Cover for No Agenda Show 1261: Infodemic
July 19th, 2020 • 3h 37m

1261: Infodemic


Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Models and Data
Medical residency is always hard; now 38,000 trainees are starting during a pandemic
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 12:10
(C) John Nacion/STAR MAX/AP Photo by: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 5/5/20 Life amidst the coronavirus in New York City. Earlier this month, I -- along with 38,000 or so other medical school graduates -- officially began medical residency training here in the United States.
We represent only the tip of the iceberg. In addition to first-year residents -- otherwise known as "interns" -- there are also thousands of other health care workers who will be joining the medical workforce this summer, including nurses, physician assistants, social workers, technicians and other indispensable members of the medical team.
(C) Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images A sign is seen at the NYU Langone Health Center hospital emergency room entrance on March 23, 2020 in New York City. - Anxiety ratcheted up across New York, the epicenter of America's coronavirus pandemic, Monday with streets eerily quiet at the start of the working week as officials warn the crisis will worsen.As the number of deaths in the United States from COVID-19 soars towards 500, the Big Apple finds itself at Ground Zero in the fight to stem the fast-breaking outbreak. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images) Residents are physicians in the sense that we have completed medical school and obtained an M.D. or D.O. degree, but we still have not finished our training in a specific area of medicine, such as surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics or psychiatry. I once had a professor in medical school who compared new residents to stem cells: We start off as undifferentiated doctors and, through a three- to seven-year residency program, evolve into a particular type of physician with specific tools and ways of looking at our patients and the world.
(C) Mark Felix/AFP/Getty Images A healthcare worker talks to another worker in the Covid-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, July 2, 2020. - Despite its renowned medical center with the largest agglomeration of hospitals and research laboratories in the world, Houston is on the verge of being overwhelmed by cases of coronavirus exploding in Texas. (Photo by Mark Felix / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE TO GO WITH AFP STORY by Julia Benarrous: "Covid-19: Houston's hospital system underwater" (Photo by MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images) Residency is a milestone that I and the rest of my colleagues have been working toward for years, or even decades. But none of us expected that we would be starting off during a pandemic.
To prepare, I reached out to a few residency program directors and other national leaders in graduate medical education. All of them stressed the fact that, even during normal times, residency is tough.
Dr. Patrick Cocks, director of the internal medicine residency program at NYU Langone Health, said the Covid-19 pandemic reminds him of his own experience as a new resident in New York City, where he began his training in July 2001.
"I was an intern at NYU during September 11th. That was a formative experience in my life as a physician and a health care worker in New York City," Cocks said.
"But that was nowhere near the scope and scale of the Covid pandemic, the depths of which have touched our communities and impacted our training sites. [Covid] is something we cannot see, we cannot feel, and we didn't know anything about."
How do I make sure I'm not a burden?While most new residents, including myself, started on or around July 1, we are actually not the first cohort to begin our training during the Covid pandemic. In at least a half dozen states, some medical schools allowed medical students to graduate early in order to join the Covid-19 response in April and May, according to the American Medical Association.
At NYU's Grossman School of Medicine, for example, 52 medical students volunteered to graduate early in order to help their colleagues in New York's overburdened hospitals. One of these brave volunteers is Dr. Frank Chung, who will be staying at NYU to begin his residency training in radiology.
"I trained at NYU for five years, including a research year, and I've really grown to love the people I work with and the community that's here. These are the faculty and the residents who have mentored me, who have helped shape the person I am today," Chung said. "So seeing them in distress and knowing that I could do something potentially to help them was a really big factor in terms of me wanting to help them out and contribute something."
(C) Mark Felix/AFP/Getty Images Healthcare workers move a patient in the Covid-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas Thursday, July 2, 2020. - Despite its renowned medical center with the largest agglomeration of hospitals and research laboratories in the world, Houston is on the verge of being overwhelmed by cases of coronavirus exploding in Texas. (Photo by Mark Felix / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE TO GO WITH AFP STORY by Julia Benarrous: "Covid-19: Houston's hospital system underwater" (Photo by MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images) To provide a preview of what my life might look like, Chung described his experiences back in April.
"One of my biggest concerns was: How do I make sure that I am not a burden? How do I make sure I'm not just taking up extra PPE unnecessarily?" Chung said, referring to the personal protective equipment that keeps workers safe from infection. "I was also worried about the potential effects of getting Covid because many of us have seen people who are young and otherwise fairly healthy who have gotten very sick. So I think we all thought that there is a very real risk opting into this."
(C) Courtesy Mark Lieber Mark Lieber and his friend and co-worker Arthur in Malawi. Personally, I am frightened by the idea of having to watch someone die alone in the hospital due to the current Covid precautions, as hospitals limit visitors. Nobody should have to die alone, and I find this unfortunate likelihood to be one of the most disturbing aspects of the pandemic.
Chung echoed this fear.
"It's challenging because a lot of these people, when they last saw their family members, they were doing okay," Chung said. "So it's a shock to them when you start telling them that we're worried about your mother's lungs or her kidneys."
We all have different ways of dealing with death, anxiety and uncertainty. According to Chung, focusing on one positive thing each day helped him get through his first few weeks of training during the Covid pandemic.
"As silly as that sounds, I think sometimes we always just get bogged down by the things that we could improve upon," Chung said. "But by focusing on the things that you actually did, even if it's just having a great conversation with a family about goals of care, is something to kind of ground yourself."
For me, meditation and mindfulness have been key to getting through tough times. But for this next challenge, I have also identified a new source of strength: remembering why I decided to go into medicine in the first place.
Remembering why we went into medicineUnlike many of my fellow incoming residents, I jumped on the medicine bandwagon relatively late in life. When I was in my early 30s, I took a job working for the global health organization, Partners In Health, in Malawi -- a country that continues to be hit hard by the HIV epidemic.
About nine months into my post at Partners In Health, one of my closest local friends and co-workers -- a Malawian man named Arthur -- died from an HIV-related co-infection. News of his passing forced me to contemplate the many inequalities that separated his fate from mine. That easily could have been me, I thought, had I been born in a different country or at a different time.
This ultimately led to my decision to pursue a career in medicine -- to work toward closing the inequalities in health care that exist both internationally and here at home.
On the surface, the HIV and coronavirus epidemics may seem very different, but the two actually share many similarities. For example, both disproportionately impact the most vulnerable among us. For HIV, it was the gay community. For Covid-19, it has been the elderly and African Americans. Reminding myself of those parallels has been an important motivating force entering residency.
Earlier this year, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, commented how the coronavirus outbreak's disproportionate death toll among Black Americans reminded him of HIV/AIDS largely impacting gay people.
"It was only when the world realized how the gay community responded to this outbreak with incredible courage and dignity and strength and activism -- I think that really changed some of the stigma against the gay community," Fauci said at a White House press conference in April.
"I see a similarity here because health disparities have always existed for the African American community," Fauci added. "Yet again, when you have a situation like the coronavirus, they are suffering disproportionately."
As someone who was still in diapers in the mid-1980s, I will never know what it was like to fight HIV/AIDS during its peak in the United States. But Fauci's words remind me that, even with Covid, we are still engaged in a similar fight -- a fight against health inequality that goes much deeper than either of these two viruses alone.
A pandemic of well-being issuesIn addition to identifying our own personal sources of strength, there are many things that hospitals and training programs can also do to help new trainees transition to this next phase of their career.
We'll be learning how to navigate a new hospital and electronic medical record system -- and now, there's more emphasis on protecting ourselves, our patients and our loved ones from the coronavirus.
According to Cocks, learning how to properly put on and take off personal protective equipment -- otherwise known as "donning and doffing" -- should be a top priority for new residents. It's not as easy as washing hands and slipping on a mask.
"From the clinical perspective, we want to ensure the safety of our incoming residents in the potential care of Covid patients. So ensuring that they are competent in donning and doffing, ensuring that there is a structure of supervision around that so that they all have donning and doffing buddies and are comfortable with that process, and ultimately demonstrate competence before they're doing it individually," Cocks said.
The challenges brought on by Covid are not only unexpected, they are unprecedented. The last time we saw a global pandemic of this magnitude was in 1918 -- long before most residency programs were even established in the United States. And the case numbers in the United States are continuing to rise, breaking records for cases and hospitalizations in some parts of the country.
So to all the other health care workers who are joining the ranks of hospital staff this month: If you are feeling a little anxious right now, rest assured that you are not alone.
"I think for any new resident, the beginning presents sort of a daunting challenge for them. But then to add to it the learning environment in the middle of a pandemic, I think it really heightens that sense of anxiety," says Dr. John Combes, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education chief communications and public policy officer.
"We are encouraging programs to pay very close attention to the well-being of these resident physicians," he added.
Combes warned that another kind of pandemic could follow if we aren't proactively caring for health care workers now.
"There's going to be a pandemic of well-being issues in health care workers, including residents and fellows, that will parallel the [Covid] pandemic unless we begin to address it now and into the future, even after the pandemic is over," Combes said.
"We feel it's very important that residents receive adequate rest, particularly in an area when they need to be paying close attention to infection control practices and the use of personal protective equipment. So that's our number one concern."
Some residency programs have been granted a status that allows them more flexibility with residents during the pandemic. It means different schedules and moving physicians to high-needs areas, such as the ICU.
Chung, the rising first-year resident physician at NYU, says that these changes helped him transition to his first few weeks of residency life.
"Even though things can be kind of busy, they've invested in seeing me grow as a physician and that has been a tremendously helpful experience," Chung said.
"Now that it's in the rearview mirror, I'm just super happy that I got this experience because, you know, I got my feet wet. I now have this whole list of things that I want to review before (the official start of residency)," Chung added. "And I know that once I actually hit the floors, I will be better prepared."
Years ago, when we all first started on this journey towards becoming a health care provider, the medical landscape looked much different than it does today. Now, as the Covid pandemic continues to unfold, it is more important than ever that we remember why we were drawn to medicine.
As residency gets underway, I keep reminding myself that, despite these new challenges, we are still engaged in an older and much larger fight -- a fight to provide adequate health care to all regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability status, socioeconomic status, political party or any other factor that makes us different.
That -- and the hope for a better tomorrow -- should help us get through these difficult and unprecedented times.
Video: Keeping up with the 'firehose' of news about Covid-19 (CNN)
Coronavirus: Health Secretary Matt Hancock orders urgent review into Public Health England death data | Politics News | Sky News
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 12:31
An urgent review has been ordered into how the daily coronavirus death figures are calculated after it was claimed the current method does not take into account the fact that some people may have recovered from COVID-19 and died of a different cause.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has asked for the examination of Public Health England's (PHE) data - said by researchers to include a "statistical anomaly" by which "no one can ever recover from COVID-19 in England".
Image: Health Secretary Matt Hancock has ordered an urgent reviewThe government's own figures show there have been 45,119 COVID-19 associated deaths across the UK.
But that tally is feared to be inaccurate due to the way coronavirus deaths are recorded in England.
Explaining the "strange anomaly", Sky News' Rowland Manthorpe said: "Essentially, there is no way to recover, statistically. So, if I tested positive for COVID-19 today and then I got hit by a bus tomorrow, then COVID-19 would be listed as my cause of death."
A government source confirmed that PHE's current method of calculation means if a person was previously diagnosed with COVID-19 but subsequently died of unrelated causes, their death would still be counted as part of PHE's daily coronavirus death tally.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, you are assumed to have recovered 28 days after a positive test.
The science behind face masksThe review ordered by Mr Hancock aims to sort out the issue and establish the impact on the UK's overall death tally.
A recent article published by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM), based at Oxford University, described the "statistical anomaly" which means that "no one can ever recover from COVID-19 in England".
"It seems that PHE regularly looks for people on the NHS database who have ever tested positive, and simply checks to see if they are still alive or not," said the article's authors Professor Yoon Loke, from the University of East Anglia, and Professor Carl Heneghan, from Oxford University.
"PHE does not appear to consider how long ago the COVID test result was, nor whether the person has been successfully treated in hospital and discharged to the community.
"Anyone who has tested COVID positive but subsequently died at a later date of any cause will be included on the PHE COVID death figures.
"By this PHE definition, no one with COVID in England is allowed to ever recover from their illness.
"A patient who has tested positive, but successfully treated and discharged from hospital, will still be counted as a COVID death even if they had a heart attack or were run over by a bus three months later."
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CEBM said this would explain why daily death figures vary substantially from day to day, with 16 new deaths reported in the UK on 6 July but then 155 reported the next day.
With more than 250,000 people having so far tested positive for coronavirus in England, CEBM suggested PHE's definition of daily death figures means "that everyone who has ever had COVID at any time must die with COVID too".
CEBM called for PHE to instead define COVID-related deaths as those that occur within three weeks of a positive test result for coronavirus.
"It's time to fix this statistical flaw that leads to an over-exaggeration of COVID-associated deaths," the authors of the article added.
NHS Consultant Says Staff Are Being Silenced Over COVID-19
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:34
Skip to content NHS Consultant Says Staff Are Being Silenced Over COVID-19 Here lies an anonymous statement from an A&E consultant in a major hospital in Surrey, in relation to the criminal gagging of all levels of NHS staff, who have been threatened that they will lose their jobs if the speak out about the COVID-1984 scamdemic.
''I am a consultant at a major , regional hospital in Surrey. By major you can take that to indicate that we have an A&E department. I had agreed to give an interview to an anti lockdown activist in which I would have revealed my identity. I have since changed my mind and only feel able to give an anonymous statement. I have changed my mind simply because that all staff , no matter what grade, at all hospitals have been warned that if they give any media interviews at all or make any statements to either the Main Stream Press or smaller, independent press /social media we may, immediately be suspended without pay. I have a family, dependents and I simply cant do it to them. I therefore can not reveal my identity at this time but wish to state as follows:
In my opinion, and that of many of my colleagues, there has been no Covid Pandemic, certainly not in the Surrey region and I have heard from other colleagues this picture is the same throughout the country. Our hospital would normally expect to see around 350,000 out patients a year. Around 95,000 patients are admitted to hospital in a normal year and we would expect to see around a similar figure, perhaps 100,000 patients pass through our A&E department. In the months from March to June (inclusive) we would normally expect to see 100,000 out patients, around 30,000 patients admitted to hospital and perhaps 30,000 pass through A&E. This year (and these figures are almost impossible to get hold of) we are over 95% down on all those numbers. In effect, the hospital has been pretty much empty for that entire period.
At the start, staff that questioned this were told that we were being used as 'redundant' capacity, kept back for the 'deluge' we were told would come. It never did come, and when staff began to question this, comments like, 'for the greater good' and to 'protect the NHS' came down from above. Now its just along the lines of, 'Shut up or you don't get paid'. The few Covid cases that we have had , get repeatedly tested, and every single test counted as a new case. Meaning the figures reported back to ONS / PHE (Office for National Statistics & Public Health England) were almost exponentially inflated. It could be that Covid cases reported by hospitals are between 5 to 10x higher than the real number of cases. There has been no pandemic and this goes a long way to explain why figures for the UK are so much higher than anywhere else in Europe.
The trust has been running empty ambulances during lockdown and is still doing it now. By this I mean ambulances are driving around, with their emergency alert systems active (sirens & / or lights) with no job to go to. This I believe has been to give the impression to the public that there is more demand for ambulances than there actually is. Staff only wear face coverings/ masks & social distance when public facing, as soon as they are out of public view, the masks come off and social distancing is not observed. Indeed jokes are made about the measures, and I have heard staff express amazement that despite warnings on packets and at point of sales, telling people masks are totally ineffective and dangerous , the public still buy them, because a politician has told them too.
We have cancelled the vast majority of operations and of these ALL elective surgery has been cancelled. That's surgery that has been pre planned / waiting list. Non elective Surgery, this tends to be emergency surgery or that which is deemed urgent has been severely curtailed. The outcome of this is simple. People are at best being denied basic medical care and at worst, being left to die, in some cases, in much distress and pain.
Regarding death certification. All staff that are responsible for this have been encouraged where possible to put Covid-19 complications as reason for death, even though the patient may have been asymptomatic and also not even tested for covid. I feel this simply amounts to fraudulently completed death certificates and has been responsible to grossly inflating the number of Covid deaths. The fact is that regardless of what you actually die of in hospital, it is likely that Covid-19 will feature on your death certificate. I have included with my statement the detailed published guidance from Government on Death Certification which shows how Covid-19, as a factor is encouraged to at least feature on a death certificate.
Remember Covid-19 itself can not kill. What kills is complications from the virus, typically pneumonia like symptoms. These complications are in reality incredibly rare but have featured and a large amount of death certificates issued in recent months. As long as Covid-19 appears on a death certificate, that death is counted as Covid-19 in the figures released by the ONS and PHE. I genuinely believe that many death certificates, especially amongst the older 65+ demographic have been fraudulently completed so as to be counted as Covid-19 deaths when in reality Covid-19 complications did not cause the death.
There have been Thursday nights when I stood, alone in my office and cried as I heard people cheering and clapping outside. It sickens me to see all the 'Thank You NHS' signs up everywhere and the stolen rainbow that for me now says one word and word only; fear.
There are many good people in the NHS and whilst I do not plead forgiveness for myself, I do plead for them. Most are on low pay, they joined for the right reasons and I did and have been bullied and threatened that if they don't 'stay on message' they don't eat. I know that if a way could be found to assure staff within the NHS of safety against reprisals, there would be a tsunami of whistleblowers which I have no doubt would help end this complete and brutal insanity. I am finding it increasingly hard to live with what I have been involved in and I am sorry this has happened. To end, I would simply say this. Politicians haven't changed, the country has just made a fatal mistake and started trusting them without question.''
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Steve Eagar on Twitter: "The State of Texas today had to remove 3,484 cases from its Covid-19 positive case count, because the San Antonio Health Department was reporting ''probable'' cases for people never actually tested, as ''confirmed'' positive c
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 05:05
Steve Eagar : The State of Texas today had to remove 3,484 cases from its Covid-19 positive case count, because the San Antonio H'...
Thu Jul 16 01:34:48 +0000 2020
Wayne Nunnally : @steveeagar Makes you wonder
Sat Jul 18 04:55:27 +0000 2020
IAM~Myself 🉠: @steveeagar Lots, one guy in PA left the line after waiting 3 hrs and tested positive without taking the test. ðŸ¤...
Sat Jul 18 04:45:05 +0000 2020
LB : @steveeagar All! Fudge the numbers to get Government money.
Sat Jul 18 04:37:59 +0000 2020
Positive without being tested meme
Today, a group of family friends, young 20 somethings, drove down to San Diego from northern San Diego county to get in line for COVID testing.
They signed up and got in line.
One of them got tired of waiting in line to be tested so he left and went home.
His test results came back positive!
He wasn’t tested and his test results came back positive!
Canales clarifies reports about local infant COVID numbers
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 11:52
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas '-- As news about 85 infants testing positive in Nueces County went viral as a national news story, County Judge Barbara Canales made a statement that attempted to provide additional clarification on the report.
Several national news organizations have reported about Nueces County after City County Health Director Annette Rodriguez mentioned at a press briefing on Friday that 85 babies were diagnosed with COVID-19 in Nueces County.
"On Friday, July 17, during a press conference, a spokesperson mentioned that 85 infants under the age of one had tested positive for coronavirus," Canales said in a statement released Saturday afternoon. "This number reflects the cumulative total of positive tests for infants under the age of 1 since the beginning of testing in mid-March, which has resulted in 8171 positive test results."
"For context, the spokesperson was using that statistic to illustrate that no one is naturally immune to this virus. While the elderly and those with existing medical conditions are at greater risk of illness and death, anyone can get the virus, from the elderly to infants, and without regard to race, gender, or economic status. The number was used to illustrate this point."
Canales' statement was meant to indicate the total number of infants who have tested positive throughout the pandemic.
"However, without this context, stating this number during our press conference led many to believe that we had a sudden surge in infants under the age of one testing positive. We have NOT had a sudden surge of 85 infants testing positive."
The county judge stated the county has been vigilant in attempting to halt the spread of the coronavirus across the area.
"Nueces County has been aggressive in testing the family members of those infected, especially those who work or live in high-risk situations: senior care centers, jails, group homes and halfway houses, and meatpacking plants," Canales said. "By contact tracing and testing the immediate family members for those with known exposure who work in high-risk critical infrastructure jobs, this may account for our higher degree of testing and positive test results among infants."
One child has died in Nueces County during the pandemic. That person was brought to the hospital with unrelated symptoms and tested for COVID-19 while at the hospital. The child later died at home.
The cause of death for that child still has not been determined, pending an autopsy.
Copyright 2020 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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VIDEO - 1st WHO Infodemiology Conference
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 14:18
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the phenomenon of an 'infodemic' has escalated to a level that requires a coordinated response. An infodemic is an overabundance of information '' some accurate and some not '' occurring during an epidemic. It makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it. Even when people have access to high-quality information, there are still barriers they must overcome to take the recommended action. Like pathogens in epidemics, misinformation spreads further and faster and adds complexity to health emergency response.
An infodemic cannot be eliminated, but it can be managed. To respond effectively to infodemics, WHO calls for adaptation, development, validation and evaluation of new evidence-based measures and practices to prevent, detect and respond to mis- and disinformation.
In the context of this meeting, ''infodemiology'' is defined as the science of managing infodemics. The overall aim of this consultation is to take stock of relevant research and effective practices and define public health research needs in order to advance this field. The working language of the meeting will be English.
ObjectivesUnderstand the multidisciplinary nature of infodemic management;Identify current examples and tools to understand, measure and control infodemics;Build a public health research agenda to direct focus and investment in this emerging scientific field; andEstablish a community of practice and research.ParticipantsExperts from the fields of Epidemiology & Public Health; Applied Math & Data Science; Digital Health and Technology Applications; Social & Behavioral Science; Media Studies & Journalism; Marketing, UX & Design; Risk Communication and Community Engagement; Ethics & Governance and other relevant scientific disciplines and practicesUN agenciesPublic health authoritiesIn the pre-conference experts engage with the public with 7 inspiring talks how the infodemic affects the world currently and reflections how it can be managed.
The conference will be a closed session focused on defining the scientific discipline of infodemiology and establish a community of practice and research. The results of the closed session will be reported back to the public in a Public Summary.
The public summary will be a public interactive webinar with a discussion of the conclusions of the scientific conference and next steps. Anyone can join in, listen, and submit questions on Slido.
Key dates29 June: Public conference
30 June-16 July: Scientific conference with closing session
21 July: Public webinar
You are invited to a Zoom webinar:
When: 21 July 2020 15:00 CET
Topic: Outcomes of the 1st WHO Infodemiology Conference
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
How to protect yourself in the infodemic? 
Andrew Cuomo's COVID-19 tall tales
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 12:51
By Kevin Byrne
July 17, 2020 | 7:57pm
On March 25, Cuomo's Department of Health issued a mandate forcing New York nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients -- the results were tragic. AP
Gov. Andrew Cuomo must have a short memory '-- either that or he's just trying to distract attention from his administration's deadly coronavirus failures by criticizing President Trump's many lifesaving actions.
During a recent press conference, Cuomo took yet another cheap shot at Trump, arguing that the president's handling of the COVID-19 ­pandemic was somehow worse than the infamous Watergate scandal.
''You look at the facts, the facts clearly demonstrate Trump was wrong from Day One, and New Yorkers have been right from Day One,'' Cuomo bragged.
The problem is that Cuomo has been resoundingly '-- and tragically '-- wrong about the pandemic himself. And unlike the Trump ''scandal'' that exists only within Cuomo's imagination, Cuomo's failure of leadership has been very real. More people have died of COVID-19 in New York than in any other state '-- at least 6,000 of them in our nursing homes. That is not something to be proud of.
On March 25, Cuomo's Department of Health issued a mandate forcing New York nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients '-- a move that alarmed infectious-disease experts nationwide.
''If you introduce 4,500 people sick with a potentially lethal disease into a vulnerable and notoriously imperfectly monitored population, people are apt to die,'' said Dr. Charles Branas, chairman of the Epidemiology Department at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health.
The executive director of the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Christopher Laxton, also sharply condemned Cuomo for failing to consult clinical experts prior to implementing the policy.
After blistering criticism, the controversial mandate mysteriously disappeared from the Department of Health Web site, but it took almost two months for ­Cuomo to officially revise the deadly order. By that point, the damage had already been done. Many New York nursing homes had become breeding grounds for the virus, which turned out to be particularly dangerous to the elderly and infirm '-- exactly the sort of people who reside in nursing homes.
The Department of Health has now published its own report defending the March 25 order, but my colleagues and I are preparing for a public hearing and calling for an independent probe into the ­Cuomo administration's mandate to make sure we get the full, unvarnished truth.
The people of New York, nursing-home staff and the families of coronavirus victims deserve real answers from their governor '-- not deflection and partisan sniping.
Meanwhile, in contrast to ­Cuomo, President Trump has gone above and beyond to help New York win its battle against the virus, providing federal assistance whenever we needed it most. For instance, the White House deployed a Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort, to Manhattan, which ­Cuomo himself admitted ''not only brought comfort but also saved lives'' in New York City.
At the president's direction, the Army Corps of Engineers worked closely with state authorities to convert the Javits Convention Center and Westchester County Center into dedicated COVID-19 hospitals.
Trump also secured thousands of ventilators for New York (that we ultimately, fortunately, did not need) and millions of items of personal protective equipment for our first responders and health-care workers. Our heroes were unable to rely on Cuomo or Mayor Bill de Blasio, but they were able to count on Trump.
Not long ago, the New York governor openly praised the president's response to the pandemic, cheering that Trump ''delivered for New York'' and that ''by and large [his strategy] has worked.''
After the outbreak of the pandemic, I was careful not to pass early judgment against our elected leaders and their handling of the coronavirus. The loss of people's lives should never become a partisan issue, but Cuomo has made it clear that he is all-in on politicizing this virus, even as it has already killed more than 32,000 of our fellow New Yorkers.
Cuomo's desperate attempts to shift blame for his own failures onto the federal government must not distract us from the facts: New Yorkers must hold Gov. Cuomo and his administration accountable for their deadly failures.
Kevin Byrne represents the 94th Assembly District, including portions of Westchester and Putnam counties, and serves as the ranking minority member of the Assembly Health Committee.
Half a million Covid testing kits from Randox recalled 'after checks revealed they were not sterile' | Daily Mail Online
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 14:38
Half a million coronavirus tests used by thousands of Britons were recalled after spot checks revealed they were not sterile, it was claimed today.
The Department of Health yesterday instructed care homes and the public to stop using the kits produced by Randox Laboratories.
It pulled more than 500,000 of the swab kits amid fears they could give Britons who fear they have the disease unreliable results.
Health bosses have refused to reveal how many Britons used them before they were recalled but the Northern Irish firm is one of the UK's main suppliers of tests.
Early in the crisis, Randox won a £133million contract to carry out at-home Covid-19 tests and ones administered at drive-through centres and care homes.
As part of the deal, swabs are posted to people's houses, care homes and testing facilities and sent back to Randox to be processed in its labs and give a diagnosis.
So tests made by the manufacturer likely account for a huge chunk of the 150,000 swabs being carried out every day in Britain.
Concerns about the safety of the tests were raised on Wednesday when it emerged a Chinese firm which supplies the swabs to Randox had not provided safety assurance documents. This prompted the UK to carry out physical inspections of the kits.
Coronavirus tests made by Randox Laboratories have been retracted over fears they are not safe, it emerged today
A health source told the Sun: 'Spot checks found that swabs in the kit were not sterile. It means samples taken from patients could be contaminated, affecting results.
'Although there is low risk to the public, half a million have been withdrawn as precautionary measure.'
Antibody test manufacturer that made kit back in March STILL hasn't had it approved by Public Health England A manufacturer of a high-performing Covid-19 antibody test has still not managed to get it approved by officials for use in England '-- despite submitting proof months ago that it works better than others on the market.
Derby-based SureScreen Diagnostics first created its rapid antibody test, which tests blood to see whether someone has had Covid-19 already and gives results in just 10 minutes, since March.
Despite repeated attempts to get the test, which looks like a pregnancy test, approved by Public Health England so it could be used in NHS hospitals, the company has still had no success.
But while SureScreen has been waiting, giant pharmaceutical firms from Switzerland and the US have had their tests '-- which the company claims don't perform as well '-- approved by PHE and bought in the millions by the Department of Health.
The rapid tests rely on finger-prick blood and are of a type ministers appeared to go cold on after the government wasted in the region of £20million on ones from China that turned out to be no good.
None of the tests '-- including SureScreen's '-- have made it through PHE's approval process, with officials focusing instead on lab-based ELISA tests that use blood taken from veins.
Meanwhile the Department of Health has spent millions of pounds on seven different types of lab tests, which most evaluations have shown to be less accurate than SureScreen's test.
David Campbell, director of SureScreen, told MailOnline the company isn't after a major government contract but simply PHE's authorisation to sell its tests, which can be bought privately for £18, to hospitals. In comparison, tests by US company Abbott cost upwards of £45 each online.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons last night that care homes and testing centres which have stocked up on Randox tests have been told to discard them and they will be sent replacements.
Mr Hancock reiterated that retracting the tests was 'a precautionary step' and that there was 'no evidence' the swabs can cause harm.
He also claimed thousands of Britons who have already taken a Randox test should not worry because it does not affect their results.
The Health Secretary said: 'We've identified some swabs that are not up to the usual high standard that we expect, and we'll be carrying out further testing of this batch as a precautionary measure.
'And while we investigate further, we're requesting that the use of these Randox swab test kits are paused in all settings until further notice.
'Clinical advice is that there is no evidence of any harm, the test results are not affected.
'There is no evidence of issues with any of our other test swabs, and there is no impact on access to testing.'
A Randox spokesperson said: 'As an immediate precautionary measure we have temporarily suspended distribution of home sample collection kits using one particular batch / supplier of swabs.
'This is a temporary measure and does not apply to our private business which uses a different supplier of swabs. Test results from Randox kits are not affected.'
Randox won the second biggest contract for testing in the UK, behind only US-firm Hologic, which secured a £151 million deal.
Randox was awarded the contract by the Department of Health to help make testing kits that the government could use to ramp up its capacity to carry out 100,000 swabs each day back in April.
The Government was criticised for the Randox deal after it came to light that Tory MP Owen Paterson receives a six-figure salary from the firm to act as a consultant.
Randox's tests can produce results in a matter of hours and machines that analyse the swabs can process 54 samples at once.
The Telegraph reports that this is not the first time there have been problems with Randox tests during the UK's fight against Covid-19.
In May, a machine at the firm's lab in County Antrim stopped working and the UK was forced to send tens of thousands of samples to a lab in the US.
But nearly 30,000 of the swabs had to be discarded because they took to long to arrive.
Samples have to be tested within 72 hours of the test being taken, which means that any delay in their processing could leave people with symptoms unsure if they have the virus.
Open Letter '-- 1 Day Sooner
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:26
Dr. Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health
Dear Dr. Collins,
The COVID-19 pandemic must be fought urgently on many fronts, but it is hard to picture robust economic and social recoveries in the absence of a vaccine. We are writing to underscore the vast importance of human challenge trials as a method to help develop vaccines.
In April, thirty-five members of the US House of Representatives called upon U.S. regulators to consider allowing volunteers to be infected with the pandemic coronavirus to speed vaccine testing'--in so-called human challenge or controlled infection trials. In addition, over a hundred vaccine candidates are already under development around the world, at least ten of which have moved into the clinical trial phase. In May, the World Health Organization published guidance supporting trials of that form, if done ethically, and in June published a draft laying out a practical roadmap for their implementation.
The undersigned urge the U.S. government (including, but not limited to the Coronavirus Task Force, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and Congress), its allies, international funders, and world bodies (e.g. the World Health Organization), to undertake immediate preparations for human challenge trials, including supporting safe and reliable production of the virus and any biocontainment facilities necessary to house participants.
The rationale for human challenge trials is that they can greatly accelerate the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Human challenge trials can provide information much faster than conventional efficacy trials, which take months longer. In such trials, volunteers still receive the vaccine candidate or a control. Instead of resuming life as usual and waiting to ''catch'' a virus, volunteers are deliberately exposed to the pathogen under controlled conditions. Beyond being faster than conventional trials, a challenge test is likelier to conclude with interpretable results, e.g. should the presence of virus around the study site begin to fade over time.
If challenge trials can safely and effectively speed the vaccine development process, there is a formidable presumption in favor of their use, which would require a very compelling ethical justification to overcome.
Human research demands caution and oversight. Crucial protections must be extended to protect the health and autonomy rights of volunteers. Guidance from the World Health Organization clarifies that human challenge trials are ethical when they meet certain criteria. The following are some protections that should clearly be in place.
'— Trial participants should be relatively young and in good health. The mortality risk of the coronavirus to 20-29 year-olds, healthy and unhealthy, is similar to that of living kidney donors , a relatively common procedure, similarly justified by the donor's informed consent and the benefits to society. Excluding participants with preexisting conditions would lower the risk significantly.
'— It is crucial that all trial participants be provided the highest quality medical care with frequent monitoring. A significant percentage of the population will likely become infected and their access to medical care may be limited. As a result, the guarantee of excellent medical care in the study means that infection would be safer in the controlled, medically supervised, and isolated conditions of a challenge trial.
'— Ethical and scientific review must be of the highest quality. In the U.S., that would mean not only the usual FDA and IRB review but a vigorous public discussion and perhaps even an additional, independent ethics and science taskforce representing, among others, challenge volunteers.
'— The autonomy of the volunteers is of paramount concern. This means that the informed consent process must be robust (e.g. no children, no prisoners, multiple tests of comprehension). It also means that the wish of informed volunteers to participate in the trial ought to be given substantial weight. Providing some input over trial development and procedure to those interested in becoming volunteers (e.g. in the design of isolation conditions) could both enhance their agency and improve study design. Decades of psychological research on highly altruistic behaviors has demonstrated that a large, and likely growing, fraction of the general population is willing to undergo meaningful risks to benefit others due to genuinely altruistic motivation rather than insensitivity to risk, psychopathology, or other ethically concerning motives.
If done properly, live Coronavirus human challenge trials can be an important way to accelerate vaccine development and, ideally, to save the lives of millions around the world as well as help rescue global economies. We strongly recommend that production of the unattenuated virus begin immediately consistent with good manufacturing practices for potential use in trials that balance risks and benefits and respect the safety and autonomy of volunteers. It is also vitally important that there is both full transparency on the vaccine development and trial process and a diverse group of trial participants necessary to provide a broadly effective and universally available vaccine. We appeal to the government and foundation funders around the world to support this effort.
Initial Signatories in italics. Institutional affiliations for identification purposes only:
Scott Aaronson, David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin
Amrita Ahuja, Director of the Douglas B. Marshall, Jr. Family Foundation
Chris Anderson, Head of TED
Alexander Berger, Managing Director at Open Philanthropy
Arthur Caplan, Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics, Department of Population Studies, NYU Langone Health
Nir Eyal, Henry Rutgers Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Center for Population-Level Bioethics (CPLB), Rutgers University
Ambassador James Glassman, Founding Executive Director at the George W. Bush Institute
Kim Krawiec, Kathrine Robinson Everett Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
Marc Lipsitch, Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard University
Abigail Marsh, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Georgetown University
Josh Morrison, Co-Founder and Executive Director at 1DaySooner
Stanley Plotkin, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Sophie Rose, Co-Founder and Director of Research at 1DaySooner
Nadine Rouphael, Associate Professor of Medicine and Acting Director, Hope Clinic, Emory Vaccine Center
Sally Satel, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute
Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University
Kate Wharton, Senior Associate at CrossBoundary
Daniel Wikler, Mary B. Saltonstall Professor of Population Ethics and Professor of Ethics and Population Health, Harvard University
Nobel Laureates
Mario Capecchi, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah School of Medicine
Carol Greider, Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Oliver Hart, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University
Lou Ignarro, Professor Emeritus, UCLA School of Medicine
William G. Kaelin, Jr., Professor of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School
Barry Marshall, Clinical Professor and UWA Brand Ambassador, The University of Western Australia
Craig Mello, Distinguished Professor in RNA Therapeutics, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Paul Modrich, James B. Duke Professor of Biochemistry, Duke University
Edvard Moser, Professor of Neuroscience, Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Technology and Science
May-Britt Moser, Professor of Neuroscience, Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Norwegian University of Technology and Science
Sir Richard Roberts, Chief Scientific Officer, New England Biolabs
Michael Rosbash, Professor of Biology and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University
Alvin Roth, The Craig and Susan McCaw Professor of Economics, Stanford University
Jack Szostak, Alex Rich Distinguished Investigator, Massachusetts General Hospital
Arieh Warshel, Dana and David Dornsife Chair in Chemistry, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Southern California
Experts and Academics
Ralf Bader, Professor of Philosophy, University of Fribourg
Daniel Batson, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Kansas
Karen Bennett, Professor of Philosophy and Department Chair, Rutgers University
Michael Bratman, Durfee Professor of Philosophy, Stanford University
John Broome, Emeritus White's Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Oxford
Allen Buchanan, Research Professor of Philosophy and Center for Philosophy of Freedom, University of Arizona; Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Law, Duke University
Tyler Burge, Flint Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Los Angeles
Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics, George Mason University
David Chalmers, University Professor of Philosophy, New York University
Carolyn Riley Chapman, Faculty Affiliate, NYU Division of Medical Ethics
Richard Chappell, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Miami
Catherine Constable, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Lewis Conway, Campaign Strategist, American Civil Liberties Union
Philip Cook, Sanford Professor Emeritus of Public Policy, Duke University
Stephen Darwall, Andrew Downey Orrick Professor of Philosophy, Yale University
Ara Darzi, Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, OM, KBE, PC, FRS; Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London
Daniel Dennett, Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University
Pedro Rosa Dias, Associate Professor of Health Economics, Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London
Frances Egan, Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University
Daniel Gilbert, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Author; Research Associate, Harvard University
Lori Gruen, William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, Wesleyan University
Nita Farahany, Robinson O. Everett Professor of Law & Philosophy, Duke University School of Law
Kyle Ferguson, Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Kit Fine, University Professor and Silver Professor of Philosophy and Mathematics, New York University
Stephen Finlay, Director and Professor of the Dianoia Institute of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University; Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California
Stuart Firestein, Professor of Biological Sciences, Columbia University
Johann Frick, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Human Values, Princeton University
Matteo M. Galizzi, Associate Professor of Behavioural Science, London School of Economics
Daniel Garber, A. Watson J. Armour III University Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University
Tobias Gerhard, Associate Professor of Pharmacy and Epidemiology, Director, Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Kenneth Goodman, Professor of Medicine and Philosophy, University of Miami
Joshua Greene, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
Alexander Guerrero, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University
Saarthak Gupta, Research Fellow, Open Philanthropy
Jonathan Haidt, Professor of Ethical Leadership, New York University - Stern School of Business
Edward Hall, Norman E. Vuilleumier Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University
Hans Halvorson, Stuart Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University
Elizabeth Harman, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy and Human Values, Princeton University
Dan Haybron, Theodore R. Vitali C.P. Chair in Philosophy, Saint Louis University
Adrian Hill, Lakshmi Mittal and Family Professor of Vaccinology & Director of the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford
Karla FC Holloway, James B. Duke Professor Emerita of English and Law, Duke University
Dale Jamieson, Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy, New York University
Robin Jeshion, Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California
Justin Kalef, Director of Teaching Innovation, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University
Gregory Keating, Maurice Jones, Jr. - Class of 1925 Professor of Law and Philosophy, Gould School of Law, University of Southern California
David Killoren, Research Fellow in Philosophy at the Dianoia Institute of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University
Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Columbia University
Christine M. Korsgaard, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University
Colleen Kraft, Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University
Zell Kravinsky, Investor and Philanthropist
Yamuna Krishnan, Professor of Chemistry, University of Chicago
B(C)atrice Longuenesse, Silver Professor & Professor of Philosophy, New York University
Sayantan Banerjee, Assistant Professor in Operations Management & Quantitative Techniques at the Indian Institute of Management Indore
Mario Macis, Associate Professor of Economics, Johns Hopkins University
Todd May, Class of 1941 Memorial Professor of the Humanities, Clemson University
Trip McCrossin, Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University
Victoria McGeer, Professor of Philosophy at Australian National University; Senior Research Scholar at the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University
Jeff McMahan, White's Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Oxford
Aneesh Mehta, Associate Professor of Medicine, Emory University
Marisa Miraldo, Associate Professor in Health Economics, Imperial College London
Richard Nisbett, Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Michigan
Akinlolu Ojo, Professor of Medicine and Population Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine
Bishr Omary, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research, Henry Rutgers Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University
Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine, Imperial College London
Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
Philip Pettit, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of University Center for Human Values, Princeton University; Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University
Janet Radcliffe-Richards, Professor of Practical Philosophy & Distinguished Research Fellow, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford
Zachary Robinson, Research Fellow, Open Philanthropy
Sherrilyn Roush, Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Los Angeles
Julian Savulescu, Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics, University of Oxford
Thomas M. Scanlon, Jr., Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity, Emeritus, Harvard University
Jonathan Schaffer, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University
Susanna Schellenberg, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Rutgers University
Gina Schouten, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University
Michael Schur, Screenwriter and Television Producer, Creator of The Good Place
Andrew Sepielli, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto
Michael Smith, McCosh Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University
Peter Smith, Professor of Tropical Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Scott Soames, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California
Jeff Sebo, Clinical Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Affiliated Professor of Bioethics, Medical Ethics, and Philosophy, New York University
Ernest Sosa, Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University
Christopher Snyder, Joel and Susan Hyatt Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College
Stephen Stich, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Rutgers University
Brian L. Strom, Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences; Executive Vice President for Health Affairs; University Professor, Rutgers University
Alex Tabarrok, Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics and Professor of Economics, George Mason University
Larry Temkin, Distinguished Professor of Moral Philosophy, Rutgers University
Lorna E. Thorpe, Professor and Director in the Division of Epidemiology, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, NYU Langone Health
Deborah VandenBroek, Principal Consultant, VandenBroek LLC
Dominic Wilkinson, Consultant Neonatologist, John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford; Professor of Medical Ethics, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford
Ramnik Xavier, Core Institute Member of the Broad Institute & Professor of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School
David Zuckerman, Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin
Hardin Co. couple gets ankle monitors after COVID-19 quarrel with health dept.
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 12:07
ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WKYT/WAVE) '' A Kentucky couple is wearing ankle bracelets after a run-in with the health department.
According to WAVE3 News, Elizabeth Linscott tested positive for COVID-19 in Hardin County last weekend.
After testing positive but without showing any symptoms, Linscott said the health department contacted her and requested she sign documents that will limit her traveling anywhere unless she calls the health department first. She said she chose to not sign the documents.
''My part was if I have to go to the ER, if I have to go to the hospital, I'm not going to wait to get the approval to go,'' she said.
But Linscott said she would take necessary precautions if she needed to go to the hospital, like letting workers know she has recently tested positive for COVID-19.
A couple of days after she denied signing the Self-isolation and Controlled Movement Agreed Order, Linscott said the Hardin County Sheriff's Department arrived at her home without warning. Her husband, Isaiah, was home.
''I open up the door and there's like eight different people,'' he said. ''Five different cars and I'm like what the heck's going on? This guy's in a suit with a mask, it's the health department guy and he has three different papers for us. For me, her and my daughter.''
If the Linscotts travel more than 200 feet, their ankle monitors will alert law enforcement.
Elizabeth says she never said she would not quarantine, she just disagreed with the language on the papers.
''That's exactly what the Director of the Public Health Department told the judge, that I was refusing to self-quarantine because of this and that was not the case at all,'' Linscott said. ''I never said that.''
The Linscotts said they plan to get an attorney.
Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci and Wife Dr. Christine Grady on Coronavirus and Quarantine | InStyle
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 18:08
Dr. Anthony Fauci has been well-respected by the scientific community throughout his more than 35-year career at the National Institutes of Health. As an expert on infectious diseases, he has advised six U.S. presidents on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and in 2008 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.
I've known Dr. Fauci and his wife, bioethicist Dr. Christine Grady, for years as frequent guests at my husband's restaurant '' these days mostly for takeout. It's also not uncommon to see them out on their daily walks through the neighborhood. I caught up with Dr. Fauci and Dr. Grady on Tuesday to talk about when he expects a vaccine, his relationship with President Trump, and how the two of them are staying healthy and grounded during the coronavirus pandemic.
Norah O'Donnell: How are you guys?
Dr. Anthony Fauci: Given what's going on in the world, we're OK.
Christine Grady: How are you?
NO: I'm doing well! This will be our first time in InStyle magazine together.
A F: Oh, good! Another first!
NO: OK, so let's get into it. Dr. Fauci, do you still think that we could reach 100,000 infections a day?
A F: You know, Norah, I don't think we will. I hope not. It is conceivable that if we don't get good control over the current outbreak and we keep spreading into other regions of the country, we could reach 100,000. If anything, I think you have to at least leave that possibility on the table to get people to realize how important it is for us to get control of this. Remember, we went from 20,000 cases a day to 40,000, and then we went up to 60,000. The last thing in the world I want to see is for us to reach 100,000 per day.
NO: What have we done wrong?
A F: You know, that's almost an unanswerable question. There are so many possibilities. I don't like to phrase it in the context of what we've done wrong, as opposed to let's take a look at what happened and maybe we can have lessons learned. We never got it down to baseline for a number of reasons. Perhaps it was the lack of compliance of people in the country or the kinds of restrictions that we felt would be appropriate. If you look at the European curve, they came down essentially to baseline, which is very different than us. So, [they] stomped out the infection pretty well. When they started to open up again, there wasn't that much infection around. If you look at the European countries, they shut down about 90 to 95 percent of the country. Whereas when we shut down, the calculation is that we shut down about 50 percent. So, put all of those factors together, I can't say we did anything wrong, you know, but certainly we've got to do better.
NO: So how can we do better?
A F: What we need to do now is to learn the lesson of what happened with the recent surges. We've got to pause in the opening and maybe even take a step back in our phases, depending upon what state you happen to be in. I don't want to see [the country] going back down to complete lockdown. I think that it will be very difficult for the States to accept that. As we try to proceed, we need to really take seriously the issue of wearing masks all the time and not congregating in bars. I think we can stop that by just closing them, because they are certainly an important mechanism of this spread. Keep distances, wash hands, avoid crowds, wear a mask '... I think if we diligently do those things, we can turn this around.
NO: It's been recently reminded to us by the White House that you advised against people wearing masks in public, and, of course, that was due to the surge because the concern was about saving PPEs for medical professionals. Do you regret that comment?
A F: No. I don't regret anything I said then because in the context of the time in which I said it, it was correct. We were told in our task force meetings that we have a serious problem with the lack of PPEs and masks for the health providers who are putting themselves in harm's way every day to take care of sick people. That's what the dialogue was in the task force meetings, which led all of us, not just me but also [U.S. Surgeon General] Jerome Adams, to say, ''Right now we really need to save the masks for the people who need them most.'' When it became clear that the infection could be spread by asymptomatic carriers who don't know they're infected, that made it very clear that we had to strongly recommend masks. And also, it soon became clear that we had enough protective equipment and that cloth masks and homemade masks were as good as masks that you would buy from surgical supply stores. So in the context of when we were not strongly recommending it, it was the correct thing. But our knowledge changed and our realization of the state of the outbreak changed.
NO: Do you believe there are enough surgical and N95 masks for health-care professionals for the current surge and for a potential one in the fall?
A F: You'll have to ask [assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] Brett Giroir that question, not me, since I'm not responsible for that. I hope we do.
NO: Got it. I saw the promising news today about Moderna [the biotech firm announced on July 14 that its experimental coronavirus vaccine is ready to advance to a final phase of testing]. Where do we stand in terms of when there might be a vaccine available for most of the public?
A F: It was very good news that the New England Journal of Medicine reported that the Phase 1 trial substantial titers of neutralizing antibodies were induced, which is the gold standard for prediction of protection. So that was a very good news story for the day. We're going to start the Phase 3 trial in the third or fourth week of July. That is going to take place over the rest of the summer and into the fall. If all goes well and there aren't any unanticipated bumps in the road, hopefully, we should know whether the vaccine is safe and effective by the end of this calendar year, or the beginning of 2021. The companies, both Moderna and other companies that are involved with the development of vaccines, promise that as we get into 2021, there'll be an ample supply because they're going to start making the doses imminently. By the beginning of the year we should have the first tens of millions and then hundreds of millions of doses. That being the case, I would think we could vaccinate a substantial portion of the population as we get into 2021 '-- if the vaccine is safe and effective.
NO: I talked to [National Institutes of Health director] Dr. [Francis] Collins today, and he was telling me about the four different trials that will begin on July 27, but you need 120,000 volunteers.
AF: Exactly. It's 30,000 volunteers per trial.
A F: Well, the more people you have in the trial, the more infections there are, and the greater efficacy. All of those things get you an answer quicker.
NO: Do you see yourself as a public-health official?
A F: Yeah! I'm a scientist, I'm a physician, and I've been heavily involved in public-health matters for the last 36 to 40 years.
NO: And in your 36 years as a scientist and public-health official, have you ever been denied the ability to speak to a journalist or the American public on broadcast television before?
A F: You know, sometimes they don't allow you out regardless of what administration you're in. There were times in every administration where they want to focus on a given message. I'm talking about any administration: Obama, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Reagan. But generally, they don't have a broad restriction when you're going on.
NO: The last time you were on the CBS Evening News was April 15. And we've asked for you every week repeatedly for the past three months. I mean, more than a dozen times. Is that muzzling?
A F: I don't want [you] to be putting words in my mouth. That's only going to be nonproductive.
NO: Well, how important is it for a public-health official to speak to the public?
A F: It is important, and I did that on Tuesday at Georgetown, which was shown widely on C-SPAN and picked up by a number of the networks, so there are other ways of getting out there.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Christine Grady photographed at home exclusively for InStyle on June 6. Photographed by Frankie Alduino.
NO: I think you used these words with a colleague of mine, but why do you think you've become ''persona non grata'' in the White House?
A F: Well, you know, that really changes week to week and month to month. Sometimes you say things that are not widely accepted in the White House, and that's just a fact of life.
NO: How much longer do you see yourself in your current role?
A F: When you said my current role, you mean the coronavirus task force or director of NIAID [the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases]?
NO: I guess I'll start with the coronavirus task force! [laughs]
A F: Well, I see myself in that role as long as I feel that I'm being useful, and I'm valued in it, and the White House wants me. If any of the above changes, then I would step down.
NO: And how long do you see yourself at the NIAID?
A F: I don't see any termination within the near future because I judge [my career] by my energy and my effectiveness. And right now, with all due modesty, I think I'm pretty effective. I certainly am energetic. And I think everybody thinks I'm doing more than an outstanding job. I have a wife with incredibly good judgment, who will probably give me the signal when it's time to step down. But I don't think we're anywhere near that right now.
NO: And is that role determined by the president and the White House?
NO: You can't be fired from that role?
NO: How would you describe your relationship with President Trump?
A F: You know, it's complicated. Because in some respects I have a very good relationship with him. During the times that I was seeing him a fair amount, it was quite a collegial relationship. And in many respects, it probably still is, but I don't see him very much anymore.
