Art for episode 1263

1263: Flibbertigibbet

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 1m
July 26th, 2020
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Executive Producers: Princess JJ Lu, Grand Duke, Sir Nussbaum

Associate Executive Producers: Sircuss Media, Baron Sir Economic Hitman [try his app], Philip Johnson, Dave Fugazzotto, Duke of America's Heartland and the Arabian Peninsula, Dustin Donham, Viscount Sir Ara Derderian,, Dame Judy Schwarz, Baroness of Kendall County

Cover Artist: March

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China
Chiner Seeds customs BOTG
Long time listener here in occupied PDX and as a licensed customs broker, I'm able to chime in as to why I believe people are receiving packets of seeds that are marked as jewelry. It is possible that the Chinese are declaring them as jewelry to get around the USDA declarations when it comes to importing seeds into the US. Agricultural products can require import permits and phytosanitary certificates that are time consuming to obtain and often end up having to be sampled and/or fumigated upon arrival. By misdeclaring it as jewelry (a relatively low risk import), they are essentially smuggling them into the country by skirting Customs/USDA regulations. Nobody can falsify trade documents quite like the Chinese.
TYFYC,
Patrick
Lubbock Seeds
Here is a he Lubbock news on the chiner seeds, sure were not the only one. We have seen that damn 2020 bat quarter personally. I didn't believe it either till I held it. Their is nothing going on here by the way. We know a few people personally that have contracted the covids but their symptoms were mild with no ventilator required. I did start calling my elected officials and asking what they personally thought of the Constitution and their oath to protect and defend it.
Glad y'all remembered my blue waffle story. Under his eye,
Soon to be Dame Gingersnaps of the Caprock
Officials: Virginia residents should report any unsolicited packages from China that contain seeds | 13newsnow.com
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 20:04
Do NOT plant these seeds. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species, officials said.
RICHMOND, Va. '-- Several Virginia residents have reported receiving unsolicited packages from China that contain seeds.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services sent out a news release urging residents to not plant the seeds.
Officials said the type of seeds in the package is unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species.
The packages were sent by mail, and may have Chinese writing on them.
A viewer sent 13News Now photos of a package she received by mail. The photo showed a postmark from China. Inside was a plastic bag filled with black seeds.
VDACS encourages anyone who has received unsolicited seeds in the mail that appear to have Chinese origin to contact the Office of Plant Industry Services (OPIS) at 804-786-3515 or email ReportAPest@vdacs.virginia.gov.
Officials said invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops.
Virginia, Utah residents report receiving unsolicited packets of seeds in the mail reportedly from China | Fox News
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 11:26
Published July 25, 2020
Last Update 11 hrs ago
Officials have advised residents not to plant the seedsVirginia residents have been advised not to plant any unsolicited seeds they may have received in the mail, the state's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VADACS) has advised.
Residents reported to the VDACS that they received packets of seeds in the mail with writing on the outside that appears to be Chinese. The seeds have yet to be identified, but officials speculate that the seeds may be of an invasive plant species and are advising residents not to use them.
"Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations," VDACS officials said in a release.
Virginia is not the only state to receive unsolicited seed packets, with FOX 13 Salt Lake City reporting that residents across Utah have received similar deliveries.
In some cases, the packages were labeled as containing jewelry or another similarly attractive content.
UTAH NEIGHBORHOOD EVACUATED AS AUTHORITIES DETONATE EXPLOSIVES FOUND IN HOME
''I opened them up and they were seeds,'' said Lori Culley, a resident from Tooele, Utah. ''Obviously they're not jewelry.''
FOX 13 confirmed that the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food will likely team up with Customs and Border Protection to investigate.
ROBERT E LEE STATUE IN VIRGINIA KNOCKED DOWN, BROKE IN TWO, POLICE SAID
Jane Rupp, president of the Better Business Bureau's (BBB's) Utah chapter, told FOX 13 the incidents could be a scam known as ''brushing'' where some companies will send you a product so they can post a fake review in your name.
''That is rather random. I don't think I've heard of seeds before,'' Rupp said. ''The first thing to do is Google your address and see what's out there'... Numerous things will come up when you Google your address. It's kind of scary sometimes.''
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Anyone who has received this type of package is asked to contact the Office of Plant Industry Services (OPIS) at 804-786-3515 or send an email to ReportAPest@vdacs.virginia.gov.
Virginia residents warned not to plant mysterious seeds apparently sent from China
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 12:46
Skip to content Virginia residents are being warned not to plant seeds they might have received in the mail from China. (Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services/Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)
By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk Updated: July 24, 2020 - 4:24 PM
RICHMOND, Va. '-- Virginia residents are being warned not to plant seeds they might have received in the mail from China.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued the warning after several residents were sent unsolicited packages filled with black seeds inside apparently from China.
''The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them,'' state officials said in a news release. ''The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.''
(C) 2020 Cox Media Group
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Why Chiners Copy
Dear AC,
JCD claimed that the most plausible explanation for the "copying the lab"
was cost.
I have a much, much, much simpler explanation: the Chinese language!!!
It cannot offer sufficient exactitude for one to describe a lab, or
airplane engine, or even computer code. They have to copy OR - as is the
case with computer programs.
Recall, their script, "zhong wen" (literally "center writing", short-hand
for zhong-guo-wen "middle kingdom writing") is ALL about metaphors.
For example, a "heroin addict" is "da yan gui" (big smoke ghost)
(By the way, "Pu-tong-hua," means general speaking or spreektaal, we call
it "Mandarin")
They have NO letters - so they cannot invent new words. Rather, they
either take on loan words. For example, the word for bank is "ying-hang"
(Ing-hang = silver business). But the word for "bank card" is "ying-hang
ka" - YES the Chinese word for "Card" (that plastic thing) is KA. This is
just a loanword.
The Chinese cannot distinguish "planet" from "star." In zhong wen, is the
same word "xing".
So using their writing system, there is NO way to convey the specs for a
lab. One must draw a schematic.
In the technical fields, like medicine, they have constructed new words
via translations that are used by experts and those who have trained in
English or outside of China.
There are SOME advantages to the limits of Chinese. In China, COVID-19 is
just pneumonia and ONLY pneumonia. The doctors take chest x-rays - if the
lungs are clear, a patient either does not have COVID or is cured.
This is because the orginal name was xin xing guan-zhuang feiyan (new star
corona pneumonia).
By contrast, in the U.S., as Fauci did with HIV-AIDS, they keep adding
symptoms into the diagnosis.
One more thing, I am sure that the people at UC Davis would have just
given the blue prints and specs for the lab if the Chinese grad student
had only asked. But they were probably too ashamed to ask!!!
China cannot take over the world - aside from being rude - in business and
general interactions with non-Chinese they are notorious, they are LIARS.
So they are easily understood. But they can never send troops outside of
China and set up military bases. They can use tech toys to spy ... but
spy on what? Porn? (which is banned in China).
They already have an empire, of 1.2 billion people - with a lot of little
Eichmann's running around, making sure that Weber and Kafka approve of
their bureaucracies - which change rules all the time.
Best
JCJ
Spies in the Xerox Machine - Electrical Strategies
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 15:05
Spies in the Xerox machine: how an engineer helped the CIA snoop on Soviet diplomats.Popular ScienceJanuary 1, 1997 | Stover, DanDuring the dark days of the Cold War, when the world trembled at the sight of aerial photos of nuclear missile sites in Cuba, when secret agents slipped back and forth through the Iron Curtain, and swift U-2 airplanes flew dangerous intelligence missions, the United States' most effective spy may have been the most unexpected: a Xerox repairman.
It was 1962, the Cold War was in full swing, and the CIA was looking for new ways to gather intelligence on the Soviets. Someone at the agency had realized that the one person who had easy and regular access to the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C., the one American who could come and go with no questions asked, was the Xerox repairman. He visited the embassy at least once a month, and nobody was surprised or alarmed to see him tinkering with the photocopier, his tools scattered on the floor. At the CIA, this seemed like an opportunity too good to pass up.
So the agency went to the source, the Xerox Corp., to find the brainpower to bug a machine. Ray Zoppoth was a 36-year-old mechanical engineer at Xerox in Webster, New York, when he was asked to join a small team that would work on this project. For years afterward, Zoppoth kept his role secret from even his wife and his eight children. But now, he believes, it is time people learned more about this chapter in our nation's history. That's why he decided to tell his story to POPULAR SCIENCE.
As Zoppoth tells it, having the repairman try to smuggle documents out of a foreign embassy would have been much too risky. Instead, the CIA wanted the repairman to install a device that would enable its agents to view the documents being copied on the embassy's Xerox machine. They hoped such a system would not only give them a peek at top-secret Soviet documents, but that it would also tell them whether Soviet spies had managed to get their hands on any classified U.S. documents.
The CIA contacted John Dessauer, a vice president at Xerox, and asked for his help. Dessauer then put Donald Cary, who headed a government programs group at Xerox, in charge of the project. Cary recruited Zoppoth and three other engineers: Kent Hemphill, an optical engineer; Douglas Webb , an electrical engineer; and James Young, an electronics expert who specialized in imaging technologies. Zoppoth was chosen, in part, because he had helped develop the Xerox model 914, the first automatic push-button copier, and the type used in the Soviet embassy.
Because of its secret nature, the project could not be undertaken at the facility where Zoppoth and the others worked. Instead, the project leaders rented an abandoned one-lane bowling alley in a small shopping center. With the installation of a security system, the windowless alley became an impromptu research lab.
There, progress notes spread across the alley floor, the engineers experimented with several methods for imaging the documents being copied on the embassy's model 914. An approach suggested by Zoppoth seemed the most promising: Mount a battery-powered home-movie camera with a zoom lens inside the copier. Aim the lens at the mirror used to reflect images onto the drum. Add a photocell that would prompt the camera to snap still frames whenever the photocopier lit up. And start taking pictures.
The engineers purchased a state-of-the-art Bell & Howell movie camera from a retail outlet. It was about seven inches long and held a spool of 8mm film. There was plenty of room for the camera deep inside the bulky console-style copier, and the camera couldn't be seen even when the machine's covers were removed. The camera's noise was drowned out by the sounds of the photocopier.
The team installed the camera in a machine at the bowling alley, and photographed sample documents. "We used the bathroom as our darkroom," Zoppoth recalls.
Next, they installed a camera in a machine at the main Xerox office in Webster. "When we developed the pictures, we found recipes and copies of music and cartoons and jokes and all kinds of things," Zoppoth says.
Finally, the engineers were ready to turn their invention over to the CIA. Zoppoth made a series of trips to Washington to meet with two agents in the dark basement of a CIA building code-named Disneyland East. Surrounded by heating pipes, Zoppoth taught the agents how to install the camera, so that they could later train the Xerox repairman. The repairman would place a camera inside the Xerox machine while he serviced it; the camera didn't appear out of place among his jumble of tools and spare parts. On his next visit, he would replace the camera with another one containing fresh film, then turn the exposed film over to the CIA.
I am offering this article from 1997 as an example of some of the creative engineering projects I have been involved with.
Camera waiting to be positioned within the Xerox copier.
