1246: 3X3

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 16m
May 28th, 2020
Share at 0:00

Executive Producers: Sir Tony Cabrera - No Agenda Shop, Janet Fiore Kramer, Sir OMA - Noble Knight of the Number 5 Tee Box, Faisal Almofqaei

Associate Executive Producers: Sir Drumcat, Dame of The Crystal Core, Adam Scheve, Sir Knight of the East Side, Sir James Howard, Shawn Smith

Cover Artist: Comic Strip Blogger


Start of Show
Suggest a new chapter
Oh Elon!
Musk Launch Numbers
any more proof needed?
There is no reason to set it for
4:33pm launch time...can't be.
This was the first evidence when I
noticed many years ago something fishy going on, that the launch pad was named
39A. Are there 38 other launch pads? No. Only 2 I think (or a few).
It is 39 = 19.5 * 2
19.5 is a big masonic number.
nice clip on Anderson Coopers show
with the reporter spurting out the time of 4:33 - I just don't have a clip of
from search of Google - their main
Tune in starting at 12:15 p.m. EDT as NASA and
SpaceX provide joint, live coverage from launch to arrival at
the space station. Teams
Elon has anti gravity technology
Just Like that guy was given the semi conductor technology
Earth's Magnetic Field Weakens, Impacting Satellites and Spacecraft: Space Agency
Mon, 25 May 2020 07:56
The Earth's magnetic field is weakening between Africa and South America, causing problems for spacecraft and satellites, scientists with the European Space Agency (ESA) have said.
Researchers noted that there is an anomaly in the South Atlantic that has grown in recent years. Data from the ESA's Swarm constellation of satellites showed that the magnetic field's strength in the area dropped by 8 percent between 1970 and 2020.
Meanwhile, the weakness in the field has moved to the west at a pace of around 12 miles per year, according to scientists.
''The new, eastern minimum of the South Atlantic Anomaly has appeared over the last decade and in recent years is developing vigorously,'' said J¼rgen Matzka, from the German Research Centre for Geosciences, in an ESA news release.
He added, ''We are very lucky to have the Swarm satellites in orbit to investigate the development of the South Atlantic Anomaly. The challenge now is to understand the processes in Earth's core driving these changes.''
One possibility for the shift, according to the ESA, is that it's a sign the Earth's magnetic field is about to reverse, meaning that the North Pole and South Pole may switch places.
This map shows the location of the north magnetic pole (white star) and the magnetic declination (contour interval 2 degrees) at the beginning of 2019.(NOAA NCEI/CIRES)The last time this phenomenon took place was approximately 700,000 years ago, and such events usually take place every 250,000 years.
An event of such magnitude could have serious repercussions as magnetic fields play a role in protecting Earth from cosmic radiation and solar winds.
Satellite and telecommunication systems also use the Earth's magnetic field to operate, meaning that a shift could trigger devastating problems to worldwide communication.
What's more, the agency said that spacecrafts and satellites flying in the are could suffer ''technical malfunctions.''
However, a report in the ''Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences'' in 2018 found that weakening does not suggest that the Earth's magnetic field is reversing, saying that the process would take thousands of years.
An illustration of the two main types of space radiation'--galactic cosmic rays from supernova explosions and other events extremely far from our solar system, and solar flares and ejections of matter from the sun's corona. The illustration also shows how Earth's magnetic field affects the radiation in space near Earth. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI)The ESA stated that it would continue to monitor the weakening magnetic field with its Swarm satellites.
''The mystery of the origin of the South Atlantic Anomaly has yet to be solved,'' the news release said. ''However, one thing is certain: magnetic field observations from Swarm are providing exciting new insights into the scarcely understood processes of Earth's interior.''
The ESA says the magnetic field is generated by extremely hot swirling liquid iron that comprises Earth's outer core.
We may have spotted a parallel universe going backwards in time | New Scientist
Wed, 27 May 2020 07:00
Strange particles observed by an experiment in Antarctica could be evidence of an alternative reality where everything is upside down
Space 8 April 2020 By Jon Cartwright
Graham Carter
IN THE Antarctic, things happen at a glacial pace. Just ask Peter Gorham. For a month at a time, he and his colleagues would watch a giant balloon carrying a collection of antennas float high above the ice, scanning over a million square kilometres of the frozen landscape for evidence of high-energy particles arriving from space.
When the experiment returned to the ground after its first flight, it had nothing to show for itself, bar the odd flash of background noise. It was the same story after the second flight more than a year later.
While the balloon was in the sky for the third time, the researchers decided to go over the past data again, particularly those signals dismissed as noise. It was lucky they did. Examined more carefully, one signal seemed to be the signature of a high-energy particle. But it wasn't what they were looking for. Moreover, it seemed impossible. Rather than bearing down from above, this particle was exploding out of the ground.
That strange finding was made in 2016. Since then, all sorts of suggestions rooted in known physics have been put forward to account for the perplexing signal, and all have been ruled out. What's left is shocking in its implications. Explaining this signal requires the existence of a topsy-turvy universe created in the same big bang as our own and existing in parallel with it. In this mirror world, positive is negative, left is right and time runs backwards. It is perhaps the most mind-melting idea ever to '...
Back to Work!
Truck driver BOTG Report
figured it was time to offer the perspective of someone who has been on the
road in eleven different states since the current troubles began.
haul custom doors, windows, and cabinets for two dedicated customers. The bulk
of my deliveries are in Pennsylvania, New York (upstate), and Indiana. When His
Royal Majesty, the Governor of Pennsylvania, offered the edict from his royal
chamber in March that all “non-life sustaining” businesses be closed, I assumed
I was out of business as all of my contractor supply houses were on the banned
list. I assumed wrong. Every single customer stayed open. ABC Supply, Window
World, and a host of small independent suppliers never closed. In fact, when I
asked one receiving clerk in York, PA “So, how’s business?” he didn’t hesitate.
“Ain’t slowed down a bit! Motherfuckers won’t stay home!” I did see about a 30%
drop in the volume of products in my trailer, but I never stopped going to
these customers. There was always something to deliver.
been on the road and engaged in commerce over these last ten weeks. I feel like
I’m living and operating in a different and alternate dimension. If I look at
the television, it’s as though I’m looking through a portal into a different
world. The recent NASCAR races are the best example. No fans, everyone is
“distancing” and wearing masks, and the atmosphere is tense. Yet out here in
Dimension B where I am, I see a few masks and some roped off tables or closed
restaurants, but at LEAST 75% of the population hasn’t changed their lives.
This has been consistent since the beginning. My personal experiences crushed
the “stay home and flatten the curve” and “the numbers don’t match the models
because the lockdowns worked” as I watched the overwhelming majority of the
Human Resources carry on as normal. It’s just a bizarre experience. Your
outstanding and unparalleled analysis has helped me to understand why I’m
seeing one thing in “real life” and something else coming from the
New York to Texas and West Virginia to Illinois, I’ve traveled in eleven states
and at least fifteen major cities, watching and observing as 75-80% of us never
stayed inside, have yet to wear a mask, and have continued to live our lives
with little change. The random conversations with complete strangers have been
informative as well as we talk about how Operation Enduring Clusterfuck has
gone and how we are handling it. My informal poll of regular folks shows me
that at least 90% aren’t buying it. They’re asking a lot of good questions and
the elites don’t really understand (And likely never will) how completely
they’ve screwed up. I even have lifelong Democrat family members that will be
voting for Trump for no other reason than to spit in the eye of these people
who worship at the altar of the god of science and the state. I’m hitting as
many of them in the mouth as possible so that they can get some actual analysis
of these events.
Thank you for your courage and keep up the good work.
House, WV
The CDC Just Gave Us the Biggest Reason to End the Coronavirus Lockdowns
Mon, 25 May 2020 07:54
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nows estimates that 35 percent of coronavirus infections are asymptomatic.
But that's not even the most important part of their latest estimates. It's the CDC's new ''best estimate'' for the case fatality rate amongst symptomatic patients.
But, before I got to that, I should note that back in March, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated a 3.4 percent fatality rate and Dr. Anthony Fauci estimated that the fatality rate of the coronavirus was about 2 percent.
President Trump was skeptical of both those numbers, particularly the WHO's estimate: ''Well, I think the 3.4 percent is really a false number,'' Trump told Sean Hannity. ''Now, and this is just my hunch, and '-- but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this. Because a lot of people will have this and it's very mild. They'll get better very rapidly. They don't even see a doctor. They don't even call a doctor. I think that that number is very high. I think the number, personally, I would say the number is way under 1 percent.''
SEE ALSO: The United States STILL Doesn't Lead The World In Coronavirus DeathsSeveral studies have suggested that Trump was right. But, now here's what the CDC is saying about the fatality rate the coronavirus:
0-49 years old: .05%50-64 years old: .2%65+ years old: 1.3%Overall ages: .4%According to the CDC's current best estimate, the case fatality rate of the coronavirus is .4 percent. And that's just amongst symptomatic cases, which, the CDC estimates, is 65 percent of all cases. This means the CDC estimates that the fatality rate for all infections across all age groups, symptomatic as well as asymptomatic, is approximately .26 percent.
Quick video showing how to calculate the IFR from the CFR which the CDC gave us using actuals AND the 35% asymptomatic rate.
I think I have this right now. pic.twitter.com/XuC8f3FVtf
'-- Justin Hart (@justin_hart) May 22, 2020
The CDC does caution that the numbers are likely to change with new data, but considering we've gone from 3.4 percent to 2.0 percent to now 0.26 percent. The more data we get, the lower the numbers get. So, I'm thinking it might get even lower.
But, the bigger takeaway from this is that the early doomsday predictions about the coronavirus were all wrong. Everything that justified the lockdowns and the shutting down of our economy was wrong. We need to open this country back up.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama . You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis
500 Doctors Tell Trump To End COVID-19 Shutdown, Warn It Will Cause More Deaths | The Daily Wire
Sun, 24 May 2020 21:22
On March 22, President Trump took to Twitter and typed out a message in all-caps: ''WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!''
That was more than a month ago. And while all 50 states have begun to take some steps toward reopening shuttered businesses and closed restaurants, the pace is achingly slow.
Now, 500 doctors have banded together to tell Trump to mandate an end the coronavirus shutdown, saying it is a ''mass casualty incident'' that will cause more death and destruction than the virus itself.
''We are alarmed at what appears to be the lack of consideration for the future health of our patients. The downstream health effects of deteriorating a level are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error,'' says a letter written by Simone Gold, a California emergency medical specialist, and signed by hundreds of doctors.
''The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure,'' the letter says. ''In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.''
''Because the harm is diffuse, there are those that hold it does not exist. We, the undersigned, know otherwise,'' the letter concludes.
''Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%,'' the letter sent to the president says, also noting that liquor sales have increased 300% to 600%.
Other doctors have also started to call for changes. Dr. Mike deBoisblanc, head of the trauma at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek near San Francisco, said the loss of more than 37 million jobs across the country amid state shutdowns of businesses deemed ''nonessential'' and lengthy lockdowns have affected mental health.
''We've never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,'' he said. ''I mean we've seen a year's worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks,'' deBoisblanc told ABC-7.
Kacey Hansen has worked as a trauma nurse at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek for almost 33 years. She is worried because not only are they seeing more suicide attempts, she says they are not able to save as many patients as usual.
''What I have seen recently, I have never seen before,'' Hansen said. ''I have never seen so much intentional injury.''
DeBoisblanc said the lockdowns and quarantines must end.
''Personally I think it's time,'' deBoisblanc said. ''I think, originally, this [shelter-in-place order] was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that and our other community health is suffering.''
The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media's rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.
Largest rally at the Capitol yet, protestors demand California be reopened -- Society's Child -- Sott.net
Sun, 24 May 2020 21:27
(C) Reuters/Stephen Lam A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest calling for the reopening of California, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sacramento, California, U.S. May 7, 2020.
Memorial Day weekend brought the largest protest against the statewide shutdown at the Capitol so far.
The crowd of people gathered on 10th Street for what organizers called "Liberty Fest." The protesters want California to follow the lead of other states that have reopened businesses and ease social distancing restrictions.
Honking pickup trucks circled the Capitol as a plane flew overhead, pulling a sign with the message: 'End His Tyranny!' aimed at Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The rally at times felt more like a block party as the street was lined with protestors, food trucks and porta potties.While Trump flags were on fully display, masks were not. People said they are not afraid of the coronavirus and it is time for the state to reopen. Adam Blancarte drove seven hours overnight from Riverside County to say so.
"I went to my grandmother's house the other day, she couldn't even hug me. She was nothing but fear," Blancarte said. "I went to my church with the pastor that married me, and he's got a mask on and gloves on and he's sitting in fear."
Others came from out of state. Pam Hemphill said she was requested to travel to California for the protest from her home in Boise, Idaho.
"We got a group of us together, it's called the 'People's Movement,' where if you're in trouble and they're stepping on your First Amendment rights or any of your Constitutional rights, we will come to your aid," Hemphill said. "You just call us and you'll get 1,000 people there to help you."
One of the groups that organized the event is Freedom Angels. The group was originally formed to protest vaccinations. Recently, it has pivoted its target to the state shutdown by organizing several protests at the Capitol.
An organization spokeswoman said they paid to charter two buses to bring people up from Southern California. Naomi Soria was one of those passengers.
"Freedom is non-partisan. Whether you're Republican, Democrat, Conservative, we can all agree at the end of the day, race aside, religion aside, freedom is non-partisan," Soria said.
Some people from the Sacramento area said they came on their own because they are out of work.
"I was unable to take a job because it was considered non-essential which I think it's wrong because it's my job, it's essential to me," said Gayle Barrett from Lockeford.
Jim Edmonds came to the rally because he said the statewide order shut down his once thriving bounce house business in Roseville.
"I was just in total depression. I've never been depressed," Edmonds said. "I have people that count on me. And I had to lay them off. That hurts worse than anything."
Pastor Paul Bertram from Faith Mountain Pentecostal Church in San Diego said he showed up to the rally to circulate his petition to open up churches. He said he is the western region chairman for the Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship. Bertram said his organization helped pay for resources at the rally, like the porta potties.
"Two weeks of flattening the curve has turned into nine weeks of a great overreach of power and a complete disregard for all of California," Bertram said.
Individuals and families crowded onto the Capitol Mall sprawled out on picnic blankets and sat in lawn chairs. Devon Mathis, a Republican Assemblyman representing Kern County said people do not just want talk, they want action.
"At this point, we need to open everything up. And if people want to stay home, they can stay home. If people want to go out, they can go out. And that's what freedom is all about is making sure that as adults we can decide for ourselves," Mathis said.
The protest remained peaceful as officers stood watch. Sacramento Police and the California Highway Patrol said there was not a permit for the event.
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, permits are denied for the health & safety of all involved," CHP said.
Earlier this week, several counties in California were allowed to expand their Stage 2 reopening, meaning dine-in restaurants and retail stores could reopen with modifications.
Other services that have not been permitted to reopen include gyms and fitness studios, salons, entertainment venues and hotels.
CDC warns of 'aggressive' rats searching for food during shutdowns | Boston.com
Mon, 25 May 2020 16:10
Mariel Padilla,
The New York Times Company
May 25, 2020 | 7:20 AM
Humans are not the only ones who miss dining out.
As restaurants and other businesses have closed during the coronavirus pandemic, rats may become more aggressive as they hunt for new sources of food, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned.
Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to ''unusual or aggressive'' rodent behavior, the agency said on its website on Thursday.
''The rats are not becoming aggressive toward people, but toward each other,'' Bobby Corrigan, an urban rodentologist who has both a master's degree and Ph.D. in rodent pest management, said Sunday. ''They're simply turning on each other.''
Corrigan said there are certain colonies of rats in New York that have depended on restaurants' nightly trash for hundreds of generations, coming out of the sewers and alleys to ravage the bags left on the streets. With the shutdown, all of that went away, leaving rats hungry and desperate.
In New Orleans, hordes of rats took over the streets after people emptied out. Hundreds of thousands of rats in Chicago have started boldly searching for food, traveling farther and during the daytime. Some have even moved into car engines.
Corrigan said pest control professionals in the city have sent him photos of rodent cannibalization and slaughter.
''They are going to war with each other, eating each other's young in some populations and battling each other for the food they can find,'' Corrigan said. ''But the rats that live and eat in residential blocks probably haven't noticed a single bit of difference during the shutdown.''
To keep hungry rodents at bay, the CDC recommended sealing access to homes and businesses, removing debris, keeping garbage in tightly covered bins and removing pet and bird food from yards.
Corrigan said the CDC's latest guidance should put homeowners on alert. Whether in rural America or in urban areas, people who don't ordinarily see rats might start noticing them.
''You'd be smart to ask yourself: How do I do my trash and does how I do it completely deny a wild animal?'' he said. ''And look at the base of your door. Get out a ruler to see if there's a space below the door '-- half an inch will let them in.''
Get Boston.com's e-mail alerts:Sign up and receive coronavirus news and breaking updates, from our newsroom to your inbox.
Close Boston.com News Alerts
Sign up for Boston.com's e-mail alerts and receive coronavirus news and breaking updates, from our newsroom to your inbox.
Thanks for signing up!
FOLLOWUP: Great Clips customer reacts to being potentially exposed to COVID-19 | KOLR - OzarksFirst.com
Thu, 28 May 2020 06:45
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. '-- Machelle Warren, 23, was at the Great Clips on South Glenstone on Sunday, May 17 around 3:45 p.m. Around that same time, a hairstylist was working there while symptomatic, per the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
Warren, one of the 84 customers potentially exposed to COVID-19 describes her experience at the hair salon that day as normal. Minus everyone wearing masks, of course. She says employees were being very careful, including the stylist who did her hair.
''Before they even had me step down, they washed their hands, re-gloved, got a fresh, re-cleaned apron,'' Warren said.
Five days later, she received a call from the health department. She was told she had come into direct contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
RELATED ARTICLE: Second Great Clips hairstylist tests positive for COVID-19
''I was just kind of like, 'What?!''' Warren said. ''I'm not going to lie, I panicked for upwards of an hour yesterday after I got the call. But, we're going to be fine no matter what happens. Got to have faith.''
Warren was told she needs to quarantine for 14 days.
''I need to take my temperature twice a day,'' Warren said. ''I need to check in with the health department, the person who reached out to me, once a day at least.''
She currently doesn't have any symptoms she would consider out of the ordinary. The health department hasn't offered her a COVID-19 test, but that might change should symptoms develop. Warren says she'll take a test if it's offered to her.
Since speaking with Warren, KOLR 10 News also heard from the owner of that Great Clips location. The individual wants to remain anonymous.
They say they pray for the health and recovery of everyone involved, and that the hairstylist wasn't at fault because doctors didn't tell her to quarantine.
''She has her release order from Urgent Care,'' the owner said. ''She was not aware she was COVID-19 positive nor a risk.''
RELATED ARTICLE: Local hair salons react to COVID-19 exposure from Great Clips hairstylist
KOLR 10 News told Warren about the owner's response.
''This seems like this is all just an unlucky set of circumstances,'' Warren said. ''I honestly can't hold anger towards any one person because it wasn't anyone's fault. They were doing what they were told to do. I hope that stylist is okay. I can't imagine it's okay because they didn't know any better.''
The owner expressed their disapproval of the health department's announcement yesterday. First, they clarified the employee didn't travel to an ''exotic place.'' She went to Kansas City.
''We are saddened the way the wording of 'hairstylist worked sick for 8 days' was used like it was deliberate, which it was not,'' The individual said. ''We followed all required guidelines to keep staff and customers safe.''
The health department has responded to these comments. It says the stylist was involved in a regular disease investigation after testing positive for COVID-19:
''The stylist reported having symptoms of COVID-19 during the eight days of work disclosed. As we have said throughout this pandemic '' people who are sick should stay home. We do not make potential public exposure notifications to blame '' only to warn. That is our solemn duty in such situations, and we take great care in making such decisions.''
Since the health department's announcement, the owner of the Great Clips says they have received violent threats. The health department condemns this.
''We would, in no way, ever condone violence against anyone. This goes against the vision and the guiding light of our department '' to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives. We are dismayed to hear that staff of this business feel threatened, and would encourage anyone concerned to contact law enforcement.''
Maurice The Dog
40to60RH '' Relative humidity of 40-60% in buildings will reduce respiratory infections and save lives.
Tue, 26 May 2020 11:22
Science has shown us three reasons why we should always maintain 40-60%RH in public buildings like hospitals, schools and offices, throughout the year.
The World Health Organization sets guidance for indoor air quality on issues such as pollution and mold. It currently offers no recommendations for a minimum humidity level in public buildings.
If it were to publish guidance on minimum levels of humidity, building standards regulators around the world would need to update their own requirements. Building owners and operators would then take steps to improve their indoor air quality to meet this minimum humidity level.
This would lead to:
Respiratory infections from seasonal respiratory viruses, such as flu, being significantly reduced.Thousands of lives saved every year from the reduction in seasonal respiratory illnesses.Global healthcare services being less burdened every winter.The world's economies massively benefiting from less absenteeism.A healthier indoor environment and improved health for millions of people. Please, WHO '' listen to the science on indoor humidity and act now!
''Ninety percent of our lives in the developed world are spent indoors in close proximity to each other. When cold outdoor air with little moisture is heated indoors, the air's relative humidity drops to about 20%. This dry air provides a clear pathway for airborne viruses, such as COVID-19.
In addition to this, our immune system's ability to respond to pathogens is suppressed by dry air.
Studies have shown that there is a sweet spot in relative humidity. Air of between 40% and 60% shows substantially less ability to transmit viruses and allows our nose and throat to maintain robust immune responses against them.
That's why I recommend humidifiers during the winter, and why I feel the world would be a healthier place if all our public buildings kept their indoor air at 40 to 60%RH.''
Prof. Dr. Akiko Iwasaki,The Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale, and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
''Maintaining an indoor humidity of at least 40%RH is a proactive way to combat the spread of viruses from infected to susceptible hosts, even before any symptoms appear or a diagnosis can be made. Additionally, the respiratory tract's defenses of both hosts are improved, due to the more efficient cleaning of the airways and enhanced immune defenses.
Raising air humidity by humidification reduces the risk of microbial spread in hospitals and other buildings at low-cost and without causing negative effects. It can also be easily implemented in public buildings and in both private and workplace environments. Humidification gives people a simple means of actively combatting seasonal respiratory infections, including the fearsome SARS-CoV-2 virus, for which there are currently no vaccines or effective drug treatments.
This is why I am calling on the WHO to review the available science on this important topic and develop guidelines on indoor air quality that will set a minimum level of humidity in public buildings for health.''
Walter Hugentobler, Dr. med.,MD, General Physician, former lecturer Inst. of Primary Care at University of Z¼rich
''The containment of the COVID-19 pandemic requires a worldwide lockdown. While this is extremely effective in reducing outdoor contagion, it does not prevent indoor transmission of SARS-CoV-2. All available evidence points to proper control of indoor humidity levels as a factor that drastically reduces the half-life of aerogenic viruses and may even enhance the mucosal innate-immunity defenses against them.
I call on the World Health Organization to review the many studies relating to low indoor humidity and health, and take action to mitigate seasonal illness and improve the health of building occupants across the world.''
Prof. Dr. Adriano Aguzzi,Professor and director of the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Zurich, and Editor-in-chief Swiss Medical Journal
Mind Control
Donate No Agenda
Support the Show
Donating is Love
Masks and Muzzles
Masks make it easy for authorities to identify dissenters and problem people. IT IS A REVERSE YELLOW STAR
Beak Mask!
People who must believe the m5m because of Trump beliefs cannot disagree with masks and mussels
COVID Wristbands BOTG
Glad you got the wristbands which I
heard on the previous show. Sorry for the Atlas Shrugged interesting note
Let me start by saying I’m a pilot
in plane crash survivor. That’s a story for another time – everyone including
the doctors thought I was dead, in a coma for four weeks, 30+ surgeries later
I’m still here.
Germane to the story: I have a below knee amputation, hemiparesis on that same
side, and scars on my face that make me look like a military IED survivor.
I first went into Costco. I was
walking toward the entrance with my service dog and the lady, “you have to have
a mask.” And she began to reach for one. “I can't. Medical reasons.” Showed her
the wristband from about 6 feet away, which she saw (red) but didn’t read the
text. She said okay and I walked right in. Costco without a mask… No stink eye
from anyone and they mostly looked at my handsome yellow lab service dog with
seeming pleasure.
Next stop, doctor. Summary: I
refused to wear a mask. They said I have to. They called the doctor, he was
cool with it. No mask. When I got up to his office he noticed the wristband and
said, “oh, cool.” I queried him about me doing a social engineering experiment
and he said, “I’m surprised more people aren’t doing this.”
Another day, another doctor. This
time an eye doctor. This time I was wearing my No Agenda Shop blue shirt with
yellow NAS in a seemingly militaristic emblem on it. I once got a comment of,
“which Naval Air Station were you at?"
I relented and wore a mask for the
first time because they’re working less than a what from your face. We got
through the entire visit and I was just about to leave, He noticed the
wristband and without me saying anything, when into, “you know, my brother was
tested and he was negative for the antibodies… But another person…” conversing
with me and never mentioning the actual wristband.
Next I went into Costco again, this
time the woman didn’t even query me on a mask. I was the only one in the store
not wearing a mask. No stink eye, people seemingly smiling at the dog.
All of this in the heavily liberal
St Paul, Minnesota.
Big Pharma HCQ
WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 treatment over safety concerns | News , World | THE DAILY STAR
Mon, 25 May 2020 12:20
May. 25, 2020 | 07:37 PM (Last updated: May 25, 2020 | 08:01 PM)
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, speaks during the 147th session of the WHO Executive Board session in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, May 22,2020. (WHO/Christopher Black via AP)
Associated Press
you've reached a subscriber-only article. Sign up now and access the full breadth of The Daily Star content in minutes.
subscribe now unrestricted access 1 month...$12 | 3 months...$30 | 6 months...$55 | 1 year...$99 Existing users can login here or register for a new account. Advertisement
Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread
Mon, 25 May 2020 20:29
Martin J Vincent1Special Pathogens Brach, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia, 30333, USA
Eric Bergeron2Laboratory of Biochemical Neuroendocrinology, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, 110 Pine Ave West, Montreal, QCH2W1R7, Canada
Suzanne Benjannet2Laboratory of Biochemical Neuroendocrinology, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, 110 Pine Ave West, Montreal, QCH2W1R7, Canada
Bobbie R Erickson1Special Pathogens Brach, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia, 30333, USA
Pierre E Rollin1Special Pathogens Brach, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia, 30333, USA
Thomas G Ksiazek1Special Pathogens Brach, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia, 30333, USA
Nabil G Seidah2Laboratory of Biochemical Neuroendocrinology, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, 110 Pine Ave West, Montreal, QCH2W1R7, Canada
Stuart T Nichol1Special Pathogens Brach, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia, 30333, USA
1Special Pathogens Brach, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia, 30333, USA
2Laboratory of Biochemical Neuroendocrinology, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, 110 Pine Ave West, Montreal, QCH2W1R7, Canada
Corresponding author.
Received 2005 Jul 12; Accepted 2005 Aug 22.
Copyright (C) 2005 Vincent et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
This article has been
cited by other articles in PMC.
AbstractBackgroundSevere acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV). No effective prophylactic or post-exposure therapy is currently available.
ResultsWe report, however, 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. In addition to the well-known functions of chloroquine such as elevations of endosomal pH, the drug appears to interfere with terminal glycosylation of the cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This may negatively influence the virus-receptor binding and abrogate the infection, with further ramifications by the elevation of vesicular pH, resulting in the inhibition of infection and spread of SARS CoV at clinically admissible concentrations.
ConclusionChloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. Favorable inhibition of virus spread was observed when the cells were either treated with chloroquine prior to or after SARS CoV infection. In addition, the indirect immunofluorescence assay described herein represents a simple and rapid method for screening SARS-CoV antiviral compounds.
Keywords: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, chloroquine, inhibition, therapy
BackgroundSevere acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an emerging disease that was first reported in Guangdong Province, China, in late 2002. The disease rapidly spread to at least 30 countries within months of its first appearance, and concerted worldwide efforts led to the identification of the etiological agent as SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), a novel member of the family Coronaviridae [1]. Complete genome sequencing of SARS-CoV [2,3] confirmed that this pathogen is not closely related to any of the previously established coronavirus groups. Budding of the SARS-CoV occurs in the Golgi apparatus [4] and results in the incorporation of the envelope spike glycoprotein into the virion. The spike glycoprotein is a type I membrane protein that facilitates viral attachment to the cellular receptor and initiation of infection, and angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) has been identified as a functional cellular receptor of SARS-CoV [5]. We have recently shown that the processing of the spike protein was effected by furin-like convertases and that inhibition of this cleavage by a specific inhibitor abrogated cytopathicity and significantly reduced the virus titer of SARS-CoV [6].
Due to the severity of SARS-CoV infection, the potential for rapid spread of the disease, and the absence of proven effective and safe in vivo inhibitors of the virus, it is important to identify drugs that can effectively be used to treat or prevent potential SARS-CoV infections. Many novel therapeutic approaches have been evaluated in laboratory studies of SARS-CoV: notable among these approaches are those using siRNA [7], passive antibody transfer [8], DNA vaccination [9], vaccinia or parainfluenza virus expressing the spike protein [10,11], interferons [12,13], and monoclonal antibody to the S1-subunit of the spike glycoprotein that blocks receptor binding [14]. In this report, we describe the identification of chloroquine as an effective pre- and post-infection antiviral agent for SARS-CoV. Chloroquine, a 9-aminoquinoline that was identified in 1934, is a weak base that increases the pH of acidic vesicles. When added extracellularly, the non-protonated portion of chloroquine enters the cell, where it becomes protonated and concentrated in acidic, low-pH organelles, such as endosomes, Golgi vesicles, and lysosomes. Chloroquine can affect virus infection in many ways, and the antiviral effect depends in part on the extent to which the virus utilizes endosomes for entry. Chloroquine has been widely used to treat human diseases, such as malaria, amoebiosis, HIV, and autoimmune diseases, without significant detrimental side effects [15]. Together with data presented here, showing virus inhibition in cell culture by chloroquine doses compatible with patient treatment, these features suggest that further evaluation of chloroquine in animal models of SARS-CoV infection would be warranted as we progress toward finding effective antivirals for prevention or treatment of the disease.
ResultsPreinfection chloroquine treatment renders Vero E6 cells refractory to SARS-CoV infectionIn order to investigate if chloroquine might prevent SARS-CoV infection, permissive Vero E6 cells [1] were pretreated with various concentrations of chloroquine (0.1''10 μM) for 20''24 h prior to virus infection. Cells were then infected with SARS-CoV, and virus antigens were visualized by indirect immunofluorescence as described in Materials and Methods. Microscopic examination (Fig. '‹ 1A ) of the control cells (untreated, infected) revealed extensive SARS-CoV-specific immunostaining of the monolayer. A dose-dependant decrease in virus antigen-positive cells was observed starting at 0.1 μM chloroquine, and concentrations of 10 μM completely abolished SARS-CoV infection. For quantitative purposes, we counted the number of cells stained positive from three random locations on a slide. The average number of positively stained control cells was scored as 100% and was compared with the number of positive cells observed under various chloroquine concentrations (Fig. '‹ 1B ). Pretreatment with 0.1, 1, and 10 μM chloroquine reduced infectivity by 28%, 53%, and 100%, respectively. Reproducible results were obtained from three independent experiments. These data demonstrated that pretreatment of Vero E6 cells with chloroquine rendered these cells refractory to SARS-CoV infection.
Prophylactic effect of chloroquine. Vero E6 cells pre-treated with chloroquine for 20 hrs. Chloroquine-containing media were removed and the cells were washed with phosphate buffered saline before they were infected with SARS-CoV (0.5 multiplicity of infection) for 1 h. in the absence of chloroquine. Virus was then removed and the cells were maintained in Opti-MEM (Invitrogen) for 16''18 h in the absence of chloroquine. SARS-CoV antigens were stained with virus-specific HMAF, followed by FITC-conjugated secondary antibodies. (A) The concentration of chloroquine used is indicated on the top of each panel. (B) SARS-CoV antigen-positive cells at three random locations were captured by using a digital camera, the number of antigen-positive cells was determined, and the average inhibition was calculated. Percent inhibition was obtained by considering the untreated control as 0% inhibition. The vertical bars represent the range of SEM.
Postinfection chloroquine treatment is effective in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV infectionIn order to investigate the antiviral properties of chloroquine on SARS-CoV after the initiation of infection, Vero E6 cells were infected with the virus and fresh medium supplemented with various concentrations of chloroquine was added immediately after virus adsorption. Infected cells were incubated for an additional 16''18 h, after which the presence of virus antigens was analyzed by indirect immunofluorescence analysis. When chloroquine was added after the initiation of infection, there was a dramatic dose-dependant decrease in the number of virus antigen-positive cells (Fig. '‹ 2A ). As little as 0.1''1 μM chloroquine reduced the infection by 50% and up to 90''94% inhibition was observed with 33''100 μM concentrations (Fig. '‹ 2B ). At concentrations of chloroquine in excess of 1 μM, only a small number of individual cells were initially infected, and the spread of the infection to adjacent cells was all but eliminated. A half-maximal inhibitory effect was estimated to occur at 4.4 ± 1.0 μM chloroquine (Fig. '‹ 2C ). These data clearly show that addition of chloroquine can effectively reduce the establishment of infection and spread of SARS-CoV if the drug is added immediately following virus adsorption.
Post-infection chloroquine treatment reduces SARS-CoV infection and spread. Vero E6 cells were seeded and infected as described for Fig. 1 except that chloroquine was added only after virus adsorption. Cells were maintained in Opti-MEM (Invitrogen) containing chloroquine for 16''18 h, after which they were processed for immunofluorescence. (A) The concentration of chloroquine is indicated on the top. (B) Percent inhibition and SEM were calculated as in Fig. 1B. (C) The effective dose (ED50) was calculated using commercially available software (Grafit, version 4, Erithacus Software).
Electron microscopic analysis indicated the appearance of significant amounts of extracellular virus particles 5''6 h after infection [16]. Since we observed antiviral effects by chloroquine immediately after virus adsorption, we further extended the analysis by adding chloroquine 3 and 5 h after virus adsorption and examined for the presence of virus antigens after 20 h. We found that chloroquine was still significantly effective even when added 5 h after infection (Fig. '‹ 3 ); however, to obtain equivalent antiviral effect, a higher concentration of chloroquine was required if the drug was added 3 or 5 h after adsorption.
Timed post-infection treatment with chloroquine. This experiment is similar to that depicted in Fig. 2 except that cells were infected at 1 multiplicity of infection, and chloroquine (10, 25, and 50 μM) was added 3 or 5 h after infection.
Ammonium chloride inhibits SARS-CoV infection of Vero E6 cellsSince chloroquine inhibited SARS-CoV infection when added before or after infection, we hypothesized that another common lysosomotropic agent, NH4Cl, might also function in a similar manner. Ammonium chloride has been widely used in studies addressing endosome-mediated virus entry. Coincidently, NH4Cl was recently shown to reduce the transduction of pseudotype viruses decorated with SARS-CoV spike protein [17,18]. In an attempt to examine if NH4Cl functions similarly to chloroquine, we performed infection analyses in Vero E6 cells before (Fig. '‹ 4A ) and after (Fig. '‹ 4B ) they were treated with various concentrations of NH4Cl. In both cases, we observed a 93''99% inhibition with NH4Cl at '‰¥ 5 mM. These data indicated that NH4Cl ('‰¥ 5 mM) and chloroquine ('‰¥ 10 μM) are very effective in reducing SARS-CoV infection. These results suggest that effects of chloroquine and NH4Cl in controlling SARS CoV infection and spread might be mediated by similar mechanism(s).
NH4Cl inhibits SARS-CoV during pre or post infection treatment. NH4Cl was added to the cells either before (A) or after (B) infection, similar to what was done for chloroquine in Figs 1 and 2. Antigen-positive cells were counted, and the results were presented as in Fig. 1B.
Effect of chloroquine and NH4Cl on cell surface expression of ACE2We performed additional experiments to elucidate the mechanism of SARS-CoV inhibition by chloroquine and NH4Cl. Since intra-vesicular acidic pH regulates cellular functions, including N-glycosylation trimming, cellular trafficking, and various enzymatic activities, it was of interest to characterize the effect of both drugs on the processing, glycosylation, and cellular sorting of SARS-CoV spike glycoprotein and its receptor, ACE2. Flow cytometry analysis was performed on Vero E6 cells that were either untreated or treated with highly effective anti-SARS-CoV concentrations of chloroquine or NH4Cl. The results revealed that neither drug caused a significant change in the levels of cell-surface ACE2, indicating that the observed inhibitory effects on SARS-CoV infection are not due to the lack of available cell-surface ACE2 (Fig. '‹ 5A ). We next analyzed the molecular forms of endogenous ACE2 in untreated Vero E6 cells and in cells that were pre-incubated for 1 h with various concentrations of either NH4Cl (2.5''10 mM) or chloroquine (1 and 10 μM) and labeled with 35S-(Met) for 3 h in the presence or absence of the drugs (Fig. '‹ 5B and '‹ 5C ). Under normal conditions, we observed two immunoreactive ACE2 forms, migrating at ~105 and ~113 kDa, respectively (Fig. '‹ 5B , lane 1). The ~105-kDa protein is endoglycosidase H sensitive, suggesting that it represents the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) localized form, whereas the ~113-kDa protein is endoglycosidase H resistant and represents the Golgi-modified form of ACE2 [19]. The specificity of the antibody was confirmed by displacing the immunoreactive protein bands with excess cold-soluble human recombinant ACE2 (+ rhACE2; Fig. '‹ 5B , lane 2). When we analyzed ACE2 forms in the presence of NH4Cl, a clear stepwise increase in the migration of the ~113-kDa protein was observed with increasing concentrations of NH4Cl, with a maximal effect observed at 10 mM NH4Cl, resulting in only the ER form of ACE2 being visible on the gel (Fig. '‹ 5B , compare lanes 3''5). This suggested that the trimming and/or terminal modifications of the N-glycosylated chains of ACE2 were affected by NH4Cl treatment. In addition, at 10 mM NH4Cl, the ER form of ACE2 migrated with slightly faster mobility, indicating that NH4Cl at that concentration might also affect core glycosylation. We also examined the terminal glycosylation status of ACE2 when the cells were treated with chloroquine (Fig. '‹ 5C ). Similar to NH4Cl, a stepwise increase in the electrophoretic mobility of ACE2 was observed with increasing concentrations of chloroquine. At 25 μM chloroquine, the faster electrophoretic mobility of the Golgi-modified form of ACE2 was clearly evident. On the basis of the flow cytometry and immunoprecipitation analyses, it can be inferred that NH4Cl and chloroquine both impaired the terminal glycosylation of ACE2, while NH4Cl resulted in a more dramatic effect. Although ACE2 is expressed in similar quantities at the cell surface, the variations in its glycosylation status might render the ACE2-SARS-CoV interaction less efficient and inhibit virus entry when the cells are treated with NH4Cl and chloroquine.
Effect of lysomotropic agents on the cell-surface expression and biosynthesis of ACE2. (A) Vero E6 cells were cultured for 20 h in the absence (control) or presence of chloroquine (10 μM) or NH4Cl (20 mM). Cells were labeled with anti-ACE2 (grey histogram) or with a secondary antibody alone (white histogram). (B) Biosynthesis of ACE2 in untreated cells or in cells treated with NH4Cl. Vero E6 cells were pulse-labeled for 3 h with 35S-Met, and the cell lysates were immunoprecipitated with an ACE2 antibody (lane 1). Preincunbation of the antibody with recombinant human ACE2 (rhACE2) completely abolished the signal (lane 2). The positions of the endoglycosidase H-sensitive ER form and the endoglycosidase H-resistant Golgi form of ACE2 are emphasized. Note that the increasing concentration of NH4Cl resulting in the decrease of the Golgi form of ACE2. (C) A similar experiment was performed in the presence of the indicated concentrations of chloroquine. Note the loss of terminal glycans with increasing concentrations of chloroquine. (D) The terminal glycosidic modification of ACE2 was evaluated by neuraminidase treatment of immunoprecipitated ACE2. Here cells were treated with 1''25 μM concentrations of chloroquine during starvation, pulse, and 3-h chase.
To confirm that ACE2 undergoes terminal sugar modifications and that the terminal glycosylation is affected by NH4Cl or chloroquine treatment, we performed immunopreipitation of 35S-labeled ACE2 and subjected the immunoprecipitates to neuraminidase digestion. Proteins were resolved using SDS-PAGE (Fig '‹ 5D ). It is evident from the slightly faster mobility of the Golgi form of ACE2 after neuraminidase treatment (Fig '‹ 5D , compare lanes 1 and 2), that ACE2 undergoes terminal glycosylation; however, the ER form of ACE2 was not affected by neuraminidase. Cells treated with 10 μM chloroquine did not result in a significant shift; whereas 25 μM chloroquine caused the Golgi form of ACE2 to resolve similar to the neuraminidase-treated ACE2 (Fig '‹ 5D , compare lanes 5 and 6). These data provide evidence that ACE2 undergoes terminal glycosylation and that chloroquine at anti-SARS-CoV concentrations abrogates the process.
Effect of chloroquine and NH4Cl on the biosynthesis and processing of SARS-CoV spike proteinWe next addressed whether the lysosomotropic drugs (NH4Cl and chloroquine) affect the biosynthesis, glycosylation, and/or trafficking of the SARS-CoV spike glycoprotein. For this purpose, Vero E6 cells were infected with SARS-CoV for 18 h. Chloroquine or ammonium chloride was added to these cells during while they were being starved (1 h), labeled (30 min) or chased (3 h). The cell lysates were analyzed by immunoprecipitation with the SARS-specific polyclonal antibody (HMAF). The 30-min pulse results indicated that pro-spike (proS) was synthesized as a ~190-kDa precursor (proS-ER) and processed into ~125-, ~105-, and ~80-kDa proteins (Fig. '‹ 6A , lane 2), a result identical to that in our previous analysis [6]. Except for the 100 μM chloroquine (Fig. '‹ 6A , lane 3), there was no significant difference in the biosynthesis or processing of the virus spike protein in untreated or chloroquine-treated cells (Fig. '‹ 6A , lanes 4''6). It should be noted that chloroquine at 100 μM resulted in an overall decrease in biosynthesis and in the levels of processed virus glycoprotein. In view of the lack of reduction in the biosynthesis and processing of the spike glycoprotein in the presence of chloroquine concentrations (10 and 50 μM) that caused large reductions in SARS-CoV replication and spread, we conclude that the antiviral effect is probably not due to alteration of virus glycoprotein biosynthesis and processing. Similar analyses were performed with NH4Cl, and the data suggested that the biosynthesis and processing of the spike protein were also not negatively affected by NH4Cl (Fig. '‹ 6A , lanes 7''12). Consistent with our previous analysis [6], we observed the presence of a larger protein, which is referred to here as oligomers. Recently, Song et al. [20] provided evidence that these are homotrimers of the SARS-CoV spike protein and were incorporated into the virions. Interestingly, the levels of the homotrimers in cells treated with 100 μM chloroquine and 40 and 20 mM NH4Cl (Fig. '‹ 6A , lanes 3, 9, and 10) were slightly lower than in control cells or cells treated with lower drug concentrations.
Effects of NH4Cl and chloroquine (CQ) on the biosynthesis, processing, and glycosylation of SARS-CoV spike protein. Vero E6 cells were infected with SARS-CoV as described in Fig. 2. CQ or NH4Cl was added during the periods of starvation (1 h) and labeling (30 min) with 35S-Cys and followed by chase for 3 h in the presence of unlabeled medium. Cells were lysed in RIPA buffer and immunoprecipitated with HMAF. Virus proteins were resolved using 3''8% NuPAGE gel (Invitrogen). The cells presented were labeled for 30 min (A) and chased for 3 h (B). The migration positions of the various spike molecular forms are indicated at the right side, and those of the molecular standards are shown to the left side. proS-ER and proS-Golgi are the pro-spike of SARS-Co in the ER and Golgi compartments, respectively and proS-ungly is the unglycosylated pro-spike ER.