NO: Why do you think that is?
A F: I think the tenor of what goes on in the White House has changed a bit. It's very much now focused on reopening, and there's a lot of attention being paid to economic and other advisers. So the task force and the doctors still meet regularly, and we have a very close, almost daily relationship with the vice president, and he briefs the president every single day on what we talk about. So in some respects, even though it's indirect as opposed to direct, we still have access to the president through the vice president.
NO: How much of your day do you spend dedicated to finding a vaccine?
A F: The days vary. I get in there very early, working on NIAID business. It's more than just coronavirus, but lately it's been dominated by coronavirus. Then we have a daily meeting about the vaccine and the therapeutics and all the other things that go along with that. Then most days I'll go down to the White House either to meet with the other doctors, meet with the vice president, talk with the staff, and then come back to the NIAID unit and do the 700 emails that are waiting for me.
NO: [laughs] That's too many emails. So on to some of the more personal questions. How do you stay healthy?
A F: Well, I make exercise a significant part of my regimen. Christine and I put in 3½ miles of power walking every day. I used to say ''run,'' but I don't run very much anymore because at the end of the run, various parts of my body hurt so much. Power walking is very enjoyable and relaxing, and we look forward to it. I must say, Chris is always ahead of me because she's faster and in better shape.
CG: Since this pandemic began, I think we've been trying to walk every day, even if it's sometimes late in the evening. It's for mental and physical health.
A F: We've been lucky this summer because we have three daughters, who we miss very much. One of our daughters, Megan, is a schoolteacher in New Orleans, and when they shut down the schools there, she drove up here with her dog and stayed with us for a couple of months. And that was fantastic. Not only to see her but to have the dog. That gave us a lot of mental health. [laughs]
NO: Let me ask you, Chris, as a bioethicist, what do you make of this moment we're in, when even a mask has become more of a divisive issue?
CG: Well, I would say that masks shouldn't be divisive. It's a relatively easy way to protect one's self and others. And so for public health reasons, I think everybody should do it. From an ethical perspective there is always this tension between what you ask people to do that feels like a restriction of their liberty and what is required for public health. And in this case, it seems like a slam dunk. It's not restricting liberty much, and it's very helpful for public health.
NO: And how is your work life? Are you also working long hours?
CG: Yeah, we work too much. [laughs] He works more than I do. I have been working at home, and that creates a situation where there are no boundaries. I wake up in the morning and go to my computer first thing, and then I work until night. There is no difference between Monday and Saturday. There is no difference between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. It's not a healthy way to live, but'...
NO: True. It's important to have a place to go every day. Your husband has been in the spotlight for a long time, but given the current pandemic that we are in, how have you counseled him on that? How have you viewed it?
CG: Well, I mean, I think the thing that drives Tony is commitment to public health. And if it feels like he's making a contribution to public health, then he'll do it. He doesn't care about stopping to eat or doing other things that are normal. He's committed, and he works hard. People ask him to do things, and he continues to do it. So when he gets criticized, it feels unfair to me because he is working so hard for the right reasons.
CG: That people are looking for things to criticize '-- I mean, for anything. They are making things up. They are not putting into perspective the contribution that he is making.
NO: What is the message about how you deal with criticism in the face of some very powerful people? What do you do?
CG: I think you stay focused on what your job is. As Tony said before, as long as his perspective is still valued and he's making a difference, a contribution, then great. If that changes, then he'll have to change.
NO: What do you think some of the ethical issues are with COVID-19 that we are going to have to focus on?
CG: There are millions of them, and we've been focusing on them. Starting with the issues around what do you do when a hospital gets to capacity and has no more beds or no more equipment? What do you do for health-care workers when they don't have adequate PPE and are putting themselves at risk? Issues around end-of-life care for people who are dying alone and there are no visitors allowed and no extra support for them. Issues around public-health measures that need to be in place and the restrictions quote unquote on individual liberty. Issues around testing and immunity. Issues around distribution of health-care resources. I mean, there are just a million issues that have an ethical string to them.
NO: What would you say is your proudest achievement?
CG: My proudest achievement is probably my kids. And I'm also proud of what I've done at work. I've come a long way in terms of my career. When I first started, bioethics didn't really exist. And now I'm the head of the department of bioethics, and I think I have made some useful contributions to the field.
Dr. Anthony Fauci photographed at home exclusively for InStyle on June 6. Photographed by Frankie Alduino.
NO: And what advice do you have for young women who might be interested in entering STEM or in bioethics?
CG: I am a big proponent of young people getting involved in science and technology. And especially women '-- but not only women, young men too. I think there are so many important and interesting things that can be done in science. I find it amazing that more people aren't interested in finding scientific careers. Bioethics is a wonderful complement to science because all scientific endeavors have interesting bioethical issues. You have to understand the science in order to understand the ethical issues, and then you think about them in a constructive and useful way.
NO: Since you mentioned the lack of boundaries between work and the rest of your life, do you have to remind Tony to eat or stay healthy or drink water or anything like that?
CG: Yes, especially at the beginning '-- especially when I had to almost put a glass of water in his hands and get him to eat. [laughs] He has gotten better about that, but still, if he's got too much to do, he'll just go and go and go. I do have to remind him to eat and sleep and to drink water.
NO: And Tony, what about with Chris?
AF: She's pretty good. She got more common sense than I do, that's for sure. She works as hard as I do, but she doesn't go off on these stretches of just forgetting about everything else except work, which I tend to do. I get distracted and go into a zone.
NO: How and when did you guys meet?
CG: We met at the NIH in 1983. I had just come to work there that summer, and Tony had been there for a while and was an attending on the unit that I was working on. I came on as the clinical nurse specialist. We met over the bed of a patient.
CG: [laughs] I had just come back from spending two years with Project Hope in Brazil and came to work at the NIH. There was a patient, Pedro, on the unit at the time who was Brazilian and didn't speak English. One day he asked me if I could speak to his doctors about sending him home because he really wanted to go home. So I set up a meeting with the fellows who were taking care of him and Tony, who was the attending physician. I had not met Tony before that. I was the interpreter. And Tony told him, ''He may go home and be very careful about taking care of his health and doing his dressings and sitting with his leg up and things like that.'' And when I told him that, Pedro said, ''There's no way I'm doing that. I've been in the hospital for months. I'm going to the beach, and I'm going dancing at night.'' And I sort of in a split second decided to tell Tony, ''He said he'd do exactly what you said.''
CG: I lied! So the next day I was walking down the hall, and Dr. Fauci came by and said, ''Can I see you in my office at the end of the day?'' I thought I was going to get fired. But he asked me out to dinner. [laughs]
NO: [laughs] Why did you ask her out to dinner?
A F: Cause it was love at first sight. [laughs] She was intelligent, beautiful, spoke multiple languages, and she had a very wonderful bedside manner. I immediately said, ''That's a good start, so I have to go out with her.'' That was in 1983, and we got married in 1985.
NO: If you ever get a chance to watch something together or listen to an album, what do you choose to listen or watch?
CG: Well, lately, all we watch is the news. [laughs] But I really like cop shows, like Chicago P.D., for example. It's a great show, and Tony has come to like it. He likes the action-type shows and movies. The Jason Bourne movies are some of his favorites. But in the last four months I don't think we've watched almost anything.
NO: Yeah, I haven't either.
A F: I used to read two books a month for a total of about 25 a year. I used to alternate between biographies and history, as well as spy and detective and intrigue novels. And now, ever since coronavirus, I've actually stopped reading. I just don't have time. I really used to enjoy reading in the evening or on a plane or on the treadmill. I don't go on the treadmill anymore, and I haven't been on a plane since January. Anyway. Simple life.
NO: I know. You are 79 years old. You are in a high-risk category even though you are healthy, right?
NO: What do your daughters make of your job during this pandemic?
AF: My daughters are amazing young ladies. As you would expect, they love and care about their dad but are very worried about me. Worried about'...
AF: The stress of the work. This real and perceived built-up conflict between me and the president makes them very nervous. They don't like that. They got upset by the death threats and the harassment that I received early on. So it's been tough on them; this has been a tough deal for them.
NO: How are you doing now with all of that stuff?
A F: All right. I don't like the conflict. I'm an apolitical person. I don't like to be pitted against the president. It's pretty tough walking a tightrope while trying to get your message out and people are trying to pit you against the president. It's very stressful.
NO: Last question: What is your favorite meal together?
A F: Our favorite meal together has to be pasta '... pasta and a glass of wine. [laughs]
COMMENTARY: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data | CIDRAP
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 20:55
Dr. Brosseau is a national expert on respiratory protection and infectious diseases and professor (retired), University of Illinois at Chicago.Dr. Sietsema is also an expert on respiratory protection and an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Editor's Note: The authors added the following statement on Jul 16.
The authors and CIDRAP have received requests in recent weeks to remove this article from the CIDRAP website. Reasons have included: (1) we don't truly know that cloth masks (face coverings) are not effective, since the data are so limited, (2) wearing a cloth mask or face covering is better than doing nothing, (3) the article is being used by individuals and groups to support non-mask wearing where mandated and (4) there are now many modeling studies suggesting that cloth masks or face coverings could be effective at flattening the curve and preventing many cases of infection.
If the data are limited, how can we say face coverings are likely not effective?We agree that the data supporting the effectiveness of a cloth mask or face covering are very limited. We do, however, have data from laboratory studies that indicate cloth masks or face coverings offer very low filter collection efficiency for the smaller inhalable particles we believe are largely responsible for transmission, particularly from pre- or asymptomatic individuals who are not coughing or sneezing. At the time we wrote this article, we were unable to locate any well-performed studies of cloth mask leakage when worn on the face'--either inward or outward leakage. As far as we know, these data are still lacking.
The guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for face coverings initially did not have any citations for studies of cloth material efficiency or fit, but some references have been added since the guidelines were first posted. We reviewed these and found that many employ very crude, non-standardized methods (Anfinrud 2020, Davies 2013, Konda 2020, Aydin 2020, Ma 2020) or are not relevant to cloth face coverings because they evaluate respirators or surgical masks (Leung 2020, Johnson 2009, Green 2012).
The CDC failed to reference the National Academies of Sciences Rapid Expert Consultation on the Effectiveness of Fabric Masks for the COVID-19 Pandemic (NAS 2020), which concludes, ''The evidence from'...laboratory filtration studies suggests that such fabric masks may reduce the transmission of larger respiratory droplets. There is little evidence regarding the transmission of small aerosolized particulates of the size potentially exhaled by asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals with COVID-19.'' As well, the CDC neglected to mention a well-done study of cloth material filter performance by Rengasamy et al (2014), which we reviewed in our article.
Is wearing a face covering better than nothing?Wearing a cloth mask or face covering could be better than doing nothing, but we simply don't know at this point. We have observed an evolution in the messaging around cloth masks, from an initial understanding that they should not be seen as a replacement for physical distancing to more recent messaging that suggests cloth masks are equivalent to physical distancing. And while everyone appears to understand that this messaging suggests that a cloth mask is appropriate only for source control (ie, to protect others from infection), recent CDC and other guidance recommending their use by workers seems to imply that they offer some type of personal protection.
We know of workplaces in which employees are told they cannot wear respirators for the hazardous environments they work in, but instead need to wear a cloth mask or face covering. These are dangerous and inappropriate applications that greatly exceed the initial purpose of a cloth mask. We are concerned that many people do not understand the very limited degree of protection a cloth mask or face covering likely offers as source control for people located nearby.
Do we support cloth mask wearing where mandated?Despite the current limited scientific data detailing their effectiveness, we support the wearing of face coverings by the public when mandated and when in close contact with people whose infection status they don't know. However, we also encourage everyone to continue to limit their time spent indoors near potentially infectious people and to not count on or expect a cloth mask or face covering to protect them or the people around them. The pandemic is not over and will not likely be over for some time. As states and local jurisdictions reopen, we encourage people to continue to assess and limit their risks. Cloth masks and face coverings likely do not offer the same degree of protection as physical distancing, isolation, or limiting personal contact time.
Will face coverings 'flatten the curve' and stop the pandemic?We have reviewed the many modeling studies that purport to demonstrate that cloth masks or face coverings have the potential for flattening the curve or significantly decrease the number of cases. These studies fail to recognize several important facts:
The filter performance of a cloth material does not directly translate or represent its performance on an individual, because it neglects the understanding of fit.Cloth masks or coverings come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials and are not made according to any standards.Transmission is not simply a function of short random interactions between individuals, but rather a function of particle concentration in the air and the time exposed to that concentration.A cloth mask or face covering does very little to prevent the emission or inhalation of small particles. As discussed in an earlier CIDRAP commentary and more recently by Morawska and Milton (2020) in an open letter to WHO signed by 239 scientists, inhalation of small infectious particles is not only biologically plausible, but the epidemiology supports it as an important mode of transmission for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.In summary, though we support mask wearing by the general public, we continue to conclude that cloth masks and face coverings are likely to have limited impact on lowering COVID-19 transmission, because they have minimal ability to prevent the emission of small particles, offer limited personal protection with respect to small particle inhalation, and should not be recommended as a replacement for physical distancing or reducing time in enclosed spaces with many potentially infectious people. We are very concerned about messaging that suggests cloth masks or face coverings can replace physical distancing. We also worry that the public doesn't understand the limitations of cloth masks and face coverings when we observe how many people wear their mask under their nose or even under their mouth, remove their masks when talking to someone nearby, or fail to practice physical distancing when wearing a mask.
ReferencesAnfinrud P, Stadnytskyi V, Bax CE, et al. Visualizing speech-generated oral fluid droplets with laser light scattering. N Engl J Med 2020 (published online Apr 15)
Davies A, Thompson KA, Giri K, et al. Testing the efficacy of homemade masks: would they protect in an influenza pandemic? Disaster Med Public Health Prep 2013 Aug;7(4):413-8
Green CF, Davidson CS, Panlilio AL, et al. Effectiveness of selected surgical masks in arresting vegetative cells and endospores when worn by simulated contagious patients. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2012 May;33(5):487'94
Johnson DF, Druce JD, Birch C, et al. A quantitative assessment of the efficacy of surgical and N95 masks to filter influenza virus in patients with acute influenza infection. Clin Infect Dis 2009 Jul 15;49(2):275-7
Konda A, Prakash A, Moss GA, et al. Aerosol filtration efficiency of common fabrics used in respiratory cloth masks. ACS Nano. 2020 (published online Apr 24)
Leung NHL, Chu DKW, Shiu EYC, et al. Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks. Nat Med 2020 (published online Apr 3)
Ma QX, Shan H, Zhang HL, et al. Potential utilities of mask-wearing and instant hand hygiene for fighting SARS-CoV-2. J Med Virol 2020 (published online Mar 31)
Morawska L, Milton DK. It is time to address airborne transmission of COVID-19. Clin Infect Dis 2020 (published online Jul 6)
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Rapid expert consultation on the effectiveness of fabric masks for the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington, DC, National Academies Press. Apr 8, 2020
Rengasamy S, Eimer B, Szalajda J. A quantitative assessment of the total inward leakage of NaCl aerosol representing submicron-size bioaerosol through N95 filtering facepiece respirators and surgical masks. J Occup Environ Hyg 2014 May 9;11(6):388-96
Editor's Note: Also on Jul 16, The following text was changed directly after the "Surgical masks as source control" subhead in the original commentary:
Original: Household studies find very limited effectiveness of surgical masks at reducing respiratory illness in other household members.22-25
Updated: We were able to identify only two household studies in which surgical masks were worn by the index patient only, as source control.24,25 Neither of these found a significant impact on secondary disease transmission, although both studies had important limitations.
The original reference 24 (bin-Reza 2011) was changed to Canini 2010. In an unrelated correction on Jul 16, reference 45 was incorrect and now correctly cites bin-Reza 2012.
In response to the stream of misinformation and misunderstanding about the nature and role of masks and respirators as source control or personal protective equipment (PPE), we critically review the topic to inform ongoing COVID-19 decision-making that relies on science-based data and professional expertise.
As noted in a previous commentary, the limited data we have for COVID-19 strongly support the possibility that SARS-CoV-2'--the virus that causes COVID-19'--is transmitted by inhalation of both droplets and aerosols near the source. It is also likely that people who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic throughout the duration of their infection are spreading the disease in this way.
Data lacking to recommend broad mask useWe do not recommend requiring the general public who do not have symptoms of COVID-19-like illness to routinely wear cloth or surgical masks because:
There is no scientific evidence they are effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmissionTheir use may result in those wearing the masks to relax other distancing efforts because they have a sense of protectionWe need to preserve the supply of surgical masks for at-risk healthcare workers.Sweeping mask recommendations'--as many have proposed'--will not reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as evidenced by the widespread practice of wearing such masks in Hubei province, China, before and during its mass COVID-19 transmission experience earlier this year. Our review of relevant studies indicates that cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as PPE.
Surgical masks likely have some utility as source control (meaning the wearer limits virus dispersal to another person) from a symptomatic patient in a healthcare setting to stop the spread of large cough particles and limit the lateral dispersion of cough particles. They may also have very limited utility as source control or PPE in households.
Respirators, though, are the only option that can ensure protection for frontline workers dealing with COVID-19 cases, once all of the strategies for optimizing respirator supply have been implemented.
We do not know whether respirators are an effective intervention as source control for the public. A non-fit-tested respirator may not offer any better protection than a surgical mask. Respirators work as PPE only when they are the right size and have been fit-tested to demonstrate they achieve an adequate protection factor. In a time when respirator supplies are limited, we should be saving them for frontline workers to prevent infection and remain in their jobs.
These recommendations are based on a review of available literature and informed by professional expertise and consultation. We outline our review criteria, summarize the literature that best addresses these criteria, and describe some activities the public can do to help "flatten the curve" and to protect frontline workers and the general public.
We realize that the public yearns to help protect medical professionals by contributing homemade masks, but there are better ways to help.
Filter efficiency and fit are key for masks, respiratorsThe best evidence of mask and respirator performance starts with testing filter efficiency and then evaluating fit (facepiece leakage). Filter efficiency must be measured first. If the filter is inefficient, then fit will be a measure of filter efficiency only and not what is being leaked around the facepiece.
Filter efficiencyMasks and respirators work by collecting particles through several physical mechanisms, including diffusion (small particles) and interception and impaction (large particles).1 N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) are constructed from electret filter material, with electrostatic attraction for additional collection of all particle sizes.2
Every filter has a particle size range that it collects inefficiently. Above and below this range, particles will be collected with greater efficiency. For fibrous non-electret filters, this size is about 0.3 micrometers (µm); for electret filters, it ranges from 0.06 to 0.1 µm. When testing, we care most about the point of inefficiency. As flow increases, particles in this range will be collected less efficiently.
The best filter tests use worst-case conditions: high flow rates (80 to 90 liters per minute [L/min]) with particle sizes in the least efficiency range. This guarantees that filter efficiency will be high at typical, lower flow rates for all particle sizes. Respirator filter certification tests use 84 L/min, well above the typical 10 to 30 L/min breathing rates. The N95 designation means the filter exhibits at least 95% efficiency in the least efficient particle size range.
Studies should also use well-characterized inert particles (not biological, anthropogenic, or naturogenic ones) and instruments that quantify concentrations in narrow size categories, and they should include an N95 FFR or similar respirator as a positive control.
FitFit should be a measure of how well the mask or respirator prevents leakage around the facepiece, as noted earlier. Panels of representative human subjects reveal more about fit than tests on a few individuals or mannequins.
Quantitative fit tests that measure concentrations inside and outside of the facepiece are more discriminating than qualitative ones that rely on taste or odor.
Mask, N95 respirator filtering performanceFollowing a recommendation that cloth masks be explored for use in healthcare settings during the next influenza pandemic,3 The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a study of the filter performance on clothing materials and articles, including commercial cloth masks marketed for air pollution and allergens, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and scarfs.4
Filter efficiency was measured across a wide range of small particle sizes (0.02 to 1 µm) at 33 and 99 L/min. N95 respirators had efficiencies greater than 95% (as expected). For the entire range of particles tested, t-shirts had 10% efficiency, scarves 10% to 20%, cloth masks 10% to 30%, sweatshirts 20% to 40%, and towels 40%. All of the cloth masks and materials had near zero efficiency at 0.3 µm, a particle size that easily penetrates into the lungs.4
Another study evaluated 44 masks, respirators, and other materials with similar methods and small aerosols (0.08 and 0.22 µm).5 N95 FFR filter efficiency was greater than 95%. Medical masks exhibited 55% efficiency, general masks 38% and handkerchiefs 2% (one layer) to 13% (four layers).
These studies demonstrate that cloth or homemade masks will have very low filter efficiency (2% to 38%). Medical masks are made from a wide range of materials, and studies have found a wide range of filter efficiency (2% to 98%), with most exhibiting 30% to 50% efficiency.6-12
We reviewed other filter efficiency studies of makeshift cloth masks made with various materials. Limitations included challenge aerosols that were poorly characterized13 or too large14-16 or flow rates that were too low.17
Mask and respirator fitRegulators have not developed guidelines for cloth or surgical mask fit. N95 FFRs must achieve a fit factor (outside divided by inside concentration) of at least 100, which means that the facepiece must lower the outside concentration by 99%, according to the OSHA respiratory protection standard. When fit is measured on a mask with inefficient filters, it is really a measure of the collection of particles by the filter plus how well the mask prevents particles from leaking around the facepiece.
Several studies have measured the fit of masks made of cloth and other homemade materials.13,18,19 We have not used their results to evaluate mask performance, because none measured filter efficiency or included respirators as positive controls.
One study of surgical masks showing relatively high efficiencies of 70% to 95% using NIOSH test methods measured total mask efficiencies (filter plus facepiece) of 67% to 90%.7 These results illustrate that surgical masks, even with relatively efficient filters, do not fit well against the face.
In sum, cloth masks exhibit very low filter efficiency. Thus, even masks that fit well against the face will not prevent inhalation of small particles by the wearer or emission of small particles from the wearer.
One study of surgical mask fit described above suggests that poor fit can be somewhat offset by good filter collection, but will not approach the level of protection offered by a respirator. The problem is, however, that many surgical masks have very poor filter performance. Surgical masks are not evaluated using worst-case filter tests, so there is no way to know which ones offer better filter efficiency.
Studies of performance in real-world settingsBefore recommending them, it's important to understand how masks and respirators perform in households, healthcare, and other settings.
Cloth masks as source controlA historical overview of cloth masks notes their use in US healthcare settings starting in the late 1800s, first as source control on patients and nurses and later as PPE by nurses.20
Kellogg,21 seeking a reason for the failure of cloth masks required for the public in stopping the 1918 influenza pandemic, found that the number of cloth layers needed to achieve acceptable efficiency made them difficult to breathe through and caused leakage around the mask. We found no well-designed studies of cloth masks as source control in household or healthcare settings.
In sum, given the paucity of information about their performance as source control in real-world settings, along with the extremely low efficiency of cloth masks as filters and their poor fit, there is no evidence to support their use by the public or healthcare workers to control the emission of particles from the wearer.
Surgical masks as source controlWe were able to identify only two household studies in which surgical masks were worn by the index patient only, as source control.24,25 Neither of these found a significant impact on secondary disease transmission, although both studies had important limitations.
Clinical trials in the surgery theater have found no difference in wound infection rates with and without surgical masks.26-29 Despite these findings, it has been difficult for surgeons to give up a long-standing practice.30
There is evidence from laboratory studies with coughing infectious subjects that surgical masks are effective at preventing emission of large particles31-34 and minimizing lateral dispersion of cough particles, but with simultaneous displacement of aerosol emission upward and downward from the mask.35
There is some evidence that surgical masks can be effective at reducing overall particle emission from patients who have multidrug-resistant tuberculosis,36 cystic fibrosis,34 and influenza.33 The latter found surgical masks decreased emission of large particles (larger than 5 µm) by 25-fold and small particles by threefold from flu-infected patients.33 Sung37 found a 43% reduction in respiratory viral infections in stem-cell patients when everyone, including patients, visitors, and healthcare workers, wore surgical masks.
In sum, wearing surgical masks in households appears to have very little impact on transmission of respiratory disease. One possible reason may be that masks are not likely worn continuously in households. These data suggest that surgical masks worn by the public will have no or very low impact on disease transmission during a pandemic.
There is no evidence that surgical masks worn by healthcare workers are effective at limiting the emission of small particles or in preventing contamination of wounds during surgery.
There is moderate evidence that surgical masks worn by patients in healthcare settings can lower the emission of large particles generated during coughing and limited evidence that small particle emission may also be reduced.
N95 FFRs as source controlRespirator use by the public was reviewed by NIOSH: (1) untrained users will not wear respirators correctly, (2) non-fit tested respirators are not likely to fit, and (3) improvised cloth masks do not provide the level of protection of a fit-tested respirator.
There are few studies examining the effectiveness of respirators on patients. An N95 FFR on coughing human subjects showed greater effectiveness at limiting lateral particle dispersion than surgical masks (15 cm and 30 cm dispersion, respectively) in comparison to no mask (68 cm). 35 Cystic fibrosis patients reported that surgical masks were tolerable for short periods, but N95 FFRs were not.34
In summary, N95 FFRs on patients will not be effective and may not be appropriate, particularly if they have respiratory illness or other underlying health conditions. Given the current extreme shortages of respirators needed in healthcare, we do not recommend the use of N95 FFRs in public or household settings.
Cloth masks as PPEA randomized trial comparing the effect of medical and cloth masks on healthcare worker illness found that those wearing cloth masks were 13 times more likely to experience influenza-like illness than those wearing medical masks.38
In sum, very poor filter and fit performance of cloth masks described earlier and very low effectiveness for cloth masks in healthcare settings lead us conclude that cloth masks offer no protection for healthcare workers inhaling infectious particles near an infected or confirmed patient.
Surgical masks as PPESeveral randomized trials have not found any statistical difference in the efficacy of surgical masks versus N95 FFRs at lowering infectious respiratory disease outcomes for healthcare workers.39-43
Most reviews have failed to find any advantage of one intervention over the other.23,44-48 Recent meta-analyses found that N95 FFRs offered higher protection against clinical respiratory illness49,50 and lab-confirmed bacterial infections,49 but not viral infections or influenza-like illness.49
A recent pooled analysis of two earlier trials comparing medical masks and N95 filtering facepiece respirators with controls (no protection) found that healthcare workers continuously wearing N95 FFRs were 54% less likely to experience respiratory viral infections than controls (P = 0.03), while those wearing medical masks were only 12% less likely than controls (P = 0.48; result is not significantly different from zero).51
While the data supporting the use of surgical masks as PPE in real-world settings are limited, the two meta-analyses and the most recent randomized controlled study51 combined with evidence of moderate filter efficiency and complete lack of facepiece fit lead us to conclude that surgical masks offer very low levels of protection for the wearer from aerosol inhalation. There may be some protection from droplets and liquids propelled directly onto the mask, but a faceshield would be a better choice if this is a concern.
N95 FFRs as PPEA retrospective cohort study found that nurses' risk of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome, also caused by a coronavirus) was lower with consistent use of N95 FFRs than with consistent use of a surgical mask.52
In sum, this study, the meta-analyses, randomized controlled trial described above,49,51 and laboratory data showing high filter efficiency and high achievable fit factors lead us to conclude that N95 FFRs offer superior protection from inhalable infectious aerosols likely to be encountered when caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.
The precautionary principle supports higher levels of respiratory protection, such as powered air-purifying respirators, for aerosol-generating procedures such as intubation, bronchoscopy, and acquiring respiratory specimens.
ConclusionsWhile this is not an exhaustive review of masks and respirators as source control and PPE, we made our best effort to locate and review the most relevant studies of laboratory and real-world performance to inform our recommendations. Results from laboratory studies of filter and fit performance inform and support the findings in real-world settings.
Cloth masks are ineffective as source control and PPE, surgical masks have some role to play in preventing emissions from infected patients, and respirators are the best choice for protecting healthcare and other frontline workers, but not recommended for source control. These recommendations apply to pandemic and non-pandemic situations.
Leaving aside the fact that they are ineffective, telling the public to wear cloth or surgical masks could be interpreted by some to mean that people are safe to stop isolating at home. It's too late now for anything but stopping as much person-to-person interaction as possible.
Masks may confuse that message and give people a false sense of security. If masks had been the solution in Asia, shouldn't they have stopped the pandemic before it spread elsewhere?
Ways to best protect health workersWe recommend that healthcare organizations follow US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance by moving first through conventional, then contingency, and finally crisis scenarios to optimize the supply of respirators. We recommend using the CDC's burn rate calculator to help identify areas to reduce N95 consumption and working down the CDC checklist for a strategic approach to extend N95 supply.
For readers who are disappointed in our recommendations to stop making cloth masks for themselves or healthcare workers, we recommend instead pitching in to locate N95 FFRs and other types of respirators for healthcare organizations. Encourage your local or state government to organize and reach out to industries to locate respirators not currently being used in the non-healthcare sector and coordinate donation efforts to frontline health workers.
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Evaluating the efficacy of cloth facemasks in reducing particulate matter exposure.J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2017 May;27(3):352-7van der Sande M., Teunis P, Sabel R. Professional and home-made face masks reduce exposure to respiratory infections among the general population. PLOS One 2008 Jul 9;3(7):0002618Derrick JL, Gomersall CD. Protecting healthcare staff from severe acute respiratory syndrome: filtration capacity of multiple surgical masks. J Hosp Infect 2005 Apr;59(4):365-8Chughtai AA, Seale H, MacIntyre CR. Use of cloth masks in the practice of infection control'--evidence and policy gaps. Int J Infect Control 2013 Jun;9(3)Kellogg WH, MacMillan G. An experimental study of the efficacy of gauze face masks.Am J Public Health 1920;10(1):34-42Saunders-Hastings P, Crispo JA, Sikora L, et al. Effectiveness of personal protective measures in reducing pandemic influenza transmission: A systematic review and meta-analysis.Epidemics 2017 Sep;20:1-20Cowling B J, Zhou Y, Ip DKM, et al. Face masks to prevent transmission of influenza virus: a systematic review. Epidemiol Infect 2010 Jan 22;138(4):449-56Canini L, Andreoletti L, Ferrari P, et al. Surgical mask to prevent influenza transmission in households: a cluster randomized trial. PLOS One 2010 Nov 17;5(11):e13998MacIntyre CR, Zhang Y, Chughtai AA, et al. Cluster randomised controlled trial to examine medical mask use as source control for people with respiratory illness.BMJ Open 2016 Dec 30;6(12):e012330Meleny FL. Infection in clean operative wounds: a nine year study. Surg Gynecol Obstet 1935;60:264-75Orr NWM. Is a mask necessary in the operating theater? Ann R Coll Surg Engl 1981;63:390-2Mitchell NJ, Hunt S. Surgical face masks in modern operating rooms'--a costly and unnecessary ritual? J Hosp Infect 1991;18(3):239-42Tunevall TG. Postoperative wound infections and surgical face masks: a controlled study. World J Surg 1991 May-Jun;15(3):383-7Belkin NL. Masks, barriers, laundering, and gloving: Where is the evidence?AORN J 2006 Oct 25;84(4):655-63Johnson DF, Druce JD, Birch C, et al. A quantitative assessment of the efficacy of surgical and N95 masks to filter influenza virus in patients with acute influenza infection.Clin Infect Dis 2009 Jul 15;49(2):275-7Driessche KV, Hens N, Tilley P, et al. Surgical masks reduce airborne spread of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in colonized patients with cystic fibrosis.Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2015 Oct 1;192(7):897-9Milton DK, Fabian MP, Cowling BJ, et al. Influenza virus aerosols in human exhaled breath: particle size, culturability, and effect of surgical masks.PLoS Pathog 2013 Mar;9(3):e1003205Stockwell RE, Wood ME, He C, et al. Face masks reduce the release of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cough aerosols when worn for clinically relevant periods.Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2018 Nov 15;198(10):1339-42Hui DS, Chow BK, Chu L, et al. Exhaled air dispersion during coughing with and without wearing a surgical or N95 mask.PloS One 2012;7(12)e50845Dharmadhikari AS, Mphahlele M, Stoltz A, et al. Surgical face masks worn by patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis: impact on infectivity of air on a hospital ward.Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2012 May 15;185(10):1104-9Sung AD, Sung JA, Thomas S, et al. Universal mask usage for reduction of respiratory viral infections after stem cell transplant: a prospective trial.Clin Infect Dis 2016 Oct 15;63(8):999-1006MacIntyre CR, Seale H, Dung TC, et al. A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers.BMJ Open 2015 Apr 22;5(4):e006577Loeb M, Dafoe N, Mahony J, et al. Surgical mask vs N95 respirator for preventing influenza among healthcare workers: a randomized trial. JAMA 2009 Nov 4;302(17):1865-71MacIntyre CR, Wang Q, Cauchemez S, et al. A cluster randomized clinical trial comparing fit'tested and non'fit'tested N95 respirators to medical masks to prevent respiratory virus infection in health care workers. Influenza Other Respir Viruses 2011;5(3):170-9MacIntyre CR, Wang Q, Rahman B, et al. Efficacy of face masks and respirators in preventing upper respiratory tract bacterial colonization and co-infection in hospital healthcare workers'--authors' reply. Prev Med 2014 Aug;65:154MacIntyre CR, Wang Q, Seale H, et al. A randomized clinical trial of three options for N95 respirators and medical masks in health workers. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2013;187(9):960-6Radonovich LJ, Simberkoff MS, Bessesen MT, et al. N95 respirators vs medical masks for preventing influenza among health care personnel: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2019 Sep 3;322(9):824-33Gralton J, and McLaws ML. Protecting healthcare workers from pandemic influenza: N95 or surgical masks?. Crit Care Med 2010 Feb;38(2):657-67bin'Reza F, Chavarrias VL, Nicoll A, et al. The use of masks and respirators to prevent transmission of influenza: a systematic review of the scientific evidence. Influenza Other Respir Virus 2012 Jul;6(4):257-67Bunyan D, Ritchie L, Jenkins D, et al. Respiratory and facial protection: a critical review of recent literature. J Hosp Infect 2013 Nov;85(3):165-9Smith JD, MacDougall CC, Johnstone J, et al. Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks in protecting health care workers from acute respiratory infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis. CMAJ 2016 May 17;188(8):567-74Jefferson T, Jones M, Ansari LAA, et al. Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. Part 1 - Face masks, eye protection and person distancing: systematic review and meta-analysis. medRxiv 2020 Mar 30Offeddu V, Yung CF, Low MSF, et al. Effectiveness of masks and respirators against respiratory infections in healthcare workers: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Infect Dis 2017 Aug 7;65(11):1934-42Long Y, Hu T, Liu L, et al. Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks against influenza: A systematic review and meta'analysis. J Evid Based Med 2020 (published online Mar 13)MacIntyre CR, Chughtai AA, Rahman B, et al. The efficacy of medical masks and respirators against respiratory infection in healthcare workers. Influenza Other Respir Viruses 2017;11(6):511-7Loeb M, McGeer A, Henry B, et al. SARS among critical care nurses, Toronto.Emerg Infect Dis 2004 Feb;10(2):251-5
Covid-19 Quarantines Are Part of America's Disease-Fighting Story - Bloomberg
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 11:50
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Vaccines and such
Scientists call for volunteers to be exposed to the coronavirus to test vaccines
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:25
A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken April 10, 2020.
Dado Ruvic | Reuters
Over 100 prominent scientists, including 15 Nobel laureates, are calling for healthy volunteers to be exposed to the coronavirus to see whether vaccines against Covid-19 actually work.
The scientists signed an open letter to Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S., on Wednesday calling for human "challenge trials" that they say could "greatly accelerate" the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Challenge trials see healthy volunteers deliberately exposed to a virus, after being given a vaccine, to test whether the vaccine works to prevent infection.
Such trials are not without controversy, but organization '1 Day Sooner' and other prominent experts insist the benefit of fast-tracking challenge trials outweigh the risks, and are calling on the U.S. government to authorize them.
"If challenge trials can safely and effectively speed the vaccine development process then there is a formidable presumption in favor of their use, which would require a very compelling ethical justification to overcome," the letter published by 1 Day Sooner, an organization that advocates for challenge trials, states.
Scientists that signed the letter, including the director of the University of Oxford's Covid-19 vaccine program, said "human challenge trials can provide information much faster than conventional efficacy trials, which take months longer."
"In such trials, volunteers still receive the vaccine candidate or a control. Instead of resuming life as usual and waiting to 'catch' a virus, volunteers are deliberately exposed to the pathogen under controlled conditions. Beyond being faster than conventional trials, a challenge test is likelier to conclude with interpretable results, e.g. should the presence of virus around the study site begin to fade over time," they added.
The signatories of the letter come from a range of disciplines including epidemiology, medicine, economics and philosophy. They argue that "the Covid-19 pandemic must be fought urgently on many fronts, but it is hard to picture robust economic and social recoveries in the absence of a vaccine. We are writing to underscore the vast importance of human challenge trials as a method to help develop vaccines."
The letter notes that U.S. lawmakers are already supporting the move. In April, 35 members of the House of Representatives called on U.S. regulators to consider allowing volunteers to be exposed to the coronavirus to speed up vaccine testing.
Over a hundred vaccine candidates are already under development around the world and there are 23 candidate vaccines in the clinical evaluation stage, according to the World Health Organization.
There appears to be a cautious acceptance that challenge trials could play a part in fast-tracking the development of a coronavirus vaccine. For his part, the NIH's Director Dr Francis Collins has said challenge trials are "on the table for discussion '-- not on the table to start designing a plan."
The letter was also signed by more than 2,000 challenge volunteers organized by 1 Day Sooner. Laying out the principles for an "effective" human challenge trial, the experts said "crucial protections must be extended to protect the health and autonomy rights of volunteers."
Guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) says that human challenge trials are ethical when they meet certain criteria. Protections that should clearly be in place, experts said, including that trial participants are relatively young and in good health and provided with the highest quality medical care with frequent monitoring.
The WHO notes that it is essential challenge trials are "conducted within an ethical framework in which truly informed consent is given" and that they should be undertaken with "abundant forethought, caution, and oversight." Consideration must be given to both potential individual risks and benefits, WHO says, as well as to potential societal benefits and risks, such as the release into the environment of a pathogen that might not otherwise be present.
The experts on Thursday said ethical and scientific review of any challenge trials must be of the highest quality and finally, but most importantly, "the autonomy of the volunteers is of paramount concern '... This means that the informed consent process must be robust."
Correction: The headline of this article has been changed to accurately reflect how volunteers would be impacted and treated during the trials.
With coronavirus antibodies fading fast, vaccine hopes fade, too -
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 18:05
Disturbing new revelations that permanent immunity to the coronavirus may not be possible have jeopardized vaccine development and reinforced a decision by scientists at UCSF and affiliated laboratories to focus exclusively on treatments.
Several recent studies conducted around the world indicate that the human body does not retain the antibodies that build up during infections, meaning there may be no lasting immunity to COVID-19 after people recover.
Strong antibodies are also crucial in the development of vaccines. So molecular biologists fear the only way left to control the disease may be to treat the symptoms after people are infected to prevent the most debilitating effects, including inflammation, blood clots and death.
''I just don't see a vaccine coming anytime soon,'' said Nevan Krogan, a molecular biologist and director of UCSF's Quantitative Biosciences Institute, which works in partnership with 100 research laboratories. ''People do have antibodies, but the antibodies are waning quickly.'' And if antibodies diminish, ''then there is a good chance the immunity from a vaccine would wane too.''
The latest bad news came from scientists at King's College of London, whose study of 90 COVID-19 patients in the United Kingdom found antibody levels peaked three weeks after the onset of symptoms and then dramatically declined.
Potent antibodies were found in 60% of the patients, according to the study, but only 17% retained the same potency three months later. In some cases, the antibodies disappeared completely, said the study which was published as a preprint Saturday, meaning it has not yet been peer-reviewed.
The report is the latest in a growing chain of evidence that immunity to COVID-19 is short-lived.
A Chinese study published June 18 in the journal Nature Medicine also showed coronavirus antibodies taking a nosedive. The study of 74 patients, conducted by Chongqing Medical University, a branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that more than 90% exhibited sharp declines in the number of antibodies within two to three months after infection.
There is still hope that the remaining antibodies will bestow some immunity, but infectious disease specialists around the world were surprised and discouraged by the rapid reduction observed in the studies. If the numbers continue dropping after three months, it could mean people will be susceptible to infection by the coronavirus year after year.
So far, though, there have been only scattered reports of reinfection and no comprehensive studies have verified that it can happen. Experts say the disease hasn't been around long enough to determine the likelihood of contracting the disease more than once. But other kinds of coronaviruses, like those that cause the common cold, offer clues.
Studies of four seasonal coronaviruses that cause colds show that although people develop antibodies, the immune response declines over time and people become susceptible again. Scientists suspect that the severity of cold symptoms is reduced by previous infections.
''Waning antibodies affect vaccine development,'' said Shannon Bennett, the chief of science at San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences. ''Where natural immunity doesn't really develop or last, then vaccine programs are not likely to be easily successful or achievable.''
Nobody knows yet whether infections by other coronaviruses will help people's bodies resist COVID-19.
''Our understanding of protective immunity engendered by this virus and how it interacts with past immunity to other coronaviruses is still evolving,''Bennett said. ''People should not presume they have immunity.''
The recent findings are particularly disappointing because of the promising discovery this spring of ''neutralizing antibodies,'' the kind that attack the virus' crown-like spikes and prevent them from hijacking human cells.
Epidemiologists found these neutralizing antibodies in less than 5% of COVID-19 patients and were hoping to isolate and use them to inoculate others, a precursor to a full vaccine. Unfortunately, the recent studies show that the super-strength antibodies also fade away.
The Chinese study found an 11.7% decline in neutralizing antibodies in symptomatic coronavirus patients and an 8.3% drop in asymptomatic individuals over the three months.
''Those are the ones you want, but they just aren't sticking around,'' said Krogan, who is also an investigator with the Gladstone Institutes, a biomedical research lab in San Francisco. ''They just aren't staying long enough in our bodies to prevent reinfection. If this is only lasting six weeks or three weeks, that's not good.''
Even if a vaccine were produced, infectious disease specialists say it could take years before the entire population was inoculated. If the vaccine wore off over time, periodic boosters would be needed, as with influenza shots.
All of which emphasizes the need for effective treatments.
Krogan's Quantitative Biosciences Institute, created four years ago, has been scouring the genome of SARS-CoV-2 '-- the specific coronavirus that causes COVID-19 '-- and testing in petri dishes how viral proteins interact with human cells.
The idea, said Danielle Swaney, a researcher for the QBI Coronavirus Research Group, comprised of at least 40 laboratories affiliated with UCSF, is to find ways to fight the disease once it is in the body.
''Our whole approach is to find what is the virus hijacking and what drugs can be developed to reverse that hijacking,'' said Swaney, an assistant professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF. ''Basically, we try to take away what the virus relies on for survival so it can't rely on it anymore.''
One possible target for intervention is a receptor embedded in the membrane of human cells called SigmaR1, which Swaney said the coronavirus interacts with. The SigmaR1 gene plays an important role in the functioning of tissues associated with the endocrine, immune and nervous systems.
''What we found is that if we use drugs that reduce the level of SigmaR1 in human cells, the virus cannot replicate in those human cells,'' Swaney said, adding that many other potentially influential receptors are being studied.
One drug that targets SigmaR1 is hydroxychloroquine, which Swaney said is problematic because it can cause heart problems. In June, the Food and Drug Administration withdrew emergency use authorizations for hydroxychloroquine, which had been touted by President Trump despite the concerns.
The trick, Krogan said, will be to find several drugs that work against the virus and create a kind of cocktail, like the combination of treatments HIV-AIDS patients use to control infection. Researchers are currently testing drugs in hamsters and mice, and will soon be doing trials in monkeys, Krogan said. He said he hopes to develop such a cocktail by the end of the year.
It will be difficult, he admitted, because people infected with COVID-19 display so many different symptoms, some lingering long after the virus has gone.
People have reported vision problems, confusion and memory issues. Cases of chronic fatigue, heart problems, lung damage, blood clotting and neurological symptoms like dizziness and confusion have been documented in numerous patients long after the initial symptoms of COVID-19 have gone away.
Epidemiologists believe the most severe cases are the result of an overactive human immune system response. That's what they think causes an inflammatory reaction similar to Kawasaki disease that has recently been affecting children exposed to the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Doctors at UCSF's Benioff Children's Hospital have recently seen dozens of children with reddish-purple lesions on the feet and hands known as acral perniosis. The rashes all appeared weeks or months after exposure to adults with flu-like symptoms, leading researchers to believe it is an after-the-fact inflammatory reaction to COVID-19.
''I've never seen a virus get its fingers in so many biological processes all at once,'' Krogan said. ''It's a very fascinating, horrifying, complicated virus.''
The situation is not hopeless, Bennett said, because the human immune system uses both B cells, which produce antibodies, and T cells, which drive the immune response, to fight off viruses. It may be that a T cell response does not require as many antibodies to be effective, she said.
And some vaccines have shown promise, including one being produced by Massachusetts biotechnology company Moderna Inc. The Moderna vaccine provoked production of neutralizing antibodies in all 45 healthy volunteers tested during a preliminary study released Tuesday. The study did not include a comprehensive measurement of longevity, but researchers observed antibody activity for 43 days after a second injection.
Whatever happens, epidemiologists hope the recent reports about antibody viability put to rest the concept embraced by many young people of herd immunity, where the disease can't find any more victims because so many people have survived infections and must be immune.
''This attitude that if I go out there and just get exposed '-- get it over with '-- then I'll be immune is a dangerous presumption,'' Bennett said. Now more than ever.
Peter Fimrite is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @pfimrite
Hydroxychloroquine Still Doesn't Do Anything, New Data Shows | WIRED
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 04:35
It doesn't work.
The stalwart drug hydroxychloroquine, a decades-old antimalarial that people have more recently used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, started getting attention as a possible treatment and preventative against Covid-19 as early as February. Hydroxychloroquine and the related drug chloroquine killed the virus that causes the disease in vitro'--that is to say, in petri dishes. Health care workers gave hospitalized people the drug in the early days of the pandemic (because they didn't have much else to give), and influential voices like carmaker Elon Musk and President Donald Trump advocated for it as a possible cure.
All that happened before scientists could determine whether that was true. And with the release of two new sets of data this week, one from a massive drug trial in the United Kingdom on Wednesday and the other from researchers at the University of Minnesota today, the answer appears to be: no. Hydroxychloroquine does not appear to keep people from getting the disease after they've been exposed to someone who has it. It does not change how many people hospitalized with Covid-19 die of the disease. It does not reduce symptoms for people with milder cases who aren't in the hospital.
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Scientists have lots of different kinds of studies they can run. Some are observational, meaning the researchers take a group that meets some set of criteria, like ''people who have Covid-19,'' and follow their progress as they get different kinds of treatment. Others are retrospective; researchers go over people's records later to see if they've recovered or died. It's possible to learn from these sorts of studies, but they're vulnerable to all sorts of errors. Sicker people tend to be more likely to improve more slowly, or die, even if they get the same drug as someone who isn't as ill. That makes it hard to tell whether the drug actually helps'--or harms.
So the so-called gold standard of drug trials is called an RCT, short for Randomized Controlled Trial. That means people sick with the thing you're trying to study get put into one of two groups, or cohorts, from the very start. They either get the drug or they don't, and no one'--not the researchers, not the health care workers, not the participants in the study'--knows who got what. (That's called ''double-blinding.'') And the researchers try to make those groups as similar as possible in every other way. They're trying to eliminate all the possible external factors that could mess up the study.
The two sets of results that came out this week were both RCTs. The first was part of a massive trial in the UK called Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 Therapy, or ''Recovery.'' The researchers running it have been sending thousands of people hospitalized with Covid-19 into one of a half-dozen groups testing different drugs against a control group, and then checking to see if they're still alive 28 days later. Recovery is an ''adaptive'' trial, which means it's designed for researchers to look at the data as it rolls in and adjust on the fly, cutting off or adding new study arms to accommodate new information. So far, the trial showed the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone reduced mortality rates and, in June, cancelled the arm of the study looking at hydroxychloroquine.
The new paper from the researchers, an un-peer-reviewed preprint, details what actually happened in the hydroxychloroquine arm'--1,561 people got hydroxychloroquine, and 418 of them, 26.8 percent, were dead within 28 days. And 3,155 people got standard care without the drug; 788 of them died. That's 25 percent. So: Hydroxychloroquine didn't reduce mortality. Its use also correlated with longer time spent in the hospital and a higher likelihood of having to go on a mechanical ventilator. As the paper puts it: ''not an effective treatment.''
''In my view, hydroxychloroquine should not be used in the hospital setting,'' says Martin Landray, a physician and researcher in the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Population Health and one of the heads of Recovery. ''Outside the hospital setting it would be reasonable to use it in the context of a randomized controlled trial, but not otherwise.''
Speaking of which: The Minnesota study looked at people not in the hospital, so by definition not as sick. And that caused some methodological problems. The lack of easy and fast Covid-19 testing in the US meant that not everyone in the study population had a diagnosis made via PCR testing, or taking a sample via a nasal swab and analyzing it for the virus' genetic material. For these participants, the team of researchers confirmed that they had Covid-like symptoms, and that they had contact with someone whose infection was confirmed with a test. It's a slightly dicier set-up, but still valid.
The Minnesota team had originally intended to use death or hospitalization numbers as a marker of whether the drug helped people in the study. But even though numbers of both are sky-high in the US, the actual mortality and hospitalization rates overall are low'--or too low to show up significantly in just under 500 people, the size of the group in the study. So without looking at the data, the team switched to another metric: symptom reduction. (Participants reported their own symptoms on a 10-point visual scale day by day; the most common ones were cough, fatigue, and headache.) Here, too, hydroxychloroquine made no difference. Two weeks after starting, 24 percent of the 201 people taking the drug still had symptoms versus 30 percent of 194 people taking a placebo. Again: no significant difference.
Those results were actually going to be part of an earlier paper from the team, showing that hydroxychloroquine likewise didn't work as a preventative, keeping people from getting sick after they'd been exposed to the disease. That ''post-exposure prophylaxis'' paper got accepted to the New England Journal of Medicine quickly and came out in early June. But as time went on and the drug faded a bit from the news and presidential briefings, it was tougher to find a home for the paper about how the drug fared as a treatment. ''The negative fact that hydroxychloroquine didn't work was not as newsworthy, I guess. They weren't as interested in a null study,'' says David Boulware, the infectious disease physician running the team. ''To design the study was eight or nine days. To do the study was seven weeks. To actually get it published was two and a half months '... In a normal timeframe that's fast. In a Covid timeframe, that's glacially slow.''
The lack of confirmed, PCR-based testing also makes the study slightly less bombproof. ''The true believers are going to criticize it. Not everyone had PCR testing, because it's the United States and people didn't have access to PCR testing,'' Boulware says. ''It's not a perfect study, but I think it's correct.''
