokesman. ''Comey and his top officials were out of control.''
Lost in the hubbub was the question of why it was Flynn who so concerned Barack Obama. The more general answer is that Flynn was the one Obama appointee not afraid to speak his mind. Appointed to head the Defense Intelligence Agency in April 2012 by Obama, Flynn was forced out two years later for, well, speaking his mind.
Although news reports at the time were circumspect about the reasons for Flynn's departure, a leaked email from retired Gen. Colin Powell in September 2016 spoke to the sentiments of Obama insiders: ''I asked why Flynn got fired. Abusive with staff, didn't listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc. He has been and was right-wing nutty every [ sic] since.''
Flynn, of course, did not get to be a lieutenant general by being a bad and abusive manager. He abruptly became bad and abusive by not being an Obama sycophant, especially on Islamic issues. Nor did Flynn become a target of the Russia collusion conspirators for his presumed right-wing nuttiness.
Flynn almost assuredly became Target Zero for his willingness to expose and undo what Obama considered his signature foreign policy achievement, the Iran nuclear deal. Obama may have suspected that the deal was fatally flawed, but there was one thing he knew, namely that the deal was built on a framework of lies and deceptions.
''The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns,'' the oddly incautious Obama foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes boasted of the Iran con job. ''We created an echo chamber. They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.''
Flynn, by contrast, was saying things that invalidated the Rhodes talking points. In March 2015, while Obama's people were selling a swooning media the deal's imagined virtues, Flynn was sharing some inconvenient truths.
"Iran is also a country with ballistic missiles, cyber capabilities. They are also still a state-sponsor of terrorism,'' Flynn told Chris Wallace on Fox News. ''And here we are dealing with them as though we're going to give them a carte blanche -- I know it will be some number of years to have a nuclear capability. Give me a break!"
Had Flynn remained a nutty outlier restricted to the conservative news ghetto, the Obama crowd could have ignored him. When Flynn moved into Trump's inner circle, he morphed from nuisance to threat.
On February 26, 2016, the conspirators began their sabotage campaign against Flynn with an article in Yahoo News. The article led the with the seemingly shocking revelation that Trump was ''receiving foreign policy advice from a former U.S. military intelligence chief who wants the United States to work more closely with Russia.''
The co-author of that article was one Mark Hosenball. As I detailed in a December 2019 article in American Thinker, Hosenball, wittingly or otherwise, served as the CIA's chief propagandist in the investigation into the 1996 destruction of TWA Flight 800. I told Hosenball as much in 2003 when I met him at the Newsweek office where he was then working. As the reader might suspect, it was an unpleasant encounter.
In 2016, Hosenball was still apparently carrying water for the intelligence community. Three sources, allegedly ''former foreign policy officials in past administrations,'' tipped him off to this seemingly ominous news of Flynn's softness on Russia.
In retrospect, what makes the article suspect is that Russia had not yet become the media's public enemy number one, let alone the White House's. In July 2015, for instance, Obama called Russian President Vladimir Putin to thank him for his help securing the Iran nuclear pact.
Obama had reason to be grateful. No foreign leader had more influence over the mullahs than Putin. As Obama told Tom Friedman of the New York Times, ''We would have not achieved this agreement had it not been for Russia's willingness to stick with us and the other P5-Plus members in insisting on a strong deal.''
In July 2015, it was still respectable for an American president to collaborate with Putin. If fact, as even Hosenball acknowledged, other Republican candidates had been criticizing Obama for being ''weak in standing up to the Russian leader.'' Indeed, Obama had famously mocked Mitt Romney in a 2012 debate for taking the Russian threat seriously.
''Weird'' as it may seem, the conspirators at the White House chose to frame Russia in order to frame Flynn. To pull this off, they had to validate Romney's claim in 2012 that Russia was ''our No. 1 geopolitical foe.''
When Romney made this claim during the 2012 foreign policy debate, Obama countered with a scripted zinger: ''The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War's been over for twenty years.'' As Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler noted at the time, the Obama jab ''spawned approving headlines.''
For eight years, the headlines went wherever Obama directed them. Seeing how willing the media were to validate ''what we had given them to say'' about Russia and Flynn, the conspirators subsequently played the Russia card on Trump. I am sure even Obama was shocked at how well the whole damn thing played out -- at least until it didn't.
Jack Cashill's forthcoming book, Unmasking Obama, is available for pre-order at Amazon.
Why Michael Flynn Was Set Up
Tue, 05 May 2020 10:53
Commentary
The more we learn about the evils done to Michael Flynn, and they increase day by day, the more the FBI comes to resemble the KGB.
Or is it the earlier version, the NKVD, whose leader, Lavrentiy Beria, famously declared, ''Show me the man and I'll find you the crime.''
James Comey'--the head of the FBI during this period of extraordinary moral turpitude'--never said anything anywhere near that pithy or memorable, but he did Beria one better. He, with then-agent Peter Strzok, whose feckless emails to his paramour continue to amaze, and various other bit players of this sorry saga'--some revealed others yet to be revealed'--didn't just find a crime, they invented one.
In all fairness, the Soviets, pre and post-Beria, often did the same, putting the darkness in ''Darkness at Noon,'' with forced confessions as in the Metro-Vickers Affair (1933), when innocent Brits took the hit for the failure of Stalin's ''five-year plan.''
What was really going on with what was essentially the ''forced confession'' of Flynn?
Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy said on Tucker Carlson on April 30 that Flynn wasn't the target; it was Trump. Flynn was just a ''seasoned intelligence professional'' (McCarthy's words) who had to be implicated and put out of the way in order to reach the president, the real bullseye.
That's likely true, but it's also likely that wasn't the only reason. Flynn was by himself a target.
During the transition, it's said that Barack Obama gave incoming President Donald Trump two pieces of advice on whom he considered to be the current greatest threats to the United States, so the new president could be forearmed'--Kim Jong Un and Flynn.
Michael Flynn? (I'd add several exclamation points and question marks, but it's tacky.) Why would he be of anywhere near that importance to be put in the same conversation as the nuclear-armed dictator of North Korea?
The answer, I believe, is a four-letter word: Iran.
The Iran deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) was, with the Affordable Care Act, one of the twin pillars of Obama's presidency on which he wanted to base his legacy.
I'm not going into here the many theories of why, beyond that legacy, Obama was so attached to the JCPOA, but, by the time Trump was elected, it was already under heavy criticism due to the Islamic Republic's violent activities in the Syrian civil war and elsewhere, arming Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis, and other proxies with money that came via America and'--naive as it now sounds'--were supposed to be for the improvement of the lives of the Iranian people.
Flynn was known to have been one of the most adamant opponents of the Iran deal within the Obama administration and, with his military record as a three-star general plus aforementioned intelligence expertise, perhaps the most powerful one.
So bringing down Flynn was a twofer, striking a blow at the new president while hopefully helping to preserve the Iran deal. The second part didn't work, but the first did '... for a while.
It's therefore not totally surprising'--what is these days?'--that the newly revealed documents have ''SCO'' (special counsel's office) scrawled on them, among other incriminating notes indicating a ''setup'' was in the cards for Flynn.
That means these statements exculpating Trump's newly appointed national security adviser went to Mueller's office, where someone (Mueller? Weissman?) ignored them and continued with what Trump has colloquially, and I think too loosely, branded a ''hoax.'' It was far more than that. It was a form of defenestration.
When we look for the Mr. Big in all this, as we are tempted to do as'--we can be more confident now'--more rolls out, we shouldn't settle for Comey, as culpable as he may be. This bizarre character who self-identified on Twitter as the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr isn't the end to the story.
We are looking at a Netflix series with a plot that gets increasingly complicated. It goes past Comey and into the intelligence agencies and the State Department'--a real-life version of ''Scandal'' with, I regret to tell showrunner Shonda Rhimes, the liberals and progressives almost always the villains.
When it reaches then-CIA Director Brennan and Obama, it may not even end there. Maybe even U.S. Attorney John Durham doesn't know. (Kidding. I hope.)
Roger L. Simon is The Epoch Times' senior political columnist. He is also the co-founder of PJ Media, a novelist, and a screenwriter.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
EXPOSED: Peter Strzok Grew Up In Iran, Worked As Obama and Brennan's Envoy To Iranian Regime - Big League Politics [Printable]
Wed, 06 May 2020 10:25
A former co-worker of Peter Strzok tells Big League Politics about Strzok's extensive background in the intelligence community, including the fact that he grew up in Iran. Many intelligence officers like Strzok are complete ghosts with questionable history and gaps in their life story. But now we have some insight. (RELATED: Strzok Worked For CIA And FBI At Same Time, According To Document).
Peter Strzok was born in the late 1960's '' he attended the American School in Iran up until 1978 when it closed down and then he attended the American School in Saudi Arabia. He supposedly attended a Catholic School, St. John's Prep in Minneapolis (the school refused to confirm or deny attendance) and then completed a Bachelors at Georgetown and some form of graduate degree after that.
The truth is that after Peter Strzok III turned 18 his life is arcane, which is the usual story of many like him. Did you know that Peter Strzok II (Strzok's father) and Hillary Clinton have a lot in common? It turns out after advocating for Khomeni in Iran and then working in Saudi Arabia to calm the waters of an Iranian government (appeasing them with anti-Semitic rhetoric), Strzok's father Strzok II also dabbled in ''charity work.'' Strzok's father was involved in so-called charity work in Haiti but also helped dismantle and reassemble Upper Volta..now known as Burkina Faso.
Despite Deep State efforts to scrub information, the Internet is forever. Below you will see a very controversial happening in the early Eighties. Peter Strzok II (Strzok's father, also known as Peter Strzok Sr.) was an employee of Catholic Relief Services and was interviewed by the New York Times in 1985 over his testimony or statements regarding mishandling money intended for Ethopia. In the article he identifies himself as a former employee of the charity and he is a retired US Army Corps Engineer who served the agency in Africa and Haiti. So Peter Strzok II worked in Haiti with a charity? That sounds eerily familiar. Can we all guess which charities partnered to help Haiti?
Trending: DOCUMENT: Peter Strzok Was CIA And FBI At The Same Time, Say Experts
The Clinton Foundation and The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) seem to work in tangent. Coincidence? Peter Strzok Sr. was actually the director of CRS in Haiti. If we look into CRS financials they seem to overlap and feed into Clinton Global initiatives and balance sheets.
In the early 80's Upper Volta was in turmoil. It is said that mineral disputes with neighboring countries brought about great duress and so in 1985 the country of Upper Volta ceased to exist and was then named Burkina Faso during Strzok II's term there. Specifically, in 1981 he was advised of a government visit to Upper Volta, which places him in Upper Volta for a period of 4 years as his son Strzok III was at the American School in Saudi Arabia from 1978- 1980. This happened after their sudden move from Tehran when Khomeni attained power over the Shah. Looks like whenever there is a regime change in modern history a Strzok is lying in the shadows waiting.
We know Peter Strzok III, the man who sent those vile text messages about our President. The man who was biased and wanted to ensure a Clinton Presidency was raised in Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Our source reveals how Strzok and his father both talked about Iran favorably and both accidently reminisced about the rose water smell of the ju-jeh kebab by Shemiran Hill'... something that disappeared after 1987 and only those who are old enough to remember can discuss.
Peter Strzok's Persian is impeccable.
Our insider tells us that Peter Strzok III is the key Middle Eastern Intel operative for the Iranian airline Mahan Air's purchase of United States government planes during the Obama administration from 2011 to 2013 (when Iran sanctions were in place). He handled the Iranian relations from start to finish. Just like his father did for Reagan and just like he's been doing for years under cloak and dagger says the BLP insider.
Peter Strzok Sr. and of course John O. Brennan were involved with Iran. In fact, our source tells us that Strzok Sr. was involved in the Iran-Contra scheme that led to a six-month prison term for Reagan national security adviser John Poindexter. Back in the Eighties the government was just as corrupt as it is today and for some reason we keep giving weapons, planes, and planes full of money to Iran. Even Barack Hussein Obama sent money to Iran on a plane in his last year of office '-- $1.4 Billion worth. Just a few weeks ago, Iran demanded Germany send them 300,000 Euros in cash on a plane to them, and of course Angela Merkel complied. What's the deal with Iran? Why are they so important?
Here is a clipping from the Wisconsin-based Leader-Telegram newspaper from 1979 in which Strzok Sr. describes his activities in Iran and expresses good will for the Ayatollah.
What were Strzok, Brennan, and Obama really doing? That is a very good question that maybe President Trump can get answered for us if a Summit with Iran can happen early this fall. One thing that is constant in modern history over the last five decades with anything involving Iran: There is a Peter Paul Strzok involved.
The BLP insider who's worked with both Breannan and Strzok tells us that Strzok was never FBI he was part of the highest level of covert operatives, sliding into posts within the CIA or FBI to infiltrate, influence and observe. This is exactly what we saw with the Special Counsel appointment that resulted after a failed operation.
Peter Strzok Jr. was placed in the FBI to ensure a win for Hillary Clinton and buffer negative press (like the Weiner laptop case, which he covered up). That's the real deal. Revealing Peter Strzok's identity would have been a problem because it's called unmasking but since he is in the limelight and out of the shadows it's time to lay all the cards FACE up on the table for all to see who Peter Strzok really is.
Spooks feared him, but like our source they still maintain secrecy '-- simply connecting the dots of publicly and privately available information.
5G
Effects of electromagnetic fields exposure on the antioxidant defense system - ScienceDirect
Mon, 04 May 2020 08:46
AbstractTechnological devices have become essential components of daily life. However, their deleterious effects on the body, particularly on the nervous system, are well known. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) have various chemical effects, including causing deterioration in large molecules in cells and imbalance in ionic equilibrium. Despite being essential for life, oxygen molecules can lead to the generation of hazardous by-products, known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), during biological reactions. These reactive oxygen species can damage cellular components such as proteins, lipids and DNA. Antioxidant defense systems exist in order to keep free radical formation under control and to prevent their harmful effects on the biological system. Free radical formation can take place in various ways, including ultraviolet light, drugs, lipid oxidation, immunological reactions, radiation, stress, smoking, alcohol and biochemical redox reactions. Oxidative stress occurs if the antioxidant defense system is unable to prevent the harmful effects of free radicals. Several studies have reported that exposure to EMF results in oxidative stress in many tissues of the body. Exposure to EMF is known to increase free radical concentrations and traceability and can affect the radical couple recombination. The purpose of this review was to highlight the impact of oxidative stress on antioxidant systems.