The data obtained from a 30-min pulse followed by a 3-h chase (Fig. '‹ 6B , lanes 2 and 8) confirmed our earlier observation that the SARS-CoV spike protein precursor (proS-ER) acquires Golgi-specific modifications (proS-Golgi) resulting in a ~210-kDa protein [6]. Chloroquine at 10, 25, and 50 μM had no substantial negative impact on the appearance of the Golgi form (Fig. '‹ 6B , compare lane 2 to lanes 4''6). Only at 100 μM chloroquine was a reduction in the level of the Golgi-modified pro-spike observed (lane 3). On the other hand, NH4Cl abrogated the appearance of Golgi-modified forms at '‰¥10 mM (compare lane 8 with 9''11) and had a milder effect at 1 mM (lane 12). These data clearly demonstrate that the biosynthesis and proteolytic processing of SARS-CoV spike protein are not affected at chloroquine (25 and 50 μM) and NH4Cl (1 mM) doses that cause virus inhibitory effects. In addition, with 40, 20, and 10 mM NH4Cl, there was an increased accumulation of proS-ER with a concomitant decrease in the amount of oligomers (Fig. '‹ 6B , lanes 9''11). When we examined the homotrimers, we found that chloroquine at 100 μM and NH4Cl at 40 and 20 mM resulted in slightly faster mobility of the trimers (Fig. '‹ 6B , lanes 3, 9, and 10), but lower drug doses, which did exhibit significant antiviral effects, did not result in appreciable differences. These data suggest that the newly synthesized intracellular spike protein may not be a major target for chloroquine and NH4Cl antiviral action. The faster mobility of the trimer at certain higher concentration of the drugs might be due the effect of these drugs on the terminal glycosylation of the trimers.
DiscussionWe have identified chloroquine as an effective antiviral agent for SARS-CoV in cell culture conditions, as evidenced by its inhibitory effect when the drug was added prior to infection or after the initiation and establishment of infection. The fact that chloroquine exerts an antiviral effect during pre- and post-infection conditions suggest that it is likely to have both prophylactic and therapeutic advantages. Recently, Keyaerts et al. [21] reported the antiviral properties of chloroquine and identified that the drug affects SARS-CoV replication in cell culture, as evidenced by quantitative RT-PCR. Taken together with the findings of Keyaerts et al. [21], our analysis provides further evidence that chloroquine is effective against SARS-CoV Frankfurt and Urbani strains. We have provided evidence that chloroquine is effective in preventing SARS-CoV infection in cell culture if the drug is added to the cells 24 h prior to infection. In addition, chloroquine was significantly effective even when the drug was added 3''5 h after infection, suggesting an antiviral effect even after the establishment of infection. Since similar results were obtained by NH4Cl treatment of Vero E6 cells, the underlying mechanism(s) of action of these drugs might be similar.
Apart from the probable role of chloroquine on SARS-CoV replication, the mechanisms of action of chloroquine on SARS-CoV are not fully understood. Previous studies have suggested the elevation of pH as a mechanism by which chloroquine reduces the transduction of SARS-CoV pseudotype viruses [17,18]. We examined the effect of chloroquine and NH4Cl on the SARS-CoV spike proteins and on its receptor, ACE2. Immunoprecipitation results of ACE2 clearly demonstrated that effective anti-SARS-CoV concentrations of chloroquine and NH4Cl also impaired the terminal glycosylation of ACE2. However, the flow cytometry data demonstrated that there are no significant differences in the cell surface expression of ACE2 in cells treated with chloroquine or NH4Cl. On the basis of these results, it is reasonable to suggest that the pre-treatment with NH4Cl or chloroquine has possibly resulted in the surface expression of the under-glycosylated ACE2. In the case of chloroquine treatment prior to infection, the impairment of terminal glycosylation of ACE2 may result in reduced binding affinities between ACE2 and SARS-CoV spike protein and negatively influence the initiation of SARS-CoV infection. Since the biosynthesis, processing, Golgi modification, and oligomerization of the newly synthesized spike protein were not appreciably affected by anti-SARS-CoV concentrations of either chloroquine or NH4Cl, we conclude that these events occur in the cell independent of the presence of the drugs. The potential contribution of these drugs in the elevation of endosomal pH and its impact on subsequent virus entry or exit could not be ruled out. A decrease in SARS-CoV pseudotype transduction in the presence of NH4Cl was observed and was attributed to the effect on intracellular pH [17,18]. When chloroquine or NH4Cl are added after infection, these agents can rapidly raise the pH and subvert on-going fusion events between virus and endosomes, thus inhibiting the infection.
In addition, the mechanism of action of NH4Cl and chloroquine might depend on when they were added to the cells. When added after the initiation of infection, these drugs might affect the endosome-mediated fusion, subsequent virus replication, or assembly and release. Previous studies of chloroquine have demonstrated that it has multiple effects on mammalian cells in addition to the elevation of endosomal pH, including the prevention of terminal glycosyaltion of immunoglobulins [22]. When added to virus-infected cells, chloroquine inhibited later stages in vesicular stomatitis virus maturation by inhibiting the glycoprotein expression at the cell surface [23], and it inhibited the production of infectious HIV-1 particles by interfering with terminal glycosylation of the glycoprotein [24,25]. On the basis of these properties, we suggest that the cell surface expression of under-glycosylated ACE2 and its poor affinity to SARS-CoV spike protein may be the primary mechanism by which infection is prevented by drug pretreatment of cells prior to infection. On the other hand, rapid elevation of endosomal pH and abrogation of virus-endosome fusion may be the primary mechanism by which virus infection is prevented under post-treatment conditions. More detailed SARS CoV spike-ACE2 binding assays in the presence or absence of chloroquine will be performed to confirm our findings. Our studies indicate that the impact of NH4Cl and chloroquine on the ACE2 and spike protein profiles are significantly different. NH4Cl exhibits a more pronounced effect than does chloroquine on terminal glycosylation, highlighting the novel intricate differences between chloroquine and ammonium chloride in affecting the protein transport or glycosylation of SARS-CoV spike protein and its receptor, ACE2, despite their well-established similar effects of endosomal pH elevation.
The infectivity of coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV are also affected by chloroquine, as exemplified by the human CoV-229E [15]. The inhibitory effects observed on SARS-CoV infectivity and cell spread occurred in the presence of 1''10 μM chloroquine, which are plasma concentrations achievable during the prophylaxis and treatment of malaria (varying from 1.6''12.5 μM) [26] and hence are well tolerated by patients. It recently was speculated that chloroquine might be effective against SARS and the authors suggested that this compound might block the production of TNFα, IL6, or IFNÎ" [15]. Our data provide evidence for the possibility of using the well-established drug chloroquine in the clinical management of SARS.
ConclusionChloroquine, a relatively safe, effective and cheap drug used for treating many human diseases including malaria, amoebiosis and human immunodeficiency virus is effective in inhibiting the infection and spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. The fact that the drug has significant inhibitory antiviral effect when the susceptible cells were treated either prior to or after infection suggests a possible prophylactic and therapeutic use.
MethodsSARS-CoV infection, immunofluorescence, and immunoprecipitation analysesVero E6 cells (an African green monkey kidney cell line) were infected with SARS-CoV (Urbani strain) at a multiplicity of infection of 0.5 for 1 h. The cells were washed with PBS and then incubated in OPTI-MEM (Invitrogen) medium with or without various concentrations of either chloroquine or NH4Cl (both from Sigma). Immunofluorescence staining was performed with SARS-CoV-specific hyperimmune mouse ascitic fluid (HMAF) [8] followed by anti-mouse fluorescein-coupled antibody.
Eighteen hours after infection, the virus-containing supernatants were removed, and the cells were pulsed with 35S-(Cys) for 30 min and chased for 3 h before lysis in RIPA buffer. Clarified cell lysates and media were incubated with HMAF, and immunoprecipitated proteins were separated by 3''8% NuPAGE gel (Invitrogen); proteins were visualized by autoradiography. In some experiments, cells were chased for 3 h with isotope-free medium. Clarified cell supernatants were also immunoprecipitated with SARS-CoV-specific HMAF.
ACE2 flow cytometry analysis and biosynthesisVero E6 cells were seeded in Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium (Invitrogen) supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum. The next day, the cells were incubated in Opti-MEM (Invitrogen) in the presence or absence of 10 μM chloroquine or 20 mM NH4Cl. To analyze the levels of ACE2 at the cell surface, cells were incubated on ice with 10 μg/mL affinity-purified goat anti-ACE2 antibody (R&D Systems) and then incubated with FITC-labeled swine anti-goat IgG antibody (Caltag Laboratories). Labeled cells were analyzed by flow cytometry with a FACSCalibur flow cytometer (BD Biosciences). For ACE2 biosynthesis studies, Vero E6 cells were pulsed with 250 μCi 35S-(Met) (Perkin Elmer) for 3 h with the indicated concentrations of chloroquine or NH4Cl and then lysed in RIPA buffer. Clarified lysates were immunoprecipitated with an affinity-purified goat anti-ACE2 antibody (R&D systems), and the immunoprecipitated proteins were separated by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.
Competing interestsThe author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.
Authors' contributionsMV did all the experiments pertaining to SARS CoV infection and coordinated the drafting of the manuscript. EB and SB performed experiments on ACE2 biosynthesis and FACS analysis. BE performed data acquisition from the immunofluorescence experiments. PR and TK provided critical reagents and revised the manuscript critically. NS and SN along with MV and EB participated in the planning of the experiments, review and interpretation of data and critical review of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the content of the manuscript.
AcknowledgementsWe thank Claudia Chesley and Jonathan Towner for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by a Canadian PENCE grant (T3), CIHR group grant #MGC 64518, and CIHR grant #MGP-44363 (to NGS).
References Ksiazek TG, Erdman D, Goldsmith CS, Zaki SR, Peret T, Emery S, Tong S, Urbani C, Comer JA, Lim W, Rollin PE, Dowell SF, Ling AE, Humphrey CD, Shieh WJ, Guarner J, Paddock CD, Rota PB, Fields B, DeRisi J, Yang JY, Cox N, Hughes J, LeDuc JW, Bellini WJ, Anderson LJ, SARS Working Group A novel coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2003; 348 :1953''1966. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa030781. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Marra MA, Jones SJ, Astell CR, Holt RA, Brooks-Wilson A, Butterfield YS, Khattra J, Asano JK, Barber SA, Chan SY, Cloutier A, Coughlin SM, Freeman D, Girn N, Griffith OL, Leach SR, Mayo , McDonald H, Montgomery SB, Pandoh PK, Petrescu AS, Robertson AG, Schein JE, Siddiqui A, Smailus DE, Stott JM, Yang GS, Plummer F, Andonov A, Artsob H, Bastien N, Bernard K, Booth TF, Bowness D, Czub M, Drebot M, Fernando L, Flick R, Garbutt M, Gray M, Grolla A, Jones S, Feldmann H, Meyers A, Kabani A, Li Y, Normand S, Stroher U, Tipples GA, Tyler S, Vogrig R, Ward D, Watson B, Brunham RC, Krajden M, Petric M, Skowronski DM, Upton C, Roper RL. The Genome sequence of the SARS-associated coronavirus. Science. 2003; 300 :1399''1404. doi: 10.1126/science.1085953. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Rota PA, Oberste MS, Monroe SS, Nix WA, Campagnoli R, Icenogle JP, Penaranda S, Bankamp B, Maher K, Chen MH, Tong S, Tamin A, Lowe L, Frace M, DeRisi JL, Chen Q, Wang D, Erdman DD, Peret TC, Burns C, Ksiazek TG, Rollin PE, Sanchez A, Liffick S, Holloway B, Limor J, McCaustland K, Olsen Rasmussen M, Fouchier R, Gunther S, Osterhaus AS, Drosten C, Pallansch MA, Anderson LJ, Bellini WJ. Characterization of a novel coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome. Science. 2003; 300 :1394''1399. doi: 10.1126/science.1085952. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Ng ML, Tan SH, See EE, Ooi EE, Ling AE. Proliferative growth of SARS coronavirus in Vero E6 cells. J Gen Virol. 2003; 84 :3291''3303. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.19505-0. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Li M, Moore WJ, Vasilieva N, Sui J, Wong SK, Berne MA, Somasundaran M, Sullivan JL, Luzuriaga K, Greenough TC, Choe H, Farzan M. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is a functional receptor for the SARS coronavirus. Nature. 2003; 426 :450''454. doi: 10.1038/nature02145. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Bergeron E, Vincent MJ, Wickham L, Hamelin J, Basak A, Nichol ST, Chr(C)tien M, NG Seidah. Implication of proprotein convertases in the processing and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Biochem Biophys Res Comm. 2005; 326 :554''563. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.11.063. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Zhang Y, Li T, Fu L, Yu C, Li Y, Xu X, Wang Y, Ning H, Zhang S, Chen W, Babiuk LA, Chang Z. Silencing SARS-CoV spike protein expression in cultured cells by RNA interference. FEBS Lett. 2004; 560 :141''146. doi: 10.1016/S0014-5793(04)00087-0. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Subbarao K, McAuliffe J, Vogel L, Fahle G, Fischer S, Tatti K, Packard M, Shieh WJ, Zaki S, Murphy B. Prior infection and passive transfer of neutralizing antibody prevent replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in the respiratory tract of mice. J Virol. 2004; 78 :3572''3577. doi: 10.1128/JVI.78.7.3572-3577.2004. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Yang ZY, Kong WP, Huang Y, Roberts A, Murphy BR, Subbarao K, Nabel GJ. A DNA vaccine induces SARS coronavirus neutralization and protective immunity in mice. Nature. 2004; 428 :561''564. doi: 10.1038/nature02463. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Bisht H, Roberts A, Vogel L, Bukreyev A, Collins PL, Murphy BR, Subbarao K, Moss B. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike protein expressed by attenuated vaccinia virus protectively immunizes mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2004; 101 :6641''6646. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0401939101. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Bukreyev A, Lamirande EW, Buchholz UJ, Vogel LN, Elkins WR, St. Claire M, Murphy BR, Subbarao K, Collins PL. Mucosal immunization of African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) with an attenuated parainfluenza virus expressing the SARS coronavirus spike protein for the prevention of SARS. Lancet. 2004; 363 :2122''2127. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(04)16501-X. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Sainz B, Jr, Mossel EC, Peters CJ, Garry RF. Interferon-beta and interferon-gamma synergistically inhibit the replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) Virology. 2004; 329 :11''17. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2004.08.011. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Stroher U, DiCaro A, Li Y, Strong JE, Aoki F, Plummer F, Jones SM, Feldmann H. Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus is inhibited by interferon- alpha. J Infect Dis. 2004; 189 :1164''1167. doi: 10.1086/382597. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Sui J, Li W, Murakami A, Tamin A, Matthews LJ, Wong SK, Moore MJ, Tallarico AS, Olurinde M, Choe H, Anderson LJ, Bellini WJ, Farzan M, Marasco WA. Potent neutralization of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus by a human mAb to S1 protein that blocks receptor association. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2004; 101 :2536''2541. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0307140101. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Savarino A, Boelaert JR, Cassone A, Majori G, Cauda R. Effects of chloroquine on viral infections: an old drug against today's diseases? Lancet Infect Dis. 2003; 3 :722''727. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(03)00806-5. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Ng ML, Tan SH, See EE, Ooi EE, Ling AE. Early events of SARS coronavirus infection in vero cells. J Med Virol. 2003; 71 :323''331. doi: 10.1002/jmv.10499. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Simmons G, Reeves JD, Rennekamp AJ, Amberg SM, Piefer AJ, Bates P. Characterization of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) spike glycoprotein-mediated viral entry. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2004; 101 :4240''4245. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0306446101. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Yang ZY, Huang Y, Ganesh L, Leung K, Kong WP, Schwartz O, Subbarao K, Nabel GJ. pH-dependent entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus is mediated by the spike glycoprotein and enhanced by dendritic cell transfer through DC-SIGN. J Virol. 2004; 78 :5642''5650. doi: 10.1128/JVI.78.11.5642-5650.2004. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Tipnis SR, Hooper NM, Hyde R, Karran E, Christie G, Turner AJ. A human homolog of angiotensin-converting enzyme. Cloning and functional expression as a captopril-insensitive carboxypeptidase. J Biol Chem. 2000; 275 :33238''33243. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M002615200. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Song HC, Seo MY, Stadler K, Yoo BJ, Choo QL, Coates SR, Uematsu Y, Harada T, Greer CE, Polo JM, Pileri P, Eickmann M, Rappuoli R, Abrignani S, Houghton M, Han JH. Synthesis and characterization of a native, oligomeric form of recombinant severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike glycoprotein. J Virol. 2004; 78 :10328''10335. doi: 10.1128/JVI.78.19.10328-10335.2004. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Keyaerts E, Vijgen L, Maes P, Neyts J, Ranst MV. In vitro inhibition of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus by chloroquine. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004; 323 :264''268. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.08.085. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Thorens B, Vassalli P. Chloroquine and ammonium chloride prevent terminal glycosylation of immunoglobulins in plasma cells without affecting secretion. Nature. 1986; 321 :618''620. doi: 10.1038/321618a0. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] Dille BJ, Johnson TC. Inhibition of vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein expression by chloroquine. J Gen Virol. 1982; 62 :91''103. [PubMed] [Google Scholar] Tsai WP, Nara PL, Kung HF, Oroszlan S. Inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus infectivity by chloroquine. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1990; 6 :481''489. [PubMed] [Google Scholar] Savarino A, Lucia MB, Rastrelli E, Rutella S, Golotta C, Morra E, Tamburrini E, Perno CF, Boelaert JR, Sperber K, Cauda RC. Anti-HIV effects of chloroquine: inhibition of viral particle glycosylation and synergism with protease inhibitors. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004; 35 :223''232. [PubMed] [Google Scholar] Ducharme J, Farinotti R. Clinical pharmacokinetics and metabolism of chloroquine. Focus on recent advancements. Clin Pharmacokinet. 1996; 31 :257''274. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
France bans hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 amid safety concerns - Reuters
Wed, 27 May 2020 08:02
FILE PHOTO: A nurse shows a pill of hydroxychloroquine, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Nossa Senhora da Conceicao hospital in Porto Alegre, Brazil, April 23, 2020. REUTERS/Diego Vara
PARIS (Reuters) - The French government on Wednesday cancelled a decree allowing hospital doctors to administer hydroxychloroquine as a treatment to patients suffering severe forms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.
The move, which takes immediate effect, is the first by a country since the World Health Organization said on Monday it was pausing a large trial of the malaria drug on COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns.
The cancellation of the decree, which in effect means the drug is now banned for such use, was announced in the government's official bulletin and confirmed by a statement by the health ministry. It did not refer to the WHO suspension.
France decided at the end of March to allow the use of hydroxychloroquine, which in addition to malaria is approved for treating lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, in specific situations and in hospitals only for treating COVID-19 patients.
British medical journal The Lancet has reported that patients getting hydroxychloroquine had increased death rates and irregular heartbeats, adding to a series of other disappointing results for the drug as a way to treat COVID-19.
U.S. President Donald Trump and others have pushed hydroxychloroquine in recent months as a possible coronavirus treatment.
No vaccine or treatment has yet been approved to treat COVID-19, which has killed more than 350,000 people globally.
Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Hugh Lawson
Anti-HCQ Paper in The Lancet Uses Fake Data
Thu, 28 May 2020 06:27
Good news: Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis, Harvey A Risch, May 27, 2020, American Journal of Epidemiology
Five studies, including two controlled clinical trials, have demonstrated significant major outpatient treatment efficacy. Hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin has been used as standard-of-care in more than 300,000 older adults with multicomorbidities, with estimated proportion diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmias attributable to the medications 47/100,000 users '... These medications need to be widely available and promoted immediately for physicians to prescribe.
The rest of the post discusses a fraudulent paper ( Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis , Mehra et al., May 22, 2020, The Lancet ), based on Surgisphere's fake data.
Surgisphere Corporation is fraud. Some of its services are being used for COVID-19 diagnostics and/or clinical decisions: QuartzClinical, COVID-19 Decision Support Tools (Rapid Triage, Severity Scoring, Diagnosis, Mortality Risk), Surgical Outcomes Collaborative analytics platform. This anti-HCQ Lancet paper claims: '' We included all patients hospitalised between Dec 20, 2019, and April 14, 2020, at hospitals participating in the registry '' with COVID-19 and records of death or discharge. 671 hospitals from six continents allegedly provided their data for this database. The US hospitals were allegedly ''selected to match the epidemiological characteristics of the US population''. In this great database, the authors have found 96,032 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, including 14,888 treated with HCQ or CQ with either Azithromycin (AZM) or Clarithromycin.
At this point, one would ask: Who has a database with detailed information on 96,000 patients? What about privacy laws? What about network security and data compatibility? Is Surgisphere a three-letter agency with such unrestricted global access? No, this is a one-man fraud. Paper's second author is the man. There is no patients' database and any raw data was fabricated or did not exist at all.
Some of the many mysteries in the alleged data:
The population data is very homogeneous, almost the same across the six continents '' this is highly unlikely. For example, the patients with qSOFA < 1 are 82.6% in Europe and North America (what a coincidence!), and 82.7% in South America (Table S3). The study data shows only 42% of patients (6,221 out of 14,888) in the treatment groups received HCQ+''macrolide''. However, it is widely known that almost all people treated with HCQ or CQ received HCQ+AZM. In the study data for North America, 35% of patients (3,415) received CQ and 65% of patients (6,462) received HCQ. However, it is widely known that, outside of China, CQ was used significantly less than HCQ. The actual ratio is closer to 1:99 than to 35:65. All patients treated with CQ/HCQ received antibiotics, almost always AZM. In the study, 32% of the North American patients received no ''microlide'' ( Appendix , Table S3). Do peer reviewers really believe that almost a third of patients hospitalized with respiratory infection received immunosuppressives without antibiotics? Tweets from an Australian MD & PhD helped explain some of the mystery. Not only is the data fake, but the database itself, Surgical Outcomes Collaborative, is fake as well. Here are some of the many red flags:
'... the study says that they received data from 600 hospitals up to mid-April, and it was published end-May. This is impossible. If you have ever collected clinical research data you will know how impossible it is.
'... you need ethical approval, suitable web servers set up, access set up for each hospital (and ideally each worker). This is what the authors say happened '' they say they questioned existing repositories
I'm sorry but these don't exist. Repositories do exist that maintain some of this data but it is mostly unlinked, relies on it being filled in correctly and exists on different systems that don't talk to each other. '...
'... for each hospital system providing access you have to go through a complex ethics approval system (otherwise your hospital has just given your personal data to some strangers). '...
An ethics approval of this magnitude would take months but it would take even longer to get the system up and running to allow secure access to hospital data systems externally. IT JUST DOES NOT HAPPEN.
The thread continues . The doctor takes note that the patients' data matches, almost perfectly, on 23 factors.
This is pretty much statistically impossible, and they are claiming that they got this matching in 7000 patients out of a pool of 96000 patients for which they received high quality information from 671 hospitals. Nope. Sorry, the data is too ''clean''.
So, this group are telling us that, not only have they got access to 671 hospital clinical record systems but (and this is a problem) '... They have access to all the pathology providers linked to those 671 hospitals and THEY CAN DATA LINK THE PATIENT RECORDS. Not a chance.
This didn't happen, and if it did it would be a massive privacy scandal. There would be serious financial and potentially criminal repercussions
So, either this data is completely fabricated -or- The authors have been able to overcome impossible hurdles of data sharing and probably broken a number of laws in the process.
Surgisphere has only a few employees, hired since February 2020. They did not overcome any hurdles.
This Lancet paper also heavily promotes Surgical Outcomes Collaborative, the fake database from which the data has been obtained. The ''Collaborative'' is owned by the Surgisphere Corporation. Sapan S. Desai, one of the paper's authors, is a Surgisphere founder (disclosed) and CEO (not disclosed). The ''Collaborative'', which was unknown before May 2020, is mentioned by name seven times in the paper. Two paragraphs (~500 words) are used as Collaborative advertisement: ''a cloud-based health-care data analytics platform that includes specific modules for data acquisition, data warehousing, data analytics '... A manual data entry process is used for quality assurance and validation to ensure that key missing values are kept to a minimum '... ensures compliance with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance on real-world evidence '... data are collected through automated data transfers that capture 100% of the data from each health-care entity at regular, predetermined intervals '... the standard operating procedures in place for each of the four ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013 certified features of the registry '... Collection of a 100% sample from each health-care entity is validated against financial records '... capturing all-comer data and consecutive patient enrolment by capturing 100% of the data within electronic systems '... compliant with the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality guidelines for registries '...'' .
None of this is true.
Surgisphere Corporation
Surgisphere's website does not display its directors or executives, other than its founder-CEO Sapan S Desai (SSD) ( About ) The website surgisphere.com is excluded from Archive.org '' a sure sign that the company does not want people to know what it looked like in the past. SSD worked in Surgisphere only part-time until February 2020, according to his profile in LinkedIn . His last full-time position was '' Full-time clinical vascular surgeon, Medical Director of Surgical Quality, and Director of CME at Northwest Community Hospital '' in Arlington Heights, IL LinkedIn also shows profiles of four other employees . The three employees visible to me were hired in February 2020 or later. All of them live in different areas of the USA. The address of Surgisphere is a private house in Palatine, IL, probably SSD's home. ( Buzzfile ) Surgisphere is not listed as a tenant at the address listed on its websites (875 N Michigan Ave, 31st Floor, Chicago, IL 60611) In other words, Surgisphere Corporation existed mostly on paper, until February 2020, when its founder decided to cash out on the COVID-19 epidemic. Its software and services are vaporware.
The Surgical Outcomes Collaborative (database)
The Surgical Outcomes Collaborative has its own website surgicaloutcomes.com . Surgisphere markets it as an analytics platform, not a database. Nowhere does it claim possession of or access to patients' information from multiple hospitals. Further, its website is a re-branding of another company's website vascularoutcomes.com . Another Surgisphere's website is quartzclinical.com .
This Lancet paper does not break down results between AZM and Clarithromycin, nor do they explain why they selected Clarithromycin, so I will. Clarithromycin has harmful interactions with CQ and HCQ (unlike AZM), and Clarithromycin is a strong QT prolonger , (unlike AZM, which is a mild one). This is why physicians did not use Clarithromycin with HCQ as a COVID-19 treatment. I could only find a couple of single patient reports of combining Clarithromycin with CQ. The authors included Clarithromycin in the paper to smear Azythromycin ''by association.''
This paper was published on Friday, May 22, on the eve of a long weekend. The paper immediately received wall to wall coverage in the media. On the same day The Lancet published a fawning comment Chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19: why might they be hazardous? These factors suggest careful coordination between the authors, the editors, and news media to catch the public and media community off-guard,causing maximum shock to reverberate over Memorial Dayweekend.
Surgisphere's Rapid Triage, Severity Scoring, Diagnosis, Mortality Risk , advertised as artificial intelligence based tools for clinical decision support are nothing more than Javascript code, as simple as an online calculator. Additionally, this calculator is broken. Based on the company's press releases, these tools have been covered by a range of media outlets from Yahoo! News to Breitbart. They were also covered in professional websites. Wow to those who relied on them. Unfortunately, they are easily accessible on the Surgisphere's website.
Another Conflict of Interest?
The first author Mandeep R Mehra works in Brigham and Women's Hospital, which conducts Gilead-initiated clinical trials of Gilead's Remdesivir for COVID-19.
Published on May 23. Updated on May 24-25, 27.
Fake Surgispehere's COVID-19 Clinical Software
Other Bad anti-HCQ Papers
ASD Shares Eye-Opening COVID-19 Death Call Data
Thu, 28 May 2020 06:02
May 08, 2020
Note: This blog was originally published on May 8th and is updated every day with new statistical information. Last updated May 27th, 2020 at 9:15 a.m. EDT.
ASD recently published data revealing how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted funeral home death calls over time. Our company handles incoming telephone calls for more than 8,500 funeral homes across the United States'--approximately 45 percent of all funeral homes in the country.
On average, funeral professionals call forward their phone lines to ASD 16 hours a day on weekdays. On Saturdays and Sundays that number is even higher. When you combine this with our company's 45 percent market share, ASD statistics represent 30 percent of all deaths in the United States. There are some deviations, like major holidays when clients forward their phones all 24 hours'...and then there is COVID-19.
ASD's daily statistical information gives our company unique insight into how this novel coronavirus has impacted the national fatality rate. Our most recent data offers reason to be cautiously optimistic the worst has passed. ASD's owners anted to make this data widely available because they believe it provides a reassuring picture of how the death rate in the United States is beginning to normalize. There has been a great deal of interest in our statistical information in recent weeks. So, we plan to keep the graph below updated every day with our latest figures.
This graphic representation shows the change in the number of deaths calls handled each day by our company since before Thanksgiving. You can see the visible spikes that occurred on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Other than those days, the data shows very little change in the number of death calls handled day to day until mid-March. After March 19, the number of death calls began to multiply considerably, finally reaching a peak on Easter weekend. During the peak days of the pandemic, many families in New York City were forced to call multiple funeral homes to find one that could take care of their loved one. When reviewing their call numbers, ASD excluded any death call that was placed to multiple firms by analyzing Caller ID information. This provides a clearer picture of how funeral home call statistics have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since Easter weekend, ASD has recorded a sizeable drop in the number of deaths calls handled by our company. You can see that during the peak of the pandemic, ASD was handling more than 70% more death calls than average (about 1,000 additional death calls each day). This percentage then fell to about 40% more death calls than our average (about 650 additional death calls each day) and hovered here for several days before decreasing again. Most recently, ASD's statistics found that our Call Specialists are now handling about 20% more death calls than average (about 400 more death calls each day). Keep in mind, the typical range can fluctuate 10% in either direction. For example, on May 10th, the numbers are only 8% above our typical range. While the number is still slightly elevated, it has deceased considerably. We hope to see this pattern continue.As expected, on Memorial Day, we helped 48% more families with a lost loved one compared to a normal Monday. This is due to a high percentage of clients forwarding their phones to ASD for the holiday
This graph displays the average number of death calls ASD handled each day of the week before the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, we handle more death calls on the weekends because more funeral homes have their phone lines forwarded over to our answering service.
This above graph displays ASD's total call volume from week to week. If you look at the weeks since the pandemic began, you can see that during the peak of the pandemic, thre was only about a 10 percent increase in actual call volume compared to normal time frames. However, ASD was very much impacted during this time because the increased call volume is almost entirely new deaths from COVID-19. As we've said often to our staff throughout the past few weeks, it's not the number of calls, it is the attention these calls entail. First Calls require our Call Specialists to spend more time speaking to callers and gathering information on behalf of the funeral home. In other models and graphical representations, the current coronavirus fatality rate has been difficult to determine due to widespread delays in the issuance of death certificates. This has led many to question how much and how quickly the number of COVID-19 related deaths are decreasing. ASD's independent data is based solely upon the change in the number of incoming funeral home phone calls our company handles on a day to day basis. By comparing our current numbers to our pre-COVID-19 statistics, we can provide a detailed assessment of how this coronavirus is impacting the national fatality rate over time ''We find it incredibly encouraging to see our death call numbers approaching pre-COVID-19 levels,'' says ASD Vice President and Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor. ''I believe these numbers provide an early indicator that the number of deaths attributed to the virus are in decline.''
The Invisible Front Lines: What It's Like Answering Calls for Funeral Homes Right NowASD Expands Remote Capabilities to Support Funeral Homes Through COVID-19 PandemicHow Funeral Service is Adapting to the COVID-19 Outbreak
About The Author Jess Farren (Fowler) Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD's company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess@myASD.com
Questions raised over hydroxychloroquine study which caused WHO to halt trials for Covid-19 | Science | The Guardian
Thu, 28 May 2020 07:57
Questions have been raised by Australian infectious disease researchers about a study published in the Lancet which prompted the World Health Organization to halt global trials of the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19.
The study published on Friday found Covid-19 patients who received the malaria drug were dying at higher rates and experiencing more heart-related complications than other virus patients. The large observational study analysed data from nearly 15,000 patients with Covid-19 who received the drug alone or in combination with antibiotics, comparing this data with 81,000 controls who did not receive the drug.
The findings prompted researchers from around the world to reassess their own clinical trials of the drug for preventing and treating Covid-19. The World Health Organization halted all its trials involving hydroxychloroquine due to the concerns raised in the study about its efficacy and safety. It was once viewed as among the most promising medicines to treat the virus, though no study to date has found this to be the case, and the drug can have toxic side-effects. The Australian Department of Health had been stockpiling millions of doses of the drug in case clinical trials found it proved useful.
The study, led by the Brigham and Women's Hospital Center for Advanced Heart Disease in Boston, examined patients in hospitals around the world, including in Australia. It said researchers gained access to data from five hospitals recording 600 Australian Covid-19 patients and 73 Australian deaths as of 21 April.
But data from Johns Hopkins University shows only 67 deaths from Covid-19 had been recorded in Australia by 21 April. The number did not rise to 73 until 23 April. The data relied upon by researchers to draw their conclusions in the Lancet is not readily available in Australian clinical databases, leading many to ask where it came from.
The federal health department confirmed to Guardian Australia that the data collected on notifications of Covid-19 in the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System was not the source for informing the trial.
Guardian Australia also contacted the health departments of Australia's two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, which have had by far the largest number of Covid-19 infections between them. Of the Australian deaths reported by 21 April, 14 were in Victoria and 26 in NSW.
Victoria's department confirmed the study's results relating to the Australian data did not reconcile with the state's coronavirus data, including hospital admissions and deaths. The NSW Department of Health also confirmed it did not provide the researchers with the data for its databases.
The Lancet told Guardian Australia: ''We have asked the authors for clarifications, we know that they are investigating urgently, and we await their reply.'' The lead author of the study, Dr Mandeep Mehra, said he had contacted Surgisphere, the company that provided the data, to reconcile the discrepancies with ''the utmost urgency''. Surgisphere is described as a healthcare data analytics and medical education company.
In a statement, Surgisphere founder Dr Sapan Desai, also an author on the Lancet paper, said a hospital from Asia had accidentally been included in the Australian data.
''We have reviewed our Surgisphere database and discovered that a new hospital that joined the registry on April 1, and self-designated as belonging to the Australasia continental designation,'' the spokesman said. ''In reviewing the data from each of the hospitals in the registry, we noted that this hospital had a nearly 100% composition of Asian race and a relatively high use of chloroquine compared to non-use in Australia. This hospital should have more appropriately been assigned to the Asian continental designation.''
He said the error did not change the overall study findings. It did mean that the Australian data in the paper would be revised to four hospitals and 63 deaths,.
Dr Allen Cheng, an epidemiologist and infectious disease doctor with Alfred Health in Melbourne, said the Australian hospitals involved in the study should be named. He said he had never heard of Surgisphere, and no one from his hospital, The Alfred, had provided Surgisphere with data.
''Usually to submit to a database like Surgisphere you need ethics approval, and someone from the hospital will be involved in that process to get it to a database,'' he said. He said the dataset should be made public, or at least open to an independent statistical reviewer.
''If they got this wrong, what else could be wrong?'' Cheng said. It was also a ''red flag'' to him that the paper listed only four authors.
''Usually with studies that report on findings from thousands of patients, you would see a large list of authors on the paper,'' he said. ''Multiple sources are needed to collect and analyse the data for large studies and you usually see that acknowledged in the list of authors.''
He stressed that even if the paper proved to be problematic, it did not mean hydroxychloroquine was safe or effective in treating Covid-19. No strong studies to date have shown the drug is effective. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have potentially severe and even deadly side effects if used inappropriately, including heart failure and toxicity. Other studies have found the drug is associated with higher mortality when given to severely unwell Covid-19 patients.
In a statement Surgisphere said it stood by the integrity of its data, saying all information from hospitals ''is transferred in a deidentified manner'' but could not be made public.
''This requirement allows us to only maintain collaborations with top-tier institutions that are supported by the level of data-integrity and sophistication required for such work,'' the statement said. ''Naturally, this leads to the inclusion of institutions that have a tertiary care level of practice and provide quality healthcare that is relatively homogenous around the world. As with most corporations, the access to individual hospital data is strictly governed. Our data use agreements do not allow us to make this data public.''
Scientists have reiterated the need to wait for the results from rigorous randomised control trials, considered the gold standard of science, and the Australian Department of Health has warned the drug should not be given to patients other than in clinical trials.
Cheng said it would be a mistake to stop strong, well-designed clinical trials examining the drug because of questionable data. The Lancet study findings have prompted the leaders of an Australian hydroxychloroquine trial, known as the Ascot trial, to review the future of their study. The outcome of that review has not yet been announced.
The Ascot study has been recruiting patients in more than 70 hospitals in every Australian state and territory, and 11 hospitals in New Zealand. The randomised control trial is exploring whether hydroxychloroquine in combination or on its own can treat Covid-19 patients and prevent deterioration in their condition. The leader of the trial, Prof Josh Davis, has written to the Lancet study authors asking for an explanation of the data.
In the meantime, patient recruitment for the study had been put on hold, an Ascot spokeswoman said. ''Following an observational study published in the Lancet Ascot has paused patient recruitment pending deliberations by the governance and ethics committees overseeing the trial,'' she said. ''We expect these deliberations to occur rapidly and will provide further information as they arise.''
Questions about the paper's statistical modelling have also come from other universities, including Columbia University in the US, prompting Surgisphere to issue a public statement.
Last month Australia's chief scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, urged the public to be cautious about findings and interpretations from studies in the race to find cures and treatments for Covid-19.
Serious concerns have being raised by bioethicists, clinicians and scientists that scientific rigour and peer review is falling by the wayside in the race to understand how the virus spreads and why it has such a devastating impact on some people.
Do you know more? melissa.davey@theguardian.com
Suramin and Autism - UC San Diego Health
Thu, 28 May 2020 07:39
Page Content
COVID-19 update: A Phase II clinical trial assessing the drug suramin as a treatment for autism is slated to begin in the spring of 2021, pending final approvals. Read Autism and Suramin in the Time of COVID-19 response.
For MediaCall: 858-249-0456Page: 619-290-2688Email:
Scott LaFee, slafee@ucsd.edu Heather Buschman, hbuschman@ucsd.eduFor PatientsCall UC San Diego Healthmain patient line 858-657-7000
Contact the Naviaux Labnaviauxlab.ucsd.edu/contact
Suramin is a 100-year-old drug developed to treat African sleeping sickness and river blindness. Though it has been investigated for other diseases, including cancer, it is not approved for any therapeutic use in the United States.
However, a small, randomized clinical trial conducted by Robert Naviaux, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, pediatrics and pathology, and colleagues at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have found that a single intravenous dose of suramin produced dramatic, but transient, improvement of core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Currently, there are no drugs approved for treating the core symptoms of ASD.
More broadly, the trial findings support the ''cell danger response theory,'' which posits that autism and other chronic conditions are fundamentally driven by metabolic dysfunction'--and thus treatable. Naviaux and his co-authors propose larger, longer clinical trials to assess suramin (or similar drugs) as an ASD treatment.
Press Release Q&A Poems Parent Statements Past Research Naviaux Lab
Special note from the researchers: Suramin is not approved for the treatment of autism. Like many intravenous drugs, when administered improperly by untrained personnel, at the wrong dose and schedule, without careful measurement of drug levels and monitoring for toxicity, suramin can cause harm. Careful clinical trials will be needed over several years at several sites to learn how to use low-dose suramin safely in autism, and to identify drug-drug interactions and rare side effects that cannot currently be predicted. We strongly caution against the unauthorized use of suramin.
Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, pediatrics and pathology, and co-director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center at UC San Diego School of Medicine, led the study that tested suramin in children with autism spectrum disorder. Credit: UC San Diego Health
Mitochondria and Suramin (Left) A colorized transmission electron micrograph of cellular mitochondria, which produce a small molecule called ATP. Inside cells, ATP serves as an energy source but released outside the cell, it acts as a danger signal. Suramin inhibits the signaling function of ATP, eliminating the cell danger response associated with autism. Credit: Thomas Deerinck, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, UC San Diego. (Right) Developed in 1916 by German dye manufacturers Frederich Bayer and Co., Bayer 205 (later renamed suramin) was found to be effective against parasitic trypanosomes responsible for African sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis). This bottle of suramin powder was given out free of charge for clinical trials of the first production batch. Credit: Science Museum, London.
Big Tech
New bill comes with online takedown powers
Thu, 28 May 2020 07:28
In association with
The Government has introduced a bill that will allow it to issue takedown notices and create internet filters, with a focus on combatting terrorism and violent extremism, Marc Daalder reports
New legislation will enable the Government to issue takedown notices and create internet filters for content deemed objectionable by the Chief Censor, with an eye towards terrorist and violent extremist content.
Newsroom first reported the Government was moving ahead with the suite of reforms in January. The bill was meant to be introduced in March but seems to have been delayed by Covid-19.
The bill does not appear to have changed significantly from the proposal Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin took to Cabinet in December.
"The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets," Martin said in a statement.
"Our laws need to reflect the digital age and the Government has worked with industry partners to create this bill, which will ensure law enforcement and industry partners can rapidly prevent and fight harm from illegal online content. This bill is part of a wider government programme to address violent extremism. This is about protecting New Zealanders from harmful content they can be exposed to on their everyday social media feeds."
A December Cabinet paper acknowledges the impromptu nature of the digital response to Christchurch. "While these efforts were effective," it states, "the experience highlighted the inefficiencies and ambiguities in our censorship system for responding to objectionable online content, such as that depicting an act of violent extremism or terrorism".
The paper identified five key limitations: that livestreaming is not a medium regulated by the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 (FVPCA), which is the central legislation setting up New Zealand's censorship system; bureaucratic delays in the Chief Censor's decision-making process; the inability of the Government to order removal of objectionable online content; unclear responsibilities of ISPs and online platforms; and the lack of a regulatory framework for the existing child exploitation material internet filter.
Takedown notices and enforcement powers
Alongside a number of small regulatory tweaks to ensure the amendment to the (FVPCA) doesn't conflict with the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015, the legislation has four main components.
First, the legislation introduces an ability to issue takedown notices and legally punish non-compliant websites.
As it stands, the Government is unable to direct websites to remove objectionable content. After the March 15 terror attack, police were put in the position of having to politely ask websites to take down footage of the shootings.
Now, select Government agencies - including the police - will be able to "issue a takedown notice relating to a particular online publication to an online content host if "the content is objectionable or if the person "believes, on reasonable grounds, that the online publication is objectionable".
For the purposes of this measure, "online content hosts" refers to companies "both in New Zealand and overseas that provide services to the public".
Companies issued a takedown notice must remove the content "as soon as is reasonably practicable", although they may be asked to securely and privately retain a copy for later investigation.
Non-compliant hosts can be taken to court and made to pay a fine of up to $200,000.
Because these fines would be civil pecuniary penalties, international partners that have mutual agreements with New Zealand could also enforce them. In a regulatory impact statement, Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) officials cited Australia as an example of a country that would be able to enforce such a penalty.
These notices would only be issued for objectionable content and "would only be used in situations where other options for seeking removal of objectionable content would be ineffective", the December Cabinet paper on the legislation states.
"The current collaborative practice of requesting online content hosts to voluntarily remove identified objectionable content would continue to be the first approach adopted. DIA would be required to publish the numbers of takedown notices issued, and the reasons for their issue (type of content) to ensure this power is used transparently."
Framework for internet filters
The second component of the legislation allows the DIA to create internet filters for objectionable content.
"The Department of Internal Affairs may operate an electronic system to prevent access by the public to objectionable online publications," the bill states.
The system may "prevent access by the public to a particular online publication" or "the website, a part of the website, the online application, or similar on which an [objectionable] online publication [...] is accessible".
Before launching any filter, the DIA must consult Internet Service Providers (ISPs), "technical experts and online content hosts to the extent the Secretary thinks necessary" and the public.
There are few other limits on the filtering power in the bill itself. While the legislation states "when deciding on the design and form of the system, the Secretary [of Internal Affairs] must consider", among other things, "the need to balance [...] any likely impact on public access to non-objectionable online publications; and the protection of the public from harm from objectionable online publications".
However, it then notes this "needs be considered only to the extent that it is relevant in the Secretary's view".