This drawing is from patent 3,855,983, issued to Zopppoth in 1967 for a miniature surveillance camera.
The system went into service in 1963. It wasn't long before the CIA asked the Xerox team if a similar system could be built for a much smaller desktop copier, the model 813.
Hiding an off-the-shelf camera inside such a small machine was impossible, so the engineers designed a miniaturized camera that operated off the photocopier's own power supply and held only a partial roll of film. They also modified the 813's mirrors and cut away pieces of the machine. Parts needed for the camera were farmed out to several model shops, so that nobody outside the research team could recognize what was being built. In 1964, Zoppoth was awarded a secret patent for the tiny surveillance camera that was hidden inside the modified machine.
Judging by the number of parts ordered from Xerox, Zoppoth believes that spy cameras may have been installed in photocopiers all over the world, to keep an eye on U.S. allies as well as enemies. But in 1969, a chemical company that had come up with a similar idea for spying on a competitor was caught red-handed. After that, it seemed likely that the Soviets would scrutinize their own machines more closely. But whether the Soviets ever found a concealed camera, or whether the CIA ceased planting them in photocopy machines, is uncertain.
Although the cameras built by Zoppoth and his co-conspirators seem primitive compared with today's sophisticated microelectronics, the project remains classified. Zoppoth retired in 1979. Another team member confirms his story but is unwilling to speak about any of the details. Other members could not be located, or would not discuss the matter. The CIA and Xerox will neither confirm nor deny Zoppoth's account, possibly because the company has secret research contracts with the government to this day.
Stover, DanCOPYRIGHT 1987 Bonnier Corporation
US-China tensions: Singaporean man admits spying for Chinese intelligence in US | Euronews
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 01:39
USA
A Singaporean man has pleaded guilty to working as a foreign agent for China in the US, as diplomatic tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to escalate.
Jun Wei Yeo, also known as Dickson Yeo, pleaded guilty on Friday to using his political consultancy in the United States as a front to collect information for Chinese intelligence, the US Justice Department said.
Yeo said from 2015 to 2019, he worked for Chinese intelligence "to spot and assess Americans with access to valuable non-public information, including US military and government employees with high-level security clearances."
The plea comes as China ordered the closure of the US consulate in the south-western city of Chengdu on Friday.
Souring relationsThe move is an escalation of a tit-for-tat exchange between the two countries after the US ordered China to close its consulate in Houston. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo labelled the consulate ''a hub of spying and intellectual property theft.''
Tensions between the US and China have plummeted since 2018, which started with a trade war.
It resulted in Washington and Beijing slapping tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of their export goods, after the Trump administration accused China of unfair trading practices. Negotiations between the two sides are ongoing.
Their relationship has soured in the last year with issues arising over technology, the US blaming the COVID-19 pandemic on China, and Beijing's clampdown on Hong Kong's autonomy.
The US has also arrested four Chinese academics in recent weeks, charging them with lying on visa applications about their ties to the People's Liberation Army.
Who is Yeo?According to the US, Yeo was recruited by Chinese intelligence while working as an academic at the National University of Singapore.
He had researched and wrote about China's "Belt and Road" initiative to expand its global commercial networks.
Yeo's LinkedIn page said he worked as a political risk analyst focused on China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, saying he was "bridging North America with Beijing, Tokyo and Southeast Asia."
The court filing said Yeo was directed by Chinese intelligence to open up a fake consultancy and offer jobs.
He allegedly received more than 400 resumes, 90 per cent of them were from US military or government personnel with security clearances.
Yeo was arrested as he flew to the US in 2019.
He was "using career networking sites and a false consulting firm to lure Americans who might be of interest to the Chinese government," said Assistant Attorney General John Demers in a statement.
"This is yet another example of the Chinese government's exploitation of the openness of American society," he said.
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Former WVU associate professor pleads guilty to federal criminal counts - WV MetroNews
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 13:24
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. '-- A former WVU associate professor pleaded guilty Thursday to a pair of federal criminal charges in connection with his travel to China.
U.S. Attorney Bill Powell said Dr. Qingyun Sun, 58, of Morgantown, admitted to defrauding WVU and filing a false tax return. The guilty pleas were entered as part of a federal information agreement with prosecutors.
Sun, a Chinese National, worked for WVU as an associate professor. He was also the associate director of the United States-China Energy Center at WVU. He also had ties to the West Virginia Development Office. Sun also had several private ventures.
Former West Virginia University professor pleads guilty to wire fraud and tax fraud after @FBIPittsburgh and @IRS_CI investigation.|https://t.co/cEUAlqR8uH
'-- NDWVnews (@NDWVnews) July 23, 2020
Powell said during a 2015 trip to China on behalf of WVU and the state, Sun over billed for expenses. He also lied about expenses on his federal tax return in 2014 and lied about his business interests in China.
Sun faces a maximum of 23 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000. He has agreed to pay restitution to WVU in the amount of $6,233.12
Sun will be sentenced later this year.
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Chinese Credit Fuels Debt Crisis in Africa - Bloomberg
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 14:26
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Can China Silk Road Survive Coronavirus? | New Eastern Outlook
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 14:40
Can China Silk Road Survive Coronavirus? P 01.06.2020 U F. William Engdahl
China's priority infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), faces enormous problems just seven years after it was proclaimed in 2013. Serious problems and charges of China luring poorer nations into what a leading Indian analyst termed a ''debt trap diplomacy,'' began to appear already in 2018 when Malaysia and Pakistan, under new governments demanded a renegotiation of terms with Beijing. Now the global economic impact of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, with the simultaneous collapse of economies from China to the USA, to the EU and across the developing world, are creating staggering new challenges for the China prized project.
When Xi Jinping first announced the ambitious China Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), then known as the Economic Silk Road in 2013, it was hailed as a much-needed boost to world infrastructure development which had the promise to lift hundreds of millions across Eurasia and beyond out of poverty. Many saw it as the effort to replicate the economic model that gave China the most extraordinary industrial growth of any nation in modern history.
While detailed information is anecdotal so far, it is clear that the massive global lockdown around the covid19 is having a major impact for many BRI member countries. A major problem is that the China BRI major pathways for railway and shipping infrastructure involve agreements with some of the world's poorest economies and some of the largest credit risks.
Initially most financing has come from Chinese state banks, in order to rapidly kick-start the BRI concept. While exact figures are not available from Chinese agencies, best estimates by the World Bank are that through 2018 Beijing has made a total of $ 575 billion in commitments for overseas investment in BRI projects. Officially Beijing has stated plans to invest up to $1 trillion over several decades and hopes to attract other funders to total $8 trillion.
According to various studies, most of the China financial support for BRI member state infrastructure projects are in the form of loans at commercial terms, project financing where the resulting rail or port revenue goes to repay the loans. As many recipients such as Sri Lanka are already in precarious economic status, the risk of default even before the covid19 crisis was high. Now it is far, far worse.
Among the top 50 countries owing significant debt to China are Pakistan, Venezuela, Angola, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Zambia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, C´te d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon, Tanzania, Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Algeria and Iran. These are definitely not countries with AAA credit rating. Before covid19 lockdowns they were struggling. Now several of the BRI debtor countries are asking Beijing for debt relief.
Debt relief?
Until now China has reacted to the demands of Malaysia and Pakistan for earlier debt relief in a pragmatic manner, changing terms of earlier debt agreements. However, now, with China's economic growth officially at the lowest in 30 years, and still well below full capacity following the January-March coronavirus lockdowns, Chinese banks face an entirely new international debt crisis, in some ways similar to that of Latin America and African countries in the late 1970s. China is ill-prepared to step in this time, with a major domestic banking problem and staggering bank debts.
All these BRI countries depend on export revenues to the industrial economies to service their China BRI debt. This is just what is being devastated during the global lockdown. Oil producing countries such as Angola or Nigeria find their oil revenue drastically down as global air and land and sea transport since February has plunged. In addition, as EU and North American economies lockdown much of their industry, they do not import the raw materials from China's BRI partner countries. Return to normal is not even in sight. African mining companies producing lithium, cobalt, copper and iron ore are experiencing decreasing demand from China.
Pakistan and Indonesia Danger
Pakistan of all BRI partner states is one of the most strategic for China. The BRI China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, originally projects totaling $61 billion, was reduced to a more manageable $50 billion in 2018 when Imran Khan became Prime Minister. Then the bottom fell out of the Pakistani economy in 2019. Now in 2020 with spread of reported covid19 cases across Pakistan, the government reported a catastrophic 54% plunge in exports in April. A March 31 report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimated that Pakistan will be one of the states hardest hit by the economic fallout of covid19 along with sub-Saharan African BRI partners. It faces a ''frightening combination'' of crises including mounting debts, a potential deflationary spiral as well as a disastrous impact on the health sector.
Clearly since the January developments around coronavirus in China and Pakistan, economic growth has been devastated even more. The Khan government is drawing up a list of new BRI projects in hopes Beijing will approve when Xi Jinping visits later this year. At this point it is highly questionable if China will be receptive to lending even more to Pakistan.
Indonesia is another key BRI partner in Asia where the China projects have been forced on hold by covid19. A $6 billion, 150 km-long Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail line lies dormant as Chinese key personnel had been blocked from travel by the lockdowns in both China and Indonesia. The rail project is 40 per cent owned by China Railway International and was financed principally by a $4.5 billion loan from China's Development Bank. In 2019 Indonesian President Joko Widodo proposed a list of projects totaling some $91 billion to China. Their future is now in doubt given the collapse of Indonesian oil and gas revenue.
Africa hard hit
A recent report by Fitch Rating agency estimates that the Coronavirus outbreak will seriously impact sub-Saharan African growth, particularly in Ghana, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, South Africa, Gabon and Nigeria '' all countries that export large amounts of commodities to China. China state banks loaned $19 billion to sub-Saharan African energy and infrastructure projects since 2014, most of it in 2017. In total, African states owe some $145 billion to China with $8 billion due this year.
For more than a decade China has been involved in Africa, even predating the BRI. Oil-rich Nigeria has been a major focus of BRI investing with Huawei Technologies investing a reported $16 billion to date in IT infrastructure. The CCECC state-owned Chinese construction firm has contracts to build four international airport terminals. In addition it has contracted to build the Lagos-Kano, Lagos-Calabar rail and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railways, with costs at $9bn, $11bn and $15bn respectively. The China National Offshore Oil Corp. has invested some $16 billion in projects in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Many of these are project financing deals where the revenue from the rails or airports or oil refining should repay the Chinese investors. With the dramatic collapse of world trade and economy, much of that revenue is in severe question for the forseeable future.
In Kenya China holds an estimated 72% of that country's bilateral debt. The country has a total of $50 billion in external debt. China financed the $4 billion Mombasa-Nairobi railway to the Mombasa Port, also known as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), the country's largest infrastructure project. The costs for the China-financed project were to be paid out of port revenues. However even before the coronavirus economic shocks, revenues were running far below projections and in July, 2019 a 5-year grace period ended, forcing Kenya to repay almost $1 billion of the cost annually. Kenya owes $2.3 billion for the project to the China Ex-Im Bank. Its foreign reserves at end 2018 were only $9 billion.