Abbreviations EMF electromagnetic fields
ROS reactive oxygen species
GPx glutathione peroxidase
GST glutathione S-transferase
EMF/RFR electromagnetic frequency and radiofrequency exposures
ELF-EMFs exposure to extremely low frequency
Keywords EMF
Oxidative stress
ROS
Antioxidants
(C) 2017 Saudi Society of Microscopes. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Oxidative Stress - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics
Mon, 04 May 2020 08:46
Oxidative stress is defined as an imbalance of anti- and pro-oxidative reactions in favor of the pro-oxidant, which leads to a condition where the production of ROS exceeds the capacity of a biological system to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage.37,38
From: Polyphenols in Human Health and Disease, 2014
Oxidative Stress Fran§ois Gagn(C), in Biochemical Ecotoxicology , 2014
Oxidative stress occurs when excess oxygen radicals are produced in cells, which could overwhelm the normal antioxidant capacity. When the concentration of reactive species is not controlled by internal defense mechanisms such as antioxidants (tocopherols, ascorbic acid, and glutathione) or enzymes involved in oxygen radical scavenging (catalase, peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase, SOD), oxidative damage occurs to proteins, lipids, and DNA, which could lead to cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, and even carcinogenesis when damaged (mutated) cells can proliferate. Oxidative stress could results from the following: (1) the presence of xenobiotics, (2) the activation of the immune system in response to invading microorganisms (inflammation), and (3) radiation, which makes oxidative stress a common denominator of toxicity or stress. In this chapter, the reader will find a variety of assays to measure oxidative stress and damage.
Read full chapterURL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124116047000064
Oxidative Stress Helmut Sies, in Stress: Physiology, Biochemistry, and Pathology , 2019
Medical (Small Sample of Extensive Current Activity) Cardiovascular research includes oxidative stress in many different aspects, 104''106 for example, in research on atherothrombosis 107 or atrial fibrillation. 108 The role of reductive stress 56 was mentioned previously.
Cancer research includes oxidative stress in basic research, diagnosis, and therapy, with increasing recognition of the significance for pathogenesis and treatment. 109''112
Noise stress, 113 work stress, 114 psychological stress, 115,116 and exercise 117''119 are currently active fields in which the molecular basis of the involvement of oxidative stress is being examined. 120 An incisive review on exercise redox biochemistry provides conceptual, methodological, and technical recommendations. 121
Oxidative stress plays a role in many other conditions, such as bacterial and viral infection 122,123 and even in the graying of hair and some cutaneous disorders. 124,125
Read full chapterURL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128131466000138
Mechanisms of Oxidative Stress in Retinal Injury Milam A. Brantley Jr , Paul Sternberg Jr , in Retina (Fifth Edition) , 2013
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the development and progression of retinal diseases. This chapter will focus on three forms of retinal pathology that are related to oxidative stress: age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and inherited retinal degenerations. We will discuss specific mechanisms of oxidative stress that affect the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), retinal vasculature, photoreceptors, and mitochondria. We will also consider the evidence linking oxidative stress and inflammation in the pathogenesis of retinal disease. Finally, we will explore potential therapies targeting oxidative stress in the retina.
Read full chapterURL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9781455707379000229
Protein Energy Metabolism in Chronic Kidney Disease Manuel T. Velasquez, ... Dominic S. Raj, in Chronic Renal Disease (Second Edition) , 2020
Oxidative Stress Oxidative stress can induce the NFκβ pathway, increasing levels of inflammation. 8 The opposite can also occur, where chronic inflammation causes oxidative stress. Both oxidative stress and inflammation can activate pathways contributing to muscle protein degradation and PEW. Oxidative stress modifies proteins, making them resistant to ubiquitination. 100 In addition, heavily oxidized proteins form covalent bonds with each other to severely inhibit proteolysis, in turn leading to buildup of protein aggregates in the cell. 101 A study in patients with CKD stages 1''4 showed oxidative stress increased with worsening kidney function, and oxidative stress significantly inversely correlated with GFR. 102 Studies in dialysis patients also show that overall secretion of malonaldehyde and carbonyl protein from the muscle acts as a marker of increased generation of reactive oxygen species. 103
Read full chapterURL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128158760000164
Oxidative Stress Related to Other Diseases Amitava Dasgupta PhD, DABCC, Kimberly Klein MD, in Antioxidants in Food, Vitamins and Supplements , 2014
11.11 Conclusion Oxidative stress plays an important role in many disease states. In this chapter, diseases for which the role of oxidative stress is firmly established have been discussed. Certainly, this list may grow in the future. In addition, there are also many diseases for which an indirect association with oxidative stress has been suggested, but further research is needed to establish a firm correlation between these diseases and the role of oxidative stress in their pathophysiology. These diseases have not been addressed in this chapter. Currently, healthy lifestyle and intake of generous amounts of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables are strongly recommended to combat oxidative stress. Antioxidant supplements may be helpful in certain diseases in which oxidative stress plays an important role, but antioxidant supplements must be taken only if recommended by a physician.
Read full chapterURL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124058729000112
Role of Oxidative Stress in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Other Diseases Related to Aging Amitava Dasgupta PhD, DABCC, Kimberly Klein MD, in Antioxidants in Food, Vitamins and Supplements , 2014
10.1 Introduction Oxidative stress has been implicated in numerous disease processes. Because the burden of disease in individuals increases with age, many investigators have postulated that oxidative stress may be involved in the process of aging as well as certain diseases related to advanced age, such as Alzheimer's disease. Numerous studies have directly linked aging to oxidative stress. This chapter discusses the role of oxidative stress in aging and the link between oxidative stress and various neurodegenerative diseases that are more common in advanced age. As discussed throughout the book, the best defense against oxidative stress is a balanced diet with generous servings of fruits and vegetables each day, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. Antioxidant vitamins and supplements do not have any added benefit for healthy individuals. In fact, such supplements may cause more harm than good. Antioxidant vitamins and supplements must be taken only under medical advice. Various age-related diseases linked to oxidative stress are listed in Box 10.1 .
Box 10.1 Various Age-Related Diseases Linked to Oxidative Stress
Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases'–ªAlzheimer's disease
'–ªAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis
'–ªHuntington disease
'–ªParkinson's disease
Age-Related Ophthalmological Disorders'–ªGlaucoma
'–ªCataract formation
'–ªMacular degeneration
Age-Related Hearing Disorder'–ªPresbycusis
Age-Related Musculoskeletal System Diseases'–ªOsteoarthritis
'–ªSarcopenia
Age-Related Skin Disorders a '–ªCommon skin lesions (dry skin, freckling, senile purpura, lentigines, atrophicus, etc.)
'–ªBenign tumor
'–ªPremalignant tumor
'–ªMalignant tumor (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, etc.)
'–ªInfectious disease (e.g., dermatophytosis)
'–ªAutoimmune disease (e.g., contact dermatitis)
'–ªPressure ulcers, lower extremity ulcer
'–ªPruritus
Read full chapterURL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124058729000100
Management of Hypertension in Chronic Kidney Disease Manuel T. Velasquez, in Chronic Renal Disease , 2015
Oxidative Stress Oxidative stress is a state of imbalance between free radical production and their degradation by antioxidant systems with increased accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the tissues and organs. Oxidative stress is an important phenomenon that contributes to hypertension and links hypertension with CKD and its complications. 49''51 Oxidative stress has also been increasingly linked to the high incidence of cardiovascular events in patients with CKD. 52,53
Markers of oxidative stress, such as advanced oxidation protein products 54 and F2 isoprostanes, 55,56 are increased in CKD and inversely correlated with GFR, suggesting that oxidative stress may have an important effect on the decline in renal function or vice versa. Mechanisms for the increased oxidative stress in CKD have been described in detail in several reviews and include a combination of increased ROS production and reduced activities (or clearance) of several antioxidant pathways.
Read full chapterURL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124116023000524
Future Therapies Peter J. Barnes, in Asthma and COPD (Second Edition) , 2009
Anti-oxidants Oxidative stress is important in severe asthma and COPD, particularly during exacerbations [26] . Oxidative stress activates the proinflammatory transcription factors NF-κB and activator protein-1 (AP-1), resulting in enhanced inflammation. Oxidative stress is increased in patients with COPD, particularly during exacerbations, and reactive oxygen species contribute to its pathophysiology. Oxidative stress reduces steroid responsiveness via a reduction in histone deacetylase-2 (HDAC2) activity and expression [27] . This suggests that antioxidants may reverse corticosteroid resistance and also reduce inflammation. Unfortunately currently available antioxidants based on glutathione are relatively weak and are inactivated by oxidative stress, so new more potent and stable antioxidants are needed, such as superoxide dismutase mimics and NADPH oxidase inhibitors [28] .
Read full chapterURL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123740014000614
Autophagy, Oxidative Stress, and Redox Regulation Jipeng Ma, ... Jian Yang, in Autophagy and Cardiometabolic Diseases , 2018
20.3 Conclusion and Perspective Oxidative stress and autophagy pathway are considered to be vital in pathologies of diverse cardiac diseases. Oxidative stress and cellular ROS generation can regulate autophagy at multiple levels and autophagy in turn attenuates oxidative stress to maintain cell homeostasis as a prosurvival response via a negative feedback regulation. Consistent with this, genetic models with disruptions of autophagy display increased ROS generation and accumulation of damaged components which are involved in the pathology of diverse diseases. However, it is possible that ROS-induced autophagy can lead to cell death under severe oxidative stress in particular pathologic conditions. It is still missing to identify the key regulators and precise mechanisms on how autophagy is regulating cell death and survival in response to oxidative stress. Although several mechanisms underlying the interplay of oxidative stress and autophagy are postulated, the translation of such mechanism into the treatments of diseases is still a challenge. Considering the complexity of the network and the dual nature of autophagy, manipulation of autophagy in a quantitative manner may be an area of focus for treatment of cardiometabolic diseases.
Read full chapterURL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128052532000201
1000's of sealed indictments
90 suspects identified in major online child sexual abuse operation | Europol
Tue, 05 May 2020 10:17
Police around the world have taken down a global child abuse ring with links to over 40 countries through a Belgian investigation supported by Europol. 4 suspects have been convicted today by a Belgian court.
This case was sparked by the Belgian East Flanders Federal Judicial Police (Federale Gerechtelijke Politie Oost-Vlaanderen) after more than 9 million pictures and videos of the abuse of thousands of children from around the world were found there during a house search.
The vast majority of this footage had never been seen in circulation before by law enforcement. Suspecting they were producing their own, the Belgian investigators launched Operation GARGAMEL together with Europol across Europe and beyond . The image and video data seized during this investigation has been used for Victim Identification Task Forces hosted by Europol through which 70 children and 30 suspects have been identified. The Belgian Federal Judicial Police succeeded in identifying 60 suspects (of which 24 in Belgium) and 40 victims, which brings the actual total to 90 suspects and 110 victims.
Some suspects have already appeared before court in a number of other countries. In Australia, a suspect was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
More arrests and rescues are expected globally as police in over 40 countries examine the intelligence packages compiled by Europol and information from the Belgian Federal Judicial Police.
Ministry of Truthiness
''Trump Is Really Aiming to Take Down Fox'': A Group Associated With Donald Trump Jr. Is Buying a Major Stake in OANN | Vanity Fair
Mon, 04 May 2020 18:28
When liberals look at Fox News, they tend to see Trump TV: a cable network that, with a few exceptions, has relentlessly pushed his policy objectives, and praised him in the terms that he loves. But that is not the way Donald Trump himself sees it. Trump loves that many Fox hosts are his loudest cheerleaders'--but any deviation from Trumpian orthodoxy he views as betrayal. He sees himself as responsible for the network's continued ratings success, and expects to be treated as such. In private, Trump reminds friends that Fox tried to derail his campaign during the 2016 Republican primary, and he vents that Fox owes its record ratings to him. ''At the end of day, Trump thinks he owns Fox. He thinks he made them,'' said a Republican who discussed Fox with Trump.
From the Archive: Tuesdays With Rupert Murdoch
Trump's frustration with Fox has only intensified during the coronavirus pandemic. As the nation's COVID-19 death count rises, and Trump's poll numbers slide, Fox executives have sidelined the network's most flagrant coronavirus deniers. In late April Fox cut ties with MAGA stars Diamond and Silk after the duo promoted bizarre COVID-19 conspiracies, including speculation that the virus was man-made or that New York state was inflating deaths totals to hurt Trump politically.
Trump's view that Fox is insufficiently loyal has motivated him to look for a more reliable media partner. On April 26, he tweeted: ''The people who are watching @FoxNews, in record numbers (thank you President Trump), are angry. They want an alternative now. So do I!''
Trump now is on the verge of having that alternative. According to sources, an investor group aligned with his son Don Jr. and the Dallas-based Hicks family has acquired a major stake in One America News Network, the fledgling conservative cable-news channel that features hosts like Jack Posobiec, a chief promoter of the Pizzagate conspiracy. ''[RNC co-chair] Tommy Hicks and Don Jr. have been looking to buy a station for Trump TV,'' said one source briefed on the talks. ''This is all about building a Fox competitor. Trump is really aiming to take down Fox,'' the person briefed on the deal told me. (A person close to Hicks said he resigned his position from the family business when he joined the RNC and isn't involved in the OANN deal).
During impeachment, OANN distinguished itself by its brazen airing of pro-Trump propaganda. OANN ran a three-part series hosted by Rudy Giuliani promoting Trump's conspiracy that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that meddled in the 2016 election. Former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo'--the current spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services'--hosted a prime-time special titled: The Ukraine Hoax: Impeachment, Biden Cash, Mass Murder.
Sources said the deal has been dragging on for months, and hasn't yet closed. In January the Wall Street Journal reported that Hicks Equity Partners was in talks to invest $250 million to acquire OANN from parent company Herring Networks Inc. Sources told me OANN president Charles Herring was asking $300 million for the channel, a price the Trump group felt was too high (one source said the final price was around $200 million). It's unclear whether Don Jr. invested Trump family funds in the deal or was given equity. The infusion of cash will allow OANN to improve production values and expand its modest distribution of 35 million homes (Fox News is available in more than 90 million homes).
''While Don has long enjoyed a close friendship with Tommy Hicks and his family, he is not part of any investment group looking to acquire OANN,'' a spokesperson for Donald Trump Jr. said in a statement. ''Should the Hicks family acquire the network, Don has no doubt that they will make OANN an even bigger success.''
Hicks did not respond to requests for comment. Herring did not respond to an email seeking comment.
As the deal has been moving forward, Trump has been promoting OANN by calling on OANN reporters at White House briefings and tweeting favorably about the network's coverage. Over the weekend, he tweeted that AT&T is expanding OANN's distribution. ''I hate to be promoting AT&T, but @OANN is Great News, not Fake News. Everybody should be carrying them!''