As it stands, the Government only operates one internet filter, the Digital Child Exploitation Filtering Service (DCEFS), which blocks access to a number of sources of child sexual exploitation material. The Cabinet paper indicated that the DCEFS would likely be brought within this new legal framework.
The DCEFS is voluntary for participation by ISPs but the Cabinet paper made clear that mandatory filters could also be created under the new framework.
Filtering proposal controversial
Although the legislation does not call for specific filters to be created, Martin told Cabinet in December she would "direct officials to commence work on a potential filter for terrorist and violent extremist content, including targeted consultation. I will report back to Cabinet in late 2020 on the progress of this workstream."
Newsroom first reported in October that the Government was exploring the possibility of a filter for violent extremist content and the revelations in January the Government was going ahead with such an idea sparked a clash between civil society and Internet Service Providers anxious to be relieved of the burden of having to choose what content to block and what to let through.
Since the March 15 terror attack, ISPs have repeatedly asked the Government to create a framework for ordering the blocking or filtering of websites. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, ISPs butted heads with DIA officials who wanted content blocked but didn't have the statutory authority to demand that.
The list of URLs to be blocked was hosted on a Google spreadsheet and on at least one occasion, an email full of website addresses for censoring was deleted by an email spam filter.
Meanwhile, InternetNZ came out strongly against the proposed filtering regime.
"We do not think filtering at the ISP level is a viable option (whether optional or mandatory for the ISP)," chief executive Jordan Carter told Newsroom in February.
"Motivated users can find ways to get around a filter. Internet filtering can also introduce security vulnerabilities into a network and, as currently scoped, will not prevent harms occurring on platforms. The risk of overreach and therefore blocking legal and legitimate content is also high.
"The evidence and analysis in the Cabinet papers do not justify the introduction of a filter."
The Cabinet paper acknowledges that "filtering is not a silver bullet" and "should constitute the final step in enforcement after all other options are exhausted".
In particular, the paper doesn't define whether the potential terrorism filter will be voluntary for ISPs to sign up to (like the DCEFS) or mandatory, for which there is no precedent in New Zealand.
Chief Censor empowered to act quickly
The third component allows the Chief Censor to make interim classifications of objectionable material if he "believes that there is an urgent need" to "notify the public that the content of the publication is likely to be objectionable (on the basis of the interim assessment)" and to "limit harm to the public".
In such a situation, the Censor would rule that the information is "likely to be objectionable". This ruling would have the same legal force as an official determination that the material was objectionable, and an official decision would need to be returned within 20 working days.
This measure seems inspired by the delay in deeming the March 15 attack video and associated manifesto objectionable. It took three days for Chief Censor David Shanks to rule the livestream objectionable and another five days for the manifesto.
Lastly, the legislation makes it an offence to livestream objectionable content. This measure appears to address concern that such actions were not already illegal under the FVPCA, a notion some legal experts have objected to. The new offence would be punishable by up to 14 years in prison if carried out by an individual or a $200,000 fine for corporations.
One day NOT using Silicon Valley platforms will become the definition of "Hacking on the Internet"
What critical thinking? Wayback Machine is now complicit in Big Tech censorship '-- RT Op-ed
Tue, 26 May 2020 08:22
By Elliot Leavy, former editor of the technology and innovation magazine maize and editor of culture magazine BOZO. He has written for numerous publications around the world focussing on technology, belief systems, and culture.
The webpage archive service Wayback Machine's decision to additionally label already-deleted articles as 'disinformation' is internet history revisionism that comes at a time when critical thinking is desperately needed.
Earlier this month, Wayback Machine took heed of MIT Technology Review's protests that they are breathing life into debunked coronavirus 'hoaxes', and took to retroactively labelling past web pages and content removed from their original pages with warnings decrying the information presented as false.
The pages in question come from popular platforms such as Medium which, in theory, were launched to allow users to create content without it being editorialised by the powers that be. By redefining content after it has already been removed, Wayback Machine is adding a level of editorialisation atop of another '-- adding insult to injury by obfuscating original messages and overlaying them with a warning of disinformation. Disinformation being defined as misleading information that is spread deliberately to deceive.
Throughout the big tech sphere, this is nothing new: censorship by the new arbiters of truth is now the norm. However, with coronavirus in full swing, the mission creep toward mass-censorship has become more of a lurch. We are no longer allowed to critically think for ourselves. Instead we are offered one of three options: information, misinformation or disinformation, with the latter hidden away from view lest we get any bad ideas. Nuance, in effect, is no longer an option.
The obvious problem here is that conflicting information surrounding the virus is as widespread as the virus itself. When the world is full of unknowns, who is to say what is and is not disinformation, and where honest miscalculation or tentative prediction ends and malicious intent begins? Why is it that some opinions are removed, whilst others '-- some proven to be incorrect '-- are not?
For example, at the end of last month, research collated by the paediatric blog Don't Forget The Bubbles, together with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), found that, globally, there is no evidence of children having passed Covid-19 to adults, and that children have much less severe symptoms and often do not have any at all.
Also on rt.com Dystopian and disturbing: Big Tech censorship lumps together conspiracy loons and proper scientists Despite this fact, reports across some media outlets in the UK have parroted teacher unions' cries that it is ''Not safe to reopen schools.'' Contrary to the evidence then, is this not disinformation? The unions of course have an agenda, so why is this information not labelled as disinformation? Or at the bare minimum, misinformation?
Then there is the tweet by the World Health Organisation published in January that stated that there was ''no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus.'' Two months later, the WHO declared a global pandemic. At the time of writing, there is still no signalling that this was, in fact, deeply incorrect. Why has it not been removed and/or changed? Was this not disinformation?
Read more
The list goes on. In February, Forbes quoted a doctor who claimed that wearing masks would in fact increase the chances of transmitting the virus. If one today uses the Wayback Machine internet archiving service on the Forbes article in question, there lies no mark of shame decrying it as a hoax, which begs the question, why not? It is possible to read this as at least misinformation if you ignore intent; so why the difference in standards? Are the results not the same?
The answer, one must assume, has nothing to do with what is or is not true. Instead, it seems that this censorship presumes nefariousness upon some, whilst assuming ignorance in others. It is not only the content that is being judged '-- else the WHO tweet would have been removed or at least labelled '-- but the author. Gone are the days where we did not shoot the messenger, now both him and the message are fair game.
By towing the censorship line like it has, Wayback Machine '-- which has offered a valuable service up until this point '-- is now complicit. The division and disparity in the enforced rules between different voices reveals that behind the mask lies an agenda.
By tarnishing some '-- but not all '-- voices with the disinformation brush, much of the media, academia, and (predominantly) big tech are putting ideological allegiances before anything else. Now, as ever, is not the time for that. Once we know more, we can evaluate what is wrong and what is right. However, if we continue to censor the past, attaching intent to some but not to others, we will be unable to evaluate anything at all.
If you like this story, share it with a friend!
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Wayback Machine Latest Victim of Big Tech Consolidation and Censorship
Tue, 26 May 2020 08:25
I n what is turning out to be something of a latter-day dot com bust, many small to medium-sized tech startups are teetering on the edge of oblivion as the deliberate economic shutdown eats away at their capitalization and opens the door for the biggest fish in the tech space and others to pick the ripest fruit from the tech start up tree.
As opposed to the original, this start up bust is accompanied by a very precise view of market opportunities for interested buyers and investors, brought on by an equally deliberate reshaping of workplace conditions and societal interactions which are driving companies like Microsoft to ''aggregate capabilities'' in ''cloud computing, collaboration, access management, and other business continuity tools that saw a surge in demand during regional lockdowns.''
The ride-share behemoth, Uber, for example, is reportedly in talks to acquire Grubhub and expand its food-delivery operations, while Microsoft just completed its purchase of robotic automation company, Softomotive. One global research and advisory firm that focuses on IT and finance has even put out a guide ''on how tech startups can best prepare for being acquired by a larger company,'' revealing that just 13 companies accounted for a full 60 percent of the $150 billion raised by tech startups between March and April.
Signs that yet another massive wave of consolidation in the technology sector is on the horizon and is already raising concerns throughout the industry, but the fact that it is occurring in tandem with a larger push by outfits like Twitter, Facebook and other huge tech players to stifle freedom of online expression and association should make us pay closer attention to the dynamics at play.
Censorship creepUnder the guise of facilitating conversation, Twitter unveiled changes to the reply feature that ostensibly gives users more control, but in reality, it broadens the ability to censor content. The new format, still in testing mode, will allow users to select who can and cannot reply to their tweets. This, of course, presents a serious problem from the vantage point of free flowing interaction and gives even more power to the most popular accounts to stifle undesirable feedback, leaving their viewpoints publicly unchallenged.
Another seemingly innocuous development in the last few days was the announcement made by popular podcaster Joe Rogan on his move to Spotify. The comedian and UFC commentator's immensely popular podcast has been freely available on YouTube and other platforms since its inception, but his multi-million-dollar exclusive licensing deal with the music platform will further cloister content behind a single outfit and likely diminish its reach and propagation.
Perhaps the most concerning, however, are the changes taking place at one of the most important research tools on the Internet and, up to now, a venerable tool for online transparency: The Wayback Machine.
Misplaced centuryIn the campy 1970s futuristic movie ''Rollerball,'' starring a young James Caan as a superstar athlete at the twilight of his celebrated career, there is a curious scene in which his character, Jonathan E, visits an archive where the entire knowledge base of humanity is stored. The man in charge of the quantum computer-like machine mentions, in passing, that due to some unknown glitch, the records containing the whole of the thirteenth century have been lost.
Such a predicament is, no doubt, much closer to becoming a real possibility as more and more of humanity's knowledge is accumulated in massive digital repositories. The danger is not only in the outright loss of stored data as a result of technical malfunctions but also in the greater ability to execute historical revisionism and misrepresenting facts to future generations. Wikipedia '' a widely consulted online encyclopedia '' is already guilty of this. But, now the Wayback Internet archive is trending down this slippery slope with its recently implemented labeling of snapshot results as potential disinformation.
As a former editor, Elliot Leavy, warns in an article addressing the changes at the Wayback Machine site, ''if we continue to censor the past, attaching intent to some but not to others, we will be unable to evaluate anything at all.'' Indeed, the new measures instituted at the behest of MIT's Technology Review over worries of COVID-19 hoaxes do not bode well for the survival of historical accuracy and a discerning populace.
The promise of the internet as an ''information superhighway'' modeled around democratized access to information is quickly eroding before our very eyes, as the measures are taken to curb the COVID-19 pandemic are being used to restrict unfettered knowledge. Together with the swift consolidation of tech companies that own the means to distribute and create the platforms we are obliged to use, we might soon find ourselves feeling like Jonathan E did when he realized that his once greatest supporters and benefactors were only looking to push him out the door and find a more pliable and less curious superstar.
Feature photo | The homepage of Internet Archive is displayed on a PC. Sharaf Maksumov | Shuttershock
Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.
Michael Moore film Planet of the Humans removed from YouTube | Film | The Guardian
Tue, 26 May 2020 09:00
British environmental photographer's copyright claim prompts website to remove film that has been condemned by climate scientists
Michael Moore's film Planet of the Humans has been removed from YouTubePhotograph: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty ImagesYouTube has taken down the controversial Michael Moore-produced documentary Planet of the Humans in response to a copyright infringement claim by a British environmental photographer.
The movie, which has been condemned as inaccurate and misleading by climate scientists and activists, allegedly includes a clip used without the permission of the owner Toby Smith, who does not approve of the context in which his material is being used.
In response, the filmmakers denied violating fair usage rules and accused their critics of politically motivated censorship.
Smith filed the complaint to YouTube on 23 May after discovering Planet of the Humans used several seconds of footage from his Rare Earthenware project detailing the journey of rare earth minerals from Inner Mongolia.
Smith, who has previously worked on energy and environmental issues, said he did not want his work associated with something he disagreed with. ''I went directly to YouTube rather than approaching the filmmakers because I wasn't interested in negotiation. I don't support the documentary, I don't agree with its message and I don't like the misleading use of facts in its narrative.''
Planet of the Humans director Jeff Gibbs said he was working with YouTube to resolve the issue and have the film back up as soon as possible.
He said in a statement: ''This attempt to take down our film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of Planet of the Humans. It is a misuse of copyright law to shut down a film that has opened a serious conversation about how parts of the environmental movement have gotten into bed with Wall Street and so-called ''green capitalists.'' There is absolutely no copyright violation in my film. This is just another attempt by the film's opponents to subvert the right to free speech.''
Planet of the Humans, which has been seen by more than 8 million people since it was launched online last month, describes itself as a ''full-frontal assault'' on the sacred cows of the environmental movement.
Veteran climate campaigners and thinkers, such as Bill McKibben and George Monbiot, have pointed out factual errors, outdated footage and promotion of myths about renewable energy propagated by the fossil fuel industry. Many are dismayed that Moore '' who built his reputation as a left-wing filmmaker and supporter of civil rights '' should produce a work endorsed by climate sceptics and right-wing thinktanks.
Several have signed a letter urging the removal of what they called a ''shockingly misleading and absurd'' documentary. Climate scientist Michael Mann said the filmmakers ''have done a grave disservice to us and the planet'' with distortions, half-truths and lies.
On Moore's official YouTube channel, the usual link to the film has been replaced by a page noting ''Video unavailable. This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by a third party.'' On the Planet of the Humans website, the link to the full movie is also dead, though the trailers and other video material are functioning as normal.
'Planet Of The Humans' EP Michael Moore Reacts To Documentary Yanked Off YouTube '' Deadline
Tue, 26 May 2020 09:00
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs' controversial documentary Planet of the Humans has been removed from YouTube, where it was streaming for free '-- a move the pair calls a ''blatant act of censorship.''
EP Moore and writer-producer Gibbs told Deadline they discovered today that their film, which has racked more than 8.3 million views in a month-plus, was taken down from YouTube after a copyright claim was lodged against the documentary over four seconds of footage it contains.
''This attempt to take down our film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of Planet of the Humans,'' Gibbs said in a statement provided exclusively to Deadline (read it below). ''It is a misuse of copyright law to shut down a film that has opened a serious conversation about how parts of the environmental movement have gotten into bed with Wall Street and so-called 'green capitalists.' There is absolutely no copyright violation in my film.''
Related StoryMichael Moore-Backed 'Planet Of The Humans' Extends YouTube Run, Reports 8M Views Michael MooreThe four-second clip subject to the copyright right claim comes 37 minutes into the documentary, in a sequence titled ''How Solar Panels & Wind Turbines Are Made.'' The footage shows a mining operation for rare earth metals, which are used in wind turbine manufacture. Gibbs says he incorporated the footage under ''fair use,'' an exception to copyright law that allows news reporters, producers and documentary filmmakers limited access to copyrighted material to illustrate points.
It's unclear who asserted the copyright violation, though Moore's rep suspects a person who runs an environmental foundation that, in turn, is funded by a group with ties to an environmentalist criticized in the documentary. YouTube notifies content creators automatically after a copyright infringement claim has been lodged. The creator then has an opportunity to ''contact claimant'' to resolve the matter or to dispute the claim through YouTube. A representative for Moore and Gibbs confirmed that the filmmakers have formally disputed the copyright infringement claim through YouTube.
''We are working with YouTube to resolve this issue,'' Gibbs wrote in his statement, ''and have the film back up as soon as possible.''
Moore posted Planet of the Humans to YouTube on the eve of Earth Day last month. The film argues that purported ''green solutions'' to fossil fuels offer a false promise of saving the planet from environmental collapse caused by global warming, over-consumption and resource depletion. Gibbs insists the environmental movement must address population growth and mass consumption if it is to have any real impact on what he sees as an apocalyptic scenario. The film also raises questions about possible financial conflicts of interest among leading environmentalists who back green energy, including former Vice President Al Gore and Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org.
The documentary, especially coming from the unassailably left-wing Moore and Gibbs and not righ-twing climate-change deniers, was bound to provoke a strong reaction. Among the environmental champions leading the charge against Planet of the Humans has been Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of Gasland. Fox led an earlier campaign on Twitter to get the docu ''retracted by its creators and distributors,'' calling the film ''shockingly misleading and absurd.''
The effort by Fox triggered its own backlash, with the writers organization PEN America labeling it attempted censorship. In his statement to Deadline, Gibbs once against decried any attempt to keep the film from reaching the public.
Here is Gibbs' full statement to Deadline:
This attempt to take down our film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of Planet of the Humans. It is a misuse of copyright law to shutdown a film that has opened a serious conversation about how parts of the environmental movement have gotten into bed with Wall Street and so-called ''green capitalists.'' There is absolutely no copyright violation in my film. This is just another attempt by the film's opponents to subvert the right to free speech.
Opponents of Planet of the Humans, who do not like its critique of the failures of the environmental movement, have worked for weeks to have the film taken down and to block us from appearing on TV and on livestream. Their efforts to subvert free speech have failed, with nearly eight and a half million people already viewing the film on YouTube. These Trumpian tactics are shameful, and their aim to stifle free speech and prevent people from grappling with the uncomfortable truths exposed in this film is deeply disturbing.
PEN America, which was founded in 1922 and fights for the free speech of artists in the U.S. and around the world, came out strongly and denounced the initial attempt to censor this film, and we hope all champions of free expression condemn this act of censorship. We are working with YouTube to resolve this issue and have the film back up as soon as possible.''
Social distancing beeper will go off if you're within 6 feet of someone
Wed, 27 May 2020 06:46
By Charlotte Edwards, The Sun
May 20, 2020 | 2:53pm
Enlarge Image Pathfindr created a beeper that can be worn by workers to alert them to social distancing boundaries. pathfindr.io
A social distancing gadget that beeps whenever you're not keeping six feet from someone could help people return to work.
The beeper has been invented by Pathfindr and aims to helps companies keep their workers safe.
In the UK and the US, two meters (six feet) apart is the recommended distance to stand in order to try and not spread Covid-19.
Pathfindr, based in Norfolk in the UK, usually provides internet-based technical solutions for companies.
However, since the coronavirus pandemic broke out the company has received thousands of concerns about keeping workers safe in the office.
This is why Pathfindr has now entirely switched its production to focus on beepers.
The company's chief technical officer, Ben Sturgess, told Sky News: ''It's very simple to use. You wear it round your neck, on a belt or in your pocket and it pings out a signal constantly at a rate of about two per second.
pathfindr.io''If there are any other devices nearby, it sends the message back, calculating how far that other person is away and if you're within two meters it emits an audible beep.''
The company tried to harness Bluetooth technology at first but realized this was bouncing off objects and being blocked by people's bodies.
Sturgess added: ''We are using technology called ultra-wideband which is a much higher frequency.
''The device measures how long a radio wave takes to travel at the speed of light from one device to another and back again.''
Pathfindr managed to create a useable device in less than four weeks.
Hundreds of units per week are already being sold but international demand is surging.
The company is expecting many thousands of orders per week by next month.
Reports Are Swirling Around Amazon's Plan To Buy AMC Theatres
Wed, 27 May 2020 07:14
Bisnow/Jon Banister
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
Amazon is reportedly considering buying the largest movie theater chain in the United States, as the e-commerce behemoth goes from strength to strength amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Jeff Bezos-led firm and AMC Theatres have been in talks about a potential buyout, the Daily Mail reports. Neither party confirmed the possible deal, and Deadline Hollywood reported that no discussions had taken place at all.
Still, shares in AMC Theatres soared as a result of the press, jumping 47% in active premarket trading Monday, per MarketWatch.
The movie theater industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with stringent stay-at-home orders making it illegal for most theaters to operate. More than 634 AMC locations in the U.S. and Canada have closed, thousands of its employees have been furloughed and the company is reportedly on the brink of a Chapter 11 filing.
Amazon, which has seen a massive spike in demand as shoppers are forced to withdraw from brick-and-mortar buying, looked at buying Landmark Theatres back in 2018 but was beaten by Cohen Media Group, per the Daily Mail. The purchase of AMC would give Amazon access to 10,000 screens globally.
Amazon, which makes content through a subsidiary, Amazon Studios, is just one of the major players in the so-called content streaming wars, which were already beginning to reshape commercial real estate.
Increasingly, streaming services have wanted to build and control their own production space and creative hubs for their talent, making that kind of real estate more valuable, as Bisnow has previously reported. If Amazon is able to acquire AMC, it would be another piece of the retail market '-- after books, apparel, technology and groceries '-- the Seattle-based tech giant has a large presence in.
Bisnow NY Newsletter
Confirmed! You are subscribed to the Bisnow New York E-Newsletter.
Complete Profile
AMC Theatres - Wikipedia
Wed, 27 May 2020 07:15
This article is about the American movie theater chain. For the cable television channel operator of the same name, see
AMC Networks.
US-based movie theater chain in the US and Europe
AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.PublicTraded asNYSE: AMC (Class A)Russell 2000 ComponentISIN US00165C1045 IndustryEntertainmentPredecessorsFoundedJanuary 1, 1920 ; 100 years ago ( 1920-01-01 ) (as American Multi-Cinema)Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.FoundersEdward DurwoodMaurice DurwoodBarney DurwoodHeadquarters,U.S.
Number of locations
1,006 theaters and 11,091 screens[1]Key people
Revenue US$5.461 billion (2018)[1] US$265.0 million (2018)[1] US$110.1 million (2018)[1] Total assets US$9.496 billion (2018)[1] Total equity US$1.398 billion (2018)[1]OwnerNumber of employees
4,408 full-time and 35,754 part-time (December 2018)[1]DivisionsOdeon Cinemas GroupSubsidiariesWebsite amctheatres.com AMC Theatres (originally an abbreviation for American Multi-Cinema; often referred to simply as AMC and known in some countries as AMC Cinemas or AMC Multi-Cinemas) is an American movie theater chain headquartered in Leawood, Kansas, and the largest movie theater chain in the world. Founded in 1920, AMC has the largest share of the U.S. theater market ahead of Cineworld and Cinemark Theatres.
After acquiring Odeon Cinemas, UCI Cinemas, and Carmike Cinemas in 2016, it became the largest movie theater chain in both the world and the United States.[2] It has 2,200 screens in 244 theatres in Europe and over 8,200 screens in 661 theatres in the United States.[3]
The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange; from 2012 to 2018, the Chinese conglomorate Wanda Group owned a majority stake in the company. Private equity firm Silver Lake Partners made a $600 million investment in AMC in September 2018, but the voting powers of AMC shares are structured in such a way that Wanda Group still controls the majority of AMC's board of directors.[4]
As of March 17, 2020, all AMC theaters are temporarily closed.[5]
History [ edit ] AMC Theatres was founded in 1920 by Maurice, Edward, and Barney Dubinsky, who had been traveling the Midwest performing melodramas and tent shows with actress Jeanne Eagels. They purchased the Regent Theatre on 12th Street between Walnut and Grand in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.[6] The Dubinskys eventually changed their name to Durwood, and the company they formed eventually became known as Durwood Theatres.
In 1961, Edward's son Stanley H. Durwood took control of Durwood Theatres, then a small 10-theatre chain, when his father died. Stanley had attended Harvard University and served as a navigator in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. He renamed Durwood Theatres as American Royal Cinema on October 1, 1968.[7]
During the incorporation process, the name was changed to American Multi-Cinema, Inc., and Stanley began to apply military management and the insights of management science to revolutionize the movie theatre industry.[8] As he later explained to Variety magazine, "We needed to define what our company was doing in the (exhibition) business. My dad wasn't that organized."[9] It was structured under the belief that every customer was a "guest".
Under its new name, AMC Theatres opened the two-screen Parkway Twin theatre in a shopping center on Kansas City's Ward Parkway in 1963. This was the company's first foray into using the multiplex model. According to Variety, Stanley Durwood later claimed in 1962 that he "was standing in the lobby of his 600-seat Roxy in Kansas City mulling over its poor grosses, when he realized he could double his box office by adding a second screen and still operate with the same size staff."[10]
The industry quickly embraced the multiplex concept, where additional screens meant very little difference in staff and operating costs but resulted in a significant increase in profits. The concept also provided more film choices at one location, drawing bigger crowds. It also gave owners the flexibility to show big hits on more screens, and less reliance on any individual film that could turn out to be a bust.[11]
By the 1980s, the company was experiencing strong growth. AMC Theatres had built and was operating a number of 10-screen multiplex cinemas in the United Kingdom, including sites at locations such as Dudley and Tamworth. These were subsequently bought and taken over by UCI.
In 1995, AMC Theatres pioneered the first North American megaplex, a theater that could accommodate thousands, when it opened the AMC Grand 24 in Dallas, Texas;[12] the first megaplex in the world had been built by European chain Kinepolis in 1988. AMC continued to open other megaplex theaters, such as the AMC Hampton Towne Center 24 in Hampton, Virginia, and the chain's busiest theater in the US, the AMC Empire 25 in New York City near Times Square.
The largest theaters in the AMC Theatres chain have 30 screens, including the AMC DINE-IN Studio 30 in Olathe, Kansas, the Gulf Pointe 30 in Houston, Texas, the AMC DINE-IN Grapevine Mills 30 in Grapevine, Texas, the AMC Ontario Mills 30 in Ontario, California, the AMC Orange 30 in Orange, California, the AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville, IL (now 17 screens and run by Regal Entertainment Group), and the AMC Forum 30 in Sterling Heights, Michigan.[13]
AMC Theatres' megaplex theatres were a success overseas as well. On December 20, 1996, AMC Theatres opened the AMC Arrbida 20 in Portugal. In January 2002, the 16-screen Great Northern theatre was opened in Manchester, which was later supplemented by the opening of a 12-screen cinema on the Broadway Plaza site in Birmingham in October 2003. AMC Theatres' United Kingdom outlets typically serve a dual function; in addition to the normal cinema functions, they also cater to companies' business conferences which can make use of their projectors for displaying presentations.[citation needed ]
AMC Theatres was acquired by Marquee Holdings Inc. in 2004, an investment vehicle controlled by affiliates of J.P. Morgan Partners, LLC, the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase, and Apollo Global Management, a private investment firm.[14] At the time, AMC was publicly traded on AMEX under the code AEN.[15]
In 2006, the company announced a new initial public offering (IPO), which was expected to be worth approximately $789 million;[16] however, adverse market conditions convinced the company's management to withdraw from such an offering on May 3, 2007.[17] The company filed for a $450 million IPO in its third such filing since 2006 on July 14, 2010.[18][19]
Stanley Durwood died in 1999, and his successor was Peter Brown, the first non-Dubinsky/Durwood family member to head the company.[10] Gerardo I. Lopez succeeded Brown as president and CEO of AMC Theatres on March 2, 2009.[20] Previously, Lopez was the Executive Vice President of President Consumer Products Group, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Foodservice at Starbucks.[citation needed ] Under new leadership, one of the first major announcements came in March of the same year; the company announced that it would equip 1,500 of its screens with Real D projectors.[21] In the same month, AMC Theatres announced that it had closed on a $315 million deal with Sony the parent company of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Interactive Entertainment to replace all of its reel projectors with digital cinema projectors, starting in the second quarter of 2009 and completing in 2012.[22]
The company used to have its headquarters in downtown Kansas City. In September 2011, AMC Theatres announced plans to move its headquarters to a new $30 million four-story building designed by 360 Architecture in the Park Place development at 117th Street and Nall Avenue in Leawood, Kansas in suburban Kansas City. The state of Kansas had offered $47 million in incentives to get the 400 jobs to move.[23]
After reaching a settlement with the state of Illinois in April 2012 regarding complaints from a disability rights organization, AMC pledged to equip all of its theaters in the state with captioning and description services by 2014. The disability rights group had accused the company of only providing closed captioning or audio description systems at some of its locations in the state.[24]
AMC Theatres was acquired by Wanda Group, a Chinese conglomerate headquartered in Dalian, in May 2012. Wanda Group paid $2.6 billion to acquire AMC Theatres' 5,048 screens in 347 theaters in the U.S. and Canada.[25] The deal was finalized on September 4, 2012.[26] The acquisition made Wanda the world's largest cinema chain.[27] Wang Jianlin, CEO of Dalian Wanda Group, announced that the company would plan to spend $500 million renovating AMC locations.[26]
AMC Theatres had eight movie theatres in Canada. In July 2012, four locations were sold to Cineplex Entertainment, and two more locations were sold to Empire Theatres and later acquired by Landmark Cinemas. The two remaining locations have since closed.[28]
Gerardo I. Lopez announced his resignation as CEO of AMC in August 2015. Craig Ramsey was appointed as the interim CEO by the company board.[29] In December 2015, AMC announced that Adam Aron would be the company's president and chief executive officer beginning January 4, 2016. Aron will also be a member of the company's board of directors.[30]
In March 2016, AMC Theatres announced it would acquire competitor Carmike Cinemas.[31] In July 2016 Carmike's management accepted a revised offer, pending regulatory, and shareholder approval.[32] The deal was closed on December 25, 2016,(Christmas Day) making AMC the largest cinema chain in the United States.[33]
On March 1, 2017, AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron stated that the company would re-brand the Carmike Cinemas locations under the AMC name; smaller locations were rebranded under the new banner AMC Classic (which repurposes trademarks associated with Carmike). Aron also announced a plan to re-brand its kitchen-equipped theaters under the name AMC Dine-In.[34][35]
In July 2017, AMC Theatres announced they would be cutting $30 million in expenses by the end of the year. This cost reduction will be accomplished by reducing operating hours, cutting staffing levels, and other measures.[36]
In September 2018, Silver Lake Partners made a $600 million investment in AMC Theatres, whose proceeds were used to repurchase approximately 32% of Wanda Group's class B common stock.[37] However, the voting powers of AMC's shares are structured in such a way that even after reducing its ownership of AMC common stock to just under 50% by the end of 2019, Wanda Group continues to retain majority control over AMC's board of directors.[4]
In October 2019, AMC began to offer on-demand rentals and purchases of digital film releases under the banner AMC Theatres On Demand. The service is tied to the company's Stubs loyalty program.[38][39][40]
On March 17, 2020, AMC announced the closure of all of its theaters for a six to 12 week period due to the ongoing 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.[41] Beginning March 20, 2020, AMC furloughed all employees until further notice. Employees were not given any pay. On March 25, 2020, AMC furloughed all of its 600 corporate employees, including CEO Adam Aron. All furloughed corporate AMC employees and associates retain their active employment status, including all health benefits.[42]
On April 28, 2020, AMC announced that they would no longer play films from Universal Pictures, following the studio's decision to release its films on demand.[43]
Features [ edit ] AMC introduced stadium-style seating. The seats are placed on risers so that each person has an unobstructed view of the screen and have adjustable armrests that can be raised to create "Love Seat" style seating. Both of these features have become standard for nearly all movie theaters built today by almost all major chains.[44]
Premium formats [ edit ] Selected AMC locations offer premium screens and features for a higher ticket price, including large-screen formats. Most theater locations are equipped to show 3D films in RealD 3D.
Dolby Cinema auditoriums feature dual 4K laser projectors with Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Atmos surround sound, and recliners with seat-mounted subwoofers. They also feature special entrance tunnels into the auditorium, with a display that displays video content relating to the film being screened.[45][46]IMAX auditoriums are available at many locations; IMAX Digital projectors are used in most locations, with a few using traditional 70 mm analog projectors.Prime at AMC auditoriums feature large screens with Dolby Atmos, and recliners with seat-mounted subwoofers.[47][48]BigD is a large-screen format inherited from the Carmike Cinemas chain, which uses a 70-foot screen and stadium seating with retractable armrests.[49][50]Defunct [ edit ] ETXETX (Enhanced Theatre Experience) is a premium large format used by AMC in select markets, which is currently being phased out in favor of AMC Prime and Dolby Cinema. It was originally introduced in 2009.Non-film formats [ edit ] Virtual RealityAMC Entertainment Holdings Inc invested $20 million in virtual-reality arcades and productions: $10 million to virtual reality entertainment company Dreamscape Immersive and another $10 million in a content fund.[51]Guest loyalty programs [ edit ] AMC Theatres created the now-defunct MovieWatcher program that rewarded frequent movie-goers similar to other rewards programs but featured innovative aspects. It was based on a points-per-movie-ticket-purchased system, with rewards varying from concessions to movie passes based on point-based level. However, points were limited to a maximum of four points per three-hour time period, which was equal to two tickets.[52] For those AMC cinemas which were not part of the Loews Cineplex acquisition, and therefore, ticketed by MovieTickets.com, the website's surcharge was waived for MovieWatcher members.[citation needed ]
On April 1, 2011, AMC started a new rewards program known as AMC Stubs.[53] This program could be purchased for a fee of $12 for an entire year. For that initial fee, each AMC Stubs member would receive $5 on every $50 spent between the box office and the concession stand at any AMC theater nationwide. AMC Stubs members also received a free size upgrade with every popcorn and drink they purchase (for example, an AMC Stubs member can get a large popcorn for the price of a regular).
Other perks include birthday gifts and waived ticketing fees for online ticketing sites such as MovieTickets.com and Fandango and also online ticket purchases through AMC's own website and mobile app. Receipts or ticket stubs were required for manual adjustments. No more than four manual adjustments would be allowed per account in a single calendar month. Manual adjustments would be made for purchases made within 30 calendar days from date of original purchase.[54]
As of March 29, 2012, AMC Stubs had 3.2 million members, which represents approximately 18% of AMC attendance during fiscal 2012.[53] In July 2018, AMC Stubs was split into three programs which are currently still in-place: the free AMC Stubs Insider; the yearly fee-based AMC Stubs Premiere, which costs $15 annually and provides the same benefits as the original Stubs plus an expedited line at tickets and concessions; and the monthly fee-based AMC Stubs A-List, which includes up to 3 movie tickets a week to any film in any format for $19.95 to $23.95 a month, depending on the state the member plans to watch movies in.[55][56] Discount Tuesdays is another feature every Tuesday for members to purchase tickets typically for just $6 to any film in most locations, with occasional exclusions, plus surcharges for premium formats such as 3D, IMAX, and Dolby Cinema, as well as special events.
MacGuffins Bar and Lounge [ edit ] Some AMC locations have a bar service under the MacGuffins brand. These are primarily offered at AMC and AMC Dine-in locations, but some AMC Classic locations with liquor licenses offer their alcoholic beverages under this brand. Drinks can be ordered to be drunken in the bar and lounge area or taken into the theater. Some AMC Dine-in theaters have their MacGuffins set up as a full service restaurant that can be accessed without having to pay for a movie ticket.[57]
Vouchers [ edit ] Several types of vouchers may be used at AMC Theatres.
Black And Yellow ticketsAMC sells Black and Yellow (formerly Red, Green, Gold, and Silver) tickets, typically priced from $8.50 to $10.25, that can be purchased in bulk at many retailers, like Costco and Sam's Club, as well as at AMC locations. Both can be redeemed towards any movie, but yellow tickets cannot be redeemed in the states of California, New York, and New Jersey.[58] Regardless of the ticket used, surcharges apply for special presentations and premium formats such as RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, IMAX, among others.[59]Gift cardsAMC offers gift cards, which are sold at AMC theaters and by some retailers. They can be used to buy goods or services (such as tickets and food) both online and at AMC theaters[60].Snack vouchersAMC offers Show Snacks coupons. Some can be exchanged for a small popcorn, while others offer a small fountain drink. The chain also offers similar coupons via SMS or smartphone apps. Older coupons specially designed for the concession stand may be honored by AMC, at its discretion.Policy for R-rated films [ edit ] AMC adheres to its own Rated R policy. Slight differences exist per market, but nationwide, no person under age 17 is admitted into an R-rated film without a parent or guardian aged 21 or older purchasing their ticket and joining them in the theater. Those who do meet or exceed the age of 17 but look under the age of 25 must present a photo ID with name and date of birth to be admitted to such movies.[61] Also, children under the age of 6 cannot attend R-rated showings after 6 pm.[62]
Brands [ edit ] Most locations operate under the main AMC brand after the Carmike merger, but AMC introduced two additional brands for their theaters. Along with their main AMC brand, previously AMC has operated locations under the Loews, Star Theatres, Starplex, Showcase, and Magic (Johnson) Theatres names, among others, but as of February 28, 2017, have started phasing those brands out along with Carmike's own brands (Carmike, Muvico, Digiplex, Sundance, and GKC) and is unifying them under one of three names.[63][64] Although the announcement was made on March 1, 2017 one location acquired from Carmike was re-branded to AMC Classic on February 23, 2017, seven days before the announcement.[citation needed ] The transition was finished in April 2017.
AMC Theatres [ edit ] The main AMC brand is being used at most locations and will include premium features such as recliner seating, reserved seating, MacGuffins bars, and large format auditoriums such as IMAX. These locations also have concession stands with "innovative" menus. These locations use the slogan "AMC Amazing" and use the main corporate logo (see top) for their branding.
AMC Classic [ edit ] The AMC Classic banner was introduced following AMC's purchase of Carmike Cinemas, and is primarily used by its former locations. They are positioned as smaller, value-oriented cinemas. Since the purchase, some AMC Classic locations have undergone refurbishments to add expanded concessions options (including an expanded menu, MacGuffins bars, and Coca-Cola Freestyle machines), upgraded AV equipment, and reclining seats.[65]
Some theatres like Festival Plaza 16 in Montgomery, Alabama, and Palm Promenade 24 in San Diego, California were formerly part of the main AMC brand.
AMC Dine-In Theatres [ edit ] In several markets, AMC offers Dine-In Theaters branded as Fork and Screen, Cinema Suites, and Red Kitchen which offer the option to order full meals and alcoholic beverages. They also feature reserved seating with a button located by every seat to signal a server. After the Carmike merger, AMC announced that all locations with full kitchen service will be unified under the AMC Dine-In brand phasing out the current sub-brands and the brands used by Carmike: Ovation, Sundance, and Bogart's.
Some locations currently are configured as "Dine-In Express Pick-up" locations where the dine-in menu is offered but the locations lack the table service in the actual theaters [66] These locations are currently former Sundance Theaters and 2 former Muvico locations that had Bogart's Bar & Grill restaurants attached. These locations use the marketing slogan "Movies with a Menu" and use a logo depicting a fork in a film countdown circle.
Universal Cinema, an AMC Theatre [ edit ] The AMC Citywalk Stadium 19 located in Universal Studios Hollywood's Citywalk was rebranded under this name in December 2016, and was renovated and had its grand reopening on April 21, 2017 under the new brand. This location includes a seven-story IMAX screen with IMAX Laser and IMAX 70mm Film, as well as "Black Box"''inspired design auditoriums. It has one Christie Laser Projector per auditorium, with Dolby Atmos speakers.[67]
Other endeavors [ edit ] AMC Theatres has also had some endeavors that did not prove as viable, such as experimenting with 16 mm film for projection and selling microwave popcorn at concession stands in the South several years ago.[when? ] They also stumbled by agreeing to install the Sony Dynamic Digital Sound system in all their new locations, rather than the more popular Dolby Digital or DTS systems. While the majority of major releases have all three digital tracks, including SDDS, most independent and smaller-budget films only have Dolby Digital tracks, leaving many theaters in AMC's otherwise ultra-modern megaplexes showing films in analog sound.
In July 1994, AMC Theatres signed an agreement with Sony to begin installing Dolby Digital in auditoriums,[68] and in 2003 began upgrading selected older auditoriums. AMC announced an agreement on March 26, 2009, to convert 1,500 existing auditoriums to fully digital 3D screens using RealD technology.[69] On March 30, 2009, AMC announced they will convert all 4500 screens in their chain to 4K digital projectors provided by Sony.[70]In competition with IMAX, AMC had begun its conversion at select locations to the 'Enhanced Theatre Experience' (ETX), with the installation of larger screens, 12-channel surround sound, and digital projection (utilizing either Sony 4K projection or Christie DLP technology). AMC's ETX includes Dolby Atmos in some locations.[71] As of 2016, some of these ETX locations have become Dolby Cinema at AMC locations.
AMC also formed a short-lived partnership with Planet Hollywood which failed due to Planet Hollywood's bankruptcy. The Planet Movies by AMC venture planned to open complexes worldwide with the objective of having icon locations in major metropolitan and other select areas, like Orlando and Columbus. Initially, seven existing, unnamed AMC megaplex theaters with more than 150 combined screens were to be re-branded under a license arrangement to incorporate certain elements of the new concept. The initial seven re-branded locations were to include markets such as Orlando, Florida. The AMC Pleasure Island 24 megaplex in Orlando, situated directly across from Planet Hollywood's most successful restaurant and retail unit and adjacent to Disney's Pleasure Island (now Disney Springs) was to be the first Planet Movies location.
After the initial seven, the joint-venture planned to own and operate all subsequent units including 8 to 10 complexes with 200 to 250 screens planned to open over the next 18 to 24 months. Over the longer term, the venture anticipated rolling out units at the rate of 5 to 10 per year. From almost the very start, the well-publicized financial strains on Planet Hollywood hindered the project. The only Planet Movies location to actually open, a 30 screen megaplex, did so in the summer of 1999 at Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio. The location was also located alongside an Official All Star Caf(C) and Planet Hollywood restaurant.
The continued poor financial performance of Planet Hollywood led the company to declare bankruptcy in December 1998, and even before the first location had opened stated that "the joint venture has no definitive plans to expand this concept once the Columbus site is completed". As Planet Hollywood was preparing to emerge from bankruptcy in October 1999 their re-organization plan emphasized focus back on their core restaurant business and away from side-ventures like Planet Movies and their Cool Planet ice cream chain. The Planet Hollywood restaurant and All Star Caf(C) in Columbus were closed in late 2000, and the film memorabilia were also removed from the theater as it was rebranded AMC Easton 30, and continues to operate. The Planet Movies by AMC joint venture was formally dissolved on January 9, 2001.
Both of the Disney Parks in the United States at one time included AMC movie theaters at their Downtown Disney sections: AMC Dine-In Disney Springs 24 all-stadium-seating megaplex with Dolby Cinema and Dine-In Theatres (opened in 1996) (formerly AMC Pleasure Island 24) at Walt Disney World Resort and AMC Downtown Disney 12 at Disneyland Resort stadium-seating multiplex (opened in 2001, closed in 2018). Universal Studios Hollywood also contains an AMC location, called Universal Cinema, an AMC Theatre, that in the past was a Cineplex Odeon. Today, it is an all-stadium-seating megaplex and has 19 screens, including IMAX. At Universal Studios Florida, AMC had the Universal Cineplex 20 (also a former Cineplex Odeon), until September 2018 when it became a Cinemark.[72][73][74]
AMC Independent (also known as AMCi) is an AMC film distribution program that aim to help independent filmmakers get their films in front of theatrical audiences. The program was announced in 2010 via the AMC Blog [75] and has been responsible for promoting and distributing all independent films to AMC theaters since.[76][77][78]
Acquisitions [ edit ] AMC has acquired multiple other theater chains throughout its history, resulting in a total of 385 theaters with 5,128 screens in six countries:
In March 2002, AMC bought General Cinema Corporation, which added 66 theaters with 621 screens to the company assets,[79] as well as Gulf States Theaters, which had five theaters with 68 screens in the greater New Orleans area.[80] In late 2003, AMC acquired MegaStar Theatres, adding additional theaters in the Atlanta and Minneapolis''St. Paul markets.[81]
On January 26, 2006, AMC merged with Loews Cineplex Entertainment to form AMC Entertainment;[82] the deal brought into AMC's fold the entire Loews and American Cineplex chains, along with Magic Theatres (named after NBA player Magic Johnson) and Star Theatres, based in Metro Detroit. In 2010, AMC acquired Chicago-based Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, LLC for $275 million, combining the nation's second and sixth largest movie theater chains, except for the Showplace 14 in New Jersey and the Showplace ICON theatres.[83][84][85][86][87][88]
In December 2015, Starplex Cinemas was sold to AMC for approximately $175 million.[89] Most of these theaters now operate as AMC Classic as of July 2017.