Ethiopia with a population of over 100 million, is another key troubled member of China's Africa BRI. China is Ethiopia's major creditor and already in March, 2019 the country was forced to ask China to restructure debt repayment, well before the present global crisis hit. At that point imports exceeded exports by some 400% and government debt stood at 59% of its gross domestic product. External debt was $26 billion. The largest project, the $4bn Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, was backed by a $3.3 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of China. So far the railway revenue has been crippled by light loads, electricity shortages and disruptions due to protests in the Afar region, making loan repayment dubious even before. To deal with electricity shortages, China Gezhouba Group is working to complete already existing Grand Renaissance Dam to support the electrified railway.
From trains and buildings to roads and highways, China has become a major player in the development of Ethiopia's infrastructure and economy. Ethiopia owes more than $12 billion in loans to China, not only for the construction of its cities, but also for its import and export needs. The Exim Bank of China lends money to organizations like the Ethiopian Airlines for things such as aircraft purchases. In 2019 according to UNCTAD, 60% of all Ethiopian project financing came from China. How the global economic and trade collapse impacts repayment of that China debt is unclear.
In 2018 China pledged to set up a special investment fund of some $60 billion to invest in further BRI projects across Africa. At this point that looks highly doubtful both in terms of Chinese funding amid the global crisis and of African countries' ability to pay.
Peak BRI?
Add to the growing headaches for China state banks and companies in the now 138 countries in some degree affiliated with China's Belt, Road Initiative, the economic problems in Venezuela, Iran and countless other developing economies, and it becomes clear that a major strategic rethink of the BRI is inevitable. In 2018, the Politburo Standing Committee of the CCP set up its own BRI think tank '' the Center of One Belt and One Road Security Studies in Shanghai '' to get a comprehensive overview of the vast global commitments under the banner of BRI for the first time.
In their official 2019 report, 'The Belt and Road Initiative: Progress, Contributions and Prospects' they recognized that ''the Belt and Road Initiative is in urgent need of finance'' from new models of international investment and funding due to its massive scale. Now, amid the worst world economic collapse since the 1930's, with a trade war with its largest trading partner, USA, the prospects of major new capital from the World Bank, IMF and other international sources are dim. Hopes of billions in BRI co-financing from sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf oil monarchies has evaporated with the collapse of oil prices. The Chinese government has just stated that the impact of covid19 on the BRI will be ''temporary and limited.'' That will require major rethinking, if so.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook.''
Recent Posts
Can China Silk Road Survive Coronavirus? | New Eastern Outlook
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 14:40
Can China Silk Road Survive Coronavirus? P 01.06.2020 U F. William Engdahl
China's priority infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), faces enormous problems just seven years after it was proclaimed in 2013. Serious problems and charges of China luring poorer nations into what a leading Indian analyst termed a ''debt trap diplomacy,'' began to appear already in 2018 when Malaysia and Pakistan, under new governments demanded a renegotiation of terms with Beijing. Now the global economic impact of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, with the simultaneous collapse of economies from China to the USA, to the EU and across the developing world, are creating staggering new challenges for the China prized project.
When Xi Jinping first announced the ambitious China Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), then known as the Economic Silk Road in 2013, it was hailed as a much-needed boost to world infrastructure development which had the promise to lift hundreds of millions across Eurasia and beyond out of poverty. Many saw it as the effort to replicate the economic model that gave China the most extraordinary industrial growth of any nation in modern history.
While detailed information is anecdotal so far, it is clear that the massive global lockdown around the covid19 is having a major impact for many BRI member countries. A major problem is that the China BRI major pathways for railway and shipping infrastructure involve agreements with some of the world's poorest economies and some of the largest credit risks.
Initially most financing has come from Chinese state banks, in order to rapidly kick-start the BRI concept. While exact figures are not available from Chinese agencies, best estimates by the World Bank are that through 2018 Beijing has made a total of $ 575 billion in commitments for overseas investment in BRI projects. Officially Beijing has stated plans to invest up to $1 trillion over several decades and hopes to attract other funders to total $8 trillion.
According to various studies, most of the China financial support for BRI member state infrastructure projects are in the form of loans at commercial terms, project financing where the resulting rail or port revenue goes to repay the loans. As many recipients such as Sri Lanka are already in precarious economic status, the risk of default even before the covid19 crisis was high. Now it is far, far worse.
Among the top 50 countries owing significant debt to China are Pakistan, Venezuela, Angola, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Zambia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, C´te d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon, Tanzania, Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Algeria and Iran. These are definitely not countries with AAA credit rating. Before covid19 lockdowns they were struggling. Now several of the BRI debtor countries are asking Beijing for debt relief.
Debt relief?
Until now China has reacted to the demands of Malaysia and Pakistan for earlier debt relief in a pragmatic manner, changing terms of earlier debt agreements. However, now, with China's economic growth officially at the lowest in 30 years, and still well below full capacity following the January-March coronavirus lockdowns, Chinese banks face an entirely new international debt crisis, in some ways similar to that of Latin America and African countries in the late 1970s. China is ill-prepared to step in this time, with a major domestic banking problem and staggering bank debts.
All these BRI countries depend on export revenues to the industrial economies to service their China BRI debt. This is just what is being devastated during the global lockdown. Oil producing countries such as Angola or Nigeria find their oil revenue drastically down as global air and land and sea transport since February has plunged. In addition, as EU and North American economies lockdown much of their industry, they do not import the raw materials from China's BRI partner countries. Return to normal is not even in sight. African mining companies producing lithium, cobalt, copper and iron ore are experiencing decreasing demand from China.
Pakistan and Indonesia Danger
Pakistan of all BRI partner states is one of the most strategic for China. The BRI China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, originally projects totaling $61 billion, was reduced to a more manageable $50 billion in 2018 when Imran Khan became Prime Minister. Then the bottom fell out of the Pakistani economy in 2019. Now in 2020 with spread of reported covid19 cases across Pakistan, the government reported a catastrophic 54% plunge in exports in April. A March 31 report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimated that Pakistan will be one of the states hardest hit by the economic fallout of covid19 along with sub-Saharan African BRI partners. It faces a ''frightening combination'' of crises including mounting debts, a potential deflationary spiral as well as a disastrous impact on the health sector.
Clearly since the January developments around coronavirus in China and Pakistan, economic growth has been devastated even more. The Khan government is drawing up a list of new BRI projects in hopes Beijing will approve when Xi Jinping visits later this year. At this point it is highly questionable if China will be receptive to lending even more to Pakistan.
Indonesia is another key BRI partner in Asia where the China projects have been forced on hold by covid19. A $6 billion, 150 km-long Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail line lies dormant as Chinese key personnel had been blocked from travel by the lockdowns in both China and Indonesia. The rail project is 40 per cent owned by China Railway International and was financed principally by a $4.5 billion loan from China's Development Bank. In 2019 Indonesian President Joko Widodo proposed a list of projects totaling some $91 billion to China. Their future is now in doubt given the collapse of Indonesian oil and gas revenue.
Africa hard hit
A recent report by Fitch Rating agency estimates that the Coronavirus outbreak will seriously impact sub-Saharan African growth, particularly in Ghana, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, South Africa, Gabon and Nigeria '' all countries that export large amounts of commodities to China. China state banks loaned $19 billion to sub-Saharan African energy and infrastructure projects since 2014, most of it in 2017. In total, African states owe some $145 billion to China with $8 billion due this year.
For more than a decade China has been involved in Africa, even predating the BRI. Oil-rich Nigeria has been a major focus of BRI investing with Huawei Technologies investing a reported $16 billion to date in IT infrastructure. The CCECC state-owned Chinese construction firm has contracts to build four international airport terminals. In addition it has contracted to build the Lagos-Kano, Lagos-Calabar rail and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railways, with costs at $9bn, $11bn and $15bn respectively. The China National Offshore Oil Corp. has invested some $16 billion in projects in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Many of these are project financing deals where the revenue from the rails or airports or oil refining should repay the Chinese investors. With the dramatic collapse of world trade and economy, much of that revenue is in severe question for the forseeable future.
In Kenya China holds an estimated 72% of that country's bilateral debt. The country has a total of $50 billion in external debt. China financed the $4 billion Mombasa-Nairobi railway to the Mombasa Port, also known as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), the country's largest infrastructure project. The costs for the China-financed project were to be paid out of port revenues. However even before the coronavirus economic shocks, revenues were running far below projections and in July, 2019 a 5-year grace period ended, forcing Kenya to repay almost $1 billion of the cost annually. Kenya owes $2.3 billion for the project to the China Ex-Im Bank. Its foreign reserves at end 2018 were only $9 billion.
Ethiopia with a population of over 100 million, is another key troubled member of China's Africa BRI. China is Ethiopia's major creditor and already in March, 2019 the country was forced to ask China to restructure debt repayment, well before the present global crisis hit. At that point imports exceeded exports by some 400% and government debt stood at 59% of its gross domestic product. External debt was $26 billion. The largest project, the $4bn Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, was backed by a $3.3 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of China. So far the railway revenue has been crippled by light loads, electricity shortages and disruptions due to protests in the Afar region, making loan repayment dubious even before. To deal with electricity shortages, China Gezhouba Group is working to complete already existing Grand Renaissance Dam to support the electrified railway.
From trains and buildings to roads and highways, China has become a major player in the development of Ethiopia's infrastructure and economy. Ethiopia owes more than $12 billion in loans to China, not only for the construction of its cities, but also for its import and export needs. The Exim Bank of China lends money to organizations like the Ethiopian Airlines for things such as aircraft purchases. In 2019 according to UNCTAD, 60% of all Ethiopian project financing came from China. How the global economic and trade collapse impacts repayment of that China debt is unclear.
In 2018 China pledged to set up a special investment fund of some $60 billion to invest in further BRI projects across Africa. At this point that looks highly doubtful both in terms of Chinese funding amid the global crisis and of African countries' ability to pay.
Peak BRI?
Add to the growing headaches for China state banks and companies in the now 138 countries in some degree affiliated with China's Belt, Road Initiative, the economic problems in Venezuela, Iran and countless other developing economies, and it becomes clear that a major strategic rethink of the BRI is inevitable. In 2018, the Politburo Standing Committee of the CCP set up its own BRI think tank '' the Center of One Belt and One Road Security Studies in Shanghai '' to get a comprehensive overview of the vast global commitments under the banner of BRI for the first time.
In their official 2019 report, 'The Belt and Road Initiative: Progress, Contributions and Prospects' they recognized that ''the Belt and Road Initiative is in urgent need of finance'' from new models of international investment and funding due to its massive scale. Now, amid the worst world economic collapse since the 1930's, with a trade war with its largest trading partner, USA, the prospects of major new capital from the World Bank, IMF and other international sources are dim. Hopes of billions in BRI co-financing from sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf oil monarchies has evaporated with the collapse of oil prices. The Chinese government has just stated that the impact of covid19 on the BRI will be ''temporary and limited.'' That will require major rethinking, if so.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook.''