For Trump, the network serves as both a tactical weapon in the 2020 campaign and a strategic hedge in case he needs a new platform after November. One source told me that if Trump loses, he could use OANN as his post-presidential television platform to host shows. Controlling a network has been something Trump has been mulling since the 2016 election. Thinking he would lose, per the source, Trump dispatched his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to raise money to launch Trump TV. According to the source, Trump considered buying the Weather Channel, then owned by Blackstone, and converting it into a Trump TV network. The deal didn't go forward because Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman wanted $450 million, far more than the $300 million Trump was willing to pay. (A person close to Kushner denies this. A Blackstone spokesperson also denies the account.)
''Trump's big thing was always to own a network and be a multibillionaire,'' the source said. ''If Trump loses, he can be on OANN all the time. And before he leaves office, he has months to pump it up.''This post has been updated to include a denial from Blackstone.
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#MeToo
Andy Lack Will Leave NBC News After Chaotic Tenure '' Variety
Mon, 04 May 2020 18:37
During Andy Lack's first tour of duty leading NBC News, he helped ''Dateline'' bounce back from a dark era in which producers admitted to manipulating elements of an investigative report on General Motors, and expanded the hours of the ''Today'' morning franchise, and ratings success followed. None of that prepared him for what lay in wait during his second time at the news unit's helm.
Lack, who is stepping down from NBCUniversal earlier than previously expected under a new reorganization set in motion by new CEO Jeff Shell, has been under scrutiny almost from the time he returned to NBCU in 2015. He joined the Comcast-owned media conglomerate while it was in the midst of a public-relations maelstrom around former ''NBC Nightly News'' anchor Brian Williams, and quickly moved through several other periods of tumult.
Lack, a colorful executive who has never been shy about experimenting with new concepts, was among the NBCU executives who wooed Megyn Kelly to NBCU from Fox News Channel, giving her two ill-fated programs and a massive multi-million dollar payout. He weathered criticism after former ''Today'' co-anchor Matt Lauer was fired from the network after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced. He had to contend with a roiled employee base and further opprobrium after NBC News allowed former host and reporter Ronan Farrow to take his work looking into harassment allegations made against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, which was started at NBC News, to a rival news operation, where its publication helped bring Weinstein to justice. Farrow, who wrote a 2019 book, ''Catch & Kill,'' about his time at NBC News, alleged executives there sought to obstruct his efforts '' allegations NBC News has dismissed several times. Lack's personal life and conduct at past jobs became fodder for press investigations.
The Lauer ouster and the swirl of details contained in the Farrow book sparked concern internally and spurred activist organizations to call upon NBCU's parent, Comcast, to make changes at NBC News.
NBCUniversal investigated the news division in the wake of the Lauer firing. A report prepared by the company that was released in May of 2018 and greeted with some degree of skepticism said managers at the company's ''Today'' show and at NBC News had no knowledge of inappropriate behavior by the star anchor prior to his dismissal in November.
Critics charged Lack didn't heed the new rules of social interaction called for by movements like Time's Up and #MeToo. His supporters noted he kept focus on the business of news at NBCUniversal, lending new momentum to MSNBC after a period of fallow ratings; pushing NBC News into the digital era, with new content for Snapchat, Quibi and a recently-launched in-house streaming-video outlet; and expanding the company overseas. A move to launch a global news network based in London was recently delayed due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout his tenure, Lack enjoyed the support of Steve Burke, the company's previous CEO, who accepted some of the blame for the NBC's failure to turn Kelly into a success. ''In hindsight we shouldn't have done it,'' Burke told Variety in 2019. ''But it wasn't Andy going off rogue.'' Burke would continue to support Lack during his tenure, though in a re-organization of the company set last year, NBC News was placed under the oversight of an executive placed over Lack.
Cesar Conde, an executive whose chief role in recent years has been overseeing NBCU's international operations and its Spanish-language Telemundo network, will take over the company's news operations '' with a wider purview. Lack, who had oversight of CNBC during his first tenure, returned to the company to find CNBC's president, Mark Hoffman, had his own line of reporting to NBCU's Burke. Under the new CEO's plan, CNBC will become part of a larger corporate division that houses the company's news operations.
NBCU declined to make Lack or Conde available for comment.
The installation of Conde in the news role interrupts a plan of succession that many expected to be completed by the end of the year. Under plans previously articulated by NBCU, Lack was expected to leave his role after the 2020 election. NBC News President Oppenheim was seen as his likely replacement. One person familiar with the NBC News newsroom said some staffers had expressed hope after learning of the corporate changes that the news division might chart a period of calm under new management.
Unfortunately, there is still a chance for chaos in days to come. Staffers are worried about the potential for layoffs, according to another person familiar with the news division. The integration of CNBC into the NBC News and MSNBC operations will no doubt result in overlap of personnel behind the scenes and also on camera. Both news units have been growing their digital operations, and hiring reporters to cover such topics as media, politics and technology. An NBC News spokesman declined to comment on the potential for layoffs.
'-- Elizabeth Wagmeister and Ramin Setoodeh contributed to this report
Opinion | Joe Biden and Tara Reade: Whom to Believe? - The New York Times
Wed, 06 May 2020 15:06
Opinion | Joe Biden and Tara Reade: Whom to Believe?letters
Readers look at the allegations from many angles: #MeToo, hypocrisy, pantyhose and politics.
Image Former Vice President Joe Biden at a campaign event in February at the Winyah Indigo Society Hall in Georgetown, S.C. Credit... Damon Winter/The New York Times Image Credit... Max Whittaker for The New York Times To the Editor:
Re ''Investigate Tara Reade's Allegations'' (editorial, May 2):
Thank you for this editorial. For the record, I'm a lifelong Democrat and will vote Democratic this fall, regardless. Defeating Donald Trump and saving our democracy is the most important thing. However, we still need a full, transparent investigation.
Making allegations of sexual assault is not easy. Those who do so deserve fair and thorough investigations. We demanded one with Brett Kavanaugh, and it's no different now. As a party, we cannot say we stand for sexual assault survivors, yet turn our backs when it's something we don't want to hear.
I'm disgusted by the attacks on Tara Reade, the insufficient mainstream media coverage, the slanted headlines and the flimsy excuses, such as that Joe Biden was already vetted when he ran for vice president. Hypocrisy looks bad no matter what side you're on. Innocent people have nothing to hide. They encourage full transparency. Yes, that means we need to look at the University of Delaware files. We deserve the truth, no matter what it is.
Sara DurnanMadrid
To the Editor:
I totally disagree with this editorial. I don't want an investigation. I want a coronation of Joe Biden. Would he make a great president? Unlikely. Would he make a good president? Good enough. Would he make a better president than the present occupant? Absolutely. I don't want justice, whatever that may be. I want a win, the removal of Donald Trump from office, and Mr. Biden is our best chance.
Suppose an investigation reveals damaging information concerning his relationship with Tara Reade or something else, and Mr. Biden loses the nomination to Senator Bernie Sanders or someone else with a minimal chance of defeating Mr. Trump. Should we really risk the possibility?
Martin TolchinAlexandria, Va.The writer is a former member of The Times's Washington bureau and a founder of Politico.
To the Editor:
Your editorial is infuriating. Not because of what you're asking for, but rather because the level of scrutiny you demand has been notably and consistently absent in every one of the numerous allegations against Donald Trump.
For nearly four years we have seen the same depressing pattern: A woman comes forward to claim that Mr. Trump assaulted her, the press fixates on her for a few days and then the whole matter fizzles out.
No matter what happens with Joe Biden, the American public deserves to see the media apply steady and sustained pressure on Donald Trump. Thus far, it has not been forthcoming. Why?
George A. MiliteLancaster, Pa.
To the Editor:
Re ''Biden, Breaking Silence, Denies Assaulting Aide'' (front page, May 2):
The sexual assault allegations by Tara Reade after 27 years make me wonder about the timing of these charges. When Joe Biden was running as Barack Obama's vice president and would have been a heartbeat away from the presidency, why didn't Ms. Reade speak up then? Why suddenly now? Something seems odd about this.
Rita StewartRye, N.Y.
To the Editor:
You report, ''In 2017, Ms. Reade retweeted praise for Mr. Biden and his work combating sexual assault.'' What woman who has been sexually assaulted as claimed by Tara Reade praises her assailant for his work combating sexual assault?
Eugene GoldenLos Angeles
To the Editor:
I am a retired attorney and a survivor of multiple #MeToo experiences over my 66 years, including a violent rape. I loathe hypocrisy and try to avoid it and those who practice it. I disagree with nearly everything our current president does or says. I fear for the future because of the irreparable harm he has done to the country.
I learned early in my career that the practice of law, and life in general, is a series of bad choices, particularly in bad times. The trick is to select the least awful option. I'm voting for Joe Biden for multiple reasons having nothing to do with his or President Trump's alleged conduct with women. That Rubicon has been crossed.
We cannot survive as a democratic society with Mr. Trump in office for four more years. The need to get him out of office overrules every scruple we may have. I will live with my hypocrisy and believe that tens of millions of Americans will feel the same.
Karen WilsonDallas
To the Editor:
I do not know whether something occurred between then-Senator Joe Biden and Tara Reade, but I can say that it is highly unlikely that an event occurred as described. In 1993, a congressional staffer most likely would have been wearing something like a knee-length tailored skirt and pantyhose. It would be extremely difficult for someone to reach below the tight skirt, then bring his hand up to the waist and then down into the pantyhose. The fact that this supposedly occurred in a public corridor makes the story even more unlikely.
Katharine H. McVeighNew York
To the Editor:
The pendulum has swung too far '-- from women not being believed to every woman being believed. A story 27 years old. Perhaps absolutely accurate. Perhaps imagined, or enhanced over the years.
Any man can now be accused without proof. And the burden is on him to refute it. His reputation may be compromised; the accusation will be remembered more than the denial or the lack of proof. So now it seems that every man must pay for the sins of some or many men.
As an ardent #MeToo supporter, I do not feel that the movement, long overdue and so important, is enhanced by embracing another ''victim'' without proof of the charge. If the burden of proof is on the accused, then all that has happened is that men are now in the position of women in the past, and have to fight to be believed.
Betty RomerAmherst, Mass.
Impeachment 2.0
Who is Rick Bright? The Coronavirus Whistle-Blower Who Said The Trump Administration Steered Contracts to Cronies - The New York Times
Wed, 06 May 2020 00:31
Rick Bright, the ousted chief of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency, said he was pressured to steer millions of dollars to the clients of a well-connected consultant.
Rick Bright said in a whistle-blower complaint that questionable contracts had gone to ''companies with political connections to the administration.'' Credit... Toya Sarno Jordan/Bloomberg WASHINGTON '-- A federal scientist who says he was ousted from his job amid a dispute over an unproven coronavirus treatment pushed by President Trump said Tuesday that top administration officials repeatedly pressured him to steer millions of dollars in contracts to the clients of a well-connected consultant.
Rick Bright, who was director of the Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority until his removal in April, said in a formal whistle-blower complaint that he had been protesting ''cronyism'' and contract abuse since 2017.
Questionable contracts have gone to ''companies with political connections to the administration,'' the complaint said, including a drug company tied to a friend of Jared Kushner's, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser. It said Dr. Bright was retaliated against by his superiors, who pushed him out because of ''his efforts to prioritize science and safety over political expediency.''
The 89-page complaint, filed with the Office of Special Counsel, which protects federal whistle-blowers, also said Dr. Bright ''encountered opposition'' from department superiors '-- including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II '-- when he pushed as early as January for the necessary resources to develop drugs and vaccines to counter the emerging coronavirus pandemic.
The report provides a window into the inner workings of BARDA, a tiny agency created in 2006 as a response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It partners with industry in developing ''medical countermeasures'' that can be stockpiled by the federal government to combat biological or chemical attacks and pandemic threats.
BARDA has spent billions of dollars on contracts with dozens of different suppliers, including major pharmaceutical companies and smaller biotechnology firms.
Both allies and Dr. Bright say his nearly four-year tenure as the head of BARDA was marked by clashes with his superiors '-- especially Dr. Robert Kadlec, the assistant secretary of health for preparedness and response '-- and tension with some industry executives. Dr. Bright conceded in the complaint that those clashes came to a head after he leaked information on the dispute over the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to a reporter from Reuters.
A lawyer for Dr. Bright, Debra Katz, said he felt a ''moral obligation'' to get the word out that the administration was pressing to stockpile an unproven and potentially dangerous coronavirus treatment, which was supplied by drugmakers in India and Pakistan and had not been certified by the Food and Drug Administration.
The complaint says top Department of Health and Human Services officials, including Dr. Kadlec, who oversees the strategic national stockpile, overruled scientific experts while awarding contracts to firms represented by the consultant, John Clerici. Mr. Clerici, a founder of a Washington-based firm, Tiber Creek Partners, was instrumental, along with Dr. Kadlec, in writing the legislation that created BARDA.
''Dr. Bright was vocal about his concerns regarding the inappropriate and possibly illegal communications between Mr. Clerici, Dr. Kadlec, Mr. Shuy and Mr. Meekins,'' the complaint stated, referring to Bryan Shuy and Chris Meekins, two other department officials.
A spokeswoman for the department, Caitlin Oakley, did not address the complaints about officials there.
''Dr. Bright was transferred to N.I.H. to work on diagnostics testing '-- critical to combating Covid-19 '-- where he has been entrusted to spend upward of $1 billion to advance that effort,'' she said in an emailed statement. ''We are deeply disappointed that he has not shown up to work on behalf of the American people and lead on this critical endeavor.''
Dr. Bright was initially offered a narrower role at the National Institutes of Health to work on a new ''Shark Tank''-style program to develop coronavirus treatments, but Ms. Katz told reporters he ''has no role'' and did not receive his last paycheck. A spokeswoman, Kendra Barkoff Lamy, later said that, at his doctor's direction, Dr. Bright ''has been on sick leave due to hypertension caused by this current situation.''
In a statement, Mr. Clerici said he ''unequivocally'' denied any wrongdoing, adding: ''It's sad that during a pandemic, Dr. Bright and his team have chosen to distract people like Dr. Kadlec, who are critical to the response, with politically motivated allegations. The record is clear that his allegations are false and will be proven so.''
The complaint, written by Ms. Katz and her law partner, Lisa Banks, identifies four specific instances in which Dr. Bright felt Mr. Clerici exerted undue influence. At one point, it said, Dr. Bright called for an investigation by the inspector general ''to help break up the 'cottage industry' of marketing consultants and political influence into these contracts.''
Dr. Bright also said Mr. Clerici pushed, albeit unsuccessfully, for an extension of a contract awarded to a company run by someone who was ''friends with Jared'' and ''has Hollywood connections.'' In a brief interview, Mr. Clerici said the ''conversation never happened.''