On March 3, 2016, AMC announced its intent to acquire Carmike Cinemas in a $1.1 billion deal, pending regulatory and shareholder approval, which would allow it to overtake Regal as the United States' largest movie theater chain.[90] The merger officially closed in December 2016.[91]
In July 2016, UCI & Odeon Cinema Group was sold to AMC for approximately $1.21 billion, subject to European Commission approval.[92] The acquisition was approved by the European Commission and the deal closed in November 2016.[93][94]
In January 2017, Nordic Cinema Group, the leading movie theater operator in the Nordic and Baltic area, was sold to AMC for approximately $929 million.[95][96] The deal was completed in March 2017 after AMC received clearance from the European Commission.[97]
Controversies [ edit ] The early versions of stadium-style seating as built in 1995 had auditoria configured with an entrance to a flat area in front of the screen for wheelchair users; persons sitting there had to either lean back or look up at an uncomfortable angle to see the screen. Able-bodied guests had to ascend the stairs to sit in the middle of the risers in order to have a comfortable line-of-sight with the screen. Since some wheelchair users may have limited neck movement range, this configuration made AMC a popular target for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits.[44]
AMC subsequently solved the problem in newer theaters by building full-stadium auditoriums where the main entrance is through a ramp that emerges onto a platform in the middle of the risers so that wheelchair users can enjoy optimal line-of-sight. However, the U.S. Department of Justice sued the company, and obtained an order requiring AMC to retrofit over 1,990 screens in 95 multiplexes and megaplexes across the United States.
The company successfully appealed the order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which ruled on December 5, 2008[98] that the order was excessive and violated AMC's due process rights under the Constitution of the United States.[44] AMC won by pointing out that the United States Access Board had not yet amended its guidelines for movie theaters to specifically require theaters to provide wheelchair guests sightlines that were as good as those from elevated risers, versus merely providing an unobstructed view of the screen. Therefore, the court ruled that it was unfair to AMC to retroactively hold it to a standard which did not exist at the time it began building stadium-style theaters.
Gallery [ edit ] The original appearance of AMC Citywalk Stadium 19 with IMAX in Universal City, California. It was rebranded and renovated as "Universal Cinema an AMC Theatre" in 2017.
See also [ edit ] Main competitors [ edit ] Cinemark TheatresCineworld (including Regal Cinemas)References [ edit ] ^ a b c d e f g AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Form 10-K for 2018. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (Report) . Retrieved September 25, 2019 . ^ Lieberman, David (December 21, 2016). "AMC Entertainment Closes Carmike Cinemas Acquisition". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved December 21, 2016 . ^ Szalai, Georg (December 21, 2016). "AMC Theatres Closes Carmike Cinemas Acquisition to Become Largest U.S. Exhibitor". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved December 21, 2016 . ^ a b Brzeski, Patrick; Szalai, Georg (April 15, 2020). "Will China's Wanda Group Bail Out AMC Theatres?". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media . Retrieved May 26, 2020 . ^ Alexander, Julia (March 17, 2020). "AMC Theaters will close across the US for up to 12 weeks and pause all A-List memberships". The Verge. ^ The Dubinsky Brothers - Kansas City Public Library - Retrieved March 21, 2008 Archived June 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine ^ "Gerety Will Join Cinema Theaters." Dallas Morning News, October 28, 1948, p. 4. ^ La Franco, Robert. "Coming soon: a megaplex near you." Forbes, August 12, 1996, p. 133. ^ "Durwood legacy packs 'em in." Variety, March 16, 1998, p. 42. ^ a b Klady, Leonard. "AMC founder dies of cancer at 78." Variety, July 19, 1999, p. 40. ^ Nan Robertson, "Multiplexes Add 2,300 Movie Screens in 5 Years"", The New York Times, November 7, 1983, C13. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (September 1, 2011). "So, the Old AMC Grand 24 Will Remain a Movie Theater After All. Half of It, Anyway". Dallas Observer . Retrieved August 13, 2018 . ^ "AMC Forum 30". AMC Forum 30 Theaters . Retrieved March 5, 2019 . ^ "Acquisition of AMC Entertainment by Affiliates of J.P. Morgan Partners and Apollo Global Management is Completed - amctheatres.com - December 23, 2004" (Press release). Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 22, 2004" (PDF) . secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ "AMC Theatres, Form S-1, Filing Date May 9, 2006" (PDF) . secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 4, 2007" (PDF) . secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 14, 2010". secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ "Sales Leads - Company Info - Industry Analysis - Hoovers". ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Feb 24, 2009". secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ "AMC Set To Deploy Sony 4K Digital Projectors | Creative Planet Network". www.creativeplanetnetwork.com. February 15, 2012 . Retrieved October 22, 2015 . ^ Taub, Eric A. (March 29, 2009). "AMC to Get Sony Digital Projectors". The New York Times . Retrieved November 12, 2010 . ^ "Kansas and Missouri Governors Declare End to Corporate Tax Incentive "Border War " ". Nonprofit Quarterly. August 15, 2019 . Retrieved March 25, 2020 . ^ "Attorney General Madigan Reaches Agreement with AMC Theatres '' Settlement of Complaint Filed By Equip for Equality Provides Unprecedented Access for People with Disabilities to Go to the Movies" (Press release). Illinois Attorney General. January 30, 2014. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 21, 2012". secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ a b "China's Wanda Group Says It Will Spend Tens of Billions on Entertainment". The Hollywood Reporter. September 4, 2012 . Retrieved October 18, 2012 . ^ "China firm buys AMC to form world's largest cinema chain". CNN. May 21, 2012 . Retrieved May 21, 2012 . ^ "AMC Theatres in Canada". Archived from the original on January 16, 2013 . Retrieved December 19, 2014 . ^ Alonzo, Austin (July 21, 2015). "AMC CEO Lopez resigns". LA Biz. ^ "AMC Entertainment Taps Adam Aron as CEO". Variety. December 15, 2015 . Retrieved December 15, 2015 . ^ Merced, Michael J. De La; Cieply, Michael (March 3, 2016). "AMC Deal for Carmike Would Create Biggest U.S. Theater Chain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved September 19, 2016 . ^ "AMC makes final $1.2 billion bid for Carmike Cinemas". Los Angeles Times. July 25, 2016 . Retrieved September 19, 2016 . ^ Lieberman, David (December 21, 2016). "AMC Entertainment Closes Carmike Cinemas Acquisition". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved December 21, 2016 . ^ "AMC to drop Carmike brand, add AMC Classic brand for smaller, less-visited theaters". Kansas City Star . Retrieved March 1, 2017 . ^ "AMC Entertainment CEO Talks Up Premium VOD & Rebranding Plans". Deadline Hollywood. February 28, 2017 . Retrieved March 1, 2017 . ^ Lang, Brent (August 1, 2017). "AMC Stock Plunges 26% After Cost-Cutting Announcement". Variety . Retrieved August 2, 2017 . ^ Hayes, Dade (September 14, 2018). "AMC Entertainment Gets $600M Injection From Tech Investor Silver Lake, Sets Plan To Buy Back Some Wanda Shares". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved December 3, 2019 . ^ Alexander, Julia (October 14, 2019). "AMC Theaters will launch its own service for renting and buying digital films". The Verge . Retrieved December 3, 2019 . ^ Hayes, Dade (October 15, 2019). "AMC Theatres Launches Movie Streaming Service For AMC Stubs Members". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved December 3, 2019 . ^ Linnane, Ciara (October 15, 2019). "AMC Theatres launches streaming service in latest blow to Netflix". MarketWatch . Retrieved December 3, 2019 . ^ Deese, Kaelan (March 17, 2020). "AMC, Regal closing all movie theaters amid coronavirus". The Hill . Retrieved March 17, 2020 . ^ McClintock, Pamela (March 25, 2020). "AMC Theatres Furloughs All 600 Corporate Staff, Including CEO". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved March 25, 2020 . ^ https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/amc-theatres-refuses-play-universal-films-wake-trolls-world-tour-1292327 ^ a b c "Ninth Circuit Overturns Ruling on Disabled Seating at Movie Theaters". www.metnews.com. ^ "The Dolby Cinema Experience Comes to Santa Clara's AMC Mercado 20". The Silicon Valley Voice. July 27, 2018 . Retrieved December 8, 2019 . ^ Tong, Brian. "Why Dolby Cinema at AMC is the best movie-going experience today". CNET . Retrieved December 8, 2019 . ^ Adelman, Jacob. "Curtain is raised on movie multiplex plans at reborn Gallery mall". Inquirer.com . Retrieved December 8, 2019 . ^ Thompson, Gary. "The AMC Dine In theater at the Fashion District opens Nov. 4. Here's what it has to offer". Inquirer.com . Retrieved December 8, 2019 . ^ "Carmike 12-screen theater in Spring Hill to offer 'BigD' experience". The Tennessean . Retrieved December 8, 2019 . ^ "New release: Carmike Cinemas brings premium 12-screen theater to west Tulsa". Tulsa World . Retrieved December 8, 2019 . ^ AMC Theaters Backs Virtual Reality With $20 Million Investment, Bloomberg, Septembre 26, 2017 ^ "AMC Theatres - movie times, movie trailers, buy tickets and gift cards". www.amcentertainment.com . Retrieved September 22, 2018 . ^ a b "AMC Entertainment, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date May 25, 2012". secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ "AMC Stubs Terms and Conditions". www.amctheatres.com. ^ "AMC Stubs - Collect Memories. Get Rewards". www.amctheatres.com. ^ McNary, Dave (November 5, 2018). "AMC Stubs A-List Subscription Hikes Prices in Number of States". Variety . Retrieved March 13, 2019 . ^ "MacGuffins Bar and Lounge". www.amctheatres.com. ^ "FAQ Tickets and Passes". www.amctheatres.com . Retrieved March 13, 2019 . ^ "AMC Theatres - Exchange Ticket Terms". www.amctheatres.com . Retrieved October 23, 2015 . ^ "Gift Cards Terms & Conditions". www.amctheatres.com . Retrieved April 30, 2020 . ^ "Ratings Information". ^ "Atom Tickets - AMC Age Policy". Atom Tickets. ^ "AMC Theatres Announces New Branding for AMC Locations in the United States". www.businesswire.com. March 2017. ^ "Our Brands". www.amctheatres.com. ^ Wilson, Carl. "High Point movie theater completes upgrade". Winston-Salem Journal . Retrieved December 8, 2019 . ^ AMC Dine In. ^ "Universal Cinema Opens at CityWalk Hollywood During Star-Studded Ceremony". Theme Park Adventure. April 25, 2017. ^ "Sony to Install Digital Sound in AMC Theaters : Movies: $25-million deal could establish the firm as the leader in its battle against DTS and Dolby". Los Angeles Times. July 28, 1994 . Retrieved January 10, 2020 . ^ "Investor Relations - Corporate Profile - AMC Theatres". www.investor.amctheatres.com. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013 . Retrieved October 23, 2015 . ^ "AMC Entertainment to Convert Entire Circuit to Digital Cinema Projection with Sony 4K Systems". March 30, 2009. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009 . Retrieved April 6, 2009 . ^ "AMC ETX - Breathtaking Sound. Incredible Picture Resolution. Colossal Wall-to-Wall Screen". ^ Bilbao, Richard (August 17, 2018). "Universal Orlando CityWalk's movie theater to get makeover, new name" . Orlando Business Journal. ^ "Cinemark to take over AMC Universal CityWalk in Orlando". News 13. August 17, 2018. ^ Clark, Kristen (August 17, 2018). "Cinemark Coming to Universal Orlando's CityWalk This Fall". Close Up. Universal Orlando. ^ Macaulay, Scott. "AMC Announces "AMC Independent" - Filmmaker Magazine". ^ "AMC's Nikkole Denson-Randolph Keeps Indie Filmmakers in Focus". April 19, 2012. ^ "AMC Theatres Launches". Archived from the original on March 13, 2018 . Retrieved March 13, 2018 . ^ "AMC Independent". www.amctheatres.com. ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Mar 19, 2002". secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Feb 5, 2003" (PDF) . secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Dec 19, 2003". secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jan 27, 2006" (PDF) . secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date May 25, 2010". secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . ^ AMC Entertainment and Kerasotes Theatres Announce Entry Into Definitive Agreement Archived July 31, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, AMC Entertainment, January 19, 2010 ^ Kerasotes Plans Sale of Theatres to AMC, NWI.com, January 22, 2010 ^ "Showplace Icon Theatres". ^ AMC Theatres and Kerasotes Theatres Announce Completion of Sale Archived July 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, AMC Entertainment, May 25, 2010 ^ AMC Closes on $275 Million Purchase of Kerasoets Theater Chain, Kansas City Business Journal, May 25, 2010 ^ "Dallas movie theater operator Starplex Cinemas sold to industry giant AMC for $175 million". Dallas News. Archived from the original on December 30, 2015 . Retrieved December 30, 2015 . ^ "AMC's Deal for Carmike Cinemas Boosts Chinese Control of U.S. Theaters". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved March 4, 2016 . ^ "AMC Theatres Closes Carmike Cinemas Acquisition to Become Largest U.S. Exhibitor". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved November 20, 2017 . ^ "Odeon & UCI cinemas sold to China-owned firm - BBC News". BBC News. July 12, 2016 . Retrieved July 12, 2016 . ^ Szalai, Georg (November 17, 2016). "AMC Theatres' Odeon & UCI Acquisition Gets EU Approval". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved November 27, 2016 . ^ Lieberman, David (November 16, 2016). "AMC Entertainment's Acquisition Of Odeon & UCI Clears European Commission". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved November 20, 2017 . ^ "AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Nordic Cinema Group". Nordic Cinema Group. January 23, 2017. Archived from the original on January 27, 2017 . Retrieved January 28, 2017 . ^ Frater, Patrick (January 23, 2017). "Wanda Expands Global Theater Reach as AMC Pays $929 Million for Nordic Cinema". Variety . Retrieved January 28, 2017 . ^ "AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Nordic Cinema Group". Business Wire. March 28, 2017 . Retrieved November 20, 2017 . ^ "AMC Theatres, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Feb 13, 2009" (PDF) . secdatabase.com . Retrieved January 4, 2013 . External links [ edit ] Official website AMC Entertainment SEC Filings
COVI-PASS: UK Introduces 'Digital Health Passport' To Monitor Travel, Health Of Population
Thu, 28 May 2020 07:30
The UK government is preparing to rollout a new ''digital health passport'' to monitor nearly every aspect of citizens' lives in the name of strengthening public health management.
British cybersecurity firm VST Enterprises, in partnership with the UK government, developed an application called ''COVI-PASS'' to track ''your Covid-19 test history and immunoresponse and other relevant health information'' using a proprietary matrix code called a ''VCode.''
The COVI-PASS website bills the tech as ''the World's most secure Digital Health Passport, built on patented technology, awarded the 'Seal of Excellence' by the European Commission and being used by various United Nations Projects.''
Alex Jones is breaking down this globalist trojan horse and more live!
The ''VCode'' itself is described as an end-all tech that can store every sensitive detail about your life using military-grade encryption software.
''Assign any form of information to your own VCode® securely. Your VCode® can store anything from identity details, in case of emergency information, health records, payment methods, car registration numbers, business card details, social media links and much more all from the same code.''
The company states that the technology will ''allow'' people to go back to work ''safely,'' suggesting the technology could be mandatory in order to return to work.
''As a secure Digital Health Passport, COVI-PASS' links and displays a certified Covid-19 test result to the user's Health and Immunoresponse, using a secure biometric gateway, allowing individuals to return to work and life safely,'' the website states.
''COVI-PASS', biometrically accessed on a mobile phone, or held on a key fob or RFID, provides a unique authenticated gateway for Government / Health Services and Businesses to ensure a safe work environment.''
A sports marketing company called Redstrike Group is partnering with VST Enterprises to introduce the tech for group sporting events, saying that people will only be able to return to daily life after they've been ''officially tested.''
''Redstrike Group and its partner, Manchester-based cyber-security firm VST Enterprises, is delivering ground-breaking digital passport solution to governments, healthcare organizations, sports federations, leagues and clubs around the world. The VCode Digital Health Passport enables individuals who have been officially tested to start returning to work and daily activities in a safe and secure environment.''
As we reported last month, depopulation czar Bill Gates touted
''immunity passports'' as a means of contact tracing the U.S. population in order to reopen the economy.
''An even better solution would be the broad, voluntary adoption of digital tools,'' Gates wrote in the Washington Post. ''For example, there are apps that will help you remember where you have been; if you ever test positive, you can review the history or choose to share it with whoever comes to interview you about your contacts.''
''And some people have proposed allowing phones to detect other phones that are near them by using Bluetooth and emitting sounds that humans can't hear. If someone tested positive, their phone would send a message to the other phones, and their owners could get tested. If most people chose to install this kind of application, it would probably help some.''
Twitter: Follow @WhiteIsTheFury
Gab: https://gab.com/WhiteIsTheFury
Minds: https://www.minds.com/whiteisthefury
Constitutional lawyer Robert Barnes breaks down the globalist plot to roll out Mark of the Beast tech in the name of public health that will really be used to consolidate global power and enslave humanity.
Pick up the next evolution of activated nascent iodine today with Survival Shield X-3 now at 60% off!
NWO Elites and Such
Global Anger Builds As Elites Worldwide Break Quarantine Rules | Zero Hedge
Mon, 25 May 2020 08:27
"One rule for me, and another for thee" appears to be the politically-prone mantra rapidly spreading around the world.
Opposition parties take shots at one another with America's left decrying President Trump's maskless-golfing escapades...
...and the right exposing Virginia Governor Northam's recent non-socially-distanced, maskless-beach visit.
Japanese authorities are also under pressure with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet approval rating fell 4 ppts to 29%, lowest since the start of his second administration in Dec. 2012, after a wave of condemnation involving a man that his administration took great pains to defend: Hiromu Kurokawa, head of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutor's Office. On Thursday, Kurokawa stepped down after a tabloid expose said he had gambled on mahjong with journalists twice this month despite the state of emergency requesting that nonessential outings be avoided.
And the icing on the global anger cake is occurring in Britain after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson came out in support of top aide Dominic Cummings Sunday despite his his chief aide allegedly violating the national lockdown rules that he helped to create by driving the length of England to his parents' house while he was infected with COVID-19.
Defying a growing clamor from public and politicians, AP reports that Johnson said Dominic Cummings had acted ''responsibly, legally and with integrity'' when he drove 250 miles from London to Durham, in northeast England, with his wife and son at the end of March.
Cummings said he traveled to be near extended family because his wife was showing COVID-19 symptoms, he correctly thought he was also infected and he wanted to ensure that his 4-year-old son was looked after.
However, as AP notes, critics of the government expressed outrage that Cummings had broken strict rules
Labour leader Keir Starmer said Johnson's defense of Cummings was ''an insult to sacrifices made by the British people.''
''The prime minister's actions have undermined confidence in his own public health message at this crucial time,'' he said .
Former Labour lawmaker Helen Goodman, whose father died in a nursing home during the outbreak, said Cummings's behavior was ''repellent.''
Whether you're repelled or not, most ironically, Cummings "is the inventor of these three-word slogans: 'Stay at Home,' 'Protect the NHS' and 'Save Lives.'"
As a reminder, elsewhere in Britain, so-called epidemiologist Neil Ferguson stepped down as government scientific adviser earlier this month after a newspaper disclosed that his girlfriend had crossed London to stay with him during the lockdown. In April, Catherine Calderwood resigned as Scotland's chief medical officer after twice traveling from Edinburgh to her second home.
Still, it seems the elites' ongoing belief in ordering the "better safe than sorry" lockdown of entire nations is facing a breaking point among the stuck-at-home, increasingly welfare-dependent average joe around the world.
Empire - Webbys From Home
Wed, 27 May 2020 08:12
May 2020. Virtual Event
Empire secured comedian Patton Oswalt to host the WebbysFrom Home on April 19, 2020. With Covid-19 still keeping people at home,the Webbys decided not to call the event the 24th Annual WebbyAwards, but instead ''Webbys From Home''. Patton opened the show with hilarious opening monologue videotapedin his home garden, telling the at-home audience to get comfortable in the''black sweatpants you've been wearing for the past month'' and to enjoy anice glass of ''pinot bleachio'' during the show.
The Webbys From Home then continued in the tradition of theusual live show, with an incredible array of celebrities, luminaries, and webpersonalities taking turns honoring the best of the internet over the pastyear. Michelle Obama presented a Webby Special Achievement Award toD-Nice, and Demi Lovato presented one to Miley Cyrus. Comedian JudahFriedlander presented Tom Hanks with an Award for his work on #nicetweets,and everyone's favorite doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, presented to Avi Schiffmann as the2020 Webby Person of the Year for the Covid-19 tracking device and website theyoung man brought to the internet (over 600 million visitors sofar!). Schiffmann honored the Webbys tradition of sticking to a 5-wordacceptance speech, stating, ''You can learn anything online''. When EllenDegeneres was honored for her "Heads Up'' online video game she quipped ''Wow,what a wonderful Webby Award!''. Others who appeared on the show as presentersand winners included Trevor Noah, James Corden, FKA Twigs, John Krasinski, JillScott, and even Sesame Street's lovable green icon, Oscar the Grouch.
As always, the Webbys also had several poignant momentsalong with the lighter ones, and honored several groups that they deemed''Covid-19 Heroes'' including, Shopping Angels, Nextstrain.org, Invisible Hands, Black FairyGodmother, and The Swab Squad. To see all of the above moments andmore, visit https://webbysfromhome.com
Empire has been honored to produce the previous 15 liveWebby Awards programs with appearances by Prince, Anna Wintour, David Bowie,Jerry Seinfeld, Ben Stiller, Lisa Kudrow, David Letterman, Sarah Silverman,Gillian Anderson, and dozens more, and to have contracted Patton Oswalt forthis year's special Webbys From Home presentation.
How the 2020 Webbys Enlisted Michelle Obama & Dr. Anthony Fauci '' Variety
Wed, 27 May 2020 08:14
Michelle Obama, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Miley Cyrus and Tom Hanks were just a few of the stars to participate in the re-imagined virtual Webby Awards, dubbed ''WFH: Webbys From Home'' on Tuesday.
But unlike most live-streamed ceremonies, the 2020 Webbys created a ''customized award show'' for each winner, allowing them to record their five-word acceptance speech before tuning into host Patton Oswalt's opening monologue. Audiences were also given the ability to pick and choose which speech they wanted to watch first, or they could play a stream of the featured moments. So how did the Webbys pull it off?
''When we realized we were going to have an internet celebration instead of a live event, we briefed ourselves with giving the winners the same feeling that they would have if they came to the Webby Awards,'' executive director Claire Graves told Variety, detailing how the organizers adapted amid the coronavirus pandemic. ''At the very same time the world went on lockdown, we've had the entire Webby team working since that moment on creating an experience for the winners.''
Oswalt returned as host of the event for a fourth year, telling jokes about drinking ''Pinot Bleach-io'' and suggesting he beat out Ricky Gervais for the hosting job because he had a stronger WiFi connection.
''If any of you genius coders are watching, could you control-alt-delete the f'-- out of 2020, please?'' Oswalt quipped.
Obama appeared during the ceremony to present the Artist of the Year honor to Derrick Jones, better known as #ClubQuarantine originator DJ D-Nice.
''I am so thrilled to celebrate someone whose enormous talent and even bigger heart has brought us all a little more joy during these difficult days,'' Obama said. ''Derrick has created a space where folks can come together from living rooms and basements, all over the world to let off steam, dance that out, and just enjoy each other's company. And in this time of social distancing, that is a true gift.''
For his acceptance speech, Jones asked, ''So this isn't a prank?'' But the DJ added a few more words of thanks while performing during the official Webbys after-party on Instagram Live later in the evening, saying ''What a wonderful surprise. Thank you, Michelle Obama.''
Overall, the 2020 winners' hallmark 5-word speeches ranged from silly to sentimental '-- like Kristen Bell admitting ''I actually f'--ing hate sloths,'' (referencing her viral video), James Corden thanking frontline medical workers and ''Some Good News'' host John Krasinski telling audiences ''You are the good news.'' Demi Lovato introduced special achievement honoree Cyrus, who told viewers, ''Stay lit in dark times.''
The first speech to be submitted to the organizers came from 17-year-old Webby Person of the Year winner Avi Schiffmann. The teen was honored for launching ncov2019.live to track the spread of COVID-19 around the world. Dr. Anthony Fauci presented him the award.
''I'm excited about the opportunity to shine some light on one of the many young people who have stepped up and helped us throughout this difficult time,'' Facui said, praising Schiffmann's website. ''It sounded the alarm on the virus and its spread, notably calling attention to its severity before it was broadly recognized, at a time when the spread of misinformation can be so detrimental to our efforts.''
Schiffmann's speech was simple but poignant, and also perfectly summed up the ultimate goal of the virtual event: ''You can learn anything online.''
''With the Webby Awards, what we're doing is we're marking the moment, the year in history,'' Graves said. ''The pandemic has reminded us of the power of the Internet. We're all online at the moment, we're connecting through the Internet. People are cooking with each other, they're drinking with each other '-- all online.'...I think that magic is something that we've forgotten about over the last couple of years.''
All of the winners' acceptance speeches and more information on the Webbys' partnership with Vote.org can be found at https://webbysfromhome.com/.
25 for 45
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Fact Sheet | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Thu, 28 May 2020 07:21
What is progressive supranuclear palsy?Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is an uncommon brain disorder that affects movement, control of walking (gait) and balance, speech, swallowing, vision, mood and behavior, and thinking. The disease results from damage to nerve cells in the brain. The disorder's long name indicates that the disease worsens (progressive) and causes weakness (palsy) by damaging certain parts of the brain above nerve cell clusters called nuclei (supranuclear). These nuclei particularly control eye movements. One of the classic signs of the disease is an inability to aim and move the eyes properly, which individuals may experience as blurring of vision.
Estimates vary, but only about three to six in every 100,000 people worldwide, or approximately 20,000 Americans, have PSP'--making it much less common than Parkinson's disease (another movement disorder in which an estimated 50,000 Americans are diagnosed each year). Symptoms of PSP begin on average after age 60, but may occur earlier. Men are affected more often than women.
PSP was first described as a distinct disorder in 1964, when three scientists published a paper that distinguished the condition from Parkinson's disease. It was sometimes referred to as Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome, reflecting the combined names of the scientists who defined the disorder.
Currently there is no effective treatment for PSP, but some symptoms can be managed with medication or other interventions.
What are the symptoms?The pattern of signs and symptoms can be quite different from person to person. The most frequent first symptom of PSP is a loss of balance while walking. Individuals may have unexplained falls or a stiffness and awkwardness in gait.
As the disease progresses, most people will begin to develop a blurring of vision and problems controlling eye movement. In fact, eye problems, in particular slowness of eye movements, usually offer the first definitive clue that PSP is the proper diagnosis. Individuals affected by PSP especially have trouble voluntarily shifting their gaze vertically (i.e., downward and/or upward) and also can have trouble controlling their eyelids. This can lead to a need to move the head to look in different directions, involuntary closing of the eyes, prolonged or infrequent blinking, or difficulty in opening the eyes. Another common visual problem is an inability to maintain eye contact during a conversation. This can give the mistaken impression that the person is hostile or uninterested.
People with PSP often show alterations of mood and behavior, including depression and apathy. Some show changes in judgment, insight, and problem solving, and may have difficulty finding words. They may lose interest in ordinary pleasurable activities or show increased irritability and forgetfulness. Individuals may suddenly laugh or cry for no apparent reason, they may be apathetic, or they may have occasional angry outbursts, also for no apparent reason. Speech usually becomes slower and slurred and swallowing solid foods or liquids can be difficult. Other symptoms include slowed movement, monotone speech, and a mask-like facial expression. Since many symptoms of PSP are also seen in individuals with Parkinson's disease, particularly early in the disorder, PSP is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease.
How is PSP different from Parkinson's disease?Both PSP and Parkinson's disease cause stiffness, movement difficulties, and clumsiness, but PSP is more rapidly progressive as compared to Parkinson's disease. People with PSP usually stand exceptionally straight or occasionally even tilt their heads backward (and tend to fall backward). This is termed ''axial rigidity.'' Those with Parkinson's disease usually bend forward. Problems with speech and swallowing are much more common and severe in PSP than in Parkinson's disease, and tend to show up earlier in the course of the disease. Eye movements are abnormal in PSP but close to normal in Parkinson's disease. Both diseases share other features: onset in late middle age, bradykinesia (slow movement), and rigidity of muscles. Tremor, very common in individuals with Parkinson's disease, is rare in PSP. Although individuals with Parkinson's disease markedly benefit from the drug levodopa, people with PSP respond minimally and only briefly to this drug. Also, people with PSP show accumulation of the protein tau in affected brain cells, while people with Parkinson's disease show accumulation of a different protein, called alpha-synuclein.
What causes PSP?The exact cause of PSP is unknown. The symptoms of PSP are caused by a gradual deterioration of brain cells in a few specific areas in the brain, mainly in the region called the brain stem. One of these areas, the substantia nigra, is also affected in Parkinson's disease, and damage to this region of the brain accounts in part for the motor symptoms that PSP and Parkinson's have in common.
The hallmark of the disease is the accumulation of abnormal deposits of the protein tau in nerve cells in the brain, so that the cells do not work properly and die. The protein tau is associated with microtubules '' structures that support a nerve cell's long processes, or axons, that transmit information to other nerve cells. The accumulation of tau puts PSP in the group of disorders called the tauopathies, which also includes other disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, corticobasal degeneration, and some forms of frontotemporal degeneration. Scientists are looking at ways to prevent the harmful clumping of tau in treating each of these disorders.
PSP is usually sporadic, meaning that occurs infrequently and without known cause; in very few cases the disease results from mutations in the MAPT gene, which then provides faulty instructions for making tau to the nerve cell. Genetic factors have not been implicated in most individuals.
There are several theories about PSP's cause. A central hypothesis in many neurodegenerative diseases is that once the abnormal aggregates of proteins like tau form in a cell, they can affect a connected cell to also form the protein clumps. In this way the toxic protein aggregates spreads through the nervous system. How this process is triggered remains unknown. One possibility is that an unconventional infectious agent takes years or decades to start producing visible effects (as is seen in disorders like Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease). Another possibility is that random genetic mutations, of the kind that occur in all of us all the time, happen to occur in particular cells or certain genes, in just the right combination to injure these cells. A third possibility is that there is exposure to some unknown chemical in the food, air, or water which slowly damages certain vulnerable areas of the brain. This theory stems from a clue found on the Pacific island of Guam, where a common neurological disease occurring only there and on a few neighboring islands shares some of the characteristics of PSP, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Its cause is thought to be a dietary factor or toxic substance found only in that area.
Another possible cause of PSP is cellular damage caused by free radicals, which are reactive molecules produced continuously by all cells during normal metabolism. Although the body has built-in mechanisms for clearing free radicals from the system, scientists suspect that, under certain circumstances, free radicals can react with and damage other molecules. A great deal of research is directed at understanding the role of free radical damage in human diseases.
How is PSP diagnosed?No specific laboratory tests or imaging approaches currently exist to definitively diagnose PSP. The disease is often difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can be very much like those of other movement disorders, and because some of the most characteristic symptoms may develop late or not at all. Initial complaints in PSP are typically vague and fall into these categories: 1) symptoms of disequilibrium, such as unsteady walking or abrupt and unexplained falls without loss of consciousness; 2) visual complaints, including blurred vision, difficulties in looking up or down, double vision, light sensitivity, burning eyes, or other eye trouble; 3) slurred speech; and 4) various mental complaints such as slowness of thought, impaired memory, personality changes, and changes in mood. An initial diagnosis is based on the person's medical history and a physical and neurological exam. Diagnostic scans such as magnetic resonance imaging may show shrinkage at the top of the brain stem. Other imaging tests can look at brain activity in known areas of degeneration.
PSP is often misdiagnosed because it is relatively rare and some of its symptoms are very much like those of Parkinson's disease. Memory problems and personality changes may also lead a physician to mistake PSP for depression, or even attribute symptoms to some form of dementia. The key to diagnosing PSP is identifying early gait instability and difficulty moving the eyes, speech and swallow abnormalities, as well as ruling out other similar disorders, some of which are treatable.
Is there any treatment?There is currently no effective treatment for PSP, although scientists are searching for better ways to manage the disease. PSP symptoms usually do not respond to medications. Drugs prescribed to treat Parkinson's disease, such as ropinirole, rarely provide additional benefit. In some individuals the slowness, stiffness, and balance problems of PSP may respond to some degree to antiparkinsonian agents such as levodopa, but the effect is usually minimal and short-lasting. Excessive eye closing can be treated with botulinum injections. Some antidepressant drugs may provide benefit beyond treating depression, such as pain relief and decreasing drooling.
Recent approaches to therapeutic development for PSP have focused primarily on the clearance of abnormally accumulated tau in the brain. One ongoing clinical trial will determine the safety and tolerability of a compound that prevents accumulation of tau in preclinical models. Other studies are exploring improved tau imaging agents that will be used to assess disease progression and improvement in response to treatment.
Non-drug treatment for PSP can take many forms. Individuals frequently use weighted walking aids because of their tendency to fall backward. Bifocals or special glasses called prisms are sometimes prescribed for people with PSP to remedy the difficulty of looking down. Formal physical therapy is of no proven benefit in PSP, but certain exercises can be done to keep the joints limber.
A gastrostomy (a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves the placement of a tube through the skin of the abdomen into the stomach for feeding purposes) may be necessary when there are swallowing disturbances or the definite risk of severe choking. Deep brain stimulation (which uses a surgically implanted electrode and pulse generator to stimulate the brain in a way that helps to block signals that cause many of the motor symptoms) and other surgical procedures used in individuals with Parkinson's disease have not been proven effective in PSP.
What is the prognosis?The disease gets progressively worse, with people becoming severely disabled within three to five years of onset. Affected individuals are predisposed to serious complications such as pneumonia, choking, head injury, and fractures. The most common cause of death is pneumonia. With good attention to medical and nutritional needs, it is possible for individuals with PSP to live a decade or more after the first symptoms of the disease.
What research is being done?The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the leading funder of biomedical research in the world.
Previous studies have linked regions of chromosomes containing multiple genes, including the gene for tau (MAPT), with PSP. Researchers are now using methods to more finely map these regions and identify specific disease-causing mutations, which could point to additional targets for future therapy development.
PSP is one of the diseases being studied as part of the NINDS Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program (http://pdbp.ninds.nih.gov/). This major NINDS initiative aimed at discovering ways to identify individuals at risk for developing Parkinson's disease and related disorders, and to track the progression of the disease. NINDS also supports clinical research studies to develop brain imaging that may allow for earlier and more accurate diagnosis of PSP, and that may be used to predict or monitor disease progression. Such imaging markers could be important tools in clinical care to help distinguish PSP from other related disorders, as well as for research to test potential treatments that may not work equally well for outwardly similar disorders.
Researchers are looking for genes that might increase a person's risk of developing PSP. Scientists are studying gene-environment interaction '' in which environmental factors and genetics may contribute to disease susceptibility for many diseases in which there may be genetic influences that differ among families or even in a single family. Investigators are integrating research tools involved with human genetics and disease epidemiology to better understand the joint risk factors that may contribute to the cause of PSP.
Although the protein tau has been linked to PSP and other related disorders, scientists do not yet understand the mechanisms that lead to disease and symptoms. Tau can exist in multiple shapes, or conformations, and research has shown that some of these conformations are harmful, leading to toxic clumps and disruption of signal pathways inside cells. NINDS supports a number of studies to characterize and distinguish the different conformations of tau and to understand their role in disease. Investigators are also developing animal models of PSP and other tau-related disorders, including fruit fly and zebrafish models, for research on disease mechanisms and preclinical testing of potential drugs. Other studies in animal models focus on brain circuits affected by PSP, such as those involved in motor control and sleep regulation, which may also yield insights into disease mechanisms and treatments. Because the symptoms of individuals with PSP progress more rapidly than in other tauopathies, some investigators believe that an anti-tau therapy will show benefit more quickly in PSP clinical trials.
The Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network, which is led by NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), is designed to advance medical research on rare diseases by facilitating research collaboration, study enrollment, and data sharing among rare diseases researchers. A research consortium funded under this project studies neurological disorders, including PSP. For more information about the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network, see http://www.ncats.nih.gov/research/rare-diseases/ordr/rdcrn/rdcrn.html.
Ongoing research supported across the NIH on related and more common diseases with shared features, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, will likely yield insights into PSP, just as studying PSP may help shed light on Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Research on these diseases and other disorders can be found using NIH RePORTER (http://projectreporter.nih.gov), a searchable database of current and past research projects supported by NIH and other federal agencies. RePORTER also includes links to publications and patents citing support from these projects.
Where can I get more information?For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute's Brain Resources and Information Network (BRAIN) at:
BRAINP.O. Box 5801Bethesda, MD 20824800-352-9424
Information also is available from the following organizations:
CUREPSP (Foundation for PSP|CBD and Related Brain Diseases)1216 Broadway, 2nd FloorNew York, NY 10001info@curepsp.orgTel: 347-294-2873; 800-457-4777
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)55 Kenosia AvenueDanbury, CT 06810orphan@rarediseases.orgTel: 203-744-0100; Voice Mail: 800-999-NORD (6673)Fax: 203-798-2291
National Library of Medicine (NLM)National Institutes of Health, DHHS8600 Rockville Pike, Bldg. 38, Rm. 2S10Bethesda, MD 20894Tel: 301-496-6308; 888-346-3656
"Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Fact Sheet", NINDS, Publication date September 2015.
NIH Publication No. 15-3897
Back to Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Information Page
See a list of all NINDS disorders
Publicaciones en Espa±ol
Parlisis Supranuclear Progresiva
Prepared by:Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892
NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.
All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.
'All-out combat' feared as India, China engage in border standoff | India News | Al Jazeera
Thu, 28 May 2020 07:31
On May 5, a scuffle broke out between Indian and Chinese troops at the Pangong Tso lake, located 14,000 feet (4,270 metres) above the sea level in the Himalayan region of Ladakh.
A video shot by an Indian soldier and shared on social media showed soldiers from both nations engaged in fistfights and stone-pelting at the de facto border, known as Line of Actual Control (LAC). The incident, which continued until the next day, resulted in 11 soldiers being injured on both sides.
More:Could the China-India border dispute trigger a military conflict? Why Nepal is angry over India's new road in disputed border area India vs China: Clash of the titans Three days later and nearly 1,200km (745 miles) away to the east along the LAC, another fight erupted at Nathu La Pass in the Indian state of Sikkim after Indian soldiers stopped a patrol party from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Both countries downplayed the incidents, and the issues were resolved at the local commander level, as has generally been done in the past.
But in the weeks since then, the India-China border has seen soldiers from both sides camping along several disputed areas, with each side accusing the other of trespassing.
"China is committed to safeguarding the security of its national territorial sovereignty, as well as safeguarding peace and stability in the China-India border areas," the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday.
Reason behind latest tensionThere was no immediate comment from India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), b ut last week it accused the Chinese troops of hindering regular Indian patrols along the LAC.
"All Indian activities are entirely on the Indian side of the LAC. In fact, it is the Chinese side that has recently undertaken activity hindering India's normal patrolling patterns," MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava said.
About 80 to 100 tents have sprung up on the Chinese side, and nearly 60 on the Indian side, the Reuters news agency reported based on information from the Indian officials.
At least 10,000 PLA soldiers are now believed to be camping on what India claims to be its territory - Pangong Tso Lake, Galwan Valley and Demchok in Ladakh, and Nathu La in Sikkim, according to the Indian media reports.
On May 22, India's army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane dashed off to Leh, the capital of Ladakh territory which was carved out of Indian-administered Kashmir last August, to take stock of the situation.
With little information shared by the two countries, media reports have speculated on the reasons behind the latest border standoff. The tension might have been triggered by infrastructure activities carried out by India along the LAC, analysts say.
In the past 10 years, India has been boosting its border infrastructure, with new roads and airbases inaugurated in remote Himalayan areas.
The border skirmishes are not new to the 3,488km (2,167-mile) frontier between India and China, most of which remains disputed and undemarcated. But the de facto border has largely remained calm despite hundreds of skirmishes that occur every year.
In this May 5, 2013 file photo, Chinese troops in Ladakh, India hold a banner that reads: 'You've crossed the border, please go back' [AP Photo]
'All-out combat' Analysts fear the latest standoff may escalate, as Chinese trucks have allegedly moved equipment inside the Indian side of LAC.
China wants the border problem to linger; it keeps India off balance and prevents India from focusing its attention on Tibet, where China is in deep problem[s].Ajai Shukla, Indian defence analyst
Ajai Shukla, a defence analyst based in New Delhi, fears that any further escalation would mean "all-out combat".
"Thousands of Chinese troops are on Indian soil. The only thing that remains for them is to engage in combat," he said.
"China could be using the excuse of construction activity to put pressure on India for completely different political or economic objective[s], and that we do not know. We do not know what the Chinese objectives are in this particular case."
Writing in the pro-Beijing Global Times newspaper, Long Xingchun from Beijing Foreign Studies University said the latest border friction was "a planned move" by New Delhi.
"India in recent days has illegally constructed defence facilities across the border into Chinese territory in the Galwan Valley region, leaving Chinese border defence troops no other options but making necessary moves in response, and mounting the risk of escalating standoffs and conflicts between the two sides," he wrote.
On Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with the three services chiefs and the National Security Adviser amid the worst India-China border tensions since the 2017 Doklam standoff that continued for 73 days.
The Doklam face-off was triggered after Indian soldiers stopped the PLA from building a road in Doklam, which is claimed by Bhutan, a close ally of India.
Some analysts have suggested that the Chinese border assertion was a way to divert global attention from its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pengong Tso lake along India-China border in Ladakh, India [File: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
'China doesn't need another confrontation' But Adam Ni, director of the China Policy Centre based in Canberra, Australia, said both the countries have an interest in maintaining peace since they are facing domestic challenges.
Ni said Beijing has plenty of issues to deal with, such as Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and economic recovery - as well as its relationship with the United States, which has taken a confrontational turn - to just a name a few.
"So it does not need another confrontation at this point in time," he said while appearing on Al Jazeera's Inside Story programme.
India and China fought a war in 1962, but the border issues have lingered on, with Beijing claiming the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and New Delhi considering China-controlled Aksai Chin as its territory.
In the late 1980s, then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi held talks with his Chinese counterpart Deng Xiaoping in Beijing to reset the ties. Since then, the border had largely remained calm, with the two countries agreeing to formulate guidelines to manage the frontier.
In 1993, an agreement to maintain peace at the border was signed. Important confidence-building measures on boundary issues were further signed in 1996 and 2006.
Post-1990s, the two countries have focused on economic cooperation with bilateral trade going up to $92bn, but a large trade deficit has kept India concerned.
Last month, the Modi government put curbs on Chinese investments, a step Beijing called "discriminatory".
India's support for Tibet and its growing defence and security ties with the US, Japan and Australia have resulted in further suspicion from Beijing.
Meanwhile, China's increasingly closer ties with Pakistan - which has long-running disputes with India - and Nepal have not pleased New Delhi, either.
Moreover, China's ambitious Belt and Road Project and its massive defence budget pose a major geostrategic challenge to India. At $261bn, China's defence budget is more than three times of India's total of $71bn.
We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute. Thank you!
'-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020 Modi-Xi summits After Indian Prime Minister Modi came to power in 2014, he has engaged with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
But analysts say the two Modi-Xi summits held so far, which called for moving beyond Doklam and "maintaining peace and tranquility" along LAC, seem to have come undone.
"China wants the border problem to linger; it keeps India off balance and prevents India from focusing its attention on Tibet, where China is in deep problem[s]," defence analyst Shukla said.
The last major border tension occurred in 2014, when Chinese troops reportedly entered Indian territory in Ladakh. The standoff was resolved after three weeks.
Will the current standoff be resolved at the local level - or will it escalate?
Manoj Kewalramani, a fellow in China Studies at The Takshashila Institution based in India's Bengaluru city, believes the present situation germinated from local-level frictions over patrolling and infrastructure development, which rapidly escalated.
"What's happening today does seem to have central guidance in China, with the leadership not wanting to appear weak on territorial issues. In that sense, this situation fits a pattern of the escalation in the South China Sea and Hong Kong," he told Al Jazeera.
China says virus pushing US ties to brink of 'Cold War' | AFP.com
Sun, 24 May 2020 21:14
AFP / Anthony WALLACE Thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong to protest against a proposed security law despite regulations prohibiting groups of more than eight peopleChina said Sunday that relations with the United States were "on the brink of a new Cold War", fuelled in part by tensions over the coronavirus pandemic, as Muslims around the world celebrated a muted end to the holy month of Ramadan.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Washington had been infected by a "political virus" compelling figures there to continually attack China, but offered an olive branch by saying the country would be open to an international effort to find the coronavirus source.