By ''true believers,'' Boulware means people who remain unshakably convinced of the drug's value. For months, they've parsed every hydroxychloroquine study for factors that they think might influence its effectiveness that the researchers did wrong'--too high a dose, too low a dose, given too soon, given too late, given without supposedly important adjuncts like zinc. Proponents of the drug's use have proposed all of those as critical to its success. In some respects, they're right'--dosage does matter. One major study of the drug in Brazil stopped early because of serious heart problems in people taking it, a known side effect. But that study was also using extraordinarily high doses, well beyond levels used preventatively or even as a treatment. The Recovery and Minnesota teams used a more typical protocol.
And for all the zinc stans out there, Boulware actually looked at that, too, this time. It didn't change the outcome.
Like masks (but unlike less sexier anti-Covid tactics, like the drug remdesivir), hydroxychloroquine became associated with political affiliation. Influential Silicon Valley leaders said they thought the drug might be important; Trump did the same at White House briefings, and even announced that he himself was taking it prophylactically after possible exposure to someone with the disease. The Food and Drug Administration OK'd its use in hospitals and in drug trials for Covid-19 under an Emergency Use Authorization, and then revoked that authority. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is still pointing to yet another study, this one from Michigan in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases in early July, that reported a reduction in mortality. But it was a retrospective one again, neither randomized nor controlled. ''The Detroit study touted by Navarro has very poor methodology'--completely observational, meaning that the choice to give hydroxychloroquine was probably also linked to other factors that explain the benefit,'' says Bob Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at UC San Francisco.
Taken together and added to the larger body of well-designed studies on hydroxychloroquine and Covid-19, though, the Recovery and Minnesota trials make a clear pattern. ''In my mind, this lays to rest that the drug may have early activity or post-exposure activity,'' says Nahid Bhadelia, medical director of the Special Pathogens Unit at Boston Medical Center. ''The philosophical question I have is, we expended so much energy and money on this question. There are still ongoing trials. My question to those trialists is: What is the cost of continuing those trials?''
The politics and social alignments that swirled around hydroxychloroquine made it hard for US researchers to enroll enough participants to make a study work. That slowed things down. An analysis by Stat showed that of the more than 1,200 Covid-19 drug trials underway or planned, 237,000 people'--more than a third of volunteers in all the trials'--were supposed to be enrolled in hydroxychloroquine studies. That now seems disproportionate, to say the least. ''Nobody should get it,'' Wachter says. ''Overall, the evidence against it is strong enough that the drug should simply go away in Covid, and it would have weeks ago had it not been for the politics.''
OK, so, no chance. Except maybe. Kind of. It doesn't seem to work as a treatment for sick people, but maybe a much bigger study could find a smaller prophylactic effect'--a sparse 20 percent reduction in a person's chances of catching Covid-19, let's say. Studies in the US and in Asia have been trying to look for that, though enrolling new participants is getting harder and harder as the disease wanes in many countries. Some questions about hydroxychloroquine may never get answered. But as to whether or not someone sick with Covid-19 should take it'--that answer is now as clear as science ever gets.
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Gavi and Mastercard join forces to reach more children with lifesaving vaccines
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 15:49
Strengthening efficiency and reach of health services in developing countries with digital immunisation records.
Abu Dhabi, 11 December 2018 '' Mastercard and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance announced today at a high-level conference for Gavi's 2018 mid-term review, a new transformative partnership to ensure more children from the poorest countries are able to benefit from life-saving immunisation programs.
Although major progress has been made to increase immunisation rates, one in five children in Gavi-supported countries are still not reached with basic lifesaving vaccines. In many developing countries, common barriers may include a lack of information about a child's immunisation record and limited means by which to remind care givers about follow up appointments.
This partnership will leverage Mastercard expertise and technology, enabling ministries of health and authorised health workers to provide a card with a digital immunisation record, to each participating child's caregiver. By empowering caregivers to stay on track to receive critical vaccinations, the program aims to strengthen the efficiency and reach of health services in developing countries where children are most at risk of missing out on immunisation. Governments will benefit from having a better understanding of the immunisation needs of their communities.
''Access to services like healthcare and education are vital to helping families build a promising future. By applying our technology to humanitarian and development challenges, we can help optimise and scale life-saving programs in underserved communities around the world,'' said Michael Froman, vice chairman and president of strategic growth at Mastercard.
''Children, especially those living in the most remote, impoverished communities, lack immunisation records,'' said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. ''That represents an enormous impediment to Gavi's mission of ensuring that every child worldwide receives the essential vaccines they need to survive and thrive. This partnership with Mastercard has the potential to overcome that challenge.''
The partnership aims to be implemented across five countries over the next two years with the goal of expanding the solution to all other interested Gavi-supported countries, based on mutually agreed targets being met.
Gavi's mid-term review, held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 10-11 December, is a high-level conference celebrating Gavi's progress and impact in the world's poorest countries. By the end of 2018, Gavi will have contributed to the immunisation of 700 million people and the prevention of more than 10 million future deaths. This has contributed to an acceleration in the decline of global under-five mortality rates and brought wider impact beyond immunisation.
As well as reviewing progress made since the last Gavi replenishment in Berlin in 2015, this high-level conference is also an opportunity to shape Gavi's future and help overcome the challenges preventing children from receiving the full course of recommended vaccines. This is a cost effective and high impact intervention that is core to primary health care and provides a robust platform to deliver better health for all.
Notes to editors
About Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world's children against some of the world's deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation '' over 760 million children '' and prevented more than 13 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 developing countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching the unvaccinated children still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology '' from drones to biometrics '' to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi's work here.
Russian Hackers Are Linked to Sweeping Bid to Steal Vaccine Data
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 12:59
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REPORT: Russian Group That Hacked DNC Attempted To Steal COVID-19 Research From US, Allies | The Daily Caller
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:57
A Russian government-backed hacking group reportedly attempted to steal research on coronavirus vaccines from the United States and its closest allies, according to a joint report from the U.S., Britain, and Canada released Thursday.
The report, published primarily through Britain's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), alleges the group APT29 or 'Cozy Bear' was responsible for attempting to break into academic and pharmaceutical institutions for information on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, according to Reuters. 'Cozy Bear' is reportedly the same hacking group widely accused of breaching the Democratic Party ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Russia is the second country the U.S. has accused of attempting to steal coronavirus research, having named China earlier this spring.
''While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behavior, the U.K. and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health,'' British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in a statement.
Belgrade, Serbia '' January 17, 2019 : Vladimir Putin, the President Russia attending press conference (Shutterstock/Sasa Dzambic Photography)
The U.S. has been wary of international adversaries stealing coronavirus research since May, when it accused Chinese state-backed hackers of attempting to steal information. (RELATED: Republican Senators Want To Rename Chinese Embassy Street After Chinese COVID-19 Whistleblower)
''The FBI is investigating the targeting and compromise of U.S. organizations conducting COVID-19-related research by PRC-affiliated cyber actors and non-traditional collectors,'' the FBI announced at the time. ''These actors have been observed attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property (IP) and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research. The potential theft of this information jeopardizes the delivery of secure, effective, and efficient treatment options.''
U.S. politicians have been highly critical of China since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic as it started within its borders in Wuhan and there is great evidence suggesting the Chinese Communist Party actively worked to spread misinformation about the virus on the global stage.
''Chairman Xi is an arsonist who wants to steal a firetruck and play the hero,'' Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said in a statement to the Daily Caller at the time. ''The Chinese Communist Party will do whatever it takes to beat the United States to the vaccine, and it has nothing to do with saving lives and everything to do with selling propaganda. The Chinese Communist Party's domestic legitimacy and international clout depend on telling a phony story where China is the hero. It's the same reason they're lying about numbers, promoting conspiracy theories, and disappearing whistleblowers.''
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., On Coming COVID Vaccines - Inside The Vatican
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 12:28
A picture of Kennedy and the logo of the group he heads, the Children's Health Defense group
By Stefanie Stark, special correspondent for Inside the Vatican.
As a family that supports freedom from government force and open debate, how can we condone government violence, censorship, and compulsory medical procedures which the Nuremberg Charter and numerous international treaties to which we are signatory emphatically outlaw? As human rights advocates, we must ask ourselves the question: ''At what point does one stop blindly believing government and pharmaceutical officials?''
'--Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Father Paul D. Scalia, pastor of St. James Church in Falls Church, Virginia, baptizes Beatrice Anne Borman on April 18, 2020 (CNS photo/Zoey Maraist, Arlington Catholic Herald)
The COVID-19 pandemic has been at the top of international news headlines for several months now. Stay-at-home orders and restrictions on our daily lives, including a ban on attending Catholic Mass and receiving the sacraments, have been issued in the name of protecting the public health. At the same time, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, recently promoted the idea of a mass vaccination campaign for COVID-19 when he said to Chris Wallace on April 5, 2020, on Fox News Sunday, ''It is fair to say things won't go back to truly normal until we have a vaccine that we've gotten out to basically the entire world.'' On April 17, 2020, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sent an open letter to Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, urging the FDA to ensure that vaccines for COVID-19 be developed ethically and free from any connection to the exploitation of abortion victims.
In this unprecedented time, I reached out to my friend, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy (assassinated in 1968) and nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy (assassinated in 1963), for answers to some of the questions raised regarding coronavirus and the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Kennedy is an environmental lawyer, the president of Waterkeeper Alliance, and the chairman of Children's Health Defense. He has spent the past 15 years advocating for proper safety testing of vaccines. Robert has taken on the unenviable role of David fighting the pharmaceutical and big business Goliaths, including an enormous $2 billion victory against Bayer's Monsanto and its popular weedkiller, RoundUp, for causing terminal Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in consumers. Much more than that, Robert is a devoted husband, a father of six children, a grandfather, and an Irish Catholic.
Perhaps providentially, my interview with Robert Kennedy, Jr. on Monday, May 4, preceded by the April 17 letter from the USCCB to the FDA, was followed by the release of a very important document on Thursday, May 7, in six languages: the ''Appeal for the Church and the World to Catholics and All People of Good Will.''
The ''Appeal,'' primarily authored by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigan², former papal nuncio to the U.S., was signed by more than 80 people, including prelates, theologians, journalists, doctors, lawyers, and associations. The American signatories include Dr. Robert Moynihan, editor-in-chief of this publication, as well as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
The three-page open letter contains a call to action for all Catholics, religious, and all people of goodwill, in view of radical measures being forced upon much of the world's population: ''The facts have shown that, under the pretext of the COVID-19 epidemic, the inalienable rights of citizens have, in many cases, been violated and their fundamental freedoms, including the exercise of freedom of worship, expression, and movement, have been disproportionately and unjustifiably restricted. Public health must not, and cannot, become an alibi for infringing on the rights of millions of people around the world, let alone for depriving the civil authority of its duty to act wisely for the common good.''
Regarding vaccines, the ''Appeal'' goes on to say, ''We ask the scientific community to be vigilant so that cures for COVID-19 are offered in honesty for the common good. Every effort must be made to ensure that shady business interests do not influence the choices made by government leaders and international bodies. It is unreasonable to penalize those remedies that have proved to be effective, and are often inexpensive, just because one wishes to give priority to treatments or vaccines that are not as good, but which guarantee pharmaceutical companies far greater profits, and exacerbate public health expenditures. Let us also remember, as Pastors, that for Catholics it is morally unacceptable to develop or use vaccines derived from material from aborted fetuses.''
The full text of the ''Appeal to the Church and the World'' can be found here.
It has come to my attention since the release of the ''Appeal'' that some of the signatories, including Cardinal Gerhard M¼ller, have become the subject of attack in both the media and the Church, in order to silence them. They have been called names such as ''conspiracy theorists'' when they have questioned the programs and policies being rolled out internationally in response to COVID-19.
I asked Mr. Kennedy about his thoughts, given the call by the World Health Organization, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, and others for mass vaccinations, about vaccines ''for the greater good'' versus the health of the individual.
''None of the 72 vaccines now mandated for American children have ever been safety tested against a double-blind placebo''
Stefanie Stark: What are the moral implications of sacrificing a small number of individuals who we know will have severe adverse reactions, including death, to vaccines for the greater good of the community, the state, the country, the world?
Robert Kennedy, Jr., son of the late Robert Kennedy.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR.: That raises a number of ethical issues. Also, it raises a question: what do we know about vaccine safety and efficacy? That is a threshold question because vaccines are not safety tested, and people find that hard to believe, but unfortunately, it's true. And that is an artifact of CDC's (CDC stands for ''Centers for Disease Control and Prevention'') legacy of the public health service, which was originally a quasi-military agency. That is why CDC officials have military ranks such as ''Surgeon General.''
The vaccine program was conceived as a national security defense against biological attacks on our country by the Russians or other Cold War enemies. The military objective was to be able to fabricate and deploy a vaccine very quickly to 200 million Americans without regulatory impediments. The regulators and generals understood that testing medicines for safety takes years, so they opted to call vaccines by a different name '-- ''Biologics'' '-- and exempt biologics from safety testing.
As a result of that decision, none of the 72 vaccines now mandated for American children have ever been safety tested against a double-blind placebo. Which means nobody knows the risk profile, and nobody can say with any certitude that the vaccine is averting more problems than it's causing. That is why I say it's a ''threshold'' issue because the ethical questions become much more clouded if we don't even know if the vaccine is actually serving the greater good.
The second part of the answer is, even if we believe that a vaccine averts more deaths than it causes, do we have a right to force healthy children to take a risky medicine against their will? And that question has already been answered in numerous treaties and universally accepted ethical statements like the Siracusa Principles, the Nuremberg Charter, and the United Nations Charter, which state that no government has a right to force citizens to take medicines against their will. One would assume that this would apply doubly to citizens who are otherwise completely healthy and at little risk for infection.
The problem is the slippery slope. If we begin telling doctors that they are no longer functioning to serve the individual patient but that their job is to protect society as a whole, we have opened the door to a lot of distasteful downstream results. For example, we know that 80% of our nation's medical costs go to treat senior citizens during their last year of life. It could be argued, therefore, that letting those citizens simply die, or even killing them, would serve the greater good. China decided at some point that parents having more than one child was against the interests of the greater good and implemented a policy of forced abortions. Those are the scary places you end up once you start down that road.
''If we begin telling doctors that they are no longer functioning to serve the individual patient but that their job is to protect society as a whole, we have opened the door to a lot of distasteful downstream results.''
According to the World Health Organization, there are 70 vaccines in development '-- three of which are in clinical trials. What do you think about the push for the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccine? Is it okay to skip animal trials and go straight to human trials? Can those human volunteers truly have informed consent?
KENNEDY: No. What we know about coronavirus from 30 years of experience is that a coronavirus vaccine has a unique peculiarity, which is any attempted making of the vaccine has resulted in the creation of a class of antibodies that actually make vaccinated people sicker when they ultimately suffer exposure to the wild virus. Following the SARS epidemic that began in 2002, China launched a concerted effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine. They succeeded in developing 30 promising models, and they chose the four ''best in class'' to fabricate and then test on ferrets, the animal most analogous to human beings when it comes to upper respiratory infections.
The ferrets all developed admirable, robust, and durable antibody responses, and the scientists believed they had hit the jackpot. But then, when the animals suffered exposure to the wild virus, something frightening happened. The vaccinated animals sickened and died with body-wide inflammation. The vaccine had created a condition known as paradoxical inherent immune response, which amplified the injury caused by the illness rather than preventing it.
The scientists at that time recalled a similar occurrence from the 1960s where the NIH had conducted studies on a vaccine for RSV, an upper respiratory illness very similar to coronavirus. The 35 children in that study had developed a strong antibody response but had become terribly ill upon exposure to wild RSV. Two of the children died. Remembering this incident, the scientists in 2012 abandoned their efforts to create that vaccine. And that is why today you are hearing dire warnings from unexpected quarters '-- Paul Offit, Peter Hotez, Ian Lipkin, and even Anthony Fauci himself '-- who have all warned that a coronavirus vaccine may end up making people sicker from coronavirus rather than avoiding the disease.
The first COVID-19 vaccine trial began in mid-March. The potential vaccine is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and was developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in partnership with the pharmaceutical company Moderna, Inc. Please speak to the problems you see with DNA-altering vaccines, since some of the proposed vaccines, including Moderna's, are using genetic engineering.
KENNEDY: MRNA vaccines function by altering DNA expression. There are many vaccines developed using aborted fetal tissue. And that also has health implications, because fetal tissue has been rendered carcinogenic. A lot of the fetal tissue they use in vaccines was taken from a 14-week-old child who in 1966 was forcibly aborted from a woman in a mental institution. There are DNA snippets from that child that are injected with the vaccines. And we have no idea what the implications are for sexuality when male DNA is injected into female babies, or for cancer when tumor cells are injected into healthy babies. These are frightening scientific and health implications, even putting the moral implications aside. There is a possibility that they are permanently altering the human genome with the mass vaccination of this child's DNA.
I'm finally making my way around to the burning question about COVID-19: Is this a wild virus or a created virus?
KENNEDY: That is unclear. There is strong circumstantial evidence that the virus could be the product of not so much genetic engineering as accelerated evolution, and that is the mechanism that is used to create vaccines and bioweapons. There was a research program that was being used at the Wuhan lab, and we know this because they published many studies on it. It's a way of creating ''gain of function'' organisms. In other words, created organisms that are very virulent and extremely transmissible.
Your answer might strike some as controversial. Why would anybody do such research?
KENNEDY: The reason is, it's a way of developing vaccines. So what they do is, they take a wild coronavirus and then they grow it on pangolin tissue. Then they'll take it off of pangolin tissue. They take the colonies from the pangolin tissue and regrow those colonies on mouse brains. And they'll take the colonies from mouse brains and they'll regrow them on monkey vero kidney cells. And then finally, they will grow them on human lung tissue. It's a way of teaching the virus to jump species. You're training it.
When they do that, they will give that trained virus to rats that have been genetically engineered to have human DNA to see if they can make the rats sick from coronavirus. And when they prove they can make the rats sick, they then try to develop a vaccine to stop the spread of the thing. And it's called ''gain of function'' research. Many doctors and scientists have criticized it as having little benefit historically, of adding little to the knowledge while taking huge risks.
Anthony Fauci has been a huge champion of gain of function. President Obama found out about it in 2014, that Fauci was doing this, and that they had released a number of viruses. Some 200 scientists signed a petition angrily denouncing these experiments. And Obama shut them down. But Fauci simply moved his operation to the Wuhan lab and started funding gain of function studies in Wuhan for the same purpose '-- to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
''Anthony Fauci has been a huge champion of gain of function. President Obama found out about it in 2014, that Fauci was doing this, and that they had released a number of viruses.''
President Trump, when he came into office, cut funding to the biosecurity agency inside the White House that was funding those studies. The funding ran out in Wuhan on September 30, 2019, and the scientists there were dismissed. One hypothesis is that those scientists may have accidentally or even deliberately released the virus because the spread of the virus could have given them job security. That actually is what happened with the Anthrax virus in 2001. All of the Anthrax attacks on the U.S. Congress, when traced back, were coming from the psychiatrist who was the head of the Anthrax program that had been defunded. He apparently committed suicide as the FBI closed in on him.
*** It is difficult to imagine that the entire world has come to a grinding halt because one lab in one city, Wuhan, China, may have accidentally or intentionally released a contagious virus. What of the unelected international leaders who see potential profit and power in this? What of the healthy children whose health may be permanently damaged by experimental vaccines in the name of the ''greater good''? And what of the unborn babies upon whose remains vaccine manufacturers are building a vast new enterprise?
The purveyors of darkness in the world are many and growing.
Perhaps the COVID crisis is the Lord's way of awakening the Church to the powers and principalities that threaten us '-- the health of our bodies, the freedom of our souls.
It seems that we, the faithful, are being called to take up our own slingshots with the bravery of our forebear David, and stand against the Goliaths who believe our health and freedom are theirs to grasp.
Prediction: Chines to start filling up NY in the real estate they laundered their money through in midtown Manhattan
Report: China Forcing Poor Citizens to Trade Faith for Welfare Checks
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 17:56
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is leveraging economic restraints caused by the coronavirus pandemic to coerce increasingly desperate, low-income Chinese Christians to renounce their faith or lose welfare benefits, human rights magazine Bitter Winter reported on Friday.
The economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic has hit China's low-income households hardest, many of which rely upon state-funded welfare benefits to survive. In recent months, the CCP has reportedly forced Christians across the country receiving state-funded welfare benefits to remove religious symbols from their households and replace them with images of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong; some are told to renounce their faith altogether. If Christians refuse, the state cancels their welfare payments, according to the magazine.
In April, the government of a town administered by Linfen, a city in northern Shanxi province, ordered officials from all local villages to ''remove crosses, religious symbols, and images from the homes of people of [Christian] faith who receive social welfare payments and replace them with portraits of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping. The officials were instructed [by the CCP] to annul the subsidies to those who protest the order,'' Bitter Winter reported.
Under the officially atheist Communist Party regime, China tolerates just a handful of religions, including Catholicism and ''Christianity,'' which the CCP refers to as the Patriotic Three-Self Church. Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam are also ostensibly allowed, though in practice the CCP discourages religious worship by creating hostile conditions for people of faith, especially Christians.
A Three-Self church member living in a Linfen-administered village during the CCP's crackdown on Christians there in April told Bitter Winter that local officials visited his home and ''tore down all religious couplets and a calendar with an image of Jesus '... and posted a portrait of Mao Zedong instead.''
''Impoverished religious households can't receive money from the state for nothing'--they must obey the Communist Party for the money they receive,'' the man recalls a CCP official telling him.
In the southeastern province of Jiangxi in April, the municipal government of Xinyu City ''withdrew a disabled Christian [man's] minimum living subsidy and a monthly disability allowance of 100 RMB (about $14),'' according to the report.
''Officials told me that we would be treated as anti-Party elements if my husband and I continued attending [Christian] worship services,'' the man's wife told Bitter Winter.
In the central province of Henan's Weihui City, a widowed, Christian single mother caring for two sons says the government canceled her welfare payment in April after a CCP official ordered her ''to sign a statement renouncing her faith and destroy all Christian symbols in her house'' and she refused to comply.
The Communist Party regime has long preyed upon impoverished Chinese Christians. In 2017, Breitbart News reported that the CCP threatened to withhold poverty relief packages from rural Christians if they failed to replace religious iconography in their homes and houses of worship with images of Communist Party leaders, such as Xi Jinping.
In addition, the CCP has used the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to shut down and even demolish Christian churches left empty by bans on large gatherings.
Why Silicon Valley's biggest companies are investing billions in India - CNN
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 03:01
By Rishi Iyengar, CNN Business
Updated 7:31 PM EDT, Fri July 17, 2020
San Francisco(CNN Business) Since the start of 2020, the biggest names in US tech have invested around $17 billion in India.
Amazon ( AMZN ) pledged $1 billion in January, Facebook ( FB ) invested nearly $6 billion in late April and Google ( GOOGL ) topped them all last week with a $10 billion commitment. They're part of a wave of investment into India's tech industry this year that's now well over $20 billion, with most of it coming from the United States.
The magnitude and sources of those investments would have seemed highly unlikely, if not outright unthinkable, just months ago when all those technology companies were on a collision course with Indian regulators and tech CEOs were getting the cold shoulder on visits to New Delhi.
A lot has changed since then. The coronavirus has ripped through the global economy, hitting India particularly hard. India's diplomatic spat with China has spilled over into tech, aligning it with the Trump administration's own distrust of Chinese companies. And while India has always been a big draw for US tech firms, the diminishing scope for tech cooperation with China and new threats to their foothold in places such as Hong Kong are giving new importance to the Indian market.
But the flood of investment also highlights something that has now been true for years: India's digital economy, with more than 700 million internet users and roughly half a billion yet to come online, is simply too big a prize for Big Tech to ignore for long.
"People have confidence that, long term, India is going to be a good market, that long term, its regulations are going to be fair and transparent enough," said Jay Gullish, who heads tech policy at the advocacy group US-India Business Council. "I think these are just ... deepening roots that already exist."
The China factorSilicon Valley has been largely shut out of China for years, thanks in part to the country's massive censorship mechanism dubbed the Great Firewall. And a controversial new national security law imposed in Hong Kong, where Google and Facebook's services are still accessible due to its relatively unfettered internet, could push them further away.
The law gives Hong Kong authorities sweeping power to regulate tech platforms, including ordering them to take down posts that threaten China's national security or restricting access to their services. Facebook, Google and Twitter have said they will stop sharing data with the Hong Kong government, while TikTok has exited the city completely.
"It is harder and harder to do business with China," said Mark Lemley, director of Stanford University's program in law, science and technology. "There is also a growing sense that doing business with China involves troubling moral compromises."
US distrust of Chinese tech continues to grow. President Donald Trump last week claimed credit for thwarting the expansion plans of Chinese tech company Huawei, and his administration has said it is "looking at" banning hugely popular short-form video app TikTok, owned by China's ByteDance.
It's a step that would only further align the US with India. The Indian government banned TikTok and dozens of Chinese apps last month, after a border clash between the two countries that left 20 Indian soldiers dead led to calls for a boycott of Chinese products. And though India's tech relationship with China still runs deep '-- Chinese smartphones dominate the Indian market, and most of India's biggest startups have sizable Chinese investment '-- the recent tensions could strengthen India's longstanding tech ties with the US.
"India and its Southeast Asian neighbors have tried to balance the two powers by forging greater economic ties with China while holding on to the security umbrella provided by the United States," said Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi, research director at Tufts University's Institute for Business in the Global Context. "China, through recent actions, has effectively delivered the US to India for a generation."
Chaturvedi and other experts point out that India and the US have had a longstanding tech relationship, with thousands of Indian engineers working across Silicon Valley and Indians currently at the helm of Google, Microsoft and several other US companies.
"There's natural synergy between India and the United States in the digital realm," said Gullish, adding that the boost to internet usage from Indian households socializing and working more from their homes during the coronavirus pandemic may further enhance India's appeal as a market. "It's easy for American companies to look to India for opportunities," he said.
The richest gets richerAt the same time that US tech companies were eying India's market, Asia's wealthiest man appeared to position himself as a willing gatekeeper.
Most of the tech investment into India this year '-- including all of Facebook's and nearly half of Google's '-- has gone into the coffers of companies controlled by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani. Jio Platforms, the digital subsidiary of Ambani's conglomerate Reliance, has raised more than $20 billion since late April from companies, venture capitalists and sovereign wealth funds looking to use it as a quick conduit to India's massive digital economy.
Jio launched as a mobile network in 2016 and has quickly amassed nearly 400 million subscribers. With recent forays into e-commerce, digital payments, streaming services and even a Zoom-like video conference platform called JioMeet, Ambani appears to be looking to turn the company into an all-encompassing Indian ecosystem.
And Silicon Valley clearly wants in.
"US tech hasn't been able to penetrate the 'Great Firewall of China' but it has been easier for it to enter the 'Great Paywall of India' created by Jio; all it had to do was pay Reliance the toll fees to enter," said Chaturvedi.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella with Mukesh Ambani during the Microsoft Future Decoded Summit on February 24, 2020 in Mumbai, India.
As one of India's biggest companies run by the country's richest man, Reliance has an enormous amount of local influence and is unencumbered by many of the regulations on data storage and e-commerce that have been roadblocks for Facebook, Google and Amazon.
"No global entrant could have managed this as successfully and as quickly on their own as Reliance has," Chaturvedi said. "Much of the ecommerce regulation and data localization laws have been influenced by Reliance."
As the Trump administration increasingly closes the US economy off from the rest of the world, Silicon Valley will look afield to expand its reach, according to Lemley. And India is ripe for the picking.
"Much as it pains me to say it, the US isn't nearly as attractive a place for innovation as it was five years ago," Lemley said. "As the Trump administration makes it harder and harder to bring the best and brightest people from around the world to Silicon Valley, I think tech companies may be looking towards a world where we are no longer the center of innovation."
Will India Side With the West Against China? A Test Is at Hand - The New York Times
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 03:03
News Analysis
The United States and its allies have long wanted India's help in confronting China. Now, a deadly border clash seems likely to push India in that direction.
Indian soldiers in Kashmir on Wednesday, near the disputed border with China. Credit... Tauseef Mustafa/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images Published June 19, 2020Updated June 29, 2020
For years, the United States and its allies have tried to persuade India to become a closer military and economic partner in confronting China's ambitions, painting it as a chance for the world's largest democracy to counterbalance the largest autocracy.
Last week, the idea of such a confrontation became more real as Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed in the worst violence on the countries' border in 45 years, leaving 20 Indian troops dead and causing an unknown number of Chinese casualties.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has publicly reveled in the prospect of a more muscular role for India in the region and the world. But analysts say the new tensions with China will be the starkest test yet of whether India is ready '-- or truly willing '-- to jostle with a rising power bent on expanding its interests and territory.
With China facing new scrutiny and criticism over the coronavirus pandemic, Indian officials have recently seemed emboldened, taking steps that made Western diplomats feel that their goal of an India closer to the West was starting to be realized. And some believe the friction with China will push India even further in that direction.
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This month, India signed a major defense agreement with Australia that allows both countries to use each other's military bases. And it is expected to invite Australia to join naval exercises it conducts with Japan and the United States, to strengthen efforts by the so-called Quad '-- Australia, Japan, the United States and India '-- to counter China's projection of sea power in the region.
India's campaign for a larger profile in multinational organizations has also moved quickly. On Wednesday, it was elected unopposed to a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. And in May, it won the chair of the World Health Organization's executive board, where it promptly supported calls to investigate the origins of the coronavirus '-- an inquiry China had fought to block.
But India is still well behind China when it comes to military and economic power. That may give India's leaders pause over the prospect of an armed escalation on their disputed Himalayan border, where the bloody clashes broke out last week.
''India will have to deploy all three '-- military, economic and political options,'' said Samir Saran, the president of the Observer Research Foundation, an influential think tank in Delhi. ''China is a large and powerful country, and a sustained response to their aggression will have to include all of these.''
''The defense of liberalism and democracy and an international open system will play out between India and China,'' he said.
Image Indian Army vehicles near the border on Wednesday. Credit... Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images Chinese and Indian generals continue to meet along the border to discuss de-escalation efforts. And Indian officials acknowledged on Friday that the night before, China released 10 Indian soldiers seized during the fighting. (Later, China's foreign ministry spokesman said he did not know of any prisoners being taken, but did not explicitly deny India's announcement.)
But the troop buildup is continuing, with villagers in the area and satellite imagery indicating that both sides are still sending in reinforcements. On Saturday, the Indian government released a statement blaming China for trying to erect structures across the disputed border, in territory Delhi considers its own. The government added that it would not allow China to make any unilateral changes to the border.
Though India denies it, independent military analysts have estimated that Chinese troops have seized control of about 23 square miles of Indian territory in the past two months,
But India's military ability to retaliate may be limited for now. While its military is one of the world's largest, it has failed to modernize and stay competitive, watching as China rapidly surpassed it over recent decades. This year, India announced a military budget of nearly $74 billion, compared with Beijing's $178 billion. In India's case, much of that spending is going to pay pensions.
Economically, India has become more willing to use its vast market as a lever to pressure China. In April, it passed legislation requiring government approval for any investments from Chinese entities, a setback for China as its companies look abroad for growth. And Reuters reported on Thursday that India planned to raise tariffs on Chinese goods.
Diplomats expect India to prevent the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from entering its market to build a 5G wireless network. The United States accuses Huawei of aiding the Chinese government in cyberespionage, and it has urged its allies to block the company's 5G development.
Although India's potential buying power gives it one way to slap at China, it has nowhere near the spending and lending capacity that China has used to increase its global influence.
Still, Indian officials have embraced the idea of being a democratic counterbalance to China, and the coronavirus has offered a chance to push that narrative as countries fume over Beijing's handling of the pandemic.
Image A photo released Wednesday by the Indian government showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying tribute to the Indian soldiers killed in the border clash. Credit... India Government Press Information Bureau, via Associated Press Indian political figures went on the offensive after the pandemic began, criticizing China's authoritarian system and its lack of transparency as the coronavirus spread beyond the city of Wuhan, where it is widely thought to have begun.
Vijay Gokhale, who recently retired as India's foreign secretary and is still close to the government, wrote a lengthy opinion piece this month in which he blasted China's handling of the pandemic. ''The shortcomings of the regime,'' he wrote, ''will further fuel a debate on the superiority of the Chinese model as an alternative to democracy. Will this form the ideological underpinning for the birth of a new Cold War?''
The pandemic also gave Mr. Modi a chance to tap his country's giant pharmaceutical industry to strengthen diplomatic ties. Diplomats stationed in India say that in the early days of the crisis, he and his foreign minister were ''constantly working the phones'' to offer countries help with medicines.
One Western diplomat felt that the coronavirus crisis had made India more eager to build stronger relationships to help it deal with China, and that diplomacy with India was going more smoothly than ever before.
''Everyone is more willing, privately, to talk about what to do with China in a post-Covid world,'' the diplomat said speaking on condition of anonymity. ''The ways that China has influenced that world order can now more easily be discussed as we are all trying to figure out what the new world order is.
''India represents one path,'' the diplomat added, ''and China represents another.''
More immediately, India faces the prospect of an escalation at the border, where China had been building up its forces before the violence last week.
''India wants peace,'' Mr. Modi said Wednesday, ''but if provoked, India is capable of giving a befitting reply.''
Image The coffin of a colonel killed in the fighting arrived in Suryapet, in the Indian state of Telangana, on Thursday. Credit... Mahesh Kumar a/Associated Press China's push at the border is not an isolated show of strength. Since the pandemic's start, China has flexed harder on many different fronts: It sank a Vietnamese shipping boat, harassed Malaysian oil rig operations and tightened its control over Hong Kong in hopes of stamping out the pro-democracy movement there.
But India has several reasons to feel particularly hemmed in by China. Over the past decade, China has heavily courted India's neighbors, unraveling New Delhi's influence on its own doorstep.
As Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the Himalayas, Nepal's government simultaneously claimed a sliver of territory on its border that India considers its own. India's defense minister recently suggested that Nepal's border actions were taken at the behest of China.
In Pakistan, India's archrival, China is building huge infrastructure projects, some in territory that the Indian government disputes. With every project built, China is making it harder for India to hold on to its territorial claims.
And right off India's southern coast, China took possession of a port in Sri Lanka after that country could not pay its debt to Beijing. Some Indian officials fear that China could militarize the port, which Sri Lanka denies.
''India went from having a monopoly of political and military power in the region to dealing with a marketplace of competition where China is increasingly predominant,'' said Constantino Xavier, a fellow at the Brookings Institution. He predicted that the new wave of border violence would prompt India to push back harder.
Some see China's buildup on the border as a calculated effort to keep India's aspirations in check.
''China doesn't particularly want India to succeed,'' said Tanvi Madan, the director of the India Project at the Brookings Institution. ''A weaker India will do less strategically in its own neighborhood, allowing China to step in more; and it will engage less in places like East Africa or in regional institutions, posing little challenge to China.''
China has also been sensitive about the prospects of closer ties between India and the West.
Image Protesters burned China-made products in New Delhi on Thursday. Credit... Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters On Wednesday, Global Times, a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party, published an editorial claiming that the United States had given Mr. Modi's government false confidence, and that it would ultimately abandon India.
''The resources that the U.S. would invest in China-India relations are limited,'' the editorial read. ''What the U.S. would do is just extend a lever to India, which Washington can exploit to worsen India's ties with China.''
Despite warm meetings between Mr. Modi and President Trump, their countries' relationship has at times been rocky. But given China's increasingly hard line in territorial disputes, some Indian officials fear there may be little choice but to look West.
In an opinion piece last week, Mr. Gokhale, the former Indian foreign secretary, said that countries could no longer ignore Beijing's transgressions and must choose between the United States and China.
''In the post-Covid age,'' he wrote, ''enjoying the best of both worlds may no longer be an option.''
Sameer Yasir contributed reporting.
China and India are sparring but neither can afford a full-on trade war - CNN
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 03:08
Analysis by Laura He, CNN Business
Updated 11:21 PM EDT, Sun July 05, 2020
Hong Kong(CNN Business) Last month's deadly border battle between India and China has already begun to affect business and technology. But the world's two most populous countries have a lot to lose should the dispute escalate into a full-on trade war.
New Delhi has indicated that it is willing to exert economic pressure on its neighbor. Trade organizations in the country reported last week that Chinese shipments were suddenly being held up at Indian checkpoints, while authorities in one state paused hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Chinese business deals. And earlier this week India took the dramatic step of banning dozens of mobile apps, including well-known Chinese ones like ByteDance's TikTok, Tencent's ( TCEHY ) WeChat, and social media network Weibo ( WB ) .
The backlash has reached the highest political levels: Weibo said this week that it had removed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's account at the Indian government's request.
Beijing's response so far has been cautious. Chinese officials said Tuesday that they were "strongly concerned" about the app ban, for example, but they did not threaten any kind of retaliation. And on Friday, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that the two countries should work together, adding that barriers to cooperation "will harm India's interests." Some Chinese state media have called for "cooler" heads to prevail.
"As of now, China is only assessing the situation," said Geethanjali Nataraj, an economics professor at the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA). A "trade war is not going to benefit either of the countries," she added.
China's tough lineChina has plenty of leverage, if it chooses to retaliate for India's app ban.
It has long been a critical trade partner for India. From April 2019 to March 2020, India bought $65 billion worth of goods from China, accounting for nearly 14% of its total imports, according to Indian government data. Meanwhile, China bought $16.6 billion worth of goods from India. China was India's second largest trading partner for that period behind the United States, though that value of trade does not include Hong Kong.
India accounts for a much smaller share of China's total trade. Exports to India comprised only 3% of China's total in 2019, according to Chinese government statistics. And India was only China's 12th biggest trade partner last year.
But analysts who spoke to CNN Business stressed that any kind of warfare, economic or otherwise, with an Asian neighbor would be costly for Beijing. The world's second largest economy is already managing pressures on several fronts, including a Western backlash over a new, controversial security law for Hong Kong and its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. China is also managing its own economic struggles, including a historic first-quarter contraction and rising unemployment.
"China is holding a tough line on the territorial dispute with India, but it doesn't want to see a confrontation," according to Deng Yuwen, a researcher at the US-based think tank China Strategic Analysis Center, who detailed his thoughts in a video posted online last month.
Nataraj of the IIPA pointed out that China also likely doesn't want to jeopardize its trading relationship with India, either, given the fact that the country still sends tens of billions of dollars of goods to India each year.
"Chinese companies are already facing trade restrictions from [the United States] and other countries, and they are faced with over capacity," she said. "Therefore, it is not easy for China to ignore a big market like India."
Even so, there are political considerations at play for Beijing. Deng said that China can't be too "soft" on territorial disputes, or else it could risk angering the public.
"The Chinese public doesn't think China should give in to India," Deng added. "In the people's perspective, China and India are like two boxers of different weight classes. It shouldn't be hard for the heavyweight to defeat the lightweight." (India does, however, have significant experience with ground combat and air forces, and recent studies suggest the country maintains an edge in high-altitude mountainous environments, such as the one where the 2020 face-off is taking place.)
India's dilemmaIndia, meanwhile, is likely to "lose more" from engaging in a trade war with China, according to Nataraj.
Like many other countries, Asia's third-largest economy has been hit hard by the pandemic and the lockdown measures it imposed to prevent the virus from spreading. Industrial production shrank dramatically this spring, while the services industry collapsed. Business activity was still struggling through June, according to data about the services sector released Friday.
Nataraj said that many industries in India '-- including electronics, pharmaceuticals and IT hardware '-- are heavily dependent on imports, particularly from China.
Shipping and delivery companies have confirmed that the dispute is already causing disruption. DHL Express India told CNN Business on Friday that it is "temporarily suspending pick up of import shipments from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao due to recent delays in customs clearance of shipments into India." And FedEx said that it is "currently facing backlogs beyond our control, leading to congestion at our facilities."
"Though there is nothing wrong in [being] vocal for local [business], the immediate short term anti-China momentum would affect the supply chain of Indian production networks," Nataraj said, adding that arbitrary import restrictions or consumer boycotts will be largely "self-defeating."
Potential retaliationEven if both countries have reason to not engage in a trade war, analysts pointed out that raw emotions could push them toward escalation.
"There is a clear understanding in India that China could retaliate and that India is more dependent on Chinese products than the other way round, but the mood in India is one of acute resentment and anger," according to Kanti Bajpai, a professor at the National University of Singapore who studies Indian foreign policy and India-China relations. At least 20 Indian soldiers died during June's clash with Chinese troops in the Himalayas, according to the Indian army.
"If the confrontation persists, Delhi may take economic actions on trade as well," Bajpai added.
In retaliation, Beijing could "slow walk" some of the market access it has promised India in areas such as pharmaceuticals and agriculture, according to Rick Rossow, the Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies at the Washington-based Center for Strategies and International Studies.
China could also pull back on new investments it was looking to make in India, he said.
Investment from China has poured into Indian startups and manufacturing but it was already becoming a point of contention. In April, the Indian government announced that foreign direct investment from countries that share a land border with India would be subject to more scrutiny.
"The economic consequences of these moves are likely to be modest initially, but the bigger impact could come if India decides to break away from China and secure stronger strategic ties with countries such as the United States, Japan, Australia and France," Rossow added.
'-- Shawn Deng, Swati Gupta, Manveena Suri, Jordan Valinsky Philip Wang, Isaac Yee and Hanna Ziady contributed to this report.
China's aggressive actions against India give insight into how CPC thinking these days, says U.S. NSA - The Hindu
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 03:06
India is a great friend of the United States, said Robert O'Brien.
China's ''very aggressive'' actions against India, including the brutal attack on Indian soldiers in eastern Ladakh, and its moves in the South China Sea and Hong Kong give a ''good insight'' into how the ruling Communist Party of China is thinking these days, U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien has said.
The Indian and Chinese armies were locked in a stand-off in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh since May 5. The tension escalated in the Galwan Valley on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed during a violent face-off with Chinese soldiers.
''The Chinese have been very aggressive with India,'' Mr. O'Brien said on Tuesday alleging that during the recent clash they beat some of the Indians so badly they were disfigured and could not be identified.
''This is a dispute between India and China, but China has shown itself for what it was. Chinese troops ambushed the Indians. They beat 20 Indians to death. They beat them so badly with clubs with nails in them and wrapped with concertina '-- barbed wire,'' Mr. O'Brien told Fox News Radio in an interview.
Watch | Galwan clash: what next for India and China? He was responding to a question on the recent Chinese aggressive behaviour against India in eastern Ladakh.
'India, U.S. have a lot in common'Responding to a question on U.S.-India bilateral relations, he said, India is a democracy and is a great friend of the United States.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President (Donald) Trump have a super relationship, Mr. O'Brien said.
''In fact, it was the last foreign trip that I took with the President before the COVID crisis hit, was to India, and we had a great reception of the Indian people there. We have a lot in common with them, we speak English, we're democracies. We've got a growing, very strong relationship with India,'' Mr. O'Brien said.
But China's action towards India, just like its actions in the South China Sea, just like what it's doing in Hong Kong, just like the bullying intimidation of Taiwan, really gives you a good insight into how the Communist Party of China is thinking these days, he said.
China claims almost all of the 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory. China has been building military bases on artificial islands in the region also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
It's something to be very concerned about, Mr. O'Brien said.
On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected ''most'' of China's maritime claims in the South China Sea, the latest in the escalation between Washington and Beijing.
Last week, the Trump administration took action against Chinese officials for their involvement in human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, where Uighur Muslims and other minority groups have been detained and tortured.
And two weeks ago, the administration announced visa restrictions on current and former Chinese officials who it says ''were responsible for eviscerating Hong Kong's freedoms.''
The Trump administration has been openly critical of Beijing's sweeping national security law aimed at limiting Hong Kong's autonomy and banning literature critical of the Chinese Communist Party.
Earlier in the day, Senator Bob Menendez, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, alleged that China is seeking to redraw the map of Asia without regard to its neighbours.
As India and China work to disengage along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), I remain deeply concerned by China's aggressive behaviour in territorial disputes, he said.
From the 2017 Doklam stand-off to the recent violence along the borders in Sikkim and Ladakh, to China's new claims to Bhutanese territory, Beijing has all too often sought to redraw the map of Asia without regard for its neighbours, he said.
The international community must be clear that such behaviour is unacceptable, he added.
Watch | India-China stand-off on the LAC: A TimelineMr. Menendez, the top Democratic Senator from New Jersey, said that the U.S.-India partnership, based on their shared commitment to democracy, is vital to uphold international law, international norms and the institutions that can peacefully and diplomatically resolve disputes and aggression.
I am committed to working with the Indian government and the Indian-American community in New Jersey and throughout the United States to advance U.S.-India cooperation, Mr. Menendez said.
Liberal international economic order - Wikipedia
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 13:14
In international relations, the liberal international (economic) order (LIEO, LIO), also known to the G-20 as the rules-based international order,[1] or the US-led liberal international order, is a notion that contemporary international relations are organized around several guiding principles, such as open markets, multilateral institutions, liberal democracy, and leadership by the United States and its allies. The order was established in the aftermath of World War II, and is often associated with Pax Americana.
Criticism [ edit ] The debate about liberal international order has grown especially prominent in International Relations.[2] Influential scholars Deudney and Ikenberry list five components of this international order: security co-binding, in which great powers demonstrate restraint; the open nature of US hegemony and the dominance of reciprocal transnational relations; the presence of self-limiting powers like Germany and Japan; the availability of mutual gains due to "the political foundations of economic openness"; and the role of Western "civil identity."[3] The more supportive views of scholars such as Ikenberry have drawn criticism from scholars who have examined the imperial and colonial legacies of liberal international institutions.[4][5] The contributions of non-Western actors to the formation of the liberal international order have also recently gained attention from scholars advancing global International Relations theory.[6] In the case of Latin America, for example, "From as far back as the 1860s, Latin American jurists have made prominent contributions to international jurisprudence, the 'mortar' that binds international order. ... However, in other ways, historically the LIO has been'--and remains'--superficial in its reach in Latin America."[7]
International organizations play a central role in the liberal order. The World Trade Organization, for example, creates and implements free trade agreements, while the World Bank provides aid to developing countries. The order is also premised on the notion that liberal trade and free markets will contribute to global prosperity and peace. Critics argue that the liberal order has sometimes led to social problems such as inequality and environmental degradation.[8]
Critics also argue that the liberal order tilts the scales in favour of the United States and its Western allies, as seen in voting shares in the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.[citation needed ]
Challenges by China [ edit ] Some see China as a potential challenger to the liberal order, as its initiatives such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and One Belt One Road Initiative appear to compete with existing international institutions.[9]
Van Niewenhuizen is categorical that Xi Jinping, then General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, seeks to supplant the LIEO. Xi distinguishes his own concept "国é…å…"ç">>æ"•æ²>>化", which can be translated as "rule of law in international relations", from international law "国é…æ"•" and international rule of law "国é…æ"•æ²>>". Van Niewenhuizen writes that
Xi's use of the character hua (化) here is instructive: it signifies a change in state, meaning the Chinese government does not believe international relations are characterised by the rule of law, and this requires revision.
R¼hlig asks in his March 2018 paper why China under Xi would seek to change a system by which it earns enormous profit,[10][11] but Anoushiravan Ehteshami says:[12]
China sees Iran as its Western gateway, where not only is it a big market in itself, but it will also be the gateway to the rest of the Middle East and ultimately to Europe for China.
Nisha Mary Mathew remarks that the quest for dominance of the Eurasian land mass in which China finds itself causes Iran to be a favourite.[12] In 2017 alone, the Chinese signed deals for Iranian infrastructure projects worth more than US$15 billion. Joint projects include "high-speed rail lines, upgrades to the nation's electrical grid, and natural gas pipelines". From 2019 to 2025 the two nations seek to increase bilateral trade to US$600 billion.[12]
See also [ edit ] New International Economic OrderWestern cultureFurther reading [ edit ] Bound to Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Liberal International Order by John J. MearsheimerA World Imagined: Nostalgia and Liberal Order By Patrick PorterThere's No Such Thing as 'the' Liberal World Order by Michael LindWill Current World Order Survive Without US Power? by Rajesh RajagopalanAsia after the liberal international order by Amitav AcharyaMisreading the ''Liberal Order'' by Paul StanilandPaeans to the 'Postwar Order' Won't Save Us by Stephen WertheimHow do you solve a problem like the liberal international order? by Jeet HeerThe Amnesia of the U.S. Foreign Policy Establishment by John GlaserMourning a phantom: the cherished ''rules-based order'' never existed by Helen ThompsonThe 'Liberal World Order' Was Built With Blood by Vincent BevinsRobert Keohane. 1984. After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Princeton University Press.John Ikenberry. 2001. After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order after Major Wars. Princeton University Press.Latin America and the liberal international order by Tom LongOrdering the world? Liberal internationalism in theory and practice, edited by G. John Ikenberry, Inderjeet Parmar, Doug StokesReferences [ edit ] ^ "G20 leaders reaffirm 'rules-based international order ' ". POLITICO SPRL. 1 December 2018. ^ Ikenberry, G. John; Parmar, Inderjeet; Stokes, Doug (2018-01-01). "Introduction: Ordering the world? Liberal internationalism in theory and practice". International Affairs. 94 (1): 1''5. doi:10.1093/ia/iix277. ISSN 0020-5850. ^ Deudney, Daniel; Ikenberry, G. John (April 1999). "The nature and sources of liberal international order". Review of International Studies. 25 (2): 179''196. doi:10.1017/S0260210599001795. ISSN 0260-2105. ^ Jahn, Beate (2018-01-01). "Liberal internationalism: historical trajectory and current prospects" (PDF) . International Affairs. 94 (1): 43''61. doi:10.1093/ia/iix231. ISSN 0020-5850. ^ Mazower, Mark. (2009). No enchanted palace : the end of empire and the ideological origins of the United Nations. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13521-2. OCLC 319601760. ^ Acharya, Amitav (2018-03-22). Constructing Global Order: Agency and Change in World Politics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-316-76726-9. ^ Long, Tom (2018-11-01). "Latin America and the liberal international order: an agenda for research". International Affairs. 94 (6): 1371''1390. doi:10.1093/ia/iiy188. ISSN 0020-5850. ^ "All About: Developing cities and pollution". . Retrieved 17 March 2019 . ^ VAN NIEUWENHUIZEN, SIMONE (1 August 2018). "China's "rule of law in international relations " ". THE LOWY INSTITUTE. The Interpreter. ^ R¼hlig, Tim (March 2018). "China's international relations in the new era of Xi Jinping '' implications for Europe" (PDF) . European Institute for Asian Studies. ^ R¼hlig, Tim (2 March 2018). "A "New" Chinese Foreign Policy Under Xi Jinping?". Institute for Security & Development Policy. ^ a b c "Oil tanker attacks: did Iran's ties with China just go up in smoke?". South China Morning Post. 15 June 2019.
John Lewis, civil rights hero, Georgia congressman, dies at 80
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 05:15
Before the sit-ins and freedom rides, before nearly dying at the hand of an Alabama state trooper at the Edmund Pettus Bridge and before ascending to the top ranks of Democratic politics, John Lewis wanted to be a preacher.