The document paints Dr. Bright as sounding the alarm about the emerging coronavirus threat and pressing his superiors to do more to prepare '-- including purchasing masks that would later turn out to be in short supply '-- at a time when Mr. Azar was downplaying the crisis.
On Jan. 23, he met with Mr. Azar and Dr. Kadlec to press ''for urgent access to funding, personnel and clinical specimens, including viruses,'' that would be necessary to develop treatments, the complaint said. But Mr. Azar and Dr. Kadlec ''asserted that the United States would be able to contain the virus'' through travel bans, the complaint said, adding that Dr. Bright was cut out of future department meetings related to Covid-19.
But the complaint says Dr. Bright found an ally in Peter Navarro, Mr. Trump's trade adviser, who ''shared Dr. Bright's sense of urgency, recognized his expertise and was prepared to help.'' In early February, an official from a company that makes masks connected Dr. Bright with Mr. Navarro, and the two met at the White House on Feb. 8, a Saturday, more than a month before Mr. Trump declared a national emergency.
In that meeting, the complaint said, Dr. Bright urged Mr. Navarro to have the government stop exporting high-quality N95 masks, stock up on remdesivir, an antiviral drug approved last week by the F.D.A. to treat Covid-19, and develop a ''Manhattan Project'' for a vaccine '-- an idea Mr. Trump recently adopted.
Mr. Navarro invited Dr. Bright back the following day to help him draft recommendations for the president's coronavirus task force '-- a move that angered top department officials, the complaint said.
Dr. Bright is asking the Office of Special Counsel to take steps to force the department to reinstate him as head of BARDA. In a brief statement during a conference call convened by his lawyers, he said the past few years ''have been beyond challenging.''
''Time after time, I was pressured to ignore or dismiss expert scientific recommendations and instead to award lucrative contracts based on political connections,'' Dr. Bright said.
Dr. Bright was named to lead BARDA a day after Mr. Trump's election in November 2016, inheriting an agency full of fights with companies over contracting approvals. He proved a polarizing figure.
Bruce Gellin, the former director of the department's National Vaccine Program Office, described Dr. Bright as a ''visionary thinker'' who pushed BARDA to take risks and innovate. But some lobbyists and pharmaceutical executives say that under Dr. Bright, the disputes over contracting worsened, a situation that led to a review by an outside consulting firm to evaluate the situation.
The consultant, Mitre Corporation, issued two reports; neither is publicly available. The first concluded that some companies were badly treated by BARDA and included criticism that it lacked technical prowess and professionalism, according to two people who were told about its contents. It was later rewritten to include more flattering information about BARDA that was left out of the first report.
But the final straw for Dr. Bright came when Mr. Trump started pushing hydroxychloroquine as a possible ''game changer'' in the treatment of the virus. Dr. Bright pushed to limit access to the drug to hospitalized patients, but grew troubled when administration officials, including Dr. Kadlec, continued to press for its widespread usage, the complaint said.
When a Reuters reporter contacted him, he shared emails with the news outlet. Its story was published on April 16, and Dr. Bright was removed less than a week later.
Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.
Updated April 11, 2020
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.
When will this end?This is a difficult question, because a lot depends on how well the virus is contained. A better question might be: ''How will we know when to reopen the country?'' In an American Enterprise Institute report, Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark B. McClellan, Lauren Silvis and Crystal Watson staked out four goal posts for recovery: Hospitals in the state must be able to safely treat all patients requiring hospitalization, without resorting to crisis standards of care; the state needs to be able to at least test everyone who has symptoms; the state is able to conduct monitoring of confirmed cases and contacts; and there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days.
How can I help?The Times Neediest Cases Fund has started a special campaign to help those who have been affected, which accepts donations here. Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities. More than 30,000 coronavirus-related GoFundMe fund-raisers have started in the past few weeks. (The sheer number of fund-raisers means more of them are likely to fail to meet their goal, though.)
Should I wear a mask?The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don't need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don't replace hand washing and social distancing.
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.
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. Clinical trials are underway in the United States, China and Europe. But American officials and pharmaceutical executives have said that a vaccine remains at least 12 to 18 months away.
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 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 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.''
Vape Wars
JUUL Pulling out of countries
Walmart will stop selling tobacco products
Adam, as an employee of Walmart, i was told that Walmart,
chain wide, will be getting rid off ALL tobacco products in its stores. This is
anticipated to happen in within the month. Just curious to hear how this fits
into your ongoing war on the legal leaf...
Clips
VIDEO-Mollie on Twitter: "The cry from a journalist of "You were prepared for that!" as she walks off is really one for the ages. https://t.co/JcVMAApSDM" / Twitter
Thu, 07 May 2020 07:33
BO_CEE_FUSS @ Bo_cee_fuss
12h Replying to
@MZHemingway Just shows their only objective is gotcha.
View conversation · Beryl Hesh @ BerylHesh
12h Replying to
@Bo_cee_fuss @MZHemingway even better, since everyone knows the game is gotcha...the new sheriff can getcha right back!
View conversation · No Rules @ LiveSocial23
12h Replying to
@MZHemingway Right I'm sure she prepares for her job everydayThat's what good employees do. New concept for those hacks in chairs
View conversation · Santo Algiere @ crzyitlnguy
11h Replying to
@LiveSocial23 @MZHemingway Those same hacks literally ask the same questions everyday or similar ones at least.
View conversation · Covfefe Kimmie @ kimmieguy
12h Replying to
@MZHemingway #Brava, Kayleigh!
View conversation · Red-Pilled Saul Alinsky @ Sierra_159
12h Replying to
@MZHemingway ''How DARE she'' actually come prepared for a ''gotcha'' question from the HateStreamMediaMob?
pic.twitter.com/ueY1GZINLt View conversation · Greg K. @ netminder68
12h Replying to
@MZHemingway She suckered them into asking the question. LOL. Good for her
View conversation · wxmouse @ Wxmouse
9h Replying to
@netminder68 @MZHemingway After one asked on her first day, "do you promise not to lie to us?" I think it was game on, gloves off.
View conversation · Keith Price @ OurBusinessHero
12h Replying to
@MZHemingway Yep. The media is nothing if not predictable. Of COURSE they were going to ask a question like that.Good for Kayleigh!
View conversation · Morgan Sayre @ MorganSayre2
12h Replying to
@MZHemingway And they wonder why they don't deserve press briefings!! It's not about news. All they want to do is finds ways to get em, but they mostly get themselves. That
View conversation ·
VIDEO - (15) Cernovich on Twitter: "White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Brings the Receipts to the Flu Crew Media https://t.co/9nQpeJBHf6" / Twitter
Thu, 07 May 2020 06:44
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Thu, 07 May 2020 06:42
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Thu, 07 May 2020 06:39
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Thu, 07 May 2020 06:16
VIDEO - WV State Governor Jim Justice Makes a Statement Claiming an "Audio Glitch" During May 4th Briefing. - YouTube
Thu, 07 May 2020 06:05
VIDEO - West Virginia Governor Jim Justice Encourages Small Businesses to "Fuckin' Follow The Guidelines" - YouTube
Thu, 07 May 2020 06:04
VIDEO - Sexual assault suspect released from Santa Rita jail due to COVID-19 | KRON4
Thu, 07 May 2020 06:03
ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) '' An emergency order to release non-violent inmates from jail due to COVID-19, appears to have been used to release a violent sexual assault suspect, according to an East Bay city official.
The council that wrote the order says that was not the intention.
''When the bail motion was made we strenuously objected to it,'' Alameda County District Attorney spokesperson Teresa Drenick said.
''The attorney specifically petitioned Judge Reardon to reduce his bail,'' Livermore Mayor John Marchand said.
There is controversy regarding the an Alameda County Superior Court Judges decision to reduce the bail, paving the way to release 61-year-old Gregory Vien from Santa Rita Jail.
Vien was arrested back in November as a suspect in a pair of violent sexual assaults that occurred back in 1997 '-- One in Union City, the other in the town of Livermore where he is now on home confinement.
''The gentleman was being held on $2.5 million of bail. We believe that poses a danger to the community,'' Drenick said.
However, after Vien's attorney told the judge her client has a medical condition, the judge reduced Vien's bail down to zero.
Livermore Mayor John Marchand believes the judge misused the California Judicial Council's emergency bail reduction order which released non-violent criminals from jail to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
''The Judicial Council has recommendations that the judge has the authority to reduce bail to zero for level felonies and misdemeanors. In my mind, multiple violent rapes does not constitute low level felonies and I don't think that he should have been release into my community,'' Marchand said.
A representative from the California Judicial Council sent KRON4 this statement:
''The Judicial Council's emergency $0 bail schedule applies only to those accused of misdemeanors and low-level felonies as a way to safely reduce jail populations during the pandemic. People accused of serious, violent felonies, crimes requiring sex offender registration, domestic violence or stalking, or driving under the influence are not eligible under this rule.It is also not a blanket release order'--a judge can still deny or raise bail if they find good cause that a defendant is a threat to public safety.''
That is why Mayor Marchand penned a letter to state leaders including Governor Gavin Newsom hoping to find advocates who can help reverse this decision.
''My top priority as the Mayor of Livermore is the safety of my community,'' Marchand said.
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VIDEO-EXCLUSIVE! Trump To Expose Coronavirus Hoax!
Wed, 06 May 2020 22:24
Alex Jones discusses Trump's plan to expose the coronavirus hoax and more'...
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`};let stream_id = 1;toggleStreamsButton.addEventListener('click', (event) => {event.preventDefault();const target = event.currentTarget;if (stream_id === 1) {target.innerHTML = 'Alex Jones Show';player.innerHTML = getEmbedCode('5c59c724f7c188001c3d8e2f');stream_id = 2;}else {target.innerHTML = 'Infowars Network Live Feed';player.innerHTML = getEmbedCode('5b92a1e6568f22455f55be2b');stream_id = 1;}}); })();
VIDEO-Asus Maxell on Twitter: "@adamcurry @THErealDVORAK Watch the live feed interruption for the Tiawan question to WHO. Today, 2020 05/06 https://t.co/fEdRwPofNR" / Twitter
Wed, 06 May 2020 13:05
Enter a topic, @name, or fullname
VIDEO - James O'Keefe on Twitter: "BREAKING: Insider Reveals @CherryHealthMI & @CBSNews Staged FAKE #COVID19 Testing Line on @CBSThisMorning ''We knew they(CBS) were coming, had no clue we were going to have to like do FAKE PATIENTS'' '' RN, Cherry
Wed, 06 May 2020 11:16
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VIDEO - Cashless society leads to enslavement - Lionel - YouTube
Wed, 06 May 2020 10:48
VIDEO - Pitt researcher studying coronavirus killed in suspected murder-suicide in Ross Township
Wed, 06 May 2020 10:35
COMPLEX. DR. LIU WAS RESEARCHER AND THE UNIVERSITY SAYS HE WAS MAKING SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN STUDYING THE VIRUS, BUT POLICE SAY THE MURDER-SUICIDE WAS UNCONNECTED WITH HIS RESEARCH. >> WE HAVEN'T HAD ANYTHING BUT SCUM OF THE INVESTIGATION THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH HIS EMPLOYMENT. >> POLICE BELIEVE THE MAN WHO KILLED HIM WAS A 46-YEAR-OLD ENGINEER. INVESTIGATORS SAY THEY KNEW EACH OTHER. >> WE HAVE ESTABLISHED THE TWO NEW EACH OTHER AND HAD KNOWLEDGE OF EACH OTHER, WHICH IS WHAT WE BELIEVE WILL LEAD TO A MOTIVE FOR US. THEIR RELATIONSHIP WAS PERSONAL. >> THEY SAY HE WAS FOUND BY HIS WIFE IN THEIR BEDROOM WITH A SMART PHONE. INVESTIGATORS SAY FOUND AT A NEI WITH A SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND. THERE IS SMARTPHONE DATA SHOWING FREQUENT COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE TWO MEN. >> THE DATA STILL BEING WORKED ON. THE PROBLEM WE ARE HAVING IS THEY WERE CHINESE NATIONALS AND EVERYTHING ON THEIR PHONES IS IN CHINESE. WE HAVE SOME HURDLES TO OVERCOME WITH THE TRANSLATION OF THAT INFORMATION. >> THEY ALSO SAY TH
Pitt researcher studying coronavirus killed in suspected murder-suicide in Ross Township
Bing Liu "was on the verge of making very significant findings" in a SARS-CoV-2 research project at the University of Pittsburgh, his department said.
A man who police said was found shot dead at his Ross Township home was a research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was working on a coronavirus research project.Police said they believe that Bing Liu, 37, was shot inside his Elm Court townhome by a man who then went outside to his car and shot himself. Liu's death is believed to be a homicide, police said.The second man was found dead inside the vehicle on Charlemagne Circle, police said. He is identified as 46-year old Hao Gu and police believe their relationship was not connected to Liu's research on the coronavirus, "we haven't had anything at this point that has come to the investigation that has anything to do with Mr. Liu's employment or his research," says Ross Township Det. Brian Kolhepp.Liu was a researcher with the department of computational and systems biology in the Pitt School of Medicine, the department said Monday."Bing was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cellular basis of the following complications," the department said in a written statement. "We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence."Liu was described as an outstanding researcher and mentor, with expertise in computational modeling and analysis of biological systems dynamics."His loss will be felt throughout the entire scientific community," the university said.Police said Liu and the man who shot him knew each other. Authorities have not discussed a possible motive for the shooting, which remained under investigation Monday.
ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. '--A man who police said was found shot dead at his Ross Township home was a research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was working on a coronavirus research project.
Police said they believe that Bing Liu, 37, was shot inside his Elm Court townhome by a man who then went outside to his car and shot himself. Liu's death is believed to be a homicide, police said.
The second man was found dead inside the vehicle on Charlemagne Circle, police said.
He is identified as 46-year old Hao Gu and police believe their relationship was not connected to Liu's research on the coronavirus, "we haven't had anything at this point that has come to the investigation that has anything to do with Mr. Liu's employment or his research," says Ross Township Det. Brian Kolhepp.
Liu was a researcher with the department of computational and systems biology in the Pitt School of Medicine, the department said Monday.
"Bing was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cellular basis of the following complications," the department said in a written statement. "We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence."
Liu was described as an outstanding researcher and mentor, with expertise in computational modeling and analysis of biological systems dynamics.
"His loss will be felt throughout the entire scientific community," the university said.
Police said Liu and the man who shot him knew each other. Authorities have not discussed a possible motive for the shooting, which remained under investigation Monday.
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VIDEO - Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Mayor Adler responds to Gov. Abbott's plan to reopen salons, gyms | kvue.com
Wed, 06 May 2020 00:29
CORONAVIRUS Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Tuesday, May 5.
AUSTIN, Texas '-- KVUE is keeping you updated with the latest coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, news in the Austin area.