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Water Politics >> The Thirsty Dragon: China Limited the Mekong's Flow '' Other Countries Suffered a Drought
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 12:16
HomeCompanyAnalysis/ResearchGWR Index Blog Defining the Geopolitics of a Thirsty WorldSM
The Thirsty Dragon: China Limited the Mekong's Flow '' Other Countries Suffered a Drought April 13th, 2020Courtesy of The New York Times, a report on new research showing that Beijing's engineers appear to have directly caused the record low levels of water in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam:
A narrow section of water flowed through the dried-out riverbed of the Mekong near Sangkhom, Thailand, in January.
As China was stricken by the coronavirus in late February, its foreign minister addressed a concerned crowd in Laos, where farmers and fishers across the Mekong River region were contending with the worst drought in living memory.
His message: We feel your pain. The foreign minister, Wang Yi, said China was also suffering from arid conditions that were sucking water from one of the world's most productive rivers.
But new research from American climatologists shows for the first time that China, where the headwaters of the Mekong spring forth from the Tibetan Plateau, was not experiencing the same hardship at all. Instead, Beijing's engineers appear to have directly caused the record low water levels by limiting the river's flow.
''The satellite data doesn't lie, and there was plenty of water in the Tibetan Plateau, even as countries like Cambodia and Thailand were under extreme duress,'' said Alan Basist, who co-wrote the report, which was released on Monday, for Eyes on Earth, a water resources monitor.
''There was just a huge volume of water that was being held back in China,'' Mr. Basist added.
The Mekong is one of the most fertile rivers on earth, nurturing tens of millions of people with its nutrient rich waters and fisheries. But a series of dams, mostly in China, have robbed the river's riches.
Those who depend on its inland fisheries say their catches have declined precipitously. Persistent droughts and sudden floods have buffeted farmers.
Beijing's control of the upstream Mekong, which provides as much as 70 percent of the downstream water in the dry season, has raised hackles, even though the Southeast Asian nations depend on trade with China. While the Chinese government has introduced a global development program that it says will benefit poorer trading partners, a backlash is growing among countries that feel they are losing out.
''The problem is that the Chinese elite see water as something for their use, not as a shared commodity,'' said Brian Eyler, director of the Stimson Center's Southeast Asia program and author of ''Last Days of the Mighty Mekong.''
The Nam Ou 1 Dam in northern Laos under construction in 2018. It was built by China's largest hydropower company.
As China's geopolitical weight has grown, its leaders have cast the nation as a different kind of superpower, one that is concerned, as the Chinese phrasing goes, with ''win-win'' relationships with other nations.
But some countries, like Sri Lanka and Djibouti, have fallen into what critics fear are debt traps, as strategic projects end up in Chinese hands. Other African and Asian nations are worried that China is simply another imperial power eager to vacuum up natural resources without concern for the local populace.
''This is part of China's business development,'' said Chainarong Setthachua, a lecturer and Mekong expert at Mahasarakham University in northeastern Thailand. ''The lay people who depend on the resources of the Mekong River for their livelihoods and income are automatically excluded.''
The data modeling created by Mr. Basist and his colleague Claude Williams measures the various components of a river's flow, from snow and glacial melt to rainfall and soil moisture. The scientists found that for most years, the natural, unimpeded flow of the upstream Mekong roughly tracked water levels measured downstream at a gauge in Thailand, with occasional exceptions when dam reservoirs in China were being filled or released.
When there was a seasonal drought in China, the five downstream nations '-- Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam '-- would eventually feel it. When there was overabundant water in China, floods ensued in the Mekong basin.
But during last year's wet season, the fortunes of the river's two parts diverged in dramatic fashion. As China's section of the Mekong welcomed an above average volume of water, downstream countries were stricken by a drought so crushing that parts of the river dried up entirely, leaving cracked riverbed exposed in a season when fishing should have been plentiful.
At one gauge in Chiang Saen, in northern Thailand, such low water levels had never been recorded before.
Overall, during the 28-year period they studied this gauge, Mr. Basist and his colleague calculated that dams in China had held back more than 410 feet of river height.
While addressing regional foreign ministers in February, Mr. Wang, the Chinese foreign minister, contended that China, too, was suffering. He suggested that the Chinese leadership was being magnanimous by sending water downstream, especially at a time when Beijing was contending with a severe coronavirus outbreak.
''Though China itself has also been afflicted by the drought and a serious shortage of precipitation in the upper reaches, it has overcome various difficulties to increase the water discharge,'' he said.
Mr. Basist disputed this take.
''You look at our mapping, and it's bright blue with plenty of water in China and bright red from an extreme lack of water in Thailand and Cambodia,'' he said. ''China can regulate this river's flow through dams, and that appears to be exactly what it's doing.''
Adding to the downstream pain were sudden releases of water from China, which often came unannounced and drowned crops that had been planted near the banks because of the drought.
''The water release by China is political,'' said Mr. Chainarong, of Mahasarakham University. ''It's made out to be them doing a favor. They create damage, but they ask for gratitude.''
While the Mekong is a lifeline for residents of downstream nations, the river rushes through narrow gorges in China, making it impractical for economic activity other than hydropower. At the turn of this century, the Chinese government, whose leadership at the time was dominated by engineers, began accelerating plans to dam the Lancang, as the Mekong is known in China.
Today, the Chinese section of the river in the nation's southwest is punctuated by 11 major dams, which produce far more power than the region needs. Other great rivers that begin in the icy reaches of the Tibetan Plateau, like the Brahmaputra, a holy river to Hindus in India, have also been dammed in China.
The existing energy glut was one reason Chinese environmentalists succeeded in persuading the government to shelve plans to dam another river in the region, the Nu, which becomes the Salween when it enters Myanmar.
Yet even as Beijing began its hydropower push on the Mekong, it refused to join Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos in a regional group dedicated to the river's health. In one survey commissioned by the group, the Mekong River Commission, scientists warned that a dam boom on the Mekong could rob the river of 97 percent of the sediment that flows to its mouth in Vietnam.
''The river will be dead,'' said Niwat Roykaew, a community organizer and conservationist in northern Thailand.
Instead, Beijing created its own Lancang-Mekong Cooperation initiative and financed a lavish building for the group in Cambodia, where Prime Minister Hun Sen has brought the country firmly into Beijing's orbit. Critics accuse the Beijing-funded initiative of being less a mechanism for protecting the river and more a mouthpiece for China's campaign on the Mekong.
But even Mr. Hun Sen, Asia's longest serving autocrat, appears to have been shaken by the devastating lack of water in the Mekong, which accelerated last July. The energy ministry announced last month that Cambodia was suspending plans for dams on the Mekong, which would have been mostly funded by China.
Meanwhile, the water reserves in China swelled, as dam reservoirs filled with the glacial melt that has fed the Mekong for millenniums.
''Glaciers are bank accounts of water but with climate change they're melting fast,'' Mr. Basist said. ''The Chinese are building safe deposit boxes on the upper Mekong because they know the bank account is going to be depleted eventually and they want to keep it in reserve.''
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China's Mighty Yangtze Is Heaving From Rain and the Three Gorges Will Be Tested - WSJ
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 01:36
Since June 1, historic floods have affected more than 45 million people in 27 provinces
By
Rosa de Acosta and
Max Rust
July 25, 2020 7:03 am ET Heavy rain has battered central and southern China over the past few weeks, causing widespread flooding'--the worst in decades.
China has a long history of deadly floods, including one in 1931 that killed two million people and another in 1998, when, according to government estimates, one-fifth of the country's population was affected, resulting in the deaths of more than 3,000 people and causing economic damage of more than $20 billion.
...
Heavy rain has battered central and southern China over the past few weeks, causing widespread flooding'--the worst in decades.
China has a long history of deadly floods, including one in 1931 that killed two million people and another in 1998, when, according to government estimates, one-fifth of the country's population was affected, resulting in the deaths of more than 3,000 people and causing economic damage of more than $20 billion.
Since the beginning of June this year, the floods have impacted more than 45 million people in 27 of China's provinces, exacting an economic cost of more than 116 billion yuan ($16.5 billion). According to the Ministry of Emergency Management, 142 people were dead or missing and 35,000 houses had collapsed as of July 23.
In recent years, China has increased government spending on building up flood defense, creating a network of dams all over the country, especially on the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world.
China has been pouring money into water conservation projects on major rivers and lakes, but for decades it has neglected smaller bodies of water. Roughly 96% of the 94,000 dams dotting China's rivers are smaller dikes constructed in the 1950s and 1960s. Poor management of these small dams and streams weakens their ability to divert flood waters from the upper and middle reaches of their respective rivers, creating hidden dangers.
China began building the controversial Three Gorges Dam in 1994, causing more than one million people to relocate and damaging the surrounding environment. The constant rain has also raised concerns about integrity of the dam, prompting officials in recent weeks to directly rebut assertions that the dam was in danger of collapsing.
Heavy rains on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River are raising the water level there and sparking new flooding that is expected to hit the Three Gorges Dam soon. The giant reservoir is currently releasing water to set aside more space for the coming floodwaters, Yangtze River authorities said Friday.
The giant dam is capable of handling inflows of as much as 22.1 million gallons (83.7 million liters) per second to protect the lower reaches. The last flood hit the dam with a peak inflow of 16 million gallons a second last week, raising concerns about the dam's strength and safety.
'--Raffaele Huang and Reddy Zhao contributed to this article.
Write to Max Rust at max.rust@wsj.com
Big Pharma
All networks left POTUS pharma presser when he started talking about prices
White House pulls drug rebate rule to relief of payers | Healthcare Dive
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 10:49
Dive Brief:The White House will withdraw a controversial plan to ban drugmaker rebates to pharmacy benefit managers in Medicare and Medicaid, stepping back from what the administration had once billed as " the most significant change in how Americans' drugs are priced at the pharmacy counter." " Based on careful analysis and thorough consideration, the President has decided to withdraw the rebate rule," said White House spokesperson Judd Deere in an emailed statement to BioPharma Dive, noting ongoing discussions about potential legislation around drug pricing. Axios first reported the news. Drugmakers had supported the proposed rule, which fit with pharma's public relations campaign attacking the role played by PBMs in keeping drug costs high. Insurers, the largest of which own PBMs, were staunchly opposed, and shares in CVS Health, UnitedHealth and Cigna rose sharply Thursday on news of the rule's withdrawal.Dive Insight:The Trump administration's efforts to lower drug prices have so far centered, at least publicly, on three proposals.
Two '-- the rebate proposal and a plan to require drugmakers list prices in television advertisements '-- are now on ice after the White House's decision to withdraw the rebate rule and a federal judge ruling this week to block the advertising requirement.
Neither setback comes entirely unexpected, as legal and political questions were raised early on for both proposals. An estimate by the Congressional Budget Office forecasting the rebate rule would increase federal spending dimmed the prospects for that plan, while drugmakers moved quickly to challenge in court the TV ad mandate.
"The withdrawal is as we had predicted because of the objections from Joe Grogan, the White House's Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and some lawmakers on the fiscal burden to the American payer on offsetting the impact of the rebate elimination on Medicare Part D premiums," wrote SVB Leerink analyst Ana Gupte in a Thursday note to clients.