As a young boy tending to his family's chickens in rural Pike County, Ala., the future Georgia congressman would assemble the landfowl onto their roosts and recite Bible verses to them nearly every evening. He even conducted funeral services and the occasional baptism.
Lewis' central role in the civil rights movement put an end to his pulpit dreams. But his moral clarity and unwavering commitment to nonviolence and the ''beloved community'' '' a democracy of racial, social and economic equality '' infused every chapter of his life. It also earned him the respect of a nation that early-on feared his presence.
Explore Photos: John Lewis through the yearsLewis, who played a 60-year, outsized role on America's stage, from organizing lunch-counter sit-ins to becoming the face of political resistance to President Donald Trump, died Friday after a battle with cancer, his office confirmed. He was 80 years old.
''It is with inconsolable grief and enduring sadness that we announce the passing of U.S. Rep. John Lewis,'' Lewis spokeswoman Brenda Jones said in a written statement early Saturday. ''He was honored and respected as the conscience of the US Congress and an icon of American history, but we knew him as a loving father and brother. He was a stalwart champion in the on-going struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being. He dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed.''
Lewis is survived by his son, John-Miles Lewis, six siblings and about 30 nieces and nephews. His wife of 44 years, Lillian Miles Lewis, died in 2012.
John Lewis, third from the right, with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., to his right, and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy at a press conference announcing a boycott of Alabama. King mentored and helped Lewis, who became a key ally. (PHOTO CREDIT AP)
Credit: ap
Credit: ap
Becoming the ''Boy from Troy''
John Robert Lewis was born Feb. 21, 1940, to sharecroppers Willie Mae and Eddie Lewis in Troy, Ala., at at a time when the Deep South was the epicenter of legalized racism and discrimination. He was one of 10 children.
In that atmosphere, Bob Lewis, as he was called, was given an early and tough life lesson by his parents: there was little to be gained and much to lose in rebelling against the system.
''They would say, 'That's the way it is. Don't get in trouble. Don't get in the way,''' Lewis said later.
But the ''Whites Only'' signs he saw, from water fountains to the best seats in the movie theater, ignited a slow burn inside him. Even in places where no placards hung, like the voter registration office at the county courthouse, he understood that the unspoken apartheid rules applied. The impression that made on the young boy was so deep that Lewis seldom went to movie theaters even years later when he could have chosen any seat he wished.
Explore Years in Atlanta City Hall tested Lewis' mettleIn the 1950s, even in rural Alabama, the sounds of a brewing revolution could be heard, for those who had ears to hear them.
The 1954 ''Brown vs. Board of Education'' ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the separate-but-equal doctrine, which allowed schools to segregate the 15-year-old Lewis from his white neighbors. Lewis recalled in his 1998 memoir ''Walking With the Wind'' that Alabama politicians quickly vowed to disobey the ruling.
But it ''turned my life upside down,'' he wrote. Not long after the ruling, the radio brought to town the voice of a young preacher from Atlanta, eloquently denouncing racism and encouraging Lewis to disobey his parents' advice to keep his head down.
It seemed as though the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. ''was speaking directly to me,'' Lewis recalled.
''I felt like he was saying, 'John Lewis, you can do it. You can make a difference in the struggle to defend the dignity of all humankind.'''
A short time later, Lewis waged his first battle against segregation. He walked into the Troy public library and asked for a library card. African Americans helped pay for the library with their taxes, but couldn't check out a book. Turned down, the teenager went home and drafted a petition calling for equal access. He found few Black people willing to sign the petition in those dangerous days, but he submitted it.
He never heard back.
He graduated high school and refocused on becoming a minister, but couldn't ignore his calling to challenge the injustice he saw. While attending American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, he issued a bigger challenge. He sent an application to all-white Troy State University in his hometown. African American students were doing the same across the U.S. in an organized effort to force the question of the ''Brown vs. Board of Education'' ruling.
Troy State, like the library, never replied.
Explore Lewis found himself a confessor to those repenting of racismLewis was going to push. He looked for support from the voice on the radio. He wrote a letter to King, now the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in nearby Montgomery, asking for help. King sent Lewis an invitation and bus ticket.
''I was overwhelmed,'' Lewis would later recall. ''I kept telling myself to be calm, that fate was moving now, that I was in the hands of that spirit of history.''
He was 18.
''So, you're John Lewis,'' King greeted the young man who would become an ardent supporter, prot(C)g(C) and colleague. King dubbed him ''the Boy from Troy,'' a nickname Lewis carried the rest of his life.
Becoming something more
King offered his help, but Lewis' mother's voice was also in his ear. She worried her son's actions would put the family's land, livelihood and possibly lives in danger of violence.
Still, Lewis was determined to bring change to the system. Back in Nashville, he committed himself to a life of ''good trouble,'' his twist on advice from his family not to rock the boat.
There, he put into practice the things he learned from his mentor Jim Lawson, who exposed him to the teachings of Mohandas Gandhi and Henry David Thoreau: nonviolent direct action, civil disobedience, love and reconciliation. Lewis and other young activists began organizing sit-ins at segregated Nashville restaurants, department stores and movie theaters.
Explore John Lewis left footprints across metro Atlanta''Among so many other things, this was about education, pricking consciences, teaching one race about another, and, if need be, about itself,'' Lewis said.
Two days after John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960, Lewis was involved in a sit-in of a local restaurant. The owner turned on the fumigator and left, locking Lewis and his friend James Bevel inside. By the time firefighters freed them, the two had almost choked to death on insecticide.
Not long after, Lewis spent his 21st birthday in jail for blocking the entrance of a segregated theater.
A Freedom Rider bus went up in flames in May 1961 when a fire bomb was tossed through a window near Anniston, Ala. The bus, which was testing bus station segregation in the south, had stopped because of a flat tire. Passengers escaped without serious injury.(AP Photo)
Credit: Anonymous
Credit: Anonymous
He helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which helped spread civil disobedience across America.
His leadership of SNCC put him at the receiving end of violence, arrests and government denunciations of him as a communist and a militant threat.
Lewis was on the buses of the 1961 Freedom Rides, a series of trips through the South that tested a new Supreme Court order desegregating interstate transportation facilities. He endured an attack from a Ku Klux Klansman in Rock Hill, S.C., and was nearly beaten to death in Alabama and Mississippi for trying to use the ''Whites Only'' restrooms and waiting areas. The Greyhound bus Lewis was supposed to be riding was firebombed in in Anniston, Ala.
He was also involved in a historic event, helping plan the 1963 March on Washington as one of the Big Six '-- the men who were leading the movement, including King, James Farmer, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young.
Watch: Freedom Riders 50 Years Later: The Impact
In June 1963, Lewis moved to Atlanta, the headquarters of SNCC, taking up residence in a sparse second-floor walk-up in the southwest corner of the city. He had barely unpacked his bags before he and other civil rights leaders were invited to White House. President John F. Kennedy, who would be assassinated a few months later, had concerns about the impending march.
The peaceful event drew more than 200,000 people to the National Mall, all pushing for more federal attention to the electoral, social and economic plight of African Americans. That muggy August day lives on in America's collective memory as the day King articulated his dream for an equal society. But Lewis, then 23, delivered the event's most controversial address, rife with frustration and anger at the ''cheap politicians'' whose inaction perpetuated inequality. The Kennedy administration and march leaders implored him to soften the speech at the eleventh hour.
''To those who have said, 'Be patient and wait,' we must say that 'patience is a dirty and nasty word,''' Lewis stated in his original speech. ''We cannot be patient, we do not want to be free gradually. We want our freedom, and we want it now.''
The crowd's applause interrupted Lewis 14 times.
John Lewis was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington in 1963. He intended to deliver a fiery speech at the event but appeals from organizers Asa Randolph and Bayard Rustin, as well as Martin Luther King Jr., convinced him at the last minute to soften his language. (courtesy Rep. John Lewis)
And end and a beginning
Lewis again was thrown into the nation's eye on March 7, 1965, when ABC's airing of the movie ''Judgment at Nuremberg'' was interrupted by a special news report with footage of white police officers and onlookers beating unarmed Black marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. Featured prominently in the film was a young Black man on his knees, John Lewis, in a trench coat and backpack, trying to ward off a cop's billy club blow.
''We had no chance to turn and retreat,'' Lewis wrote in his autobiography. ''I remember how vivid the sounds were as the troopers rushed toward us '-- the clunk of the troopers' heavy boots, the whoops of rebel yells from the white onlookers, the clip-clop of horses' hooves hitting the hard asphalt of the highway, the voice of a woman shouting, 'Get 'em!'''
Lewis was gassed and beaten. A blow fractured his skull, causing a serious concussion. He thought he was going to die.
Within days of ''Bloody Sunday,'' President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he would introduce legislation guaranteeing African Americans full voting rights.
Read more: Fifty years later, John Lewis revisits Selma
In 1965, John Lewis, in his overcoat on his knees, and Hosea Williams led a group of marchers from Selma to Montgomery to bring attention to voting rights. Instead, the marchers were attacked by state troopers with batons and tear gas as the marchers descended the Edmund Pettus Bridge. (AP file)
Credit: AP file
Credit: AP file
Selma changed Lewis, who later recalled of that the day: ''Something was born in Selma during the course of that year, but something died there, too. The road to nonviolence had essentially run out. Selma was the last act,'' he said.
The years between the Troy library and the Pettus Bridge, Lewis had gained hero status in the eyes of many. He had paid a high price for his work physically.
More painful to him was his family's reaction.
Lewis' parents were initially ashamed of their son. His mother, Lewis later wrote, saw no difference between being arrested in the name of social justice and being arrested for being drunk. At home, Willie Mae and Eddie Lewis had to contend with the neighbors whispering about that troublemaking Lewis kid.
Those wounds took years to heal. But family members said Lewis was a constant presence in Troy, even after he was elected to Congress and accepting lifetime achievement awards.
Explore Lewis saw in gay rights a movement like civil rightsLewis' relationship with SNCC, however, was different. By 1965, other leaders of the group were starting to turn on him and his ideals.
Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown were agitating within the organization, arguing that ''Black Power'' would never be granted '-- that it had to be seized, by force if necessary. Lewis lost support for being too chummy with President Johnson, and King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Carmichael maneuvered himself to replace Lewis and banished all white workers from SNCC '-- along with the notion of nonviolence. Lewis' ouster remained a sore point for the future congressman, and he turned down offers to work with SNCC on other projects in the years that followed.
Shift to politics
Lewis continued working on anti-discrimination and social justice issues after leaving SNCC, but by 1977 he turned his attention to joining institutions he once derided for failing to protect people like him.
He ran for a U.S. House seat in 1977 but lost.
In 1981, Lewis ran for Atlanta City Council and won in a landslide. He made a pledge at his first election-night victory party to ''bring a sense of ethics and moral courage to the council.''
In 1986, Lewis ran again for Congress, this time against his friend Julian Bond, and won in a bitter contest that divided the two civil rights warriors.
''If someone had told me when I was growing up that one day I would be here, serving in the House of Representatives, I'd say, 'You're crazy, you're thinking the unthinkable,''' Lewis said.
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 13, 2017. Over Twitter, President-elect Donald Trump criticized the Georgia congressman, one of the original Freedom Riders, as being 'all talk,' on the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. (Al Drago/The New York Times)
Credit: AL DRAGO
Credit: AL DRAGO
Lewis quickly became one of the most liberal voices in the U.S. House. His Democratic colleagues dubbed him ''the conscience of the Congress'' as he lent his moral compass and oratory to biggest debates of the day.
He opposed the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and, later, the Iraq War. He repeatedly accused President George W. Bush's administration of lying, and was among the first to call for Bush's impeachment.
He was a critic of his Georgia colleague, U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich, who led the 1994 Republican takeover of the House. Lewis repeatedly called for an investigation into a lucrative book deal Gingrich received, which Gingrich later gave up.
Explore Lewis vs. Trump: antagonist until the endYet Lewis won the respect of a number of top Republicans and worked privately with them to reauthorize the 1965 Voting Rights Act, build an African-American history museum on the National Mall and create a minority health research center at the National Institutes of Health.
Like so many African Americans, Lewis was overcome with emotion at Barack Obama's presidential victory in 2008. The first Black president later awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
''Generations from now, when parents teach their children what is meant by courage, the story of John Lewis will come to mind '-- an American who knew that change could not wait for some other person or some other time; whose life is a lesson in the fierce urgency of now,'' Obama said when presenting the medal in 2011.
It was part of a career denouement for Lewis that saw him crisscross the country to receive accolades and celebrate civil rights milestones. One of the youngest civil rights leaders had become one of the last living ones, his memories in high demand, his stature enhanced by his continued presence in Congress.
'Reliving my life'
In recent years, Lewis continued to find ways to press his colleagues on what he saw as unfinished business in the quest to end injustice.
After 49 people were fatally shot at an Orlando nightclub in 2016, Lewis led House Democrats in a sit-in on the House floor to press the GOP to advance gun control legislation. The group huddled around Lewis and sang protest songs like ''We Shall Overcome'' for nearly 26 hours. When Republican leaders cut the C-SPAN camera feed, dismissing the protest as a political stunt, Democrats broke House rules by streaming the events live from their cellphones.
''Sitting there on the floor, I felt like I was reliving my life all over again,'' Lewis later recounted. ''During the '60s the sit-ins started with three or four people, and they spread like wildfire. This will spread.''
This photo provided by Rep.Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore. shows Democrat members of Congress, including, from left, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.,participating in sit-down protest seeking a a vote on gun control measures, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, on the floor of the House on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Rep. Suzanne Bonamici via AP)
Credit: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici
Credit: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici
Read more: John Lewis' experience at heart of Capitol sit-in
Lewis added a new title to his lengthy list of accolades in 2016, when he won the National Book Award for the third installment of his graphic novel trilogy about the civil rights movement, ''March.''
He reemerged on the political frontlines in late 2016, when his comment that he didn't see Trump as a ''legitimate president'' prompted a sharp rebuke from the then-president-elect on Twitter.
''Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,'' Trump said.
From that moment on, Lewis boycotted Trump's addresses to Congress and refused to appear with him in public.
Despite that, Lewis was initially reticent about publicly joining his Democratic colleagues who were lining up in favor of the launching an impeachment inquiry against Trump. That changed in late September 2019 after details leaked about Trump pressing his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate the Biden family.
Trump never had kind things to say about Lewis, but he did quietly help the Democrat achieve one of his most sought-after legislative priorities when he signed a bill creating Georgia's first national historic park at Atlanta's Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in 2018.
Lewis announced in December 2019 that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, an aggressive disease that claims the lives of nearly three-quarters of its victims within a year of diagnosis.
''I've been in some kind of fight '' for freedom, equality, basic human rights '' for nearly my entire life,'' Lewis said. ''I have never faced a fight quite like this one.''
News of Lewis' death prompted an outpouring of grief from political leaders, civil rights alums and celebrities on social media.
Gov. Brian Kemp said Lewis ''changed our world in profound and immeasurable ways.'' And former President Bill Clinton and ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the nation ''lost a giant.''
''John Lewis gave all he had to redeem America's unmet promise of equality and justice for all, and to create a place for us to build a more perfect union together,'' the couple said in a joint written statement.
Staff writer Tia Mitchell and Bob Kemper contributed to this article.
If You Thought Stop-And-Frisk Was Bad, You Should Know About Jump-Outs '' ThinkProgress
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 13:15
Iman Hadieh was standing outside a bar smoking with some new friends on the evening of October 6 when the police cars came. It was about eight young black men, and her, a woman of Palestinian origin who describes herself as white.
''I can't tell you how many vehicles descended upon us because it all happened so fast,'' she said. The cars were unmarked. But she knew it was the cops when they jumped out in black vests and hats, some with their guns drawn, she said. Some she didn't see jump from their cars, but they appeared instead to come out of nowhere. She estimates there were 10 or 12 officers in all. Two witnesses who live on the block confirmed seeing a group of about 8 people lined up against a wall and frisked. They did not see the initial jump-out and could not confirm whether officers had their guns drawn.
Before Hadieh could take in what had happened, the officers were in their faces, touching and prodding the young men she was standing with near the corner of 14th Street NW and Parkwood Place in Washington, D.C. The men fell into line, signaling that it wasn't their first time the police had jumped out at them. But as a light-skinned woman, it was hers.
''I knew they were 'police' per se, but they weren't moving, talking or behaving in any way like police usually do,'' Hadieh said. ''It was highly tactical and organized, very militarized.''
The police never asked if they could search any of them, but ''one by one they were searched and their pockets emptied,'' Hadieh said. One of them, a 15-year-old, was in handcuffs before she even knew what had happened.
She said she asked repeatedly why the police were there and was told only that it was a ''drug call.'' The details of that night are fuzzy for Hadieh, who says she has had trouble sleeping since. But one question stuck in her mind, when the female officer said to her: ''Do you realize that you are guilty by association right now?''
What Hadieh described is what many Washington, D.C. residents call a jump-out, so named because of the element of shock and surprise when multiple officers unexpectedly jump out of an unmarked car toward pedestrians. The tactic has gotten very little public attention, but it is for many black residents the mark of policing problems in the nation's capital: militaristic, seemingly arbitrary, and reeking of racial disparity.
As protests erupt around the country, the ''jump-out'' has been the focal point of local advocacy for the group known as DC Ferguson. The group held a rally to protest the tactic on the week of the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson, circulating a petition calling on the D.C. Council to immediately take a stand against the tactic.
Just what is a jump-out? It depends who you ask. It is typically described as multiple officers patrolling in an unmarked car, who at some point see something suspicious, and jump out of the car at once on unsuspecting pedestrians, with the intent of catching them off guard. Overwhelmingly, the jump-outs that have been reported involve at least one black male. DC Ferguson describes it as a ''paramilitary tactic in which unmarked police vehicles carry 3 or more officers not wearing the standard police uniform. Their objective is to stop and intimidate ordinary citizens into submitting to interrogation or an unwarranted search.''
In some of the most egregious descriptions, cops are alleged to have drawn their weapons to do so. In others, they will allegedly manhandle, shove, or slam the suspects, frisk the suspects, or aggressively question the suspects in a manner that makes it seem as if they have no choice but to answer.
''We realized that it's pretty much our stop and frisk,'' said Kenny Nero, a co-founder of DC Ferguson.
The D.C. Police Department hardly acknowledges the term at all. When asked about jump-outs by ThinkProgress, Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said, ''Oh god, the fantasy jump-out squads,'' explaining that ''jump-outs'' are a now-defunct police tactic used in the 1980s and 1990s to conduct undercover drug stings. But during a police oversight hearing following the interview, Lanier qualified her comments, acknowledging that officers do occasionally jump out of unmarked cars in drug cases, although qualifying that it's very rare, and that she wouldn't call it a ''jump-out.''
With regard to Hadieh's jump-out, the police department says it is investigating after Hadieh revealed many of the details during a public hearing. But police officials declined to provide any other details to ThinkProgress, and directed ThinkProgress to complete a Freedom of Information Act request when asked for documentation. That request is still pending.
'They check the boys. They don't check the girls.'Get off the metro at the 7th Street exit of the Shaw/Howard University station, and you'll see a community in rapid transition. In the 1960s, the neighborhood at the center of what was once the blackest city in America dubbed ''Chocolate City'' went up in flames during massive riots over the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Since then, Shaw has remained mostly residential, with white flight relegating many to the suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, and few store-fronts aimed at the young Hill staffers of Washington. In 2011, the city for the first time lost its black majority, and over the course of a few years, posh bars with oyster-themed menus and ironic hipster names like Southern Efficiency and Eat the Rich have popped up one after the next in between gleaming new luxury apartments, overflowing with new visitors to the neighborhood who came looking for the next best thing.
Ask these newcomers to define the term ''jump-out,'' and they're likely to have never heard the term.
Walk a block south and a block west from Eat the Rich, near the other exit to that same metro stop, and you'll find African American residents who say jump-outs are just as much a part of life as running to catch the bus.
CREDIT: Ari Phillips/ThinkProgressOutside a row of nondescript brick buildings that stopped offering subsidized housing to new residents last year, several different groups of black high-school teens congregate on a warm November Tuesday evening, each around a different parked car. ''Is this your car?'' they ask worriedly as a ThinkProgress reporter approaches. Other than leaning against somebody else's car, though, they aren't doing anything wrong. They're standing, laughing, talking.
Have they seen jump-outs? Multiple times a week, they say. A group of about eight kids nod in agreement.
''They just mess with people just to mess with them,'' says one girl, braiding her long brown hair between her fingers as she explains. She qualifies that ''they check the boys. They don't check the girls.'' She says she's 16.
Do they jump out of the car? ''Yeah with their guns out,'' says another boy in the group, adding that they'll grab you by the shoulder, or ''hop out on you and take you off your moped.'' They say the unmarked cars regularly sit in a parking lot on the corner and wait.
''I was like 11 when they first jumped out on me,'' says one 17-year-old.
They used to hang out at a community center, they say, but it closed. The only other spot to hang out at the library across the street. But some of their friends are not quiet enough, and they always get kicked out.
''We used to be in there reading to the little kids. All that, man. They pushing us on the street.''
This block of 8th Street between R and S is known for jump-outs. Especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And the reports of these kids are the norm, not the anomaly.
Alec Karakatsanis of Equal Justice Under Law has interviewed hundreds of residents in ''heavily policed areas.'' ''I always ask them how many times have you been stopped and frisked by MPD,'' Karakatsanis said. ''Young people often don't know how to answer that question. They often say, do you mean this week?''
Karakatsanis said when he asks the question in certain public high schools, nearly every student raises their hands. He asks if they understand that being stopped and frisked without suspicion that they committed a crime is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. In one classroom, a kid raised his hand and corrected him, Karakatsanis recalled. ''No you don't understand,'' the kid said. ''These are jump-outs. They are allowed to do that.''
Karakatsanis testified during a recent oversight hearing of the Metropolitan Police Department that this is happening ''every day without justification.''
'Any casually dressed black man in the vicinity'While Chief Lanier doesn't acknowledge the term ''jump-out'' as defining any current practice of the MPD, she explained at a recent D.C. Council hearing what she believes people are often referring to when they use the term: the ''Vice Unit'' and the ''Crime Suppression Unit.'' The Vice Unit, she concedes, is a drug squad and oftentimes operates in unmarked cars or outfits its officers in plainclothes. She says they may wait on a block and ''jump out of a car'' in sets of four to six officers to arrest those suspected of being in the drug trade. But she says the tactic is ''rarely used anymore.''
The ''Crime Suppression Unit'' deals with things like burglaries and robberies and may also operate in unmarked cars with their own set of tactics. They will ''go to the immediate area'' of the crime and look for suspects. ''If the crime suppression team comes across a person in close proximity that matches the physical description,'' they will stop that person. She said they're supposed to be in full uniform and marked police cars, but some do operate wearing exterior vests. This comes from what they call a ''look-out.''
According to testimony at a recent oversight hearing, and a 2007 federal appeals court case on a jump-out involving a ''look-out,'' typical descriptions can be as vague as black man, black jacket, jeans, with general height and weight parameters. ''Apparently, a 'lookout' broadcast encompassing virtually any casually dressed black man in the vicinity made all black males fair game,'' the dissenting judge remarked in that case.
On multiple occasions when asked about jump-outs, Lanier emphasized that there are more than 20 different law enforcement authorities policing the city, including the capitol police, park police, metro police, and federal authorities, and that she cannot account for tactics they may use that resemble a jump-out.
Seema Sadanandan, policy and advocacy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation's Capital, has balked at Lanier's claim that the tactics she described are ''rarely used'' by MPD. ''The Chief's assertions are directly contradicted by the experiences of hundreds of District residents who have interacted with the Metropolitan Police Department's Vice Unit officers, who are often traveling in unmarked cars and utilize a 'jump-out' tactic to initiate the contact,'' she told ThinkProgress. Sadanandan said she has heard ''hundreds of anecdotal stories'' over the past few years during community meetings and trainings.
If they don't find nothing, then they go back in the car and drive away and don't document anything.
Former D.C. Police Officer Ron Hampton also disputed this contention. ''She's sitting there at the council saying they don't do jump-outs. They do do jump-outs,'' insisted Hampton, who was until recently the Executive Director of the National Black Police Association.
Hampton says officers will often ''stand them up against the wall,'' likely frisking and/or searching them. This is the sort of thing MPD officers are supposed to document. But Hampton says ''if they don't find nothing, then they go back in the car and drive away and don't document anything and they just conducted a whole bunch of illegal searches. That's what they do.''
No public data is available on what residents describe as jump-outs. In fact, it's not even clear that the department is documenting these incidents as ''stops,'' thanks in part to a 2007 court decision that found that a ''look-out'' involving a jump-out in D.C. was not considered a ''stop.''
Lanier testified before the D.C. Council that she could only provide data on ''stop-and-frisks'' and not other stops, because mere ''stops'' may have not involved criminal activity and thus are not public record. The police department did tell ThinkProgress that there are 5 to 10 unmarked cars ''assigned to the patrol districts for use in vice and crime suppression activities,'' and quantified the total number of recorded ''stops or contacts'' and ''stop-and-frisks'' in 2013 at 7,542. These counts exclude any stops that lead to ''further enforcement,'' such as an arrest.
Hampton hasn't been a D.C. police officer for 20 years, but he's been heavily involved in the police community as a leading figure in a number of police organizations including the National Black Police Association. He says he's seen officers do jump-outs on the streets, and he knows it's MPD that's responsible for these interactions, and not one of the host of other agencies that police the city. How does he know they don't report it as a stop? For one thing, he doesn't see them do any paperwork before they drive away. For another, he knows the culture of the police.
Jump-Outs 101When Hampton was a police officer, Washington was knee-deep on a War-on-Drugs program known as ''Operation Clean Sweep.'' Washington, D.C. was dubbed the ''murder capital'' in the late 1980s, a title that continued as the murder rate hit its peak in the early 1990s. That murder rate was associated with the crack epidemic, in which hundreds of open-air markets operated in the city. And so one of the primary goals was to shut the drug trade down, lending to tactics like the jump-out.
But Hampton remembers that operation as justifying widespread police targeting of African Americans rather than just targeting drug dealers. At that time, he said, more than 53,000 people were arrested under the guise of a subversive police drug operation, but more than three-quarters of them had nothing to do with crack or drugs. They had ''all to do with evidence of black folks being caught up in road blocks and traps'' because they wanted to be able to ''say they were doing something about the crack epidemic.''
While the word ''jump-out'' has been hardly uttered by officials over the past 15 years, it was a frequently used term during that period, according to a search of Washington Post archives.
A manual on Operation Clean Sweep, for example, contained ''specific instructions, such as how many uniformed officers should be present as a backup and how many officers should be used in a 'jump-out' squad,'' according to a 1986 Washington Post article.
''We did many things like create the jump-out squads or at least implement them,'' recalls councilman Tommy Wells. ''And these are things that we're still doing. We still have a culture that comes out of that time.''
A task force '... found in a 1996 report that judges were remarking on the prevalence of ''jump-out squads'' that ''burst[] out, rounding up blacks, forcing them to 'spread-eagle' against the wall.''
''Several reports linked the tactic to steep spikes in the jail population, which were occurring around the country during that period as part of the War on Drugs. In 1989, the Virginia suburb of Fairfax County reported that it had seen a 40 percent spike in drug arrests over the previous year, and attributed much of that to the jump-out tactic.
At the time, these high arrest rates were a point of pride. But they began to come under scrutiny. The Post reported also in 1986 that ''Assistant Police Chief Isaac Fulwood Jr. began an investigation of the 'jump-out' tactic, which was being used by police to search large groups of people without probable cause.''
Ten years later, a task force assessing race and ethnicity bias in D.C. federal court found in a 1996 report that judges were remarking on the prevalence of ''jump-out squads'' that ''burst[] out, rounding up blacks, forcing them to ''spread-eagle' against the wall.''
By the late 1990s, the culture of policing in Washington, D.C. was starting to change. Both Lanier and her predecessor scaled back the Clean Sweep tactics, and purported to incorporate resident input into their police practices in what is known as ''community policing.''
Lanier has made it a public priority to improve the adversarial relationship between some communities and police, putting forth the image of bridge-builder in stops to public housing developments and displays of empathy toward even those who have interacted with the criminal system. Lanier said recently at an Urban Institute panel discussion, ''you have to use police tactics that are reflective of what your community values are,'' adding, ''really the community sets the standard as to what's allowable in a community or not.''
And she has garnered kudos for this reputation. Tracie L. Keesee, cofounder of the Center for Policing Equity, recently said to Lanier, ''If we were to replicate you and put you in all the departments in the United States, we'd be on.''
But while many longtime members of the community concede that some tactics have gotten better for at least some people, they don't think Lanier's department is reflecting their values, and they're determined not to pass this tradition of police hostility on to another generation.
Four times in one yearChioma Iwuoha lived in the Shaw neighborhood for much of her life, and she grew up watching her dad stopped by police. Her house was raided as guns were pointed at their heads, she said. She was with her dad on multiple occasions during police stops. ''There's always been this idea like the police are not there to serve and protect.''
Chioma Iwuoha and Damian Bascom with their daughter Ngozi. CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Chioma Iwuoha.Now she is a young professional with a daughter. And if one year in Shaw was in any indication, Iwuoha's daughter may see this tradition continue with her own father, Damian Bascom. Bascom, now a 32-year-old entrepreneur who has been recognized by Washington Life Magazine as a ''passionate and productive leader,'' says he has been stopped at least four times on the block where Iwuoha was living with her parents in the course of one year, all in what he calls jump-outs.
''They're driving by; you don't realize that it's police,'' he said. ''Then they come out of the car, jump out at you. Man, it's like they're about to attack me and arrest me. They pull up, zoom, and just like immediately come out.''
In one incident, he was leaving Iwuoha's house after watching the 2012 State of the Union, when police officers jumped out of an unmarked car at him as he crossed the street, he said. ''They asked me what I was doing in the neighborhood,'' he said. ''And then I asked them, why are you approaching me like this, officers?''
One officer said ''he saw me slow-dragging across the street and I looked suspicious. '... I was just walking across the street. I wasn't drunk or intoxicated or anything. '... I don't know what slow-dragging is.''
He said the officer began to become more aggressive, asking to see his ID until Iwuoha came out of the house with some other friends that had been visiting, demanding to know why they were harassing Bascom. The cops halted their questioning, he said, while telling Iwuoha she had blown the situation out of proportion. But two blocks later, the same cops pulled them over after they got into their car. They realized their mistake after they saw their faces and walked away, Iwuoha said.
Another of the times Bascom was jumped out at, he was sitting in his car on the phone when similar unmarked cars pulled up around him. Iwuoha was six months pregnant, and she came out of the house, livid she was now witnessing police stop Bascom on her block for the third time. As she moved off of the sidewalk toward the other side of the street, she said one officer ''put his hand on his gun and told me to get back on the sidewalk.'' Her reaction: ''I'm unarmed. I'm pregnant. And he feels the need to let me know that if I come closer that he could potentially like shoot me.''
''I want to feel like a citizen,'' said Bascom. ''You should feel secure when you see police. You shouldn't feel like you're about to be attacked or be harassed.''
At a packed D.C. Council hearing on the police department where Iwuoha recently recounted some of these stories, witness after witness came to the podium for three hours to report incidents of racial profiling, jump-outs, stops of young black men. The white individuals who did testify only spoke on their proximity to African Americans, or their experience as professionals working on police harassment. One white male, Tom Bishop, even testified to contrast his positive interactions with police.
The audience at a Howard University auditorium intermittently chanted, cheered, and booed, as Councilman Wells repeatedly urged the crowd to remember that the event was not a rally. But the crowd fell dead silent as Morgan Butler, a recent high school graduate and member of the D.C. slam poetry team, interjected to make a personal plea to Wells.
Morgan Butler CREDIT: Screenshot from D.C. Council video''I just wanted to just like, let y'all know,'' she said, ''that even though you say that we're young because we're 17 and 18, my brothers are only 11 and 12 and they don't know how to deal with the police.'' She recounted a recent incident in which her brothers were starting to ride the Metro to school. Their mom instructed them on how to be safe on the trains, and to hide their electronics. But the kids had a different concern: ''My brothers who, like I said are very sheltered, their main concern was how to deal with the police. What happens in the train if they get stopped by police.''
She swallowed hard, putting her hand to her heart. ''I don't wanna come home and see my brothers' names are hashtags on twitter. I would just appreciate it if y'all do something and change this.'' She paused to hold back tears. ''I'm gonna cry now. Thanks.''
What now?For a few years now, the D.C. Council has started to take on the issue of dramatic racial disparities in D.C. policing. In July, Washington, D.C. responded to alarming data that blacks are eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana by passing a decriminalization law. The law was a major step. But it was then that one of the foremost and earliest critics of jump-outs, the ACLU's Sadanandan pointed out that no single law or modification is going to change a culture of policing that discriminates against blacks.
In October, residents went a step further by passing a ballot initiative to legalize pot in what was also largely a conversation about race. In fact, it was a leader of Washington, D.C.'s movement to oppose the pot legalization ballot initiative that passed in November, a young black man named William Jones, who called legalizing marijuana the ''easy answer'' that doesn't ''address the police and the system that has been unfairly targeting us.''
Even Lanier committed during recent D.C. Council testimony to ''roll out a new drug enforcement strategy'' for 2015. She did not elaborate at all on what that would look like, except to say ''it will look significantly different.''
And Councilman Wells, in an assessment of his priorities as he completes his final term in office, determined even before Ferguson magnified public awareness of racist policing, to focus on Washington, D.C.'s police problem. He convened the recent series of police oversight hearings to start that process. At this point, though, it's hard to know what will come of it.
To Sadanandan, ''There is no one recommendation, no one policy, no one implementation of body camera or otherwise that will cure what we are seeing in our society. We believe this is a process that will take time and deep introspection.''
Others had more tangible asks.
Karakatsanis, the lawyer from Equal Justice Under Law, had broad requests that included a review of every criminal law on the books and a re-allocation of funding away from such police activities. He also called for meaningful police accountability laws.
DC Ferguson rallies, on the week a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson. CREDIT: Travis Waldron, ThinkProgressKymone Freeman, an activist who started ''We Act'' radio in D.C., called for a citizen review board with the power to actually indict officers. Washington has a citizen review board, but is perceived as under-staffed, and with only the toothless power to make recommendations on police discipline. Freeman is part of DC Ferguson, and that group, which has grown over the past few months, has articulated similar asks. It has also asked the D.C. Council to pass a resolution against jump-out squads.
Councilman Grosso set his sights on better collection of data, and for good reason. In New York, it was data on stops and frisks that eventually compelled outrage and reform in New York.
While documentation of racial disparities in arrests by both the ACLU and the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights propelled lawmakers to change some marijuana laws, no similar data is available on stops and other police interactions. Older research of pedestrian stops, however, found that in several majority-white neighborhoods, recorded MPD stops revealed ''targeting'' of African Americans.
The bystander effectKanya Bennett was on maternity leave when she saw her first jump-out. She had seen the unmarked cars in her neighborhood of Deanwood, an overwhelmingly African American community in the section of the city east of the Anacostia River. But she never knew how they operated until she was driving around the block one afternoon to put her baby to sleep.
Even if I'm not the subject of a jump-out, witnessing a jump-out is detrimental.
As she circled one day in the fall of 2013, a car without police markings stopped short in front of her on 58th Street NE and several individuals jumped out. Her immediate reaction was fear. There had been reports of car-jackings in the neighborhood and she believed she was about to be a victim, ''which of course as a new mother who is just trying to put her baby to sleep, that is a very terrifying thought,'' she said.
But rather than going toward her car, the men in bullet-proof vests ran across the street to an apartment building toward two black male kids, whom she estimated were no older than 13 to 15. At that point, Bennett, who works on national criminal justice policy for the ACLU, realized they were cops, and this was a jump-out.
They ''jumped on them,'' she said. Not like a tackling to the ground, but an immediate pat-down and frisk. Before touching the kids, she said, the cops never said a word.
''Just watching the kids reaction to law enforcement, I mean they truly did seem shocked that they were being targeted.''
In that neighborhood, she said, crime is a concern and neighbors know one another. There have been demands for more police presence, she said, but also police attention to the right things. Community members call for faster response times to car-jackings and car fires (which have been a problem in the area). And they want police patrols. When she walked home from the metro late at night, she said, she would have liked to see more marked police cars that signal police protection. But the undercover ones jumping out at youth, that has an adverse effect on her feelings of safety.
''Even if I'm not the subject of a jump-out,'' she said, ''witnessing a jump-out is detrimental not only to those who were harassed, but those folks who are living there and don't want to see that dynamic between the community and the police.''
Federal agents arrest Portland protesters in unmarked cars, sparking intense backlash - The Washington Post
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 14:40
Federal customs officials said Friday that their agents had detained a demonstrator in Portland, Ore., in a widely seen video circulating online that showed two men in apparent military garb taking a young man wearing all black into custody, defending the apprehension by describing the man as being suspected of attacking federal agents and property.
This defense came as federal authorities were under criticism for their tactics from elected officials, civil rights activists and demonstrators, including one in Portland who described being ''terrified'' during a similar encounter.
In a statement on Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that its agents had taken the action in the video and that they ''had information indicating the person in the video was suspected of assaults against federal agents or destruction of federal property.''
When the agents approached him, CBP said, ''a large and violent mob moved towards their location. For everyone's safety, CBP agents quickly moved the suspect to a safer location for further questioning.''
The agency also disputed suggestions that they were operating only as unidentified federal agents.
''The CBP agents identified themselves and were wearing CBP insignia during the encounter,'' CBP said in its statement. ''The names of the agents were not displayed due to recent doxing incidents against law enforcement personnel who serve and protect our country.''
A similar encounter left Mark Pettibone, a 29-year-old demonstrator, shaken, he told The Washington Post in an interview.
Pettibone said he was scared when men in green military fatigues and generic ''police'' patches jumped out of an unmarked minivan early Wednesday. Pettibone said that when several men in fatigues approached him, his first instinct was to run.
He did not know whether the men were police or far-right extremists, who frequently don military-like outfits and harass left-leaning protesters in Portland. In his account, the 29-year-old said he made it about a half-block before he realized there would be no escape.
Then, he sank to his knees, hands in the air.
''I was terrified,'' Pettibone said. ''It seemed like it was out of a horror/sci-fi, like a Philip K. Dick novel. It was like being preyed upon.''
He was detained and searched. One man asked him if he had any weapons; he did not. They drove him to the federal courthouse and placed him in a holding cell, he said. Two officers eventually returned to read his Miranda rights and ask if he would waive those rights to answer a few questions; he did not.
Almost as suddenly as they had grabbed him off the street, the men let him go. The federal officers who snatched him off the street as he was walking home from a peaceful protest did not tell him why he had been detained or provide him any record of an arrest, he told The Post. As far as he knows, he has not been charged with any crimes. And, Pettibone said, he did not know who detained him.
His detention, which was first reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, and videos of similar actions have raised alarm bells for many. Legal scholars questioned whether the detentions pass constitutional muster.
''Arrests require probable cause that a federal crime had been committed, that is, specific information indicating that the person likely committed a federal offense, or a fair probability that the person committed a federal offense,'' Orin Kerr, a professor at University of California at Berkeley Law School, told The Post. ''If the agents are grabbing people because they may have been involved in protests, that's not probable cause.''
During a video news conference Friday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler twice called the federal police in his city President Trump's ''personal army'' and said that he is joining a chorus of Oregon's elected officials in sending a clear message to Washington: ''Take your troops out of Portland.''
''This is part of a coordinated strategy out of Trump's White House to use federal troops to bolster his sagging polling data, and it is an absolute abuse of federal law enforcement officials,'' Wheeler said. ''As we were starting to see things de-escalate, their actions last Saturday and every night since have actually ratcheted up the tension on our streets.''
Federal officers from the U.S. Marshals Service and Department of Homeland Security have stormed Portland's streets as part of Trump's promised strong response to ongoing protests. Local leaders expressed alarm at news of Pettibone's detention and echoed calls for the feds to leave that have grown stronger since Marshals Service officers severely wounded a peaceful protester on Saturday.
''A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump's secret police,'' Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote in a Thursday tweet that also called out acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf. ''Now Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media.''
Civil rights advocates suggested the Trump administration is testing the limits of its executive power.
''I think Portland is a test case,'' Zakir Khan, a spokesman for the Oregon chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told The Post. ''They want to see what they can get away with before launching into other parts of the country.''
Jann Carson, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, called the recent arrests ''flat-out unconstitutional'' in a statement shared with The Post.
''Usually when we see people in unmarked cars forcibly grab someone off the street, we call it kidnapping,'' Carson said. ''Protesters in Portland have been shot in the head, swept away in unmarked cars, and repeatedly tear-gassed by uninvited and unwelcome federal agents. We won't rest until they are gone.''
Nightly protests have seized Portland's downtown streets since George Floyd's death in Minneapolis in late May. For more than six weeks, Portland police have clashed with left-leaning protesters speaking out against racism and police brutality. Tear gas has choked hundreds in the city, both protesters and other residents caught in the crossfire. Protesters have spray-painted anti-police messages on the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center, which serves as the local jail and a police headquarters.
After Trump sent federal officers to the city, allegedly to quell violence, tensions escalated. The feds have repeatedly deployed tear gas to scuttle protests, despite a newly passed state law that bans local police from using the chemical irritant except to quash riots. On Saturday, federal agents shot a man in the face with a less-than-lethal munition, fracturing his skull. Local officials, from the mayor to the governor, have asked the president to pull the federal officers out of the city.
Federal officers severely wounded a Portland protester. Local leaders blame Trump.
''I am proud to be among the loud chorus of elected officials calling for the federal troops in Portland's streets to go home,'' Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said in a statement shared with The Post on Sunday. ''Their presence here has escalated tensions and put countless Portlanders exercising their First Amendment rights in greater danger.''
Pettibone says he was simply exercising his free speech rights on Wednesday when he was detained. He and a friend were walking to a car to drive home after a relatively calm demonstration in a nearby park. He said he did not do anything to instigate police that night, or at any of the other protests he had attended over the past six weeks.
''I have a pretty strong philosophical conviction that I will not engage in any violent activity,'' he told The Post. ''I keep it mellow and try to document police brutality and try to show up for solidarity.''
DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night, and likewise did not answer questions from Oregon Public Broadcasting. The Marshals Service told the radio station its officers had not arrested Pettibone and said the agency always keeps records of its arrests.
Trump has cheered harsh tactics by officers in Portland, and the acting Homeland Security secretary has vowed to keep federal forces in Portland until local leaders ''publicly condemn what the violent anarchists are doing.''
''We've done a great job in Portland,'' Trump said at a news conference on Monday. ''Portland was totally out of control, and they went in, and I guess we have many people right now in jail. We very much quelled it, and if it starts again, we'll quell it again very easily. It's not hard to do, if you know what you're doing.''
Yet the scene on Portland's streets late Thursday reflected a different reality.
Protesters once again filled the streets in downtown, defiantly moving fencing meant to keep the crowd away from the Multnomah County Justice Center. And once again, federal officers launched tear gas into the protest.
As police, both local and federal, have responded to demonstrators with increasing force, the protests have grown more unwieldy and determined. Neither side appears ready to surrender.
''Once you're out on the street and you've been tear-gassed and you see that there's no reason '-- the police will claim that there's a riot just so they can use tear gas '-- it makes you want to go out there even more to see if there can be any kind of justice,'' Pettibone told The Post.
Emily Gillespie in Portland contributed to this report.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated incorrectly that a video circulating online showed Customs and Border Protection personnel detaining Mark Pettibone. The identity of the protester in that footage remains unclear.
Watch more:
This is NOT an illegal arrest/detainment. This is NOT an Antifa High Value Target being grabbed. This is an ASSET EXTRACTION. Watch the clip again. Marshal 1 HAND SIGNALS THE A
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 05:01
#SOULWAR ''' : Neither side knows what the hell they're looking at.This is NOT an illegal arrest/detainment.This is NOT an Antif'...
Fri Jul 17 23:21:25 +0000 2020
Portland is what Trump's America will look like if he's reelected: An authoritarian nightmare
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 12:18
Attribution: @matcha_chai/Twitter Screenshot
Unmarked federal forces apprehending an unidentified person in Portland, Oregon. (Video via @matcha_chai)
Portland is what Trump's America will look like if he's reelected: An authoritarian nightmare
Jul 17, 2020 11:20am PDT by Kerry Eleveld,
Daily Kos Staff
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Protesters asked to leave or risk arrest after Portland Police Association office is set ablaze - CNN
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 12:42
By Amir Vera, Konstantin Toropin, Josh Campbell and Alta Spells, CNN
Updated 7:12 AM EDT, Sun July 19, 2020
Portland, Oregon(CNN) Authorities asked protesters near the Portland Police Association office to leave Saturday night or risk arrest.
"This event has been declared a riot. Move to the east now. If you do not move to the east you will be subject to arrest or use of force to include crowd control munitions. Leave the area now," the Portland Police Bureau tweeted. It said protesters broke into the Portland Police Association office and set it on fire.
In a separate protest near the federal building downtown, protesters could be seen dismantling a heavy metal fence set up around the building earlier as a barricade.
Just hours earlier, police said the Federal Protective Service will not work in the Portland Police Bureau's incident command center after masked, camouflaged federal officers without identification badges arrested people protesting racial inequality in the city.
The Federal Protective Service will not use its command center starting Saturday night, according to Portland police.
During protests on Friday night, Portland officers and other law enforcement officers, including those from federal agencies, worked together to respond to disperse crowds, Portland police said in a statement. The federal officers worked under their own supervision and direction, according to the statement.
Seven people were arrested after protesters took a fence and barricaded the federal justice center, blocked streets, refused to disperse and threw projectiles at officers, police said.
The US Attorney for the Oregon District has asked for an investigation into the incident involving the federal authorities.
The request is aimed specifically at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel who have been captured on various videos arresting protesters and putting them in unmarked SUVs.
Federal law enforcement officers deployed to protect federal monuments and buildings face off with protesters against racial inequality Friday in Portland, Oregon.
Ongoing protests in PortlandDemonstrators in Portland have been protesting racial inequality and police brutality for the past 50 nights, US Attorney Billy J. Williams said in a statement. Federal authorities have protected the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse and, at times, interaction between protesters and law enforcement has gotten violent. Last weekend, one protester was seriously injured after the man was shot in the head with impact munition.
Oregon's governor and Portland's mayor demanded the federal officers be withdrawn and a US senator joined them in condemning the arrests.
"Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters," tweeted US Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat representing Oregon.
Merkley also tweeted one video of such an arrest showing two masked, camouflaged individuals with generic "police" patches, detain a person dressed in a black outfit and place them in an unmarked van before driving away.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) admitted to being one of the agencies involved in arresting protesters.
"Violent anarchists have organized events in Portland over the last several weeks with willful intent to damage and destroy federal property, as well as, injure federal officers and agents," the agency said in a statement to CNN. "These criminal actions will not be tolerated."
The statement said CBP agents suspected the individual seen in the video Merkley re-tweeted of "assaults against federal agents or destruction of federal property," and that they moved the individual to a safer location for questioning after they saw "a large and violent mob move towards" them. CNN could not independently verify what happened before or after the video was recorded.
Portland mayor: 'Not the America we want'CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan tweeted the agency will continue to arrest "violent criminals that are destroying federal property." He also said CBP personnel are clearly marked as federal officers and have unique identifiers.
"You will not see names on their uniforms b/c these same violent criminals use this information to target them & their families, putting both at risk. As Acting Commissioner, I will not let that happen!" Morgan tweeted.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler demanded Friday that President Donald Trump send the federal agents home.
"This is not the America we want. This is not the Portland we want," Wheeler said at a news conference. "We're demanding that the President remove these additional troops that he sent to our city. It is not helping to contain or de-escalate the situation it's obviously having exactly the opposite impact.
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, who visited the city Thursday, defended the actions of his officers, saying in a tweet, "DHS officers were assaulted with lasers and frozen water bottles from violent criminals attempting to tear down federal property. 2 officers were injured."
"Our men and women in uniform are patriots," he said in another tweet that featured uniformed officers who looked to be similar to the ones shown in the video from earlier in the week.
In addition to US Attorney Williams' call for an investigation, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a complaint in federal court Friday against DHS. The suit asks a judge to declare the federal officers' actions unlawful, and for an injunction requiring federal officers to identify themselves and their agency before detaining anyone in Oregon, and prohibiting them from arresting anyone without probable cause or a warrant.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown described the arrests as "a blatant abuse of power by the federal government" in a tweet Thursday.
Brown tweeted she told Wolf "that the federal government should remove all federal officers from our streets."
"His response showed me he is on a mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes," she tweeted. "He is putting both Oregonians and local law enforcement officers in harm's way."
CNN's Geneva Sands contributed to this report.
Mayors back reparations that could cost $6.2 quadrillion, or $151M per descendant
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 17:11
The nation's mayors on Monday backed a national call for reparations to 41 million black people, a program that could cost taxpayers $6.2 quadrillion.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors released a letter backing a Democratic plan to form a reparations commission to come up with a payment for slavery.
''We recognize and support your legislation as a concrete first step in our larger reckoning as a nation, and a next step to guide the actions of both federal and local leaders who have promised to do better by our black residents,'' said the letter from conference President Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville.
Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee have introduced legislation to create a commission, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act.
In introducing her bill to the House last year, Jackson Lee said, ''The commission aims to study the impact of slavery and continuing discrimination against African-Americans, resulting directly and indirectly from slavery to segregation to the desegregation process and the present day. The commission would also make recommendations concerning any form of apology and compensation to begin the long delayed process of atonement for slavery.''
Since then, reparations have continued to draw attention, and the issue was elevated further during the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
Long at the center of the debate has been the potential price tag of paying slavery descendants, for which studies broadly include most or all of the 41 million black people in the country.
A new study from three college professors said that the ultimate cost could be $6.2 quadrillion. Quadrillion comes after trillion, and one quadrillion has 15 zeros.
The study suggests a payment of $151 million each, and the cost to every person would be $18.96 million.
The calculation is somewhat complicated, but it essentially studies the unpaid hours slaves worked, calculates a price for massacres and discrimination, and adds in interest. It is titled "Wealth Implications of Slavery and Racial Discrimination for African American Descendants of the Enslaved." It was published last month in the the Review of Black Political Economy.
The authors concluded, ''We argue that the U.S. Government should have paid reparations for enslavement and de jure racial discrimination because [of] the ratification of the 5th Amendment in 1791. Article IV, Section 2, of the Constitution established not only slavery but also the personhood of the enslaved, and the 5th Amendment applies to all persons. Had these reparations been paid, they would have had intergenerational wealth implications for African American descendants living today.''
[Opinion: If the fight against the coronavirus is war, let's talk about reparations]
Why We Need to Talk About Whiteness in Public Media (And Why It's So Hard)
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 15:26
I bet you read the byline of this article and quickly, implicitly thought, ''this person is not white.''
It's okay if you did. You're right. And that is not a racist thought.
Now, if your second implicit thought was, ''Well, I don't have to pay attention to anything they say,'' well, then, maybe we have some unpacking to do.