"It has come to our attention that some political forces in the US are taking China-US relations hostage and pushing our two countries to the brink of a new Cold War," he told reporters during a press conference at China's week-long annual parliament session.
He spoke as more nations eased lockdown restrictions in a bid to salvage economies and lifestyles that have been savaged by the pandemic.
Hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world were celebrating a muted Eid al-Fitr, with Islam's two most important mosques closed to worshippers in Mecca and Medina.
Still, churches were reopening in France, Spain's football league announced it would kick off again on June 8, and thousands flocked to beaches in the US, where lockdowns and social distancing have become rights issues that have split communities.
- Highly politicised -
Globally about 342,000 people have been killed, and more than 5.3 million people infected by the virus, which most scientists believe jumped from animals to humans -- possibly at a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
AFP / Aamir QURESHI Muslims exchange greetings after offering Eid al-Fitr prayers despite concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Eidgah Sharif Darbar in RawalpindiThe issue has become highly politicised, with US President Donald Trump accusing Beijing of a lack of transparency, and pushing the theory that the virus leaked from a Chinese maximum-security laboratory.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday blasted what he called efforts by US politicians to "fabricate rumours" about the virus origin and "stigmatise China".
"China is open to working with the international scientific community to look into the source of the virus," he said.
"At the same time, we believe that this should be professional, fair and constructive."
With infection numbers stabilising in the West, many governments are trying to move towards lighter social distancing measures that they hope will revive moribund business and tourism sectors.
French churches were preparing to hold their first Sunday masses in more than two months after the government bowed to a ruling that they should be reopened -- provided proper precautions were taken.
"My cell phone is crackling with messages!" Father Pierre Amar, a priest in Versailles, told AFP.
- 'Robbed of joy'
France's mosques, however, called on Muslims to stay at home for the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. They said they would gradually resume services from June 3.
AFP / JEFF PACHOUD Bishop Emmanuel Gobilliard arrives to celebrate the first mass since the beginning of the lockdown due to Covid 19 pandemic in Saint-Jean cathedral in LyonIn Pakistan, thousands gathered in mosques, but celebrations were muted by the crash Friday of a passenger plane into a residential neighbourhood in Karachi, killing 97 on board.
The country's leading English daily, Dawn, said the crash and coronavirus epidemic -- that has killed over 1,000 people in Pakistan -- had robbed the "country of whatever little joy had been left at the prospect of Eid".
In Saudi Arabia, Eid prayers will be held at the two holy mosques in the cities of Mecca and Medina "without worshippers", authorities said as the kingdom began a five-day curfew after infections quadrupled since the start of Ramadan.
For Christians in Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre will reopen on Sunday -- but with tight restrictions.
In Spain, which has enforced one of the world's strictest lockdowns since mid-March, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez sought to reassure potential visitors, saying that from July 1, "entry for foreign tourists into Spain will resume in secure conditions".
Italy is also due to reopen its borders to foreign tourists from June 3.
- US beaches reopening -
But the disease continued its surge in large parts of South America, with the death toll in Brazil passing 22,000 and infections topping 347,000, the world's second-highest caseload.
AFP / Apu GOMES Crowds take to the boardwalk in Venice Beach during the first day of the Memorial Day holiday weekendNeighbouring Peru is also struggling. The country of 32 million has registered more than 3,100 deaths.
In the US, where the death toll is nearing 100,000, Trump has aggressively pushed to reopen the economy, defying the advice of health experts.
He sent a signal of his intentions by playing golf Saturday -- his first round since March 8.
The US economy has shed almost 40 million jobs this year and many companies, most recently car rental giant Hertz, have gone to the wall. But most states have begun easing their lockdowns and many on Saturday reopened public beaches.
"We just get tired of being stuck in the house. There's not much else to do. So I came to the beach," stay-at-home mother Kayla Lambert said, as her two children played in the surf in Galveston, Texas.
In Britain, a scandal erupted over a disclosure that a top government adviser had even flouted the rules.
Dominic Cummings was seen visiting his parents 250 miles (400 kilometres) away from his London home during the country's lockdown, despite suffering from virus symptoms.
He denies any wrongdoing but faces calls to quit.
Google removes over 5 million reviews from Play Store to improve TikTok rating - Technology News
Mon, 25 May 2020 17:24
The last few weeks have been a little harsh on TikTok, the Chinese the video-making app because of the number of controversies it has landed itself in. It was still the talk of the town but for all the wrong reasons.Hashtags pressing TikTok to be banned and India against TikTok started trending on Twitter.
TikTok's Play Store ranking fell too, from over 4 stars to 2 stars and then it further fell to 1.2 stars. TikTok rankings were at an all-time low until they recently started reviving bit by bit.
In the latest development, the app's ranking has reached 1.5 stars with 22 million user reviews.
This could be the result of Google removing user reviews so that the app could get some balance.
Nobert Elekes, a verified Twitter user and a data storyteller as he claims himself to be recently noted in a tweet ''Apparently, Google deleted over a million TikTok reviews overnight, that's why the rating increased from 1.2 to 1.6 stars.''
His tweet shows a screenshot in which Playstore shows 28 million reviews and the rating is 1.2 stars. Another screenshot shows 27 million reviews with 1.6 stars.
As of today, Playstore shows 22 million reviews for TikTok and it has 1.5 stars. This means that from last week, Google has removed around five million user reviews.
Google has, however, not stated the reason for the removal of these reviews but it has surely improved the ranking of the app, even if it is to some extent.
Last week, when TikTok's rankings were at an all-time low, Elekes wrote ''India is about to destroy two viral things: - Coronavirus, - TikTok''
TikTok's ratings greatly fell last week due to enraged people calling out to Faizal Siddiqui, a TikTok user who glorified acid attack on his TikTok profile. The video drew severe criticism and Siddiqui with subsequently being banned from the platform and the videos being removed.
Another reason was the enraged fans of famous Indian YouTuber Carry Minati flooding PlayStore with 1-star reviews.
Carry Minati had created a video titled YouTube Vs TikTok, part of an ongoing feud between YouTube and TikTok users. His video went viral and was taken down for violating YouTube's terms of service. This happended because many TikTok users reported the video saying it was bullying in nature.
Get real-time alerts and all the
news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from
Wuhan virus lab was signed off by Michel Barnier in 2004 - despite French intelligence warnings | Daily Mail Online
Tue, 26 May 2020 13:28
The construction of the Chinese laboratory at the centre of mounting suspicion over the source of the Covid-19 pandemic was signed off by the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier '' despite warnings by French intelligence services.
Mr Barnier '' currently embroiled in acrimonious negotiations with the UK over a post-Brexit trade deal '' was the French foreign minister when he gave the go-ahead for work to start on the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2004, under a joint deal with the Chinese.
The move came despite strong opposition from French diplomatic and security advisers, who argued that the Chinese reputation for poor bio-security could lead to a catastrophic leak.
They also warned that Paris could lose control of the project, and even suggested that Beijing could harness the technology to make biowarfare weapons.
Eleven years later, as the laboratory prepared to open, the French architects of the project complained that they had, as feared, been ousted by the Chinese communist government.
Mr Barnier (pictured) '' currently embroiled in acrimonious negotiations with the UK over a post-Brexit trade deal '' was the French foreign minister when he gave the go-ahead for work to start on the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2004
Mr Barnier's role in helping to establish the Wuhan institute can be revealed as part of a Mail on Sunday investigation into French connections to the laboratory.
The site was carrying out research on coronaviruses when the outbreak started in the city last November.
A growing number of scientific and security experts are now questioning the Chinese government's insistence that the virus originated in a wildlife market in Wuhan, with Beijing's refusal to allow an international investigation only adding to the growing suspicions.
Last week, The Mail on Sunday revealed that experts now believe the coronavirus was taken into the market by someone already carrying the disease.
Biologists who carried out a landmark study say they were 'surprised' to find the virus was 'already pre-adapted to human transmission'.
Jacques Chirac, the French president at the time of the deal, pushed for the Wuhan institute to be set up after the 2003 SARS outbreak, which affected 26 countries and resulted in more than 8,000 cases and 774 deaths. Mr Chirac, along with his pro-Beijing prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, promised French funding and expertise in return for a share of the intellectual copyright on the lab's discoveries.
Jacques Chirac, the French president at the time of the deal, pushed for the Wuhan institute (pictured) to be set up after the 2003 SARS outbreak, which affected 26 countries and resulted in more than 8,000 cases and 774 deaths
They argued that a French-Chinese collaboration could develop effective '' and lucrative '' vaccines to prevent a repeat of a deadly virus pandemic.
France is a global leader in virus research, but the Chirac government also saw the deal as a way to forge stronger trade links with China than its Western rivals.
According to a report in France's Le Figaro newspaper, institutions such as the General Directorate for External Security, the French equivalent of MI6, expressed repeated concern at the lack of international control over Chinese laboratories and issues with 'transparency'.
A source told the newspaper: 'What you have to understand is that a P4 [high-level bio-security] laboratory is like a nuclear reprocessing plant. It's a bacteriological atomic bomb.
'The viruses that are tested are extremely dangerous '' diving suits, decontamination airlocks etc must be followed to the letter.'
As part of the deal, up to 50 French scientists were expected to travel to Wuhan to help the Chinese run the laboratory properly '' but they never went.
The Wuhan institute became operational in January 2018, and coincided with a visit to Beijing by current French president Emmanuel Macron and Mr Raffarin, who was made a 'special envoy to China'
Alain Merieux, the French billionaire who was instrumental in setting up the Wuhan laboratory in partnership with his Institut Merieux in Lyons, abandoned the project in 2015, saying: 'I am giving up the co-chairmanship of [the] P4 [laboratory], a Chinese tool. It belongs to them, even if it was developed with technical assistance from France.'
According to Le Figaro, a diplomat with a close knowledge of the deal added: 'We knew the risks involved and thought that the Chinese would control everything and quickly eject us from the project.
'We believed that providing this cutting-edge technology to a country with an endless power agenda would risk exposing France in return.'
Their fears were compounded in 2015 when China implemented a new policy of 'dual use' technologies, which allows their armed forces to use any civilian technology for military purposes.
The Wuhan institute became operational in January 2018, and coincided with a visit to Beijing by current French president Emmanuel Macron and Mr Raffarin, who was made a 'special envoy to China'.
Last night, a Foreign Ministry source in Paris confirmed that Mr Barnier had helped set up the Wuhan institute when he was foreign minister as 'the hand that signed the paper'.
A Foreign Ministry source in Paris confirmed that Mr Barnier had helped set up the Wuhan institute when he was foreign minister as 'the hand that signed the paper'
Mr Barnier, a Gaullist conservative, served as foreign minister for just over a year, from April 2004 to June 2005.
The source said: 'The aim was to develop vaccines following the SARS crisis between 2002 and 2004.
'There was much co-operation on a range of issues between France and China at the time, and Michel Barnier was implementing government policy.'
The source added that opposition to the move had come from a number of people, including senior figures within the French security services.
'The issue of bio-security was certainly a cause for concern within agencies including the DGSE,' said the source.
A security services source involved in the case at the time said: 'The Chinese laboratories were not inspiring a great deal of trust, but the government had its own reasons for progressing with this.'
Coronavirus is 'uniquely adapted to infect humans': Top vaccine scientist says it could only have come from an animal through a 'freak of nature' - and the possibility it leaked from Wuhan lab MUST be investigated
By Ian Birrell for the Mail on Sunday
A team of scientists has produced evidence that the pandemic virus is 'uniquely adapted to infect humans', raising fresh questions over whether its origins were natural or could have occurred in a laboratory.
Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, a top vaccine researcher who headed the Australian team, said the virus was 'not typical of a normal zoonotic [animal to human] infection' since it appeared with the 'exceptional' ability to enter human bodies from day one.
He said the virus should have emerged from an animal through 'a freak event of nature' but the possibility that it had leaked from a laboratory could not be ruled out.
Petrovsky, professor of medicine at Flinders University in Adelaide, runs a biotech research unit that will start human trials for a Covid-19 vaccine next month.
'I haven't seen a zoonotic virus that has behaved in this way before,' he said.
A team of scientists has produced evidence that the pandemic virus is 'uniquely adapted to infect humans'
He told The Mail on Sunday that new viruses crossing over from animals normally strengthen as they adapt to human hosts, but for unexplained reasons, this new coronavirus seems perfectly adapted to infect humans without the need to evolve.
He pointed to the 'coincidence' that the most closely related known viruses were being studied in a laboratory in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the pandemic erupted, and insisted that the possibility of a leak, however remote, should not be ignored in the search for its origin.
'The implications may not be good for scientists or global politics, but just because the answers might cause problems, we can't run away from them,' he added. 'There is currently no evidence of a leak but enough circumstantial data to concern us. It remains a possibility until it is ruled out.'
Prof Petrovsky has gone further than any other expert in raising the idea that the virus escaped from one of two laboratories researching bat viruses in Wuhan.
Richard Ebright, one of the world's top biosecurity experts, also told this newspaper that the odds of this new virus containing such unusual features and occurring naturally were 'possible '' but improbable'.
Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, said the 'body of evidence' suggested this was a natural virus. Pictured: A worker inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan in 2017
Ebright, professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, in New Jersey, said scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were creating chimeric coronaviruses (new hybrid micro-organisms) and seeking funding to test their ability to infect human cells while using procedures that leave no sign of human manipulation.
Asked about the chance of a leak, he replied: 'There definitely is a possibility. But there is no basis to say a high probability.'
Last week, the MoS revealed details of a key study challenging China's claims that the pandemic emerged from a Wuhan animal market in December. The researchers were 'surprised' to find the virus 'already pre-adapted to human transmission', contrasting its stability with another coronavirus that evolved rapidly as it spread around the planet during the 2002-04 SARS epidemic. Their findings are backed by the Australian team's study into the 'spike protein' that binds Sars-CoV-2 '' the new strain of coronavirus that causes disease '' to cells in human bodies. The research, posted on Cornell University's website but not yet peer-reviewed, used computer modelling to test the spike protein's ability to bind to humans and 12 possible animal hosts.
It found the ability to bind to human cells far exceeded its ability in other species. 'This indicates Sars-CoV-2 is a highly adapted human pathogen,' it said, 'raising questions as to whether it arose in nature by a rare chance event or whether its origins lie elsewhere.'
Richard Ebright, professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, in New Jersey, said scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (pictured) were creating chimeric coronaviruses (new hybrid micro-organisms)
Prof Petrovsky said it seemed 'very unusual' for an 'exquisitely human adaptive virus' to have suddenly crossed from an animal host to humans last year.
'This is either a remarkable coincidence or a sign of human intervention,' he said. 'It is possible the virus was a fluke event and it turns out humans were the perfect host.
'But we don't have evidence for this because no one has found this virus in an intermediate host animal [for example pangolin] yet.
'No one can say a laboratory leak is not a possibility.'
He claimed that scientists were reluctant to discuss the possibility of botched lab experiments or leaks since any backlash could lead to research restrictions and threaten crucial research. However, he added, it was vital to discover the source of the virus.
Prof Petrovsky said that if Sars-CoV-2 was a natural event, another related virus could erupt again from the same source with even more devastating consequences. 'Next time, it could have far worse mortality rates,' he warned.
He also highlighted the 'furin cleavage site', which allows the spike protein to bind to cells in human tissues including the lungs, liver and small intestines.
One US expert in biomedical sciences, who did not wish to be named, said there was no direct evidence to support the idea that the virus was engineered or leaked from a lab
Previous studies have noted the efficiency of this cleavage method, which does not exist in the most similar coronaviruses '' although researchers in 2009 modified the SARS virus to introduce a furin cleavage site in a similar position to Sars-CoV-2 and found this increased the infectivity of the virus.
In the latest study published on Friday, three German scientists highlighted how this cleavage site was essential for the infection of human lung cells. One US expert in biomedical sciences, who did not wish to be named, said there was no direct evidence to support the idea that the virus was engineered or leaked from a lab, although 'the location of the acquired furin mutation is quite surprising'.
Another leading research scientist said a member of his team 'went a bit pale when he looked at this'.
A paper earlier this year by Yong-Zhen Zhang, the Chinese diseases expert who published the first genome sequence for Sars-CoV-2, said this was 'arguably the most important' difference between the new virus and its closest known relative, which was derived from a bat by Wuhan researchers.
Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, said the 'body of evidence' suggested this was a natural virus. 'You would see signatures if this was an engineered virus and I don't see any evidence that it is engineered,' he said.
Last week Chinese health officials confirmed they had ordered some labs to destroy samples of the coronavirus to ensure work was not being carried out in units that did not meet global biosafety rules.
World Health Organisation hails 'goodwill ambassador' Peng Liyuan on its website as a singing star... but fails to mention she's the wife of China's President, amid concerns over WHO'S handling of the coronavirus pandemic
By Mail on Sunday reporter
Peng Liyuan is listed on the World Health Organisation's website alongside former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker as one of nine 'goodwill ambassadors'.
When she was appointed, the then-head of the WHO hailed the Chinese folk singer's 'world famous voice and her compassionate heart', saying she was 'a big bright star with a huge and respectful audience of admirers'.
There was, however, no mention of the other reason why Peng is so well known '' she is the wife of Xi Jinping, President of China and leader of its Communist Party.
Peng Liyuan (pictured) is listed on the World Health Organisation's website alongside former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker as one of nine 'goodwill ambassadors'
Peng (right) married Xi (left) in 1987, when he was the divorced deputy mayor of the city of Xiamen
Peng, who holds the rank of major-general in the army, sang in uniform for soldiers after they crushed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square '' although state censors have sought to scrub these pictures from the internet.
The revelation that China's first lady has been serving in such a prominent role will fuel pressure on the WHO, which has been criticised during the pandemic '' sparked by concerns over its current boss's close relationship with Beijing.
'The definition of goodwill seems to be stretched,' said Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. 'The WHO should choose people who champion the rights of those they're there to serve, not those whose record leaves their commitment in doubt.'
There was, however, no mention of the other reason why Peng is so well known '' she is the wife of Xi Jinping, President of China and leader of its Communist Party. Pictured: Peng Liyuan's entry on the WHO website
Peng, who joined the People's Liberation Army in 1980, made her name on China's state-run television as a singer of syrupy songs praising the Communist Party and her country's rise to power.
She married Xi in 1987, when he was the divorced deputy mayor of the city of Xiamen. She was appointed by Margaret Chan, China's first head of a United Nations body, who has since joined a key Communist Party policy body. Peng was reappointed to the WHO by Chan's successor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who also tried to hand one of the posts to Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe before outrage forced a retreat.
Peng has attended influential summits and has joined her husband at key UN meetings. She has also met Bill Gates, the billionaire philanthropist who bailed out the WHO after its funding was cut by the US in fury over its pro-China stance. Donald Trump has called the WHO a 'pipe organ' for Beijing's interests.
Models and Data
Up-coding from Dutch coder
In the last show you were talking about getting more money
for the covid-19 diagnosis by registering different codes for treatment and
diagnosis. This phenomenon is called upcoding. I studied this during my
masters. After that, I worked for some time in a hospital to 'recode'
treatments to as we said: get the fair price for the provided care. It is
very easy to upcode/recode and every hospital in the Netherlands does it.
The dutch coding system is based on an American diagnosis
coding system so I can only imagine it happens also in the states.
Especially with an infectious disease where suspicion to the
infection is enough to upcode. If you have any questions about upcoding and how
to do it, let me know.
Horowitz: The CDC confirms remarkably low coronavirus death rate. Where is the media? - TheBlaze
Mon, 25 May 2020 09:44
Most people are more likely to wind up six feet under because of almost anything else under the sun other than COVID-19.
The CDC just came out with a report that should be earth-shattering to the narrative of the political class, yet it will go into the thick pile of vital data and information about the virus that is not getting out to the public. For the first time, the CDC has attempted to offer a real estimate of the overall death rate for COVID-19, and under its most likely scenario, the number is 0.26%. Officials estimate a 0.4% fatality rate among those who are symptomatic and project a 35% rate of asymptomatic cases among those infected, which drops the overall infection fatality rate (IFR) to just 0.26% '-- almost exactly where Stanford researchers pegged it a month ago.
Until now, we have been ridiculed for thinking the death rate was that low, as opposed to the 3.4% estimate of the World Health Organization, which helped drive the panic and the lockdowns. Now the CDC is agreeing to the lower rate in plain ink.
Plus, ultimately we might find out that the IFR is even lower because numerous studies and hard counts of confined populations have shown a much higher percentage of asymptomatic cases. Simply adjusting for a 50% asymptomatic rate would drop their fatality rate to 0.2% '' exactly the rate of fatality Dr. John Ionnidis of Stanford University projected.
More importantly, as I mentioned before, the overall death rate is meaningless because the numbers are so lopsided. Given that at least half of the deaths were in nursing homes, a back-of-the-envelope estimate would show that the infection fatality rate for non-nursing home residents would only be 0.1% or 1 in 1,000. And that includes people of all ages and all health statuses outside of nursing homes. Since nearly all of the deaths are those with comorbidities.
The CDC estimates the death rate from COVID-19 for those under 50 is 1 in 5,000 for those with symptoms, which would be 1 in 6,725 overall, but again, almost all those who die have specific comorbidities or underlying conditions. Those without them are more likely to die in a car accident. And schoolchildren, whose lives, mental health, and education we are destroying, are more likely to get struck by lightning.
To put this in perspective, one Twitter commentator juxtaposed the age-separated infection fatality rates in Spain to the average yearly probability of dying of anything for the same age groups, based on data from the Social Security Administration. He used Spain because we don't have a detailed infection fatality rate estimate for each age group from any survey in the U.S. However, we know that Spain fared worse than almost every other country. This data is actually working with a top-line IFR of 1%, roughly four times what the CDC estimates for the U.S., so if anything, the corresponding numbers for the U.S. will be lower.
As you can see, even in Spain, the death rates from COVID-19 for younger people are very low and are well below the annual death rate for any age group in a given year. For children, despite their young age, they are 10-30 times more likely to die from other causes in any given year.
While obviously yearly death rates factor in myriad of causes of death and COVID-19 is just one virus, it still provides much-needed perspective to a public policy response that is completely divorced from the risk for all but the oldest and sickest people in the country.
Also, keep in mind, these numbers represent your chance of dying once you have already contracted the virus, aka the infection fatality rate. Once you couple the chance of contracting the virus in the first place together with the chance of dying from it, many younger people have a higher chance of dying from a lightning strike.
Four infectious disease doctors in Canada estimate that the individual rate of death from COVID-19 for people under 65 years of age is six per million people, or 0.0006 per cent '' 1 in 166,666, which is "roughly equivalent to the risk of dying from a motor vehicle accident during the same time period." These numbers are for Canada, which did have fewer deaths per capita than the U.S.; however, if you take New York City and its surrounding counties out of the equation, the two countries are pretty much the same. Also, remember, so much of the death is associated with the suicidal political decisions of certain states and countries to place COVID-19 patients in nursing homes. An astounding 62 percent of all COVID-19 deaths were in the six states confirmed to have done this, even though they only compose 18 percent of the national population.
We destroyed our entire country and suspended democracy all for a lie, and these people perpetrated the unscientific degree of panic. Will they ever admit the grave consequences of their error?
Moderna's favorable coronavirus vaccine trial results are an example of 'publication by press release' - The Washington Post
Wed, 27 May 2020 07:42
William Haseltine is a former Harvard Medical School professor and founder of the university's cancer and HIV/AIDS research departments. He serves as chair and president of the think tank ACCESS Health International.
Faith in medicine and science is based on trust. But today, in the rush to share scientific progress in combating covid-19, that trust is being undermined.
Private companies, governments and research institutes are holding news conferences to report potential breakthroughs that cannot be verified. The results are always favorable, but the full data on which the announcements are based are not immediately available for critical review. This is "publication by press release,'' and it's damaging trust in the fundamental methods of science and medicine at a time when we need it most.
Full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic
The most recent example is Moderna's claim Monday of favorable results in its vaccine trial, which it announced without revealing any of the underlying data. The announcement added billions of dollars to the value of the company, with its shares jumping almost 20 percent. Many analysts believe it contributed to a 900-point gain in the Dow Jones industrial average.
The Moderna announcement described a safety trial of its vaccine based on eight healthy participants. The claim was that in all eight people, the vaccine raised the levels of neutralizing antibodies equivalent to those found in convalescent serum of those who recovered from covid-19. What to make of that claim? Hard to say, because we have no sense of what those levels were. This is the equivalent of a chief executive of a public company announcing a favorable earnings report without supplying supporting financial data, which the Securities and Exchange Commission would never allow.
There is a legitimate question regarding what Moderna's unsupported assertion means. The scientific and medical literature reports that some people who have recovered have little to no detectable neutralizing antibodies. There is even existing scientific literature that suggests it is possible neutralizing antibodies may not protect animals or humans from infection or reinfection by coronaviruses.
Sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter to track the outbreak. All stories linked in the newsletter are free to access.
Such ''publication by press release'' seems to be a standard practice lately. The National Institutes of Health announced last month that the drug remdesivir offered a clear benefit to covid-19 patients with moderate disease, shortening the length of their hospital stay by several days. But did it really? Twenty days after the announcement, the supporting data has still not been published. Without the data, no doctor treating a patient can be sure they are doing the right thing.
Another paper, published the same day, found that remdesivir had no measurable effect on patient survival or the amount of virus detectable in nasopharynx and lung secretions. What then should a practicing physician do? Follow the unsupported advice of a news announcement or a medical report published in a leading scientific journal? This is not an idle question: The NIH announcement triggered a global stampede for limited supplies of the drug.
The case is more nuanced for the vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, though the mileposts remain the same: It started with a public pronouncement of favorable results from an early study, this time in monkeys, well before any data was publicly released. An NIH scientist working on a trial of the Oxford vaccine gave an interview to the New York Times, claiming the drug was a success.
But the data, released as a prepublication version more than two weeks after the story ran, didn't quite live up to the early claim. All of the vaccinated monkeys became infected when introduced to the virus. Though there was some reduction in the amount of viral RNA detected in the lungs, there was no reduction in the nasal secretions in the vaccinated monkeys. So the positive result reported by the Oxford group turned out not to be protection from infection at all, something most would agree is what a successful vaccine would do. Instead, it lowered only the amount of virus recoverable from the vaccinated monkey's lung.
To the Jenner Institute's credit, it does warn visitors to its website that there have been many false reports about the progress of its vaccine trial. Still, having a scientist working on the trial paint preliminary results in such a positive manner without having yet released the full data is cause for concern.
The Opinions section is looking for stories of how the coronavirus has affected people of all walks of life. Write to us.
We all understand the need to share scientific and medical data as rapidly as possible in this time of crisis. But a media announcement alone is not enough. There are ways to share the data quickly and transparently: posting manuscripts before review or acceptance on publicly available websites or working with journals to allow an early view. Publishing in this manner allows doctors and scientists to reach their own conclusion, based on the evidence available.
The media also bears responsibility. Asking experts to opine on unsubstantiated claims is not useful. Medicine and science are not matters of majority opinion; they are matters of fact supported by transparent data. This is the backbone of scientific progress and our only hope to end this pandemic. We can't give up on our standards now.
Read more:
Paul Waldman: How Trump will hijack the coming vaccine wars
The Post's View: Can we reopen before there's a cure or a vaccine? It won't be easy.
Henry Olsen: Three cheers for Big Pharma as it rushes to develop a vaccine
The Post's View: The science is challenging. But we should be hopeful for a covid-19 vaccine or drug.
The Post's View: Speed is essential in developing this vaccine. But so is safety.
North Carolina Reports Highest 1-Day Spike Of COVID-19 Cases : Coronavirus Live Updates : NPR
Mon, 25 May 2020 07:03
North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services announced Saturday that it had recorded 1,107 new coronavirus infections, the state's highest one-day spike since the outbreak began. Gerry Broome/AP hide caption
toggle caption Gerry Broome/AP North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services announced Saturday that it had recorded 1,107 new coronavirus infections, the state's highest one-day spike since the outbreak began.
Gerry Broome/AP North Carolina has reported its highest one-day spike in new COVID-19 cases, a development that comes a day after the state entered its second phase of reopening.
In a statement on Saturday, the state's Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,107 infections '-- around 250 more cases than the state's last highest daily tally.
"This is a notable and concerning increase," said the department's secretary, Mandy Cohen, in a statement. "As we head into a holiday weekend, please practice the three Ws '' wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands frequently. When it comes to our health, we need to work together to protect our families, friends and neighbors."
The spike in new cases underscores the challenge that states across the U.S. are facing as they weigh when to ease restrictions designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
North Carolina had spent two weeks in Phase 1 of its reopening before entering the second phase on Friday. Phase 2 lifted the state's stay-at-home order and allowed certain businesses to restart or expand operations in a limited capacity.
In announcing the easing of restrictions, authorities noted that although "overall key indicators remain stable," there remained "continued increases in daily case counts." A statement accompanying Gov. Roy Cooper's executive order, issued on Wednesday, said reopening would be a more modest endeavor than initially envisioned.
"North Carolina is using the data to guide our decisions about when to lift COVID-19 restrictions, and overall our key indicators remain stable," Cooper, a Democrat, said. "Safer At Home Phase 2 is another careful step forward, and we have to continue taking this virus seriously to prevent a dangerous spike in infections."
The executive order allows businesses such as restaurants, salons and barbershops to be open at 50% capacity with social distancing and cleaning requirements in place. Bars, gyms and movie theaters are to remain closed.
The order also caps gatherings at 25 people for outdoor venues, while indoor events are limited to 10.
The announcement came as many parts of the U.S. have seen a general decline in new infections and as other areas '-- such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. '-- are reporting plateaus.
As of Saturday, North Carolina has reported at least 22,725 coronavirus infections.
Study: UK Lockdown Measures Delay Saw Coronavirus Cases Rise 1.3m in Nine Days - Sputnik International
Mon, 25 May 2020 08:45
UK15:25 GMT 24.05.2020Get short URL
Sputnik International
Boris Johnson's delay in imposing measures saw cases rise from 200,000 on 14th March to 1.5 million on 23rd March as the government deliberated on the timing and scale of the lockdown, it is alleged.
The UK government's hesitance to implement lockdown restrictions saw the number of coronavirus infections rise by 1.3 million in nine days, the Sunday Times has reported.
The increase in cases is based on a study by Imperial College London's pandemic modellers and Oxford University's department of statistics, which used backward modelling to calculate the rate of infection doubled every three days from 14th March 14 '' the date Whitehall finally decided lockdown measures would be necessary to curb the virus's spread.
''I think that critical period of delay made the big difference to the peak numbers, both of hospitalisations and of deaths. I think everyone would accept now in retrospect if we'd gone for lockdown a couple of weeks earlier that would have greatly reduced the numbers of hospitalisations and deaths,'' Professor Peter Openshaw, a member of the Government's Nervtag (new and emerging respiratory virus threats advisory group), told the paper.'‹In a statement, a spokesperson said the Government's strategy throughout the pandemic has been to protect the NHS and ''save lives''.
''It has been vital through this global pandemic to make interventions which the public can feasibly adopt in sufficient numbers over long periods,'' they added.
Italy Says 96% of Virus Fatalities Suffered From Other Illnesses - Bloomberg
Wed, 27 May 2020 07:33
Need help? Contact us We've detected unusual activity from your computer networkTo continue, please click the box below to let us know you're not a robot.
Why did this happen?Please make sure your browser supports JavaScript and cookies and that you are not blocking them from loading. For more information you can review our Terms of Service and Cookie Policy.
Need Help?For inquiries related to this message please contact our support team and provide the reference ID below.
Block reference ID:
Chicago violence: Deadliest Memorial Day weekend in years - Chicago Tribune
Wed, 27 May 2020 07:58
By Monday morning, nine people already had been shot and killed in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend, making it the deadliest one since 2015.
The dead are among at least 39 people shot from Friday afternoon to early Monday evening, according to Chicago police and data kept by the Tribune.
With another night to go in the long weekend, the number of shootings was already close to 2019'²s total despite the coronavirus stay-at-home order, Saturday's severe storms and added police patrols.
Three teenagers were among those shot, among them 16-year-old Darnell Fisher, who was fatally wounded while walking shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday in the Washington Park neighborhood. One person is in custody in connection with the shooting and a gun has been recovered, police said.
A 15-year-old girl was shot in the leg while standing on a front porch around 5 a.m. Monday in the West Pullman neighborhood and was in good conditional at Roseland Community Hospital, police said.
And a 15-year-old boy suffered gunshot wounds to the face, chest and abdomen following a verbal altercation with an unknown driver shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday in the South Shore neighborhood, authorities said. He was taken to Comer Children's Hospital in critical condition.
Both shootings remain under investigation, according to Chicago police.
New police Superintendent David Brown said Friday that he expected the usual spike in violence this weekend. Patrols would be stepped up, but he would not say how many extra officers would be deployed.
Officers also were supposed be ''on the lookout for large gatherings'' that are not allowed because of the pandemic, Brown said.
On Saturday, 17 people were shot, five fatally, police said. A 35-year-old man was killed and three others were injured around 6:30 p.m. in the 3900 block of West Grenshaw Street in the Lawndale neighborhood, police said. The men, ages 23 to 43, were outside a residence when a vehicle approached and someone inside sprayed them with bullets.
Sunday saw 10 people shot, three fatally. There also was an incident with four people stabbed at 9:15 p.m. after an argument erupted with tenants of a Gresham apartment building in their backyard, police said.
A 46-year-old woman took out a knife and stabbed three men before someone stabbed her, police said. They were all taken to hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening.
A bloody cloth sits on the ground at the scene where four people were stabbed near the intersection of West 77th Street and South Union Avenue in the Gresham neighborhood on May 24, 2020.(Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)
Less than an hour later and about a mile north in Englewood, officers responded to a call to disperse a large crowd in the 7000 block of South Lowe Avenue, police said.
Breaking News Newsletter
As it happens
Get updates on the coronavirus pandemic and other news as it happens with our breaking email alerts
It ended with officers chasing down a man who had a gun and then calling over the radio for a ''10-1'' '-- an officer needing immediate assistance '-- when another man fired a gun, not aimed at police.
Dozens of squad cars lined 71st Street after the call. Drivers tried to weave through the congested street as neighbors ran outside and took out their phones to capture the blue lights and hum of a helicopter.
The man who fired the gun was taken into custody, police said. Two officers suffered minor injuries.
Chicago Tribune's Stacy St. Clair contributed.
Vaccines and Such
Moderna vaccine causes 'serious injury' in 20%, insiders cash out
Mon, 25 May 2020 07:06
We think we know why Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, did a turnabout this past week and said if the country stays closed too long it could have serious economic consequences.
The Moderna vaccine, championed by Dr. Fauci and financed by Bill Gates, caused ''serious injury'' in 20% of the people to whom it was administered. It was a small group study.
Dr. Fauci was so confident of his shot's safety that he waived ferret and primate studies (Moderna suspiciously reported no specific health data from its mouse studies). That appears to have been a mistake.
The U.S. invested billions of dollars and there were insiders '-- top executives '-- who cashed out and made $30 million. That did that on the day they announced hopeful results.
The much-ballyhooed experimental mRNA technology is a bust so far.
Moderna did not release its clinical trial study or raw data, but its press release, which was freighted with inconsistencies acknowledged that three volunteers developed Grade 3 systemic events defined by the FDA as ''Preventing daily activity and requiring medical intervention.''
Moderna allowed only exceptionally healthy volunteers to participate in the study. A vaccine with those reaction rates could cause grave injuries in 1.5 billion humans if administered to ''every person on earth''.
That is the threshold that Gates has established for ending the global lockdown. Moderna did not explain why it reported positive antibody tests for only eight participants.
That's what has happened at this stage with animals. They get better and then get sick and die.
The country can't stay closed until we have a vaccine. We may never have one since we don't have one for any coronavirus, not for SARS, not for AIDS.
COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Threatened by Vanishing Virus in UK
Tue, 26 May 2020 07:17
A COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK has only a 50 percent chance at success, down from earlier estimates of 80 percent, the professor co-leading the development of the vaccine told a British newspaper.
''It is a race, yes. But it's not a race against the other guys. It's a race against the virus disappearing, and against time,'' professor Adrian Hill told The Telegraph, noting that a decline in transmission of the CCP virus poses a growing challenge to vaccine trials.
The experimental vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is one of the front-runners in the global race to provide protection against COVID-19. Preliminary data from a small trial of the experimental vaccine, also known as AZD1222, in six monkeys found that some of the animals given a single shot developed antibodies against the virus within 14 days, and all developed protective antibodies within 28 days.
Small bottles labeled with a ''Vaccine COVID-19'' sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)A University of Oxford team led by Hill moved to human trials in April, making the experimental vaccine one of only a handful to reach that milestone.
But Hill recently told The Telegraph that the trial, which has begun to enroll around 10,000 adults and children in Britain, could flop because the virus is quickly vanishing in the UK.
''We said earlier in the year that there was an 80 percent chance of developing an effective vaccine by September,'' he told The Telegraph.
''But at the moment, there's a 50 percent chance that we get no result at all.''
Hill serves as director of Oxford's Jenner Institute, which has teamed up with drugmaker AstraZeneca to develop the vaccine, of which the UK government has already promised to buy up to 100 million doses.
''The speed at which this new vaccine has advanced into late-stage clinical trials is testament to Oxford's groundbreaking scientific research,'' AstraZeneca executive Mene Pangalos said.
AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said last month that he was hopeful the study could provide answers on vaccine efficacy as early as June or July.
The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange on April 8, 2019. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)Oxford University said that if community transmission drops, this process could take longer.
''If transmission remains high, we may get enough data in a couple of months to see if the vaccine works, but if transmission levels drop, this could take up to six months,'' the university said in a statement.
AstraZeneca recently announced a $1.2 billion deal with the U.S. government to produce 400 million doses of the trial vaccine.
The dilemma of reduced community transmission has led some scientists and politicians to consider intentionally infecting people with the virus for the purpose of carrying out a meaningful vaccine trial.
The controversial method is called human challenge studies (HCS), and it involves healthy volunteers being injected with a candidate vaccine or a placebo followed by a weakened version of the virus.
Thirty-five U.S. lawmakers sent a letter (pdf) to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration last month urging for all options to be considered in accelerating the development and deployment of a vaccine, including HCS.
Dr. Rajeev Fernando, infectious disease specialist and rapid responder at three New York hospitals, supports HCS if it can speed up the process of finding a vaccine.
''I really support these kinds of trials right now,'' he told The Epoch Times. ''As a matter of fact, if I had an option, I'd be more than happy to be a part of these trials.''
Reuters and Meiling Lee contributed to this report.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM
Coronavirus: UK authorises anti-viral drug remdesivir - BBC News
Tue, 26 May 2020 16:10
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Experts warn remdesivir shouldn't be seen as a "magic bullet" A drug treatment called remdesivir that appears to shorten recovery time for people with coronavirus is being made available on the NHS.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was probably the biggest step forward in the treatment of coronavirus since the crisis began.
Remdesivir is an anti-viral medicine that has been used against Ebola.
UK regulators say there is enough evidence to approve its use in selected Covid-19 hospital patients.
For the time being and due to limited supplies, it will go to those most likely to benefit.
The US and Japan have already made similar urgent arrangements to provide early access to the medicine before they have a marketing agreement.
The drug is currently undergoing clinical trials around the world, including in the UK.
Early data suggests it can cut recovery time by about four days, but there is no evidence yet that it will save more lives.
Coronavirus cure: When will we have a drug to treat it? The drug combination that may help us beat coronavirusIt is not clear how much stock pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences has available to treat UK patients.
Allocation of the intravenous drug will be based on the advice of doctors.
Minister for Innovation Lord Bethell said: "This shows fantastic progress. As we navigate this unprecedented period, we must be on the front foot of the latest medical advancements, while always ensuring patient safety remains a top priority.
"The latest, expert scientific advice is at the heart of every decision we make, and we will continue to monitor remdesivir's success in clinical trials across the country to ensure the best results for UK patients."
Dr Stephen Griffin from the University of Leeds Medical School, said it was perhaps the most promising anti-viral for coronavirus so far.
He said patients with the most severe disease would be likely to receive it first. "Whilst this is clearly the most ethically sound approach, it also means that we ought not to expect the drug to immediately act as a magic bullet.
"We can instead hope for improved recovery rates and a reduction in patient mortality, which we hope will benefit as many patients as possible."
Other drugs being investigated for coronavirus include those for malaria and HIV.
Testing of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been halted in some trials because of safety fears.
The World Health Organization says the temporary suspension is a precaution, after a recent medical study found the drug might increase the risk of death and heart rhythm complications.
In the UK, the Recovery trial looking at using this drug in patients remains open, but another one, using it in frontline NHS staff to prevent rather than treat infections, has paused recruiting more volunteers.
A SIMPLE GUIDE: What are the symptoms?ON FRONTLINE: The young doctors being asked to play godREASON TO HOPE: The good that may come out of this crisisAVOIDING CONTACT: The rules on self-isolation and exerciseHOPE AND LOSS: Your coronavirus stories
Bojo's plan to break with Northern Ireland using Brexit as his excuse -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net
Mon, 25 May 2020 08:33
(C) AFP / Tolga AKMEN Boris Johnson
Brexit has given Boris Johnson a golden opportunity to separate Northern Ireland from Britain. Border checks on goods and pets are the first steps in BoJo's mission to dump Ulster for good.
It's easy to smell a rat when even the iconic British Bulldog needs a pet passport to get into Northern Ireland. Boris Johnson has a nasty habit of words coming back to bite him - as was evident this week when he, once again, shafted the good folks of Northern Ireland.
He once very clearly said, "There will be no checks on goods from GB to Northern Ireland or Northern Ireland to GB." Of course, it has now been announced that as part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement there will be "new checks on goods entering NI from GB," as one BBC headline put it.
Incidentally, it was a headline that also drummed home the point that Belfast is not actually part of Great Britain, but rather the United Kingdom. It's a bizarre anomaly that somebody - i.e. a Unionist - who perceives themselves as British, isn't even technically from Great Britain. I can't get my head around that one. Sooner or later, it's going to create an 'us and them' division every single time this elephant in the room is mentioned by the English media.
To make matters even worse, the good old-fashioned British Bulldog will need a pet passport to visit Northern Ireland from January 2021, it was announced on Friday. This is barking mad because it means "you can't refer to the UK at all in this case as a single unit anymore," as correctly pointed out by Joe Moran, the deputy coordinator of the UK-EU Animal Welfare Taskforce, who also works for the lobby group, Eurogroup for Animals.
It makes you wonder if this new internal pet border is a stepping stone to even more extreme measures for Ulster? It seems like the government is drip-feeding information - one day the goods control story, the next day the pets' passports nonsense - with the aim of a death by a thousand cuts.
Inept BoJo
There can be no denying the prime minister's lackadaisical and inept attitude toward the Six Counties in his Brexit dealings. Regardless of the next inept step, Boris Johnson will go down in the history books as the bumbling fool to blame for the dramatic rise in reunification talks. We can only hope he doesn't end up giving some of the more extreme elements of the Nationalist and Unionist factions the ready-made excuses they're desperately seeking to reignite violence.
It's hard to fathom Boris Johnson's sheer lack of understanding of Northern Ireland considering he himself was once a political journalist who regularly socialized with Irish colleagues when working in Brussels. But, then again, perhaps it's not so surprising, seeing as one popular Irish broadcaster and journalist, Sam Smyth, who got to know the British PM, once observed, "Boris rarely bothered mastering the details of any brief."
Smyth ominously added, "Brexit, his prescribed cure, threatens to kill the ailing Britain he has pledged to save." Those two new announcements this week are prime examples of a supposedly 'United' Kingdom, being "hoist with its own petard" to slightly paraphrase Britain's great cultural icon Shakespeare. There's nothing "uniting" about it.
There is "no doubt about it," the Unionists have been "sold out" by Boris, as one senior Nationalist figure told me on Thursday. "If [Rev. Ian] Paisley was alive he would have every Unionist out on the street. He would bring Northern Ireland to a standstill. It's hard to believe the Tories have got away with this, and there has been hardly a word from Unionist leaders," he said.