Drugmakers favored the rebate rule, arguing their payments to PBMs did nothing to help patients afford their drugs, so announcement of the plan's scuttling comes as somewhat of a setback to the industry.
Insurers, by contrast, saw large boosts in share prices Thursday. Cigna stock rose by more than 10%, while CVS shares were up 7% and UnitedHealth 5%.
The rule would have eliminated a safe harbor provision which enables drugmakers to pay insurers and PBMs rebates and not run afoul of anti-kickback rules. Instead, drugmakers would have been encouraged to pay rebates directly to patients at the pharmacy counter, with the idea of reducing out-of-pocket expense.
Actuary estimates, however, showed that for most the expected decrease in out-of-pocket costs may not offset a forecasted rise in premiums.
Attention now shifts to the administration's plans to link payments under Medicare Part B to drug prices in foreign countries.
That proposal, currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget, is loathed by the pharma industry, which has decried it as effectively importing "foreign price controls."
Last week, President Donald Trump said his administration was working on an executive order that would ensure what the U.S. pays for drugs is no higher than that paid by other nations. On Wednesday, he again referred to forthcoming action on drug prices.
"We have some very big moments coming up, I think, over the next week," Trump said in remarks given on his signing of an order related to kidney care.
Some analysts interpreted Trump's comments as referring or related to the proposed international price index.
A statement from HHS, emailed to BioPharma Dive, also made reference to exploration of drug importation, a long mooted but controversial idea.
"President Trump and Secretary [Alex] Azar are taking bold action to end foreign free riding, examine how to safely import lower-cost prescription drugs, empower patients with meaningful transparency, and the list goes on," a department spokesperson wrote.
Shares in most large drugmakers were trading down by mid-morning Thursday.
Executive Order on Lowering Prices for Patients by Eliminating Kickbacks to Middlemen | The White House
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 23:13
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Purpose. One of the reasons pharmaceutical drug prices in the United States are so high is because of the complex mix of payers and negotiators that often separates the consumer from the manufacturer in the drug-purchasing process. The result is that the prices patients see at the point-of-sale do not reflect the prices that the patient's insurance companies, and middlemen hired by the insurance companies, actually pay for drugs. Instead, these middlemen '-- health plan sponsors and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) '-- negotiate significant discounts off of the list prices, sometimes up to 50 percent of the cost of the drug. Medicare patients, whose cost sharing is typically based on list prices, pay more than they should for drugs while the middlemen collect large ''rebate'' checks. These rebates are the functional equivalent of kickbacks, and erode savings that could otherwise go to the Medicare patients taking those drugs. Yet currently, Federal regulations create a safe harbor for such discounts and preclude treating them as kickbacks under the law.
Fixing this problem could save Medicare patients billions of dollars. The Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services has found that patients in the catastrophic phase of the Medicare Part D program saw their out-of-pocket costs for high-price drugs increase by 47 percent from 2010 to 2015, from $175 per month to $257 per month. Narrowing the safe harbor for these discounts under the anti-kickback statute will allow tens of billions in dollars of rebates on prescription drugs in the Medicare Part D program to go directly to patients, saving many patients hundreds or thousands of dollars per year at the pharmacy counter.
Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the United States that discounts offered on prescription drugs should be passed on to patients.
Sec. 3. Directing Drug Rebates to Patients Instead of Middlemen. The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall complete the rulemaking process he commenced seeking to:
(a) exclude from safe harbor protections under the anti-kickback statute, section 1128B(b) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 1320a''7b, certain retrospective reductions in price that are not applied at the point-of-sale or other remuneration that drug manufacturers provide to health plan sponsors, pharmacies, or PBMs in operating the Medicare Part D program; and
(b) establish new safe harbors that would permit health plan sponsors, pharmacies, and PBMs to apply discounts at the patient's point-of-sale in order to lower the patient's out-of-pocket costs, and that would permit the use of certain bona fide PBM service fees.
Sec. 4. Protecting Low Premiums. Prior to taking action under section 3 of this order, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall confirm '-- and make public such confirmation '-- that the action is not projected to increase Federal spending, Medicare beneficiary premiums, or patients' total out-of-pocket costs.
Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
DONALD J. TRUMP
THE WHITE HOUSE,July 24, 2020.
Pharma Middlemen Have Targets On Their Backs
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 19:56
What's a great way for Amazon to prove it can make America's healthcare system better for consumers?
Cut the cost of a high priced generic drug by getting it out of the reimbursement structure dominated by middlemen called pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), according to Julie Grant, a partner at VC firm Canaan Partners and board member of the Biden Cancer Initiative.
''It's not going to happen tomorrow, but [Amazon] could basically make PBMs irrelevant,'' she said at CNBC's Healthy Returns conference. The drug business middlemen, which say they negotiate lower prices from drug companies and pass a portion of the savings along to insurers, are on her list of companies that could be threatened by Amazon getting into healthcare.
Medtronic's former CEO and chairman Bill George agrees. He thinks Express Scripts' recent move to sell itself to Cigna is one of weakness rather than strength, he said at the CNBC conference. ''We don't need all these layers in the system.''
$100 billion of the $500 billion spent on pharmaceuticals in the U.S. is ''wasted'' on the middleman, said Faisal Mushtaq, CEO of the company Truveris which helps employers choose a PBM to administer their employees' benefits. He thinks Amazon should ''break up the entire business of rebates'' that power PBMs, and get rid of the lists of medications called formularies that prescribe what drugs insurers will pay for.
''Fundamentally, Amazon is a company built around supply chain improvement,'' Mushtaq said. ''It makes the most sense for them to go in that direction.''
FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb took a couple shots at the drug middlemen earlier in the day, too, for stifling competition that could drive down drug prices. Sometimes PBMs and other parts of the drug supply chain act ''in cahoots'' with pharma to block generic drug companies from getting the doses of branded drugs that they need to prove their products are equivalent, Gottlieb said. ''We could affect that. There are things that we can do to try to make it easier for the generic companies to end that kind of gaming, and we've taken steps to do that.''
Gottlieb also namechecked PBMs when talking about what he thinks is the biggest impediment to biosimilar drugs--market access. He called the rebates PBMs get from pharma companies ''kickbacks'' that make them prefer patients get the more expensive branded drug, even when a cheaper biosimilar is available. ''I think the provider community is going to need to make a decision whether or not they are willing to move away from some of those structures.''
Moves like UnitedHealth Group's to pass the rebates they get back to consumers is ''a healthy development,'' Gottlieb said. ''Hopefully they're going to make policy decisions to try to address some of these incentives that have grown up, that are sort of perverse incentives, that are working against the interest, in my view, at times, of patients.''
CVS reportedly creating group purchasing organization for PBM business | Healthcare Dive
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 10:49
Dive Brief:Healthcare behemoth CVS Health is reportedly launching its own group purchasing organization, called Zinc, for its pharmacy benefit management business, according to a recent Nephron Research report in Drug Channels.Details around the GPO are vague, but it's reportedly similar to Ascent Health Services, a GPO launched by CVS rival PBM Express Scripts last year. Ascent does rebate negotiations for Cigna-owned Express Scripts, along with Kroger Prescription Plans, a PBM owned by the grocer, and Prime Therapeutics, a Blues- and Walgreens-affiliated PBM.CVS declined to comment for this story, but the goal of the GPO in the near-term may be to shift discounts to less transparent fee structures that are more difficult for its PBM customers to audit, allowing CVS to retain a greater share of rebate profits, according to the report.Dive Insight:PBMs, middlemen that purchase drugs in bulk from manufacturers to negotiate discounts for payers, employers and consumers, have faced criticism for jacking up prices, though they maintain their job is crucial to make pricey pharmaceuticals more affordable.
Creating an internal GPO could be a savvy move for CVS to streamline administrative costs while potentially expanding the reach of its PBM, Caremark, though it does raise concerns it could result in trickle down costs for consumers by having another intermediary in the already complex drug channel.
"While long term value generation is dependent on expanding the Pharmacy Services segment's reach, the near-term value proposition for CVS may be as simple as capturing its fair share of the GPO admin fees and other data or compliance related fees similar to what [Express Scripts] have been able to establish with Ascent," the note from Nephron Research, a healthcare investment researcher, reads.
"The key questions here are to what extent the purchasing entities are truly creating incremental value for manufacturers and customers ... and to what extent contracting entities are shifting discounts from the rebate profit pool 99% of which flows to clients to fee pools that may be retained by the PBM." researchers wrote.
PBMs have been attracting the ire of state and federal regulators in recent years over their practices, especially spread pricing, where a PBM reimburses pharmacies one price for a drug but charges the plan another, resulting in profits.
The Trump administration introduced then rolled back a sweeping rule that would have banned drugmaker rebates to PBMs in Medicare and Medicaid last year. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case earlier this year on whether states can regulate prescription drug reimbursement to curb the practice.
The prescription drug benefit sector has experienced rampant vertical consolidation over the past few years as major commercial payers look to bring the function in-house. UnitedHealth Group, the largest private payer in the country, owns the PBM OptumRx; CVS (which runs Caremark) acquired insurer Aetna in 2018; and Anthem is rolling out its own PBM, called IngenioRx.
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Sater champions effort to cut 'middlemen' in pharmaceutical industry
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 19:56
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. '-- Flanked by industry representatives, Sen. David Sater touted legislation aimed at providing greater transparency between the pharmaceutical industry and customers.
SB 971 , introduced by the Republican senator earlier this month, would rein in the role of what is known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). PBMs operate as a ''middleman'' between manufacturers, pharmacies, and insurance companies and have been known to engage in spread pricing '-- the practice of charging insurance holders a higher amount than a pharmacy to make a profit.
State Sen. David Sater, a pharmacist by trade, discusses his SB 971. (CAMERON GERBER/THE MISSOURI TIMES) This practice has led to increasing drug prices as they hold rebates back from consumers as well, opponents say.
''PBM profit-driving practices block pharmacists across the state from delivering certain medications and result in exorbitant prices for others,'' Ron Fitzwater, the CEO of the Missouri Pharmacy Association who led Tuesday's press conference, said.
Fitzwater continued to explain: ''PBMs are not licensed in the state of Missouri. They are the only piece of the drug supply chain that is not meticulously licensed and watched by the state of Missouri, so there's language in the bill that would require that they become licensed by the state.''
Sater, a pharmacist by trade, further acknowledged the unregulated impact that PBMs have on drug costs in Missouri.
''For far too long PBMs have gone unnoticed and quietly became a contributor to the rising cost of prescription drugs that are burdening patients across Missouri,'' he said. ''This bill will balance the scales on behalf of Missouri consumers, resulting in better outcomes and lower costs.''
Sater also contended that PBMs can redirect patients to other pharmacies, limiting choice and hurting independent pharmacies.
''In my district we had one pharmacy that was reliant on a particular poultry industry for most of its business,'' he said. ''It's not there anymore because the PBM directed the employees to have to go 20 miles away to get their prescriptions filled.''
''PBM profit-driving practices block pharmacists across the state from delivering certain medications and result in exorbitant prices for others,'' Ron Fitzwater, the CEO of the Missouri Pharmacy Association, said. (CAMERON GERBER/THE MISSOURI TIMES) Also present at Tuesday's event was Erica Crane, a pharmacist with MU, who testified about her experiences with these problems from behind the counter.