In my first blog post for Greater Public, I wrote about unconscious or implicit bias '' what it is, how it affects our decision-making, and therefore, how it affects the marketing and fundraising at public media stations.
Today, at the risk of being trolled by people I don't know on the Internet, I want to talk about Whiteness and why it's crucial we begin, as a country and a planet, to be able to talk about Whiteness whenever we want to talk about race.
It is curious to me that we try to address racial disparities and diversity while trying to avoid talking about this construct humankind invented called Whiteness. It's like trying to talk about climate change without talking about greenhouse gases. (Which I suppose some people are trying to do, but I don't think it's going very well in terms of leading to sustainable solutions.)
Perhaps, because race is a social construct, we think we can justifiably avoid this conversation. For a period in the 1990s, social science took great strides to show that there is no biological determinant of race. This was during the same period when Tiger Woods rose to fame, a dark-skinned man with African American and Asian heritage, whose father proclaimed on The Oprah Winfrey Show that Tiger's race was ''the human race.'' Proclamations like this led us to believe that perhaps we had accomplished Martin Luther King's dream and we, as a society, were finally able to judge people by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.
The problem with this approach is that 1) that's not how the brain works and 2) it invalidates the different experiences people have because of their race. Yes, race may be a construct we invented. So is time. And nationality. These constructs may not be based on anything objective according to the physical sciences, but to deny them ignores the fact that human constructs govern most of our lived experience. Try having a conversation about your day without talking about time. Or about traveling internationally without talking about nationality.
So, we must talk about race, and we must talk about Whiteness if we truly want to be able to create more equity and inclusion in our work and our world.
One of the reasons it is so difficult to talk about Whiteness is that we have a poor vocabulary for it. Colloquially, we think of White people as those of European descent, although the U.S. Census Bureau defines white people as those ''having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa'' (a controversial definition). White is sometimes used interchangeably with Caucasian, although Caucasian was considered more of a delineation of skeletal features than skin color, and some people from the Indian subcontinent are considered both Caucasian and Aryan. (On a side note and for the record, the swastika is an ancient Hindu sign of prosperity that the Nazis appropriated. It is still used today in India particularly in depictions of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and should not, in those contexts, be interpreted as anti-Semitic.)
Princeton profession Nell Irvin Painter wrote in an Op-Ed in The New York Times that ''Whiteness is on a toggle switch between 'bland nothingness' and 'racist hatred.''' More recently, futurists have predicted that, as more people are born with mixed ancestry, racial discrimination will be based on perceived race, not actual race, as one White man found when he was perceived to be Hispanic and routinely harassed by his co-workers. That means that whether you are perceived to be White will garner you more societal power than whether you actually are of European descent.
In my mind, Whiteness comes down to a collection of physical characteristics '' such as skin color, eye color, hair color and texture '' that have been deemed either the default or the most desirable by our society. To identify as White is to be indoctrinated into the belief that you are the norm, that your experience is central, and anything else is ''other.'' Whiteness allows White people to feel a sense of ownership over this country, while anyone non-White is made to feel like a visitor or, in the case of Native Americans, displaced. Ta-Nehisi Coates says that this sense of ownership is why White people struggle when they are told they cannot say the N-word in rap songs: To be White is to believe that all rights are afforded to you, even while you deny rights to others. To be White is to believe everything can be owned by you.
The other reason it's difficult to talk about Whiteness is because it requires talking about White privilege. As Peggy Macintosh begins her seminal essay on the topic, Unpacking the Invisible Backpack, many White people were ''taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.'' To admit to systemic advantage goes against the core myth of American society '' that we are a meritocracy where, if someone works hard, they have a shot.
As an Indian American, I get why this is so disturbing to our psyches. Asian Americans, and particularly immigrant families, are very attached to this idea of meritocracy. My parents came here with $20 in their pockets, one suitcase, and pregnant with me. They were able to build a thriving medical practice and send me and my brother to private school, allowing us to graduate with college degrees and no debt while sacrificing their desire for vacations and fancy things. I saw how hard they worked every day to provide for not just us, but for their families of origin as well. It is very tempting to believe that they studied hard, worked hard, and that was the solitary cause of their material success.
But that is not the full picture. The fact is that along with that $20 and one suitcase, both my parents came here with medical degrees. Neither of them came from rich families, so how was it that they could afford medical school? It is because India has a socialized education system that, unlike ours, is not funded by property taxes (a system that just keeps the rich richer and the poor poorer) and that made it possible for them to attend medical school for about $50 a semester. And the U.S. immigration system takes advantage of socialized education to import professionals who can do the job Americans don't want to do. In the 1970s, the decade my parents arrived, there was a doctor shortage in the United States, and my parents were prime candidates for a visa and eventual green card and citizenship. (Their arrival also followed the 1965 Immigration Act, which repealed the earlier Immigration Act of 1924 that installed the National Origins Formula, whose purpose was "to preserve the ideal of American [Northwestern European] homogeneity". In other words, before 1965, they likely would have been denied a visa regardless of their education because of their skin color.)
The question this fuller portrait of their success leaves me with is this: If America provided affordable education to all of its citizens, so that individuals from humble beginnings like my parents could also get a quality education throughout their life without incurring debt, would we not see just as many African American and Latinx doctors?
And though my parents worked hard, does that mean that other people with less money '' janitors, teachers, day workers, nurses '' are not working just as hard? We shrink from words like privilege (and White privilege especially) because we associate being privileged with being spoiled, and being spoiled with being lazy. But privilege is not about hard work; it's about access to opportunity. And sadly, in this country, opportunity is dependent on race and color.
The solitary truth we must all come to accept is that the original framers of our Constitution intentionally designed a system that would benefit some (e.g., white men with property) over all others. That design is still in effect today. At the same time, the framers of our society also imbued it with universal values of equity, justice, and happiness. And that has been our saving grace as a nation; by evoking our values, we have been able to iterate upon the design. While you, as an individual, are not responsible for the design, you, as a citizen, are responsible for seeing the system, acknowledging your advantages, and beginning to take steps to design a more just and equitable system wherever you can. It could be in your home, in your child's school, in your neighborhood, or in your workplace.
When it comes to nonprofit media, there is an even bigger responsibility you have for seeing the system and taking steps to redesign it. As Mahzarain Banaji says, ''bias is the thumbprint of culture on the brain.'' And culture is our collective programming. Media plays a huge role in contributing to that collective programming. Our schemas for what an American family looks like, for what a credible source sounds like, for who is seen as a donor or philanthropist and who is not, is all coded by media.
So what can you do, as an individual, to become comfortable talking about race and privilege and particularly, your privilege? How do you develop the emotional skillfulness to deal with these topics?
First, self-awareness goes a long way. When it comes to equity and inclusion, there is no end goal, just the journey. We are all at different starting points moving at different paces, but if you can accurately benchmark where you are and your progress, you stand a better chance of speaking about these topics in a way that allows you to connect with others and foster your own personal growth.
If awareness is not your strong suit, I suggest reading. And there's a lot out there. Here is a list of some of the books that helped me on my journey. Some of them deal with identity and race head-on and some do not.
White Fragility by Robin DiAngeloEveryday Bias by Howard RossThe Ethical Sellout by Lily ZhengThe Spiral Staircase by Karen ArmstrongSwitch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan HeathDare to Lead by Bren(C) BrownAll About Love by bell hooksConversations: Straight Talk from America's Sister President by Johnnetta Betsch ColeThe Karma of Brown Folk by Vijay PrasadInsight: The Surprising Truth About How Others See Us, How We See Ourselves, and Why the Answers Matter More Than We Think by Tasha EurichHow to Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. KendiUpstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan HeathGender Talk: The Struggle for Women's Equality in African American Communities by Beverly Guy-Sheftall and Johnnetta Betsch ColePower Politics by Arundhati RoyAllow these books to open doors in your mind and reflect on how the ideas in the books relate to your own life. And feel free to add to the list by posting your favorite titles in the comments below.
If you are someone who needs to learn in a more extroverted manner, consider attending a workshop addressing white privilege. Organizations like Training for Change, the Peace & Justice Center, and Witnessing Whiteness routinely hold such workshops.
Most importantly, if you really want to be able to manage your Whiteness while building a more inclusive and equitable world, don't invalidate people when they tell you about their experience. When someone from a marginalized group, particularly a person of color, tells you about their experience of racism, BELIEVE THEM. You may be tempted to see their experience as a one-off, something attributed to their character rather than their race. DO NOT SAY THIS. The experience of having someone White tell a person of color something is not racist is like having a loved one die and having a friend say they deserved it. It could possibly, in a few instances, be true, but really, what are you doing? Instead, challenge your assumption within yourself and believe your friends. VALIDATE their experience, even if you don't see it the same way. They know what it's like to live with their skin color way better than you ever can. More importantly, by sharing their experience with you, your friend/coworker is trying to have a more authentic relationship with you. By dismissing or gaslighting their concerns, they are learning that they can never be their true self in front of you.
By developing the ability to validate the experiences of people of color, it will open up a whole world to you '' the world most people of color keep hidden from White people. This sort of empathy and understanding will allow you to design marketing and fundraising campaigns that speak to the concerns, passions, and joys of people of color '' and maybe influence the editorial side to do the same. After all, the demographics of the U.S. is changing. People of color may be a subset of your current audience, but they will be the majority of your future audience.
As Jonathan Metzl eloquently outlines in his book Dying of Whiteness, your constructed Whiteness is not helping you. It is a racial identity that gets you to act and vote against your best interest. A more equitable world would allow everyone to flourish, including White people. But we can only get there when we are brave enough to talk about it.In the words of Margaret McFarland, longtime collaborator of Fred Rogers, ''Anything mentionable is manageable.''
Minal Bopaiah is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Brevity & Wit, a strategy + design firm committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable world. Brevity & Wit works with nonprofit and media organizations seeking to address systemic bias in their organizations and their work. You can connect with Minal on LinkedIn and receive helpful tips and resources by signing up for Brevity & Wit's newsletter.
Robin DiAngelo & Anti-Racism Charlatans | National Review
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 13:37
An employee of a money changer holds a stack of U.S. Dollar notes in Jakarta, October 8, 2015. . (Beawiharta/Reuters)
Robin DiAngelo is a great American capitalist marketing genius, up there with the inventor of the pet rock or the people who figured out how to brand water. Y ou , there. Yes, you, white person. Ever attended a wedding at which only white people were present? How about an all-white funeral? Ever watched as a black person mopped the floor? You, I'm afraid, are racist.
Lists of billionaires? Racist. Lists of top-grossing movies? Racist. Unselected Jeopardy categories? Racist. Today's successor to the Ludovico technique has been ingeniously engineered by the White Fragility author, and America's Race Whisperer, Robin DiAngelo. DiAngelo is a white lady who has gotten very, very rich speaking to litigation-averse corporations, campus groups, self-flagellating white progressives, and black allies joining the cause of white guilt, which is apparently like the rain in Blade Runner, a mephitic poison that is forever soaking everyone to the bone.
People have been mocking DiAngelo. We should be in awe of her instead. She's the absolute master of this, a P. T. Barnum for our time. As detailed in a New York Times Magazine piece (from which the six examples I mentioned above are drawn), DiAngelo is a great American capitalist marketing genius, up there with the inventor of the pet rock or the people who figured out how to get rich by creating prestige brands of water. Like them, she didn't invent anything useful, didn't do any noteworthy work whatsoever. She simply exploited an opportunity. Someday there will be a wing devoted to her in the Marketers' Hall of Fame. No, they'll rename the whole institution for her. She's that good.
Sure, what DiAngelo is selling is so toxic to society that what she has done is the 21st-century equivalent of inventing the Marlboro Man, but we all play the hand we're dealt, or to put it more bluntly, why shouldn't she profit from people's stupidity? There's a racist born every minute, which means that one minute after that, their parents turn into suckers who feel the need to buy an anti-racist baby book, or otherwise add their dollars to the gross sales of the anti-racism business. This is America: We show our love for an idea by showering our dollars on it.
In the Times Magazine profile, which was over a year in the making, DiAngelo proves to be a dazzlingly contemporary cross between a charismatic religious leader and a therapist. Does a televangelist ever tell you that you are without sin and no longer need to listen to his appeals? Not if he wants to keep up the payments on his fleet of Jaguars. Does a therapist ever tell you you're cured? Not likely, although your therapist, or even your televangelist, probably didn't get into the field as a pure business proposition. The genius of DiAngelo is that, as an author/consultant, she doesn't even work in an industry tied to any traditional notion of medical or religious ethics. There's no association or board or synod judging her against some predetermined code of conduct. She is merely an entrepreneur, her own splendid money-making machine. ''Internalized white superiority is seeping out of my pores,'' she tells her parishioners, setting an example by confessing and encouraging others to do the same. Listeners are in the same position as accused witches in Salem; you can't prove you're not a witch, just as you can't prove you're not a racist. If you don't confess to being a racist right away, that marks you as a clandestine racist '-- the most insidious kind. Not being a racist is, of course, not an option, not if you're white. She makes no attempt to establish empirical truth about any of these propositions '-- DiAngelo's pitch is all about anecdotal evidence, feelings. ''From whose subjectivity does the ideal of objectivity come?'' she often asks, neatly suggesting in a single phrase both that there is no truth and that ad hominem disparagement should settle all questions.
DiAngelo's ministerial mode is refreshingly old-school, harking back to the days when religion meant stern warnings about sin and damnation instead of Lite-FM affirmation, and (not coincidentally) America's pews were full every week. Secular folk who have wandered far from any church didn't know that what they really craved was a good and righteous tongue-lashing. DiAngelo gives it to them, breathing hot fire at the frightened Church of Guilt parishioners who pay upfront for their chastisement.
Black folk come along too, equally transfixed by DiAngelo's gonzo lesson on how racism is behind everything. How reassuring it must be, for her black parishioners, to be told a comprehensive story of white supremacy as the root of all evils. Didn't get that job? It must have been racism. Didn't finish school? Racism. Been in trouble with the law? Racism, obviously. Thanks for listening, your credit card will be billed for $65 to $160, a white lady just got a little bit richer, come again next month to hear more about white iniquity! In an amusing sidebar in the Times Magazine piece, a black father at a different race-reeducation seminar (not one of DiAngelo's) is asked to explain disparate educational outcomes and begins to suggest that culture in the home might play a part. This fellow '-- himself a racial-equity coach by trade! '-- is immediately cut off and told that racism is the only explanation that can be discussed.
Twenty years ago, no one would have taken you seriously if you argued that white supremacy was the source of all our ills, but DiAngelo is the personification of the moment. She was making up to $150,000 a month, on eight to ten gigs, even before the George Floyd killing. That is not counting book sales, which are prodigious. Her phone won't stop ringing. We can't bring back Floyd, but we can pay DiAngelo to tell us we're complicit. Never mind that cops are just as likely to shoot white suspects as blacks '-- that's not a business model. ''Cops are sinners'' is a niche idea. ''White people are sinners'' '-- that's the blockbuster hook. That's where the money is. All DiAngelo needed to become the Steven Spielberg of white-guilt performance was for all of the media to decide overnight to pour their energies into promoting the existence of white supremacy.
Is hiring DiAngelo to educate/browbeat your team likely to make anything better in any way? It's hard to see how. People who consider themselves victims of racism will emerge angrier than before. People who don't believe they are racist will feel resentment at being forced to sit through an attack session. People who fear they are racist will come out guiltier and more self-hating than before, will feel more powerfully than ever before that daily existence is a stroll through a minefield. All of these are negative, destructive feelings. DiAngelo and her fellow hucksters make the world more divided, surlier, less at ease. As recently as 2013, two-thirds of blacks and nearly three-quarters of whites thought race relations between blacks and whites were good. Will we ever experience such a moment again? I doubt it. There's too much money to be made.
Demands - Strike for Black Lives
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 13:40
This is a moment to transform our economy and democracy but until we dismantle racism and white supremacy, we cannot win economic, climate or immigration justice. On July 20, workers demand:
Justice for Black communities, with an unequivocal declaration that Black Lives Matter, is a necessary first step to winning justice for all workers. To win higher wages, better jobs, and Unions for All, we must ensure that Black workers can build economic power. To win Healthcare for All, we must address disparities in accessibility and quality of care. Action on climate change must center communities of color. Immigrant communities stand in solidarity with Black workers to build power together. Education, housing, and criminal justice reform must start by listening to Black workers and leaders. We will support and align with Black-led organizations and their demands.
Elected officials and candidates at every level use their executive, legislative, and regulatory authority to begin to rewrite the rules and reimagine our economy and democracy so that Black communities can thrive. They must ensure fair and safe voting in-person and by mail so everyone can fully participate in our democracy. As we continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, we must protect the health and safety of all workers, returning people to work and into public spaces with a rational, safe, well-managed plan designed with workers and community stakeholders.
Corporations take immediate action to dismantle racism, white supremacy, and economic exploitation wherever it exists, including in our workplaces. This includes corporations raising wages, allowing workers to form unions, providing healthcare, sick leave and expanded healthcare coverage to people who are uninsured or have lost coverage as the result of losing their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, child care support and more, to disrupt the multigenerational cycle of poverty created by their anti-worker attacks. Workers must have ample personal protective equipment (PPE) and have a voice in the plan to create safe workplaces during and after the pandemic.
Every worker has the opportunity to form a union, no matter where they work. Every worker in America must have the freedom that comes from economic security and equity in opportunity. We demand the immediate implementation of a $15/hour minimum wage, fully-funded healthcare coverage and paid sick leave for all.
JULY 20TH is a day of reckoning. Across the country, workers will rise up to strike for Black lives. Together, we will withhold our most valuable asset '-- our labor '-- in support of dismantling racism and white supremacy to bring about fundamental changes in our society, economy and workplaces. Join us in walking out for justice.
*By providing my phone number, I understand that Fight for $15, SEIU and its locals, campaigns and affiliates may use automated calling technologies and/or text message me on my cellular phone on a periodic basis. SEIU will never charge for text message alerts. Carrier message and data rates may apply to such alerts. Text STOP to 787753 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 787753 for more information.
Racial Equity Team Workshop - Google Slides
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 15:35
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Obscene federal 'diversity training' scam prospers '-- even under Trump
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:18
July 16, 2020 | 7:45pm | Updated July 16, 2020 | 7:50pm
Enlarge Image Last month, a private diversity-consulting firm conducted a training titled "Difficult Conversations About Race in Troubling Times" for several federal agencies. NYPost Photo composite
Critical race theory '-- the far-left academic discourse centered on the concepts of ''whiteness,'' ''white fragility'' and ''white privilege'' '-- is coursing through the federal government's veins. Under a GOP ­administration, no less.
Last month, a private diversity-consulting firm conducted a training titled ''Difficult Conversations About Race in Troubling Times'' for several federal agencies. The training called on white employees at the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller to pledge ''allyship [sic] amid the ­George Floyd Tragedy.''
According to a trove of whistleblower documents I've reviewed, the training begins with the premise that ''virtually all white people contribute to racism'' and hold narratives that ''don't support the dismantling of racist institutions.'' Therefore, the trainers argue, white federal employees must ''struggle to own their racism'' and ''invest in race-based growth.''
The trainers then ask ''white managers'' to create ''safe spaces,'' where black employees can explain ''what it means to be black'' and to be ''seen in their pain.'' White staffers are instructed to keep silent and to ''sit in the discomfort'' of their racism. If any conflicts arise, the trainers ­insist that whites ''don't get to decide when someone is being too emotional, too rash [or] too mean.'' Whites are told they can't protest if a person of color ''responds to their oppression in a way [they] don't like.''
Howard Ross, the consultant who created the training, has been a fixture in what might be called the ­diversity-industrial complex. Since 2006, he has billed the feds more than $5 million for trainings.
In 2011, he billed the General Services Administration $3 million for ''consulting services.'' NASA coughed up $500,000 for ''power and privilege sexual-orientation workshops.''
It is somewhat distasteful but crucially important to note that Ross is a white man. He has a bachelor's degree in history but pitches himself as an expert in ''neuro-cognitive and social-science research'' and has spent the past three decades selling the ­unscientific snake oil of ''unconscious bias.''
The irony: Ross has used his own privilege to enrich himself at taxpayer expense. In the language of his own discourse, he has monetized collective black pain to create individual white profit.
Incredibly, Ross and his colleagues in the diversity-industrial complex have only expanded their footprint under the Trump administration. Since President Trump's inauguration, Ross himself has done at least 17 trainings for federal agencies, including the Justice Department, the National Institutes of Health and the ­Office of the Attorney General. The permanent bureaucracy knows that it can ignore the priorities of any one commander-in-chief '-- and continue to remake US institutions in its own ideological image.
The larger goal is explicit: The diversity apparatchiks want to convert ''everyone in the federal government'' to the work of ''anti-racism.'' While that sounds innocuous, it emphatically is not what most Americans understand by the term. ''Anti-racism,'' as the diversity hustlers define it, doesn't teach Americans to judge each other according to the contents of their character. Rather, the ideology stands for precisely the opposite: a rigid and simplistic account of race, in which minorities are permanent victims and whites are forever tainted by racism.
By promoting this toxic nonsense, activist bureaucrats seek to transform the federal government into power centers for this new racial orthodoxy.
As documents from the Treasury Department reveal, the new orthodoxy won't be contained in the workplace. At the end of the training, Ross instructs federal employees to ''talk to [their] children about race,'' because ''bias begins to take shape in our brains [when we're] around 3 years old.'' It's easy to see where it goes from here: a nonstop sequence of diversity seminars, trainings and curricula from preschool to graduate school and beyond '-- all of it naturally good for Ross' bank account.
What can be done? First, the Senate Finance Committee should immediately launch a probe into the Treasury Department training and Ross' massive contracts. Second, Trump should issue an executive order banning federal agencies from teaching the toxic principles of critical race theory, race essentialism and neo-segregationism. And the rest of us must brace for a long war against the diversity-industrial complex and its profiteers.
Christopher Rufo is a contributing editor of City Journal. Twitter: @RealChrisRufo
New York State Troopers Union Threatens to Pull Out of N.Y.C. | Dan Bongino
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Former Ellen DeGeneres Show Employees Claim They Were Subject to ''Toxic Work Environment'' - E! Online
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 04:32
Michael Rozman / Warner Bros.
One current and 10 former employees of The Ellen DeGeneres have come forward anonymously with claims regarding a "toxic work environment" on set.
The individuals, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution, told Buzzfeed News in a piece published Thursday, July 16 that Ellen DeGeneres' eponymous daytime talk show isn't the cheery, benevolent program viewers see at home. Instead, employees said they were fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days, faced microaggressions and were subjected to favoritism by executive producers.
No specific claims were made against DeGeneres, however some told Buzzfeed News they were told not to speak to the A-lister if she was in the office.
"People focus on rumors about how Ellen is mean and everything like that, but that's not the problem," one former employee claimed. "The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean. They feel that everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there: 'So if you have a problem, you should leave because we'll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.'"
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner told E! News they are taking the claims "very seriously," adding in a statement, "We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It's not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us."
"For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us," the statement read. "We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."
Ellen DeGeneres Considers Ending Her Daytime Talk Show
According to a Black woman who worked on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she experienced what she described as "microaggressions" and was "reprimanded" by Galvin for asking for a raise and suggesting staff members undergo diversity and inclusion training, among other claims.
"I feel like I'm not alone in this," she said. "We all feel this. We've been feeling this way, but I've been too afraid to say anything because everyone knows what happens when you say something as a Black person. You're blacklisted."
Another former employee said that after taking a one-month medical leave following a suicide attempt, they returned to work and were told their position was being eliminated. In a separate incident, one employee said they were fired after going on a three-week medical leave for injuries suffered in a car accident, working remotely for two days to attend a family funeral and taking three days off to travel for another family funeral.
"That's the definition of a toxic work environment, where they make you feel like you're going insane and then you're like, no, everything I was feeling was right. It was all leading up to this," the employee shared.
According to Buzzfeed News, both accounts were corroborated by other Ellen employees and medical records.
Those that are well-liked by Ellen producers, however, are treated more favorably and often given gifts that the show receives from its sponsors, the employees who spoke to Buzzfeed News said.
"They hire people who maybe are inexperienced with how a functional, nontoxic work environment actually is, or someone who just wants to be in that atmosphere so bad that they'll put up with it," one former employee claimed. "They kind of feed off of that, like, 'This is Ellen; this is as good as it gets. You'll never find anything better than this.'"
One former employee said they believe the environment on set could benefit from more hands-on involvement from DeGeneres.
"If she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what's going on. I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, 'Things are going great, everybody's happy,' and she just believes that, but it's her responsibility to go beyond that," they said.
E! News has reached out to DeGeneres' rep for comment but have not heard back.
Three more Ubisoft executives step down due to toxic culture |
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 17:41
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Three high-ranking Ubisoft executives have stepped down after a recent wave of allegations of sexual misconduct and a toxic culture throughout the company.
The publisher today announced that chief creative officer Serge Hascot, managing director of Canadian studios Yannis Mallat, and its global head of HR C(C)cile Cornet would no longer be filling those roles. It said the three stepped down "following the initiation of a rigorous review that the company initiated in response to recent allegations and accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior."
A report in the French newspaper Liberation yesterday identified Hascot as playing a central role in the company's culture problems, with one source saying the executive has "the most toxic behavior in the whole business."
"Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees," said Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot. "This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised -- and never will.
"I am committed to implementing profound changes across the company to improve and strengthen our workplace culture. Moving forward, as we collectively embark on a path leading to a better Ubisoft, it is my expectation that leaders across the company manage their teams with the utmost respect. I also expect them to work to drive the change we need, always thinking of what is best for Ubisoft and all its employees."
Guillemot will be filling Hascot's role on an interim basis, where he will manage "a complete overhaul of the way in which the creative teams collaborate."
Ubisoft specified that Mallat will be leaving the company because "The recent allegations that have come to light in Canada against multiple employees make it impossible for him to continue in this position."
Last week, the company announced that Ubisoft Toronto VP of editorial Maxime B(C)land has resigned over allegations, while another Ubisoft Toronto individual was fired for "engaging in behaviors that do not align with what is expected of Ubisoft employees," with other investigations ongoing.
The company did not specify that other individual, but product and brand manager Andrien Gbingie had been accused of manipulation, emotional abuse, and rape days before.
Additionally, last month Ubisoft Montreal's Ashraf Ismail, the creative director on Assassin's Creed Valhalla, left that project "to properly deal with the personal issues in my life" after being accused of lying about his marital status to sleep with other women.
Ubisoft did not name a replacement for Mallat.
The stories of misconduct were not limited to the company's Canadian studios. In addition to Hascot, the company's VP of editorial and creative services working out of its Paris headquarters Tommy Fran§ois has been placed on disciplinary leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
As for Cornet, the company said she decided to step down "as she believes it is in the best interest of the Company's unity." While Ubisoft conducts a search for her successor, it is also "restructuring and strengthening its HR function in order to adapt it to the new challenges of the video game industry."
The company's announcement of the personnel changes specified that Mallat would be leaving the company, but only stated that Hascot and Cornet would be stepping down from their previous roles. An Ubisoft representative confirmed for that Hascot would also be leaving the company, but gave no further update on Cornet's status.
Ubisoft Forward, the company's replacement for an E3 media briefing, is scheduled to go forward tomorrow at noon Pacific time.
Black Wine Professionals Demand to Be Seen - The New York Times
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 23:51
TJ Douglas and his wife, Hadley, own Urban Grape, a thriving wine shop in the South End neighborhood of Boston. Before the pandemic, a regular internet customer with whom Mr. Douglas had had many discussions online about wine, walked into the shop for the first time.
The customer, who was white, had come specifically to meet Mr. Douglas, whom he did not know was Black.
''He looked at me and walked right past me to an older white man who worked for me, and thanked him for all he had done,'' Mr. Douglas recalled. ''The employee pointed toward me, and the gentleman turned around and looked shocked. He had never thought of buying wine from a Black person before. He also looked extremely embarrassed.''
Credit... Tony Luong for The New York Times ''I had to go above and beyond to make him feel comfortable for the way he was perceiving me,'' Mr. Douglas said.
Mr. Douglas's experience is typical. Talk to wine professionals who are Black in this overwhelmingly white industry, and you will hear similar stories of invisibility over and over, no matter how different their jobs, backgrounds or places of work.
These are stories about feeling dismissed by white people who cannot associate them with the expertise, knowledge or authority they have earned through their work.
Whether writers, sommeliers, retailers, farmers or winemakers, Black people in the wine world face a barrage of slights, whether small, possibly unconscious hostilities or overt racism. As a result, getting ahead requires a constant, fatiguing effort to pull against the friction of discrimination that slows what for whites would be a natural career progression.
I spoke with nine Black wine professionals, to listen, with the hope that their shared experiences might result in a deeper conversation and understanding among their peers in the wine world.
Credit... Michael A. McCoy for The New York Times Julia Coney is a wine writer and educator based in Houston and Washington, D.C., who regularly leads tastings and teaches wine classes. Yet as a consumer, she said, white servers or merchants are always ready to instruct her, to show her how to hold a glass and to explain to her why she ought to swirl it.
In restaurants, they steer her to cheaper wines or sweeter choices that fit their stereotype of what she might enjoy.
''They dumb things down for me,'' she said. ''I've seen both innate prejudice and innate assumptions about who has the power and the discernment. I've been told I look like the help.''
She has grown tired of the tokenism, of being the only Black person invited to a tasting or on a sponsored trip to a wine region. She is sick of seeing the wine industry toss money only to white social-media influencers. So she has created a database, Black Wine Professionals, in hopes that white gatekeepers who say they want to diversify will use this tool. And if they won't take action, she said, she will.
''They keep regurgitating the same person, and new people never get a chance,'' Ms. Coney said. ''People might ask me on a trip, and I'm going to look at the racial breakdown. And I'll offer my spot to someone else.''
Credit... Jake Michaels for The New York Times Stephen Satterfield
Stephen Satterfield calls himself a ''recovering sommelier.'' He says wine is still one of his great loves, but he has left the business twice because of what he termed ''a sense of cultural isolation.'' Mr. Satterfield, who is based in Atlanta, now publishes a quarterly food magazine, Whetstone, and is host of a podcast, ''Point of Origin,'' that explores the intersection of culture, food, politics and diversity.
''I found people had the range to talk about nothing but wine,'' he said of life as a sommelier. ''I found that especially problematic as a Black person, because I felt I could never be fully seen or understood in the industry beyond my ability to adapt to standards of decorum, language and posture.''
This feeling, he said, was especially apparent in trade tastings, essential events in which producers, wine buyers and other gatekeepers meet, socialize, taste wine and form essential business relationships.
''Imagine if you were the only white person in that same environment full of Black people,'' Mr. Satterfield said. ''Trying to taste wine in that kind of head space, it was an exhausting sort of emotional labor that white people wouldn't even notice. In trade tastings, you see the invisibility.''
Credit... Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times Madeline Maldonado
Restaurant Beverage Director
Madeline Maldonado is the beverage director at Da Toscano, an Italian restaurant that opened in Greenwich Village shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic. She, too, has had difficult experiences in trade tastings.
''They would treat me like a novice, and you internalize that,'' she said. ''We spend so much of our time in those interactions, you end up feeling less-than. It's not good for your mental health. It feels lonely.''
Once, at a restaurant where she worked, she stopped next to a white couple to make a passing comment about an excellent bottle on the table. ''The man responded, 'What do you know about wine?''' she recalled.
''When you see other people of color, there's that look of relief,'' Ms. Maldonado said. ''We don't always talk about it, but through our body language, there's that sense of, 'I see you, you see me.'''
Credit... Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times Andr(C) Hueston Mack
As a wine server, Andr(C) Hueston Mack reached the peak of his profession as head sommelier at Per Se in New York in 2004. He is now an author and entrepreneur, with his own Oregon wine label, Maison Noir, and, with his wife, Phoebe Damrosch, a small empire of shops in Brooklyn under the umbrella name & Sons Hospitality Group.
As a young sommelier, he said, he met people who assumed he knew nothing about wine. He decided to use their feelings for his own purposes.
''I get to choose how I feel about things,'' he said. ''I choose to use that energy to keep pushing forward, to be relentless.''
He has endured many slights: A retailer in Texas asked him whether Maison Noir came in 40-ounce bottles. Another, in Colorado, followed him around his store, apparently fearing he might steal something. Some diners at Per Se told him to send over the real sommelier.
''I chose to make those moments empowering,'' he said. ''I'm constantly helping people pick their jaws up off the floor and their feet out of their mouths.''
Credit... Bethany Mollenkof for The New York Times Zwann Grays
Restaurant Wine Director
Zwann Grays, the wine director at Olmsted in Brooklyn, was lucky enough to meet a number of Black women who served as mentors and role models '-- people like Lee Campbell, who has excelled in all parts of the wine business, Marquita Levy, the sommelier at Chef's Club New York, and Beth Baye, a buyer at 67 Wine in Manhattan.
''It has 100 percent made all the difference,'' Ms. Grays said.
Her issues have come not so much in restaurants as in areas where the wine industry congregates.
''Trade tastings are the worst '-- I've felt the cold, the not-seen space,'' she said. Repeatedly, she said, she has received the bare minimum of consideration while, all around her, white wine professionals are treated with courtesy and given full attention.
''It's so dismissive,'' she said. ''There's a natural respect for white wine culture and a natural disrespect for Black people in the wine industry space.''
Credit... Jose A. Alvarado Jr. for The New York Times Tammie Teclemariam
Food and Drinks Writer
Tammie Teclemariam, a freelance food and drinks writer in Brooklyn (who has contributed to Wirecutter, which is owned by The New York Times), calls herself a ''wine unprofessional'' to set herself apart from what she sees as an exclusionary industry.
''Just the nature of what wine is makes it really hard to separate it from racism,'' said Ms. Teclemariam, whose recent tweet of a photo of Bon App(C)tit's editor in chief helped spur his resignation and a reckoning over institutional racism at the magazine.
''In order to trust a wine person, you have to respect their humanity as someone who can physically enjoy and understand an experience as well, or even in a more nuanced way, than you. That's the whole humility of wine appreciation, and I think it's hard for some people to relate to me equally even on a sensual level.''
Rampant class and generational issues play a part as well in what she sees as wine's old-boy network and bro culture. Adding racism to the mix creates an impregnable wall, she said.
''The fact is in order to really be a trusted voice in wine, most Black people have to be co-signed by a white person or celebrity alliance, or else be in constant recitation of their work history,'' she said.
Credit... Kent Andreasen for The New York Times Invisibility is not just a problem for Black wine professionals in America. Winemaking stretches back four centuries in South Africa, a nation in which discrimination and racial violence were long sanctioned by apartheid.
After that system was swept away at the end of the 20th century, Ntsiki Biyela became South Africa's first Black female winemaker. In 2016, she established her own label, Aslina Wines.
When she arrived in 1998 at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape to study wine, she did not speak Afrikaans, a major language of the region. Her fellow students asked why she had even bothered coming there.
''It wasn't the question, it was how it was asked, with that underlying part of saying, 'You're not welcome here,''' she recalled by email.
As she moved into her career, it was difficult at first to interact with growers from whom she wanted to buy grapes. ''They didn't want to deal with you: 'You're Black, what do you know about wine?''' she said.
One of Ms. Biyela's biggest challenges has been to build an audience for wine among Black South Africans, who have not traditionally consumed wines. A major problem she has identified is the language used to describe wine, which is full of obscure flavor references that are not always familiar to many Black South Africans who are not well-versed in European winespeak.
While the white-dominated wine industry in South Africa sticks with the standard language, virtually ignoring a huge group of potential customers, Ms. Biyela has worked to find references that are more commonplace. Instead of saying a wine smells like truffles, she said, she might say it smells like amasi, a sort of fermented milk.
''When discussing with Black people, I would explain that since I got into the industry I have managed to associate the flavors of the wine to what I know,'' she said. ''You don't have to go by what the back of the label says. You can create your own things.''
Credit... Sarahbeth Maney for The New York Times Carlton McCoy Jr.
Wine Executive
As a young man, Carlton McCoy Jr. received a scholarship to culinary school. His grandmother told him he would need to change the way he spoke, cut his hair and wear new clothes, he recounted in a recent Facebook post.
''It crushed her to say it,'' said Mr. McCoy, who grew up in Fairfax Village in southeastern Washington, D.C. ''She told me that 'they' would never accept me that way.''
Years later, Mr. McCoy is a master sommelier and the president and chief executive of Heitz Cellar, a historic Napa Valley wine producer. But he still knows he is an outsider, with life experiences unlike those of most of the people he encounters professionally.
''They don't know what it means to walk into a restaurant and be asked if you're in the right place,'' he said. ''You are the only one in the room. You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.''
''The fact that I'm in that room, that I'm at the head of the table, I'm proud of that. We should wear it like a badge of honor, being the only one, and create another seat for somebody else.''
Cisco Fires Employees That Question Black Lives Matter During Company-Wide Racism Discussion | Zero Hedge
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 12:08
In early June, dutifully doing its part to virtue signal along with the rest of the world, Cisco Systems hosted an "all hands on deck" meeting on race, hosted via videoconference. In the comments of the online forum, visible to everyone, some workers questioned the Black Lives Matter movement and were subsequently fired from their jobs, proving once again that you can have an opinion, as long as it's the right opinion.
Chief Executive Officer Chuck Robbins talked with Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, who is Black, and Bryan Stevenson, a Black lawyer and author who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, during the company's June 1 meeting in front of 30,000 employees, according to Bloomberg.
Several people spoke out online against Black Lives Matter during these online forums. For example, one employee wrote: ''Black lives don't matter. All lives matter,'' while another wrote that BLM "reinforces racism". A third employee commented: ''People who complain about racism probably have been a racist somewhere else to people from another race or part of systematic oppression in their own community!''
Cisco says it fired a "handful" of workers for "inappropriate conduct" because it won't tolerate racism. It also, apparently, won't tolerate its employees opinions.
The "incident" at Cisco (read: people expressing well reasoned opinions) has been a microcosm of similar situations at other silicon valley companies, who are left to try and figure out how to posture to the public they are concerned about racism, while at the same time not laying off their entire staff. Some believe that protests at companies could be next if employees aren't "trained" to think the right way.
Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said: ''Employers should be striving for zero tolerance when it comes to racism and discrimination, period. The protests we've seen in the streets have become part of our new normal and will eventually make their way inside workplaces if employers fail to meet the moment.''
Cisco said that ultimately 237 comments of the 10,400 made during the videoconference "objected to what was being presented", while the majority of comments praised management. On the video call, Cisco's CEO was announcing a $5 million donation to "groups combating racism".
Francine Katsoudas, Cisco's executive vice president and chief people officer, said: ''I just felt sad to see it. I felt a ton of empathy. I knew that for the African-American and Black employees that were in the meeting, that it was heartbreaking to see that.''
She then tried to backtrack and justify the firings because they weren't considered "legitimate debate". Katsoudas said: ''You have a framework where red absolutely is crossing the line. But if someone has a question or they don't understand something, there's a way for them to ask that question. We went through and just placed things on that spectrum.''
The remarks were apparently so offensive they were "seared in the minds of some Black employees," according to Bloomberg. One employee commented: ''Wow'...and these people work at Cisco?'' If they are bold enough to say those things at work for all to see, imagine what is said behind closed doors.''
Yeah, it could be <gasp> differing opinions!
''We still have work to do as a nation. I pray my daughters have a better world to live in soon,'' another employee said.
Meanwhile, we pray our children have a world where their first amendment right hasn't completely disintegrated over the next few years. But with the direction things are moving, it doesn't look promising...
White Fragility
Tard women open up to me. All are aftaid of Trump
As someone that has DONE THE WORK, I’m surprised YOU would use YOUR PRIVILEGE to assume that I am White
This version is best. Has an effect similar to the Vulcan nerve pinch
Ministry of Truthiness
Fox News Staffers Erupt Over Tucker Carlson's Racism, Say Bosses 'Created a White Supremacist Cell'
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 15:55
F our days after Fox News aired a particularly tone-deaf graphic connecting the killings of Black men'--including George Floyd and Martin Luther King Jr.'--to stock market gains, many of the network's Black staffers took part in a phone call with company brass to confront Fox's increasingly racist and hostile rhetoric towards the protests against police brutality.
It did not go well.
The call on June 9 lasted more than 90 minutes and included Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, President Jay Wallace, and HR chief Kevin Lord, people familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast. It was led by Scott, who is white, and Marsheila J. Hayes, the vice president of diversity and inclusion at Fox Corporation, who is Black.
It was almost immediately rife with tension. One staffer directly asked why Bret Baier'--the anchor of the network's key weekday news broadcast, Special Report, which aired the offensive graphic'--was not on the call, nor any other white on-air talent. (Baier had previously apologized for the ''major screw-up,'' noting that, because the show bears his name, ''the buck stops with me.'' Fox News also apologized for the ''insensitivity'' of the infographic, adding that it ''should have never aired on television without full context.'')
Other participants on the call expressed anger and distress about rampant racism at Fox, both on- and off-air.
Fox Business Network host Charles Payne, who is Black, was particularly incensed, according to multiple people who attended the call. In fact, he had previously called Scott directly and, per a person familiar, was ''ripshit'' about the Baier graphic debacle and about racist remarks that Laura Ingraham had recently made on the air.
At one point on the June 9 call, sources told The Daily Beast, an irate Payne suggested he'd been the victim of racial discrimination, repeatedly passed over for opportunities given instead to white colleagues. Elsewhere, the staffers recalled, Payne, who has been at Fox since 2007, lamented the network's tone when covering Black cultural stories, including the killing of California rapper and anti-gang activist Nipsey Hussle. How can he talk to his children about Fox News, the host wondered, when it portrays people like Hussle in a racist, stereotypical manner as a gangster?
'' They created a white supremacist cell inside the top cable network in America. ''
'-- A Fox News staffer to The Daily Beast
Ultimately, the conversation was full of ''a lot of talking and a lot of emotions,'' one staffer said, making sure to note how Fox executives were ''deliberate to allow everyone to have a chance to talk.''
A spokesperson said in a statement to The Daily Beast, ''FOX News Media is committed to providing an ongoing dialogue targeting issues of diversity and workplace inclusion, which is why we recently took the unprecedented action of providing an open forum among an intimate group of diverse employees to candidly discuss this critical issue.
''We have long been a leader in cable news for featuring a broad range of voices, and will continue those efforts to ensure all views are respected and celebrated both on and off air.''
But even if the call may have been therapeutic, staffers say the network has since then made barely any progress on confronting its own racism.
In the month since, on-air talent has continued to rant against the Black Lives Matter ''mob'' and proclaim that America is ''under attack,'' while a top writer for Tucker Carlson's show was ousted just last week for his pseudonymous racist and sexist posts on an online troll forum.
Two people familiar with the situation told The Daily Beast that Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch personally approved what Carlson would say in his defensive Monday remarks addressing the exit of his top writer. Despite demands from Fox News executives that he pre-tape the segment and strike a conciliatory tone, Carlson barely sounded apologetic, knowing he had the full backing of the Murdoch heir.
A rep for Murdoch did not respond to a request for comment. But The Daily Beast spoke to more than a dozen Fox News insiders, who all suggested that behind the scenes there is a growing despair among employees about the network's role in demonizing and spreading fear about Black Americans in particular.
One employee was especially angry, saying, ''They created a cell'--they created a white supremacist cell inside the top cable network in America, the one that directly influences the president'... This is rank racism excused by Murdoch.''
Fox News has an apparent racism problem, and it's not just the network's critics who notice it. Anger over the cable giant's shoddy coverage of racial issues is also increasingly coming from inside the building.
Over the past month, the network's Black employees, including on-air talent, have begun to openly confront management over Fox's anti-Black rhetoric'--especially that of the network's biggest stars, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson.
Fox News personnel have expressed outrage to network brass over their unwillingness to rein in hosts like Ingraham, whose primetime show'--helmed by Tommy Firth, the same executive producer behind Megyn Kelly's former Fox show'--has long made white grievance politics a core feature. On June 29, she did an anti-Black Lives Matter monologue which included a line that many viewed as a racist dog whistle and threat: ''We will remember those who desert their colors.''
For further analysis, Ingraham then tossed to right-wing troll Dinesh D'Souza, whose history of inflammatory and often bigoted comments about Black people'--including civil-rights icon Rosa Parks'--is well-documented.
A complaint to corporate executives prompted an HR investigation into how Ingraham's segment was conceived and made it to air, which ultimately cleared Ingraham and her team of racist intent in deploying the loaded phrase. Marsheila J. Hayes, the Black HR official who also led the June 9 call, was detailed to explain that the phrase was not racist at all. It was simply a historical military reference, said Hayes. (The phrase appears to have been more often used during the nineteenth century, frequently in reference to Civil War turncoats.)
A Fox News insider, meanwhile, suggested to The Daily Beast that the network frequently deploys right-leaning Black contributors and guests to give cover to racially insensitive content. ''That's something they routinely do'--they turn out these people, like Candace Owens, to support these things, and use Black apologists to denigrate other Black men and women and victimize them.''
Tucker Carlson, who is now the network's most-watched primetime star, has also drawn the ire of his colleagues, as his increasingly unhinged rants about Black Lives Matter and ongoing anti-police brutality protests'--the overwhelming majority of which have been peaceful'--have made their way into President Donald Trump's similarly bonkers speeches as of late.
In one such monologue, Carlson warned viewers that a Black Lives Matter ''mob'' will ''come for you.'' Fox News PR scrambled to claim his tirade was actually just about Democrats and ''inner city politicians,'' but some of the primetime star's co-workers weren't buying it.
''Bull. Shit. They have the script written that gives them an out,'' one Fox staffer told The Daily Beast. ''But what the viewers hear is the white supremacist crap. And that crap goes straight to the White House.''
The company's inclination to look the other way as Carlson seemingly stokes a race war is also a concern that several staffers mentioned to The Daily Beast'--especially because Murdoch sent a company-wide memo in early June urging all employees to ''closely listen to the voices of peaceful protest and fundamentally understand that Black lives matter.''
Furthermore, and in stark contrast to the fact that he is known to personally approve of what his top primetime host says nightly on TV, the Murdoch heir added: ''We support our Black colleagues and the Black community, as we all unite to seek equality and understanding.''
Fox's willingness to give its top-rated star a pass for openly flirting with racist ideology has never been more apparent than in the aftermath of last week's CNN report that Carlson's top writer, Blake Neff, had for years pseudonymously posted bigoted comments to AutoAdmit, a notoriously unmoderated message board.
The 29-year-old Neff, who'd worked on Carlson's show for nearly four years and once bragged that ''anything [Carlson is] reading off the teleprompter, the first draft was written by me,'' resigned after his extensive history of hateful comments was revealed.
''Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our work force,'' Fox said at the time in an internal memo. Network execs also condemned Neff's ''horrific racist, misogynistic and homophobic behavior'' while assuring that Carlson would sufficiently address the ordeal during his next broadcast.
But when Monday rolled around, Carlson's brief on-air remarks were anything but conciliatory. While never actually mentioning what Neff had done, Carlson said the writer was ''ashamed'' and that his words'--which the Fox host did not ''endorse'''--''have no connection to the show.''
Before announcing a ''long-planned'' vacation to go trout fishing, Carlson spent the majority of the monologue attacking and threatening the media for having the audacity to expose his top staffer.
''We should also point out to the ghouls now beating their chests in triumph of the destruction of a young man, that self-righteousness also has its costs. We are all human. When we pretend we are holy, we are lying,'' he said. ''When we pose as blameless in order to hurt other people, we are committing the gravest sin of all, and we will be punished for it. There's no question.''
Network executives had hoped that Carlson's brief address would temper the internal unease over his on-air conduct. But Fox News staffers told The Daily Beast that his snarling, defensive commentary has only further served to anger the primetime star's co-workers.
''How hard would it have been to say sorry?'' one Fox insider told The Daily Beast. ''That being said, I'm not surprised.'' Another staffer noted that because Carlson never specified the nature of what Neff had written, his viewers'--many of whom are unlikely to be reading CNN articles during the day'--were left with no clue of what happened in the first place.
''What has happened since that [June 9] phone call is we've taken two steps forward and now three steps back,'' another Fox insider told The Daily Beast. ''What [Fox executives] don't understand is you had a white supremacist in a very senior position on [Carlson's] show. That kind of thing doesn't live in a garden that isn't fertile.''
Indeed, Neff is just the latest person employed by Carlson to have a history of secret racist posts or connections to white supremacist groups. At least 11 people who wrote or edited for The Daily Caller'--the conservative website Carlson co-founded in 2010 and only recently divested from'--were found by the Southern Poverty Law Center and other outlets to have been laundering aggressively racist beliefs, either publicly or anonymously online.
Another source of internal strife at Fox News is that the network has never come close to promulgating any consistent standard as to what constitutes unacceptable, racist rhetoric and what is allowed on its air.
In 2012, for example, Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene'--a Black woman who is prominent in Democratic Party politics'--was removed from the air for two weeks after she jokingly referred to Carlson as a ''bow-tying white boy'' during an on-air debate with him on Megyn Kelly's primetime show. Carlson angrily objected and Kelly ended the show by telling viewers that Greene's quip was unacceptable and did not meet Fox's standards.
Eight years later, in the wake of the recent on-air incidents involving Ingraham and Carlson, for which these white Fox News anchors have suffered no consequences, Greene offered to help the network come up with standards of on-air rhetoric, especially for remarks that can be interpreted as race-baiting, said a person familiar with her offer which has yet to receive a response. (Greene declined to comment for this story.)
And the network's deeply problematic record regarding race was already well-established by the time weekend anchor Kelly Wright, in April 2017, was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against Fox News that included nine other current and former Fox News employees of color who claimed systemic racial discrimination.
''We literally have a handful of Black and Latino reporters, and only one Black male anchor'--which in 2017 shouldn't be the case,'' Wright, then one of very few Black anchors at the network, said during a packed press conference. He added that the situation, along with the alleged denigration of minority employees toiling behind the scenes, was ''inexcusable and indefensible'' and the result of ''systemic and institutional racial bias.'' (Wright, who left Fox News shortly after that and currently anchors the 6 p.m. news program on the just-launched Black News Channel, declined to comment.)
'' Fox has a reputation for being bigoted and racist, all for very good reason. ''
'-- Eboni K. Williams, former Fox News host, in 2019
That same year, 2017, the network formed a diversity and inclusion council'--an in-house group including staffers of color whose membership was determined by Fox's senior management. During her time on the committee, long-time weekend booking director Patricia Peart registered concerns about racism with the network executives.
Peart, who has been at Fox News since 2005, was treated unfairly, Fox News insiders said, and occasionally tasked over the years with training younger, less qualified white men and women who were ultimately promoted to jobs above her. Fox News insiders told The Daily Beast that several of Peart's colleagues had advised her over the years to hire an attorney and sue the network, but she hesitated to jeopardize her job by engaging in a public fight with her employer.
''A lot of us watched her go through it,'' said one Black Fox News insider. ''A lot of us told her years ago to file a lawsuit'...A lot of people are still being hurt.''