Scroll down for the top headlines and latest updates in KVUE's May 5 live blog.
COVID-19 Numbers:
Texas: There are more than 32,000 cases in the state, which increased by more than 2,300 over the weekend, and more than 880 people in Texas have died. Central Texas Counties: Travis County: More than 1,800 cases have been reported and at least 53 people have died.Williamson County: More than 320 cases have been reported and at least 10 people have died.Hays County: There have been more than 170 cases reported in the county and at least one person has died.Top Headlines:
Updates:
10:30 p.m. '' Austin restaurant Home Slice Pizza said it closed its North Loop location after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. The employee last worked on Sunday, May 3, and is currently quarantined and receiving care, the restaurant said.
"In response, Home Slice North Loop will be temporarily closed while a professional sanitation crew deep cleans and disinfects the restaurant," Home Slice Pizza said on Facebook. "Following the preventative guidance of the CDC and local health officials, the store will reopen with the same diligent cleaning and safety protocols that were previously in place including no-contact curbside service and mandatory use of masks and gloves."
The restaurant said no other staff members are experiencing symptoms and all workers at that location will be tested for the virus.
7 p.m. '' Mayor Steve Adler went on Facebook Live to give his response to Gov. Abbott's plan to reopen salons and gyms.
6:20 p.m. '' On Tuesday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler issued a statement in response to Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to reopen hair salons, nail salons, tanning salons and gyms in Texas.
"Relying on science and data means the governor should be waiting the necessary three to four weeks to count increased infections and hospitalizations before layering on more risk," Adler. "The more allowed physical interactions, the less likely the governor will avoid scaling back to stop a deadly surge."
The mayor urged Austinites to make wise personal choices.
"It's dangerous for many to consider going to a barber, a salon or a gym," he said. "It's most dangerous for the barber and the stylist and you cannot sufficiently protect them. Note that the governor emphasizes six-foot distancing, no groups larger than a few outside your household and the need for face coverings."
6:10 p.m. '' Bastrop County is reporting nine new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total in the county to 98. Thirty people have recovered from the virus, while two people have died.
5:56 p.m. '' As of May 5, Austin-Travis County is reporting 1,876 cases of COVID-19, with 58 deaths. A total of 579 have recovered.
These cases have risen steadily since March 13, when the first two cases were reported. Since then, multiple drive-thru testing sites have opened in the area.
For an age breakdown of those cases, see the Austin-Travis County online dashboard.
5:50 p.m. '' Gov. Greg Abbott announces that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received approval for a $3 million emergency grant for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living. ADRCs offer resources for older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers in Texas.
"I am grateful for our continued collaboration with our federal partners to expand access to these crucial resources for older adults and Texans with disabilities," said Gov. Abbott. "As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to ensuring these important aging and disability services are available in communities across the Lone Star State."
For more information, click here.
5:30 p.m. '' After Austin Public Health revealed 335 residents and staff at nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been infected with the coronavirus '' leading to more than half of all reported COVID-19 deaths in Travis County '' Austin City Council is calling for immediate action.
A resolution will be introduced at the council's meeting on Thursday that sets target dates and directs the city manager to prevent further spread through the following actions:
Immediate testing of all staff and residents at all facilities with clustersTesting of all staff at all facilities as soon as possibleDeploying ''Strike Teams'' to enhance staff resources at all facilities with clustersProviding for incentives and funding for hiring and retaining facility staffEnsuring all facilities have sufficient PPE and testing equipmentCollaborating with the Dell Medical School to identify preventive strategies to protect residents in vulnerable facilitiesProviding ongoing updates to the council on results and status of actionsIdentifying any additional actions/funding needed to preventThe resolution directs the city manager to act immediately and use funding and other resources now and seek reimbursement from appropriate state or federal agencies at a later date.
5:10 p.m. '' Hays County is reporting seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total in the county to 183. Of those, 67 are active cases and at least 115 people have recovered from the virus.
In total 18 people have been hospitalized from COVID-19 in Hays County, with seven still in the hospital. The county has had one death from coronavirus, a woman in her 80s.
3 p.m. '' Sprouts Farmers Market announces it has expanded grocery pickup to its locations in Austin, San Antonio and Lubbock.
Starting today, customers can shop online and pick up items without having to enter the store. Orders can be made for same-day pick-up or be scheduled in advance.
2:48 p.m. - During a press conference Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that barbershops and salons may reopen May 8 under certain restrictions. On May 18, gyms may reopen under restrictions.
Gov. Abbott gave an update on the coronavirus pandemic in the state. Here's a breakdown of some numbers:
More than 427,000 Texans have been tested for COVID-1933,369 Texans have tested positive for COVID-19 and there are currently 15,672 active cases across the stateMore than 1,880 people in Texas have been hospitalized906 people in Texas have died from the coronavirus16,791 Texans have recovered from the coronavirus You can watch the full press conference on KVUE's YouTube page:
2 p.m. '' Williamson County announces that it is the recipient of $93,382,340.10, provided through the CARES Act, which is assisting states and local governments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
''The federal government has decided that the local governments are the most knowledgeable and best prepared to decide how to disperse this money. This is a large amount of money; however I would much rather that local officials make the decision on how to use this money than to leave that decision to Washington,'' said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell.
Click here for more information.
Williamson County also announced its Wilco Forward Program, which is aiming to provide grants for local business owners that have been impacted by the pandemic.
The program was developed by a strike team that includes County Treasurer Scott Heselmeyer, Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey, and Precinct 4 Commissioner Russ Boles.
''Our team worked with business and community leaders from across Williamson County to develop the Wilco Forward grant program,'' said Scott Heselmeyer. ''We specifically made the application process as simple as possible to encourage businesses to apply.''
$25 million from the CARES Act funds will be used to launch the program. Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees and sole proprietors can receive up to $30,000.
For more information, click here.
1:40 p.m. '' The Taylor Public Library announces it will start offering curbside pickup of library materials starting Wednesday. The service will be offered Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The library asks the public to place reserves through their library account online or by calling the library at 512-352-3434. Residents will need their library card numbers when calling in. There will be a limit of five items per home, and some checkout limits will apply. No new library cards are being issued at this time
"Library staff will pull reserved items and check them out to the patron's library account," the library said in a press release. "If items are not available, staff will contact the patron for more options. To pick up reserved items, staff will make an appointment for patrons to come and pick up library materials. Patrons picking up items will need to describe their vehicle to staff. Patrons can pull up in front of the library entrance during the scheduled appointment time and staff will bring items out. The library asks that patrons stay in their vehicle, unlock the trunk or back door, and staff will put items in and close the trunk or door."
The library asks patrons to use the outside book drop to return all materials. These will be cleaned and quarantined before re-shelving.
12:30 p.m. '' The San Marcos City Council is asking for public commentary on amendments to its 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan to incorporate the new $425,261 Community Development Block Grant for Coronavirus (CDBG-CV).
The amendments would add grant funding of $425,261 to the plan as a source of funding for potential programs. The plan is ongoing and will transition into the next consolidated plan (2020-2024) starting in September.
The proposed amendments would also add a category dubbed ''Economic Development'' to the list of existing programs that can be funded. The existing categories are Public Services, Affordable Housing, Public Facilities/Infrastructure/Transportation, or Clearance Activities.
Citizens who would like to speak during the public hearing portion of the virtual meeting must email citizencomment@sanmarcostx.gov prior to 12 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19.
To view the meeting, please visit http://sanmarcostx.gov/421/City-Council-Videos-Archives. The City Council will vote on the amendments on June 2.
The Moody Foundation has announced it is committing another $500,000 in grants to Central Texas partners across Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock Fredericksburg, San Marcos and Marfa to support first responder assistance.
''The effects from COVID-19 are far-reaching and will have long-term impacts beyond what we can even imagine,'' said Ross Moody, trustee of the Moody Foundation. ''Now, more than ever, is the time to step up. The Moody Foundation will continue working with our local partners as we move towards rebuilding our community together.''
The funds will support the following organizations in providing services, including food, shelter, PPE, computers, rent assistance, employment, education, and physical and mental health resources.
Any Baby CanAscension Texas Relief FundAustin Diaper BankAustin Paramedic Relief and Community Outreach FundBaylor Scott & White Central Texas FoundationBoys and Girls Club of the Austin AreaBrighter BitesFredericksburg Food Pantry, Inc.Friends of Marfa LibraryHays County Food BankHill Country Memorial Hospital FoundationHope AustinProject Transitions/Doug's HouseRound Rock Area Serving CenterThe Caring PlaceThe Other OnesVincare Services of Austin Foundation/dba Saint Louise HouseYoung Men's Christian Assoc. of AustinIn March, the foundation announced an initial $1,000,000 commitment, now totaling $1,500,000.
12:15 p.m. '' Williamson County reported its eleventh COVID-19 death from the coronavirus pandemic. The resident was a male in his 50s.
"It is crippling to get the news that the Coronavirus has claimed the life of another one of our residents. We stand with those who have lost a loved one to this deadly disease. It is in memory of those who have passed that we should make it a point to follow proper hygiene, consider wearing a face-covering, and try to minimize our exposure to those that are part of our vulnerable community,'' said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell.
196 people have recovered from COVID''19 in Williamson County as of May 5.
11:45 a.m. '' The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announces the Austin State Supported Living Center will be hosting a virtual job fair in hopes of filling 200 positions at the facility.
The event will be streamed on Facebook Live on Thursday at 10 a.m.
Available positions and applications are posted here.
9:50 a.m. '' One nursing home facility in Austin has reported a total of 15 deaths. That's up from 12 reported deaths last week at that facility, according to KVUE's Tony Plohetski.
A second nursing home facility in Austin has reported six deaths, 40 positive COVID-19 cases among residents and 28 positive cases among staff members, Plohetski confirmed.
The names of those facilities have not been released.
6 a.m. '' Gov. Abbott is expected to hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to give an update on what Texas is doing to fight COVID-19.
Check back on this live blog for the latest updates Tuesday.
WATCH: Austin Mayor gives COVID-19 updates on KVUE Daybreak
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VIDEO-'We are not past this': Mayor Adler to extend Austin-Travis County stay-home order | kvue.com
Tue, 05 May 2020 18:39
CORONAVIRUS To clarify the "confusing" messaging coming from the State, Mayor Adler plans to announce an extension to the stay-home order.
AUSTIN, Texas '-- Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the messaging from State has been "confusing," after Gov. Greg Abbott partially reopened the state on Friday, May 1. The mayor is now trying to clarify some of the confusion, adding that the City will extend the stay-at-home order in Austin-Travis County.
The stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 8, but the mayor told KVUE that city leaders have plans to extend the order.
"It's kind of confusing right now with the messaging from the State, and we're going to try and clarify that this week by extending our order," Adler said.
Adler did not say how long the order will be extended or give a date on when city leaders will announce the order extension.
"We are not past this," Adler said on KVUE Daybreak Monday, May 4. "It's not like we have cured the virus, because we have not. It is as infectious and as deadly as it was a month ago."
Adler also encouraged people to stay at home as much as possible, with the exception of essential workers "to minimize the contact as best we possibly can, or we are going to start seeing a spike, and that's the concern."
"We did a really good job of flattening the curve," Adler said, referring to how Austin hasn't hit its hospital capacity, intensive-care-unit capacity, or ventilator capacity. "The concern is that can change on the dime. ... I am concerned with the number of social interactions that are happening right now. The work we did over the last four weeks will not have any impact over the next two to four weeks if we're having more and more physical interaction."
Adler also told KVUE he was worried Austin could have a second surge of the virus. People should still be wearing masks, limiting their social interaction, "and staying real vigilant."
"Austin had cut down physical and social interactions and reduced them by 94%. No one was sure that we could do that but we did it as a community," he said.
Adler emphasized that the virus is still here.
"As a community, if we relax and slip below 80%, we will be on a path that overwhelms our hospitals. ... The truth is, we don't know, the governor doesn't know, no one knows what's going to happen to the amount of infections as we begin to open up businesses," the mayor told KVUE.
Adler and his team are keeping a close watch on the numbers as businesses reopen. All of this affects the local economy, which Adler said, "is hurting really badly." February saw 1,500 unemployment claims and, as of April 18, the numbers were up to 60,000 unemployment insurance claims.
"I understand the cause to reopen the economy and put people back to work," Adler added. "But we know from history that the best way to ensure as a city we can come out of this is to not get overrun by the virus. The most important thing we can do for our economy right now is to contain the virus."
Adler said they are doing everything they can to help with the economic impact. City Council announced a new program to help with rental assistance and will be meeting on Thursday, May 7, to detail giving relief to nonprofits and organizations in town that need assistance.
WATCH: Austin Mayor gives COVID-19 updates on KVUE Daybreak
VIDEO-New York to work with Gates Foundation to 'reimagine' schools: governor | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Tue, 05 May 2020 18:36
Tue May 5, 2020 / 5:19 PM EDT
Nathan Layne and Rajesh Kumar Singh
(Reuters) - New York will work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to "reimagine" the state's school system as part of broader reforms in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo told a daily briefing on Tuesday.
Cuomo, who has emerged as a leading national voice on states' efforts to battle the crisis, said he believed people were starting to see the pandemic as a rare opportunity to make large-scale changes.
"We have paid a very high price for what we are going through. But the hope is that we learn from it and that we are the better for it," Cuomo said, citing transportation, healthcare and schools as potential targets for reform.
"We don't want to go through all of this and replace what was there before," he said. "We want to build back better."
Cuomo said hospitals needed to be made more resilient and noted that New York City's subways would be shut for disinfection between 1 and 5 a.m. starting on Wednesday morning, likely presaging bigger changes for the nation's largest public transit system in the coming months.
He outlined plans to work with the foundation of Microsoft Corp co-founder Gates to improve New York's education system, which includes the largest public system in the country in New York City, with more than one million students.
While he did not provide specifics, Cuomo suggested a fundamental rethink of the classroom was on the table.
"The old model of everybody goes and sits in a classroom and the teacher is in front of that classroom, and teaches that class, and you do that all across the city, all across the state, all these buildings, all these physical classrooms '' why with all the technology you have?" Cuomo asked.
Cuomo is making plans for reopening New York, the worst-hit state by far with more than a third of the country's nearly 70,000 deaths, after a three-week decline in hospitalizations and a downtrend in the number of related deaths.
He said 230 New Yorkers died on Monday from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, a tick higher than Sunday but half the daily fatalities recorded two weeks ago. Hospitalizations and intubations continued to fall, Cuomo said.
The governor also called for a frank discussion about the trade-offs inherent in lifting restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, noting that some models were revising national death counts upwards due to the decision to start re-opening in more than half of the 50 states.
"The faster we reopen the lower the economic costs but the higher the human costs, because the more lives lost," Cuomo said. "That is the hard truth that we are all dealing with. Let's be honest about it."