The current Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, is far from a strong leader like Paisley. "He was a leader and when he shouted, everyone sat up and listened. Boris knows the Unionists are weak now. He can do what he wants with them and they have no say since they lost their deal to prop up Theresa May," my source added.
Northern Ireland is hardly a cash cow. The hard truth for Unionists is that Boris Johnson has done the maths here and immediately realized that the North - with its insignificant population of 1.5 million compared to the mainland UK's 65 million - costs the British Exchequer a staggering £10.8 billion a year. It's simple - he wants shot of them.
Boris is a man who knows an opportunity when he sees one, and Brexit is a golden one to dump Northern Ireland and blame it all on the EU.
United Ireland
Seeing as it's increasingly looking like Boris himself would probably welcome a border poll, I don't think my Nationalist source was speaking with just blind patriotism when he told me, "There is no doubt we will see a united Ireland in the next 10 years. I would not have said that a few months ago, but while Boris acts stupid, he's not stupid; he knows exactly what he's doing. If he can get rid of Northern Ireland without any backlash from Unionists, that's the way he will go. Arlene's weakness is his key to that plan."
"Arlene is a gift to Boris. She is not a leader. Once Brexit happens he will set up his border at the Northern Irish ports. He will then slowly reduce the subsidies the UK pays Northern Ireland. When the Unionists start to complain, seeing as Northern Ireland will still be part of the EU, he will tell them to get the money from the EU."
It's often puzzled me that there's such a black and white presumptive attitude that the people of Northern Ireland must obviously want either unification or unionism. As an Irishman myself, I'd much prefer to see the Six Counties become an independent state in the same way the Scots are now advocating. But it's not something you ever hear being championed.
Believe it or not, there's a significant percentage on both sides of the Irish border who actually don't want reunification. Apart from the fact the Republic can't afford it, I'm also against reunification because I feel our nation has much less in common with the North than everybody likes to pretend. Before anybody starts accusing me of being a so-called West Brit, you can take a closer look at all my reasons outlined here.
I would prefer to see a Celtic nations pact with Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, similar to the Scandinavians with their Nordic Council. In layman's terms, you could describe their set-up as a mini-EU with its inter-parliamentary co-operation between Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Greenland and other smaller islands.
It makes sense for the Celtic nations to swim off together into the sunset, while Boris Johnson sinks England with Brexit. Jason O'Toole, who has worked as a senior feature writer for the Irish Daily Mail, a columnist with the Irish Sunday Mirror and senior editor of Hot Press magazine. He's also the author of several best-selling books.
Mail in Voting
83 ballots left atop a single, elderly lady's mailbox in LA, but it can't be voter fraud
Mon, 25 May 2020 07:08
Jerry Mosna found 83 mail-in ballots shipped to his apartment complex in San Pedro, California this weekend. All 83 ballots were sent to the same address where a single 89-year-old woman lives.
But, don't worry, it couldn't be voter fraud. Democrats say there is no voter fraud.
The Los Angeles County Registrar's Office is investigating the incident, but, without evidence, they said it appears to be an isolated situation tied to a system error causing all those duplicate ballots. [Except, they were all addressed to different people]
None of the government workers noticed.
What else could it possibly be? It's not like anyone would send them to an elderly lady and grab them upon arrival.
A neighbor took the ballots to the Los Angeles Police Department, hoping they would investigate.
Instead, the police sent them to the post office to report the incident. Because no one cares enough?
The neighbor, Jerry Mosna of San Pedro found the two stacks of ballots on top of his mailbox on Saturday. All of the 83 ballots were unused and addressed to different people, all supposedly living in an apartment he knows to be occupied by a single, 89-year-old, neighbor.
''I think this is spooky,'' Mosna told Fox News. ''All the different names, none we recognize, all at one address.''
''Yes, there is voter fraud. We saw it with our own eyes,'' another neighbor, John Cracchiolo said.
In a statement, the unionized post office said: ''We are carefully reviewing our records and gathering information to fully identify what took place. Our preliminary assessment is that this appears to be an isolated situation related to a system error that occurred causing duplicate ballots to be issued to an address entered for a single voter. We are working directly with the system vendor to ensure the issue is addressed and to identify any similar occurrences.''
There are ''relatively few'' of these incidences, the postal service claims. And you can use that with $1.50 and a mask to get on a subway in New York.
Vape Wars
Big Tobacco use menthol cigarette ban to promote rival products '-- The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
Mon, 25 May 2020 08:16
The tobacco giant Philip Morris has taken advantage of the UK's ban on menthol cigarettes to promote its new tobacco product, despite heavy restrictions on advertising tobacco.
In the run up to the ban the company hired sales reps to promote its menthol heated tobacco products directly to newsagents, one of the only legal ways it can advertise in the UK, where almost all tobacco advertising is banned. It also offered promotional menthol kits and trials for new customers, with half-price tobacco sticks in any of its four menthol flavours.
Philip Morris has described the ban '' which began on May 20 '' as a ''huge opportunity'' for its business as the 1.3m menthol smokers in the UK consider their options.
As smoking rates decline globally, Philip Morris has pursued alternative products, including heated tobacco, which is exempted from the UK's menthol ban. As the first company to introduce a heated tobacco product in the UK '' its Iqos heat-not-burn device '' Philip Morris is expected to capitalise on the loophole.
Iqos is being marketed by the company as ''the closest alternative to a menthol cigarette''. The company claims that it supports smokers quitting rather than switching to alternative tobacco products, but the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal that the company is doggedly pursuing the large menthol cigarette market.
A source told the Bureau that at a company-wide event on 12 December 2019, Peter Nixon, the managing director of Philip Morris, revealed that the UK office was being asked to boost sales of Heets, Iqos's flavoured heated tobacco sticks, by 400% in 2020.
In a subsequent email to staff, he said: ''2020 is the most important year in history '... The momentum of Iqos coupled with the menthol ban give us a huge opportunity. At the end of the year, I want all of us to look back and say, we gave it everything.''
Nixon told newsagents earlier this month that the reason for the ban "is to reduce the number of smokers. Whether that will or not we will see. What it does do is it causes a moment for menthol smokers to make a choice of what they are going to do, because they won't be able to have access to their product. So whether they will quit or move to other things is a moment where people will have to make a decision.''
PMI did not respond to a request for comment on these points.
John Britton, professor of epidemiology and director at the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham, said: ''The menthol ban is going to be bad news for a lot of smokers, who are going to find smoking less appealing, so it is a big opportunity for smokers to quit.
He said that tobacco companies will ''want to minimise the numbers who quit and maximise the numbers who continue to buy products from them''.
''There is a spectrum of risk with any nicotine product and that spectrum goes from medicinally approved products through to combustible tobacco,'' he added. ''We don't know where Iqos sits, but it is certainly closer to combustible tobacco than e-cigarettes or medicinal nicotine.''
Philip Morris's sales ambitions have been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic. Before the crisis, the company had hired sales representatives across the country in order to push Iqos to retailers nationwide. However, under lockdown staff have been unable to visit shops and instead have been promoting the product over the phone.
A poster promoting Iqos produced for retailers in the run up to the menthol ban. Detail below
According to job adverts, sales reps were expected to build ''enthusiasm about Iqos and the excellent sales opportunity post menthol ban'' and ''expertly overcome any objections or concerns the retailer may have''.
The promotion campaign was supported by an incentive programme called Heetwave Open, which rewards retailers for every Iqos Menthol kit sold and every customer signed up to a 14-day trial. Alongside its two existing menthol flavours of Heets, Philip Morris also introduced two more: ''Sienna'' and ''Green Menthol''.
Strict UK laws prevent giveaways or free offers of tobacco products. The £10 trial skirts these restrictions by including four packs of Heets for the price of two, as well as a two-week loan of an Iqos device.
Speaking to newsagents, Nixon said: ''My company has already said we will stop selling cigarettes one day and we want to stop selling as soon as possible. That does not mean we will stop selling everything, we wouldn't have a business then.''
A Philip Morris spokesperson told the Bureau the company ''supports the government's commitment to make England smoke-free by 2030. The best option for the UK's 1.3 million menthol smokers is to quit smoking altogether and the efforts of all smokers to quit should be supported.''
Philip Morris did not address the questions raised by the Bureau but said: ''We encourage adult menthol smokers who do not quit to switch to smoke-free alternatives, rather than non-flavored cigarettes. While not risk-free, smoke-free products are a much better choice than continuing to smoke.''
Philip Morris' competitors have also tried to turn the menthol ban into a sales opportunity. Japan Tobacco has launched a menthol cigarillo, Imperial Brands has designed a mint-infused card that flavours cigarettes with menthol, and British American Tobacco is marketing its mint-flavoured vapes.
Our reporting on tobacco is part of our Global Health project, which has a number of funders. Smoke Screen is funded by Vital Strategies. None of our funders have any influence over the Bureau's editorial decisions or output.
Header image: One of Iqos's promotional images for the menthol kit
Insider Trading
FBI Moves On Dianne Feinstein- Orders Her To Hand Over Documents On Her Husband's Stock Trades - DC Dirty Laundry
Mon, 25 May 2020 07:01
DINO PORRAZZO at Right Wing Tribune
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) got paid a visit from Federal agents which involved her husband, Richard Blum wanting information over her husband's decision to unload stock ahead of the coronavirus outbreak.
That's called insider information folks.
take our poll - story continues below
Completing this poll grants you access to DC Dirty Laundry updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Feinstein's husband is no stranger to shady deals- that's how they are so rich.
As the New York Post notes, ''Blum's company, CBRE, was selected in March 2011 as the sole real estate agent on sales expected to fetch $19 billion. Most voters didn't notice that Blum is a member of CBRE's board and served as chairman from 2001 to 2014.''
Feinstein's office denies that she had anything to do with the USPS decision.
This is not the first time Feinstein and her husband have come under fire for engaging in crony capitalism.
In 2013, a construction group partially owned by Blum's investment firm scored a construction contract for California's high-speed rail project valued at $985,142,530.
The California Democrat also purportedly handed over documents to federal agents to indicate she had ''no involvement'' in her husband's decision to sell off between $500,000 to $1 million in a biotech company, Allogene Therapeutics, this past January, Breitbart reports.
A spokesperson for Feinstein told The New York Times Thursday that the FBI asked her ''basic questions'' last month about stock sales made by her husband, and added that the senator provided requested documents to federal law enforcement that showed she had no involvement in her husband's financial transactions, Daily Caller reports.
The 86-year-old California senator sold at least $1.5 million in stocks following a late January briefing on the coronavirus, but has denied any wrongdoing, and has said that all of her assets are in a blind trust.
The sale, which coincided with the stock trading at its 2020 low, came shortly before the market tumbled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Feinstein's admission came on the same day that Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) temporarily stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee because of an ongoing investigation into his own unloading of stock in February.
Burr, who is not only facing a Department of Justice (DOJ) probe, but one from the Securities and Exchange Commission as well, made the announcement after the FBI seized his cell phone on Wednesday at his Washington, DC, home.
Law enforcement officials are supposedly attempting to establish a timeline of when the senator decided to sell upwards of $1.72 million in stock this past February. At the time, Burr was receiving nearly daily briefings from the Senate Intelligence Committee on the coronavirus threat, and there is speculation he may have acted on information privy only to members of his panel.
Scroll down to leave a comment!
Join us at SPREELY if you want REAL NEWS without the leftist censorship!
Also join us at MUMBLIT!
DINO PORRAZZO at Right Wing Tribune
Join me on Twitter!
God Bless.
FeinsteinFeinstein on Impeachment: ''Nine months left to go, the people should judge. We are a republic, we are based on the will of the people '-- the people should judge.''BUSTED: Feinstein Caught In Treasonous Lie About Secret Iran Meeting '-- It Was NOT SanctionedLOCK HER UP: Did Dianne Feinstein just violate The Logan Act by Conversing with Javad Zarif?AOC & Feinstein calling for New Zealand-style nationwide gun confiscation and mass criminalization of gun owners across AmericaSenator Dianne Feinstein's Ties To George Soros Organizations
First Iranian tanker with fuel reaches Venezuela's coast - agency - Business & Economy - TASS
Mon, 25 May 2020 08:46
TEHERAN, May 24. /TASS/. The first Iranian tanker with fuels has reach Venezuela's coast, despite the United States' threats, IRNA news agency reported on Sunday.
The Fortune vessel sailed off the Iranian port of Shahid Rajaee seventy-two days ago. Four more Iranian tankers with fuels are expected in Venezuela within days.
Reuters said earlier citing Refinitiv Eikon, an analytical company, that the first out of five Iranian tankers had neared Venezuela's territorial waters on Saturday.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi on May 17 summoned the Swiss ambassador, who also represents the United States' interests in Iran, to warn Washington against pursuing Iranian tankers heading for Venezuela. Apart from that, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a letter to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres stressing that the United States must respect international law, and freedom of navigation in particular.
The Wall Street Journal said on May 20 citing sources in the presidential administration that the US authorities were looking at imposing sanctions and a number of other restrictive measures against Iran over its supplying fuels to Venezuela.
Senate Approves $38 Billion for Israel Amid Historic Economic Downturn
Mon, 25 May 2020 06:55
M enifee, CA (IAK) '-- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee quietly passed a bill yesterday to give Israel a minimum of $38 billion over the next ten years despite the ongoing devastation to the U.S. economy caused by the coronavirus.
The bill '' S.3176 '' will now go before the full Senate. Since the legislation has already been passed by the House of Representatives, if the Senate passes the bill, it will then go to the president to be signed into law.
The bill was passed by the committee under two unusual circumstances and with almost no public awareness.
First, Senate Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho) refused to allow a live stream of the meeting, despite the fact that the Senate Rules panel had recommended that extra efforts be taken to ensure public transparency while the Capitol is closed to the public and the presence of reporters is severely limited. The Senate's Press Gallery Standing Committee of Correspondents had objected strongly to Risch's decision.
Second, the bill was passed without being named, debated, or even discussed, even though it would set into law the largest such aid package in U.S. history. There has been no mention of the bill by most media in the United States.
The massive package is particularly noteworthy in light of the current devastation to the American taxpayers who will be footing the bill '' over $10 million per day. In recent months approximately 30 million Americans have lost jobs, 100,000 small businesses have already closed forever, and over seven million are at risk of doing so.
The bill was voted on as part of a package of 15 bills that were voted on ''en bloc'' (all together).
After Senator Kaine said he didn't know what the list contained, Risch responded: ''I'm not trying to pull anything here'... this was circulated among the staff.''
Risch then rapidly listed the numbers but did not give the titles. There was then a voice vote and the motion passed unanimously.
Democratic members of the committee had voiced strong objections to blocking a live stream of the meeting because of a different agenda item. After the meeting, Committee Ranking Member Robert Menendez (D-NJ) released a video of the meeting.
None, however, voiced any concern for giving a massive aid package to a country widely documented as a major violator of human rights.
Neither did any Democrats on the committee object to requiring American taxpayers to give Israel what amounts to over $7,000 per minute when many Americans are suffering catastrophic financial difficulties.
Democratic committee members Menendez, Ben Cardin, Cory Booker, and Chris Coons, like many of the Republican members, are particularly known for being under the influence of AIPAC and the Israel lobby and receiving pro-Israel campaign donations. Many of the members are co-sponsors of the bill.
The bill, entitled ''United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2020,'' expands and sets into law a memorandum of understanding agreement signed by the Obama administration with Israel in 2016. This agreement is nonbinding and not required by law. It also set the $38 billion as a ceiling.
The legislation just passed by the committee would make this disbursal legally required, and, in addition, it would make the $38 billion a floor rather than a ceiling. In other words, the amount of money could legally go even higher.
Given the power of the pro-Israel lobby, combined with the fact that U.S. media are not informing Americans of this use of their tax money, the likelihood is that U.S. money to Israel will go up in the future '' possibly even this year.)
Most Americans say they feel the U.S. is giving Israel too much money. Israel has received more U.S. tax money than any other country '' on average, about 7,000 times more per capita than others around the world.
The Council for the National Interest has posted a petition against this year's installment, $3.8 billion. So far, it has been signed by close to 2,000 people.
Feature photo | Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, right, listens to an aide before the start of a hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 13, 2017. Jacquelyn Martin | AP
Alison Weir is an author and activist. Her book, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel is an Amazon best-seller and has been called a ''must-read for all Americans.'' Learn more about it here.
Stories published in our Daily Digests section are chosen based on the interest of our readers. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News. The views expressed in these articles are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.
Mossad reveals full extent of its massive coronavirus gear haul
Tue, 26 May 2020 08:29
The Mossad intelligence agency obtained hundreds of millions of protective gear and thousands of medical devices as part of a concerted effort to combat coronavirus, said an internal report obtained by Ynet on Tuesday.
Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, who oversaw the operation, on Tuesday was to officially pass the authority over the coronavirus control center to the Health Ministry, in special ceremony.
Protective face masks
(Photo: AFP )
As part of the global bidding war that erupted following the COVID-19 outbreak, Cohen was forced to utilize his personal connections with various nations around the world, including countries that have no diplomatic ties with Israel, to attain the lifesaving gear.
According to media reports, some of the equipment arrived from unnamed countries in the Persian Gulf.
Over the past few days, Mossad's command has begun the process of transferring the task of handling and purchasing the equipment to the Health Ministry in order to free up its operations in case a second virus wave hits the country.
Mossad chief Yossi Cohen
(Photo: Dana Kopel )
According to the report, the amount of medical gear and equipment obtained since the start of the outbreak includes: 2.5 million protective goggles, with a further 5.5 million still to arrive; some 80 million surgical face masks, with a further 142 million still to arrive; 1.3 million of N-95 type face masks, with a further 14 million still to arrive; 180 million elastic gloves; over 30 tons of disinfectants and at least 1,300 ventilators, with another 4,700 expected to arrive between June and October.
A further 3,500 Israeli-made ventilators will be provided to the Health Ministry by July.
(Photo: AFP )
In total, Israel's hospitals are expected to receive close to 10,000 ventilators by October.
In addition, the report mentions four million protective vests and over two million coronavirus test kits, most of which arrived from China and South Korea.
The report points to deliveries of 47 different types of medications, including anesthetics as well as insulin.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen
(Photo: GPO )
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Cohen and the Mossad during a meeting between the two on Sunday, saying "you have done something extraordinary."
"The results speak for themselves," said Netanyahu. "As we transfer the operations to the Health Ministry, we don't know what the future holds. We must take advantage of the experience we have gained if it will be needed again. In the name of the citizens of Israel and me, I thank you for your excellent work."
Locust and Such
Ibiza invaded by plague of lethal Asian Tiger mosquitoes - Mirror Online
Mon, 25 May 2020 12:08
Ibiza has been hit by an invasion of aggressive Asian Tiger mosquitoes that are four times bigger than normal.
Experts say the spiralling numbers are an unexpected spin-off result from the coronavirus pandemic - as strict lockdown rules have closed hotels and holiday villas.
Health officials say the blood-sucking insects, which take 10 to 12 days to hatch and flourish in wet conditions, are likely to be coming from untreated swimming pools.
Lockdown restrictions are being eased in Ibiza (Image: Getty Images) Read MoreRelated ArticlesDon't miss our coronavirus newsletter with all the essential informationRead MoreRelated ArticlesJet2 holidays and flights to restart on July 1Under Spain's State of Emergency, villas have been left occupied whilst hotels were forced to close.
Due to travel restrictions, hundreds of thousands of visitors have been unable to visit the tourist hotspot.
As a result, the pools have been untreated for several months and have attracted huge plagues of the common mosquito and the more dangerous tiger mosquito.
Asian tiger mosquitoes are far more aggressive than their European cousins.
They can bite through clothing and spread diseases such as dengue and yellow fever.
Now Ibiza council's environmental management department has urged pool owners to purify their pools as soon as possible.
Ibiza is braced for a plague of aggressive Asian tiger mosquitoes (Image: Getty Images)The department said that pools must be treated soon to avoid "a real public health problem."
To avoid getting bitten by one of the pests, website travelhealthpro.org.uk has listed what travellers should pack.
It states: ''Protection from insect and tick bites is best achieved by avoiding infected habitats, together with personal protective measures such as wearing protective clothing, using insect repellent and sleeping under impregnated bed nets.
''Travellers should pack appropriate equipment for their destination; this may include protective clothing, repellents, mosquito nets, fine tipped tweezers and a first aid pack.''
And if you do get bitten, the site warns that most bites will only cause minor irritation, but in serious cases it can result in transmission of infectious disease such as malaria, yellow fever, and Zika.
Always use bug spray to ward off the aggressive pests (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)And travellers with a high fever of 38C or other concerning symptoms should always seek medical advice.
Spain revealed a four-stage plan to begin easing lockdown on 4th May - after its strict confinement saw children under 14 years old stuck in their homes for six weeks.
The easing is happening in two-week blocks but Spain's regions are exiting lockdown at different speeds.
Ibiza entered phase two of the de-escalation lockdown, alongside Mallorca and Menorca today.
This will give people more freedom and reactivate the economy, ''but this now means more responsibility'', Balearic government head Francina Armengol emphasized.
She added: ''We have been able to advance quickly because we have moved forward with things done well. And we have to carry on doing this responsibly."
Once the individual councils give permission, citizens will be able to swim and sunbathe on the beach, although groups will be limited and social distancing enforced.
Now residents are being urged to treat their swimming pool (Image: Getty Images)And hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants will reopen with limited capacity.
At present, all foreign travellers arriving in Spain must self-isolate for two weeks on arrival.
Prime Minister Pedro Snchez has said that the borders will reopen to foreign tourists in July, adding "foreign tourists can start planning their holidays".
"We guarantee that tourists will not be at risk and that they will not put us at risk," he said.
"Health and business are not opposing factors. Spanish tourism will now have two new trademarks: ecological sustainability and health protection."
Drain the Swamp
Obama Administration Scandals Are Coming to Light & His Legacy Is in Tatters | National Review
Wed, 27 May 2020 10:39
President Barack Obama during a news conference at the White House, December 16, 2016. (Carlos Barria/Reuters) Obama's policies are in tatters, and the worst scandals of his White House are coming to light.''One is not struck by the truth until prompted quite accidentally by some external event.'''-- Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE E ach day that the Obama administration fades into the past, its wrongdoings manage to wander back into the present.
After years of suppression, all sorts of strange events keep popping up to remind us of what little is left of the Obama years '-- the Susan Rice memo, Christopher Steele deleting his computer records, FBI-doctored and lost 302s, text messages wiped clean, the bizarre Obama January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting, the ambush interview of Michael Flynn, the unmasking and leaking of redacted names swept up in reverse-targeting surveillance operations, the administration fraud perpetrated on the FISA courts. The list is so overwhelming and bizarre that it ensures that anything at any time can now appear. And the result keeps reminding Americans of how corrupt were the years between 2009 and 2017 and how untruthful was the coverage of such institutionalized wrongdoing.
Feet of Clay
Emeritus Barack Obama now and then ventures out to go through the motions of an enfeebled defense for what is becoming an increasingly discredited administration. But his heart is not in it. His mind is elsewhere. His cause is no longer social activism and community organizing, if it ever was, but lucre and the perceived well-earned good life. The arc of his moralizing universe is long, but for the anointed like him, it apparently bends toward the just deserts of riches and material bounty.
First lady forever and bestselling memoirist Michelle Obama sometimes takes a hiatus from making millions to offer a half-hearted progressive warning about the sudden heartlessness of the country '-- reminiscent of her transitory 2008 warnings about a downright mean country and one of which she had previously not been especially proud.
The remains of the Obama team (Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Comey, Samantha Power) are not offering much of a defense for the Obama years '-- they are now too busy scrambling to hide their own legal culpability and exposure. The bending arc of the 2009 dream team finally ends in the platitudes of ''I can't remember'' and ''Not to my knowledge'' that will eventually find their way from CNN and MSNBC into the court room.
Obama entered office to gushes that he was a living god and the smartest man ever to enter the White House. He quickly won the Nobel Peace Prize and was courted internationally through a series of overseas tours. His brand was that he was not so much a citizen of an unexceptional America as a citizen of the now globalized world.
Obama entered with a supermajority in the Senate and a large majority in the House, with the likelihood of remaking the Supreme Court. When he left eight years later, he had lost both houses of Congress, lost the Supreme Court for a generation, and lost more than 1,000 state and local offices. Once Obama discovered in his last year in office that the more he disappeared, the more the public liked the idea rather than the reality of Obama, his polls recovered. His designated successor, armed with Obama's endorsement, a captive media, and a vast preponderance of money lost to outlier Donald Trump in the greatest upset in U.S. election history. Trump, remember, ran on being the antithesis to Barack Obama.
Gone with the Breeze
Because Obama sought to ram down the throats of the public a radical progressive agenda on the force of his supposedly charismatic godhead, none of his initiatives ever won majority public support. A few were pushed through on entirely partisan votes or by executive '-- and thus easily reversible '-- orders. For the most part, what Obama ran on in 2008, he quickly forgot. Instead, he sought to enact what he had once warned against, from open borders and gay marriage to radical deficit spending and one-size-fits-all federal medical care.
In fact, Obamacare remains a mess and hobbles along, to the extent the individual mandate was scrapped. The Obama future of centrally controlled, high-density, skyscraper apartment living, reliance on mass transit and subways, and energy-efficient crowded workplaces was rendered inert by COVID-19. Those who must soon return to the coastal-corridor paradigm are not too happy about it. The MeToo movement is now dead, killed off by its own selective applications and hypocrisies. The Obama federal Title IX counterpart edicts to universities are now being overturned on grounds that they are likely unconstitutional.
The Obama-administration appeasement of China is over and in retrospect seen as disastrous. ''Reset'' with Russia was as mythical as Russian ''collusion.'' The much-heralded Asian ''pivot'' is a forgotten divot.
No one defends the Iran Deal much anymore, as Tehran struggles with sanctions, bankruptcy, a hostile Middle East, a suspect Chinese patron, the death of its terrorist master General Soleimani, popular unrest, and a COVID-19 mess. The idea of empowering the Iranian terrorist state and its appendages in Syria as a legitimate balance to Egypt, the moderate Gulf States, and even Israel was always unhinged. It was largely dreamed up by failed novelist Ben Rhodes, the organizer of the resistance foreign-policy shadow government that no one hears much about anymore.
Even the Arab world is relieved that Obama's estrangement with Israel is over with. Whatever the Obama policy toward North Korea was, it was a prescription for nuclear missiles pointed at the U.S. America met the Paris climate accord more effectively than most signees to the agreement, and through hated natural gas and not beloved wind and solar. The world did not end when the Golan Heights was not going to be given back to Assad's Syria, or as the American Embassy moved to Jerusalem.
The epidemic put an end to lots of Obama lore. Secure borders are now the unquestioned consensus, not caravans blasting through rusty cyclone fences. Globalization is a synonym for Chinese hegemony. China is no longer a helpful partner in American efforts to address climate change and epidemics, as Obama once waxed. The interior of the country is no longer written off, and jobs will come back without a magic wand, and more so due to fear of current Chinese monopolies of essential U.S. goods. Obama hollowed out the U.S. military and saw it rebuilt by Donald Trump.
Grant, Harding, or Nixon?
There is nothing left of the Obama creed of the ''most scandal-free'' administrant in memory. Before the collusion/obstruction hoax, the Horowitz report, the failed Mueller investigation, and the release of classified information, the public knew well of Fast and Furious, the data surveillance of the AP reporters, the GSA and VA messes, the weaponization of the IRS, the Benghazi mythologies, the Bowe Bergdahl swap, and the echo-chamber silence about the hidden details of the Iran deal. Each time Susan Rice was wheeled out to swear the truth, the public assumed it was a lie. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Slowly we are learning that the Obama administration '-- in its hatred of Donald Trump, in its paranoia that its precious legacy could in theory end in 2017, and in assurance that Hillary Clinton's sure victory would cloak its wrongdoing '-- sought to disrupt a presidential campaign, wreck a presidential transition, and abort a presidency. What did high Obama officials and leftovers not do to those ends?
They spied on the incoming national-security advisor by the phony ruse of reverse targeting the Russian ambassador. They sought to ambush Michael Flynn in a perjury trap. They doctored and then likely destroyed the FBI 302 report of their ambush interview. During the campaign, they trafficked in a fake dossier, cobbled together by a bought foreign national, on the payroll of Hillary Clinton's firewalls, and the FBI, whose made-up evidence was destroyed by Steele himself. Obama officials requested hundreds of unmaskings of those affiliated with Trump, and mysteriously many of the subsequent unredacted names ended up leaked to the press.
They doctored emails to fool a FISA court into spying on an American citizen. The CIA used contractors abroad to entrap minor Trump campaign officials. The FBI outsourced its responsibilities to investigate the hacking of the DNC emails to Crowdstrike, whose mantra that the Russians did it was always suspect and soon confessed as unproven. Former Obama officials '-- McCabe, Comey, Brennan, Clapper '-- blared on TV that Donald Trump was a Putin asset and a Russian colluder, even as they swore, while under oath, that they had no evidence for such assertions. In the end, all four at one time or another has either likely lied under oath to a congressional committee or lied to federal investigators.
The scandal list could be expanded but its present status could be summed up as Obama himself likely knew of these efforts to surveille, disrupt, and ultimately destroy the Trump campaign and transition, and he correctly knew that no one would pursue the fact of his knowledge.
Either his subordinates would provide a firewall around his divinity, or if they would or could not, the public could not absorb the idea that the Obama's administration was the most corrupt and scandal-ridden in memory.
Gilded Socialism
Finally, the Obama post presidency did not help his cause. After eight years of lecturing the nation about the proper time to profit, or identifying the point after which there was no need to make additional money, or that private businesspeople did not really build their businesses, or the need to spread the wealth around, Obama liberated from office almost immediately rushed to the life of private jets and luxury yachts.
He signed multimillion-dollar tech and media deals characterized by requiring little expertise and less work but the promiscuous use of his brand and name. The erstwhile lecturer in chief about redlining and insidious bias bought a mansion in Washington's toniest district; and after warning about rising seas, coastal flooding, and the need to lower them, he bought a seaside estate at Martha Vineyard, for the fire sale price of just under $12 million. In other words, he knew no time to stop profiting; there was no point when he had enough money; he saw no reason to spread his wealth around; and he really did build his own empire,
The less charismatic purveyors of the Obama legacy have not done well.
Hillary Clinton hired a foreign national to compile a dirty dossier on Trump and seed it in the Obama administration. She blew an election and ended up babbling and fixated permanently on her failure, before pathetically joining the ''Resistance.'' Joe Biden in his dotage may be spared her angst, given his own seeming inability to know exactly where he is and what he is supposed to say. Obama was supposed to have jump-started the careers of dozens of young, charismatic ''diversity'' imitators in the presidential arena, such as Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Deval Patrick, Kamala Harris, and Andrew Yang. All crashed and burned in the Democratic primaries, whether because they were not the Obama Adonis or because they reminded voters of his shallowness.
We were supposed to see a fundamental transformation of the country between 2009 and 2025, as the Obama-Clinton 16-year regnum finally made America right and correct. Instead, we witnessed eight years that ended in scandal whose full dimensions of criminality will take years to process.
Rosenstein to testify as part of Graham's Russia investigation probe | TheHill
Thu, 28 May 2020 06:35
Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Rod RosensteinSenate Republicans issue first subpoena in Biden-Burisma probe Graham to release report on his probe into Russia investigation before election McConnell embraces subpoena of Obama-era officials MORE will testify next week as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee's probe into the origins of the FBI's Russia investigation, Sen. Lindsey Graham Lindsey Olin GrahamDemocratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight Trump urges GOP to vote against bill reauthorizing surveillance powers Speculation swirls about next Supreme Court vacancy MORE (R-S.C.) announced on Wednesday.
The hearing, scheduled for June 3, marks the first public hearing Graham will hold as part of his deep dive into "Crossfire Hurricane," the name for the investigation into Russia's 2016 election interference and the Trump campaign.
Graham said that Rosenstein will speak about "new revelations" included in Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz's report on surveillance warrant applications tied to former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Rosenstein, who was interviewed as part of Horowitz's investigation, signed off on the third Page warrant renewal application.
''This will be the first in a series of oversight hearings regarding all things Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller investigation," Graham said.
Rosenstein, in a statement, confirmed that he would testify.
"I am grateful to Chairman Graham for the opportunity to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about information that has come to light concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process and the FBI's counterintelligence decision-making, as a result of completed inquiries by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and ongoing reviews by U.S. Attorneys John Durham John DurhamNew FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification The Hill's Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 Trump 'surprised' Barr sees no criminal probe into Obama, Biden MORE and Jeff Jensen," he said.
Rosenstein left the Justice Department last year after two years in the Trump administration. He had increasingly become a target of the president's ire.
The Senate easily confirmed Rosenstein to the Justice Department's No. 2 role in a 94-6 vote, but he quickly became a source of controversy.
First, he authored the memo Trump initially used to fire former FBI Director James Comey James Brien ComeyNew FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification FBI director Wray orders internal review of Flynn case Grenell says intelligence community working to declassify Flynn-Kislyak transcripts MORE . After Comey's firing, Rosenstein subsequently appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller Robert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE as special counsel to investigate Russia's election meddling and the Trump campaign.
His role made him a target for Republicans on Capitol Hill and led to a showdown with House conservatives who floated impeaching him, saying he stonewalled their documents request. Trump allies also targeted him after the FBI raided the residence and hotel room of the president's personal lawyer Michael Cohen Michael Dean CohenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin: More COVID-19 congressional action ahead Cohen released from federal prison to home confinement due to coronavirus concerns Michael Cohen to be moved to home confinement due to coronavirus concerns: report MORE .
He could face tough questions from Senate Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, who have grown increasingly skeptical about the decision to appoint Mueller as a special counsel.
Sen. Chuck Grassley Charles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley: White House 'failed to address' if there was a 'good reason' for IG firings GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill State Department scrutiny threatens Pompeo's political ambitions MORE (R-Iowa), who chaired the Judiciary Committee for part of Rosenstein's tenure, knocked him during a floor speech earlier this month.
"Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein agreed to give me documents and he never did. He blamed Director Coats who then blamed Rosenstein," Grassley said.
The Judiciary Committee hearing comes a day before the panel is scheduled to vote on a wide-ranging subpoena that would call for documents and interviews with dozens of former and current administration officials, including Comey, Rosenstein and other big names like former national security adviser Susan Rice and Attorney General William Barr.
A spokesperson for Graham confirmed that Rosenstein's agreement to testify will remove him from the subpoena.
'' Morgan Chalfant contributed to this report, which was updated at 2:19 p.m.
VIDEO - CNBC Explodes Between Andrew Ross Sorkin and Joe Kernen
Thu, 28 May 2020 07:30
A CNBC debate over the stock market completely exploded early Wednesday, with two Squawk Box hosts throwing down in a vicious debate which saw one accusing the other of being in the tank for President Donald Trump.
During an intense discussion punctuating the show's opening segment, Joe Kernen and Andrew Ross Sorkin battled over the recent stock market rally. Kernen accused Sorkin of being overly pessimistic, and going out of his way to find negative market indicators. Sorkin countered by arguing that ''a lot of smart people'' are questioning how the market could be so high despite the devastating impact the coronavirus has had on the economy.
''Why is that the smart people?! They've been wrong for 35 percent!'' Kernen said '-- referring to the gains the Dow has made since reaching its low of just above 18,000 in March. ''Why are they smart?! Just because they can see what's right in front of their nose?! That doesn't make them smart! It makes them not savvy about the market!''
''Joe! You missed it a hundred percent on the way down too!'' Sorkin shot back. ''You missed it 100 percent on the way down! And you missed 100,000 deaths!''
Kernen tried to inteject, but Sorkin shut him down.
''HOLD ON! HOLD ON! HOLD ON!'' Sorkin said ''I'm not going to do this with you, Joe!''
Sorkin went on to finish his point, stating that he doesn't know whether he's right or wrong, but that the questions that he and others on The Street are posing are valid.
The debate went off the rails after that, as Kernen referenced a moment from the prior day's broadcast in which he said Sorkin yelled, and added, ''You just yelled again!''
''I'm not,'' Sorkin said. ''Go ahead.''
Kernen was taken aback.
''I'm sorry?!''
''No you're not!'' Sorkin said. ''Go ahead with the news!''
Kernen did not go ahead with the news, and instead offered a rebuttal.
''You panicked about the market, panicked about covid, panicked about the ventilators, panicked about PPE, panicked about ever going out again,''
Sorkin broke in and erupted on Kernen '-- accusing him of keeping his head in the sand about the pandemic to help the president.
''That's what you did! Every single morning on this show! Every single morning on this show! You used and abused your position, Joe!''
''That's totally unfair!'' Kernen said, firing back. ''I'm trying to help investors keep their cool! Keep their heads! And as it turned out, that's what they should've done!''
''Do the news,'' Sorkin said '-- all but pleading with Kernen at that point to move on. ''Do the news.''
Kernen, though, kept it going.
''If they had listened to you, Andrew, we're supposed to be at about 8,000,'' Kernen said.
''I wasn't arguing to go sell your stocks, Joseph!'' Sorkin said. ''I was arguing about people's lives! '... Do the news, Joseph! I'm begging you! Do the news!''
Watch the explosive battle above, via CNBC.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]
VIDEO - Japanese Space Agency Launches Rocket to ISS | NowThis - YouTube
Thu, 28 May 2020 07:17
VIDEO - Coronavirus: You've been brainwashed (Here's how they did it) - YouTube
Thu, 28 May 2020 07:04
VIDEO - Historic SpaceX and NASA launch scrubbed due to weather - YouTube
Thu, 28 May 2020 07:01
VIDEO - Missouri Hair Salon Customer: Stylist With COVID-19 'Should Have Stayed home' | MSNBC - YouTube
Thu, 28 May 2020 06:47
VIDEO -6min45sec- NBC Nightly News Broadcast (Full) - May 27th, 2020 | NBC Nightly News - YouTube
Thu, 28 May 2020 06:40
VIDEO - Are Women Better World Leaders in a Crisis? | Good Morning Britain - YouTube
Thu, 28 May 2020 06:28
VIDEO-Berichtvanmij on Twitter: "Een kleine opsomming van ons drama #Coronavirusnl beleid. Hoe lul je iets recht dat krom is @hugodejonge Of is iedereen gek geworden? @fvdemocratie @robertjensen #persconferentie #Op1npo #CDA #wnl #RTL retweeten en delen w
Wed, 27 May 2020 20:14
Log in Sign up Berichtvanmij @ mailvanmij Een kleine opsomming van ons drama
#Coronavirusnl beleid. Hoe lul je iets recht dat krom is
@hugodejonge Of is iedereen gek geworden?
@fvdemocratie @robertjensen #persconferentie #Op1npo #CDA #wnl #RTL retweeten en delen wordt gewaardeerd.
pic.twitter.com/CyP2FfQzxc 1:45 PM - 27 May 2020 Twitter by: Berichtvanmij @mailvanmij Laura @ HetismijLaura
4h Replying to
@mailvanmij @hugodejonge and
2 others Heb je een linkje voor mij met alleen de video?
View conversation · Strawman @ collapsologist
4h Replying to
@HetismijLaura @mailvanmij and
3 others Je kunt de video downloaden met bijvoorbeeld /> youtube-dl ["
url.van.de/tweet"] -o [naamvideo]Weet niet of youtube-dl onder windows werkt.
View conversation · Enter a topic, @name, or fullname
Settings Help Back to top ·
Turn images off
VIDEO-M3thods on Twitter: "Yep, she said it and CNN reported it... #QAnon https://t.co/0KapT2GIxj" / Twitter
Wed, 27 May 2020 20:14
Log in Sign up M3thods @ M2Madness Yep, she said it and CNN reported it...
#QAnon pic.twitter.com/0KapT2GIxj 10:38 AM - 27 May 2020 Twitter by: M3thods @M2Madness ð'‰ð'¨ð'žð'¥ ð''ð''ð'ð'°ð'šð'ð'­ð'"'­¸'­¸'­¸ @ buckeye36
7h Replying to
@M2Madness Just compare her from now & then. She doesn't have hate in her heart in this video. The love of money & power now consumes these people. They are losing all of it & they know they can't stop it. It's now a fight for their survival. Tough day's ahead for the ''Elite''...
View conversation · Donna Hawkins @ Donna_Hawk2
2h Replying to
@buckeye36 @M2Madness Can hardly wait.
View conversation · JBrittsSC @ ScBritts
8h Replying to
@M2Madness Kinda like building the wall. Doesn't currently fit their narrative
View conversation · JohnJosephMallinger @ JohnJosephMalli
6h Replying to
@M2Madness @tea_1416 Still haven't gotten mine, or my wife's ballots in the mail. Got my daughter's ballot. Problem is, she hasn't lived with us for 5 years. I'd rather vote in person anyway.
View conversation · 🕶¸QpticQllusion🕶¸ @ itsmetaksen
8h Replying to
@M2Madness 2020 is the new 2019.
pic.twitter.com/GFQ17mqhCB View conversation · Elizabeth F. Kaplan @ efkaplan
6h Replying to
@itsmetaksen @M2Madness pic.twitter.com/dW7NZMRZbF View conversation · Awakening_Shipp @ Awakening_Shipp
8h Replying to
@M2Madness @Inevitable_ET You mean CNN actually put out something truthful? ðŸ‚👏🏼
View conversation · Larry Hanson @ ldhanson1974
5h Replying to
@Awakening_Shipp @M2Madness @Inevitable_ET That must of been the day it was on auto pilot.
View conversation · Jack Carter @ JackCar83568842
7h Replying to
@M2Madness After the Iwan scandal, why is she still walking free, not to mention her and Brazile being at the hospital when Rich died?
View conversation · 🇺🇸DownInTheSouth @ DownInTheSouth1
5h Replying to
@JackCar83568842 @M2Madness I'd like to know how that happened...just another coincidence?
View conversation · Enter a topic, @name, or fullname
Settings Help Back to top ·
Turn images off
VIDEO-John Whitehouse on Twitter: ""100,000 people died Joe and all you did was try to help your friend the president. That's what you did. Every single morning on this show. ... You used and abused your position." (ht @Reign_Maker) https://t.co/PwdwQ0hKa
Wed, 27 May 2020 13:48
Log in Sign up John Whitehouse @ existentialfish "100,000 people died Joe and all you did was try to help your friend the president. That's what you did. Every single morning on this show. ... You used and abused your position." (ht
pic.twitter.com/PwdwQ0hKad 4:54 AM - 27 May 2020 Twitter by: John Whitehouse @existentialfish (((Howard Forman))) @ thehowie
6h Replying to
@existentialfish @Reign_Maker @andrewrsorkin Kudos
@andrewrsorkin#JoeKernan's of the world are complicit.
View conversation · not_so_stealthy_yeti @ unstealthy_yeti
6h Replying to
@thehowie @existentialfish and
2 others What should the president have done different?
View conversation · Willard @ woodsww
7h Replying to
@existentialfish @Reign_Maker @AndrewSorkin 'bout time someone said it. Way to go,
View conversation · wino_esq @ wino_esq
3h Replying to
@woodsww @existentialfish and
2 others Totally agree, for anyone who watches the show, this has been a long time coming. Bravo ARS!
View conversation · Noble Prize in Sarcasm @ rewegreatyet
7h Replying to
@existentialfish @Reign_Maker The look on his face when he realizes what he has done is pretty special...
View conversation · Tha Govnah @ abuetyfulmind
6h Replying to
@rewegreatyet @existentialfish @Reign_Maker Yeah, his conscience escaped for a millisecond.
View conversation · GPoothullil @ gpoothullil
6h Replying to
@existentialfish @Reign_Maker and
5 others Thank you
@andrewrsorkin for finally speaking up. Cheer leaders for this administration like
@JoeSquawk must be informed of the facts. People watch CNBC for facts not happy talk!!
@CNBC @CNBCnow @SquawkCNBC View conversation · McMurrab @ mcmurrab
7h Replying to
@existentialfish @Reign_Maker @andrewrsorkin He FINALLY couldn't take it anymore. Thank you for your service
@andrewrsorkin View conversation · Gary Huang @ garytoobock
6m Replying to
@mcmurrab @existentialfish and
2 others OMG! That vent felt good! Thanks Andrew!