Peart recently received a salary bump and a better title: vice president of weekend booking. She initially declined to comment to The Daily Beast, but ultimately offered one on the record in a phone call on Thursday evening.
''There have been a couple of issues that have happened with one person and it got to the point where a complaint was made but that was not made by me,'' she told The Daily Beast. ''I was asked to meet Suzanne Scott. We had a conversation about it. I was given an option of what I wanted to do'--did I want the person fired. I said no. I received an apology and the issue never came up again. The n-word was not used but there were other comments that were inappropriate and insensitive and it was not a one-time thing but it was not something that was ongoing.''
Meanwhile, blatant instances of on-air racism'--including dozens of incidents catalogued over the past decade'--are often excused or laughed off, especially if the offender is a key star for the network.
During a 2015 holiday cooking segment on Fox & Friends, in which Outnumbered host Harris Faulkner, who is Black, prepared her mother's peach cobbler recipe, host Brian Kilmeade, who is white, asked Faulkner if she also serves Kool-Aid at her family gatherings'--a stunningly blunt reference to a negative racial stereotype.
Faulkner initially let the incident slide but, as she later revealed to the Los Angeles Times, she eventually confronted Kilmeade in his office. ''We sat. He said, 'I didn't mean anything by it. I want you to know I have no idea what it really means, blah, blah, blah.' By the end of the conversation, I apologized. He said, 'Why are you apologizing?' I said, 'Because I need to hear the words 'I'm sorry' right now.' So we moved on.''
''Fox has a reputation for being bigoted and racist, all for very good reason,'' former Fox News Specialists host Eboni K. Williams, who left the network in 2018, told The Breakfast Club last year. She now works for Sean ''Diddy'' Combs' Revolt TV.
Fox News' coddling of racist behavior, Williams said, has been a deeply ingrained feature since its founding, not least because the late Roger Ailes saw the opportunity to profit off ''the fear of intrinsic devaluation of white people in this country.'' When radio host Charlamagne tha God asked if, at Fox, ''the fear of a Black and Brown planet drives the message,'' Williams agreed: ''It feels like a viable threat.''
'' What the viewers hear is the white supremacist crap. And that crap goes straight to the White House. ''
'-- A Fox News employee to The Daily Beast
And Carlson has launched to Fox News superstardom primarily by appealing to that exact fear'--whether it comes from the threat of immigrants, whom he accused of making America ''poorer and dirtier'' in Dec. 2018, or the Black Lives Matter ''mob,'' or ''hoax'' fears about white supremacy, or Muslims like Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar, whom the Fox host called ''a living fire alarm, a warning to the rest of us that we better change our immigration system immediately or else.''
Such bigoted commentary has driven away many of the network's sponsors, and yet, according to The New York Times, Lachlan Murdoch personally texted his support to Carlson amid one such advertiser boycott.
All told, advertising during Carlson's show, the most-viewed on the entire network, has been reduced to an anemic roster of Fox promos, PSAs, low-budget direct marketers, and MyPillow'--an aggressively pro-Trump pillow company that now accounts for more than 30 percent of the show's ads.
But Carlson, along with like-minded Fox News stars like Ingraham, appears to be safe from ever facing any repercussions for his conduct, leaving concerned employees feeling frustrated and resigned.
''It's unbelievable,'' one staffer said. ''I know you're supposed to stay silent, but this is intolerable.''
James Murdoch and Wife Donate $1.2 mil to Joe Biden Campaign
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 20:15
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Rupert Murdoch's son James Murdoch reportedly donated $615,000 to the Biden Victory Fund last month.
According to New York Times reporter Kenneth P. Vogel, who cited the Federal Election Commission (FEC) receipts, James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn Murdoch donated $615,000 each to the fund supporting former Vice President Joe Biden's 2020 presidential election campaign.
The Washington Post also reported on Kathryn Murdoch's donations, Thursday, reporting that she ''is increasingly giving to Democrats this cycle, including $1 million to help Senate Democrats.''
Kathryn Murdoch has previously described herself as a ''radical centrist.''
In an interview last year, James Murdoch said, ''There are views I really disagree with on Fox,'' while in January, James and Kathryn Murdoch ripped Fox News' climate change coverage in a statement.
James Murdoch previously donated to Pete Buttigieg's 2020 election campaign.
Fox News Is Facing This Big Decision About Firing Tucker Carlson
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 14:19
Tucker Carlson is the most popular TV host on all of cable news.
But Carlson found out some bad news.
Fox News is facing this big decision about firing Tucker Carlson.
Several years ago, liberal activists tried to force Carlson off the air by boycotting his advertisers.
The left-wing thought police mob falsely claimed Carlson made racist remarks about immigrants.
While numerous corporate cowards pull their ads from Carlson's show, Fox News stood behind their host.
Now the cancel culture mob is back after Carlson smelling blood in the water.
In the wake of police officers murdering George Floyd, corporate CEOs cannot race to social media fast enough to virtue signal about how much their companies value diversity and loudly state that black lives matter.
In a recent monologue, Carlson attacked the Democrats' online rage mobs that terrorize individuals and companies that refuse to swear their allegiance to left-wing identity politics' orthodoxy.
Carlson said the left exploited George Floyd's death to seize power and that the subsequent power grabs had nothing to do with George Floyd, justice, or black lives.
''This may be a lot of things, this moment we're living through, but it is definitely not about Black lives,'' Carlson stated. ''And remember that when they come for you '-- and at this rate, they will.''
The backlash was instantaneous.
Carlson's enemies on the left tried to strangle Carlson's program financially by pressuring companies to yank their ads off his show.
This pressure campaign achieved success as T-Mobile and Disney pulled their ads from Carlson's program.
Deadline reported that ''both Disney and T-Mobile have cut ties with the primetime Tucker Carlson Tonight over the host's polarizing point of view on the Black Lives Matter movement and the desire for justice and equality in America that many of its members advocate.''
Disney later claimed that the advertisements for ABC shows '' which Disney owns '' were initially placed on Carlson's show by mistake.
''The ABC advertisements were placed on the show without our knowledge by third party media buyers who were unaware that we do not advertise on the show, and they have now been notified not to place any further ads,'' ABC claimed in a statement to Deadline.
But T-Mobile celebrated pulling their support for Carlson's show.
''It definitely is not. Bye-bye Tucker Carlson!'' T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert wrote.
Carlson went on the air the next night and said that while left-wing activists pressured Fox News to fire him, they failed because Fox would not give in to ideological bullies.
There is no doubt the nation was thrown back on its heels by the police killing George Floyd.
And while there are reforms to policing that governments at every level can make, many Americans feel the left is seizing on the emotion of the moment to fundamentally transform the nation while no one is looking.
If you want Black Eye Politics to keep you up to date on any new developments in this ongoing story and the rest of the breaking news in politics, please bookmark our site, consider making us your homepage and forward our content to your friends on social media and email.
Will Justin Bieber subpoena Twitter to turn over sexual assault accusers?
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 11:51
July 18, 2020 | 1:29pm
Two women who used Twitter to anonymously accuse Justin Bieber of sexual assault may be identified after a judge ruled that the star is allowed to subpoena the social media platform for the info.
Deadline reports that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Green ruled in Bieber's favor Thursday, allowing the ''Sorry'' singer and his attorneys to demand Twitter turn over the identities of these alleged victims.
''We just want to uncover who is behind these two accounts, and it may be the same person,'' Bieber's lawyer, Evan N. Spiegel told the court. He also called the claims ''provably false'' through eyewitness and photographic evidence.
Bieber filed a $20 million defamation suit against his accusers, but the women cannot be served until they are identified. Thus far, they've only been identified as Danielle and Kadi on social media, with the Twitter handles @danielleglvn and @ItsnotKadi.
''The allegations are factually impossible, revealing and evidencing beyond any doubt that her social media post and allegations are a complete fabrication, an elaborate hoax,'' the filing says.
Hollywood nervously awaits fallout from explosive Johnny Depp trial | Johnny Depp | The Guardian
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 12:46
Show caption Johnny Depp arrives for day nine of his libel trial against News Group Newspapers at the high court in London on 17 July. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/Getty
Johnny DeppAmber Heard's team will have their say this week. Whatever the result, reputations could be tarnished
Sun 19 Jul 2020 04.32 EDT
The Hollywood careers of more than just a couple of film stars are in jeopardy this weekend as the extraordinarily dirty legal battle pitting Johnny Depp against his former wife, Amber Heard, goes into a third dramatic week '' a week in which Heard's team will be in the driving seat.
The outcome of the case '' a libel action being pressed by Depp '' could affect many of those involved. Other big names drawn in, including Winona Ryder, Paul Bettany and Vanessa Paradis, are in danger of tainted reputations, whether they emerge as innocent bystanders or as partisan supporters. And the casts of major family film franchises, such as the Aquaman series, the Fantastic Beasts Harry Potter spin-offs and the Marvel superheroes stable of stars, may change as result.
Money, mess and Machiavelli: Johnny Depp libel trial week two roundup Depp is suing the publisher of the Sun, News Group Newspapers, and the paper's executive editor, Dan Wootton, for describing him as a ''wife-beater'' in an article from April, 2018, which questioned Warner Brothers' decision to cast him in a Fantastic Beasts film. The 57-year-old actor, a household name after his roles as Edward Scissorhands and as Jack Sparrow in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean series, had been served a restraining order in Los Angeles in 2016, shortly after their divorce, but he has now made headlines with allegations that it was Heard, not he, with the serious violence and alcohol problem. Notoriously, last week Heard was even accused of defecating on his bed. Heard, 34, is in London to give her version of disturbing events that led to the end of their short, high-profile marriage. Her role in the lucrative Aquaman films might be in doubt if unpleasant accusations made by Depp and his legal team stick.
Legal pundits are also questioning whether media law will be permanently altered by the case. ''The way the media can write about domestic violence could be changed for ever,'' said one legal source. ''Journalists would have believed they were clear to talk about someone as a dangerous partner when they were already named in a temporary restraining order in America.''
Amber Heard arriving at the high court in London last week for Johnny Depp's libel case. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Depp, who has retained a large fortune despite a recent legal action against the business managers he claims defrauded him of $650m, is keen to hang on to the prospect of working on adventure films. Claims and counter-claims of violence and extreme behaviour are unlikely to play well either with family audiences or with Disney and Warner Brothers studios, who own the JK Rowling franchise.
In America the actor, who has admitted a history of heavy drug use and drinking, is also suing his ex-wife directly for $50m over a Washington Post article from December 2018 in which she said she was a survivor of domestic abuse. Any reader, Depp argues, would assume he was the abuser. Victory in the UK next month might help with future vindication in America.
On Thursday the trial at the high court in London took an unexpected turn when Ryder, Depp's former fiancee, and the French singing star Paradis, Depp's first wife and the mother of his two children, did not appear to speak for him. The duo had issued press statements saying Depp was not a violent man and were both scheduled to speak as witnesses. ''The statements from Ryder and Paradis were not part of the trial, as they were not put up for cross-examination,'' the legal source added. ''They appear to have been used as part of a media campaign without having to stand up in court.''
The decision not to appear in court disappointed those looking for extra star wattage, but Heard's legal team would have wanted NGN's lawyers to question these women about the terms of the end of their relationships with Depp. Heard cites 14 incidents of violence during their relationship, all of which Depp denies.
Ryder is now being acclaimed for her performance in the new HBO drama The Plot Against America, following her success in the series Stranger Things. Explicit support for Depp might be a hazardous move. Three other Depp witnesses did not appear last week, although there was strong supportive testimony from some of his friends and former employees. Isaac Baruch, an artist and old friend of Depp's who lives as his guest in a Los Angeles penthouse complex, told the court on Friday he had not seen any evidence of injury to Heard in May 2016 after the couple's final breakup.
Johnny Depp and Poppy Corby-Tuech in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Photograph: Warner Bros/Allstar Those in court that morning wondered if Depp might also fail to appear. The actor was late to arrive, explaining he had taken a morning film meeting in his hotel room. A court observer said this weekend: ''The security team and officials at court were not happy, they have a lot to handle when the stars arrive.''
Peripheral damage could also be inflicted on English-born Bettany, who plays Vision in the Marvel superhero franchise. One of Depp's close friends, his name has come up in court due to crude messages in which Depp complained about his wife and conferred about drug use.
This week Heard, appearing as a witness for NGN, is expected to try to reclaim her original accusations about her former husband. During the past week Depp's lawyers have turned her own claims of mistreatment against her, a strategy steered by Depp's legal adviser, the US attorney Adam Waldman.
Depp's many fans across the world are supporting his reputation and a group have turned up regularly outside court. Heard's entourage includes her younger sister Whitney and Amber's girlfriend Bianca Butti, along with the leading Australian lawyer Jen Robinson, friend of Amal Clooney.
This week, Heard, who will speak as a witness, is likely to suggest Waldman and Depp have attempted to muddy the waters in a high stakes example of legal ''gaslighting''. The case continues.
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Trusted News Initiative
System Set Up to Fight Fake News During U.S. Presidential Election '' Variety
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 03:04
Fake news fighter Trusted News Initiative (TNI) is setting up a shared early warning system of rapid alerts to combat the spread of disinformation during the upcoming U.S. Presidential election.
The Associated Press and The Washington Post are the latest signees to TNI, an industry collaboration of major news and global tech organizations set up last year to stop the spread of disinformation. TNI partners include AFP, BBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, European Broadcasting Union, Facebook, The Financial Times, First Draft, Google/YouTube, The Hindu, Microsoft, Reuters, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Twitter and The Wall Street Journal.
In the month leading to polling day, TNI partners will alert each other to disinformation that poses an immediate threat to life or to the integrity of the election so that content can be reviewed promptly by platforms, while publishers ensure they don't unwittingly republish dangerous falsehoods. The alerts will also flag content that undermines trust in TNI partners by identifying imposter or manipulated content that purport to come from trusted news brands. To achieve this, TNI will deploy verification technology, called Project Origin, led by a coalition of the BBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, Microsoft and The New York Times, wherein a digital watermark is attached to media originating from authentic content creators, and can provide an automated signal warning of manipulated or fake media.
TNI has successfully tackled disinformation during the U.K. 2019 general election, the Taiwan 2020 general election and more recently, harmful coronavirus disinformation.
Popular on Variety
Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, said: ''Disinformation is one of today's great harms. It can undermine democracy, create division and distort public debate. Tackling it is a pressing priority.''
''That's why it is so vital that TNI is successful. It has had a remarkable start and I'm pleased more organizations are joining the fight against disinformation. In a world of increasing division, working together is the best way to deliver results.''
What if Kanye debates Trump instead of Biden?
Kanye schedules campaign event in South Carolina - POLITICO
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 11:24
West, who announced his White House campaign on the Fourth of July, filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission last week, listing ''BDY'' '-- the Birthday Party '-- as his party affiliation. He tweeted Saturday for supporters to get him on the ballot in South Carolina.
''Hi guys please sign up to put me on the ballot in South Carolina at any of these locations,'' he said, listing eight venues and linking to the website ''You can also sign up at the website.''
The 43-year-old's late entry to the campaign trail comes as former Vice President Joe Biden leads Trump by 9 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. West has not registered in any major polls, even among voters opposed to Trump or Biden.
Over the past two weeks, questions have been raised about West's intentions, with New York Magazine quoting Steve Kramer, a get-out-the-vote specialist whom West had hired, claiming that West had dropped out, and TMZ reporting that his family was concerned for his mental health. That changed Wednesday, when he suddenly filed to be on the November ballot in Oklahoma.
''He's registered in, I think, two states,'' said a source familiar with West's campaign. ''It's such a baby organization it doesn't even have a logo yet.''
Kanye West Not Dropping Out Of Presidential Race, Files Paperwork With FEC | The Daily Wire
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 13:03
Rapper Kanye West is apparently not dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, despite a previous report claiming otherwise.
West hasn't said he's still in the race, but his campaign has filed some paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, indicating he still intends to run. On Wednesday, the same day a report surfaced that a former consultant for West said the candidate was out of the race, the rapper filed a statement of organization with the FEC establishing a principal campaign committee called Kanye 2020. Also on Wednesday, West met the requirements to appear on Oklahoma's presidential ballot, The Associated Press reported.
''A representative for West filed the necessary paperwork and paid the $35,000 filing Wednesday afternoon, which was the deadline for a spot on the state's Nov. 3 presidential ballot, said Oklahoma Board of Elections spokeswoman Misha Mohr. He was one of three independent presidential candidates to pay the filing fee prior to the deadline, she added. The others were concert pianist Jade Simmons and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Brock Pierce,'' the AP reported.
The outlet added that West has ''missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states, and it's unclear if he is willing or able to collect enough signatures required to qualify in others.''
Billboard reported that on Thursday, ''West appeared to take the second important step to officially launch a White House run with the filing of an FEC Form 2 (Statement of Candidacy), which is filed once an individual has raised or spent more [than] $5,000 in campaign activity, triggering candidacy status under federal campaign finance law; that form, too, listed a Cody, Wyoming, address.''
John Mark Hansen, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, told the outlet he believed West's campaign was about publicity.
''Not to be flip, but I think the answer is that he gets to say he is a presidential candidate, he will get some additional publicity, and he can afford it,'' Hansen, who has no firsthand knowledge of West's campaign, told Billboard. ''He seems to have a high opinion of himself. Like a lot of celebrities, though, I suspect he's hungry for attention and he'll get it. Anybody else with $5,000 [the amount a candidate must spend or raise to trigger an official campaign by FEC rules] isn't going to get any attention at all, except maybe in the local paper.''
As The Daily Wire previously reported, campaign specialist Steve Kramer, who had been hired to help get West on the ballot in several states, told New York Magazine's Intelligencer that the rapper was out:
Kramer told the outlet that West's team was ''working over weekend there, formalizing the FEC and other things that they've got to do when you have a lot of corporate lawyers involved.''
The Intelligencer reached out to West's publicist, who added another spokesperson to the email chain. No one said anything for a while, so the Intelligencer reached back out to Kramer, who said simply, ''He's out.'' When asked for details, Kramer told the outlet: ''I'll let you know what I know once I get all our stuff canceled. We had over 180 people out there today.''
The Daily Wire is one of America's fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.
Biden Says He's Getting Intel Briefs, Warns of Russian Meddling
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 14:29
(C) Bloomberg Former Vice President Joe Biden, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, speaks during a NowThis economic address seen on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Friday, May 8, 2020. A super political action committee backing Joe Biden will launch a $10 million television ad campaign touting the presumptive Democratic nominee's leadership on the economic recovery after the 2008 financial crisis. (Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has begun receiving intelligence briefings, he said Friday as he warned about Russian interference in the 2020 election.
''We know from before and I guarantee you I know now because now I get briefings again -- the Russians are still engaged in trying to delegitimize our electoral process. Fact,'' the former vice president said during a fundraiser organized by lawyers that included general counsels from roughly 100 companies.
''China and others are engaged as well in activities designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome'' of the November election, he added.
Biden had not been briefed as recently as June 30, when he said at a press conference that he ''very well may'' ask for access to intelligence about reports that Russia had offered bounties for the killing of American troops in Afghanistan.
The Biden campaign declined to comment. The office of the Director of National Intelligence and the White House did not immediately comment.
Biden has repeatedly criticized Donald Trump after reports that the president doesn't read the Presidential Daily Brief and receives only infrequent verbal briefings. On the Russian bounty reports, Biden said ''the idea that somehow he didn't know, or isn't being briefed, it is a dereliction of duty, if that's the case.'' He added that if Trump ''was briefed and nothing was done about this, that's a dereliction of duty.''
Read More: Twitter Hack Rekindles Disinformation Fear as Election Looms
In 2016, nominees Hillary Clinton and Trump were offered the opportunity to be briefed beginning in early August. ''The director of National Intelligence has indicated he intends to conduct those briefings pursuant to that longstanding tradition and he certainly is supported by this administration and this White House in doing so,'' Josh Earnest, the then-White House press secretary, said in late July of that year.
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(C)2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Video: Pelosi compares Trump's decision making to 'a man who refuses to ask for directions' (NBC News)
Meet Gaia X '-- Europe's answer to the power of U.S. and Chinese cloud giants
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 14:10
European policymakers have grown anxious about their continent's dependence on a small number of major tech companies from outside Europe. There are 22 firms involved with the project "Gaia X" so far, including Orange, Deutsche Telekom and SAP. Gaia X is designed to do things such as give healthcare providers the ability to exchange data safely. (C) Provided by CNBC Peter Altmaier (CDU), Federal Minister of Economics and Energy, speaks at the virtual Gaia-X expert forum of the Federal Ministry of Economics. The two biggest economies in the European Union hope they have an answer to the domination enjoyed by American and Chinese companies in the cloud computing industry: Gaia X
Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba are the four main players globally when it comes to cloud services. However, European policymakers have grown anxious about their dependence on a small number of major tech companies, which aren't European.
That has been the case in particular since the United States enacted a law in 2018 that compels U.S. firms to hand in data to American authorities even if the latter is stored elsewhere in the world. Germany and France have concerns that the data of European citizens is at risk.
"Gaia X is a two-fold approach to a problem we face in Europe and a problem that every company in the world faces right now," Marco-Alexander Breit, head of Task Force Artificial Intelligence at the German economy ministry, told CNBC's "Beyond the Valley" podcast.
"We combine infrastructure services like data storage, data processing in Europe, but it is open for participation even for companies that are not from European origin, as long as they stick to our rules and adhere to our standards," said Breit, who is heads the Gaia X project in Germany.
The Franco-German project, born in 2018, aims to provide a secure infrastructure for data, while simultaneously allowing companies to move data across borders. Its overarching principle is to enable European nations to become digitally sovereign '-- a concept that has gained traction in recent years and could prove challenging for the traditional tech giants.
It's a "first step toward a broader ambition," said Dexter Thillien, senior industry analyst at Fitch Solutions.
"It is about realizing that relying too much maybe on external players, whether they are American or Chinese or from anywhere else, is not great in the new economy where data is going to be more important, and you need a European alternative," he added.
More than 300 organizations worldwide are involved with the project so far, including Orange, Deutsche Telekom and SAP. The goal is to launch the infrastructure in late 2020 or early 2021.
Gaia X would, for instance, give healthcare providers the ability to exchange data and algorithms in a safe way with other hospitals in their proximity. That could in turn help with emergency transplants and other life-threatening conditions.
However, the initiative has to become more attractive than the big players if it wants to succeed, Thillien said.
"It is not going to be easy for that product to find its place," he said, citing budget and technical constraints.
The annual budget for Gaia X is 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million).
Nonetheless, Breit said he believes those seemingly limited financial resources "are not important."
"The X framework and the X entity has only the responsibilities to make the ecosystem work, to negotiate the standards, to negotiate the rules, and to provide standardized IPs for example to make the software run," he said, adding that the major advancements in artificial intelligence would remain a task for the big tech companies themselves.
IP, or internet protocol, refers to a set of rules that facilitates the movement of data across networks. There are varying IP standards.
Dutch welcome new ideas on EU recovery fund but deal far off | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 12:56
Sat Jul 18, 2020 / 8:32 AM EDT
John Chalmers and Gabriela Baczynska
BRUSSELS BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The Dutch welcomed new proposals on a massive EU stimulus fund on Saturday in a second day of negotiations among the bloc's leaders though a final deal on how to revive growth stifled by the coronavirus pandemic remained far off.
The talks on Friday were deadlocked over who should control how the money is spent, as Prime Minister Mark Rutte held out against his EU counterparts after 13 hours of negotiations at a summit in Brussels.
With the pandemic dealing many European economies their worst economic shock since World War Two, leaders seek to agree on a 750 billion euro ($856 billion) recovery fund and a 2021-27 EU budget of more than 1 trillion euros.
"I'm doing this for the whole of Europe, because it is also in the interest of Spain and Italy that they emerge from this crisis with strength," Rutte told reporters early on Saturday, referring to the two EU countries most affected by the pandemic.
Many of the 27 leaders - wearing masks in their first face-to-face meeting since February - had their own demands in negotiations crisscrossing different regional and economic priorities.
But the Dutch position highlighted the deep splits in the bloc, as the executive European Commission seeks a mandate to borrow billions of euros on capital markets for the first time.
Fiscally conservative countries such as Austria, Denmark and Sweden are adamant that any new debt should be strictly policed.
The European Parliament must also approve any deal done by leaders.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said he saw a route to a compromise by involving EU finance ministers in monitoring new debt, rather than just the European Commission.
Senior EU lawmaker Guy Verhofstadt via Twitter rejected involving finance ministers, however, concerned that the parliament might be sidelined.
"The recovery fund cannot be a pretext to undermine EU democracy," he said.
The leaders of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and the Commission also held talks, meeting in a format once used to discuss Greek debt relief, an issue that dogged the bloc for years.
European Council President Charles Michel, who chaired the summit, then circulated new proposals seen by Reuters which tried to resolve the Dutch demands.
"In the end this is a package and there are many more issues to solve. But the proposal on governance as put forward by Michel is a serious step in the right direction," a Dutch diplomat said in reaction.
"Many issues remain and whether we get there will depend on the next 24 hours."
The exact size of the new EU budget and how far to use payouts as leverage for reforms, or whether to withhold money from countries that fail to live up to democratic standards, were still to be resolved.
A senior diplomat said: "The key question now is whether... we can move on to other issues. There will still need to be a discussion on volume, and that's before we get into the rule of law."
Hungary, backed by its eurosceptic, nationalist ally Poland, threatened to veto the whole package over a new envisaged mechanism to freeze out countries flouting democratic principles.
Under the new proposals, the portion of grants in the 750 billion euro recovery fund would be reduced to 450 billion euros from 500 billion.
They also call for an 'emergency brake' on disbursement of funds, to appease states who want conditions attached to grants and would prefer to see those countries worst affected by the coronavirus crisis take loans.
The proposals would also increase rebates on the multi-year EU budget for Austria, Denmark and Sweden.
"We are not at the end of the negotiation, but this at least provides a basis for negotiation," a second EU diplomat said.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett, John Chalmers, Robin Emmott, Marine Strauss, Gabriela Baczynska and Francesco Guarascio in Brussels, Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Bart Meijer in Amsterdam, Jan Lopatka in Prague; Writing by Robin Emmott and Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Angus MacSwan and Jason Neely)
Hackers Tell the Story of the Twitter Attack From the Inside - The New York Times
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 12:58
Several people involved in the events that took down Twitter this week spoke with The Times, giving the first account of what happened as a pursuit of Bitcoin spun out of control.
Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco. Interviews indicate that an attack on well-known accounts was the work of a group of young people, not a nation or a sophisticated network. Credit... Jim Wilson/The New York Times Published July 17, 2020Updated July 18, 2020, 12:08 a.m. ET
OAKLAND, Calif. '-- A Twitter hacking scheme that targeted political, corporate and cultural elites this week began with a teasing message between two hackers late Tuesday on the online messaging platform Discord.
''yoo bro,'' wrote a user named ''Kirk,'' according to a screenshot of the conversation shared with The New York Times. ''i work at twitter / don't show this to anyone / seriously.''
He then demonstrated that he could take control of valuable Twitter accounts '-- the sort of thing that would require insider access to the company's computer network.
The hacker who received the message, using the screen name ''lol,'' decided over the next 24 hours that Kirk did not actually work for Twitter because he was too willing to damage the company. But Kirk did have access to Twitter's most sensitive tools, which allowed him to take control of almost any Twitter account, including those of former President Barack Obama, Joseph R. Biden Jr., Elon Musk and many other celebrities.
Despite global attention on the intrusion, which has shaken confidence in Twitter and the security provided by other technology companies, the basic details of who were responsible, and how they did it, have been a mystery. Officials are still in the early stages of their investigation.
But four people who participated in the scheme spoke with The Times and shared numerous logs and screen shots of the conversations they had on Tuesday and Wednesday, demonstrating their involvement both before and after the hack became public.
The interviews indicate that the attack was not the work of a single country like Russia or a sophisticated group of hackers. Instead, it was done by a group of young people '-- one of whom says he lives at home with his mother '-- who got to know one another because of their obsession with owning early or unusual screen names, particularly one letter or number, like @y or @6.
The Times verified that the four people were connected to the hack by matching their social media and cryptocurrency accounts to accounts that were involved with the events on Wednesday. They also presented corroborating evidence of their involvement, like the logs from their conversations on Discord, a messaging platform popular with gamers and hackers, and Twitter.
Playing a central role in the attack was Kirk, who was taking money in and out of the same Bitcoin address as the day went on, according to an analysis of the Bitcoin transactions by The Times, with assistance from the research firm Chainalysis.
But the identity of Kirk, his motivation and whether he shared his access to Twitter with anyone else remain a mystery even to the people who worked with him. It is still unclear how much Kirk used his access to the accounts of people like Mr. Biden and Mr. Musk to gain more privileged information, like their private conversations on Twitter.
The hacker ''lol'' and another one he worked with, who went by the screen name ''ever so anxious,'' told The Times that they wanted to talk about their work with Kirk in order to prove that they had only facilitated the purchases and takeovers of lesser-known Twitter addresses early in the day. They said they had not continued to work with Kirk once he began more high-profile attacks around 3:30 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.
''I just wanted to tell you my story because i think you might be able to clear some thing up about me and ever so anxious,'' ''lol'' said in a chat on Discord, where he shared all the logs of his conversation with Kirk and proved his ownership of the cryptocurrency accounts he used to transact with Kirk.
''lol'' did not confirm his real-world identity, but said he lived on the West Coast and was in his 20s. ''ever so anxious'' said he was 19 and lived in the south of England with his mother.
Investigators looking into the attacks said several of the details given by the hackers lined up with what they have learned so far, including Kirk's involvement both in the big hacks later in the day and the lower-profile attacks early on Wednesday.
The Times was initially put in touch with the hackers by a security researcher in California, Haseeb Awan, who was communicating with them because, he said, a number of them had previously targeted him and a Bitcoin-related company he once owned. They also unsuccessfully targeted his current company, Efani, a secure phone provider.
The user known as Kirk did not have much of a reputation in hacker circles before Wednesday. His profile on Discord had been created only on July 7.
But ''lol'' and ''ever so anxious'' were well known on the website, where hackers have met for years to buy and sell valuable social media screen names, security experts said.
For online gamers, Twitter users and hackers, so-called O.G. user names '-- usually a short word or even a number '-- are hotly desired. These eye-catching handles are often snapped up by early adopters of a new online platform, the ''original gangsters'' of a fresh app.
Users who arrive on the platform later often crave the credibility of an O.G. user name, and will pay thousands of dollars to hackers who steal them from their original owners.
Image A conversation between ''ever so anxious'' and Kirk regarding Twitter accounts for sale. A cryptocurrency account address has been redacted from the screenshot.Kirk connected with ''lol'' late Tuesday and then ''ever so anxious'' on Discord early on Wednesday, and asked if they wanted to be his middlemen, selling Twitter accounts to the online underworld where they were known. They would take a cut from each transaction.
In one of the first transactions, ''lol'' brokered a deal for someone who was willing to pay $1,500, in Bitcoin, for the Twitter user name @y. The money went to the same Bitcoin wallet that Kirk used later in the day when he got payments from hacking the Twitter accounts of celebrities, the public ledger of Bitcoin transactions shows.
The group posted an ad on, offering Twitter handles in exchange for Bitcoin. ''ever so anxious'' took the screen name @anxious, which he had long coveted. (His personalized details still sit atop the suspended account.)
''i just kinda found it cool having a username that other people would want,'' ''ever so anxious'' said in a chat with The Times.
As the morning went on, customers poured in and the prices that Kirk demanded went up. He also demonstrated how much access he had to Twitter's systems. He was able to quickly change the most fundamental security settings on any user name and sent out pictures of Twitter's internal dashboards as proof that he had taken control of the requested accounts.
The group handed over @dark, @w, @l, @50 and @vague, among many others.
Image A screenshot, sent out by Kirk after he gave a customer access to an account, showing Twitter's back end for the @R9 account.One of their customers was another well-known figure among hackers dealing in user names '-- a young man known as ''PlugWalkJoe.'' On Thursday, PlugWalkJoe was the subject of an article by the security journalist Brian Krebs, who identified the hacker as a key player in the Twitter intrusion.
Discord logs show that while PlugWalkJoe acquired the Twitter account @6 through ''ever so anxious,'' and briefly personalized it, he was not otherwise involved in the conversation. PlugWalkJoe, who said his real name is Joseph O'Connor, added in an interview with The Times that he had been getting a massage near his current home in Spain as the events occurred.
''I don't care,'' said Mr. O'Connor, who said he was 21 and British. ''They can come arrest me. I would laugh at them. I haven't done anything.''
Mr. O'Connor said other hackers had informed him that Kirk got access to the Twitter credentials when he found a way into Twitter's internal Slack messaging channel and saw them posted there, along with a service that gave him access to the company's servers. People investigating the case said that was consistent with what they had learned so far. A Twitter spokesman declined to comment, citing the active investigation.
All of the transactions involving ''lol'' and ''ever so anxious'' took place before the world knew what was going on. But shortly before 3:30 p.m., tweets from the biggest cryptocurrency companies, like Coinbase, started asking for Bitcoin donations to the site
''we just hit cb,'' an abbreviation for Coinbase, Kirk wrote to ''lol'' on Discord a minute after taking over the company's Twitter account.
The public ledger of Bitcoin transactions shows that the Bitcoin wallet that paid to set up was the wallet that Kirk had been using all morning, according to three investigators, who said they could not speak on the record because of the open investigation.
In several messages on Wednesday morning, ''ever so anxious'' talked about his need to get some sleep, given that it was later in the day in England. Shortly before the big hacks began, he sent a phone message to his girlfriend saying, ''nap time nap time,'' and he disappeared from the Discord logs.
Kirk quickly escalated his efforts, posting a message from accounts belonging to celebrities like Kanye West and tech titans like Jeff Bezos: Send Bitcoin to a specific account and your money would be sent back, doubled.
Shortly after 6 p.m., Twitter seemed to catch up with the attacker, and the messages stopped. But the company had to turn off access for broad swaths of users, and days later, the company was still piecing together what had happened.
Twitter said in a blog post that the attackers had targeted 130 accounts, gaining access and tweeting from 45 of that set. They were able to download data from eight of the accounts, the company added.
''We're acutely aware of our responsibilities to the people who use our service and to society more generally,'' the blog post read. ''We're embarrassed, we're disappointed, and more than anything, we're sorry.''
When ''ever so anxious'' woke up just after 2:30 a.m. in Britain, he looked online, saw what had happened and sent a disappointed message to his fellow middleman, ''lol.''
''i'm not sad more just annoyed. i mean he only made 20 btc,'' he said, referring to Kirk's Bitcoin profits from the scam, which translated to about $180,000.
Kirk, whoever he was, had stopped responding to his middlemen and had disappeared.
Green New Deal
We Can Solve the Climate Crisis by Tracing Pollution Back to Its Sources. A New Coalition Will Make It Possible. | by Al Gore | Jul, 2020 | Medium
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 15:10
Today we launch 'Climate TRACE' '-- a coalition building a tool to track human-caused greenhouse gas emissions from every corner of the planet.This post is jointly authored by Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and Gavin McCormick, founder and executive director of WattTime.
T oday, just like every day before it, humans collectively spewed 152 million tons of planet-warming pollution into our thin shell of atmosphere as if it were an open sewer. The extra heat energy trapped in our atmosphere by these accumulated greenhouse gases (GHGs) is equal to what would be released by 500,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs detonating on Earth every single day.
The consequences of that extra heat energy are growing startlingly clearer. 2019 was the second hottest year on record (just behind 2016) and 2020 is likely to be the warmest ever. Stronger cyclonic storms batter our coasts; ''rain bombs'' lead to more destructive floods and mudslides; deeper and longer droughts cut agricultural output; devastating wildfires are the new norm; sea levels are rising more rapidly as the ice of Greenland and Antarctica melts faster; and the list goes on. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world's leading scientific body on the climate crisis, we need to cut global GHG emissions roughly in half by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050 to avoid the worst effects.
With our world in a moment of upheaval, this can feel like a daunting and overwhelming challenge. How will we do it in time?
Today, we are honored to announce that a powerful new tool will soon be joining the climate fight. Along with us '-- Al Gore and Gavin McCormick of WattTime '-- we join leading organizations Blue Sky Analytics, CarbonPlan, Carbon Tracker, Earthrise Alliance, Hudson Carbon, Hypervine, OceanMind, and Rocky Mountain Institute as founding members to unveil Climate TRACE, a coalition creating a high-tech solution to independently detect emissions and where they're coming from, everywhere in the world, in real time. It's a feat that's never before been possible '-- until now.
Climate TRACE '-- which stands for Tracking Real-time Atmospheric Carbon Emissions '-- comprises organizations from the tech sector that have pioneered some of the most-powerful software-based emissions-monitoring solutions in the world, in part using artificial intelligence (AI) and remote sensing. As the climate crisis deepens and our technology advances, we felt the time was ripe to join together and put these resources to work in powerful new ways.
Our first-of-its-kind global coalition will leverage advanced AI, satellite image processing, machine learning, and land- and sea-based sensors to do what was previously thought to be nearly impossible: monitor GHG emissions from every sector and in every part of the world. Our work will be extremely granular in focus '-- down to specific power plants, ships, factories, and more. Our goal is to actively track and verify all significant human-caused GHG emissions worldwide with unprecedented levels of detail and speed.
Through Climate TRACE, we will equip business leaders and investors, NGOs and climate activists, as well as international, domestic, and local policy leaders with an essential tool to fully realize the economic and societal benefits of a clean energy future, while ensuring that no one '-- corporation, country, or otherwise '-- will ever again have the ability to hide or fake their emissions data. Next year, every country in the world will gather in Glasgow, Scotland, to enhance their commitments to the Paris Agreement and raise collective ambition in line with what the world's scientists tell us is necessary. We at the Climate TRACE coalition hope to support these COP26 climate talks with the most thorough and reliable data on emissions the world has ever seen.
To move faster on solutions to the climate crisis, we need a better system to track emissions; we can only manage what we can measure. And unfortunately, the current state of the art is a bottom-up system that relies heavily, no matter how well implemented, on infrequent self-reporting by countries and companies, using a patchwork variety of methods. A lack of dependable, independent, third-party verification can create uncertainty on whether the data are reliable and accurate. And the long time lags in reporting reduces the ability to make that information actionable. Countless countries, companies, and leaders worldwide want to solve the climate crisis, but lack the tools to do so quickly and effectively.
Climate TRACE will reveal the ''where,'' ''when,'' and ''who'' behind GHG emissions. Why does that matter? It allows us to'...
'— Verify numbers and ensure everyone is getting the truth: Self-reported data can make it too easy for dishonest polluters to break the rules that more-honest players are following. Others desire better data but lack the capacity to measure emissions, leaving some players with nothing but rough estimates. But when monitored by global sensor networks including satellites and ground- and sea-based instruments, all connected to a purpose-built AI engine, emissions have nowhere to hide. This new machine learning/AI tool will make it possible for everyone '-- from scientists and regulators, to the news media and citizen activists, to investors and business leaders '-- to see exactly who is responsible for GHG pollution in real time, where it's coming from, and whether the amounts from each significant source are increasing or decreasing. We believe this can lead to a new era of transparency and accountability.
'— Support the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement: Nearly every country in the world committed to major emissions reductions to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We know that better monitoring will help countries hold each other '-- and emitters within their own borders '-- accountable. Independent, global monitoring available to all can help.
'— Empower companies, consumers, and investors to do good: Despite a few government leaders denying the climate crisis, most understand and accept the science and the need to act, and thousands of corporate and subnational actors are already slashing their carbon footprints in line with the Paris Agreement. From companies looking to select cleaner manufacturing suppliers, to investors seeking to divest from polluting industries, to consumers making choices about which businesses to patronize, one thing is clear: a reliable way to measure where emissions are coming from is necessary. Climate TRACE will empower all of these actors.
'— Spot opportunities to save money by going green: The majority of fossil-fuel plants around the world are already less profitable than wind or solar power, and companies and governments deserve to know which ones. Additionally, companies interested in investing in carbon offset markets to support sustainable forestry and regenerative agriculture need a way to verify that each project genuinely reduces carbon. Even many oil and gas companies are actively seeking to reduce leakage of highly polluting methane emissions into the atmosphere, but they need better ways to detect those leaks. Climate TRACE will make it all possible.
In the era of coronavirus, we've seen that it's one thing to spot the overall consequences of the pandemic, but it's far more actionable to immediately know exactly who is infected and where they are, in order to get them medical care and trace the people with whom they have been in contact. Similarly, it's one thing to measure the global concentration of CO2 and other GHGs, but the ability to immediately trace where emissions are coming from and in what amounts provides information that allows us to act.
So, why is this difficult? Some emissions, such as methane, are relatively easy to spot with the right type of camera. But others, including CO2, are a common background part of our planet's atmosphere even under healthy conditions. And worse, natural fluctuations of CO2 occur all the time. That's why it's long been possible for climate scientists to measure total CO2 in the atmosphere, but tracing where it comes from has been a whole different ballgame.
Solving these types of problems requires an integrated AI framework '-- something we'll explore more in future posts. But to give you a sneak peek: the Climate TRACE system takes in many different types of imagery (e.g., visible light, infrared) from many different remote sensing networks (e.g., satellites, radar) all over the world. The AI then can be ''trained'' to spot even extremely complex and subtle hints of what pollution looks like by using countless records of when, where, and how emissions came about in the past, collected from ground- and sea-based physical emissions sensors, government environment ministries, corporate disclosure forms, and other sources.
Then, all of this information can be matched and verified against multiple redundant data sets from different actors, so we can be sure it's reliable. It's very similar to how AI experts ''train'' self-driving cars to make sense of and mutually fact-check their many different types of sensors. But this time, we're applying these well-understood Big Data techniques to a problem that affects us all: the climate crisis.
We've known for years that a project like Climate TRACE would make a massive difference in the fight against the climate crisis, and we've both been exploring the topic of global emissions monitoring for a long time. But our announcement comes now because we've hit a crucial turning point: it's finally possible.
Solving a scientific problem this complex requires many different advanced components. For example, developing a smaller version of this project to measure power plant emissions required combining imagery from multiple satellite constellations (like the European Space Agency's Sentinel 2 mission), AI algorithms from experts in computer vision (such as Pixel Scientia Labs), data pipeline engineering (, power plant databases (World Resources Institute), remote sensing (Valence Strategic), power systems modeling (WattTime), weather adjustments and power plant cooling systems (Carbon Tracker), and many more features and collaborators. And that was just one sector!
Recent years have seen an explosion of technological advancements at various organizations capable of individual pieces of the puzzle. We've found the growing urgency of the climate crisis has inspired more and more organizations to collaborate more actively than ever before. That's already made it possible to build prototypes of emissions-monitoring technologies we hadn't expected to be possible until 2025 or later. Now, we're unveiling the project to the world in order to start moving even faster.
We envision a future in which low- and zero-carbon energy is the norm, where every company has the resources it needs to be successful without endangering the environment, and every leader has the tools to confidently make the best choices possible for both people and planet. We believe Climate TRACE will be an integral part of making that future become reality, and we're getting right to work, with the goal of releasing our first full emissions report and real-time visualization well before the UN's COP26 climate conference in 2021.
Make no mistake, we know this is an ambitious effort with an aggressive timeline. But our species can't wait until 2030 to get this problem right, and we don't have to. If nine organizations working together can bring the climate action timeline forward by years, think about what dozens of organizations working together can achieve.
So, as we launch the Climate TRACE coalition today, we issue a call to action: If you're working in a field that touches on emissions monitoring '-- whether you have AI expertise, satellite sensor networks, or other global sensor or emissions data networks '-- we want to hear from you. We know that collaboration and participation are critical to getting this right. The climate crisis threatens us all, and the scale of the problem demands more of us. Let's get to work.
Former US Vice President Al Gore is the cofounder and chairman of Generation Investment Management, and the founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit devoted to solving the climate crisis. He is also a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and a member of Apple Inc.'s board of directors. He is the subject of the documentary movie An Inconvenient Truth, which won two Oscars in 2006, and a second documentary in 2017, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. In 2007, Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for ''informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.''
Gavin McCormick is the founder and executive director of WattTime, the nonprofit tech startup that first developed Automated Emissions Reduction (AER) technology and which launched an initiative in 2019, with support from, to measure GHG emissions from all the world's power plants. WattTime's mission is to make energy choice a reality for everyone everywhere '-- a charter Gavin and the team work hard every day to deliver.
Home '-- Climate Trace
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 15:11
We exist to make meaningful climate action faster and easier by mobilizing the global tech community'--harnessing satellites, artificial intelligence, and collective expertise'--to track human-caused emissions to specific sources in real time'--independently and publicly.
Climate TRACE aims to drive stronger decision-making on environmental policy, investment, corporate sustainability strategy, and more.
What we do01Monitor human-caused GHG emissions using cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and satellite image processing.
02Collaborate with data scientists and emission experts from an array of industries to bring unprecedented transparency to global pollution monitoring.
03Partner with leaders from the private and public sectors to share valuable insights in order to drive stronger climate policy and strategy.
04Provide the necessary tools for anyone anywhere to make better decisions to mitigate and adapt to the impacts from climate change.
We make meaningful climate action faster and easier by mobilizing the global tech community to track greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with unprecedented detail and speed.
The Climate TRACE coalition welcomes collaboration from any organization interested in helping to develop or use a shared global emissions monitoring tool.
For organizations and experts with related resources'--especially in the areas of remote sensing, computer vision, data engineering, ground truth emissions data, platforms that could use better emissions data to drive impact, and funding'--we'd love to talk! You can contact us here.
What is Climate TRACE trying to do? The Climate TRACE coalition is building a tool that will use artificial intelligence, satellite image processing, machine learning, and other remote sensing technologies to monitor worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The coalition aims to track human-caused emissions to specific sources in real time'--independently and publicly.
Who is a part of Climate TRACE? The Climate TRACE coalition is made up of nonprofits CarbonPlan, Carbon Tracker, Earthrise Alliance, Hudson Carbon, OceanMind, Rocky Mountain Institute, and WattTime; tech companies Blue Sky Analytics and Hypervine; as well as climate leader and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
How did Climate TRACE begin? Climate TRACE grew out of a collection of smaller global emissions monitoring projects by individual organizations.
In 2019, a group of nonprofits including US-based WattTime and UK-based Carbon Tracker teamed up to apply for's AI Impact Challenge with a proposal to monitor all global power plant emissions from space. not only selected the project for a $1.7 million grant, but also sent a group of seven skilled data engineering and machine learning Fellows to work alongside WattTime and Carbon Tracker for six months to help bring the initiative to fruition.
After the announcement of the grant, the teams were surprised to immediately hear from over 50 other organizations and scientists around the world offering to help. So they began systematically investigating: Could mixing and matching innovations from various groups improve global emissions monitoring even further? Among the new collaborators was Vice President Gore, who had long suspected that improved global emissions monitoring through satellites and AI held dramatic potential to accelerate climate progress.
Is Climate TRACE a ''closed'' coalition? No! Our work is only possible because of the progress that's already been made in this space. We have no desire to reinvent the wheel or to supplant techniques that are already working well'--only to build upon them.
The Climate TRACE coalition welcomes collaboration from any organization interested in helping to develop or use a shared global emissions monitoring tool. For organizations and experts with related resources, specifically in the form of remote sensing, computer vision, data engineering, ground truth emissions data, platforms that could use better emissions data to drive impact, and funding, please contact us and read more about our work.
How is Climate TRACE respecting privacy? The exact frequency and granularity of this tool is currently under consideration in order to ensure the tool is actionable for users of the data and to respect privacy and security concerns.
More specifically, for ground truth data providers, the level of disclosure is flexible. For those who do not want their data provided to the general public, the project team has the option to sign non-disclosure agreements and use strict data security controls to ensure that under no circumstances are those data ever released without the provider's explicit consent. It is also possible to release data with restrictions. For example, it would be possible to release data to the public after one year, or in aggregated form.
You can read our full privacy policy here.
Will Climate TRACE launch new satellites? No. Climate TRACE will rely on data and images from satellites already in orbit. We will also use other remote sensing capabilities that are not in space, such as mobility data, drones, and land- and sea-based sensors. In almost all cases, we will use existing sensors.
Don't miss future updates, announcements, articles, and other info from Climate TRACE.
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As COVID-19 financial crisis wages on, some economists warn of a divergent 'K-shaped' economic recovery - ABC News
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 22:06
Economic recoveries come in all sorts of shapes -- V, W and L -- and amid the economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been copious debate about how the U.S. economy will bounce back.
One of the newer and more troubling theories that has gained traction in recent months is the K-shaped recovery, where things get better for the haves, and worse for the have-nots, experts warn.
"I call it the K-shaped recovery because for some it's been a sharp rebound for others it's been a continuing decline," Peter Atwater, an adjunct lecturer in the economics department at William & Mary, who is credited for coining the "K-shape" theory, told ABC News.
In many ways, a K-shaped recovery highlights the divergent experiences of individuals with coronavirus, where white-collar workers are able to work from home in many cases, to continue seamlessly with their jobs and potentially avoiding exposure to the virus and essential workers, many of who do not have benefits and cash safety nets, have to report to a physical location, Atwater said.
The bigger and more cash-rich businesses and individuals appear to be faring better in many cases, while those who are poorer are not only finding themselves out of work but disproportionately affected by the virus itself.
For a handful of already-struggling retailers, the COVID-19 financial crisis brought closures and bankruptcy. Brooks Brothers, J.C. Penney, J. Crew, Pier 1, Neiman Marcus have all filed for bankruptcy in recent months, and the list is growing as the pandemic rages.
A sign hangs above the entrance of a shuttered Brooks Brothers store in the financial district, July 8, 2020, in Chicago.
A sign hangs above the entrance of a shuttered Brooks Brothers store in the financial district, July 8, 2020, in Chicago. Scott Olson/Getty ImagesAnd these are among the bigger, more established companies. An April report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that 17% of small businesses would have to permanently close if faced with a two-month revenue loss.
Bank of America analysts also noted divergences in recovery in a July report, writing that large chains with capital advantages have "largely recovered to prior year spending while the rest of their industry remains pressured." Their data shows a 20% gap in spending between large chains and smaller, independent firms -- recommending investors to look towards the larger chains.
Meanwhile, for many behemoths of the global business world, their recovery path has actually already brought new gains. Some stocks, including Amazon and Tesla, have reached new, record highs even as the rest of the economy recedes. The stock market at large has also been out of sync with the rest of the economy.
''Some of the more extreme divergences, if you look at a company like Tesla whose stock has just exploded higher and all of the FANG [Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google] stocks have done extremely well,'' he said. ''There seems to be a sense that these companies are completely inoculated from whatever the pandemic is bringing forth.''
A pedestrian walks by a closed Starbucks Coffee, July 14, 2020, in San Rafael, Calif.
A pedestrian walks by a closed Starbucks Coffee, July 14, 2020, in San Rafael, Calif. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Uneven recovery for both companies and individualsThe K-shape recovery "makes a lot of sense in this situation," Dante DeAntonio, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics, told ABC News. "You've already seen that."