Cuomo criticized comments by U.S. President Donald Trump, who told the New York Post that giving federal funds to states financially crippled by the crisis would amount to bailing out Democratic governors who had mismanaged their states.
Calling on Trump to take a bipartisan approach, Cuomo said blocking funds to states hit hardest by the pandemic would prove to be "self-defeating."
"If you starve the states, how do you expect states to fund" their reopening, said Cuomo, who has estimated New York faces a $10 to $15 billion budget shortfall. "If you go down this path of division you will defeat all of us."
Cuomo showed a slide of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, displaying former President Abraham Lincoln's famous line: "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
The memorial was the backdrop for Trump's virtual town hall on the pandemic broadcast by FOX News on Sunday night.
(reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut, and Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, David Gregorio and Sonya Hepinstall)
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Tue, 05 May 2020 18:32
VIDEO - PlanDemic, a film about the global plan to take control of our lives, liberty, health & freedom. - YouTube
Tue, 05 May 2020 16:26
VIDEO-Greta Lee Jackson on Twitter: "Thanks celebrities, for everything you do for us. #giveusyourmoney https://t.co/URCaZQmGiE" / Twitter
Tue, 05 May 2020 14:35
Log in Sign up Greta Lee Jackson @ gretaleejackson Thanks celebrities, for everything you do for us.
#giveusyourmoney pic.twitter.com/URCaZQmGiE 7:14 PM - 23 Apr 2020 Twitter by: Greta Lee Jackson @gretaleejackson Greta Lee Jackson @ gretaleejackson
Apr 23 Replying to
@wyattnixonlloyd @ninaoyama and
4 others @wyattnixonlloyd @ninaoyama @gregmlarsen @jeevesverma @Rodney_Todd @TomCBallard View conversation · Andrew Fisher ðŸ----ðŸ----ðŸ---- @ StrangeAF
Apr 24 Replying to
@gretaleejackson Greta is now a celebrity and now I resent this video.
View conversation · Greta Lee Jackson @ gretaleejackson
Apr 24 Replying to
@StrangeAF My bank account and house says different
View conversation · David Gleeson @ Dave1555
Apr 24 Replying to
@gretaleejackson @rickygervais lol
@rickygervais will love it.
View conversation · Greta Lee Jackson @ gretaleejackson
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@Dave1555 @rickygervais He's actually my hero, met him years ago at a screening during a rough time when I needed some serious reassuring about my career path, which he most definitely provided. Thanks
@rickygervais pic.twitter.com/3JN0AkHG2R View conversation · #STAYALIVE4SPITE 🐰 @ Jonessense
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@gretaleejackson That was brilliant!!! Is it on YouTube or Facebook so i can share?
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@Jonessense yes on both,
facebook.com/gretaleejackso'... View conversation · Greta Lee Jackson @ gretaleejackson
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@PeterWMurphy1 It's so out of touch huh
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@gretaleejackson @rickygervais @rickygervais perfect video for you this Ricky 👏
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@JD_Andy @rickygervais I hope he sees it :)
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VIDEO - Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: 15 total deaths reported at 1 Austin nursing home; Gov. Abbott to give update on state's response | kvue.com
Tue, 05 May 2020 13:19
CORONAVIRUS Here are the latest COVID-19 updates, closures and postponements in Central Texas for Tuesday, May 5.
AUSTIN, Texas '-- Editor's note: Gov. Greg Abbott will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to talk about what Texas is doing to fight COVID-19. You can watch his updates live in the video above when it starts or on KVUE's social media accounts.
KVUE is keeping you updated with the latest coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, news in the Austin area.
Scroll down for the top headlines and latest updates in KVUE's May 5 live blog.
COVID-19 Numbers:
Texas: There are more than 32,000 cases in the state, which increased by more than 2,300 over the weekend, and more than 880 people in Texas have died. Central Texas Counties: Travis County: More than 1,800 cases have been reported and at least 53 people have died.Williamson County: More than 320 cases have been reported and at least 10 people have died.Hays County: There have been more than 170 cases reported in the county and at least one death.Top Headlines:
Updates:
12:15 p.m. '' Williamson County reported its eleventh COVID-19 death from the coronavirus pandemic. The resident was a male in his 50s.
"It is crippling to get the news that the Coronavirus has claimed the life of another one of our residents. We stand with those who have lost a loved one to this deadly disease. It is in memory of those who have passed that we should make it a point to follow proper hygiene, consider wearing a face-covering, and try to minimize our exposure to those that are part of our vulnerable community,'' said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell.
196 people have recovered from COVID''19 in Williamson County as of May 5.
11:45 a.m. - The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announces the Austin State Supported Living Center will be hosting a virtual job fair in hopes of filling 200 positions at the facility.
The event will be streamed on Facebook Live on Thursday at 10 a.m.
Available positions and applications are posted here.
9:50 a.m. - One nursing home facility in Austin has reported a total of 15 deaths. That's up from 12 reported deaths last week at that facility, according to KVUE's Tony Plohetski.
A second nursing home facility in Austin has reported six deaths, 40 positive COVID-19 cases among residents and 28 positive cases among staff members, Plohetski confirmed.
The names of those facilities have not been released.
6 a.m. - Gov. Abbott is expected to hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to give an update on what Texas is doing to fight COVID-19.
Check back on this live blog for the latest updates Tuesday.
WATCH: Austin Mayor gives COVID-19 updates on KVUE Daybreak
VIDEO - Coronavirus: Rival states targeted UK and US coronavirus labs with 'malicious cyber campaigns' | UK News | Sky News
Tue, 05 May 2020 12:39
The UK and US have warned that state-backed cyber attackers are trying to steal data from universities, pharmaceuticals and research institutes involved in the coronavirus response.
Organisations trying to develop a COVID-19 vaccine are among those being targeted.
A joint advisory published on Tuesday did not name any specific country involved in the "malicious cyber campaigns", but culprits are understood to include China, Russia and Iran, as well as others.
Foreign secretary warns sophisticated networks of hackers targeting UK's COVID-19 responseThe UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a branch of GCHQ, and its US counterpart, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), urged workers in healthcare and medical research to change easy-to-guess passwords.
They also advised staff in these sectors to use two-factor authentication to help fend off what the agencies called "password spraying" campaigns, which hit a target with multiple common passwords in the hope that one will work.
Image: Staff have been advised to strengthen their passwordsThere is not thought to have been a successful attack on an institute in the UK, but Sky News understands attacks have had success elsewhere.
The significant rise in cyber attacks on research institutes and universities is thought to be in line with a shift in priorities of national governments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suddenly, access to information held by a rival nation's laboratories is of top importance.
The US-UK warning said the "advanced persistent threat" (APT) groups carrying out the cyber attacks - typically state-backed hackers - were targeting medical research and healthcare organisations as well as local government "to collect bulk personal information, intellectual property and intelligence that aligns with national priorities".
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The NCSC has made protecting the UK health sector its top priority in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, according to Paul Chichester, the director of operations.
"By prioritising any requests for support from health organisations and remaining in close contact with industries involved in the coronavirus response, we can inform them of any malicious activity and take the necessary steps to help them defend against it," he said.
"But we can't do this alone, and we recommend healthcare policy makers and researchers take our actionable steps to defend themselves from password spraying campaigns."
Security officials have identified targeting of national and international healthcare bodies, pharmaceutical companies, research organisations, and local government with the likely aim of gathering information related to the coronavirus outbreak, the joint US-UK statement said.
The warning followed a joint advisory from the NCSC and CISA last month about cyber criminals exploiting the coronavirus outbreak for their own personal gain.
They warned that the frequency of coronavirus-related cyber attacks will increase over the coming weeks and months.
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Last month, the NCSC created the Suspicious Email Reporting Service after seeing an increase in coronavirus-related email scams.
In its first week, the service received more than 25,000 reports - resulting in 395 phishing sites being taken down.
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VIDEO - Alberta launches ABTraceTogether app to improve contact tracing, fight COVID-19 spread | Globalnews.ca
Tue, 05 May 2020 08:55
UPDATE: Alberta's chief medical officer of health said on Monday, May 4 that more than 86,000 Albertans downloaded the app in its first weekend.
The province and Alberta Health Services launched a voluntarily smartphone application Friday that will use Bluetooth to more accurately and efficiently identify contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
Officials say this is the first contact-tracing app to launch in North America.
READ MORE: Coronavirus contact-tracing apps a good idea '-- if 'done correctly': Canadian cybersecurity expert
The app is called ABTraceTogether and is free to download.
The government and AHS worked with Deloitte to develop it, using similar technology used in Singapore as a model. However, the Alberta app collects less information than any other similar product being used by other jurisdictions (like Singapore, South Korea and Australia) to fight COVID-19.
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AHS says the more people use it, the more lives it has the potential of saving.
Once installed, the app uses a phone's Bluetooth to log anytime it comes within two metres of another person with the app for a cumulative 15 minutes.
The phones detect each other and exchange anonymous encrypted data, the province said. Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, described it as an ''encrypted digital handshake.'' No information is uploaded at that time; it is just stored in the app.
Apple IOS users need to have the app running in the foreground when they leave home, an AHS spokesperson explained, meaning their screen is unlocked and the app is visible on the screen. The app has a power-saving feature that help conserve battery life.
For Android users, the app can be either in the foreground or the background, AHS said.
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Alberta launches ABTraceTogether, an app to improve COVID-19 contact tracing in the province. May 1, 2020. Courtesy: Alberta governmentUsing the manual contact tracing process, if someone tests positive for COVID-19, they receive a phone call from an AHS contact tracer. Now, that person will ask if the patient has the ABTraceTogether app, and if so, if they consent to sharing its encounter history data.
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If the person agrees, that information provides the health official with a phone number and duration of exposure for anyone that positive COVID-19 case had contact with.
''Even when app users who may have been exposed are contacted, user identities will not be shared,'' Hinshaw said. ''Users will merely be informed that they have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
5:13 Alberta launches trace-tracking app Alberta launches trace-tracking app''If you are diagnosed with COVID and you consent with the information on your phone being used, the contact tracer will be able to match the unique non-identifiable IDs on your phone with the registered users' phone numbers via a merging of data.''
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READ MORE: How an Alberta contact-tracing app would work to help in fight against COVID-19
Then, AHS is able to notify them of the exposure, regardless of if the initial COVID-19 patient knows their name, has their number, or even remembers being in that location.
2:37 Alberta to launch contact tracing app to help in fight against COVID-19 Alberta to launch contact tracing app to help in fight against COVID-19 The manual approach relies on a person's ability to remember all their interactions and, in cases like someone in line at the grocery store, they don't have the ability to contact that person.
READ MORE: How does COVID-19 contact tracing work? Alberta doctor explains
AHS believes this technology will strengthen and speed up the contact tracing process '' but it won't replace the traditional contact tracing method.
''The use of technology for this purpose may seem intrusive but downloading the app is completely voluntarily,'' Hinshaw added.
Tweet This ''The app does not use your phone's GPS and does not track the user's location or contacts. The only information exchanged between users' phones is a random ID that is non-identifying. Nothing that is identifiable is exchanged.
''After 21 days, each day's worth of data is deleted one day at a time.''
5:02 Coronavirus outbreak: What are the privacy risks behind 'contact tracing' apps? Coronavirus outbreak: What are the privacy risks behind 'contact tracing' apps? Protecting Albertans' privacy was a big consideration during the app's development, the province said.
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The team worked with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner from the very early stages and has been in constant contact, the government said.
READ MORE: Alberta privacy commissioner investigating Babylon health app
It has submitted a privacy impact assessment to the OIPC and, while the privacy commissioner has not issued a formal decision, the team believes it will receive approval within a few weeks.
The privacy commissioner had some questions and sought more clarification on the app, but the team said it will provide those responses and the questions do not give them cause for concern or pause.
Rolling out this app quickly was critical, the officials said, stressing that it could save lives.
Alberta Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton said she supports Alberta Health's efforts to enhance contact tracing to respond to the pandemic.
Compared to other technologies being used worldwide to supplement contact tracing, she describes ABTraceTogether as ''a less invasive approach,'' which still relies on human expertise.
''Ensuring this app is voluntary, collects minimal information, uses decentralized storage of de-identified Bluetooth contact logs, and allows individuals to control their use of the app are positive components.
Tweet This ''People diagnosed with COVID-19 also decide whether to disclose to public health officials the contact log stored on their phone,'' Clayton said.
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''My office received a privacy impact assessment on the app earlier this week. An initial review has been undertaken and we have sent questions to Alberta Health to clarify certain aspects of the PIA.
''For example, I am seeking confirmation that the data collected through this app is to be used for contact tracing, and not for any other purpose.''
2:04 Coronavirus outbreak: COVID-19 contact tracing app gains traction in Europe Coronavirus outbreak: COVID-19 contact tracing app gains traction in Europe Ontario's former privacy commissioner has concerns.
''Phone numbers are easily linked to personally identifiable individuals,'' Ann Cavoukian told Global News.
''The risk, for me, is after the pandemic is over that this information could continue to be used afterwards. We need very clear sunset clauses.''
Tweet This The Opposition NDP supports the intent of the ABTraceTogether app but says its effectiveness is dependent on many Albertans trusting it's safe, secure and downloading it.
''Acceptance depends on trust, and for that, the government must be fully transparent about the app's privacy risks, and the steps the government has taken to limit those risks,'' said Heather Sweet, the NDP's critic for Democracy and Ethics.
She said the OIPC has 14 questions about the app that have not yet been answered.
Sweet also wants to see manual contact tracing be potentially ramped up if uptake on the app is not high.
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''Lastly, we believe the TraceTracker app must be suspended, and the information captured by it terminated, the moment the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted.''
READ MORE: Coronavirus: Could Alberta use smartphone apps to track patients, enforce quarantine?
The contract with Deloitte for the app is for up to $625,000 but AHS says an effective tracing app has a huge return on investment. It protects the health of Albertans better, reduces spread and fatalities, and allows Alberta to, in many ways, restart the economy.
This app uses Bluetooth '' not GPS '' so it doesn't track a person's movements or location. The government stressed this app is not being used for any kind of surveillance or enforcement.
1:55 Could Alberta use smartphone apps to track patients, enforce quarantine? Could Alberta use smartphone apps to track patients, enforce quarantine? AHS officials say, in the absence of a vaccine for COVID-19, contact tracing and physical distancing are the only main methods of preventing spread available.
While contact tracing targets the people at highest risk of infection in your closest social network, physical distancing targets a wider sphere of that network.
1:39 Gatherings with family, outside, in groups under 15 are acceptable: Hinshaw Gatherings with family, outside, in groups under 15 are acceptable: Hinshaw The app is voluntary and is opt-in/opt-out, the province stressed.