''It pains me to witness, firsthand, the harmful effects that PBMs have on patients across our state. No one should have to pinch pennies to pay for their prescription drugs,'' Crane said.
Loretta Boesing, founder of the pharmaceutical reform group Unite for Safe Medications and a parent who has dealt with the effects of PBMs herself, also participated in the conference. She shared her story of dealing with her son's health issues while struggling under a PBM's business practices. She recounted having critical medication mailed to her that was not refrigerated properly by the company, risking her son's well being.
Similar legislation is being seen in various states across the country. Virginia legislators are debating a similar bill, while Alabama, Arkansas, and several other states have passed new PBM regulations in the last few years.
Cameron Gerber studied journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, he earned an associate's degree from State Fair Community College. Cameron is a native of Eldon, Missouri.
Contact Cameron at cameron@themissouritimes.com.
Pharmacy benefit management - Wikipedia
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 19:57
In the United States, a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) is a third-party administrator of prescription drug programs for commercial health plans, self-insured employer plans, Medicare Part D plans, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and state government employee plans.[1][2] According to the American Pharmacists Association, "PBMs are primarily responsible for developing and maintaining the formulary, contracting with pharmacies, negotiating discounts and rebates with drug manufacturers, and processing and paying prescription drug claims."[3][4] PBMs operate inside of integrated healthcare systems (e.g., Kaiser Permanente or Veterans Health Administration), as part of retail pharmacies (e.g., CVS Pharmacy or Rite-Aid), and as part of insurance companies (e.g., UnitedHealth Group).[1][4]
As of 2016, PBMs managed pharmacy benefits for 266 million Americans. In 2017, the largest PBMs had higher revenue than the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers, indicating their increasingly large role in healthcare in the United States.[5] However, in 2016 there were fewer than 30 major PBM companies in this category in the US,[1] and three major PBMs (Express Scripts, CVS Health, and OptumRx of UnitedHealth Group) comprise 78% of the market and cover 180 million enrollees.[1][6]
Business model Edit In the United States, health insurance providers often hire an outside company to handle price negotiations, insurance claims, and distribution of prescription drugs. Providers which use such pharmacy benefit managers include commercial health plans, self-insured employer plans, Medicare Part D plans, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and state government employee plans.[1] PBMs are designed to aggregate the collective buying power of enrollees through their client health plans, enabling plan sponsors and individuals to obtain lower prices for their prescription drugs. PBMs negotiate price discounts from retail pharmacies, rebates from pharmaceutical manufacturers, and mail-service pharmacies which home-deliver prescriptions without consulting face-to-face with a pharmacist.[7]
Pharmacy benefit management companies can make revenue in several ways. First, they collect administrative and service fees from the original insurance plan. They can also collect rebates from the manufacturer. Traditional PBMs do not disclose the negotiated net price of the prescription drugs, allowing them to resell drugs at a public list price (also known as a sticker price) which is higher than the net price they negotiate with the manufacturer.[8] This practice is known as "spread pricing".[9] Savings are generally considered trade secrets.[10] Pharmacies and insurance companies are often prohibited by the PBM from discussing costs and reimbursements. This leads to lack of transparency.
The formulary Edit PBMs advise their clients on ways to "structure drug benefits" and offer complex selections at a variety of price rates from which clients choose. This happens by constructing a "formulary" or list of specific drugs that will be covered by the healthcare plan. The formulary is usually divided into several "tiers" of preference, with low tiers being assigned a higher copay to incentivize consumers to buy drugs on a preferred tier. Drugs which do not appear on the formulary at all mean consumers must pay the full list price. To get drugs listed on the formulary, manufacturers are usually required to pay the PBM a manufacturer's rebate, which lowers the net price of the drug, while keeping the list price the same.[11] Pharmaceutical manufacturers say that in order to cover the cost of these rebates, they are forced to raise the price of drugs. For example, the president of Eli Lilly and Company claims the cost of discounts and rebates accounts for 75% of the list price of insulin. PBMs such as Express Scripts claim rebates are a response to rising list prices, and are not the cause of them.[12]
The complex pricing structure of the formulary can have unexpected consequences. When filing an insurance claim, patients usually are charged an insurance copayment which is based on the public list price, and not the confidential net price. Around a quarter of the time, the cost of the insurance copayment on the list price is more than the entire price of the drug bought directly in cash. The PBM can then pocket the difference, in a practice known as a "clawback".[13] Consumers can choose to buy the drug in cash, but in their contracts with pharmacies, PBMs would forbid pharmacists from telling consumers about the possibility of buying their medication for a cheaper price without an insurance claim, unless consumers directly ask about it.[14] Since 2017, six states have passed legislation making such "gag clauses" illegal.[15] This has recently been followed by a federal bans on gag orders[16] for private insurance effective Oct 2018,[17] and for Medicare taking effect on Jan 1, 2020.[18]
Net effect on consumers Edit Overall, the PBM industry claims to provide significant cost savings for end users. For example, in 2015, CVS Caremark said that it reduced its plan members' prescription drug spending to 5%, down from 11.8% in 2014.[19] However, such conclusions can be controversial. A 2013 investigation of PBM marketing from Fortune Magazine showed: Drug pricing is difficult to untangle and customers have no way of knowing how much they are saving.[20]
History Edit In 1968, the first PBM was founded when Pharmaceutical Card System Inc. (PCS, later AdvancePCS) invented the plastic benefit card.[1] By the "1970s, [they] serve[d] as fiscal intermediaries by adjudicating prescription drug claims by paper and then, in the 1980s, electronically".[21]: 34
By the late 1980s, PBMs had become a major force "as health care and prescription costs were escalating".[22] Diversified Pharmaceutical Services was one of the earliest examples of a PBM which came from within a national health maintenance organization United HealthCare (now United HealthGroup).[23]: 304 [24] After SmithKline Beecham acquired DBS in 1994, Diversified played a pivotal role in its Healthcare Service division and by 1999 UnitedHealth Group accounted for 44% of Diversified Pharmaceutical Services's total membership.[24] Express Scripts acquired Diversified in April 1999 and consolidated itself as a leading PBM for managed care organizations.[24]
In August 2002, the Wall Street Journal wrote that while PBMs had "steered doctors to cheaper drugs, especially low-cost generic copies of branded drugs from big pharmaceutical companies" from 1992 through 2002, they had "quietly moved" into marketing expensive brand name drugs.[25]
In 2007, when CVS acquired Caremark,[1] the function of PBMs changed "from simply processing prescription transactions to managing the pharmacy benefit for health plans",[21]: 34 negotiating "drug discounts with pharmaceutical manufacturers",[21]: 34 and providing "drug utilization reviews and disease management".[21]: 34 PBMs also created a formulary to encourage or even require "health plan participants to use preferred formulary products to treat their conditions".[21]: 34 In 2012, Express Scripts and CVS Caremark transitioned from using tiered formularies, to those that excluded drugs from their formulary.[1][26]
Market and competition Edit As of 2004, the Federal Trade Commission found PBMs operated in a marketplace with "vigorous competition".[27] And as of 2013, in the United States, a majority of the large managed prescription drug benefit expenditures were conducted by about 60 PBMs.[28] Few PBMs are independently owned and operated. PBM's operate inside of integrated healthcare systems (e.g., Kaiser Permanente or Veterans Health Administration), as part of retail pharmacies, major chain drug stores (e.g., CVS Pharmacy or Rite-Aid), and as subsidiaries of managed care plans or insurance companies (e.g., UnitedHealth Group).[1][4] However, in 2016 fewer than 30 major PBM companies were in this category in the US,[1] and only three major PBMs (Express Scripts, CVS Health, and OptumRx of UnitedHealth Group) comprised 78% of the market, covering 180 million enrollees.[1][6]
In 2015, the three largest public PBMs were Express Scripts, CVS Health (formerly CVS Caremark) and United Health/OptumRx/Catamaran.[29][30][31]
Express Scripts Edit In 2012 Express Scripts acquired rival Medco Health Solutions for $29.1 billion and became "a powerhouse in managing prescription drug benefits".[32] As of 2015, Express Scripts Holding Company was the largest pharmacy benefit management organization in the United States.[33] with 2013 revenues of $104.62 billion.[34]
In October 2015 Express Scripts began reviewing pharmacy programs run by AbbVie Inc and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd regarding the potential use of tactics that "can allow drugmakers to work around reimbursement restrictions" from Express Scripts and other insurers. These reviews resulted from investigations into "questionable practices" at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc's partner pharmacy, Philidor Rx Services.[33]
CVS Health Edit In 1994, CVS launched PharmaCare, a pharmacy benefit management company providing a wide range of services to employers, managed care organizations, insurance companies, unions and government agencies. By 2002 CVS' specialty pharmacy ProCare, the "largest integrated retail/mail provider of specialty pharmacy services" in the United States,[36]: 10 was consolidated with their pharmacy benefit management company, PharmaCare.[36][37]: 4 Caremark Rx was founded as a unit of Baxter International and in 1992 spun off from Baxter as a publicly traded company. In March 2007, CVS Corporation acquired Caremark to create CVS Caremark, later re-branded as CVS Health.
In 2011 Caremark Rx was the nation's second-largest PBM. Caremark Rx was subject to a class action lawsuit in Tennessee, which alleged that Caremark kept discounts from drug manufacturers instead of sharing them with member benefit plans, secretly negotiated rebates for drugs and kept the money, and provided plan members with more expensive drugs when less expensive alternatives were available. CVS Caremark paid $20 million to three states over fraud allegations.[39]
UnitedHealth Group Edit OptumRx, one of the Optum businesses of UnitedHealth Group Inc, has been a leading PBM.[40] In March 2015 UnitedHealth Group acquired Catamaran Corporation for about $12.8 billion to extend this PBM business.[41][42]
Advocacy and lobbying Edit Many Pharmacy benefit managers are represented by the trade association the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.