"The Amazons, the Googles and the Facebooks of the world felt very little impact," he said. "Their impact is much smaller already and they are likely to rebound more quickly."
DeAntonio noted that size and cash available "go hand-in-hand with adjusting to this new normal" and adjusting to the ever-changing pandemic restrictions even as re-openings happen.
Atwater added that firms that have done well during the pandemic "tend to be extremely large" and have "either directly or indirectly been beneficiaries of the programs that the Federal Reserve implemented immediately following the market crash in March," Atwater noted. The Fed has pulled out all the stops to ameliorate the economy, purchasing massive amounts of securities to support financial markets, slashing interest rates to near-zero, and establishing direct-lending programs to major corporate employers, among other things.
While size and access to cash are big factors for which businesses are able to weather the pandemic, some businesses such as Zoom, Clorox and Amazon also had unique advantages in that demand for their goods or services soared as a result of the outbreak and stay-at-home mandates.
"Smaller businesses, for the most part, have been very reliant on the fiscal policy initiatives that the government itself did," Atwater added, referencing the problem-plagued Paycheck Protection Program loan program. "But what you see is that while they may have been sustained, their underlying businesses, many of them remain highly jeopardized."
''If we look at companies, big multinational companies, particular those closest to the liquidity of the Federal Reserve, they have done extremely well, while smaller businesses have not,'' he said. ''We're seeing for both companies and individuals a very similar experience.''
Initially, the "mid-March panic" -- when the first impacts of lockdowns and the pandemic on the economy took place -- "was a very uniform experience," according to Atwater.
"Everyone felt similarly about the outbreak and you saw that in any number of metrics, but what we started to see after that were very different individual experiences," he said.
''People who worked from home their level of confidence rebounded very quickly and in many ways the sense that I got was that while people were concerned by the outbreak, they were more inconvenienced by it," he added. "Life went on very consistently with what they had been experiencing earlier."
"For people who didn't work from home though, it was a very different experience and so what you saw were whether it was small businesses, restaurants, people in the service industry, the outbreak was a very traumatic event," he added. "And things didn't recover, in fact things continued to get worse."
In addition to the financial hardships, many essential workers during the pandemic also risked exposure to the disease just by showing up for their jobs while others were able to telework.
"For many people there is this concern that what they thought was a temporary event in March has a far greater amount of permanence to it," he said. "So instead of being furloughed they are now expecting to be laid off all together."
People wait in line for food assistance cards, July 7, 2020, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
People wait in line for food assistance cards, July 7, 2020, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Spencer Platt/Getty Images Recovery should focus on the unemployedHeidi Shierholz, the former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and current senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, cautioned that there is still so much uncertainty when it comes to predicting the recovery, but what's starting to become apparent is that a lot of jobs that were lost are not coming back any time soon.
"There's never been more uncertainty about trying to predict where things are going because there are so many more moving parts," Shierholz told ABC News.
Atwater, DeAntonio and Shierholz all noted that the "V-shape" recovery many were hoping for early on is likely not in the picture at this point, and a full economic recovery remains largely contingent on a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19.
Shierholz noted that the ongoing layoffs, which have decreased since peaking at 6.9 million unemployment claims one week at the end of March, are still over a million each week or "twice the worst week of the Great Recession."
"Businesses that thought they could hold onto their workers and tried to because they were also thinking in those terms are now realizing, 'Oh it's not coming back the way it was, it's not going to be business as normal again,'" she said.
Historically in recessions, about 70% of temporary layoffs end up being permanent, Shierholz added.
Since the pandemic began, more than 47 million Americans have lost their jobs and filed for unemployment insurance at some point. As of July 9, some 18 million U.S. workers are still receiving unemployment insurance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but experts cautioned these figures might not capture the anguish of business re-closings as the pandemic wages on.
She said that divergent recovery experiences "happen in all recessions" and while it is "happening for sure now," she said that it's "not two equal paths that are splitting" but rather it's a much smaller share of the economy that is booming back.
"The top part of the K, the places that really will have the extravagant V-shape" recovery is just a "small share" of the economy as a whole, according to Shierholz.
Shierholz recommends that federal recovery efforts should focus on state and local government aid and unemployment insurance. One of the biggest barriers to recovery following the Great Recession was consumer demand was low -- hence the need for cash flow to the millions who have been forced out of work due to the pandemic.
When demand is low, it becomes a "vicious cycle" that leads to firms producing fewer goods and services and more secondary layoffs, she said.
How Congress acts with the next economic relief and recovery packages "will really dictate the strength of the recovery," Shierholz added. "It absolutely matters to real peoples' lives in the next several years."
Hundreds of people line up outside a Kentucky Career Center hoping to find assistance with their unemployment claim in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020.
Hundreds of people line up outside a Kentucky Career Center hoping to find assistance with their unemployment claim in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020. Bryan Woolston/Reuters, FILEFor DeAntonio, the mounting uncertainty and so many moving parts mean that "any little thing could make a big difference" when it comes to recovery.
"I think we need to make sure that money keeps flowing to the 10 million people who are still sitting around unemployed, who are slowly spending some money now because they're getting that assistance," he said, referencing the additional $600 a week in pandemic unemployment insurance, that is set to expire at the end of the month.
"Whereas if that gets cut off, you're gonna see a huge drop off in consumer spending, which has the potential to filter through and cause a worse reaction in the economy because businesses that are sort of hanging on by a thread now only be hurt more if consumers have to pull back even further on their spending," he said.
Soros Sistas
George Soros pushes to remake criminal-justice system with leftist prosecutors - Washington Times
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 23:05
Back in the day, district attorneys sought to throw the book at criminals, but thanks to progressive mega-donors like George Soros, today's prosecutors look increasingly like San Francisco's Chesa Boudin.
Mr. Boudin, a former Hugo Chavez translator and the son of Weather Underground radicals, doesn't believe in charging offenders for any number of ''quality of life'' crimes, including prostitution, public urination, defecating on sidewalks, and ''public camping.''
His upset victory last week over Democratic establishment candidate Suzy Loftus alarmed San Francisco police officers like Sgt. Tony Montoya, who worried that the election will make the city safer for criminals and more perilous for law-abiding tourists and residents.
''You're sending a very, very wrong message that you can come into San Francisco and do whatever you want, and there are no consequences,'' said Sgt. Montoya, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, which opposed Mr. Boudin's candidacy.
A deputy public defender, Mr. Boudin comes as the latest in a string of county and municipal district attorneys elected with enormous donations from wealthy left-wing donors, an effort spurred by the 2014 Ferguson riots and rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Also prevailing in the Nov. 5 election was Democrat Jack Stollsteimer, who edged Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland in the Philadelphia suburbs, thanks in part to a $1 million donation from Mr. Soros to his pro-Stollsteimer Pennsylvania Justice & Public Safety PAC.
The playbook was similar to the one Mr. Soros used to help elect progressive prosecutors such as Kim Foxx in Chicago, Larry Krasner in Philadelphia, and Rachael Rollins in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. All three endorsed Mr. Boudin.
Overwhelming the opposition with cash doesn't always work, especially now that other candidates have been forewarned about the Soros onslaught.
In May 2018, prosecutor Kevin Barton beat back a challenge from Soros-funded candidate Max Wall in Washington County, Oregon, in part because Mr. Barton was able to counter the funding surge with support from local donors like Nike's Phil Knight, as reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting.
In June, three of four Soros-backed candidates in California lost their bids to upend incumbent prosecutors who loudly denounced the effort to usher in DAs ''bought and paid for by a billionaire with no ties to our community,'' as Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert put it.
Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles County, has been outspoken about the out-of-state interference, accusing Mr. Soros of attempting to ''bypass the legislative process'' with candidates who support his ''political agenda and social views.''
''A staple of these candidates is the promise not to enforce laws with which they disagree,'' said Ms. Hanisee in a 2018 op-ed headlined, ''The Ongoing Attempt to Buy the Criminal Justice System.''
Mr. Soros isn't working alone. He donated $50 million in 2014 to the ACLU to ''support its nationwide campaign to end mass incarceration,'' while other groups have stepped in to campaign to seat progressive district attorneys.
Case in point is Mr. Boudin, who was the race's top fundraiser at $623,000 despite no obvious Soros fingerprints. He received a high-profile endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders, and support from the SEIU and the Real Justice PAC, co-founded by activist Shaun King and former Sanders campaign staffers.
The PAC's biggest funder is the Open Philanthropy Project's Cari Tuna, wife of Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Meanwhile, Ms. Loftus lost despite the overwhelming support of the Democratic power base in California, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, as well as Gov. Gavin Newsom. Mr. Soros is one of the party's biggest donors.
''Even though you may not have seen the Soros money directly attached to this, you saw people connected to Soros making the donations,'' said Sgt. Montoya. ''I think that the Bernie Sanders last-minute endorsement kind of energized his movement. Bernie Sanders is an influential person, and it didn't hurt his campaign any, that's for sure.''
The police association and other law-enforcement groups put up the fiercest resistance to Mr. Boudin, whose platform included ending cash bail, prosecuting ICE agents who ''break California law,'' and review past convictions of immigrants facing deportation.
At his victory party, San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer led the crowd in chants of ''F'' the POA,'' as shown on video, prompting the Police Officers Association to demand an apology. Mr. Boudin did not attend.
SF supervisors past and present are in the house. @SandraLeeFewer leads a ''F*ck the POA'' chant while @JaneKim, @MattHaneySF & others share the stage.
'-- Mary Franklin Harvin (@EmEffHarvin) November 6, 2019Most district attorneys don't have parents serving prison time for murder, but Mr. Boudin's campaign was able to turn the candidate's past to his advantage. In an ad, he talks about how his parents' incarceration framed his views on criminal justice.
''Growing up, I had to go through a metal detector and steel gates just to give my parents a hug,'' said Mr. Boudin in the video, adding that ''prison visits teach hard lessons. I learned that our criminal justice system is broken. It's a system of mass incarceration, plagued by radical disparities.''
His parents were sentenced for their roles as getaway drivers in the 1981 Brink's robbery that resulted in the murders of two officers and a security guard. He was raised by their friends, radicals Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. His mother, Kathy Boudin, was paroled in 2003, while his father, David Gilbert, remains in prison.
''This is not about, everyone goes to prison for the rest of their lives, but if we're going to be doing any kind of reforming, let's be thoughtful,'' said Sgt. Montoya. ''But this criminal-before-the-victim-type policy from a public safety standpoint is very dangerous.''
Despite his mixed success in California, Mr. Soros may be unable to resist the 2020 race for Los Angeles County District Attorney. Former San Francisco DA George Gascon recently moved to Los Angeles with the goal of unseating DA Jackie Lacey in the March 2020 primary.
Meanwhile, the Real Justice PAC has endorsed two Texas progressives running for DA, Jose Garza in Travis County (Austin) and Audia Jones in Harris County (Houston). The election is March 3.
Copyright (C) 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.
War on Weed
Austin, Texas, Just Voted to End the Drug War
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 23:05
'' O n day one, we will end the prosecution of low-level drug offenses here in Travis County,'' announced district attorney candidate Jos(C) Garza, at a February forum on criminal justice reform in Austin. ''We will end the prosecution of possession and sale offenses of a gram or less.''
That may have sounded to some like a bold statement, but Garza argued it was the rational response to a ''broken system.''
On Tuesday night, voters in the state capital of Texas and the surrounding county agreed. Garza, a former federal public defender, immigrant rights activist, and executive director of the Texas Workers Defense Project''Proyecto Defensa Laboral, swept to victory over Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore in a closely watched Democratic primary runoff election. And the successful challenger signaled that he is ready to act. ''We know that 60-percent of all people arrested and charged with drug possession through traffic stops are people of color,'' he told reporters. ''So, it is time to end the war on drugs in this community to begin to unwind the racial disparities in our criminal justice system.''
Garza won 68 percent of the vote to 32 percent for Moore, who, as The Austin Chronicle noted earlier this year, had been ''under fire on many fronts for her perceived insufficient commitment to true justice, particularly for women survivors of sexual assault.'' The Chronicle endorsed Garza as a candidate who would bring to the office ''a demonstrable commitment to equity.''
With the party nomination secured in an overwhelmingly Democratic county, Garza is positioned to further demonstrate that commitment as one of the most high-profile members of the emerging class of county prosecutors who are prepared to upend old ways of thinking about law enforcement and the achievement of justice. He'll join Chicago's Kim Foxx, Philadelphia's Larry Krasner, and San Francisco's Chesa Boudin as part of a movement to transform how cities and countries across the country address public safety issues. ''The movement is growing!'' observed Boudin, as he celebrated the victory by Garza, who ran with strong support from unions, Austin Democratic Socialists of America, the Working Families Party, and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
The Texan summed up the thinking of the movement during the course of a campaign in which he told voters, ''Our system doesn't have to be broken. We have the power to fix this. And we have a right and a responsibility to demand that it be fixed.''
What distinguished Garza is his determination to move quickly and decisively to take on the gravest injustices.
Take his response to questions about capital punishment. ''The Death Penalty is morally and ethically wrong, does not serve as a deterrent, has proven to be applied arbitrarily at best, and comes at tremendous financial costs,'' the candidate's platform states. ''As District Attorney, I will not seek a death sentence. I will also review all post-conviction death penalty cases to ensure that there are no forensic, evidentiary, or legal issues that should cause the conviction to be called into question.''
Or his response to questions about police violence. ''Prosecutors must play a key role in holding police accountable and ensuring that officers who commit misconduct are not allowed to continuously harm communities,'' asserts Garza, who began his list of commitments on the issue by promising, ''We will never take donations from police organizations. We deserve a DA unbought by those they are responsible for holding accountable.''
Or his response to questions about prosecuting the powerful'--including corporate CEOS. ''No one should be above the law, no matter how rich they are or just because of their job title. We will use our resources to investigate and prosecute the powerful actors in Travis County who have harmed the public'--landlords who exploit immigrants, police officers accused of misconduct, and corporate heads who take money from the poor will no longer have a free pass in Travis County,'' reads his platform. ''Instead, the Travis County District Attorney Office will actively investigate and prosecute powerful actors who have abused their positions.''
Garza's vision of the DA's office as a platform for pursuing economic, social, and racial justice was especially profound when it came to stopping the damage done by a war on drugs that for too long has been facilitated by Democratic and Republican prosecutors.
In a set of commitments for how he would run the DA's office in a county where the population is nearing 1.3 million, Garza explained:
The revolving door of justice for people with substance abuse issues is a waste of time, money, and prosecution resources. The latest medical research on addiction suggests that treating drug use as a public health issue, as opposed to a criminal justice issue, is a more effective approach to reducing harm and promoting public safety. Nevertheless, our jails and prisons are filled with people who have done nothing more than suffer from addiction.
As a result, this office will seek to pursue policies that reduce the number of people in jails and prisons for drug-related offenses. We also have a responsibility to prevent deaths'--safe injection sites and harm reduction programs are key to keeping our most vulnerable alive.
Unless there is evidence that a person poses a danger to the community, I will not prosecute sale or possession of a gram or less of narcotics. For possession or sale of larger amounts of narcotics, my office will consider all appropriate diversion programs so that person may avoid a conviction if they are not a danger to the community.
For decades, politicians of both parties and their amen corners in the media fostered the fantasy that filling prisons would make communities safe. Elected prosecutors mounted reelection campaigns that highlighted their conviction rates and their willingness to pursue the harshest sentences.
Even as evidence of policing abuses, prosecutorial misconduct, systemic racism, and the absolute failure of mass incarceration mounted, too many prosecutors in too many places responded with incremental reforms that changed little.
Too many prosecutors refused to change course and recognize that the system is not working.
Garza knows there is something wrong with a system in which ''the majority of our resources are spent locking-up people struggling with substance abuse and our DA's office has not reduced the number of people we send to prison.'' And he knows there are smart alternatives. ''The research is clear: prisons do not reduce recidivism,'' says the candidate Travis County voters has just nominated. ''In fact, rehabilitation programs run outside of prisons consistently outperform those run in prison when it comes to keeping people out of jail.''
In a way, kayleighs tabs are like my show prep and show notes
Why Kayleigh Always Wins '-- Photo of the Day '' CITIZEN FREE PRESS
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 13:39
When you come to battle, be armed, educated and practiced in execution of delivery.Obviously not her first rodeo, glad she is on our side.She rocks!
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I am in love with that woman.
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She wins every argument. I can't imagine how she is at home
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If she has a binder like that with topics on her husband he is royally screwed'
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Thinking same' know she has a ''book'' on hubby and kids. You said this or that at 12:45:12 antimeridian, 2012 AD, July 3rd, full moon, slight wind at 4.875 mph 45.23 degrees west by north west, 68.25 degrees fahrenheit.
How do you plead, Mister?
She does a fantastic job, though.
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My wife doesn't need a notebook. She can recall things I did to piss her off 20 years ago.
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Lol! So true! Mine brings up stuff 36 years ago and she is the one always telling people to let it go!
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Married 45 years, and yes, she remembers the names of my old girlfriends'... I can't even remember their faces.,
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They never forgetAnd never forgive
yeah, can you imagine the honey-do list?
Ouch'...that hurts my brain to think about that. LOL
Mittens had binders full of women.
Guess what was in Obama's folders!
I have noticed the MSM has been very very absent from the 'daily Propaganda routine' since the end of Shampeachment and the hiring of Kayleigh McEnany in April 2020!
She is beating the pants off of the MSM/DNC every single day. And they are DESPERATELY trying to 'trick her' all the time'... with every question.
Super hire for Team Trump!
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Just more Excellence from this Administration.
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That said, why is this idiot reporter allowed to ask question after question in these press conferences? He's a minister fake news and fake questions.
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It's being done for people to finally wake up and realize what the so called press is ALL about.
They keep Acosta around for comic relief!
Glad she's with us she opens cans of whoop ass w ease
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Melonia, Kellyann, Kayleigh '' This President has wisely surrounded himself with faithful, brave Catholic women.That binder proves she's following our 1st popes command to always be prepared to give a reason for the faith that is in you. 1 Peter 3:15. Brilliant!
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That's what a soldier for TRUTH looks like!
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One badass Lady! Damn I love her!
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Too bad her hubby cant pitch ðŸª
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As much as I like Ms. McEnany's grit and charm. I feel these press briefings are waste of money and time and should be terminated. It's obvious most journalist are fools these days.
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But it's so much fun watching them being humiliated and slapped around a bit!
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josh moe'....respectfully, i see it the opposite. kayleigh's style keeps them at bay and doesn't provide bs and/or fakenews ammunition concerning inside baseball from the administration.
think about all the other talking heads. always overstepping in their rhetoric and causing angst and pathos for trump. that never happens in her pressers. NEVER.
most everyone she deals with (both sides to be clear) deal in emotions while she deals in only facts. she could be a little meaner though. that would upgrade the entertainment level for me.
I love how under ''A'', she's got ''Absurd'''...we all need a file folder like that! Pretty much anything Joe Biden said would have to be in there, for sure.
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I think it's for ''Acosta'' questions.
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Does that folder also include the ''a'' for acosta? It is amazing how he has the stamina to embarrass himself so often. Is the WHCA proud to have such fools in its organization?
The absurd tab is no doubt the largest section.
She's tough as nails.
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It's time Acosta was hung as a traitor.
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Kickin' that lefty ass!
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And a White House photographer has no business taking sneak shots of her work product.Get a new photographer.
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Acosta is the biggest fake news rumor monger on the face or the earth. How can anyone stand to be around this hateful person.
I can't say I blame her. It's a smart move to be prepared if you ask me.
I am always impressed with her!
The first file is ABSURD. I'm guessing that's what she named her press briefing notebook.
Notice she has faith in GOD!!She's beyond good!
I wish President Trump would tweet out some of the material she uses to open the briefings. It is that good.
Her June 22 briefing where she Squarely put the blame for the blue state crime surge on the blue state mayors and governors was excellent. Kayleigh succinctly explains how federalism does not allow the federal government to police states and cities. Update the facts with this last weeks crime data, and Trump could tweet the statement out as 8-10 tweets.
Or he could tweet out a video clip from the White House video. Maybe both.
Her first tab is ''absurd''Proof she understands who she is dealing with
Wanna bet the Biden people are ''sending out anonymous notes trashing Dr. Fauci'' in attempting to make it look like it's coming from President Trump? Biden has run VERY dirty campaigns his entire 47 year career. 47 years. Why don't we have a forced retirement age or years of service for Congress?
When will they stop poking the tiger? I guess you can't fix stupid.
She might already be the best press secretary ever.
That binder is so great. I love organization, but this binder takes it to a whole new level. I might be a tad bit jealous.
I can't believe people are still saying (and getting away with the lie) that Trump recommended injecting bleach.
Trump made an analogy to compare UV light blood sterilisation (which is a promising and valid science-based treatment) to injecting bleach to make the concept easy to understand for morons like Jim. Obviously the moron still didn't understand
I'm beginning to think Acostaburger is there just so he can have Kayleigh can tell him how much he sucks on a daily basis. Secretly, he's in love with her.
The front cover says ''How To Beat Libs And Win'''...
Jim Acosta is without a doubt the stupidest person to ever worm his way into the White House press corps.
'''...When marching to war, do not bring food. Eat the food of your enemy.'' Sun Tzu.She's just doing her job, eating the bad guy's lunches.
I never thought ANYONE could be as good as Sarah, but damn Kaleigh is fantastic. Still a huge fan of Sarah, can't wait for her to be Governor!
Kambei Shimada - masterless
That is one GREAT 'Broad' (and I mean that in a very positive way)
Her tact and knowledge are both great and broad. ðŸŠ
Kayleigh always does her homework and is always over-prepared. She's packing heat and outguns the media.
It wasn't a battle, Sissy Acosta threw a fit & Kayleigh took him to woodshed
If I was Acosta's boss, I would fire him.
Being prepared and organized in anticipation of the media is a major part of winning. Being nimble and quick ''on your feet'' is the other major part and Kayleigh is excellent at that also. As Bill Murray said in ''Caddyshack'' ''To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit '-- ever. They're like the Viet Cong '-- Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that's all she wrote.''
Note the frayed corners, she spends a lot of time thumbing through these pages!
It is apparently clear that this guy has problems with women in power. The last three Press Secretaries were women and look at how he has attacked them'... Acostic must have an inferiority complex.
This girl is top notch. She can shred them and still keep a smile on her face.
I bet she turns to that first tab the most. ABSURD. ðŸ‚
When she was the oppo pundit on CNN she really got them worked up. I remember Navarro blue in the face, white lipped, screaming and spitting at Kayleigh and there was one time I thought for sure Van Jones was going to attack her.She's the perfect fit for this position right now, like an Uber soldat spokesperson, unflinching and unaffected by the little digs, always slamming the ball back hard to their side of the court with facts and conviction.
Look at that disgusting hate speech manual! RHEEEEEE!!!!
Kay leigh hits home runs every day while the so called journalists keep striking out!
There need to be bounties on the heads of some of these Marxists instigators
Followed quickly by bullets! Very quickly!
I need her to come and organize my file system, just sayin.
Why do they (anyone in the Trump Administration) acknowledge acosta?
Chicago mayor to White House press secretary: 'Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth' | TheHill
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 14:53
July 16, 2020 - 10:39 PM EDT By John BowdenChicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) fired back at White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday after the latter took aim at Lightfoot's job performance.
Lightfoot, tweeting an image of a transcript of McEnany's remarks earlier in the day referring to her as the "derelict" mayor of Chicago, referred to McEnany as "Karen," a mocking name used for white women seen in viral videos harassing or calling the police on Black people.
"Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth," Lightfoot tweeted.
Lightfoot's response comes as the Trump administration has hammered Chicago's leadership for months over gun violence in the city, which President Trump and his allies frequently blame on Democratic leadership of the city.
A tracker operated by the Chicago Tribune reports that 1,901 people have been injured or killed in shootings so far this year, 550 more than had occurred at the same point in 2019.
In an interview with MSNBC earlier this week, Lightfoot pinned blame for the violence on Trump, pointing to "too many illegal guns on our street," which she said was the "direct result of a failure of federal leadership."
"Which is why we need change in November and we need the kind of leadership that Joe Biden is going to bring to our country," the mayor added in the Tuesday interview, referring to the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.
War on Churches
Alex Salvi on Twitter: "Fire crews are battling a massive fire at the historic Nantes Cathedral in France." / Twitter
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 13:32
Alex Salvi : Fire crews are battling a massive fire at the historic Nantes Cathedral in France.
Sat Jul 18 07:27:22 +0000 2020
Kim : @alexsalvinews @jetta330 Wiping the worlds history away bit by bit
Sat Jul 18 13:29:12 +0000 2020
Anne Balon : @alexsalvinews Terrible
Sat Jul 18 13:29:06 +0000 2020
CoachesDaughter : @alexsalvinews Another accident. 🥴
Sat Jul 18 13:16:28 +0000 2020
Dinkledash : @alexsalvinews @kankokage At this point you think they'd install fire suppression systems in all the cathedrals.
Sat Jul 18 13:05:16 +0000 2020
TheLegend28 : @alexsalvinews When they burned down that other church in France ? Notre Dame I believe? .
Sat Jul 18 13:01:16 +0000 2020
Mr Blockhead : @alexsalvinews @xrp_hodl_
Sat Jul 18 12:57:44 +0000 2020
Realism : @alexsalvinews Time to wake the fuck up
Sat Jul 18 12:56:39 +0000 2020
AD : @alexsalvinews Starting to seem like a intential elimination of historical places of worship.
Sat Jul 18 12:39:58 +0000 2020
Inferno engulfs Nantes cathedral as 60 firefighters battle to save 1434 church
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 13:32
Army of 104 firefighters deployed to tackle the major blaze in France and gained control after several hoursProsecutor said three fires had been started at the cathedral and the blaze is being treated as a criminal act The blaze comes just over a year after a major fire at the Notre Dame in Paris which ravaged its main spirePolice have launched an arson investigation after an inferno broke out at Nantes Cathedral this morning which took 104 firefighters to control.
Smoke was seen billowing out of the 15th-century structure in France as emergency services desperately tried to extinguish the inferno which is believed to have started at the cathedral's organ.
Prosecutor Pierre Sennes said three fires had been started at the site and authorities were treating the incident as a criminal act. He gave no other details.
Police have launched an arson investigation after an inferno broke out at Nantes Cathedral this morning which took 104 firefighters to controlThe blaze comes just over a year after a major fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, which destroyed its roof and main spire.
Local fire chief Laurent Ferlay told reporters 104 firemen were still at the site to ensure the blaze was completely under control.
The fire had broken out behind the grand organ, which was completely destroyed, he said. Stained glassed windows at the front of the cathedral were blown out.
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However, the damage was not as bad as initially feared.
'It is a part of our history, a part of our heritage' Nantes Mayor Johanna Rolland said. 'We all have these images in mind, this story in our hearts, but at this stage the situation does not seem to be comparable to that of 1972.'
French Prime Minister Jean Castex and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin will be among officials who will go to Nantes Saturday afternoon in reaction to the blaze.
Smoke has been seen billowing out of the 15th-century structure as emergency services desperately try to extinguish the inferno The blaze comes just over a year after a major fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, which destroyed its roof and main spire'We are not in a Notre Dame de Paris scenario. The roof has not been touched,' Ferlay said.
It was not the first time fire has damaged the cathedral.
It was partly destroyed during World War Two in 1944 after Allied bombings. In 1972 a fire completely ravaged its roof. It was finally rebuilt 13 years later with a concrete structure replacing the ancient wooden roof.
'The fire of 1972 is in our minds, but at this stage the simulation is not comparable,' Nantes Mayor Johanna Rolland told reporters.
Onlookers watch in shock as the flames engulfed their beloved cathedral and raged on for hours this morning The interior of the cathedral has been wrecked by the fire and is now covered in debris after the inferno blazed on for hours this morning It is believed the fire was sparked by the cathedral's organ and police have now launched an arson probeCecile Renaud, who works in a bakery facing the cathedral and alerted the fire services early on Saturday, told BFM TV she had seen huge flames inside the building.
'It was a huge shock. It's extremely sad.'
In 2015, a fire that appeared to have been caused by renovation work destroyed most of the roof of another church in Nantes, the Saint Donatien Basilica.
Cecile Renaud, who works in a bakery facing the cathedral and alerted the fire services early on Saturday, told BFM TV she had seen huge flames inside the building.
'It was a huge shock. It's extremely sad.'
Firefighters are seen outside the cathedral trying to regain control of the blaze They used cranes to reach the heart of the fire, which seems to come from the top of the cathedral An eyewitness told the LCI 24-hour news network that he could see the fire from his home, not far from the cathedral. He said he was woken up by 'a very strange sound of bells' It is not the first time the cathedral has caught fire. In 1972 a fire completely ravaged its roof. It was finally rebuilt 13 years later.An eyewitness told the LCI 24-hour news network that he could see the fire from his home, not far from the cathedral. He said he was woken up by 'a very strange sound of bells'.
'From what I can see, there is more and more smoke,' he said.
It is not the first time the cathedral has caught fire. It was partly destroyed during World War Two in 1944 after Allied bombings.
In 1972 a fire completely ravaged its roof. It was finally rebuilt 13 years later.
A shard of the Notre Dame's spire plummets through the air as it collapsed earlier after the fire burned through its foundations in April last year Flames chewing through a turret at 6.45pmFlames chewing through a turret at 6.40pmThe turret collapsed at 7.00pmThe turret completely disappeared shortly before the spire fell at 7.15pm Drone footage from the French Interior Ministry showed the devastation to Notre Dame's centuries-old timber roofThe blaze at Notre Dame broke out last April just before 7pm local time in a roof area undergoing around £6m of renovations.
The fire service said believed it was an accident, but investigations were continuing.
More than 400 firefighters battled the flames, which quickly spread along the roof structure, causing burning timbers to collapse onto the ceiling of the vault below.
Some of that collapsed into the aisle however the cathedral's Twitter account declared the damage inside was less than feared, in a message ending 'Allelujah'.
White Helmets
White Helmets Co-Founder Defrauded Organization To Fund Lavish Wedding | Zero Hedge
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 19:45
A little more than eight months after former British army officer and military contractor, then 43-year-old James Le Mesurier, who co-founded the shadowy 'White Helmets' (known as Syria Civil Defence), committed suicide, a new report details how he defrauded Mayday Rescue. This organization fundraised from Western countries to support the anti-government rescue group in Syria.
RT News quotes a report via Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, who says Le Mesurier informed an accountant during an audit that he "forged receipts" for tens of thousands of dollars. At the time, he listed the funds as lined items to support efforts in evacuations for refugees in war-torn Syria, though the money was actually expensed for his lavish 2018 wedding.
Le Mesurier was paid a generous salary of '‚¬24,000 ($27,414) per month. It was noted he issued loans to his wife, former diplomat Emma Winberg, using funds from the organization.
The accountant, instructed by Western countries to investigate Mayday, found "tens of thousands of dollars in cash" were used to pay for Le Mesurier's "fairytale wedding."
Shortly afterward, a number of countries that had donated to Mayday demanded an accountant have another look over the organization's books. According to De Volkskrant, this probe found that most of Mayday's financial records are "missing." Donations were not just handed to the organization in Amsterdam and forwarded to Syria, but distributed through a network of commercial organizations in Turkey and Dubai. -RT
A Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs' 2018 report showed Mayday received $127 million from mostly Western state donors between 2014 and 2018.
Le Mesurier's White Helmets promote themselves as 'first responders' to emergencies in Syria, the group has been accused of staging multiple chemical attacks - including an April 2018 incident in Duma, Syria, which the White House used as a pretext to bomb Syrian government facilities and bases.
White Helmets have been accused of partnering with Al-Qaeda and even seen operating in rebel-held territory.
At the time of the audit, Le Mesurier wrote a letter to donors explaining the mishap but maintained the fraud was not committed on purpose.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said last November that Le Mesurier's death was no suicide, suggesting he was killed because he "knew major secrets."
For more color on the questionable suicide of Le Mesurier, read: "Narrative Managers Claim White Helmets Founder Was Driven To Suicide By Syria Skeptics."
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 12:35
VIDEO-Unmarked cars and Federal Police: Protesters in Portland faceoff against authorities - YouTube
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 12:25
VIDEO-85 infants in one Texas county test positive for coronavirus - CBS News
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 11:57
A county in Texas announced Friday that 85 infants have tested positive for COVID-19. Nueces County in south Texas is battling a coronavirus outbreak that has infected at least 7,861 people.
Nueces County Director of Public Health Annette Rodriguez said at a press briefing Friday that a review of the county's data showed that 85 of its residents who tested positive are under the age of one. "These babies have not even had their first birthday yet," she said.
Home to the Gulf city of Corpus Christi, Nueces is one of 250 Texas counties '-- out of 254 '-- now reporting coronavirus cases, according to the state's health department COVID-19 tracker. On June 10, Corpus Christi announced the death of a 6-month-old baby due to COVID-19, the only death of a child under one year old reported in the county thus far.
Rodriguez said Friday that the county tested 860 people throughout the week, and 328 tests came back positive for coronavirus, a 38% positivity rate.
"This rate must be lowered if we are going to be successful in lowering the number of hospitalizations and lowering the number of people that we're losing to the virus," she said. "The next two weeks are critical in slowing the spread of COVID-19."
Seventy-five people in Nueces have died from the coronavirus, according to the department of health. Rodriguez reported Friday that 12 of those deaths occurred in the past week.
"Residents must act now. We desperately need you to help lower the transmission of this virus. Stay home. Especially if you are sick, older and/or have medical conditions," she said. "If you are sick and do not need medical attention, do everything in your power to get well."
"Please help us to stop the spread of this disease. Stay social distanced from others, stay protected, wear a mask when in public and for everyone else, please do your best to stay home."
Residents are being told to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and avoid going out in public unless absolutely necessary. Rodriguez pleaded for people to cancel events, "especially family events."
"We're seeing a lot of transmission between family members," she said. "Don't invite others into your home to get this illness."
Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb encouraged people to get tested.
"The quicker we know how big the problem is, or how much bigger it's getting, or how smaller it's getting '-- hopefully smaller, then we're going to be miles ahead on trying to come to a conclusion," he said.
The county's beaches have been closed and schools have been ordered not to reopen until after Labor Day. County Judge Barbara Canales said at Friday's press briefing that she "wholeheartedly" supports the orders.
"We are at a tipping point, in our hospitals and in our ICU capacity," she said. "I believe we are at a breaking point with sufficient medical staff to maintain those beds and with medical supplies."
VIDEO-85 Babies Tested Positive For COVID-19 In One Texas County, Health Director Says - YouTube
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 11:54
VIDEO-Attorney General William Barr Delivers Remarks on China | LIVE | NowThis - YouTube
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 10:05
VIDEO-Karli Q '­¸'­¸'­¸ on Twitter: "This does not sound like a conversation about a virus #TheMoreYouKnow" / Twitter
Sun, 19 Jul 2020 04:02
Karli Q '­¸'­¸'­¸ : This does not sound like a conversation about a virus #TheMoreYouKnow
Fri Jul 17 01:56:28 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 on Twitter: "Minneapolis Officer Rich Walker describes the havoc Democrats' insane push to defund police is having: ''Our morale has never been lower '... The hatred for [us] has never been more evident. Right no
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 18:33
Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 : Minneapolis Officer Rich Walker describes the havoc Democrats' insane push to defund police is having:''Our moral'...
Sat Jul 18 16:17:51 +0000 2020
VIDEO - NIH Director: I Believe We'll Have Vaccine by End of Year
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 17:23
On Friday's broadcast of CNN's ''Situation Room,'' National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins stated that if one of the coronavirus vaccine trials is successful, ''tens of millions of doses'' will be available by the end of the year, and that he believes by the end of the year ''we will have a vaccine'...that looks like it's working'' and that everyone will have access to one by the spring.
Collins said that because of the use of ''at-risk manufacturing,'' ''we will have, if one of these trials shows success, tens of millions of doses of that vaccine ready to go, by the end of 2020, the end of this calendar year. That's never been done at this speed before. We're not compromising on safety. We'll be sure the thing works. But if it does, we'll be ready to go for the highest-risk people, as soon as possible.''
He added, ''I think, again, cautious optimism, we will have a vaccine, I believe, at least one, maybe more than one, that looks like it's working by the end of this calendar year. We will then have some doses to give to the highest-risk people. But for everybody to have access to the vaccine, it'll be the spring.''
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
VIDEO - GOP Rep. Yoho: I'm Introducing Legislation to Authorize Force if China Invades Taiwan
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 17:13
On Friday's broadcast of the Fox Business Network's ''Lou Dobbs Tonight,'' Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) stated that the United States isn't doing enough with regards to Taiwan and previewed legislation that he will introduce to authorize military force if China invades Taiwan.
Yoho said, ''With South Korea and Japan and the United States, we're doing enough. That trilateral arrangement, that agreement between those three countries, that is one of the strongest relationships in national security. Are we doing enough with Taiwan? No. Since Henry Kissinger's days and forward, there's been strategic ambiguity about our policies between Taiwan and China. We are introducing a bill next week, and it's going to be called the Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, and this is something that's going to lay very clear what our intent is. In fact, it'll go to the point where it authorizes an AUMF if China invades Taiwan, and it'll be a sunset for five years, that AUMF, that would authorize the president to use force. Right now, our agreement, and this came out of Ronald Reagan's presidency, is that we would sell Taiwan enough weapons for them to defend themselves. But when Xi Jinping has announced that he's ready to draw blood over Taiwan and reunify them, they forgot to ask Taiwan.''
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
VIDEO - Speaking as a Pharmacist...Here is What's Coming (C-19) - YouTube
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:46
VIDEO - American Airlines To Lay Off 114 Tulsa Employees, Furlough 1,003 More
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:40
Wednesday, July 15th 2020, 9:38 pm
By: Kristin Wells
TULSA, Okla. - American Airlines has announced that they plan to lay off more than 100 employees in Tulsa and furlough a thousand more employees.
The company said the layoffs are happening in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic. All the layoffs and furloughs will happen on October 1.
There's no word on how long the furloughs will last.
VIDEO - Fredo Taps Mentally Ill Howard Beale, Demands People Be 'Mad as Hell!' | Newsbusters
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:22
CNN's Chris ''Fredo'' Cuomo was particularly unhinged during Thursday's PrimeTime as he invoked the fictional and mentally ill anchorman, Howard Beale (played by actor Peter Finch in the 1976 film Network) to demand his audience be ''outraged'' by the President Trump's ''hoax'' of a response to the coronavirus. As part of Cuomo's plan to tap into Trump and Republican Party's ''fear of consequence,'' he seemed to encourage voter fraud.
''You want your kids in school? You want to get back to work for real? Demand those in power do their damn jobs,'' he explained. ''How? You have to get angry about what's happening. You must be outraged by the obvious. I know you are.''
Cuomo insisted that ''good conscience will not move these men and women to do the right thing for us.'' Teeing up a clip from an iconic scene from the movie, he suggested ''one of the great movies captured where we are right now.''
Ignoring the fact that the Beale character was a mentally disturbed man who heard voices and was abused by his network for ratings and money, Fredo played an edited version of his ''mad as Hell'' speech (click ''expand''):
HOWARD BEALE (via actor Peter Finch): It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth. Banks are going bust. Shop keepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and nobody seems to know what to do and there is no end to it.
I want you to get mad I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, ''I'm a human being, God dammit, my life has value!''
So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, ''I am as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!''
''It was true then. It's true now. If you are not mad as hell at what's happening in this country, you're not paying attention,'' Cuomo proclaimed after the clip.
After quipping about how one didn't have to stick their head out a window anymore because of the internet (though this author would note that most computers run Windows), Cuomo instructed his viewers on how to have their voice heard. ''You have to let the people in power, the people on the fringe, the people who comment on the people on the fringe, let them know how outraged you are,'' he said.
But in that instruction, he seemed to encourage his fans to commit voter fraud. ''Let them know you are going to vote everywhere and in every race you can,'' he demanded.
Further venting his outrage, Fredo lashed out at Trump and other GOP leaders. ''None of us is immune to this danger. Only two states have declining cases. 39 are on the rise. The reason is the hoax of our response,'' he raged. He ''hoax'' comment harkened back to his repeated use of fake news that claimed Trump had called the virus a ''hoax.''
''[Governor Ron] DeSantis [R-FL] calls the explosion a blip. All those sick and dead, no plan, in denial, hiding hospitalization numbers,'' he continued, advocating for the Governor's removal from office. ''The question is, will voters make him a blip? Where is the outrage? Force him to face the facts.''
Adding: ''This is the outrage. Because they are all -- Kemp, DeSantis, Abbott in Texas -- they're all on the Trump train and they're all off the rails as a result. There should be outrage.''
Further, Fredo doubled down on his use of vulgar language to bash the President and his allies, even going so far as to defend its use:
You're outraged. The media is outraged. This is BS what he's doing! I don't have to curse for this to be vulgar. It's all profane. It's all vulgar. Don't worry about the words. Worry about what warrants those words.
Now, given how the plot of Network was partially a comment on the decline of the news media in favor of manipulating rage for profit, and Cuomo's own unhinged nature, it's very ironic that Beale was invoked.
Cuomo's Howard Beale spiel was made possible by sponsorships from Sandals Hotels and Resorts and Wayfair. Their contact information is linked.
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
CNN's Cuomo PrimeTimeJuly 16, 20209:02:17 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS CUOMO: You want your kids in school? You want to get back to work for real? Demand those in power do their damn jobs. How? You have to get angry about what's happening. You must be outraged by the obvious. I know you are.
Here's why. Good conscience will not move these men and women to do the right thing for us. Okay? You see it. It has not led our leaders to lessen our load. What will is tapping into their fear of consequence. Many years have passed, but one of the great movies captured where we are right now and where change has to starts. Remember this from Network.
[Cuts to video]
HOWARD BEALE (via actor Peter Finch): It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth. Banks are going bust. Shop keepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and nobody seems to know what to do and there is no end to it.
I want you to get mad I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, ''I'm a human being, God dammit, my life has value!''
So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, ''I am as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!''
[Cuts back to live]
CUOMO: It was true then. It's true now. If you are not mad as hell at what's happening in this country, you're not paying attention.
You can go online. You don't have to go out the window anymore. You have to let the people in power, the people on the fringe, the people who comment on the people on the fringe, let them know how outraged you are. Let them know you are going to vote everywhere and in every race you can.
None of us is immune to this danger. Only two states have declining cases. 39 are on the rise. The reason is the hoax of our response.
DeSantis calls the explosion a blip. All those sick and dead, no plan, in denial, hiding hospitalization numbers. The question is, will voters make him a blip? Where is the outrage? Force him to face the facts.
This is the outrage. Because they are all -- Kemp, DeSantis, Abbott in Texas -- they're all on the Trump train and they're all off the rails as a result. There should be outrage.
You're outraged. The media is outraged. This is BS what he's doing! I don't have to curse for this to be vulgar. It's all profane. It's all vulgar. Don't worry about the words. Worry about what warrants those words.
NewsBusters Reader,
The media are hard at work weaving a web of confusion, misinformation, and conspiracy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
At MRC's NewsBusters, we cut through the hypocrisy and expose the media's bias, bringing the truth to the American people'--but without you, our efforts can only go so far.
The media is using whatever crisis it can to swing the upcoming election'--they have an agenda and the truth is not part of it.
This is why NewsBusters, a program of the MRC, exists. To take on the liberal media, expose their toxic bias, and stop them in their tracks. We are part of the only organization purely dedicated to this critical mission and we need your help to fuel this fight.
Donate today to help NewsBusters continue to document and expose liberal media bias. $25 a month goes a long way in the fight for a free and fair media.
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VIDEO - Dr. Anthony Fauci Opposes Controlled Study on Effectiveness of Masks
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:19
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday he opposes conducting a controlled study on the effectiveness of masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Fauci discussed the idea during a conversation with students of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service.
One student asked if it is possible to do a study in the midst of a pandemic about the effectiveness of wearing masks.
''What kind of studies can we do right now in the middle of the pandemic about masks and transmission of the disease?'' the student asked. ''Or are we just relying on anecdotal evidence because we are not able to do those kind of studies right now?''
Fauci said there are enough ''meta-analyses'' of existing data showing the efficacy of masks.
''Right now, I'm convinced enough in the summation and totality of the data that has been analyzed by meta-analysis that I'm convinced that the benefit of wearing a mask clearly is there and is better than not wearing a mask,'' he said:
In theory, a randomized controlled study would test the spread of the virus among people wearing masks versus people not wearing masks and possibly scientifically demonstrate the effectiveness of wearing one.
But Fauci balked at the idea.
''I would not want to do a randomized controlled study because that would mean having people not wear masks and see if they do better,'' he said.
Fauci suggested he would never ask an individual to participate in a study that would involve not wearing a mask.
''I think that to do the study would be kind of difficult to do because then you'd have to tell people not to wear masks, and I'm not about to tell them that,'' he said.
VIDEO - Eric Weinstein - On Meeting Jeffrey Epstein - YouTube
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:12
VIDEO - The People Win As Serbians Force Government to Scrap Curfew - #NewWorldNextWeek - YouTube
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 15:48
VIDEO - Early COVID-19 Vaccines 'Really Encouraging,' Says NIH Boss | TIME
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 15:37
I t isn't often that one hears the word ''pandemic'' and ''inspired'' in the same sentence. But the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, says that, for all the suffering and grief that COVID-19 has wrought around the world, he has at least witnessed an unprecedented level of cooperation between private industry and the alphabet soup of government agencies who are urgently seeking a vaccine for the devastating virus.
''We've never had that before. In this case, I guess the global pandemic has inspired us to do things that maybe we should have done before,'' said Collins. ''I hope we don't let that crumble when we get through this.''
Collins has had a first-hand view of how this gargantuan coalition came together to expedite what is normally a glacial pace in the development of any new treatment. As the head of the largest medical research center in the world, he both closely monitors the detailed scientific progress of the effort and, as one of the highest-ranking health officials in the country, frequently communicates with the Trump Administration and Congress as the federal government tries to eliminate all the usual administrative speed bumps that can delay a vaccine. To put his role in perspective, he is Dr. Anthony Fauci's boss.
In a conversation this week with TIME national health correspondent Alice Park (as part of the TIME 100 Talks: Finding Hope), Collins said he shares Fauci's ''cautious optimism'' that a vaccine could be available by the end of the year. ''The Phase I data'...looks really encouraging that these are vaccines that generate strong antibody responses,'' he said, referring to the first of what are typically three trials in vaccine development, wherein a small number of people receive a trial treatment.
To make that goal feasible, the NIH convened an unprecedented alliance called Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines, or ACTIV, which brings together seven governmental agencies, 20 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and four major non-profits'--far more collective brainpower than has ever come together under one umbrella under similar circumstances. As co-chair of ACTIV, Collins said that, by his own estimate, he is working 100-hour weeks'--a notch up from his normal metabolism of 90'--to sift through dozens of lines of research and focus the government's resources on the safest and most promising efforts.
When the coalition first assembled, Collins says, ''we made a list of all the ideas that were out there. There were more than 400 of them. You can't possibly run clinical trials on 400 different compounds. So you have to decide which ones are most important.''
This included 50 candidate vaccines that had to be pared down to the most promising efforts that posed the least risk to patients. For example, ACTIV is not considering what are known as ''killed virus'' vaccines, which introduce weakened ''inactivated'' versions of the virus that the body's immune system can learn to combat'--but at the non-negligible risk of infecting the patient.
Collins also addressed concerns that the rapidity of the vaccine production process could compromise the safety of the final product. ''The way in which this is going so fast is not about compromising the rigor of those definitive trials that are going to tell you if a vaccine works or it doesn't,'' he said. ''It's about skipping some of those bureaucratic steps and the long delays'' between the trial phases.
One looming question, from a high altitude, is how the U.S. government could have been better prepared to rapidly respond to the pandemic, and, on the flip side, whether the lessons learned from COVID-19 can be consecrated for future health crises.
''This comes up every time there is a pandemic'...and always there is this sense when they start to get a little better, 'okay, this time we're going to maintain our readiness and we're going to be prepared for the next one.'''
Which is not to say that NIH and its many allies were starting from scratch. ''Take for instance the vaccine that is furthest along right now for COVID-19: It was built upon experience trying to make a similar vaccine for SARS and MERS,'' he says, which both fall under the broad definition of a ''coronavirus''''hence the common description of COVID-19 as ''novel.''
''Now with a different coronavirus, knowing exactly what steps to take is why it got going so quickly,'' Collins said. ''But I think it's also fair to say that we could have been in a better place if we'd been fully expecting this time a global pandemic. Maybe we'll learn the lessons a little better and avoid sinking back into complacency in '21 and '22.''
Collins is arguably in a unique position to straddle the inevitable clashes between political leaders and medicine. He has both a Ph.D in chemistry and a medical doctorate, but has also served in government for 27 years'--most notably, several years before being appointed to head the NIH by President Barack Obama in 2009, as the leader of the Human Genome Project, which ''had its own moments of being contentious and controversial,'' in his words.
This article is part of #TIME100Talks: Finding Hope, a special series featuring leaders across different fields encouraging action toward a better world. Want more? Sign up for access to more virtual events, including live conversations with influential newsmakers.
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VIDEO - Hawaii 33.m4a - Google Drive
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 14:31
Sign in
VIDEO - 1st WHO Infodemiology Conference
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 14:18
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the phenomenon of an 'infodemic' has escalated to a level that requires a coordinated response. An infodemic is an overabundance of information '' some accurate and some not '' occurring during an epidemic. It makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it. Even when people have access to high-quality information, there are still barriers they must overcome to take the recommended action. Like pathogens in epidemics, misinformation spreads further and faster and adds complexity to health emergency response.
An infodemic cannot be eliminated, but it can be managed. To respond effectively to infodemics, WHO calls for adaptation, development, validation and evaluation of new evidence-based measures and practices to prevent, detect and respond to mis- and disinformation.
In the context of this meeting, ''infodemiology'' is defined as the science of managing infodemics. The overall aim of this consultation is to take stock of relevant research and effective practices and define public health research needs in order to advance this field. The working language of the meeting will be English.
ObjectivesUnderstand the multidisciplinary nature of infodemic management;Identify current examples and tools to understand, measure and control infodemics;Build a public health research agenda to direct focus and investment in this emerging scientific field; andEstablish a community of practice and research.ParticipantsExperts from the fields of Epidemiology & Public Health; Applied Math & Data Science; Digital Health and Technology Applications; Social & Behavioral Science; Media Studies & Journalism; Marketing, UX & Design; Risk Communication and Community Engagement; Ethics & Governance and other relevant scientific disciplines and practicesUN agenciesPublic health authoritiesIn the pre-conference experts engage with the public with 7 inspiring talks how the infodemic affects the world currently and reflections how it can be managed.
The conference will be a closed session focused on defining the scientific discipline of infodemiology and establish a community of practice and research. The results of the closed session will be reported back to the public in a Public Summary.
The public summary will be a public interactive webinar with a discussion of the conclusions of the scientific conference and next steps. Anyone can join in, listen, and submit questions on Slido.