READ MORE: Trudeau open to 'voluntary' coronavirus tracking app but says privacy paramount
No identifiable information is exchanged between users and the information is only collected by AHS when a user tests positive for COVID-19 and voluntarily uploads their contact log. That encrypted encounter history log is automatically deleted from the phone after 21 days, the province said.
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The app is available free on Google Play and the Apple App store.
Alberta launches ABTraceTogether, an app to improve COVID-19 contact tracing in the province. May 1, 2020. Courtesy: Alberta governmentView link >>(C) 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
VIDEO - "A Nevada nurse who travelled to New York to help treat COVID-19 patients has posted a tearful Facebook Live video claiming that patients are not dying from the virus, but are being ''murdered'' by ''gross negligence and complete medical misman
Tue, 05 May 2020 08:50
Lou Gracie "A Nevada nurse who travelled to New York to help treat COVID-19 patients has posted a tearful Facebook Live video claiming that patients are not dying from the virus, but are being ''murdered'' by ''gross negligence and complete medical mismanagement.'' learn more at www.questioning covid.com
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VIDEO - Coronavirus In Pittsburgh: Researcher Killed In Apparent Murder-Suicide Was Close To 'Making Very Significant Findings' Related To COVID-19, Pitt Says '' CBS Pittsburgh
Tue, 05 May 2020 08:45
ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) '' A researcher killed in an apparent murder-suicide was close to ''making very significant findings'' related to the coronavirus, his department said.
Two shootings that happened over the weekend in Ross Township appear to be a murder-suicide, according to police.
On May 2, police said 37-year-old Bing Liu was found dead in his home on Elm Court from apparent gunshot wounds to his head, neck and torso. Investigators say they now believe his death is a homicide.
(Photo Credit: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine)
Liu was a research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, his department said on Monday.
''Bing was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cellular basis of the following complications. We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence,'' the department said on its website.
''His loss will be felt throughout the entire scientific community. Please keep his family, friends, and colleagues in your thoughts. Thank you,'' the department added.
WATCH: Man Killed In Murder-Suicide Was Pitt Researcher Studying Coronavirus
A second man was also found dead in his car on Charlemagne Circle, near Elm Court. Police say it appears he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
According to police, the two victims knew each other. Investigators say they believe the male found in his car shot and killed the man in the Elm Court home before coming back to his car and taking his own life.
Ross Township detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances and motives for the crime.
Police do not believe a suspect to be at large or a danger to the public.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.
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VIDEO - Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal: President Donald Trump immoral, doesn't tell the truth - ABC News
Tue, 05 May 2020 08:40
The former top commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, criticized President Donald Trump's behavior and handling of the presidency, saying the commander-in-chief is dishonest and immoral.
''I don't think he tells the truth,'' McChrystal said in an exclusive interview on ''This Week'' when asked by Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz if he believes the president is a liar.
''Is Trump immoral, in your view?'' Raddatz asked.
''I think he is,'' he said.
McChrystal said he couldn't tell any of Trump's supporters "that they are wrong," but added, "What I would ask every American to do is ... stand in front of that mirror and say, 'What are we about? Am I really willing to throw away or ignore some of the things that people do that are -- are pretty unacceptable normally just because they accomplish certain other things that we might like?'
"If we want to be governed by someone we wouldn't do a business deal with because their -- their background is so shady, if we're willing to do that, then that's in conflict with who I think we are. And so I think it's necessary at those times to take a stand."
McChrystal, a 34-year veteran of the U.S. Army, served as the head of the Joint Special Operations Command from 2003 to 2008 and later assumed command of all international forces in Afghanistan in June 2009. President Barack Obama relieved McChrystal of that command in June 2010 after Rolling Stone published controversial comments McChrystal made in an interview about the administration. In doing so, Obama still praised the general's "deep intelligence" and "love of the country."
Commander General Stanley A. McChrystal sits in a helicopter after a lengthy conference meeting with military officials at the forward operating base (FOB) Walton, outside of Kandahar, Afghanistan, Oct. 7, 2009.
Commander General Stanley A. McChrystal sits in a helicopter after a lengthy conference meeting with military officials at the forward operating base (FOB) Walton, outside of Kandahar, Afghanistan, Oct. 7, 2009. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images, FILEMcChrystal, who recently published a book on leadership styles throughout history called, ''Leaders: Myth and Reality,'' criticized Trump for not embodying effective leadership.
''The military talks about would they come for you. And what that means is if you're put into a difficult military situation, would that leader sacrifice himself, put himself and others at risk to come for you? I have to believe that the people I'm working for would do that, whether we disagree on a lot of other things. I'm not convinced from the behavior that I've seen that that's the case here,'' said McChrystal.
He also cautioned anyone who might fill the vacancy left by Defense Secretary James Mattis' departure, to consider if their values sufficiently align with those of the president.
"I think maybe it causes the American people to take pause and say, wait a minute, if we have someone who is as selfless and as committed as Jim Mattis resign his position, walking away from all the responsibility he feels for every service member in our forces and he does so in a public way like that, we ought to stop and say, 'OK, why did he do it?,'" McChrystal said on "This Week."
''I would ask [potential candidates] to look in the mirror and ask them if they can get comfortable enough with President Trump's approach to governance, how he conducts himself with his values and with his worldview to be truly loyal to him as a commander in chief and going forward,'' McChrystal said. ''If there's too much of a disconnect then I would tell him I think it's -- it would be a bad foundation upon which to try to build a successful partnership at that job.''
McChrystal said he would not take a job in the Trump administration if he were asked.
"I think it's important for me to work for people who I think are basically honest, who tell the truth as best they know it," he said. "I'm very tolerant of people who make mistakes because I make so many of them -- and I've been around leaders who've made mistakes ... but through all of them, I almost never saw people trying to get it wrong. And I almost never saw people who were openly disingenuous on things."
He also disagreed with Trump's approach to his visit to Iraq last week to address troops, saying the president was wrong to politicize a usually non-political occasion. In addition to talking extensively about domestic political issues in his speech to troops, Trump autographed troops' ''Make America Great Again'' hats. The president said in a tweet that the hats were not provided by the White House.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to speak to members of the U.S. military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on Dec. 26, 2018.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive to speak to members of the U.S. military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on Dec. 26, 2018. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty ImagesMcChrystal said he understood why many young troops would want signed memorabilia from the president, comparing it to meeting a celebrity, but also warned that it ''violated the spirit'' of the military code and that the military's apolitical status should be preserved.
''If we encourage young military members to be Republicans or Democrats or anything particular, you start to create schisms in an infantry platoon,'' McChrystal told Raddatz on "This Week."
''I never knew who was a Democrat or Republican and even when we were generals, when you got in a room, you never talked about politics because it was just considered bad form," he said. "I think if we allow it or encourage it, I think we are going to create something that could be a slippery slope.''
McChrystal also disagreed with Trump's announcement to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, warning it would lead to "greater instability" in the Middle East.
"What difference does it make -- does it really make, if those 2,000 U.S. forces leave?" Raddatz asked.
''If you pull American influence out, you're likely to have greater instability and of course it'll be much more difficult for the United States to try to push events in any direction. There is an argument that says we just pull up our stuff, go home, let the region run itself. That has not done well for the last 50 or 60 years,'' McChrystal said.
In announcing the withdrawal from Syria earlier this month, Trump touted victory over the Islamic State, or ISIS, there, declaring, ''We have defeated ISIS in Syria.''
McChrystal disagreed, citing the continued threat of ISIS' ideology.
''I don't believe ISIS is defeated,'' McChrystal said. ''I think ISIS is as much an idea as it is a number of ISIS fighters. There's a lot of intelligence that says there are actually more ISIS fighters around the world now than there were a couple of years ago.''
U.S. Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit carry rounds to an M777 Howitzer gun line in preparation for fire missions in northern Syria as part of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, Mar. 21, 2017.
U.S. Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit carry rounds to an M777 Howitzer gun line in preparation for fire missions in northern Syria as part of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, Mar. 21, 2017. Zachery C. Laning/U.S. Marine Corps, FILEABC News has also reported that Trump plans to reduce U.S. forces in Afghanistan by half, about 7,000 troops. In a statement to Bloomberg Friday, Garrett Marquis, a spokesperson for the National Security Council said Trump "has not made a determination to" to withdraw troops from Afghanistan or "directed the Department of Defense to begin the process of withdrawing" troops. Marquis did not respond when ABC News requested further comment.
"Do you see that as a problem?" Raddatz asked McChrystal.
''I think the great mistake in the president's leaked guidance is that just when we were starting to sit down with the Taliban, just we were starting to begin negotiations, he basically traded away the biggest leverage point we have. If you tell the Taliban that we are absolutely leaving on a date ... their incentives to try to cut a deal dropped dramatically,'' McChrystal said.
McChrystal added that the decision could have a lasting impact on the trust in the alliance between the United States and the democratically-elected Afghan government it supports.
''Of course I was worried about the confidence of the Afghan people because at the end of the day, that's what determines who wins in Afghanistan,'' McChrystal said. ''And I think we probably rocked them -- we rocked them in their belief that we are allies that can be counted on.''
VIDEO-Mayor Lightfoot Defends Getting A Haircut During The Stay-At-Home Order - WBBM Newsradio On-Demand - Omny.fm
Tue, 05 May 2020 01:03
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VIDEO-Coronavirus In Pittsburgh: Researcher Killed In Apparent Murder-Suicide Was Close To 'Making Very Significant Findings' Related To COVID-19, Pitt Says '' CBS Pittsburgh
Tue, 05 May 2020 01:02
ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) '' A researcher killed in an apparent murder-suicide was close to ''making very significant findings'' related to the coronavirus, his department said.
Two shootings that happened over the weekend in Ross Township appear to be a murder-suicide, according to police.
On May 2, police said 37-year-old Bing Liu was found dead in his home on Elm Court from apparent gunshot wounds to his head, neck and torso. Investigators say they now believe his death is a homicide.
(Photo Credit: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine)
Liu was a research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, his department said on Monday.
''Bing was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cellular basis of the following complications. We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence,'' the department said on its website.
''His loss will be felt throughout the entire scientific community. Please keep his family, friends, and colleagues in your thoughts. Thank you,'' the department added.
WATCH: Man Killed In Murder-Suicide Was Pitt Researcher Studying Coronavirus
A second man was also found dead in his car on Charlemagne Circle, near Elm Court. Police say it appears he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
According to police, the two victims knew each other. Investigators say they believe the male found in his car shot and killed the man in the Elm Court home before coming back to his car and taking his own life.
Ross Township detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances and motives for the crime.
Police do not believe a suspect to be at large or a danger to the public.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.
VIDEO-PLANDEMIC Part 1 (Dr. Judy Mikovits) - YouTube
Tue, 05 May 2020 00:57
VIDEO-(302) Dead Zone - Plague - YouTube
Tue, 05 May 2020 00:57
VIDEO-Chris Massey on Twitter: "@SomeBitchIKnow @johncardillo @adamcurry @THErealDVORAK I seem to recall a recent piece on this exact conversation. Good thread here" / Twitter
Tue, 05 May 2020 00:56
Have you heard Fauci's line of reasoning as to why Remdesivir is such a success?(The only edit made to the video is cutting out lots of dead air, otherwise this is exactly as presented.)
pic.twitter.com/Lsn2MkesUL
VIDEO-Scarborough: 'You're Not Well,' Tells Trump He Should Let Pence Fill In For Him | Crooks and Liars
Mon, 04 May 2020 18:22
Donald Trump started the day with this:
''Concast'' should open up a long overdue Florida Cold Case against Psycho Joe Scarborough. I know him and Crazy Mika well, used them beautifully in the last Election, dumped them nicely, and will state on the record that he is ''nuts''. Besides, bad ratings! #OPENJOECOLDCASE
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2020
Joe Scarborough responded by saying he understood that Trump didn't want to hear about the impending second wave of the pandemic.
"Obviously, Donald, you didn't want to hear that again. I know I've been saying it a lot. You actually tweeted something extraordinarily cruel. I know you meant to be extraordinarily cruel to me by attacking me, by bringing up a conspiracy theory that has lived in the gutters of the internet for some time now.
"But just like the Seth Rich conspiracy murder that was pushed by your allies, you don't understand the pain you cause, you cause to families who have already lost a loved one. Not me. Not my children. Not anybody that knows me or -- they know the truth. You, once again, drag a family through this and make them relive it again, just like Seth Rich's parents. As if losing a loved one the first time isn't enough." (An autopsy showed a former staffer collapsed due to an undiagnosed heart condition and suffered a fatal blow to the head as she fell.)
"But this weekend, my God, you were supposed to have a working weekend. You got it wrong again. You said 50,000, 60,000. Now you said 100,000 deaths. What did you do during your working weekend?"
He listed all the people Trump attacked this weekend, including former president George W. Bush.
"You attacked George W. Bush for simply sending out a unifying message, to give Americans hope. He said positive things about Americans. He said positive things about health care workers. He said positive things about this country. He said, 'We choose to rise.' Even that offended you."
He said Trump needed a break.
"Mr. President, I ask that you get checked out. I ask that you take a rest. I ask that you take care of yourself. Maybe let Mike Pence run things for the next week. You're not well. Let Mike Pence work with Dr. Fauci, work with Dr. Birx," he said. He said it would be best for the country, and for the Republican party.
He repeated his advice.
"Mr. President, you're getting worse every day. You need to take a rest. You need to let Mike Pence actually run things for the next couple of weeks. Come back when you're feeling a little better and when you can really actually focus on your job. You just can't do that right now.
"Americans are dying every day because of it."
Brilliant. Trump's blood pressure must be in the red zone right now.
VIDEO-Brian Tyler Cohen on Twitter: "Don Lemon with zero fucks left. https://t.co/kbC0zghhzB" / Twitter
Mon, 04 May 2020 13:59
Log in Sign up Brian Tyler Cohen @ briantylercohen Don Lemon with zero fucks left.
pic.twitter.com/kbC0zghhzB 8:51 PM - 3 May 2020 Twitter by: Timothy Burke @bubbaprog l E T 17 @ Inevitable_ET
7h Replying to
@briantylercohen pic.twitter.com/3iI1wqYHZu View conversation · TOKeeney '­¸'­¸'­¸ @ LineWork
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@Inevitable_ET @briantylercohen pic.twitter.com/QI5MZhOvfw View conversation · Hemz da Maori @ 100percentmaori
15h Replying to
@briantylercohen @realDonaldTrump I'm from New Zealand and we are watching America very closely. We laugh now and then at the vomit that comes out of
@realDonaldTrump mouth. But we are also feeling heart broken for you all. Democrats and Republicans dont exist in our eyes. We see a nation under the Trump dictator
View conversation · Shanon Lynne @ ShanonLynne
15h Replying to
@100percentmaori @briantylercohen @realDonaldTrump My folks have really good friends in NZ and they say the exact same thing.... ðŸIt'll be better 1/21/21''£¸
View conversation · Elizabeth @ elisabeth0767
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@briantylercohen This is the best thing I've seen in awhile :)
View conversation · Mike Himsworth @ MikeHimsworth
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@elisabeth0767 @briantylercohen Then you haven't seen much.