Biosimilars Edit PBMs have been strong proponents in the creation of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration pathway to approve biosimilar versions of expensive specialty drugs which treat conditions like Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.[43] PBM's support so-called biosimilar legislation which does not grant brand name drug manufacturers monopoly pricing power.[44] In 2015 the Federal Trade Commission found that patents for biologic products already provide enough incentives for innovation and that additional periods of exclusivity would "not spur the creation of a new biologic drug or indication" and "imperils" the benefits of the approval process.[45]
Controversies and litigation Edit In 1998, PBMs were under investigation by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Sheehan of the federal Justice Department and their effectiveness in reducing prescription costs and saving clients money, were questioned.[22]
In 2004, litigation added to the uncertainty about PBM practices.[39][46] In 2015, there were seven lawsuits against PBMs involving fraud, deception, or antitrust claims.[1][6]
State legislatures have been using "transparency", "fiduciary", and "disclosure" provisions to improve the business practices of PBMs.[46] In 2011, the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy formed a new division of the Pharmacy Benefit Managers, with a mandate to license and regulate PBMs.[47]
A 2013 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services study found negotiated prices at mail order pharmacy to be up to 83% higher than the negotiated prices at community pharmacies.[48]
A 2014 ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) hearing noted that vertically integrated PBMs may pose conflicts of interest, and that PBMs' health plan sponsors "face considerable obstacles in...determin[ing] compliance with PBM contracts including direct and indirect PBM compensation contract terms".[49]
In 2017, the Los Angeles times wrote that PBMs cause an inflation in drug costs, especially within the area of diabetes drugs.[50]
United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar stated regarding PBMs, "Everybody wins when list prices rise, except for the patient. It's rather a startling and perverse system that has evolved over time."[51]
On January 31, 2019, Health and Human Services released a proposed rule to remove Anti-kickback Statute, safe harbor protections for PBMs and other plan sponsors, that previously allowed PBMs to seek rebates from drug manufacturers.[52]
Ron Wyden said in April 2019 that they were as ''clear a middleman rip-off as you are going to find'', because they make more money when they pick a higher priced drug over a lower priced drug.[53]
See also Edit Online pharmacyPreferred pharmacy networkReferences Edit ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Feldman, Brian S. "Big pharmacies are dismantling the industry that keeps US drug costs even sort-of under control". Quartz . Retrieved March 29, 2016 . ^ Gryta, Thomas. "What is a 'Pharmacy Benefit Manager? ' ". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660 . Retrieved March 29, 2016 . ^ "Pharmacy Benefit Management" (PDF) . American Pharmacists Association. July 9, 2009 . Retrieved November 4, 2015 . ^ a b c Danzon, Patricia (June 29, 2014). "2014 ERISA Advisory Council: PBM Compensation and Fee Disclosure" (PDF) . Retrieved March 29, 2016 . ^ Schulman, Kevin A.; Richman, Barak D. (2018). "The Evolving Pharmaceutical Benefits Market". JAMA. 319 (22): 2269. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.4269. ISSN 0098-7484. ^ a b c Balto, David A. (November 17, 2015). "The State of Competition in the Pharmacy Benefits Manager and Pharmacy Marketplaces" (PDF) . House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law . Retrieved March 29, 2016 . ^ "Pharmaceutical Care Management Association". www.spcma.org . Retrieved March 29, 2016 . ^ "The Prescription Drug Landscape, ExploredA look at retail pharmaceutical spending from 2012 to 2016". Pew Charitable Trusts. March 8, 2019 . Retrieved April 12, 2019 . ^ Jack Torry (April 9, 2019). "Bipartisan leaders of Senate panel call for federal probe of PBMs' pricing methods". The Columbus Dispatch . Retrieved April 9, 2019 . ^ Sarpatwari A, Avorn J, Kesselheim AS. An Incomplete Prescription.President Trump's Plan to Address High Drug Prices. JAMA. 2018;319(23):2373''2374. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7424 ^ Laura Entis (April 9, 2019). "Why Does Medicine Cost So Much? Here's How Drug Prices Are Set". Time . Retrieved April 12, 2019 . ^ Rachel Bluth (Kaiser Health News) (April 11, 2019). "The Blame Game: Everyone and no one is raising insulin prices". NM political Report . Retrieved April 13, 2019 . ^ Megan Thompson (August 19, 2018). "Why a patient paid a $285 copay for a $40 drug". PBS Newshour . Retrieved April 12, 2019 . ^ Susan Jaffe (May 29, 2018). "To Lower Your Medicare Drug Costs, Ask Your Pharmacist For The Cash Price". NPR . Retrieved April 12, 2019 . ^ Richard Cauchi (March 14, 2018). "Prohibiting PBM "Gag Clauses" that Restrict Pharmacists from Disclosing Price Options Recent State Legislation 2017-2018" (PDF) . National Conference of State Legislatures. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 21, 2018. ^ Maegan Vazquez (October 10, 2018). "Trump signs bills aimed at increasing drug price transparency". CNN . Retrieved April 13, 2019 . ^ Pub.L. 115''263 ^ Pub.L. 115''262 ^ Health, CVS. "CVS Health Reports Dramatic Drop in Prescription Drug Trend to 5 Percent, Despite Rising Drug Prices". www.prnewswire.com . Retrieved March 29, 2016 . ^ Eban, Katherine (October 28, 2013). "Painful Prescription" (PDF) . Fortune Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 7, 2018 . Retrieved January 28, 2018 . ^ a b c d e Allison Dabbs Garrett; Robert Garis (2007). "Leveling the Playing Field in the Pharmacy Benefit Management Industry". Valparaiso University Law Review. 42 (1): 33''80 . Retrieved October 31, 2015 . ^ a b Brierton, Janet (December 24, 2003). "Pharmacy Benefit Managers". Hartford, CT: Connecticut General Assembly . Retrieved December 27, 2015 . ^ Peter Reid Kongstved (1995). Essentials of Managed Health Care. Barnes & Noble. 1. ^ a b c "Express Scripts to Acquire Diversified Pharmaceutical Services", PRNewswire, St. Louis, February 9, 1999, archived from the original on January 27, 2018 , retrieved October 31, 2015 ^ Martinez, Barbara (August 14, 2002). "Pharmacy-Benefit Managers at Times Toil for Drug Firms". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved December 27, 2015 . ^ "Drug Channels: Here Come the 2016 PBM Formulary Exclusion Lists!". www.drugchannels.net . Retrieved March 29, 2016 . ^ US Federal Trade Commission & US Department of Justice Antitrust Division, "Improving Health Care: A Dose of Competition," July 2004 ^ Shepherd, Joanna (July 2013). "Is More Information Always Better? Mandatory Disclosure Regulations in the Prescription Drug Market". Cornell Law Review Online. 99. SSRN 2234212 . ^ "OptumRx". OptumRx . Retrieved June 20, 2018 . ^ Catamaran. "Catamaran Shareholders Approve Acquisition by UnitedHealth Group". www.prnewswire.com. ^ "Pharmacy-Benefit Managers '' The Short Answer". March 30, 2015. ^ Sierra, Michelle (July 22, 2011). "Express Scripts takes $14 billion bridge loan". Reuters . Retrieved October 31, 2015 . ^ a b Beasley, Deena (October 30, 2015). "Exclusive: Beyond Valeant, U.S. payers scrutinize other drugmaker ties to pharmacies". Los Angeles: Reuters . Retrieved November 1, 2015 . ^ "Express Scripts Holding Company FORM 10-K". 2013 . Retrieved October 31, 2015 . ^ a b "CVS Annual Report" (PDF) . CVS. 2001 . Retrieved October 17, 2015 . ^ "Overview of the Specialty Drug Trend" (PDF) . IMS Health. 2014. p. 11 . Retrieved October 5, 2015 . ^ a b Pfeifer, Stuart (December 16, 2011). "Money & Company". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved January 17, 2014 . ^ New Optum Product Helps Companies Better Manage Pharmacy Costs, Irvine, California, October 18, 2012, archived from the original on June 20, 2018 , retrieved October 31, 2015 ^ Trefis Team (April 1, 2015). "What The UnitedHealth-Catamaran Deal Means For Walgreens". Forbes . Retrieved October 31, 2015 . ^ "The Short Answer: Pharmacy-Benefit Managers". The Wall Street Journal. March 30, 2015 . Retrieved October 31, 2015 . ^ Schouten, F. (July 29, 2009), "Lobbyists battle over drug sales", USA Today , retrieved October 31, 2015 ^ "Our view on generic medications: Drugmakers seek excessive monopolies on 'biologics ' ", USA Today, August 12, 2009 , retrieved October 31, 2015 ^ "Follow-on Biologic Drug Competition", Federal Trade Commission, June 2009 , retrieved October 31, 2015 ^ a b Stan Finkelstein; Peter Temin (2008). Reasonable Rx: Solving the Drug Price Crisis . FT Press. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-132344494. ^ "Newsletter" (PDF) , Mississippi Board of Pharmacy, Madison, MS, April 2012 , retrieved October 31, 2015 ^ "Article" (PDF) . www.cms.gov. ^ "PBM Compensation and Fee Disclosure". www.dol.gov . Retrieved March 29, 2016 . ^ Hiltzik, Michael. "How 'price-cutting' middlemen are making crucial drugs vastly more expensive". latimes.com. ^ "Do prescription drug middlemen help keep prices high?". PBS NewsHour. August 11, 2018 . Retrieved August 12, 2018 . ^ "Public Inspection: Fraud and Abuse: Removal of Safe Harbor Protection for Rebates Involving Prescription Pharmaceuticals and Creation of New Safe Harbor Protection for Certain Point-of-Sale Reductions in Price on Prescription Pharmaceuticals and Certain Pharmacy Benefit Manager Service Fees". Federal Register . Retrieved January 31, 2019 . ^ "Pharmacy benefit managers face bipartisan criticism". Financial Times. April 9, 2019 . Retrieved June 4, 2019 . External links Edit Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute list of PBM companies
How Trump and the Democrats parted ways on lowering drug prices - POLITICO
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 20:02
So what exactly would this legislation do?The centerpiece of the House Democrats' bill would require the government to negotiate the cost of up to 250 brand-name drugs that don't have competition and cost the U.S. health care system the most money. Insulin for diabetes would have to be included. The maximum price negotiated would be capped: It couldn't be more than 120 percent of the average price charged in other industrialized countries that typically pay less than the United States. Drug companies would either play ball or face an excise tax starting at 65 percent and rising to 95 percent. Private insurance plans could also use the negotiated prices.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this part of the bill would save $456 billion over a 10-year period. It's projected to cost drug companies at least $500 billion in revenue, which CBO predicts would cut research funding and result in about eight fewer new drugs coming to market in the first 10 years the law was in effect, and 30 fewer drugs in the following decade.
The legislation also tries to restrain companies' abilities to launch new drugs at astronomical prices by allowing the government to negotiate the cost of any medicines that come to market at list prices higher than the U.S. median household income. The plan would also cap seniors' annual out-of-pocket spending for outpatient prescription drugs at $2,000.
How does the bill overlap with the president's drug pricing agenda?Trump has dropped his promise to allow Medicare to negotiate the cost of drugs, but Pelosi's bill borrows from some other parts of his drug pricing agenda, including tying the cost of medicines to cheaper prices in other developed countries. The White House also supports establishing an out-of-pocket cap for seniors, and then when seniors hit the catastrophic part of the drug benefit, shifting more of the burden from the government to health insurers. The administration has also called for establishing an inflation-based limit on reimbursement for physician-administered drugs, just like Pelosi's bill would do.
Pelosi's bill also calls for inflation-based penalties on drugs purchased at the pharmacy counter. The White House hasn't been a huge proponent of this idea, which is vehemently opposed by many Republicans in Congress, but Trump reluctantly signed on to the policy by supporting the Senate Finance Committee's drug pricing package championed by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon.
How did the Democrats lose Trump as a potential partner? For months, the White House and Pelosi's office indicated they were in active discussions on her bill. In October, the White House changed its tune and launched a full-scale attack.
Impeachment proceedings haven't helped in getting Trump and Pelosi together on a drug pricing deal. But it's not clear they would have agreed in the long run, anyway: Trump's senior health advisers, including HHS Secretary Alex Azar and domestic policy adviser Joe Grogan, oppose direct government negotiation of drug prices.