Key dates29 June: Public conference
30 June-16 July: Scientific conference with closing session
21 July: Public webinar
You are invited to a Zoom webinar:
When: 21 July 2020 15:00 CET
Topic: Outcomes of the 1st WHO Infodemiology Conference
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
How to protect yourself in the infodemic?&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;
VIDEO-Up in arms over Coburg'²s coat of arms | DW News - latest news and breaking stories | DW | 17.07.2020
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 14:01
DW NewsThe depiction of Coburg's patron saint in the city's coat of arms is now at the center of a heated controversy. Opponents of the German town's emblem call it a symbol of racism, but many residents are mystified.
Watch video 02:52
VIDEO-Tweep Des Vaderlands on Twitter: ""Fake News". Wat een koning." / Twitter
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 13:22
Tweep Des Vaderlands : "Fake News". Wat een koning.
Sat Jul 18 05:33:54 +0000 2020
Aaldert Kielstra : @superjan Toppertje he. Waar vind je zo'n koning.Ik heb er echt geen problemen mee en hang gewoon elke jaar de vlag uit.
Sat Jul 18 12:36:42 +0000 2020
WorldWakesUp '›(C)'¸(@QesWorld on Parler) : @superjan Wat is dat trouwens met dat gele/gouden tasje? Waarom moet dat steeds per se op de foto. Geel/goud?
Sat Jul 18 12:34:28 +0000 2020
/Kuiral : @superjan Op de dag dat we MH 17 herdenken hebben de Oranje's hun PR feestje. Tja
Sat Jul 18 12:26:58 +0000 2020
Robert Maltha ðŸš'ðŸ‘(C)'ðŸŒ¾ðŸ—¸ðŸ§± : @superjan Giftweetdownloader installeren. Kan je het makkelijk mee downloaden. Afspelen delen en dan giftweetdownlo'...
Sat Jul 18 12:09:32 +0000 2020
Alexander Cheshire de Toqqieville : @superjan Hij was vroeger al een deugniet, zo te zien is hij dat nog steeds, geweldig! We schelen een maand, ik ben'...
Sat Jul 18 12:06:00 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Atheist group leaks recordings of White House funneling COVID funds to pro-Trump preachers '' DeadState
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 13:09
JavaScript is used in a variety of ways to improve your browsing experience, such as validating and executing form submissions and allowing interactive content. Below, we have provided simple instructions for enabling JavaScript in the most popular web browsers. To determine your browser version, click on Help in the menu bar of your browser and then select About.Once you have enabled Javascript on your browser, click here to return to
The following instructions describe how to enable JavaScript for: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, Opera, Safari, Chrome, Mozilla and AOL browsers.
Internet Explorer 5 and above Select Internet Options from the Tools menu. In Internet Options dialog box select the Security tab. Select the earth(Internet) icon. Click the Custom Level... button. The Security Settings dialog box will pop up. Under Active Scripting category select Enable. Click OK twice to close out. Finally, Refresh your browser. Internet Explorer 5.X for Mac OS X Select Preferences from the Explorer menu. Click the arrow next to Web Browser. Click Web Content. Under Active Content check Enable Scripting. Click OK. Finally, Refresh your browser. Internet Explorer 5 for Mac OS 9 Select Preferences from the Edit menu. Click the arrow next to Web Browser. Click Web Content. Under Active Content check Enable Scripting. Click OK. Finally, Refresh your browser. Internet Explorer 4.X Select Internet Options from the View menu. Click the Security tab. Click Custom. Click Settings. Scroll down to locate Scripting. Click Enable for Active Scripting. Click OK. Finally, Refresh your browser. Firefox (Windows) Select Options from the Tools menu. Click the Content icon/tab at the top of the window. Check Enable JavaScript. Click OK. Finally, Refresh your browser. Firefox (MAC) Select the Firefox menu item from the Apple/System bar at the top of the screen. From the drop-down menu, select Preferences... Select the Security icon/tab at the top of the window. Check the Enable Javascript checkbox under the Web Content category. Close the Options window to save your changes. Finally, Refresh your browser. Netscape 7.X Select Preferences from the Edit menu. Click the arrow next to Advanced. Click Scripts & Plugins. Check Navigator beneath "Enable Javascript for". Click OK. Finally, Refresh your browser. Netscape 6.X Select Preferences from the Edit menu. Click Advanced Check Enable JavaScript for Navigator Click OK. Finally, Refresh your browser. Netscape 4.X Select Preferences from the Edit menu. Click Advanced. Check Enable JavaScript Check Enable style sheets Click OK. Finally, Refresh your browser. Netscape 4.X for Mac OS 9 Select Preferences from the Edit menu. Click Advanced. Check Enable JavaScript Click OK. Finally, Refresh your browser. Opera (Windows) In the Tools drop-down menu at the top of the window, select Preferences... Select the Advanced tab at the top on the Preferences window. Find the Content item in the list on the left-side of the window and select it. Check the Enable JavaScript checkbox. Click OK to save your changes and close the Preferences window. Finally, Refresh your browser. Opera (MAC) Select the Safari menu item from the Apple/System bar at the top of the screen. From the drop-down menu, select Preferences. Select the Content icon/tab at the top of the Preferences window. Check the Enable JavaScript checkbox. Click OK to save your changes and close the Preferences window. Finally, Refresh your browser. Safari (MAC) Select the Safari menu item from the Apple/System bar at the top of the screen. From the drop-down menu, select Preferences. Click Security icon/tab at the top of the window. Check the Enable JavaScript checkbox. Close the window to save your changes. Finally, Refresh your browser. Safari (Windows) In the Edit drop-down menu at the top of the window, select Preferences... Select the Security icon/tab at the top on the window. Check the Enable Javascript checkbox. Close the window to save your changes. Finally, Refresh your browser. Chrome (Windows) Select Customize and control Google Chrome (wrench Icon) to the right of the address bar. From the drop-down menu, select Options. Select the Under the Hood tab at the top of the window. Under the Privacy heading, select the Content settings button. On the left, under the features heading, select JavaScript. Select the Allow all sites to run JavaScript radio button. Finally, close both preference windows, and refresh the browser. Chrome (MAC) Select the Chrome menu item from the Apple/System bar at the top of the screen. From the drop-down menu, select Options. Select the Under the Hood tab at the top of the window. Under the Privacy heading, select the Content settings button. On the left, under the features heading, select JavaScript. Select the Allow all sites to run JavaScript radio button. Finally, close both preference windows, and refresh the browser. Mozilla 1.X Select Preferences from the Edit menu. Click the arrow next to Advanced. Click Scripts & Plugins. Check Navigator beneath "Enable Javascript for". Click OK. Finally, Refresh your browser. AOL 7.0 and above Select Preferences from the Settings menu. Click Internet Properties (WWW) under Organization. Click the Security tab. Check the Custom Level button. Scroll down to locate Scripting. For Active Scripting click Enable. Click OK, and then OK again to close all dialogs. Close the Preferences window, and then Reload the page.
VIDEO-Hear what Fauci's boss would do if asked by Trump to fire him - YouTube
Sat, 18 Jul 2020 12:53
VIDEO-The People Win As Serbians Force Government to Scrap Curfew - #NewWorldNextWeek - YouTube
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 16:30
VIDEO-Child Workers Found In Clothing Supply Chain: ASOS, Marks & Spencer Implicated
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 13:39
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: ASOS signage attends the Teen Vogue celebration of Fashion's Night Out at... [+] West Village - Bleecker Street on September 10, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Arun Nevader/Getty Images for Teen Vogue)
Iconic retail brands have been recently implicated in a BBC investigation into the unethical practices of Turkish textile industry. ASOS, an online fashion company and Marks & Spencer, an iconic British high street retailer, have both been identified as possessing child workers in their supply chains.
In one case, the investigators found 7-8 year-old children sewing boxer shorts. The BBC found children exhausted from working 60-hour weeks and are unable to attend school.
ASOS's operated a 'fashion with integrity' initiative to 'manage all aspects of our business transparently'.
M&S found the reports 'extremely serious' and 'unacceptable'. The company offered legal employment to legal refugee and pledged that 'we will do all we can to ensure that this does not happen again'.
ASOS's operated a 'fashion with integrity' initiative to 'manage all aspects of our business transparently'. In response to the allegations, ASOS argued that such practices were contrary to their code of conduct.
'We have not found child labor in any of our approved Turkish factories. Most importantly, our team oversees remediation programs for vulnerable people who they discover in the workplace. In the example BBC Panorama showed, that was a factory we didn't know about '' unapproved outsourcing.'
One supplier, Hazar Tekstil, sub-contracted its work to small workshops across Istanbul, Turkey's industrial hub. It is in these unregulated and unapproved areas that children were forced into employment.
ASOS offered to support affected children and Syrian refugees 'despite the fact that the factory has nothing to do with ASOS'. Hazar Tekstil has been dropped by ASOS.
But it is not sufficient to claim ignorance, either for unknown suppliers or for creating an environment in which unauthorized outsourcing can occur. Companies are responsible for the conditions in which their goods are produced. They also have a responsibility to understand where their suppliers operate and must ensure they have high standards of visibility within that chain.
The investigation also found evidence of exploitation of refugees. Three million Syrians live in Turkey, fleeing the war and destruction of their homeland. Their desperation makes them easy prey for unscrupulous employers.
'They know they are being ripped off,' observes Darragh MacIntyre the lead reporter 'but they can do nothing about it.'
In many cases the investigation finds the employment of Syrian refugees working far below the Turkish minimum wage. One undercover report found a facility produces garments for high street retailers Mango and Zara, in which employers worked 12-hour shifts in dangerous conditions.
Mango stated that the facilities in which its brand was found stated that the factory was a 'sub-contractor' and operated 'without Mango's knowledge'. This is the classic defense within the supply chain: outsource and deny. But companies' moral responsibilities '' and increasingly their legal responsibilities '' extend beyond the primary supplier.
Zara claimed that it had audited the offending factory in June 2016 and itself found 'significant non-compliance' with their code of conduct and had given the supplier until the end of the year 'to make the necessary improvements'.
The main method for companies to combat such practices is the audit: where inspectors arrive unannounced an ensure that the facilities and practices are compliant with the company code of conduct. But the child workers noted that audits were ineffective, as the children were simply hidden away until the auditors left. In one episode, the children were required to hide from 10am to 6pm.
Clearly the current system for supply chain integrity appears to be dysfunctional. Not only are auditors being duped, by buyers are being outfox as suppliers engage in unauthorized outsourcing.
Undoubtedly, the supply chain is a complex leviathan. It ranges over many countries and suppliers. Despite this, that a team of investigators can uncover a wide array of abuses in just a single city with relative ease is an indication that many retailers are failing to understand their own supply chains and are failing to ensure fair treatment of staff employed within supply chains. If such practices are permitted to persist, brands will grow associated with these malpractices.
'If a machine breaks, they'll fix it,' stated one refugee, 'but it anything happens to a Syrian, they'll throw him away like a piece of cloth.'
VIDEO-Anti-mask protesters' new weapon: wearing masks that offer no COVID-19 protection |
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 13:08
Face masks made of mesh, crochet (yarn) or lace are now popular items being offered by online retailers.
INDIANAPOLIS '-- As more communities and businesses adopt mandatory mask orders, supporters of an ''anti-mask'' movement are looking to make a statement. They are wearing masks that cover their nose and mouth but provide no ability to slow the spread of disease.
"I wore a mask that is designed for protecting your face in a paintball battle. You can easily breathe through it. I walked all around the store, talked to employees, and other shoppers, and every one of them could see my mouth," said a Florida man who posted a video showing him wearing a mesh mask to a Tampa Walmart. "It was almost like not wearing a mask at all. Nobody cared. That's because it's not about safety. It's all about compliance."
Other social media posts show anti-mask advocates wearing mesh masks intended to comply with the letter '' but not the spirit '' of municipal and corporate rules mandating face coverings.
And masks made of mesh, crochet (yarn) or lace are now popular items being offered by internet retailers. Most include warnings stating the items ''are NOT intended for protection or COVID use.'' But protection is not what anti-mask protesters are looking for.
''Make your own Anti Mask!'' said the seller of a pattern to create your own anti-mask. The description of the product states: ''Stylish, breathable and don't protect you from a darn thing! Masks required? No problem! Breath free while making a statement.''
Anti-mask protesters are turning to mesh-style and other masks that provide no COVID-19 protection. Twitter''NO law requires a specific type or particulate rating of mask,'' said one protestor, posting a photo of a woman wearing a mesh face covering. ''This is about compliance, not safety.''
The public health officials and doctors recently interviewed by 13News disagree.
''Masks absolutely work. They're not perfect. They're not the only measure you need to take to keep this virus under control but they're very effective and they're very simple,'' said Dr. Christopher Belcher, who serves as the infection prevention medical director at Ascension St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.
''The most important thing they do is if you're coughing, sneezing, singing, they contain all of those little droplets of saliva or mucus that come out of your nose and mouth, and keep them right there from spreading to other people,'' Belcher added.
Earlier this month, 13 Investigates and the IU Health Pathology Lab tested different kinds of masks. The test showed even very inexpensive masks are highly effective in preventing the spread of germs linked to viruses.
The science has prompted many cities and states to impose orders requiring face coverings in public places. (Indianapolis currently has a public order in effect but the state of Indiana does not.) Companies like Costco have been requiring customers to wear masks for months, and more businesses recently announced they will require face coverings, too. Walmart and Kroger, two of the largest retail/grocery corporations in the nation, will begin implementing mask requirements for customers next week.
The growing trend seems to be causing growing frustration among anti-mask advocates, who have been voicing their dissent at municipal buildings, statehouses and in online forums '' and by wearing mesh masks intended to offer protest rather than COVID-19 protection.
Belcher says he does not mind people protesting over masks, as long as those protests are not putting others in danger.
''I need your help with this to keep from spreading the infection so the hospitals don't get overrun,'' he told 13News. ''If you're going to go to the trouble of wearing a mask, please wear one that's going to do something for other people. I don't care if you write 'NO' on it. I don't care if you have a t-shirt that says 'I don't want to wear this mask,' but I need you to wear the mask. It's an important thing for our health.''
Trend data released Thursday afternoon by the Regenstrief Institute shows positive COVID-19 cases, emergency room visits and deaths related to the coronavirus are all increasing in Indiana. That's why health officials continue to emphasize the importance of wearing a mask.
VIDEO-Phase three of promising coronavirus vaccine study to take place in San Antonio |
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 13:06
Volunteers are needed for the study that likely starts July 27.
SAN ANTONIO '-- A third phase in the first vaccine trial set to begin late this month right here in San Antonio. There is a huge need for volunteers for the trial in the Alamo City.
The first phase of the Moderna trial brought good news, with two doses of the vaccine producing a quick immune response. But a big question remains about the immunity of the vaccine they're trying to develop.
Douglas Denham, the Chief Medical Director of Clinical Trials of Texas, who will oversee the trial here told us, "The question related to that, is going to be long-term immunity, and how long this immunity that's being obtained with the vaccine is going to last and protect patients?"
Phase one of the study enrolled 45 healthy volunteers ages 18 to 55, split roughly 50-50 between men and women. They tested three dosage levels of Moderna's vaccine.
The participants were 89% white, and the remaining participants, minorities. Getting more minorities to participate in the next step is extremely important.
"These are the folks being hardest hit with this disease right now so we want them to be able to participate to help us get more information about how the virus affects them," Denham said.
For the third phase, it is important to note volunteers would not be injected with COVID, and it would not increase their chance of getting the virus at all.
Denham added, "An important thing for people to realize is they are not going to get the virus if it's from the vaccine, and those symptoms you may experience are just evidence that the vaccine is doing what we want to do to the body."
Until we have the vaccine which will stop the progression of the virus, keep washing your hands, social distancing, and wearing a mask in public.
"If we are doing these other things we can slow the trend down, and we can do the things that we as the entire population can participate in this, and do our part to help protect all of us," said Denham.
If you would like more information about the upcoming trial or to sign up for the trial itself, you can call Clinical Trials of Texas at 210-949-0122 and ask for a recruiter. You can also go to their website
VIDEO-Mark Zuckerberg Tells Fauci He's 'Disappointed' by U.S. on Covid-19 - YouTube
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 12:58
VIDEO-Trump's Wars | SUPERcuts! #790 - YouTube
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 12:42
VIDEO-Coronavirus Texas: Gov. Abbott says no shutdown if masks worn |
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 04:31
As Texas makes headlines for cases and hospitalizations, seemingly everyone wonders whether Gov. Abbott will issue another order.
AUSTIN, Texas '-- At the end of a press conference July 16, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was asked if a lockdown would be necessary amid a spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. He said as long as Texans abide by the face mask mandate, a shutdown will not be necessary.
Months ago, the governor ordered non-essential businesses to close in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. As Texas makes headlines for cases and hospitalizations, seemingly everyone wonders whether Abbott will issue another order.
"So we have these weekly conference calls with Dr. McClellan, with Parker Hudson, with Dr. Halstead and Dr. Zerwas," Abbott told a group of reporters. "The conversation this past week focused on this one concept, and that is, 'Did the face mask requirement that I've imposed in the state of Texas will achieve the results that the CDC director announced yesterday?' And if everyone will adopt the face mask requirement and wear a face mask, we will be able to get control of COVID-19."
Just days before, the governor told KVUE's Ashley Goudeau in an interview that it's too early to know if his mask mandate is making a major difference, but that it's important for local leaders to enforce it.
He said there is no need for a lockdown if "everyone will adopt this best practice": wearing a face mask in public places and when social distancing is not feasible.
"And that is exactly why I go on TV every single day and exactly why I'm emphasizing this point with you," Abbott said to the reporter who asked the question. "And that is a lockdown is the last thing that we need in the state of Texas if everyone will adopt the best practice of wearing a facemask."
The governor's comments came at the end of a ceremonial signing of the Shared Stewardship agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State of Texas. The agreement establishes a framework for federal and state agencies to improve collaboration in responding to natural resource concerns and ecological challenges in Texas.
WATCH: No lockdown needed if face masks are worn, Gov. Abbott says
VIDEO-Alligator spotted in Austin's Lady Bird Lake |
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 04:29
While uncommon, an expert at Texas Parks and Wildlife says there's no reason to be concerned.
AUSTIN, Texas '-- Turtles and fish are commonly found in Austin's Lady Bird Lake, but it's not often you'll find an alligator basking on a log with some turtles.
The four-legged reptile caught Anna Eulo's eyes on July 6 as she and a friend kayaked near Peace Point just west of Longhorn Dam.
"I couldn't believe it at first. I really didn't think it was an alligator. My mind might have [gone] to, like, iguana at first, but as we got closer, we saw clearly that it was an alligator," Eulo said.
She said the alligator got back in the water as soon as her friend snapped a Live Photo of it on his iPhone.
The alligator was spotted on a log in Lady Bird Lake just west of Longhorn Dam near Peace Point on Monday, July 6. Will Chesson"It's not common, but I wouldn't say it's out of the ordinary, either," Texas Parks and Wildlife Department alligator program leader Jonathan Warner said.
There are roughly 500,000 alligators in Texas, he said, although they're mostly found in the eastern part of the state and in the coastal marshes in the southern part of the state.
Warner has an idea of how the alligator may have arrived in Austin.
"It's not impossible that it's made its way up the Colorado River or was maybe displaced due to some type of a flooding event. I would say more likely it was dumped by someone that had it as a pet," he said. "It does happen, unfortunately, sometimes where someone has one as a pet and gets a little bit too big for its aquarium, so it gets dumped into an area like this."
The alligator in the photo appears to be about 2-3 feet long, and it's not old enough to reproduce yet, Warner said. He doesn't expect it to stick around.
"Younger alligators, in general, in a lot of habitats don't have really tight home ranges, so they move around a lot," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised where the next time we get a good cold snap up there, it'll just kind of [move] its way down the river and head for a little bit of a warmer climate."
But if it does stick around, he said kayakers, paddleboarders and people walking their dogs along the lake shouldn't be too concerned. Reminder: It is not legal to swim in Lady Bird Lake.
"Alligators, by nature, are actually very timid, docile creatures. Even as adults they often go undetected in habitats that they're at. Obviously, like any wild animal, it's a good idea to just use common sense," Warner said. "Don't approach them. Don't try to feed them. Don't try to catch them or harass them in any way. Normally, everything works out great."
Eulo was a little freaked out when she saw the alligator, but it won't stop her from getting back on the water.
"I'm originally from the East Coast, too, so I've never even seen ... those animals are very exotic to me," she said. "It was very cool."
If you happen to find an alligator where you normally wouldn't expect to find one, report the sighting to your local county game warden.
The department has a nuisance alligator control program. If the alligator is deemed a public safety issue or if it has been fed and has lost its fear of humans, TPWD can remove the alligator.
VIDEO-Barr: Apple, Disney Among Big Techs That Became China's 'Pawns' - YouTube
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 04:27
VIDEO-Wonder how BLM/ANTIFA Keep getting Released from Jail? Watch this Video - YouTube
Fri, 17 Jul 2020 03:24
VIDEO-Home | Native American Guardian Association
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 22:50
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VIDEO-clogwog on Twitter: "@adamcurry looks like podcasts are now sending copyright notices to other podcasts.... ? the bastards ... just muting that bit now..." / Twitter
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 22:34
clogwog : @adamcurry looks like podcasts are now sending copyright notices to other podcasts.... ? the bastards ...just muti'...
Thu Jul 16 22:12:19 +0000 2020
Adam Curry - Texas : @clogwog That is entirely disputable under fair use clause of the copyright act. But, fuck 'em
Thu Jul 16 22:33:07 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Robin DiAngelo on "White Fragility" - EXTENDED CONVERSATION | Amanpour and Company - YouTube
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 22:27
VIDEO-Your Body And Mind Aren't Enough - They Want Your Soul - YouTube
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 20:31
VIDEO-AG Barr is killing it on a speech on the threat of China policies - The Donald - America First
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 20:30
'' DanWang 164 points 4 hours ago +172 / -8 Nice words, I'm more interested in what they are planning to DO before November though.
-Before- is key. I don't understand how Trump appointments can make promises but for after the election. Is there anything more swampy and Deep State than that?''Yeah after my boss maybe gets fired I'll stay on and do something about this'' fucking a
'' Keln 22 points 3 hours ago +27 / -5 Everything about this speech is antithetical to Deep State, swamp think-tank philosophy. He's basically putting swamp foreign policy with regards to China on trial here.
And crickets when it comes to the original problem, which is not China, or Russia. A very powerful Private Foundation founded China, the same foundation which funds the mobs on the streets today. Private foundations are the deep state, and it is THEY which need to be hung out to dry, as a first step.
Would love to see an actual trial. If China is evil and we have domestic actors supporting China over America, why not indict and prosecute? Will continue waiting. We have a chance but this needs to happen.
Japan was defeated by western powers for the first time in history in the late 1800s early 1900s. They learned a lesson. Take the good parts of this new culture and implement it. They nearly took over half the world.
China defeated us on business/trade/economy for 20 years. We must stop that now. We must learn from them, use the good and combine it with our strengths. Do not underestimate them. This is a long proud culture. They have a 100 year plan (1949-2049) they want to be the world power again. The same way you know "God Bless America" they know "Never forget the century of Humiliation." It is that engrained in them. They were always top dog before there was an America. They want their crown back. This is replacement. T
Know Thy Enemy. This is a MUST WATCH speech for all Pedes. (he even blasts Hollywood for their censorship of films to change history and demoralize us) There are so many enemies foreign and domestic. China is very very dangerous, far more so than most realize. They are rich and powerful and becoming more confident. They believe in their supremacy, with no other cultures within to keep this in-check.
We think in 2 year plans, maybe 4 with Presidents. They have 5, 10, 50, and 100 year plans! WAKE UP AMERICA!
Win this now, or your children will be in the fight for their lives and the soul of the world. FACT
They have a 100 year plan (1949-2049)
How come we don't have a 100 year plan?
Because we have allowed corporate interest to shape our government. Global commerce has allowed foreign influence. This is why Chinese kids are doing advanced math and science while our universities injected Marxism and progressive social science to everything. They lead and we destroy ourselves.
That's how I feel. We still have a big lead, but we're pissing it away with the imbeciles on the left. If the Chinese continue to treat science as science (which they currently do a fairly poor job of with falsification, etc), and we treat science as subservient to ideology, then it won't be long until we ourselves are the servants.
Being woke won't give you a leg up when researching jet engine design or genomics, but a mastery of actual science will. Trump should sign an executive order to immediately cease federal student loans for any field of study that isn't deemed in our strategic interest. If universities want to continue funding study in those areas, then they can use their own endowments for salaries and scholarships, not taxpayer dollars.
Trump should sign an executive order to immediately cease federal student loans for any field of study that isn't deemed in our strategic interest. If universities want to continue funding study in those areas, then they can use their own endowments for salaries and scholarships, not taxpayer dollars.
This is a wonderful step in the right direction. I also believe parents should stop sending their kids to these schools. Have them sit out a year and work.
Our 100 year plan is simple. Just keep looting Americans.
Barr said it in the speech. We (Americans) do not look long term he said something along the lines that American businesses don't look beyond the next quarter.
Because most politicians can only see until their next election. Everything they do revolves around getting back in office.
'' 783hz 2 points 1 hour ago +2 / -0 China defeated us on business/trade/economy for 20 years.
With unfair advantages our traitorous leaders provided.
You need to preface these things. Court of public opinion matters, especially 4 months shy of a presidential election.
Barr has deputized federal attorneys and has sent out guardsmen to crack down on looters and rioters. These are real actions. Both of these were prefaced as well.
People here need to understand that this sub gets information WAY faster than the general public does and creates the perception that things aren't moving quickly. They are moving quickly, as far as DC politics can go.
It's a good point. For years TD has been ahead of the traditional news cycle and it can feel frustrating.
I have friends on FB just now posting stuff about Soros. As the line laugh "Wow- another conspiracy theory!!!," I try to divert my Trump-loving friends to this site.
This and also people completely forget that hindsight is 20/20.
So many ask why things didn't happen years ago without remembering that they were just discovered in the last few months.
The other half here don't understand your sentence: "They are moving quickly, as far as DC politics can go."
Federal investigations are amazingly slow, especially when there are teams of lawyers slow walking everything. And the public hears none of this so has no context on whats taking so long.
Who funded the Chinese regime into being? It was not the Chinese people. Or the Russians. It was an organization which funds the BLM mobs on the streets today. It was an organization which founded the UN, the CFR, the Federal Reserve, and the medical dictatorship we find ourselves mired in today.
PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS are the biggest single problem with America today. They are behind every single conceived ill which plagues the nation today.
DO SOMETHING about the private foundations.
If the speech doesn't work he might even write a memo. Memo's have done so much to curb censorship and all
Lots of talking. He real good at talking. God I fucking hate that fat clown.
If Trump wins reelection Barr needs to go the next day. I want Sydney Powell. Bring in a badass non gov't lawyer
If Barr doesn't put down indictments, Trump will lose. The base will be dejected and will not show up.
this. rhetoric is one thing....action is what matters though
'' deleted 2 points 3 hours ago +2 / -0 nothing, AG Barr is owned by the Deep State and will be finished if he dares to go after ANTIFA or BLM. They are domestic terrorists and are allowed to reign free under the guise of "protesting". Trump will lose badly if they aren't dealt with.
"if you want more shootings, more death, then listen to the ACLU, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and groups who do not know the reality of policing."
'' airgag 1 point 2 hours ago +3 / -2 Well even just nice words are light years ahead of kowtowing to ccp as dems and shitlibs do ..
Government policy wise probably not much unless Trump gets reelected, but it was a very powerful speech and it wouldn't surprise me if CEO's aren't starting to take notice. Regardless of immediate political policy changes we to bring more attention to this kind of stuff. Politics are downstream of culture.
He is dropping the hammer.
Another sign of Trump's Administration stance on China
"Fuck China" should be every nation's stance on China.
A communist world superpower with current and future technology is one of the more terrifying world prospects. Good luck escaping a commie technofist.
They only have current tech because Bill fucking Clinton couldnt be content with fucking children. He had to fuck the country too and sold our military research to them. Look at their transportation chopper. It's a blackhawk ripoff.
They've also been stealing our tech for decades. Fuck them.
Stealing with no one fighting back.
We're actually doing something on the technology front. We've stopped TSMC from doing business with all chinese companies which means they get completely shafted for any phones/computers/tablets they make. We've also put pressure on multiple countries to ban Huawei (which is working btw), so the ChiComms won't have backdoors in our 5g networks.
We need to work on countering the subversion they push in our communities. We need to retaliate on the cyber attack front.
Only country capable of check mating China in the region is India.
We can defeat the technocrats. We need a group of banks and regulation protection.
Fucking A. And about time. Follow up with tangible actions-walk the talk before Nov.
'' debacle 15 points 3 hours ago +15 / -0 Imagine a world where Hillary had sucked China's dick for the last four years.
It's aiming too low, imo.
The root of the problem is Private Foundations.
He specializes in strongly worded letters. No one doubts his rhetorical abilities.
a speech.More fiery words from the hamburgler?
Ruby Ridge Billy is the Trey Gowdy of the DoJ.
Watch it buddy, he might become deeply concerned, and heaven forbid he finds something troubling.
'' Sting 13 points 3 hours ago +16 / -3 You be careful. You're going to get a strongly worded letter!
... already riled up the highest ranking Qtard, apparently.
It's like you all have the same script.
Anti-Barr: check.
Anti-Gowdy: check.
Anti-Q: check.
At least you guys are consistent.
Added to the "do the opposite of what these guys say" list.
'' Sting 12 points 3 hours ago +14 / -2 Why is it so outrageous to have a ''show me, don't tell me'' approach to the promises made by others?
How did that Epstein investigation go, chief? What about that laundry list of things that Gowdy was going to do? Oh, he's gone now.
How many years are you going to let your drunk brother sleep on your couch while he makes promises of getting sober and getting a job before you start to doubt him?
Look, if I was making promises to someone, and they told me they would believe it when they see it, I wouldn't be offended. Because I actually intend to do the things I promise, so why would I find it offensive or wrong that they're going to wait to see results before they give me the credit?
A drunk brother on a couch is hardly an apt comparison to a thousands years-old death cult deeply entrenched in governments and corporations.
If you don't understand that draining the swamp might be slightly more complex than kicking out a drunk brother then I don't know what to tell you.
Added to the "do the opposite of what these guys say" list.
Well you get right on the horn with the big guy and let him know.
If I can accurately predict which users will be making disparaging comments before viewing the comments, I'm pretty sure the big guy is well aware.
Did it ever occur to you that even if the person posting as Q has some real information he maybe a deep state psyop to make you sit by silent while your country is stolen from you? He is anonymous you would never even know who is speaking. Trust the plan = "sit by and have faith, do nothing" Should our founders have sat by idle in 1776 because the king of england wrote an anonymous letter peppered with a few insider facts and told them to "trust the plan"?
I see nothing wrong with holding any elected officials feet to the fire and demanding they do what needs to be done, Democrats included. They all need to be held accountable for the bad things they permit to happen on their watch. I will never advocate my fellow country men sit by and do nothing. That is shill talk. A government that isnt being held accountable is what got us in this mess to begin with and I see nothing wrong with citizens speaking up demanding words be backed up with action. If you are a true patriot you should understand where I am coming from.
Spezit: Your instant downvote didn't prove your point, it just reinforced mine. We take each others opinion to heart and point out where we disagree with each other, we don't act like a hive minded cult like the q crowd. If you have a point to make then by all means please make it, but otherwise I am just going to continue to assume I am right in my assumptions.
Qtards would have saved us all by now if not for Q placating them.
This is the weakest of all arguments.
What should we be doing right now if not investigating elected officials and corporate leaders?
Be specific.
Posting on here demanding public officials back up there words with tangble actions is a good start. Sometimes public outrage is required to get things done, but when ever we do that qanons show up and tell us to shutup and trust the plan which in itself is anthetical to the concept of free speech.
Why does it seem like qanons are so threatened by us demanding that our government does what they tell us they are going to do? You guys have been proven wrong on multiple accounts including with Sessions and other things have been posted after the fact claiming to have been predicted by q. I am not saying that maybe there isn't one or two legitmate posts what I am saying is you are listening to an anonymous source on the internet on a board that is world renoun for larpers and trolls. You arn't any different then the people on CNN telling me I should listen to them because they were told something by an anonymous source.
Sorry, dude. We've been waiting for almost four year for indictments for Obamagate. The evidence is in the public sphere.
If he doesn't indict before the elections, the base will be so dejected that Trump will lose.
I will like Barr again when he does his job. Until then, I'm sick of the talk.
They're just cynics. Likely young people who are impatient. A month is an eternity when you're in your early 20's.
Barr is actually doing things. He's deputized attorneys and sent out guardsmen to round up looters and rioters. Hardly "strongly worded letters".
except instead of a month... its been 4 years...
speaking of swamp draining as a whole.
AG Barr was appointed in Feb 2019. 60+ years of swamp does not disappear overnight.
ahh ok. my mistake, we have to obviously wait another 56 years then.
Well, on the bright side, you might be off your sippy cup by then.
Well actually I'll be well into my 80s by then and probably back on the sippy cup.
Oh boy, how I look forward to all the justice that's going to come when I'm almost dead!
I'm glad so many of y'all have faith cuz mine is quickly dwindling. Cuz if nothing happens in the next 4 years, guess what? GAME OVER.
... continue reading thread? '' deleted 1 point 1 hour ago +1 / -0 It hasn't been 4 years. It's been 1 year and change for AG Barr. How quickly did you think a bulletproof case would be built against one of the largest scandals in American history? With as many deep state actors running interference to boot?
Trump messed up with Sessions which set him back. Barr is actually getting shit done. Pretending the two are the same is ignorant.
How about you double that age for me. I've been alive long enough to have a good bullshit detector.
Some of the things CCP is currently doing is requiring every Chinese government employee to give name, address, employment info, social media info and phone number of every relative they have living in USA. They have also announced they Will perform a ''census' in October of 2020 to identify and take away identification card of every Chinese person living abroad.
to identify and take away identification card of every Chinese person living abroad.
Which means they will extort the Chinese living abroad to do espionage or take away their identity, and/or arrest or charge them with some fabricated crime
'' Pepedom 10 points 3 hours ago +10 / -0 Or their family still in China
They're at war with us and we're worried about kids burning down their own family's stores in Democrat occupied territories.
It's fucked up. Prepare for war.
inb4 "strongly worded letter"!
'' Sting 9 points 3 hours ago +9 / -0 Damn it! You beat me by a full 17 minutes!
He's had any intention to do anything but string the public along with his chest beating.
Barr needs that based "Chi-Na is Asshoe" guy for a hype man.
Barr: That's why I'm recommending the following actions...
Hype man: Because you can't trust Chi-Na! Chi-Na is Asshoe!
(China-is-asshoe guy expertly scratches turntable)
ASSHOE, CHYNA IS (wigy wigy wigy) ASSHOE
Biden is our target til Nov.
He was party to the war crimes.
Understanding the war doesn't diminish, in any way, the campaign against Biden.
Know your enemy.
I am with ya. Keep preaching.
I fear that we sometimes lose sight over the fact we're all in this together. Simple sentences get turned on their head sometimes.
And everyone is more stressed than they need to be, even if we tune out most of the BS.
I was trying to talk more about the war effort against us. Not the foot soldiers, if you will.
Thanks for understanding.
Agree and you're welcome.Thank you as well.
Keep in mind, we have far left MediaMatters marxists, CCP and neocons from Lincoln Project all shilling on here as Trump supporters. Last night they trashed Brad Parscale because he spent so much money on Facebook instead of Twitter in 2016. Not 1 or 2. About 15 accounts promoting the same message. There were many trashing Brad who had zero idea what his role was and even claimed Brad replaced Manafort.
The enemy is here promoting negativity and its rattled all of us as well as disconnected our alignment.
We need to remind people of this and simmer down the disagreements.
You should see my inbox...
The war is won
Before it's begun
His whole life, Trump has been a winner
If I can trust anything, it's that this man will not tolerate losing to these evil demons with their vile criminal methods and their horrific taste for human baby flesh.
He will find a way to win, like the rest of us will find a way to get our next breath of oxygen (those of us not wearing the death mask, that is :)
Hope is nice but terms of surrender have not even been written for the Chinese to sign. So we still have real work to do.
Hope and confidence are different
Second sentence is true, although I didn't suggest there is no more work to do
China has been at war with us for 30 years.
Thank you for the links, someone better archive this
'' airgag 1 point 2 hours ago +1 / -0 Yes. It's very obvious at this point.
Why is stream on Fox so bad?
I don't know but if that damn chime goes off one more time I SWEAR TO GOD!!!
Everything media on Fox is bad. To this day I'm yet to have a video load on any device. I do run a pi-hole though.
Why isn't this stickied? What a speech. Everyone should listen to it
but what will he actually DO
It's not what he does it's what bushiness owners choose to do now knowing all this.
Oh fuck kill me now.
Corporate America is 99.97% actively complicit.
True but they are only in power because they are market leaders. They can lose their ass in a heartbeat with a cold war. Competition is constant. Look at the top 20 tech stocks today and look at the year they were founded. 2008 to 2010 during the crisis.
What's that got to do with anything? Clear examples of wokeness costing bottom lines but all of corporate America sells it like its their bread and butter.
3M ain't new and they had to be forced into helping Americans in crisis.
Everything. Business owners openly advocating for policy that will destroy us within will rock their stock and bottom line. These CEOs and leadership teams will be registered as FARA agents. That limits their capacity to lead a publically traded company.
Okay but you are missing the point of the conversation you entered entirely. I responded to the idea that "it's not what he says it's what corps choose to do now they know," which I am in total disagreement of.
They know, they actively don't care and are opposing this admin in doing anything about it.
No I got your point. You may have missed the hint of FARA by Barr to business leaders openly advocating US policy that the PRC supports? No CEO or company leader registered as a Foreign Agent of China will lead a large public company. They lose business immediately with US government, banks and core industries. It's suicide and Wall Street will not lose their ass over it.
The administration is making moves to realign in opposition to Chinese antagonism. This is the most triggering speech a commie could possibly hear, and the CCP will hear the dog whistle: "we are decoupling from you. Fuck you. I dare you to start something"
And the warning shot to all American companies... this this is heavy shit
He's going industry but industry, civil rights violation by civil rights violation, calling out the CCP and the leadership of short sighted, or CCP dedicated, American companies.
This is good shit.
'' Flak 8 points 3 hours ago +11 / -3 WOW A SPEECH
'' lanre 0 points 3 hours ago +4 / -4 Strong words from a weak man. Instead of carrying a big stick and speaking softly, we speak loudly and walk around with our ducks in our hands.
0 for 0 on Deep State indictments.
If it's so serious, make sure the pro China globalists involved in the coup are taken down before they have a chance to get back in office and put us back on a path to subservience to communist China's. It's nice guys like Barr recognize the threat, but for God's sakes, get a move on with the indictments!!!
'' Sting 2 points 3 hours ago +2 / -0 Clearly the plan is to allow these people to stay in place, proven traitors and spies, anti-Trump and anti-America commies in positions of power - we let them keep their jobs and let them lay down the foundation to steal the election. See? Perfect plan.
Hey. Wait a minute...
That's a terrible plan!!!!!!
I suggest we offically name and label that way they get serious charges. Right now it's a gray area because CHINA was the plan of 3 administrations.
This is a good speech. However....The wording from Barr and often from The President often sounds like "look at all these bad things, why doesn't somebody do something?" Not "WE are in control WE are doing something!"You have the big stick Barr. There is nobody else. Use your position. Arrest the seditionist globalists, seize their cash, arrest the pedos. You have the power, so use it!.Many of us on this forum have know all of what has been spoken about by Barr for years now. But we can't go out and arrest the traitors or seize the cash, YOU have to do it AG Barr! That's why we elected your party reps, so you could do it. Or don't elections matter anymore?
Belt-Road initiative... Steve Bannon talked about this a few years ago, 2017-ish.
Actions speak louder than words. Show me or shut up.
As a Canadian, I still don't trust him. Maybe that is a byproduct of the guy with the same position in my country
Career bureaucrats. Very untrustworthy.
How about the fact we have no reason to trust Ruby Ridge Bill?
If only he would arrest someone..
shit or get off the pot, barr. we've had four fucking years of traitors and communists walking all over this administration.
this. we simply do not have time to wait for the slow gears of justice to turn. we have 4 months til election. We need a BIG win here, we're not winning on BLMAntifa or the Kung Flu. (KF isn't defeated til the masks come off, people can freely assemble, go where they want and open their businesses nationwide again, it matters not what Trump says federally if the states control their fates)
He really is crushing it. Calling out machine learning, supply chains, pharmaceutical shortages, rare earths, and most importantly corporate board room dependence.
YES! Use FARA against these business leaders!! They are AMERICANS.
Anyone can talk. We need to see actions
We need to bring back electronic mfg to the US. All mfg would be nice but especially electronics. When was the last time you saw circuit boards made in the US? I know of one place that I've been to in person that makes them for our missiles but that's all I've ever witnessed.
Here is one and the FDA is currently on track to put them out of business in September because nicotine bad!
His Democrat handlers give him permission to talk about China. He has to talk about something while he's failing to prosecute the coup and other 'rat crimes, Seth murder, etc.
Thanks for posting! I'm at lunch but will listen when I get back to work.
Oh, an AG who gives speeches, how lovely.
Who issues actual indictments and prosecutes actual criminals, including traitors?
(chirp. chirp. chirp.)
The answer is obvious as are the traitors in our midst.
Bahhh, more words and no action. I know things are being done but we need hammers dropped, and we need them now. We needed them decades ago.
"Here's what we should be doing" - FORCE American companies to do what they should be doing. Incentivize them to stop with China. If you want a 1.5B person market, there's one right next door in India.
Hollywood is just not scumbags but a filthy nest of anti-human demonic scums.
'' Sting 3 points 3 hours ago +3 / -0 The exact same people who tried to overturn the results of the 2016 election are in their same positions of power now. Nothing has been done to most of them, they haven't even taken pay cuts.
They are sitting there, planning, laying down the tracks of the railroad that will steal this election in 2020. They have been able to operate pretty much unfettered and undisturbed. The time for strong words has a long, long passed.
If they manage to do what they are already doing '' look at the news, it's already happening, not in the future, it's happening now, ballots are being fucked with NOW - William Barr is going to be at the top of the list of people that need to be punished for allowing it to take place.
How is this "killing it" ?
Identify the problem, then excise it.
'' aClue 3 points 2 hours ago +3 / -0 FUCKING LIP SERVICE.
Calling out Hollywood directly. Good.
'' lanre 4 points 3 hours ago +4 / -0 Will any of them go to jail? The fucking #metoo movement has sent more Hollywood pedos to jail than our entire DoJ.
Chyna has slowly eroded and drained the economic strength that the most free country in history has ever had, in an effort to undermine free democracy and free capitalism, to implement authoritarianism.
Ouch - Hollywood taking a beating.
Having the USAG condemn China AND US companies (including Hollywood studios) as collaborators sends a message. Words have powers. Declarations have power. Treasonous US companies WILL bend the knee or face extintion. This is the beginning. It has been a LONG TIME COMING for something like this to happen and now it has. Sometimes we can't understand the importance of an event until much later. This is such an event.
Now Big Tech getting a beating lol
Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk some more. Then Talk some more...
When is he actually going to DO.
Lol useless, is he gonna cry?? No traitors in jail
'' MudDog 2 points 3 hours ago +2 / -0 I am amazed by his doctrine
Great speech. Tell me when he bagpipes his way into taking some fucking action. Until then, it means exactly dick. I know the Barr blowers are out in force today, but seriously - we've had decades of so-called conservatives telling us what they're going to do. Trump actually DOES things. Barr does not. I don't want to go back.
Can we get a CancelChina .win?
Let's cancel our debt to them and see what happens. Call it we are even for all of the stolen intellectual property.
Do the things after words are said, ya know, ACTION!!!
Communism must be eradicated with extreme prejudice worldwide but should start with routing it from american schools.
Here's a link to the speech as prepared for delivery.
One excerpt:
The People's Republic of China is now engaged in an economic blitzkrieg'--an aggressive, orchestrated, whole-of-government (indeed, whole-of-society) campaign to seize the commanding heights of the global economy and to surpass the United States as the world's preeminent superpower. A centerpiece of this effort is the Communist Party's ''Made in China 2025'' initiative, a plan for PRC domination of high-tech industries like robotics, advanced information technology, aviation, and electric vehicles. Backed by hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies, this initiative poses a real threat to U.S. technological leadership. Despite World Trade Organization rules prohibiting quotas for domestic output, ''Made in China 2025'' sets targets for domestic market share (sometimes as high as 70 percent) in core components and basic materials for industries such as robotics and telecommunications. It is clear that the PRC seeks not merely to join the ranks of other advanced industrial economies, but to replace them altogether.
About 15 years ago i was researching magnets and realized china was the only producer of a lot of Rare earth materials. I saw the potential for business in north america, but unfortunately i obviously don't have the money to start a mining operation. Everyone told me it was a dumb idea, when i saw the obvious failure of our government on this, despite our abundance of these resources no one was using them. Now when it's too late our governments are finally giving money to companies to build operations, if only i had the money back then to fund my idea ugh.
This is a must watch. Earth shattering. AG Barr is killing it! 🚂ðŸ'¨ðŸ'¨ðŸ'¨
Amazing speech. Really explains in depth, with examples, names, etc. of how CCP has influenced the world, specifically America.
While 1st amendment rights are just fucking destroyed nationwide. Chy-na
Missed part of this - did he bring up Chinese influence in lies from the WHO about the kung flu?
AG Barr is still pushing the limits of doing next to nothing, who even creates fluff posts for this swamp rat pos?
F*** Apple f*** iPhones everything from Apple is f****** junk.
Get real people.
Crazy, I never before thought about it, that iphones would never be sold in China if they were impervious to surveillance.
Stern talking instead of stern letter! We're gettin somewhere
US policy combating Chinese colonialism needs to be a long term strategy, this isn't a fight that will be won by any single administration, just like the cold war wasn't.
The US companies that are eagerly bringing Chinese communist ideals to this country, right now, are a far more immediate threat to our nation. Would be nice if DoJ priorities reflected that.
More action, less talk please.
speaches are worthless without action
was the speech "strongly worded"?Excuse my doubt but like many others on here, results speak louder than threats. You can make speeches like this all you want but if there is no follow through it's just a speech
I'd like to hear what he's doing about leftist domestic terror groups (BLM, antifa, democrats, democratic socialists,etc...).
'' Musman 1 point 22 minutes ago +1 / -0 This dude is worthless.
Just finished listening. Impressive he hits all the points. I watched the Chinese do these techniques he mentioned for many years.
speeches. pfft.
I'd trade them all for some indictments of the Russiagate conspirators
I couldn't give a shit. Show us the indictments for Obamagate or fuck off.
is he doing it in his campfire scary story voice?
fuck this fake asshole motherfucker like the rest of the swamp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Damn yo.. I have an apple phone. I want to keep my stuff private, just like everyone else. If my family was in danger and that danger could be avoided by the government looking into an apple phone, well... I say damn privacy in this case. Lets say something happens to my children because apple wasn't willing to help, then they turn around and help China. I would be rather upset. I also want my privacy and liberty. I don't see a way around this conundrum. Thoughts?
This summabitch needs to work on his reading skills
'' Granny 0 points 2 hours ago +1 / -1 This is powerful. Barr is effectively making a mission statement regarding China, and providing information as to why we need this mission.
He is stating the basis and the position from which future actions can be understood. Imo, this is a milestone.
I honestly think the UFO's that the Pentagon released video of is advanced Chinese drones, meaning China already has the technologically advanced military/spy drones. I've heard they have drones the size of grains of rice that have 360° camera views that they can just drop from the sky into our cities and pupulation densities.
'' k-doe1 1 point 3 hours ago +2 / -1 omg you are retarded
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Clips & Documents

All Clips
85 Babies Tested Positive For COVID-19 In One Texas County, Health Director Says.mp3
Attack on Kayleigh Jon Karl.mp3
Barr China -1- Intro Rules based International System.mp3
Barr China -2- FBI and State are in on this offensive.mp3
Barr China -3- Lead into Blitz Krieg analogy - Whole of Society.mp3
Barr China -4- The Collaborators - Hollywood.mp3
Barr China -5- The Collaborators - Silicon Valley.mp3
Barr China -6- The Collaborators - FARA Warning.mp3
Barr China -7- The Collaborators - Academia - Confucious Institutes.mp3
Bell Hooks - Interlocking systems of domination.mp3
Breakfast Club attack on Kayleigh.mp3
Diangelo Decon -1- How she grew up white and dirty.mp3
Diangelo Decon -2- Yet she always knew about her privilege.mp3
Diangelo Decon -3- Her whiteness is not her only problem.mp3
Diangelo Decon -4- The worst thing we whiteys have done is dangle hope.mp3
Diangelo Decon -5- Doing the work is not for you silly woman.mp3
Diangelo Smithsonian -1-Intro to her Heinz57 Whiteness.mp3
Diangelo Smithsonian -2- Sit with her whiteness GOOD LIFE.mp3
Diangelo Smithsonian -3- Inside our skin and it goes nuts from there.mp3
drivers license data to feds MPR.mp3
FAUCI back to school PBS.mp3
Fauci Judt attack FOUR.mp3
Fauci Judt attack ONE.mp3
Fauci Judt attack three.mp3
Fauci Judt attack TWO.mp3
FAUCI on anti vax PBS.mp3
Fauci sidebar flur shot.mp3
Hear what Fauci's boss Francis Collins would do if asked by Trump to fire him.mp3
James Lindsay -1- brown fragility.mp3
James Lindsay -2- scrupulosity.mp3
Kayleigh on hatch act.mp3
Kayleigh on the database ansd walk off.mp3
Lanny Davis free ereign on Cohen NPR.mp3
Marr asks Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming to explain footage from China.mp3
MARY TRUMP ZERO jon Karl on view.mp3
Matt Taibbi destroys White Fragility -1- What the book recommends.mp3
Matt Taibbi destroys White Fragility -2- EDI consultant scam.mp3
Phase three Trials San Antonio Minorities.mp3
Rachelle Peterson Confucious Institues -1- Explanation - National Association of Scholars.mp3
Rachelle Peterson Confucious Institues -2- How many are there and what is the scale.mp3
Rachelle Peterson Confucious Institues -3- What she learned - Whole of Society approach.mp3
Rachelle Peterson Confucious Institues -4- The money flows.mp3
Rachelle Peterson Confucious Institues -5- China is now rebranding their institutes.mp3
re-intro climate change NPR.mp3
re-intro climate changeTWO NPR.mp3
SERBIA anniversary of massacre.mp3
Serbia govt protests PBS.mp3
the future of work MIT study.mp3
The Native American Guardian's Association say Educate Not Eradicate REDSKINS.mp3
Trump's Wars Super Cuts NO CHINA WAR INTRO.mp3
Vicetone feat. Obama - Hope OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO.mp3
WHO Infodemiology Conference.mp3
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