View conversation · Shay Ann @ TrapandChakras
11h Replying to
@RichardMcNeil17 @briantylercohen @Blueboogeyman Exactly!! People aren't seeing the connections! Take Race and judgements out. Looking at facts Obama signed that damn patent in 2007 for the creation of the Novel corona virus .. when people's eyes open .. they will be shocked.
View conversation · ðŸŒ>> ð''¥ð'‘'ð''ƒð''ƒð''¾ ðŸŒ>> @ RaiderJenni
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@briantylercohen @24ovoKevin Drop it 🎤
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VIDEO-Lockdown Protests - The Great Awakening WorldWide (Huge Compilation Mai 2020) - YouTube
Mon, 04 May 2020 13:46
VIDEO-80s MTV VHS Recordings 1981 to 1989 Collection : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
Mon, 04 May 2020 13:38
VIDEO - Alaska school board removes 'The Great Gatsby,' other famous books from curriculum for 'controversial' content
Mon, 04 May 2020 12:54
An Alaska school board removed five famous '-- but allegedly "controversial" '-- books from district classrooms, inadvertently renewing local interest in the excluded works.
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller, "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien, "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald and "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison were all taken off an approved list of works that teachers in the Mat-Su Borough School District may use for instruction.
The school board voted 5-2 on Wednesday to yank the works out of teachers' hands starting this fall. The removed books contain content that could potentially harm students, school board Vice President Jim Hart told NBC News on Tuesday.
"If I were to read these in a corporate environment, in an office environment, I would be dragged into EO," an equal opportunity complaint proceeding, Hart said. "The question is why this is acceptable in one environment and not another."
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"Caged Bird" was derided for "anti-white' messaging," "Gatsby" and "Things" are loaded with "sexual references," "Invisible Man" has bad language and "Catch-22" includes violence, according to the school district.
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Dianne K. Shibe, president of the Mat-Su Education Association teachers union, said parents and her members were stunned by the board action.
Even though the school board had listed an agenda item to discuss "controversial book descriptions," Shibe said, no one believed those works were under serious threat.
"Most of the community didn't respond, because these books had been used forever," Shibe told NBC News. "Now in retrospect, it's like, 'duh.' I could have seen this coming."
Shibe said her union would push board members to reconsider their action.
"This is not set in stone," she said. "The union is all about educating students, and this flies in the face of educating students."
Mary Ann Cockle, owner of Fireside Books in Palmer, about a mile from district headquarters, said her store ran out of copies of the books within hours of the board's action.
"People who had read the books years ago are buying them to read again and to give away," Cockle said Tuesday. "Our biggest outpouring of support are people buying the books and donating them or leaving them to us to distribute for free."
A new shipment of "Caged" and "Invisible Man" arrived at Fireside on Tuesday, and Cockle expects them all to be gone by Wednesday.
"I don't think they realized they were treading on censorship, and people are completely opposed to censorship," she said.
Hart insisted that the books are not "banned" and said they all remain in district libraries.
Even though students are still free to read the books on their own, Hart said, it would be unfair to ask teachers to have to navigate their pupils through the complicated subject matter.
"These are teachers, not counselors," Hart said.
Several books that were not removed from classrooms also came under harsh scrutiny.
"The Jungle" and "A Christmas Carol" could be interpreted as advocating for socialism, while "A Street in Bronzeville" was called into question for showing too much "realism" in describing racism against African Americans, according to a district memo.
David K. Li David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
VIDEO - Sommer -WATCH THIS WATCH THIS Sum Sum DON'T - YouTube
Mon, 04 May 2020 12:32
VIDEO - Judge Jeanine: The FBI needs a complete overhaul - YouTube
Mon, 04 May 2020 12:31
VIDEO - Liveleak.com - The News With Books In The Background
Mon, 04 May 2020 11:54
33 The News With Books In The Background epic lols
VIDEO - Dr. Fauci's DARKEST SECRET Surfaces As His Predictive Model Crushes Trump Economy | Dr. Mikovits pHd - YouTube
Mon, 04 May 2020 11:40
VIDEO-CNN's Jake Tapper, Gov. Whitmer Say Michigan Protesters Nazis And Racists
Sun, 03 May 2020 22:16
Skip to contentDemonstrators stormed state capitol to protest governor's tyrannical lockdown measuresDemocrat Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer went on CNN to complain about the anti-lockdown protesters unhappy with her illogical and tyrannical coronavirus lockdown measures, comparing them to neo-Nazis and racists.
With the help of CNN's liberal activist host Jake Tapper on Sunday, Whitmer portrayed the armed protesters who stormed Michigan's capitol to express their disapproval of her many new lockdown policies as a nothing but a group of angry racists.
Tapper first asked Whitmer if the Michigan protesters were ''in the same vein as the Charlottesville Neo-Nazis'' given President Trump defended them on Twitter.
''Some of the outrageousness of what happened at our capitol this week, um, you know, depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country,'' Whiter replied.
Whitmer then pointed to some protesters with swastikas on their signs as evidence of Nazi intentions, seemingly unaware that the swastikas were used to depict Whitmer's authoritarian policies.
''The Confederate flags and nooses, the swastikas, the behavior that you've seen in all the clips is not representative of who we are in Michigan,'' she continued. ''And the fact of the matter is, I mean, we're in a global pandemic. This isn't something we just negotiate ourselves out of as a political matter.''
Is this protester, a black man who explained his desire to go to work again and rejection of government ''handouts'', one of the Nazis Whitmer is referring to?
''Just allow me to work, as a man of color. I don't want any handouts,'' he said. ''Just giving me free stuff, it takes away my dignity'...why should I depend on other people to take care of me?''
Gov. @GovWhitmer called this man a ''Nazi'' this morning.
She has lost touch with reality and the people of her state '-- Whitmer needs to be recalled. pic.twitter.com/yn9AgStEuh
'-- Benny (@bennyjohnson) May 3, 2020
Twitter: Follow @WhiteIsTheFury
Gab: https://gab.com/WhiteIsTheFury
Minds: https://www.minds.com/whiteisthefury
Owen Shroyer remotes in to The Alex Jones Show from the Texas Capitol to report on Texans' response to the armed demonstration in Michigan.
Pick up the next evolution of activated nascent iodine today with Survival Shield X-3 now at 60% off!
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VIDEO-Sommer -WATCH THIS WATCH THIS Sum Sum DON'T - YouTube
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VIDEO-British Monarchy Attempts to Overthrow Trump - YouTube
Sun, 03 May 2020 16:05

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All Clips

Diddy Talks To Naomi Campbell About The Black Vote.mp3
Adler responds to Gov Abbott regarding masks - Threatens Citizens.mp3
Michigan Gov Whittmer setup by Tapper to call protester Nazi's SHAMEFUL.mp3
Trump lincoln town hall -1- Pharma needs to move back home.mp3
Trump lincoln town hall -2- Martha seemingly rattles him on Pharma meetings.mp3
Trump lincoln town hall lab -3- Quesiton about blame to China.mp3
Chinese academic claims Australia's call for COVID-19 inquiry is 'divisive' 60 Minutes Australia.mp3
Dr Drew - Never Studied Social Distancing.mp3
Dr Drew - Outdoor Transmission.mp3
Dr Drew - Shutdown High School Student.mp3
Dr Mikovitz -3- The vaccine helps drive the immune system into Cytokine.mp3
Dr Mikovitz -3-Fauci shold be held criminally accountable.mp3
Dr Mikovitz -1- Known For - XMRV as it relates to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Contaminated in blood.mp3
Dr Mikovitz -2- Vaccines published report 36 prcnt more chance of contracting covid-19.mp3
VIDEO - WV State Governor Jim Justice Makes a Statement Claiming an Audio Glitch During May 4th Briefing.mp3
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice Encourages Small Businesses to Fuckin Follow The Guidelines.mp3
DVid Icke towers going up.mp3
Honduras corruption DN.mp3
Kayleigh Mcenany ends press conference on hot note.mp3
Kayleigh on politics of masks.mp3
Krystal Ball dishes on Cuba by accident.mp3
meat shortage - native ad.mp3
meat shortage.mp3
mourning in America DN.mp3
mystery covid childrens disease CBS.mp3
new bankruptcies disney CBS.mp3
Newy York dead and vaccine CBS.mp3
nora opens with mutant virus.mp3
Pompaeo on Wuhan origins wild.mp3
SFprotests oer hotels DN.mp3
source of mutant strain DN.mp3
the bright guy reemerges CBS.mp3
Trump in AZ no mask DN.mp3
viet name dubious report DN.mp3
California beachs DN.mp3
CIVID Mexico El Slavador.mp3
DAVID ICKE OFCOMM story 5g.mp3
Dr Bright ignored DN.mp3
Morning Joe now also talking to Trump like Don Lemon.mp3
Veritas Nails CBS at faking testing scene making real patients wait in line.mp3
Don Lemon's stye of talking to Trump.mp3
HHS Sec Azar on Fox & Friends regarding leaked Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Report.mp3
Alberta launches ABTraceTogether app to improve contact tracing, fight COVID-19 spread.mp3
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Defends Decision to Get Haircut Amid Coronaviru.mp3
Alaska school board removes 'The Great Gatsby,' other famous books from curriculum for 'controversial' content.mp3
Pittsburgh Researcher Killed In Apparent Murder-Suicide Was Close To ‘Making Very Significant Findings’ Related To COVID-19.mp3
Plaid Complaint.pdf
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    those boys are just gonna get in the
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    trouble the way they think Adam Curry
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    John C. Dvorak this is no agenda and
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    from northern Silicon Valley where I
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    have the exact right amount of clips I
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    can explain why later I'm John C Devorah
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    [Music]
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    well I know the feeling when you wake up
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    and everything's there and you're like
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    oh my god have the exact right amount of
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    claps yeah the last show and now we
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    don't play everything but we came to the
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    party with almost 70 clips yeah we came
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    with too many that's quite a lot of
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    quite a lot of clips yes do you want to
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    expand on why it's just the right amount
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    of will that come later yeah what I've
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    did my newest process is I take the
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    clips and I print them on a sheet on the
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    left hand side landscape style
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    oh okay and so that leaves a bunch of
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    room on the page usually have to have
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    two sheet for taking notes writing down
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    potential titles things like this stuff
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    yeah yeah and when I folded the paper in
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    half it usually has the clips or there's
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    a lot of little white space over there
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    there was a it's perfect it's like when
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    you fold it in half to create a you know
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    landscape Felipe's piece of paper fold
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    in half the the length of everything is
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    just perfect it fit on the sheet
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    perfectly well so this is the exact
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    right amount of clips that is an
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    interesting observation I have something
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    very similar I have a window open and
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    it's the clip bin and I tossed like so I
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    have your clips in the morning that's in
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    a folder it's closed but then when that
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    when that bin is filled to the bottom
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    before it starts to scroll that's my
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    sign that I have the ideal amount of
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    clips
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    there you go this is everybody out there
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    is fascinating
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    inside the podcasters studio everybody
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    without of Korean Jon sliver egg so
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    we're almost well we're on our road to
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    recovery here tomorrow make Texas in
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    Texas yes tomorrow May 8th barbershops
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    and hair salons may commence Louis about
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    time well this through everybody fairly
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    everybody needs a haircut oh do I ever
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    oh man I look scraggly Tina's
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    complaining about her about her roots
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    well that's what women do but I
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    understand so I immediately texted my my
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    hair gal she's like well because this
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    was Friday yeah Friday so we've been
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    totally blindsided by this we don't know
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    what to do we're not ready they were I
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    think that the the hair industry was
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    kind of kicked back like the month
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    whatever I'm flying goodbye haircut so I
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    guess we should immediately talk about
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    the haircut of the Chicago mayor which
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    she did despite actually telling
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    everybody that you shouldn't go to the
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    hair salon he or she is the whole
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    thing's kind of explained in this clip
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    you hadn't heard it yet Mayer Lightfoot
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    facing criticism tonight after getting
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    her hair done a photo surfaced of the
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    mayor with a hairdresser but she
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    appeared to ignore social distancing
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    efforts standing right next to them for
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    the picture when asked about that photo
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    today this is what the mayor had to say
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    I'm the public face of this city I'm on
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    national media and I'm out in the public
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    eye and you know I map I'm I'm a person
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    who I take my personal hygiene very
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    seriously as I said I felt like I needed
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    to have a haircut I'm not able to do
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    that myself and so I got a haircut
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    I'm going to talk more about that part
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    of the criticism came from the fact that
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    the mayor had called on people not to go
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    out and get their hair done in one of
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    her stay home save lives PSA so that
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    pissed people off and I kind of liked
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    how she takes her personal hygiene very
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    seriously it's important to her is it
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    personal hygiene really involved with
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    washing your hair as opposed to getting
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    a cut well maybe it was more than that
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    for her did you use the word hygiene
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    personal appearance different yes what's
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    great though and all of this is in the
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    show notes the videos in there as well
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    and it's in a show notes calm what's
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    great to watch is when she's saying that
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    this the the woman who was signing next
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    to her is making these horrible faces
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    you know how they they really do a lot
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    of the expression when they're signing
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    and and they and they mimic some of the
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    words and and she actually was looking
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    at the mayor going like grimacing her
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    face like I'm a portent it's something
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    that has to be seen it's very very funny
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    once you take your attention off
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    Lightfoot herself so in Texas Governor
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    Abbott said okay me these the the broad
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    announcements May 8th hair salons
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    barbershops I think nail salons as well
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    on the 18th
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    Jim's other types of athletic places and
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    I think on the 18th and restaurants can
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    go to 50% so that's moving along but oh
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    no we can't have that with our mayor
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    adlet here in Austin no no oh no this is
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    wrong
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    yeah you know it's a way too early of
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    course how could we go back to the
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    Abbott and Abbott specifically said you
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    this supersedes everything but everybody
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    here in Austin wants to have masks on
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    outside it's 99 degrees I'm barely
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    surviving let alone some coronavirus in
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    the air it's not happening so Adler well
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    since you can't find you he'll guilt you
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    into wearing a mask clear this up for me
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    are we still required to wear the masks
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    in Austin or did the governor's order
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    supersede that well
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    Gunnar's order said that we weren't
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    allowed to have a penalty of a civil or