View conversation · penni @ Pennijj
7h Replying to
@existentialfish @Reign_Maker pic.twitter.com/wYswehdI9T View conversation · steely dan @ bluemanouche
6h Replying to
@Pennijj @existentialfish @Reign_Maker I'm fascinated by the dead Cat on his head
View conversation · Enter a topic, @name, or fullname
Settings Help Back to top ·
Turn images off
VIDEO - Live: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Holds Coronavirus Briefing | NBC News - YouTube
Wed, 27 May 2020 08:00
VIDEO - SARS-CoV-2 Virus - Basics of COVID-19 | Coursera
Wed, 27 May 2020 07:46
To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video
The COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented need for contact tracing across the country, requiring thousands of people to learn key skills quickly. The job qualifications for contact tracing positions differ throughout the country and the world, with some new positions open to individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent. In this introductory course, students will learn about the science of SARS-CoV-2 , including the infectious period, the clinical presentation of COVID-19, and the evidence for how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted from person-to-person and why contact tracing can be such an effective public health intervention. Students will learn about how contact tracing is done, including how to build rapport with cases, identify their contacts, and support both cases and their contacts to stop transmission in their communities. The course will also cover several important ethical considerations around contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine. Finally, the course will identify some of the most common barriers to contact tracing efforts -- along with strategies to overcome them.
View SyllabusSkills You'll LearnEthics, Active Listening, Public Health, Contact Tracing, Epidemiology
Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled Star
4.9 (11,919 ratings)
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
SFMay 21, 2020
Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled Star
EMMay 23, 2020
Filled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled StarFilled Star
From the lesson
Basics of COVID-19
In this first module, we'll dig into the science of COVID-19, including what we know about its origins, clinical signs and symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, transmission, and infectious period.
Taught ByEmily Gurley, PhD, MPHAssociate Scientist
EMILY GURLEY: Hello, my name is Emily Gurley, and I'm an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Today, I'm going to talk to you about the basics of COVID-19, including the virus that causes this disease, some of the signs and symptoms of the disease, and how it's transmitted between people. During this lecture, there are a number of important things we want you to learn. We want you to be able to describe the origins of the virus that causes the disease we call COVID-19. We want you to be able to identify the clinical signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and to be able to talk something about the risk factors for severe disease. You should be able to describe how someone is diagnosed with COVID-19 and describe when they're infectious. And importantly, you should also be able to explain how this virus is transmitted from one person to another, and how frequently that happens. Now let's talk about the virus that causes COVID-19. So the virus that causes COVID-19 is a coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large, diverse group of viruses, and you need powerful microscopes to be able to see them. Coronavirus means crown. And as you can see on this slide, the virus looks like it has a crown around it. That's how coronaviruses got their name. There are many different types of coronaviruses, and they infect a wide range of mammals and birds. And some even cause mild respiratory disease in people every year, so coronaviruses are not new. But the virus that causes COVID-19 is, so let's talk a little bit about where that came from. The virus that causes COVID-19, we call SARS coronavirus two. This virus originated in bats, so that means that bats carry this virus and are infected with this virus all the time. But this virus developed a special trick. It developed the ability to jump between species and infect people. And then it developed another very special trick to be able to be transmitted between people, and that's how it came to cause the pandemic that we're experiencing now. So this kind of trick that some coronavirus viruses have also isn't new, so this is the third coronavirus that we know of since 2002 that has developed these same tricks. All of these coronaviruses also originated in bats now infect people and can be spread from person to person. So the first of these viruses was called severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS coronavirus, the first SARS coronavirus. And that emerged in Guangdong, China in 2002. The next virus to develop this trick was the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus or MERS. That emerged in the Middle East in 2012 and still causes human infections and small outbreaks there. More recently at the end of 2019, SARS coronavirus two emerged in Wuhan, China. And because the virus is similar to the virus that caused the first SARS coronavirus, it was named SARS coronavirus two. Here, you can see in yellow some SARS coronaviruses coming out of a cell. Viruses have to live in other cells, and then they replicate in those cells and go on to infect other cells in the body.
Join for free and get personalized recommendations, updates and offers.
VIDEO - Why this former Harvard Med prof says Moderna's vaccine trial is 'publication by press release' - YouTube
Wed, 27 May 2020 07:36
VIDEO - 'Universal Masking' Is Crucial In Preventing Second Wave Of Coronavirus | The Last Word | MSNBC - YouTube
Wed, 27 May 2020 07:02
VIDEO - 11 Local TV Stations Pushed the Same Amazon-Scripted Segment - YouTube
Wed, 27 May 2020 06:42
VIDEO - FROM THE ARCHIVES: Stories from 2001 related to Scarborough aide Klausutis' death - News - Northwest Florida Daily News - Fort Walton Beach, FL
Wed, 27 May 2020 06:06
The Daily News has compiled articles, letters to the editor and editorials published in 2001 relating to the death of Joe Scarborough's aide Lori Klausutis who died suddenly that year. All text and reporter information is as it appeared in print in 2001. Contact information for staff members at the Daily News may have changed since the stories were published.
READ: PDFs of Daily News print editions from 2001 >>
Published: Saturday July 21, 2001
Scarborough aide dies
Police have found no evidence of foul play in the death of Lori Klausutis.
By JEFF AYRES | Daily News Staff Writer
An employee of U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough was found dead in the congressman's Fort Walton Beach branch office Friday morning, but police said there was no evidence of foul play.
A couple who was visiting the office about 8 a.m. for an appointment found Lori Klausutis, 28, of Niceville lying near a desk on the floor inside the office, located at 348 Miracle Strip Parkway.
Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Steve Hogue said Friday that a preliminary investigation into her death hasn't turned up any evidence of foul play or trauma to her body, nor are there any outward indications of suicide. An autopsy was done Friday to determine the cause of Klausutis' death. The results were not available late Friday night.
Police said that there was no sign of a break-in or a struggle inside the office and nothing was believed to have been stolen from Klausutis or the office. Klausutis worked as a constituent services coordinator for Scarborough, a spokeswoman in his Washington office said Friday.
It isn't known how long Klausutis was dead before being found, or how long she had been at the office. A prepared statement from Scarborough's Washington office indicated that she may have died as early as Thursday afternoon.
"My staff and family are greatly saddened by the loss of Lori Klausutis," Scarborough said in a separate statement issued several hours after her body was found.
"I know Lori will be missed by the thousands of citizens who regularly contact my office to seek assistance with a variety of problems. May God grant Lori's family the grace, comfort and hope that will get them through this difficult time."
Klausutis' husband and family could not be reached Friday. A sign posted on the door late Friday read, "Congressman Scarborough's office is temporarily closed" and directed visitors to his Pensacola office. Klausutis had worked for Scarborough, R-Pensacola, since May 1999, and was based at the retiring congressman's Fort Walton Beach office, said Miguel Serrano, Scarborough's press secretary.
Her duties included handling appointments and walk-in visits from people who wanted to contact Scarborough, Serrano said. Scarborough flew from Washington, D.C. to Pensacola on Friday afternoon, but Serrano said that flight was planned before Klausutis' death. He said that the congressman typically flies home on weekends to spend time with his two sons. Scarborough could not be reached for further comment.
Serrano said that Klausutis had suffered from health problems in the past. But he couldn't be more specific as to what those problems were. The medical problems could explain her sudden death, police said.
"That's part of our investigation, checking into her medical history," Hogue said.
Klausutis' former neighbor, Barbara Cromer, said Klausutis and her husband lived near her before they moved to Niceville several months ago. She said she wasn't aware of Klausutis having any serious health problems.
"She was a runner," Cromer said. "Every morning, I would see her run while I walked. We'd wave to each other as we passed.
"I loved Lori so much. She was wonderful. She was a kind, generous person, so sweet."
Paul Lux, director of public relations for Emerald Coast Young Republicans, also spoke well of Klausutis, who resigned her position as president of the group last month to devote more time to her education. Lux said she was an energetic leader and "a joy to work with."
"She was always very upbeat and positive about everything," Lux said.
"Even when things got argumentative, she always stayed on the upside of the argument and would never resort to getting dirty or cruel."
Klausutis stayed with the group as treasurer. Lux said he believed that Klausutis was in good health and "if she wasn't working or in school, she always seemed to be out running."
"I assumed she was in good health, and if she had any kind of debilitating injuries or illnesses, she didn't share them with us," he continued.
The front door of Scarborough's office was unlocked when Klausutis' body was found. Serrano said the office opened at 8 a.m. on weekdays. Klausutis and one other employee worked at the Fort Walton Beach office. Serrano said that Scarborough routinely had teleconferences with staffers at each of his Florida offices.
"He knew all of his employees and would keep in touch," he said.
Scarborough is stepping down from his House of Representatives seat in September. Primaries this Tuesday will determine which Republican and Democratic candidates will square off in October for Scarborough's Florida District 1 seat. Once Scarborough's resignation takes effect in September, his branch offices in Florida will close, Serrano said.
* Staff Writer Amber Bollman contributed to this report. Staff Writer Jeff Ayres can be reached at 863-1111, Ext. 444, or jeffa@nwfdailynews.com
Published: Sunday July, 22, 2001
Klausutis' death not suspicious
The medical examiner said he is waiting to rule on the death until blood test results are finished.
By AMBER BOLLMAN | Daily News Staff Writer
The medical examiner investigating the death of Lori Klausutis said Saturday there is absolutely no evidence that the 28-year-old employee of U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough was a victim of "foul play."
Associate Medical Exam-iner Dr. Michael Berkland will announce how Klausutis died on Wednesday. He is waiting for blood test results and is continuing his investigation into her medical history.
"It would be foolish for me to release the cause of death without the toxicology results in my hand because that one little piece of the puzzle can make all the difference in the investigation," said Berkland, who completed an autopsy on Klausutis' body Saturday.
"But there is still no suspicion of foul play."
Klausutis, of Niceville, was found dead on the floor of Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach branch office at about 8 a.m. Friday when a couple arrived at the office for an appointment. Berkland said it is likely that Klausutis died sometime Thursday afternoon or evening.
"She had been dead for quite awhile before she was found," Berkland said Saturday.
"Based on the physical evidence, I feel comfortable moving the time of her death back to the previous day."
Klausutis' death was likely accidental or the result of natural causes. Berkland said it is unlikely that her death was a suicide, but will not rule that out until the blood tests are returned.
"There is no evidence at all that this was an intentional act, but we can't rule it out just yet," Berkland said.
Toxicology reports, performed at a laboratory in Gainesville, will reveal the presence of any drugs or other unnatural substances in Klausutis' body, Berkland said.
"I've been cautioning people against saying she died of natural causes because there could have been something present in her system that we can't find until we get those results," he added.
Berkland said Klausutis had been involved in a serious car accident as a teenager and still suffered from some lingering medical problems, but it is unknown whether those conditions played a role in her death. Many of her medical records are from another state and Berkland is waiting to review those as well before making an announcement.
Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Steve Hogue said he is also awaiting toxicology and medical examiner's reports, though the department's preliminary investigation revealed nothing suspicious inside Scarborough's office. Officers found no signs of a struggle, break-in or robbery, Hogue said.
Klausutis had worked as a constituent services coordinator for Scarborough, R-Pensacola, since May 1999. Her responsibilities included handling appointments and walk-in visits from local residents.
One other employee, Lois Hoyt, worked from Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach office. Hoyt was not in the office at the time of Klausutis' death and could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Friends of Klausutis said that they believed Hoyt had been out of state on vacation for several days. Scarborough also could not be reached for additional comment Saturday after expressing regrets about Klausutis' death the day before.
Lori's husband, T.J. Klausutis, would not comment on his wife's death Saturday, but friends remembered her as a woman with a consistently positive attitude about life.
"She was a very diligent person who cared a lot about her job, her schooling, but most of all, about her family," said Mary Potthast, a friend who served alongside Klausutis on the executive board of the Emerald Coast Young Republicans.
Klausutis had served as president of the Young Republicans but stepped down last month to devote more time to her education. She continued her involvement with the organization as treasurer.
"She was always sweet, bubbly, caring and considerate," said Potthast, who had known Klausutis for almost four years. Potthast said Klausutis, an avid runner who frequently competed in races with the Northwest Florida Track Club, was "the picture of health."
Though Potthast said Klausutis had mentioned having mild seizures during her youth, she didn't believe Klausutis was taking any medications on a regular basis. In addition to her work with the Young Republicans, Klausutis was also active in the Fort Walton Beach Jaycees and the Saint Mary's Catholic Church choir.
Joey Ferreira, music director at the church, said Klausutis was beloved within the choir and the congregation.
"Everytime I saw her, she had a smile on her face," Ferreira said. "She helped out with everything and was always very people-friendly."
Ferreira remembered one particular Mass when the priest singled Klausutis out for having "the voice of an angel," drawing applause and praise from the entire congregation.
"I really can't think of anyone else I've known who was more pleasant to be around," Ferreira said.
OBITUARY: Published: Monday July 23, 2001
Lori Kaye Klausutis
Lori Kaye Klausutis, age 28, of Niceville, Fla., passed away on Thursday, July 19, 2001.
She was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church where she sang in the choir and was also a cantor. She was a former president of the Young Republicans and was serving as treasurer at the time of her passing. Lori graduated Cum Laude from the University of Georgia School of Journalism and was working on completing her MBA from the University of West Florida.
She was also a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority. She performed in "Wild Wild Women" with the Stagecrafters. She was also on the boards of the Fort Walton Beach Youth Symphony and a member of the Fort Walton Beach Jaycees.
Survivors include her husband, T.J. Klausutis of Niceville; parents, Larry and Linda Bolterstein of Marietta, Georgia; sister, Kelly Ann Bolterstein of Atlanta, Ga.; father- and mother-in-law, Norm and Carol Klausutis of Niceville; brother- and sisters-in-law, Michael and Laurie Klausutis of Valparaiso, Fla., and Kristen Klausutis of Niceville; and grandparents, Leo and Heneretta Leja of Fraser, Mich. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 25, 2001 at St. Mary's Catholic Church at 10 a.m. with Father Paul White officiating. Burial will follow in the Heritage Gardens Cemetery in Niceville. McLaughlin Mortuary is in charge of local arrangements.
Published: Thursday July 26, 2001
Scarborough aide laid to rest
Information on the cause of death of Lori Klausutis may be released today.
By AMBER BOLLMAN | Daily News Staff Writer
Lori Klausutis was buried Wednesday morning, five days after her body was found inside U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach office-- but local authorities still have not released the cause of the 28-year-old woman's death.
Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Berkland said last week that he would likely be able to release the details of how and why Klausutis died by Wednesday. He said he first needed to look into her medical history and examine the results of blood tests.
But Berkland did not return calls Tuesday and was out of town at a conference Wednesday, a secretary said. Berkland now says he will likely release information about the case today.
Fort Walton Beach police said they also are waiting for laboratory results before releasing any more information about the investigation into Klausutis' death.
"We don't think there is anything suspicious about the case, but we want to firm some things up before we say anything more," said Detective Dan Sequeira, who would not specify what sort of test results they are waiting for.
Klausutis' body was found just after 8 a.m. on July 20, when a couple arrived at Scarborough's office for an appointment and found her lying on the floor.
Berkland said last Saturday that autopsy results seemed to indicate that Klausutis died sometime last Thursday afternoon or evening, though he was awaiting more tests before establishing a final time and cause of death. Police found no signs of foul play or robbery inside Scarborough's office, and Berkland said Saturday that he had ruled out homicide as the cause of Klausutis' death.
Berkland said toxicology results would likely play a key role in determining whether Klausutis had died of natural causes or accidentally. Berkland said Saturday that he also was investigating suicide as a possible cause of her death, though he said he didn't think that scenario was likely either.
Klausutis, of Niceville, had worked as a constituent services coordinator for Scarborough, R-Pensacola, since May 1999. Scarborough attended Klausutis' funeral service Wednesday at St. Mary's Catholic Church, where Klausutis had been a member of the choir. The congressman's Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola offices were closed for the day in honor of Klausutis.
* Staff Writer Amber Bollman can be reached at 863-1111, Ext. 445 or amberb@nwfdailynews.com
READ: PDF's of 2001 Daily News stories >>
Published: Friday July 27, 2001
Aide's cause of death still not released
By AMBER BOLLMAN | Daily News Staff Writer
Repeated attempts Thursday to contact Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Berkland about the death of Lori Klausutis were unsuccessful.
Six days after the 28-year-old aide to U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough was found dead inside the congressman's Fort Walton Beach office, local police are still waiting to learn how and why Klausutis died.
"We are waiting on a report from the medical examiner," said Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Steve Hogue.
Berkland said last Saturday that he would likely be able to announce the cause of Klausutis' death by Wednesday, after receiving the results of blood toxicology tests. But Berkland was out of town for a conference on Wednesday.
On Thursday, even though assistants in Berkland's Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola offices said he had returned to the area, Berkland did not return repeated telephone calls. Secretaries at both offices said he had checked in for his messages.
Klausutis, of Niceville, was found dead about 8 a.m. last Friday when a couple arrived at Scarborough's office for an appointment. Police found no evidence of foul play or robbery at the scene, and Berkland said Saturday that he had ruled out homicide as the cause of Klausutis' death. Berkland, who planned to review toxicology reports and medical records before announcing the cause of Klausutis' death, said she had likely died in the office sometime Thursday afternoon or evening.
Klausutis was buried Wednesday in Niceville.
Published: Saturday July 28, 2001
Aide's death still a mystery
Blood test results and an autopsy were unable to reveal Lori Klausutis' cause of death.
By AMBER BOLLMAN | Daily News Staff Writer
An autopsy and blood tests have not revealed why 28-year-old Lori Klausutis died, Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Berkland said Friday.
Nothing in the blood tests showed how Klausutis died seven days ago, Berkland said. The autopsy also was not conclusive, though the medical examiner did say that there was no evidence of foul play.
"This turns over several puzzle pieces in the case of her death and reveals more of the picture," Berkland said.
But it still does not reveal the entire scenario. Klausutis, of Niceville, was an aide to U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough and was found dead in the congressman's Fort Walton Beach office on July 20.
Berkland said the next step in determining the cause of Klausutis' death will be to examine and run tests on tissue samples under the microscope. He said his office has received many of Klausutis' medical records, some from out of state, but has not yet had a chance to examine them in detail.
Klausutis was involved in a serious traffic accident as a teenager, Berkland said.
"She had a past medical history that was significant, but it remains to be seen whether that played a role in her death," Berkland said.
"It may be a contributory factor or it may mean nothing."
Berkland could not speculate Friday about when further examinations would be complete or when a cause of death might be established.
Published: Saturday July 28, 2001
Letter to the Editor
Adding to our pain
On behalf of Lori Klausutis' entire family, I want to thank the Northwest Florida Daily News for adding to this family's pain over Lori's loss.
Losing Lori was the most painful event in my life of 62 years. It was far more painful for her husband.
Lori was a loving, healthy and dynamic person. She gave of herself to her community, her church and even perfect strangers She was extremely happy with her life, job and family.
For those who knew Lori, the thought of suicide, as your published reports suggested, is absolutely unthinkable. Suicide was contrary to her faith and being. She did not suffer from seizures, nor did she have a history of medical problems.
For your newspaper to print such unsubstantiated misinformation was unethical and uncaring for the people in our community. It was my understanding that journalists had to verify facts for their stories, unless their material appeared on the editorial page. One can only wonder what motivated your reporter to write as she did. Again, thank you for adding to my family's pain.
NORM KLAUSUTIS, Lori's father-in-law
Published: Sunday July 29, 2001
EDITORIAL: Ralph Routon
Two stories of death draw praise and protest
One morning, a 28-year-old woman is found dead beside her desk at the Fort Walton Beach office of U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough.
Five days later, a 9-year-old Niceville boy dies of encephalitis, apparently the result of a mosquito bite.
The deaths of Lori Klausutis and Cody Landsverk were equally tragic-- two young lives that ended all too soon. Both of their stories have created and sustained front-page headlines in the Daily News.
Likewise, but for obviously different reasons, they have become the objects of considerable public attention.
In the heart-rending case of little Cody, we have felt compelled to dig as deep as necessary in following up on several angles:
How much more could be done to let the public know of potential dangers from mosquitoes, and what can people (including parents with children playing outside) do to minimize their risk?
How diligent have agencies been in responding to citizens' pleas for more spraying and treatments for areas with stagnant water? Could officials have been more forthcoming in recent days and weeks?
Those questions, and more, have been on our agenda. Certainly, we have been diligent in pursuing the story. We feel that our readers have a right-- and a desire-- to know every pertinent detail. We also believe that it's our watchdog role to cover the issues and developments as thoroughly and fairly as we can.
Nobody has questioned us, or our aggressiveness, in staying on the Landsverk story. Cody's mother talked to us at length, only hours after his passing, because she wanted to help make sure everyone knew as much as possible. We also assigned a reporter to cover Cody's funeral Saturday, chronicling how the Niceville community has reacted and grieved after losing this 9-year-old boy.
Yet, those same journalistic instincts led to different reactions and communications in regard to Lori Klausutis. We have even been accused of sensationalizing the Klausutis story and being influenced in some perverse way by the mystery of Washington intern Chandra Levy's disappearance and her ties to U.S. Rep. Gary Condit of California.
Those accusations are unfortunate and unfounded.
As regular Daily News readers should know, we have avoided joining the tidal wave of media that turned the Levy-Condit story into an obsession. As developments have merited, we have run wire reports, usually buried deep in our news sections.
In my role as editor, deciding what stories go on our front pages, I've made it a point to play down Levy-Condit.
The TV networks have done more than enough to make up the difference, and still do every night.
We had a totally different response, and viewpoint, after Lori Klausutis' death. We saw it as a 28-year-old local woman working for this area's congressman, dying without immediate explanation at her office and being found the next morning.
By all accounts, she was healthy and vibrant, much loved by everyone who knew her. Because the circumstances were so unusual, combined with Klausutis' job on Scarborough's staff being government-funded and her death happening in the taxpayer-funded office where she worked, that gave us ample reason to seek answers.
It might not be something we enjoy. It's simply doing our job. Her grieving family members, understandably distraught in trying to deal with their loss, have been less than pleased with our coverage.
It troubles me when people think of us as being coldhearted, overzealous, cynical monsters. We aren't. We care. A lot.
We also aren't asking questions just for ourselves. We're asking them on behalf of our readers and their right to know. From the moment we first heard of Lori Klausutis' death, all we wanted and hoped for was a definitive explanation that would bring the story to an end. We could report it, move on and not bother the Klausutis family again.
Not hearing from the medical examiner by the time when he had told us to expect a report admittedly caused us frustration. We feel as much sympathy as anyone for the families of Lori Klausutis and Cody Landsverk. But we still have to do our job, which is largely built around serving our readers' interests. Every story, every day.
Ralph Routon is editor of the Daily News. You may contact him at 863-1111, Ext. 400, or at ralphr@nwfdailynews.com
Published:Tuesday July 31, 2001
Letter to the Editor
Tactless reporting
As Norm and Carol Klausutis' neighbor, I can attest to the pain your newspaper has caused this family following the tragic loss of their daughter-in-law.
Your daily reporting of unsubstantiated health problems and innuendo about possible suicide has brought untold grief to this family. While I understand that this tragedy became newsworthy because of Lori's job in U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough's office, I do not believe that it warranted daily, above-the-fold speculation on your part.
Since foul play was ruled out early on, could you not have respected the family and restrained yourselves until the final toxicology reports were in? Furthermore, shame on the medical examiner's office for promising results and then failing to provide them, thereby fueling your irresponsible speculation.
This was not your finest hour. Our prayers go out to the Klausutis family.
BOB REID, Niceville
Published: Tuesday Aug. 7, 2001
Examiner: Klausutis' death was accidental
Scarborough's aide was alone in the office when she passed out and fatally struck her head on a desk.
By TOM McLAUGHLIN | Daily News Staff Writer
While a blow to the head was ultimately responsible for the death of Lori Klausutis, an undiagnosed heart condition caused her to collapse and take a fatal fall July 19, a local medical examiner ruled Monday.
The 28-year-old aide to U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough probably would have died as a result of the cardiac arrhythmia that rendered her unconscious even if she had not hit her head on a desk.
Those are the findings of Okaloosa County Associate Medical Examiner Michael Berkland, who spent an estimated 80 hours unraveling the cause of Klausutis' death. Berkland announced his findings in a news release Monday.
Berkland's report labels her death "accidental" and brings to a close an investigation that had dragged on despite an early determination that no foul play was involved.
"It kind of leaves me with a sorrowness, but I'm glad it's finally resolved," said Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Steve Hogue, whose department initially investigated the fatality.
"It brings some finality for the family."
The Klausutis family, which has maintained all along that Lori Klausutis' death was a private matter, declined comment on Berkland's findings.
T.J. Klausutis, Lori Klausutis' husband, did commend Berkland on his "thoroughness and attention to detail" in uncovering a cause of death.
"He did a wonderful job in finding the right answers without rushing to make a quick diagnosis," he said.
Klausutis' body was found on the floor of Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach office about 8 a.m., Friday, July 20. She had been working alone in the office the day before and is believed to have fallen between 4:45 p.m.-- when she spoke to an associate-- and the close of business, Berkland said.
Klausutis struck her head on the side of a desk when she fell, Berkland said. The "unprotected" nature of the fall led him to believe the victim was unconscious or losing consciousness when she went down. Blood collected internally within Klausutis' head at the point of impact with the desk.
The "blood clot" killed her, Berkland's release said. Berkland acknowledged Monday that Klausutis had sustained a "scratch and a bruise" from the fall that were noted in the original death investigation.
On the day the body was found, though, Hogue denied finding any sign of trauma to the body. The original denials were designed to prevent undue speculation about the cause of death, Berkland said.
"The last thing we wanted to do was answer 40 questions about a head injury," he said.
Berkland found evidence of a previously undiagnosed "valvular condition of the heart" through analysis of the heart and brain of the victim. Further microscopic analysis confirmed these findings, he said.
The heart-valve irregularity is known to cause abnormal heart rhythms, or cardiac arrhythmias, Berkland said. These arrhythmias, found more commonly in women than men, can be as insignificant as a single abnormal heart beat or severe enough to make the heart stand still.
The heart palpitation Klausutis felt just before her death was undoubtedly severe, the medical examiner said.
"Would she have died of the arrhythmia she had when she was falling? Probably so," he said.
"I think she had an arrhythmia that was not allowing oxygenated blood to go to her brain." Klausutis had not been feeling well on the day of her death and told acquaintances she was anxious and jittery, Berkland said.
"That's often times what you have when you have heart palpitations," he said.
A runner who was by all accounts healthy and physically fit, Klausutis probably felt a wave of lightheadedness just before she passed out and fell, Berkland said.
The heart-valve disorder had not been diagnosed before Klausutis died and would not have been something easily discovered, Berkland said. Finding the problem would have required using ultrasonic waves to study the leaflets that control the flow of blood through the heart valves.
* Staff Writer Tom McLaughlin can be reached at 863-1111, Ext. 435, or at tomm@nwfdailynews.com
Published: Wednesday Aug. 8, 2001
Death probe leaves vexing questions
For a little over two weeks, it was a real-life puzzle worthy of a mystery novel. A popular Florida congressman suddenly announces he's giving up his seat and withdrawing from the Washington scene.
Less than two months later, a 28-year-old female aide is found dead in his Fort Walton Beach office. The aide had seemed perfectly healthy. Initial autopsy results raise only more questions.
The story fired imaginations.
This newspaper received numerous inquiries about the case, from Massachusetts and Oregon and dozens of places in between. Some of the writers had dug into the backgrounds of the individuals involved.
"People are waiting and watching," one said. Those who were waiting and watching likely were disturbed by the news we reported Tuesday. We certainly were.
Associate Medical Examiner Michael Berkland said Monday that the aide, Lori Klausutis, suffered a heart condition-- previously unsuspected and undiagnosed-- that caused her to collapse in U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough's office on the afternoon or evening of July 19.
She fell and hit her head on a desk, he said, and a resulting blood clot caused her death. The fall left "a scratch and a bruise," Dr. Berkland said.
That seems to conflict with previous official statements that the aide's body bore no sign of trauma. Dr. Berkland acknowledged as much. He said the original denials were intended to prevent public speculation about the aide's death.
"The last thing we wanted to do was answer 40 questions about a head injury," he said. Now, of course, there are deeper questions.
"That we' has got nothing to do with me," Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Steve Hogue told us Tuesday, referring to Dr. Berkland's explanation that "we" wanted to keep the head injury quiet.
"I have never lied to the news media. I would never mislead the media for any reason."
Chief Hogue said he "never looked at the body" after it was discovered July 20.
"I never heard anything about a scratch," he added, although Dr. Berkland did tell him there was a small bruise on the aide's head. The chief said that when he told reporters there was no trauma to the body, he meant that a preliminary examination had uncovered no major trauma. And he said he is satisfied with Dr. Berkland's work.
We're not.
This story has raised serious questions from the beginning and continues to confound. Now, because of Dr. Berkland's statements, our questions are not just about a 28-year-old woman's death but also about the investigation of her death.
Who, exactly, decided the head injury would not be disclosed? Can we depend on authorities to be honest about the progress of future investigations? What else, if anything, might the medical examiner have kept under wraps? Nobody ever got in trouble by keeping his mouth shut, the saying goes. Maybe not, but nobody ever won the public's trust that way, either.
Published: Thursday Aug. 23, 2001
Klausutis records should be released
The medical examiner's office and the Fort Walton Beach Police Department are adding another layer of mystery to the death of congressional aide Lori Klausutis by refusing to release records of their investigations.
Their failure to produce the information at this newspaper's request may even be illegal.
Mrs. Klausutis, 28, was found dead July 20 in the Fort Walton Beach office of U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough. Associate Medical Examiner Michael Berkland announced Aug. 6 that Mrs. Klausutis had a heart condition-- previously unsuspected-- that caused her to collapse.
He said she fell, hit her head on a desk, suffered a blood clot and died. Dr. Berkland said there was an obvious injury to Mrs. Klausutis' head.
Previous official statements had said there was no sign of trauma. On Aug. 9 the Daily News verbally requested the Police Department's investigative report on the Klausutis case.
On Aug. 10 the newspaper made a formal request, in writing, for Dr. Berkland's autopsy report. That was two weeks ago.
Police Capt. Ron Bishop says the investigation is open-- meaning the records can't be released-- until Dr. Berkland's autopsy report is filed with the Police Department.
Dr. Berkland says he's been too busy and hasn't gotten around to finishing his report. Until today, the Daily News has not publicized its request for the records.
The Klausutis case has prompted many rumors and much speculation. This newspaper decided to pursue the records quietly, hoping that their release would answer our questions about the investigation and the way it was conducted.
Instead, failure to release the records only raises more questions. If the police investigation is still open, are other leads being followed? Is there something in the records that the medical examiner and the police don't want the public to see?
The withholding of this information does more than inconvenience this newspaper. It appears to violate Florida's public records law. Autopsy reports-- except for photos-- are public records.
The Florida Supreme Court has said the only permitted delay in producing such records for public inspection "is the limited reasonable time allowed the custodian to retrieve the record and delete those portions the custodian asserts are exempt."
Capt. Bishop's argument that the case is still open is, under Florida law, dubious.
"Criminal investigative information" is considered "active" only if "it is related to an ongoing investigation which is continuing with a reasonable, good faith anticipation of securing an arrest or prosecution in the foreseeable future."
If the police expect an arrest in the Klausutis case, we'd sure like to know. Otherwise, we'll have to quote Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Manual:
"An agency's unreasonable and excessive delays in producing public records can constitute an unlawful refusal to provide access to public records."
"Unlawful" is not a word the manual uses lightly. It isn't a word we use lightly either. The medical examiner's office and the Police Department should release their records.
Published: Friday Aug. 24, 2001
Keep waiting
In my opinion, your newspaper is being too extreme with your demands (requests?) for information concerning investigations in progress (editorial, "Klausutis records should be released," Aug. 23).
I think you are being unreasonable. Print some Bush or Clinton-bashing if news is in short supply.
Law enforcement officers and the medical examiner are following procedures, as they should. Have patience. You can rest assured that no one in the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office or the Fort Walton Beach Police Department will withhold information without a valid reason.
JIM WILSON, Fort Walton Beach
Published: Saturday Aug. 25, 2001
Letters request records in death of Klausutis
From staff reports
Two weeks after initial requests that went unanswered, the Northwest Florida Daily News delivered letters Friday asking the Associate Medical Examiner and the Fort Walton Beach Police Department to explain why they have not turned over their records in the July 19 death of Lori Klausutis, an aide to U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough.
The letters, from Daily News Editor Ralph Routon, cited Florida's public records law and asked Dr. Michael Berkland and Police Chief Steve Hogue to "immediately inform us of the specific statutory exemption that would excuse the continuing delay" in producing the requested information.
Berkland has been asked for his autopsy report on Klausutis, while Hogue was requested to provide a copy of the police's investigative report. Berkland told the Daily News earlier this week that his caseload has prevented him from completing the autopsy paperwork. Police Capt. Ron Bishop said the investigative report could not be finished until Berkland's report is filed.
The letters asked Berkland and Hogue to respond no later than Wednesday.
Published: Tuesday Aug. 28, 2001
Justice for Lori
Do you smell that?
This is the stomach-clenching stench of overwhelming hypocrisy.
U.S. Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., is getting rightfully pounded for his predatory habits. U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough, R-Florida, is still being given a complete pass by the media, in spite of the dead (from blunt trauma to the head) congressional aide Lori Klausutis, whose body was found in his office.
One can only imagine the invective fury of the press if the names in these cases were reversed. Condit and those like him should be pounded into the ground like a circus-tent stake and made to disappear from the political landscape.
However, the political affiliation of such thugs should not matter a whit in regard to the level of scrutiny they should bear for their behavior. One lone newspaper here in Florida, the Northwest Florida Daily News, is tenaciously following the death of this woman. They appear to be in it for the long haul. I'm afraid that this single voice from the wilderness may not be enough to bring Lori Klausutis and her family the justice that they deserve.
DAVE GALLOWAY, Chattahoochee
We want the truth
While the rest of the media rehashes the Condit story ad nauseam, I'm grateful to see that your newspaper has demanded access to the records in what millions of people across the country believe is a far more important story. It's been harder to find information on Lori Klausutis' death than to find the latest lies from Gary Condit, but not impossible.
The story has spread via the Internet, and there are people from Maine to Washington who want to know the truth. American news has become a parody of itself, and few media outlets seem capable or willing to do the investigating and prodding to produce real news.
This story is real news. Please stand your ground and demand that those records be made public. Those of us who've tuned out Conditvision are watching. And we, too, demand to know the truth.
SAMANTHA ADAMS, Overland Park, Kan.
It won't go away
Mr. Wilson (letter, "Keep waiting," Aug. 24) is being a bit naive if he thinks the Daily News is being too aggressive on the Lori Klausutis case.
Has he checked the Internet lately? Some of the articles out there, from interested Democrats and others, show there is no lack of attention toward the manner in which the Klausutis case is being handled.
This issue will not go away until all questions are answered in a straightforward and timely manner. A family's reluctance to have their private lives intruded upon is understandable.
But until there is a reasonable answer to all questions, there will be further intrusion. I think history has shown that, yes, information is withheld many times because there are prominent people, if even peripherally, involved.
All it does is cause more speculation. Dr. Berkland, the associate medical examiner, has said his autopsy is complete and yet the report has not been released. What is one to think?
Published: Wednesday Aug. 29, 2001
A real newspaper
Thanks for the Aug. 23 Lori Klausutis piece (Daily News editorial, "Klausutis records should be released"). It's good to find a few remaining newspapers here and there.
SANDY TWIGGS, Goshen, Ark.
Published: Wednesday Aug. 29, 2001
Details emerge in aide's death
A police report reinforces the finding that Lori Klausutis' death was accidental
By TOM McLAUGHLIN | Daily News Staff Writer
Two Fort Walton Beach police officers who witnessed the autopsy of Lori Klausutis, an aide to U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough, reported her skull had been fractured.
The extent of the head injury has never been reported by those investigating the July 20 death of the 28-year-old at Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach office.
The body, which had apparently lain on the floor all night, was discovered about 8:30 a.m. by a couple arriving to discuss a work permit issue with Klausutis. The popular young aide's death was ruled accidental.
The autopsy information, noted by Officer Stephen Sequeira and crime scene expert Dusty Rhodes, was found in a Fort Walton Beach Police Department report turned over Monday to the Northwest Florida Daily News.
Police Chief Steve Hogue said he decided to open the investigative file on the Klausutis case after a public records request was made by Daily News Editor Ralph Routon.
The skull fracture didn't change the findings about what killed Klausutis, according to Associate Medical Examiner Michael Berkland. A hairline fracture like the one found is completely consistent with an unconscious person's fall and totally inconsistent with a physical assault, he said.
"We know for a fact she wasn't whacked in the head because of the nature of the injury," Berkland said.
The blow to the head Klausutis received when she fell onto a desk at the congressman's office would have caused a significant injury, Berkland said, but he termed it "just another symptom" of her death. Cardiac arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythms, halted Klausutis' heart and stopped her breathing, he said.
The blow to the head contributed to the death because blood pooled at the point where the fracture occurred. Berkland's autopsy report has not been made public, though a public records request has been made for the document.
Berkland said he would respond to the request today. The 150-page police report made public Monday contained neither smoking guns nor hidden agendas on the part of investigators. The Klausutis death has been greatly speculated upon by Internet users.
Some interesting items found-- or not found-- in the report include:
* Tiffany Bates, an aide in Scarborough's Pensacola office, was the last person known to have spoken to Klausutis, at shortly before 5 p.m. on July 19. Bates congratulated Klausutis on an upcoming job interview and Klausutis told her she wasn't feeling well.
Reached in Pensacola Tuesday, Bates declined to comment. She said members of Scarborough's staff had been directed to refer all questions about the Klausutis case to Scarborough spokesman Miguel Serrano.
* An admission from Don Graham, owner of D-Train security company, that he "may have missed" checking to see if the doors at Scarborough's office were locked when patrolling the office complex between 11:30 p.m. and midnight on July 19. Graham had originally told investigators that the congressman's office doors were locked, its lights out and that there were no cars parked in front on the night Klausutis died.
An employee at the International House of Pancakes, arriving for work at about 5 a.m., reported seeing Klausutis' car parked in front of Scarborough's office and said lights inside the building were on. Graham could not be reached for comment.
Juanita Marie Bergmann, a Destin resident and former nurse, and her husband, Andreas Bergmann, were the couple who found Klausutis' body. Juanita Bergmann checked the pulse of the young woman while her husband called 911. She said she saw no indication of a head injury and no indication of foul play.
"She'd obviously had a seizure," Bergmann said. "My assumption was she had a seizure and it caused her to go into cardiac arrest."
Bergmann did say she wonders why there hasn't been more public discussion of the Klausutis case, but respects the decision of the victim's family to accept the findings of the police and medical examiner.
"If they're comfortable with what's being said I can accept that," she said. "They're the ones who know what's best."
* Staff Writer Tom McLaughlin can be reached at 863-1111, Ext. 435, or tomm@nwfdailynews.com
Published: Thursday Aug. 30, 2001
Berkland's burden
I am writing in defense of the medical examiner's office.
Everyone keeps talking about how Dr. Michael Berkland needs to hurry up and release the information on the Lori Klausutis case.
Dr. Berkland is devoted to his job and is very thorough in what he does. He has so many cases come across his desk that he has to look over and determine the cause of death and whether it was a homicide or accidental.
I feel that Dr. Berkland did not go to school for 13 years to have his hard work and devotion run into the ground. He is a very smart man and knows what he is doing. He also knows what is best for the families in these situations and what should not be made public.
Just because everyone wants to know the details of this matter does not mean that everyone has a right to know the details. I honestly think we should be thankful that we have such a hard-working and devoted associate medical examiner in our community.
My final words are these: Everyone should just give Dr. Berkland a break. He is doing the best he can. I don't see anyone else out there doing his job. He is only one person!
MISTY WILLIAMS Fort Walton Beach A witch hunt? Is it my understanding that the Northwest Florida Daily News is on a political witch hunt?
Let us review the facts: Congressman Joe Scarborough did not swim to shore, go to sleep and then call the police the next morning to report a dead body in the Chappaquiddick. He was not accused of, nor did he deny, having "sex with that woman." He did not counsel our president while conceiving a child with an intern. He did not throw a watch box into a trash can away from his office or apartment for fear that the tabloids would get hold of it. Congressman Scarborough was in Washington, fighting to keep oil rigs out of the Sunshine State before he retires to spend quality time with his children.
I am sure that when the autopsy report is revealed, we will have the story behind Lori Klausutis' death. But, until then, let us not sling mud at one of the few remaining political white hats!
Published: Thursday Aug. 30, 2001
From staff reports
OKALOOSA '-- Klausutis report to be released Friday "Barring unforeseen difficulties, delays or homicides," Associate Medical Examiner Michael Berkland said he would release the autopsy report for Lori Klausutis Friday. Berkland was responding to a request from Northwest Florida Daily News Editor Ralph Routon to release the document or "immediately inform us of the specific statutory exemption that would excuse the continuing delay."
The body of Klausutis, a 28-year-old aide to District 1 U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough, was discovered at Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach office July 20. Berkland said the autopsy report probably would have been completed earlier in the week, but several pressing matters kept him from signing off on the document. He has ruled Klausutis' death accidental, but several questions have been raised about the case and its investigation.
Published: Friday Aug. 31, 2001
I feel for the Klausutis family and imagine they just wish all the stories would stop. But Lori worked for our congressman, which makes her death ripe for speculation and all sorts of rumors on the Internet.
Published: Saturday Sept. 1, 2001
Autopsy report on aide released
The findings confirm Lori Klausutis died after falling and hitting her head on a desk.
By JEFF AYRES | Daily News Staff Writer
Saying he wants to "extinguish the fires of speculation" surrounding the death of an aide to retiring U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough, Associate State Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Berkland released the autopsy report of Lori Klausutis on Friday.
The 18-page report is in line with previous statements Berkland made concerning how Klausutis, 28, died in Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach branch office sometime during the evening on July 19. Berkland said he hopes the details of the autopsy report will stop rampant speculation on the Internet and elsewhere concerning Klausutis' death.
The report states that Klausutis' death was caused by her head striking the edge of a desk in the office. The fall that caused her to strike the desk was likely triggered by an undiagnosed heart condition known as floppy mitral valve disease, which is typically marked by abnormal heart rhythms.
The affected valve divides the heart's left-side chambers. Klausutis suffered a hairline fracture of the skull, but Berkland has said the fracture was consistent with a fall, not an assault. The report also backed up Berkland's previous statements that Klausutis died accidentally.
"There is no doubt that the head injury is a result of a fall rather than a blow being delivered to the head by a moving object," Berkland wrote in the report.
To illustrate the statement, Berkland pointed out that Klausutis had bruising on the left side of her brain, and some scratching and bruising on the right side of her head.
"This finding is in marked distinction" from an "injury which results from a moving object (example-- a baseball bat) that strikes a stationary head," the report states.
Had Klausutis been struck with a bat or other blunt object, her external and internal injuries would have been on the same side of her head, Berkland continued. Berkland said that, to his knowledge, Klausutis never visited a doctor for irregular heart patterns and had no long-term medical problems aside from lingering injuries from an auto accident years ago.
The mitral valve condition is rare, occurring in only 5 percent of the population, including young adults like Klausutis. But it can be fatal, literally bringing the heart to a standstill in extreme cases. The report mentions two people, including a postal worker, who stopped by Scarborough's office the day before Klausutis was found. Both said Klausutis told them she was "anxious and did not feel quite right," according to the report.
Neither person was named in the report. Klausutis' body was found shortly after 8 a.m. on July 20 by a couple who had an appointment at Scarborough's office. She worked for Scarborough for two years. Scarborough, a high-profile, popular Republican congressman, announced earlier this year that he was retiring from his office to spend more time with his two boys.
* Staff Writer Jeff Ayres can be reached at 863-1111, Ext. 444, or jeffa@nwfdailynews.com
PDFS: http://site.nwfdailynews.com/docs/KLAU2.pdf
Published: Saturday May 26, 2001
Scarborough resigns
The congressman plans to spend more time at home with his two boys
By TOM McLAUGHLIN | Daily News Staff Writer
PENSACOLA '-- U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough is slipping off the mantle of congressman and coming home from Washington to assume the duties of full-time father.
The popular Pensacola Republican announced Friday he is giving up Florida's District 1 seat in the House of Representatives to spend more time with his two boys, one of whom was diagnosed last year with juvenile diabetes.
"At the end of my life it is more important for me to be judged as a father than as a congressman," a tearful Scarborough said.
"When you're gone 150 days out of the year it's difficult to make a normal life. I've been trying to have a normal life and it's just not happening."
The resignation becomes effective Sept. 6, a date, Scarborough said, that will allow him to "be at home for the beginning of the next school year."
The announcement was hardly a surprise, having been rumored for weeks. The 100
or so who attended a 2 p.m. news conference at Pensa-cola's Bartram Park knew what was coming, and most seemed to know why.
"Kids are probably the most important thing in anybody's life. As much as I hate to see him go, that's a perfectly legitimate reason," Santa Rosa County Republican Party Chairman Rodney Rollo said before Scarborough made his announcement.
The 38-year-old Scarbor-ough used his pulpit to address the many rumors that have circulated since word of his possible retirement got out.
"There's no story behind the story," he told the gathered media.
The sometime musician assured his audience that he has no plans to join a rock band, but he didn't rule out taking a job with a law firm, doing television work or accepting a presidential appointment.
Scarborough went so far as to say a presidential appointment of some sort may be available to him by the time he steps down.
A White House spokeswoman contacted Friday said she could not speculate on future appointments.
Whatever the future holds, Scarborough said, "the majority of my time will be spent in Pensacola with my boys."
Had he possessed a crystal ball in 2000 when he decided to seek a fourth term in the U.S. House, Scarborough said, he wouldn't have run.
"My boys are 13 and 10 now and facing challenges that 13- and 10-year-olds face," he said. "Some of those challenges simply couldn't have been foreseen a year and a half ago."
His younger son, Andrew, was diagnosed with diabetes around Memorial Day of last year and has "other physical challenges" related to the disease, Scarborough said when pushed on the subject of his children's health.
Things with Joey, the congressman's older son, are "as normal as they can be with teen-age children," he said.
"My 13-year-old boy is a 13-year-old boy and needs a father there more than 150 nights out of the year," Scarborough said.
Scarborough is divorced and shares custody of his children with his ex-wife. He said that when he returns to Pensacola in September his sons will spend more time with him than they do now.
The boyish-looking Scar-borough is leaving Congress at a time when he enjoys strong support locally and great visibility nationally. He has appeared numerous times on the television talk show "Politically Incorrect" and other TV programs.
He acknowledged that he's had "several unsolicited conversations" with television outlets about possible jobs.
Scarborough was also on the airwaves during the 2000 Republican National Conven-tion, where his rock band, Regular Joe, performed.
Without putting a great deal of effort into it, he defeated a Republican challenger for his congressional seat last year by a vote margin of 3-to-1.
Scarborough did not rule out a return to politics, but he promised it wouldn't happen soon.
"Certainly that's a possibility a good bit down the road," he said. "Not now."
* Staff Writer Tom McLaughlin can be reached at 863-1111, Ext. 435, or tomm@nwfdailynews.com
Gov. Jeb Bush has issued an executive order setting special primary and general election dates to decide who will
succeed U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough.
Here are the election dates:
nJuly 24-- First primary.
* Sept. 4-- Second primary
(if needed).
* Oct. 16-- General election.
Candidates must qualify to run with the Florida Department of State in Tallahassee between
8 a.m. June 11 and noon June 12.
Candidates can qualify one of two ways: Pay a qualifying fee of $8,202, or collect 1,063 signatures and submit them to local supervisors of elections by
5 p.m. June 7. The signatures must be certified by 5 p.m.
June 8.
The winner will serve until Scarborough's term ends next year.
Career highlights
1994 - In the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Earl Hutto, Joe Scarborough defeats (our other opponents in Republican primaries, then beats Democrat Vince Whibbs in November, to become Northwest Florida's first Republican congressman since 1876.1996 - Scarborough crushes democratic challenger Kevin Beck to win re-eleciton.1997 - In a revolt against House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican leadership Scarborough and 10 other Republicans side with Democrats in a vote on the House's budget, forcing House committee leaders to abandon plans to increase their committees' spending.1997 - Scarborough makes the first of dozens of appearances as a guest on ABC's late-night talk show "Politically INcorrect."1998 - Opposed only by a write-in candidate, Scarborough cruises to a third term.1998 - Scarborough votes to impeach President Clinton, casting ballots in favor of two of four articles of impeachment.1999 - Scarborough joins 16 other congressman in suing President Clinton, claiming the president violated the War Powers Act in ordering attacks on Yugoslavia without congressional approval. The lawsuit is later dismissed.1999 - Scarborough decides not to run for the U.S. Senate after considering a campaign to succeed the retiring Connie Mack.1999 - Scarborough launches a weekly newspaper, the Florida Sun, which later merges with another paper to become the Independent Florida Sun.2000 - Scarborough turns back a spirited challenge from Pensacola attorney Bob Condon in the Republican primary to coast to a fourth term.2000 - President Clinton signs a Scarborough-sponsored bill giving federal employees, military members, and civillian and military retirees the ability to buy private long-term care insurance at affordable group rates.2001 - Scarborough sponsors a bill to ban oil and gas driling off Flroida's coast.Compiled by Daily News Staff
Published: Thursday Sept. 6, 2001
Scarborough set to step down
The congressman resigns today to spend more time with his two sons.
By KIMBERLY BLAIR | Daily News Staff Writer
U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough cast his last vote on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday.
It was to approve a resolution to commemorate Floyd Spence, chairman of the Armed Services committee who died a few weeks ago.
"It is a fitting way to end my term,'' said Scarborough, explaining that Spence made sure he got on the same committee.
Today, Scarborough will slip out of the House of Representa-tives quietly after listening to an address by Mexican President Vicente Fox and after submitting a written farewell letter.
"Nothing dramatic," he said. "I don't see the need to draw a lot of attention on my last day. I'll be talking to
a lot of friends and family that supported me since 1994, and obviously share some memories.''
Scarborough, 38, tearfully announced his resignation in May, six months after he was overwhelmingly re-elected to his fourth term, saying he found it difficult to balance the duties
of parenthood with respons-
ibilities in Washington.
"At the end of the day it is more important for me to be judged as a father than as a congressman,'' he said.
Scarborough is divorced and has joint custody of two sons Andrew, 10, and Joey 13, one of whom has been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.
A special election on Oct. 16 will determine Scarborough's replacement. Republican Jeff Miller, considered the front-runner, will face off with Democrat Steve Briese and Independent John Ralls for the seat. Two write-ins are also in the race.
Scarborough, known by many of his constituents as "Regular Joe,'' will come home Friday to Northwest Florida to spend more time being Dad and to return to practicing law.
Scarborough has already moved into a new office overlooking the bay at a Pensacola powerhouse law firm headed up by Fred Levin. He won't start taking cases until after a break of a week or two.
He's also still negotiating a deal to host a political talk show on a cable news network and he's considering offers of White House appointments.
The congressman also confirmed a rumor that a new marriage is on the horizon, which some speculate is another reason for the resignation, although he declined to reveal who is the next Mrs. Scarborough.
"In the last month or two I've had thousands of different rumors launched against me. I'd rather keep this private right now,'' he said.
As he transitions from lawmaker to lawyer his supporters say he'll be sorely missed.
"Congressman Scarborough has served his party and state with honor and has championed issues important to the Republican Party,'' said Eric Eikenberg, deputy executive director of the Republican Party of Florida. "He stuck to his beliefs and values. The people from the district and party are grateful.''
Those less endeared by the young, conservative Republican with an offbeat image were hard pressed to fault his track record representing District 1, which stretches from Escambia to Bay counties.
"Congressman Scarborough voted with his district,'' said James Witt, a professor of politics at University of West Florida. "Personally, I was not satisfied with the fact he never got on one of the five major committees where the power is. Otherwise, he apparently served his district well.''
While many understand his decision to resign before the end of his two-year term, Scarborough has had to weather a heavy dose of criticism.
"I'm very disappointed in him,'' said Witt, a Republican. "He should have played out his last year in office. He left us in a bad situation by leaving when the budget is being considered. He didn't do his district well in that regard.''
Always one for having his voice heard, Scarborough playfully responded to public criticism and rumors over his resignation in his paper, The Independent Florida Sun, a weekly Pensacola newspaper with a mix of quirky political columns and issue-oriented stories. Scarborough recently resigned as publisher of the paper and is now listed as publisher emeritus.
A cover story in the June 8 edition entitled, "The Joe Story: Shocking lurid details of his fall from power,'' delivered a satirical question-and-answer piece that poked fun at the criticisms while driving home the points for stepping down.
When asked if it has been thrilling to be able to rub shoulders with heads of states he answered: 'Maybe for some, but that's not what I get excited about. A couple of months back, I flew in Air Force One and everyone assumed that was the biggest thrill of my life. I played along. But a week later, I was walking out to baseball practice with Joey and thought to myself, Now this is something to get excited about.' "
Scarborough was first elected to Congress in 1994 at the start of the Newt Gingrich era, defined by fiscal restraint and smaller government.
While he was earning a reputation as a maverick on Capitol Hill by speaking out against the leadership's concessions to Democrats, back home he was igniting a spark in the Republican Party.
"He got people interested in politics,'' said Chris Walker, a 26-year-old politically active Walton County Republican. "He garnered a lot of support for the Republican Party. A lot of people were sitting on the fence before Joe came along.''
"He left a legacy that will be very lasting,'' said Bob Goldberg, chairman of the U. S. District 1 Republican Party. "He lit up the political life around here and I think he will be missed for that.''
While Scarborough's conservative views won over many Republicans, his moderate views on the environment took others by surprise.
"We are going to miss him greatly in the offshore drilling battle," said Mark Ferrulo, director of Tallahassee-based Florida Public Interest Research Group. "He has been the most effective, aggressive advocate against drilling that congressional seat has ever seen.''
But Ferrulo didn't offer only praise for Scarborough.
"On key issues he was very good. But there are certainly a lot of more other environmental champions than Scarborough,'' Ferrulo said.
Scarborough has also been a true champion for the military and veterans' benefits. He fought for the retired veterans' lifetime healthcare benefits that were reinstated last year.
"I'm a Democrat and I can still say, Joe did good,' '' said Ed Campbell, Florida District 1 commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "He has had the district, the bases and the military retirees in his heart. He fought for us.''
Resigning was one of the toughest decisions he has ever made, Scarborough said.
Leaving the House floor for the last time today is going to be equally tough.
"To be completely honest, it is a difficult time for me. I've always loved this job and been honored to serve in this office. My boys and the people around me will be better for it, even though it stinks right now.''
* Staff Writer Kimberly Blair can be reached at 936-8600, or kimb@nwfdailynews.com
VIDEO-Daily Caller on Twitter: "REPORTER: "You can see here, nobody's wearing [masks]." GUY ON STREET: "Including the Cameraman." https://t.co/yMikEFrJMQ" / Twitter
Tue, 26 May 2020 16:04
Log in Sign up Daily Caller @ DailyCaller REPORTER: "You can see here, nobody's wearing [masks]."GUY ON STREET: "Including the Cameraman."
pic.twitter.com/yMikEFrJMQ 1:18 PM - 26 May 2020 Twitter by: Eddie Zipperer @EddieZipperer Daily Caller @ DailyCaller
21m Replying to
@DailyCaller Here it is from the perspective of the man in the video
pic.twitter.com/76DTaA2FNt View conversation · Jesse @ jessevdh
41m Replying to
@DailyCaller @BidenInsultBot "striking images" hahahahaha wtf. You tell them
@BidenInsultBot View conversation · Joe Biden Insult Bot @ BidenInsultBot
38m Replying to
@jessevdh Enough with that, you cobblestone-crunchin' flutter butt
View conversation · JamesWoodsStanAccount @ woods_account
39m Replying to
@DailyCaller "striking images" says the flabbergasted desk anchor who can't quite come up with something to say about her own media's cameraman not wearing a mask.
View conversation · Geza @ geza1329
36m Replying to
@DailyCaller @m_keenum Um why is the reporter wearing a mask? To be dramatic? Seriously there's no one around him. And it's sunny and breezy outside meaning that vitamin d, UV and fresh air galore is not the environment where Covid thrives well...
View conversation · 🇺🇸MARGO🇺🇸'­¸'­¸'­¸ @ m_keenum
33m Replying to
@geza1329 @DailyCaller Propaganda
View conversation · Stephe96 @ Stephe96
13m Replying to
@DailyCaller It's all fake news, folks. They're pushing a narrative.
pic.twitter.com/BkTGYEvsvr View conversation · Joe Biden's Hologram @ eastern_ont
22m Replying to
@DailyCaller @PrisonPlanet And the news cutie-pie just ignores it.
View conversation · Sub @ anarchosub7
16m Replying to
@DailyCaller @this_vid @this_vid View conversation · 🌸Heather🌸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 @ Heather012177
7m Replying to
@DailyCaller ðŸ¤...''¸
View conversation · Enter a topic, @name, or fullname
Settings Help Back to top ·
Turn images off
VIDEO -MULTIPLE TIMECODES IN EMAIL Live: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Holds Coronavirus Briefing | NBC News - YouTube
Tue, 26 May 2020 08:58
VIDEO - Joy Reid Claims Trump Promised To 'Get Rid Of Brown Immigrants' - YouTube
Tue, 26 May 2020 08:52
VIDEO - About the project
Tue, 26 May 2020 08:33
As all other countries in the world, the Faroe Islands has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have politely asked tourists to refrain from visiting our islands until further notice.
Early on in this global crisis, we sat and wondered how we could recreate a Faroe Islands' experience for those who had to cancel or postpone their trip to the Faroe Islands '' and for everyone else stuck in insolation around the world.
We had an idea. What if we could allow people anywhere in the world to explore the islands as virtual tourists through the eyes of a local? Or even better; what if the virtual tourists could control the movements of the local in real time?
A couple of weeks later, our idea became reality. We have created a new remote tourism tool, the first of its kind. Via a mobile, tablet or PC, you can explore the Faroes' rugged mountains, see close-up its cascading waterfalls and spot the traditional grass-roofed houses by interacting '' live '' with a local Faroese, who will act as your eyes and body on a virtual exploratory tour.
The local is equipped with a live video camera, allowing you to not only see views from an on-the-spot perspective, but also to control where and how they explore using a joypad to turn, walk, run or even jump!
Just like a real-life computer game, you '' the main player '' will control the moves of the Faroese islander, who will not only explore locations on foot, but also take to the skies by helicopter, giving virtual visitors a bird's eye perspective on our beautiful island nation's steep grassy slopes, our 80,000 sheep and our unspoilt, wild and natural countryside.
During the virtual tours, which will take place daily during the COVID-19 lockdown, our team at Visit Faroe Islands will be online in real time to answer any questions that you or others may have, providing both inspiration and expert knowledge about places to visit and things to see.
We hope that visiting our remote islands through the eyes and body of a local can bring you joy and inspiration during these challenging times '' and we, of course, hope to welcome you in person once you are free to travel again.
VIDEO - Errol Webber For Congress (CA-37) on Twitter: "Very interesting statement considering where we are right now. https://t.co/bHESuzs3tk" / Twitter
Tue, 26 May 2020 08:30
Welcome home! This timeline is where you'll spend most of your time, getting instant updates about what matters to you.
Tweets not working for you? Hover over the profile pic and click the Following button to unfollow any account.
Say a lot with a little When you see a Tweet you love, tap the heart '-- it lets the person who wrote it know you shared the love.
Spread the word The fastest way to share someone else's Tweet with your followers is with a Retweet. Tap the icon to send it instantly.
Join the conversation Add your thoughts about any Tweet with a Reply. Find a topic you're passionate about, and jump right in.
Learn the latest Get instant insight into what people are talking about now.
Get more of what you love Follow more accounts to get instant updates about topics you care about.
Find what's happening See the latest conversations about any topic instantly.
Never miss a Moment Catch up instantly on the best stories happening as they unfold.
VIDEO - Dems: Stop Talking About Biden's Racist Gaffe'... | Weasel Zippers
Mon, 25 May 2020 17:25
ZIP |May 25, 2020 5:01 pm
VIDEO-Coronavirus may have been a 'cell-culture experiment' gone wrong | Sky News Australia
Mon, 25 May 2020 17:11
Sharri Markson | 24/05/2020 | 16min
EXCLUSIVE: The coronavirus that has become a world-wide pandemic may have been created in a ''cell-culture experiment'' in a laboratory, according to prominent scientists who have conducted ground-breaking research into the origins of the virus. Flinders University Professor Nikolai Petrovsky has completed a scientific study, currently undergoing peer review, in conjunction with La Trobe University in Victoria, which found COVID-19 was uniquely adapted for transmission to humans, far more than any other animal, including bats.Professor Petrovsky, from the College of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University who has spent the past 20 years developing vaccines against pandemic influenza, Ebola and animal SARS, said this highly unusual finding left open the possibility that the virus leaked from a laboratory.''The two possibilities which I think are both still open is that it was a chance transmission of a virus from an as yet unidentified animal to human. The other possibility is that it was an accidental release of the virus from a laboratory,'' he said. ''Certainly we can't exclude the possibility that this came from a laboratory experiment rather than from an animal. They are both open possibilities.''Professor Petrovsky, who is the Chairman and Research Director of Vaxine Pty Ltd, said COVID-19 has genetic elements similar to bat coronaviruses as well as other coronaviruses.The way coronavirus enters human cells is by binding to a protein on the surface of lung-cells called ACE2. The study showed the virus bound more tightly to human-ACE2 than to any of the other animals they tested. ''It was like it was designed to infect humans,'' he said.''One of the possibilities is that an animal host was infected by two coronaviruses at the same time and COVID-19 is the progeny of that interaction between the two viruses.''The same process can happen in a petri-dish. If you have cells in culture and you have human cells in that culture which the viruses are infecting, then if there are two viruses in that dish, they can swap genetic information and you can accidentally or deliberately create a whole third new virus out of that system. ''In other words COVID-19 could have been created from that recombination event in an animal host or it could have occurred in a cell-culture experiment.'' Professor Petrovsky was originally modelling the virus in January to prepare a vaccine candidate. He then turned his attention to ''explore what animal species might have been involved in the transmission to humans'' to understand the origins of the virus - and had a ''surprising'' result when none were well-adapted. ''We found that the COVID-19 virus was particularly well-adapted to bind to human cells and that was far superior to its ability to bind to the cells of any other animal species which is quite unusual because typically when a virus is well-adapted to an animal and then it by chance crosses to a human, typically, you would expect it to have lower-binding to human cells than to the original host animal. We found the opposite so that was a big surprise,'' he said.Scientists worldwide have, to date, overwhelmingly said the virus was more likely originated in a wet-market and was not created in a laboratory.Even the United States Office of National Intelligence ruled out COVID-19 being created in a laboratory.Asked why scientists have had this view, Professor Petrovsky said scientists ''try not to be political'' and do not want their research impacted adversely by tighter laboratory controls.''We just try to base our findings on facts rather than taking particular political positions but sometimes obviously the alternatives may have unintended consequences,'' he said.''For instance, if it was to turn out that this virus may have come about because of an accidental lab release that would have implications for how we do viral research in laboratories all around the world which could make doing research much harder.''So I think the inclination of virus researchers would be to presume that it came from an animal until proven otherwise because that would have less ramifications for how we are able to do research in the future. The alternative obviously has quite major implications for science and science on viruses, not just obviously political ramifications which we're all well aware of.''Professor Petrovsky said an inquiry needs to start straight away, not when the pandemic is finished.''The idea of putting it off to the pandemic is over, it would be a mistake,'' he said.''I'm certainly very much in favour of a scientific investigation. It's only objective should be to get to the bottom of how did this pandemic happen and how do we prevent a future pandemic'.... not to have a witch-hunt.''Image: AP
VIDEO -3mins30sec- President Trump complete remarks at Fort McHenry on Memorial Day - YouTube
Mon, 25 May 2020 16:03
VIDEO - Tom Elliott on Twitter: "MSNBC's Dr. Vin Gupta: ''We should make masks mandatory in public. Just like we ban indoor smoking, because you know what? You shouldn't have to breathe somebody else's secondhand smoke. I shouldn't have to breath
Mon, 25 May 2020 15:51
Welcome home! This timeline is where you'll spend most of your time, getting instant updates about what matters to you.
Tweets not working for you? Hover over the profile pic and click the Following button to unfollow any account.
Say a lot with a little When you see a Tweet you love, tap the heart '-- it lets the person who wrote it know you shared the love.
Spread the word The fastest way to share someone else's Tweet with your followers is with a Retweet. Tap the icon to send it instantly.
Join the conversation Add your thoughts about any Tweet with a Reply. Find a topic you're passionate about, and jump right in.
Learn the latest Get instant insight into what people are talking about now.
Get more of what you love Follow more accounts to get instant updates about topics you care about.
Find what's happening See the latest conversations about any topic instantly.
Never miss a Moment Catch up instantly on the best stories happening as they unfold.
VIDEO - Dem Rep Val Demings Claims Trump Got Black Republicans To Respond On Biden's 'You Ain't Black' Remark | Weasel Zippers
Mon, 25 May 2020 07:52
She's literally doing the same thing Biden did '' assuming that black people can only speak by command of a white man, that they can't have independent thought of their own.
"I think it's interesting that the president searched high and low to find African-American members of the Senate and a former member of Congress to speak out on this issue."@RepValDemings appears to accuse @realDonaldTrump of asking @SenatorTimScott and @MiaBLove to speak out. pic.twitter.com/PWWj1IdGKk
'-- Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 24, 2020
VIDEO - (20) AM Joy w/Joy Reid on Twitter: ".@cthagod: It has to come to a point where we stop putting the burden on black voters to show up for Democrats, and start putting the burden on Democrats to show up for black voters. #AMJoy https://t.co/jsYWRI2s
Mon, 25 May 2020 07:51
Welcome home! This timeline is where you'll spend most of your time, getting instant updates about what matters to you.
Tweets not working for you? Hover over the profile pic and click the Following button to unfollow any account.
Say a lot with a little When you see a Tweet you love, tap the heart '-- it lets the person who wrote it know you shared the love.
Spread the word The fastest way to share someone else's Tweet with your followers is with a Retweet. Tap the icon to send it instantly.
Join the conversation Add your thoughts about any Tweet with a Reply. Find a topic you're passionate about, and jump right in.
Learn the latest Get instant insight into what people are talking about now.
Get more of what you love Follow more accounts to get instant updates about topics you care about.
Find what's happening See the latest conversations about any topic instantly.
Never miss a Moment Catch up instantly on the best stories happening as they unfold.
VIDEO - White House Expresses Concern Over Continued Growth Of Coronavirus Cases In LA '' CBS Los Angeles
Mon, 25 May 2020 07:49
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) '-- The White House expressed concern Friday about the continued growth of coronavirus cases in L.A. County.
Dr. Deborah Birx, a key member of the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, said she has asked the CDC to investigate the L.A. area to determine why cases are still on the rise even though it has been shut down for two months. She said the CDC will also look at the Chicago and Washington, D.C., areas.
There were 1,072 new cases in L.A. County and 35 deaths Friday. It brings the total number of cases to 43,052, and the death toll to 2,049. L.A. County has 56 percent of the coronavirus-related deaths in the state, and nearly 50 percent of all the state's cases.
''You can see we have concerns of where cities have remained closed but still have a persistent high number of cases,'' Birx said, pointing at a chart showing the area's growth.
''You can see we have concerns of where cities have remained closed but still have a persistent high number of cases,'' Birx said, pointing at a chart showing the area's growth. The chart also included Long Beach and parts of Orange County in its case count.
However, despite Birx's comments, L.A. County moved forward with its reopening plan heading into Memorial weekend. Stores located inside indoor malls can reopen for curbside pickup only and some beach parking lots will be open as well.
MORE: LA County Reopens Indoor Mall Stores, Several Beach Parking Lots
L.A. County health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer maintained that the county is on the right track, because the county had already asked the CDC to intervene.
''I think you all remember a while back, we actually asked for some help from the CDC,'' she said, adding that the agency has already sent epidemiologists to monitor the situation. She also said the CDC is directly involved with helping the county battle its COVID-19 outbreaks at skilled nursing facilities.
Ferrer said a continued increase in overall cases does not necessarily mean the county is in bad shape.
''As I noted yesterday, our overall data points are looking pretty good in terms of being on the recovery journey,'' she said.
Hospitalizations are down 15 percent and death rates are down by 12 percent, Ferrer said.
''We are moving in the right direction,'' she added.
Comments (15)
VIDEO - Dr. Birx Defends Trump's Refusal To Wear A Mask With A Lie | Crooks and Liars
Mon, 25 May 2020 07:33
Dr. Deborah Birx attempted to defend the indefensible on this weekend's Fox News Sunday when she was asked by host Chris Wallace about Trump's refusal to lead by example and wear a mask in public during this deadly pandemic.
After first responding to all of these COVIDiots who've been running around harassing these poor retail workers who are just trying to do their jobs and keep their other customers safe, Birx gave Trump a pass for his behavior and then lied about him maintaining the 6 foot distance that experts say will slow the spread of the virus.
WALLACE: Then there are the issue of masks, which we touched on before and we are seeing growing confrontations. For instance, in stores where customers say you've got to wear a mask and some customers say you are violating my rights. ['...]
I'm asking you a public health question, not a legal question. What would you tell someone who says I have a right not to wear a mask in public?
BIRX: Well, we have said to people, that there's clear scientific evidence now by all the droplet experiments that happened and that others have done to show that a mask does prevent droplets from reaching others.
And out of respect for each other, as Americans that care for each other, we need to be wearing masks in public when we cannot social distance. It's really clinically critically important. We have the science of how important mask-wearing is to present those droplets from reaching others.
WALLACE: Do you wish -- I understand it's a special case '' he's ugh, everybody around them has been tested and obviously he is on television, but both from a safety point of view and from a public messaging point of view, do you wish the president wore a mask in public?
BIRX: Well, the president did wear a mask while he was less than 6 feet in a contagion where that was important over, I think when he was traveling last week. I think he '' I'm not with him every day and every moment, so i don't know if he can maintain social distance.
I've asked everybody independently to really make sure that you're wearing a mask if you can't maintain the 6 feet. I'm assuming that in a majority of cases he's able to maintain that 6 feet distance.
The Twitter-verse says otherwise, Dr. Birx.
During a press briefing encouraging social distancing Trump looms over Fauci. Trump is inacapable of social distance. Fauci moved as far away as he could after he answered the question. pic.twitter.com/88fEczCM9V
'-- Len Burman (@lenburman) March 20, 2020
Trump not wearing mask but goggles at Honeywell facility. Other aides not wearing masks at all. Sign in facility says ''face mask required in this area.'' pic.twitter.com/Uq7Fr2ioeS
'-- Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 5, 2020
President Trump participates in a tour of Honeywell International Inc. Mask Production Assembly Line in Phoenix Arizona pic.twitter.com/KqmfbJz4qn
'-- Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) May 5, 2020
It's weird to see President Trump socially distancing from interviewers but standing close to members of the administration or people he's meeting with. pic.twitter.com/VKVB2JXdvY
'-- Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) May 5, 2020
VIDEO - 'Did We Reopen Too Soon?': Chris Wallace Grills Dr. Birx As Death Toll Surpasses Her Projections | Crooks and Liars
Mon, 25 May 2020 07:29
White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx defended her claim that there would be fewer than 60,000 deaths from the virus as new projections warn that the death toll could reach 150,000 people.
In an interview on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace grilled Birx about the discrepancy.
"A month ago, both you and President Trump were talking about 60,000 COVID-19 deaths," Fox News host Chris Wallace noted. "Early this week, we're going to reach 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus and those models you're citing now talk about close to 150,000 deaths by August."
"What happened, doctor?" he asked.
Birx deflected the question by pointing to a model that said the United States could see over 2 million deaths if no action was taken to combat the pandemic.
"Those are the figures that we continue to stand by in this first wave," she insisted. "And understanding how to prevent future hospitalizations and future deaths is really what we're focused on every single day."
"A month ago, you were saying we were going to come down on the low end of the model," Wallace pressed, "from a hundred to two hundred thousand to 60,000."
"In this last month, did you underestimate the strength of the virus?" he wondered. "Did we reopen too soon? Did we reopen without sufficient restrictions?"
"What I was saying in that briefing is what that model was showing," Birx said before noting that U.S. has a lower mortality rate than some European countries.
Birx also advised Americans to enjoy Memorial Day weekend safely.
"I'm very concerned when people go out and don't maintain social distancing," she explained. "We now have scientific evidence of how far droplets go when we speak... We also know that it's important that we have masks on if we're less than six feet and that we have to maintain that six feet distance."
"There are super spreader events when people come together," the doctor added.
"This crowd of people at beaches this weekend, is that a super spreader event?" Wallace asked.
"We want you to be outside," Birx replied. "We know that there are ways you can play tennis with marked balls so you're not touching each others' balls. We know there's a way to play golf and social distance."
VIDEO - #1478 - Joel Salatin '-- The Joe Rogan Experience '-- Overcast
Mon, 25 May 2020 06:50
The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from
joerogan.com, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Overcast. Overcast is (C) 2014''2020 Overcast Radio, LLC
Privacy Policy '
Terms '
Contact '
Info for Podcasters '
VIDEO - Ukrainian president calls to investigate Biden-Kerry recordings - YouTube
Mon, 25 May 2020 06:33
VIDEO - Trump: 'I Have a Chance to Break the Deep State'
Sun, 24 May 2020 21:20
In a new interview, President Donald Trump outlined the challenge of his presidency in stark terms as the best chance the nation has to break the stranglehold of powerful insiders on the business of government.
Trump's willingness to battle what is know as the ''deep state'' came to the fore in an interview aired Sunday by the syndicated news show ''Full Measure.''
During the interview (transcript here), journalist Sharyl Atkisson brought up recent actions by acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grennell to make public information about the early days of the investigations into the Trump presidential campaign by America's intelligence community.
''Richard Grenell is a superstar. He had guts, he had courage to do what he did. We have another superstar going in as you know, John Ratcliffe. He just got approved yesterday and he'll be taking over as of Tuesday,'' Trump said.
''Richard Grenell has done one of the best jobs I've ever seen. I mean, in a short period of time, he exposed them as being corrupt. Look, they were trying to do a takedown of the president of the United States illegally. It's all illegal. Now, I don't know what happens. We hope [Attorney General] Bill Barr is going to be as good as we think because Bill, he's a great gentleman, a great man. He's got to hopefully use that information and do what's right. And he'll do what's right.
TRENDING: Princess Maria Galitzine Dead at Age 31
''Bill Barr will do what's right, but what Richard Grenell has done for this country is incredible,'' Trump said.
In the interview, Trump disparaged former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
''Jeff Sessions put people in place that were a disaster,'' Trump said. ''They took over. They've always had the Department of Justice, but they kept it under Jeff Sessions. And the whole thing, the Russian thing is a total hoax. Think of it. They spent 40, 45 million dollars investigating. We took two and a half years. They found nothing. No collusion.''
Trump then focused on the big picture.
Do you think President Donald Trump can break the power of the deep state?
93% (230 Votes)
7% (16 Votes)
''When you look at what Richard Grenell has done in eight weeks, these people didn't do anything for two and a half years. They should have been exposing this. So I'm very disappointed in certain people. And some people have done a phenomenal job, but what am I doing? I'm fighting the deep state. I'm fighting the swamp. And I said I was doing it. And I'm exposing the swamp. I think if it keeps going the way I'm going, and Ratcliffe is fantastic,'' he said.
''If it keeps going the way it's going, I have a chance to break the deep state. It's a vicious group of people. It's very bad for our country. And that's never happened before,'' Trump said.
He then referred to Atkisson's own battles with the ''deep state'' that occurred when she was targeted by the Justice Department during the Obama administration.
''You happen to be a victim of the deep state. I hate to tell you, whether you know it or not, but they've treated you horribly over the years. And so have they treated many other people,'' Trump said.
Trump said that insiders who wanted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to win the election have never stopped their attacks on him.
RELATED: Mail-in Elections Off to a Rocky Start: 'Where Is the Democracy in This?
''They never thought I was going to win, and then I won. And then they tried to get me out. That was the insurance policy. She's going to win, but just in case she doesn't win we have an insurance policy. And now I beat them on the insurance policy, and now they're being exposed,'' he said.
''Tremendous things have happened. They forged documents. We caught them. They had people that had forged documents. I would like to see it move much faster. I'll be honest with you. To me, I don't need any more information. I know, and I purposely stayed out of it. Other than I appoint people. I purposely stayed out of it,'' he said.
''But I'll tell you what, what they've done, if this were President Obama, if this were a Democrat instead of a Republican, people would have been in jail for two years, many people would have been in jail for two years already with a 50-year term. OK? 50 years, but we caught them. Now, hopefully Bill Barr is going to do something about it. And you know what? Other things are going to come out too. And a lot of other things are going to come out, but you don't even need other things. What they've done is so corrupt, they've tried to take down a duly elected president of the United States, happens to be in this case, me, but we can never allow it to happen again,'' he said.
During the interview, Trump was asked about the strongest feature possessed by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
''Well, I would have said experience, but he doesn't really have experience because I don't think he remembers what he did yesterday. So how is that experience? He's been there a long time. He was never known as a smart person,'' Trump said.
He was then asked to discuss a weakness of his likely adversary.
''He's got many. I can talk about weak points all day long. First of all, he's not mentally sharp enough to be president. He's got China and he's got all these countries,'' Trump said, referring to Biden's past with the Asian power and his son Hunter's dealings with Chinese officials.
Later, he added, ''China doesn't want me to win, but Biden doesn't know, I mean, he doesn't know he's alive.''
Trump then noted that Biden is little more than a figurehead.
''Think of it. I'm against somebody that can't answer simple questions. I've never seen anything like it, but here's what I am against. I'm against a very powerful party, the Democrats, and they can take this glass of water and say, 'that's your candidate.'
''I'm against a very powerful and very corrupt party. It's a very corrupt party, the Democrats, and we caught them, but I'm against a very powerful party. And I'm against the real obstructionist, which is the media, because the media is corrupt in this country,'' he said.
''It's totally corrupt.''
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.


Load image
Load image


Kick their Balls ISO.mp3
AM Joy Reid with Charlamagne the god on Dems thinkingthey HAVE the black vote.mp3
Debbie Wasserman Schultz throwback clip on Mail In Voting.mp3
Dems defending Bidens racist comment to charlamagne.mp3
Joy Reid Claims Trump Promised To 'Get Rid Of Brown Immigrants'.mp3
Klobuchar's an asshole 20200528-133451 JCD.mp3
03. TBC04 - Malcolm X White Liberals.mp3
Joe Kernon and Andrew Ross Sorkin fight on air DIMENSION SPLIT.mp3
Gates at Colbert bioweapons and pandemics - PANDEMIC 2.mp3
covid update with dtates NBC.mp3
crystal ball and an interpretation of democratic strategy.mp3
definitive weekly Trump rundown NBC.mp3
IMUS on scar ONE.mp3
IMUS on scar year later.mp3
Kayleigh clip will not answer sme question twice.mp3
Mike Wallace on 1976 Swine flu THREE.mp3
Mike Wallace on 1976 Swine flu TWO.mp3
Mike Wallace on 1976 Swine flu.mp3
Minnesota police situation bvgrnd NBC.mp3
orange county doctor complkaining.mp3
pelosi blather.mp3
pelosi on president taking something presser.mp3
piss poor locust report kenya.mp3
US covid wrap trump F24.mp3
AMAZON native ad supercut.mp3
Casket makers business is up.mp3
COVID begas etc playh alone clip NBC.mp3
COVID Brazil F24.mp3
Covid deaths now per capita f24.mp3
Forget Government Cuome - ISO.mp3
Fox local SF station on COVID wristbands.mp3
MSNBC Tur with street reporter masks- camera crew not wearing them.mp3
This is Cool Cuomo - ISO.mp3
Vin Gupta on Masks - Just like we ban indoor smoking.mp3
BoJo - It Is A Prison.mp3
Cuomo Forget Government its YOU slaves and WEAR A MASK.mp3
Dr Birx with crappy new mushroom hair-3- Masks and Muzzles DROPLETS.mp3
Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA -3-Slogans and Three Phrases NHS -insert Pelosi.mp3
Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA -4-Three Phrases explained Orwell Example.mp3
Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA -5-Clapping Explained.mp3
Pelosi on Tapper -3a-Testing x3 and Tracing x3 3x isolation.mp3
Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA -1- Mindcontrol intro.mp3
Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA -2- Always need historical contect (hitler).mp3
Minneapolis Protester - SUBSCRIBE TO MY CHANNEL.wav
Illinois admits ginning up Covid-19 death count.m4a
Maurice de Hond on corona virus discovery from patterns.mp3
Dr Birx with crappy new mushroom hair -1- on Fox Sunday about her Models being wrong.mp3
Dr Birx with crappy new mushroom hair-2- Unbelievably a follow up is asked.mp3
Elon NASA launch delayed.mp3
Dr. William Haseltine, frmr Harvard Medical School professor -1- Publicaiton by press release Moderna CNBC.mp3
  • 0:00
    more kale Eclipse is no agenda curry and
  • 0:24
    from northern Silicon Valley where we
  • 0:26
    have a message to the looters and
  • 0:28
    rioters in Minnesota so stroke business
  • 0:31
    seen people social distancing I'm John C
  • 0:34
    Dvorak yeah funny the one thing I did
  • 0:40
    not hear anyone say covering the the
  • 0:43
    riots social distancing please
  • 0:48
    well they had this thing that was funny
  • 0:50
    was there was an MSNBC require I didn't
  • 0:54
    clip it because it's good too many
  • 0:55
    mumbly it's all mumbling in the back
  • 0:57
    room but they they put subtitles on a
  • 0:59
    Kate Eaters with one of her
  • 1:01
    correspondents I'm gonna Hearst show
  • 1:03
    whatever it is and the in the in the
  • 1:05
    reporters out there were this big mass
  • 1:07
    oh wait wait I have the clip I have the
  • 1:09
    clip but you do okay please yeah
  • 1:11
    hilarious and I want to come back to
  • 1:12
    mass a little bit later but I'll play
  • 1:14
    this for ya this is Katy tur and so she
  • 1:16
    and he wears this I think he's in
  • 1:18
    Florida somewhere maybe yeah there
  • 1:20
    Florida everyone's party on the beach
  • 1:21
    right and and that of course is
  • 1:23
    outrageous and then he's actually the
  • 1:25
    the on-the-ground reporter with the mask
  • 1:28
    on looks over and that guy is filming
  • 1:33
    him and says so are the people there
  • 1:35
    just not worried about it
  • 1:36
    Calla they're not worried about their
  • 1:37
    own personal safety I haven't met
  • 1:39
    anybody who is I met some folks actually
  • 1:42
    from Lake Geneva who lived in the area
  • 1:43
    they were staying a few miles outside of
  • 1:44
    town where I were and they said they're
  • 1:46
    worried about it they're worried about
  • 1:47
    that second spike they're worried about
  • 1:48
    folks coming in from Chicago but they'll
  • 1:50
    quickly add at the same time this is a
  • 1:52
    place that relies on that business I
  • 1:54
    think people here want a little bit more
  • 1:56
    funding when it comes to these programs
  • 1:58
    so that they could stay close but again
  • 2:00
    I think people felt like the Supreme
  • 2:01
    Court made the decision here in
  • 2:02
    Wisconsin that it was time to open up
  • 2:04
    legacy here just around nobody's wearing
  • 2:07
    them nobody's there you go including the
  • 2:10
  • 2:13
    striking images Calipari Cal thank you
  • 2:16
    very much I loved her response the most
  • 2:19
    striking images yes after the guy
  • 2:21
    literally is standing there looking like
  • 2:23
    a doofus for calling out the people
  • 2:26
    without a mask and his camera crew
  • 2:27
    doesn't have one either yeah the guy
  • 2:29
    says the passerby says hey neither does
  • 2:32
    the cameraman and I guess a cameraman or
  • 2:34
    the crew do a two-man or anything like
  • 2:39
    that you had a whole crew within with
  • 2:41
    lights I guess I don't know yeah I I
  • 2:43
    want to get to that but I have a couple
  • 2:45
    things I want to discuss first but
  • 2:47
    before anything we have to talk about
  • 2:48
    the wave of nerd disappointment that
  • 2:52
    that just flushed over the entire globe
  • 2:55
    yesterday did you notice any of that oh
  • 2:58
    no I was watching the live feed of the
  • 3:01
    looting it was quite interesting very
  • 3:03
    entertaining well while you were
  • 3:04
    watching that other people were watching
  • 3:06
    this and sadly well Jake I'm sad to
  • 3:09
    deliver the news that today's launch has
  • 3:12
    officially been scrubbed into weather
  • 3:14
    just 16 minutes and 23 seconds before
  • 3:17
    the scheduled liftoff at 433 eastern
  • 3:20
    time here at Kennedy Space Center now a
  • 3:22
    backup window is planned for May 30th
  • 3:26
    that Saturday and a backup to the backup
  • 3:27
    because a backup and a backup to that
  • 3:29
    backup and backup to the backup to the
  • 3:31
    backup has these weather situation
  • 3:34
    actually forgotten about that part had
  • 3:38
    nothing to do with it no what I wanted
  • 3:40
    to say was there's a couple things that
  • 3:42
    were going on with this launch and I was
  • 3:44
    reminded yesterday by a very good friend
  • 3:46
    of the show who said do I he says he
  • 3:49
    reminds me every two years what 33
  • 3:51
    stands for apparently and I keep
  • 3:53
  • 3:54
    apparently he says the number 33 goes
  • 3:58
    back to the the Crusades and really the
  • 4:02
    precursor Knights Templar which is you
  • 4:04
    know the precursor to the Masons and the
  • 4:07
    Illuminati etc and of course 33
  • 4:10
    throughout history has been used many
  • 4:11
    times but since you know eight what is
  • 4:15
    it when were the Crusades a thousand
  • 4:16
    years ago something like that long time
  • 4:19
    at the top of my yeah
  • 4:21
    a long time ago it's not really that I
  • 4:24
    don't think it was that long ago maybe
  • 4:26
    700 years uh I think years ago is a
  • 4:29
    couple years ago give or take a few
  • 4:31
    hundred thirty-three meant abort mission
  • 4:34
    and we have to remember this that's one
  • 4:38
    meaning that could be many others but
  • 4:40
    the 33 was code for aborting the mission
  • 4:42
    now if you look at the SpaceX what was
  • 4:44
    the launch time for 33 p.m. come on
  • 4:49
  • 4:51
    no wonder was going to be aborted right
  • 4:54
    I said it was gonna be aborted last
  • 4:56
    Tuesday when I was on the Horowitz show
  • 4:58
    oh you did I did I didn't hear why why
  • 5:00
    did you think it was going to be aborted
  • 5:01
    what was your business conditions they
  • 5:03
    were ridiculous and the whole thing
  • 5:04
    seemed like it was they were didn't want
  • 5:06
    to really do it well I think something
  • 5:08
    else happened honestly look looks to me
  • 5:12
    let me tell you so for a while now I've
  • 5:15
    been following this there's a couple
  • 5:17
    guys in New Jersey and they are shooting
  • 5:20
    video on their phones of aircraft that
  • 5:24
    are a commercial size aircraft but
  • 5:26
    they're not marked commercial the kind
  • 5:28
    of bland not marked military either and
  • 5:29
    they appear I say specifically they
  • 5:32
    appear to be just not even hovering but
  • 5:36
    just standings just completely still in
  • 5:38
    the air and they can move forward
  • 5:39
    backwards sideways then they can shoot
  • 5:42
    off and I think considering Trump's love
  • 5:46
    for Elon Musk his strange connection to
  • 5:50
    a Nikola Tesla through his uncle at at
  • 5:55
    MIT and just the fact that the president