The White House framed its increasing opposition to the Pelosi bill as a practical matter: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said her plan is dead on arrival in the Senate. So the White House is playing up the Grassley-Wyden bill, which has a higher likelihood of getting to Trump's desk '-- though most Republican senators also oppose that legislation.
How did Pelosi keep various Democratic factions on board?She carefully crafted legislation that could appeal to diverse wings of her caucus.
Moderate Democrats pushed for a bill that could become law and wasn't just a messaging document. Progressives argued that since no Pelosi bill would get the time of day from McConnell, the party should go bold.
The Pelosi bill attempts to appease both camps by focusing on government price negotiations for the highest-cost, highest-use drugs that enjoy patent-protected monopolies. Unlike previous Democratic attempts at drug price negotiations, it contains hefty sticks to guarantee the government gets prices down for those drugs. But it would allow the status quo to prevail for most medicines, letting the private market continue to dictate their prices.
Progressive Democrats appeared to have the upper hand over moderates as the bill went through its final iterations. By threatening to block the bill from getting a vote if Pelosi didn't make last-minute changes, progressives won two big last-minute concessions, expanding the scope of the legislation.
What's next?Expected House passage of the legislation Thursday will largely work as a messaging bill that helps shape the Democrats' 2020 campaign platform, but elements that align with the bipartisan Grassley-Wyden package could catch a ride on must-pass end-of-year bills.
But Pelosi is unlikely to want to give Trump a victory on health care without achieving something big in return.
CLARIFICATION: This report has been updated to reflect the CBO's latest assessment of H.R. 3. The bill would save $456 billion over a decade.
FreedomWorks Foundation Statement in Response to the Trump Administration's Executive Order on Prescription Drug Pricing | FreedomWorks
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 11:17
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to an executive order issued by President Trump ordering price controls to be placed on prescription drugs in America, Adam Brandon, FreedomWorks President commented:
''We are immensely disappointed that the administration has decided to tout price controls as an answer to America's rising prescription drug prices. Tying prices in the United States to those of nations which have implemented socialist price restrictions will only ensure that America inherits the wait times and shortages seen in those countries.
''In particular, the most favored nation provision would ensure that America becomes one of the least attractive places on earth to invest in pharmaceutical research and development. This will have profound consequences that will reverberate through the entire economy.
''We are encouraged that the administration has decided to delay implementation of this order for one month. We hope they will come to a better conclusion in that timeframe. We look forward to our activists making their voices heard on this issue and hope the administration will ultimately reconsider.''
Models and Data
Survival potential will determine whether South Texas county hospital takes in COVID-19 patients
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 12:16
'We cannot continue functioning the way things are going. The numbers are staggering,'
by: Sandra Sanchez
Posted:
Jul 21, 2020 / 04:35 PM GMT-0600 / Updated:
Jul 23, 2020 / 02:30 PM GMT-0600McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) '-- In a stunning admission of how dire the COVID-19 situation is in South Texas, the health authority for one border county on Tuesday announced the formation of an ethics committee that will screen all patients for survival potential and will send home those with low probabilities.
Starr County Health Authority Dr. Jose Vazquez said Starr County Memorial Hospital, the county's only hospital, on Tuesday implemented an ethics committee and a triage committee to review all coronavirus patients as they come in to determine what type of life-saving equipment and treatment they would likely require and whether they would likely survive. Those deemed too fragile or sick or elderly will be advised to go home to loved ones, he said.
Starr County Health Authority Dr. Jose Vazquez speaks via a video conference call with media on Tuesday.''There is nowhere to put these patients. The whole state of Texas and neighboring states have no ICU beds to spare for us,'' Vazquez said Tuesday afternoon during a video conference call with media.
''We are going to have these committees reviewing each case,'' Vazquez said. ''End-of-life decisions and hospice decisions and comfort-care situation for all those patients who most certainly do not have any hope of improving we believe they will be better taken care in the love of their own family and home rather than thousands of miles away dying alone.''
Vazquez said the rural county of 61,000 residents has been slammed with cases after Gov. Greg Abbott reopened the state in phases beginning on May 1. The county has had 1,573 cases and 16 deaths with 27 fatality cases pending.
Starr County Judge Eloy Vera blames residents for continuing to gather in groups for weddings, quincea±eras, and pachanga parties where he said communal spread of the novel virus is being propagated. He said physicians are having to make these end-of-life decisions because residents are not making good decisions.
''It is important that we all know the situation that we're facing in the county, not only the community but the hospital is overwhelmed right now,'' Vera said. ''Our backs are to the wall.''
''We are not gods or anybody to make a decision for who should live or who should die. However, when you have a mass-casualty situation there are guidelines that makes you work in a more efficient manner and to help save the maximum number of people,'' said Vazquez, who added in his entire career as a physician he has never experienced such a desperate mass medical situation.
Starr County has an eight-bed COVID-19 unit at its hospital, but currently there are 28 patients with three on ventilators and life support, including one in the emergency room. Vazquez said physicians will be using a mass-casualty treatment plan devised by physicians in North Texas to determine who gets treatment and who does not.
''The number of cases we see in the ER are growing every day; 50% of cases in the ER are COVID. The situation is desperate. We cannot continue functioning at Starr County Memorial Hospital the way things are going. The numbers are staggering,'' Vazquez said.
Vera said he will likely issue shelter-at-home orders later this week, probably by Thursday, similar to orders that took effect this week in neighboring Hidalgo County. The orders are not legally binding since the governor's reopening orders supersede local authority, but Vera said he hopes residents will voluntarily comply.
Vera said a mobile refrigerated truck has been loaned to Hidalgo County to help store bodies with the agreement that Starr County can use it if necessary. Also two Navy doctors with intensive care training have come to help. But Vera said daily patients are being airlifted to hospitals in other cities in Texas and other states.
''There's more danger now than we've ever had,'' Vera said.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at Ssanchez@borderreport.com.
Visit the BorderReport.com homepage for the latest exclusive stories and breaking news about issues along the United States-Mexico border.
Germany braces for a second wave amid rising infections
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 13:21
German health authorities have warned that the infection rate has risen to around 800 per day from 500 earlier. The state premier of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer thinks the "second wave is already here."
A senior German state politician on Saturday warned that "the second coronavirus wave is already here."
Michael Kretschmer, premier of the eastern German state of Saxony, told Saturday's edition of the Rheinische Post newspaper: "It is already taking place every day. We have new clusters of infection every day which could become very high numbers."
The politician from the center-right CDU party said that Germany's federal system, which devolves health decisions to the 16 states, has allowed the country to respond effectively to the situation.
"Coronavirus is the best proof that this country has grown together," he added.
Read more: German airports will offer free COVID-19 tests to returning holidaymakers
Uptick in daily casesKretschmer's comments come a day after the government's infectious disease institute, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) noted a significant rise in daily new infections, from around 500 to over 800 at one point last week.
"This development is very worrying and will continue to be monitored very closely by the RKI," a spokeswoman told DPA news agency on Friday evening.
"A further exacerbation of the situation must be avoided," she added.
Germany's health authorities reported 781 new infections in the 24 hours to midnight Friday, according to RKI. On Thursday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases was 815.
Read more: Germany's coronavirus tracing app criticized over warning failures
Overall, at least 204,964 people in Germany have caught coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, the RKI said on Saturday morning. At least 9,118 people have died of the virus, with seven coronavirus-related deaths on Friday.
The latest reproduction rate, which measures the disease's ability to spread, was 1.08, up from 0.93 on Thursday, meaning that on average an infected person passes the virus to roughly one other person.
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 1: Let's hit the road!Today our trip through Germany begins '-- we'll be traveling from the Baltic Sea to the Alps! Camping holidays are extremely popular this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, it was not easy to book a camper van, but we finally managed to get one in Leipzig. Today we'll take the train from Berlin to the pick-up station. The camper van will be our mobile holiday home for two weeks.
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 2: Hello R¼gen! Our first stop is the Baltic Sea island of R¼gen. We arrived late at 10.15 pm. Initially we went to the wrong camp site but didn't realize our mistake until the next morning as we'd parked our camper in front of the closed gates and slept there! Now, we've found the right camp site and can explore the island. We are delighted that our adventure has begun and look forward to sharing it with you.
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 3: All aboard!The early bird catches the... BOAT! Today we got up early for a boat tour of R¼gen's coastline. It took us to the famous chalk cliffs and the northern edge of the island to Cape Arkona. The cliffs reach up as far as 160 meters (525 ft.) into the sky. Unfortunately it started to rain and our planned wind surfing lesson was canceled. Something to be prepared for as part of a German holiday: rain!
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 4: High above the treesToday was our last day on R¼gen island and it again started with a lot of rain. But that didn't dampen our exploration of the island. After a quick coffee and some breakfast, we headed to the treetop walk in Prora that led us to a gigantic tower, where the view was phenomenal '-- even in the rain. In the afternoon we got back into our camper van to head to Berlin '-- our next stop on our road trip.
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 5: Berlin by kayakAfter fixing the water pump that was giving us some grief during the night, we drove into the city. At Treptower Park we met up with Check-in presenter Nicole for a paddle along the Spree. Now we're tired and our arms are hurting but it was great!
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 6: A visit to the Mauerpark in BerlinAs it was Sunday we decided to head over to the Mauerpark, where the largest flea market of Berlin takes place. Back in the days, the Berlin wall crossed through the park. Nowadays, it's a place where people come together to sing, dance, eat and buy things. There were a lot of people visiting the market and the surrounding park '' some social distanced and even wore a mask, others didn't.
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 7: Chilling in BerlinWe have already experienced so much! That's why we have taken a day off today - with breakfast in a caf(C). But we are already thinking about our next destination: Saxony Switzerland. This extreme rocky landscape near Dresden is unique. So after the metropolitan air, we're off to the countryside again. We're very curious about what we'll find.
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 8: Hiking in Saxon SwitzerlandOur camp site lies right next to the river Elbe, meaning we enjoy a gorgeous view every time we step out of our van. Hills rise up on both sides of the river, and to our left the K¶nigstein castle towers over the entire valley. During our hours-long hike through the countryside we got a bit lost, but it didn't matter: Everywhere we went the nature was spectacular!
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 9: Rock climbingThis morning we headed over to the Pillars of Hercules, an array of large sandstone rocks which belong to the Saxon Switzerland National Park. Our challenge for today? Climb the rocks - despite both suffering from fear of heights. But thankfully, our guide Bernd was encouraging. We ended up climbing up two rocks. Getting to the top and seeing the view over the sandstones was truly breathtaking!
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 10: Sightseeing in BambergUnfortunately, the weather was bad again but we did a nice tour around Bamberg. Its historical town center is a UNESCO World Heritage site: the title is well-earned! Half-timbered houses and imposing buildings make the Franconian city unforgettable. We went to Bamberg Cathedral, to the Town Hall (pictured) and strolled through the historical alleys.
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 11: No campsite but hotelWe arrived in Munich late last night. A bad smell welcomed us upon arrival and there were barely any lights to guide us through the caravan jungle. The sanitary facilities were dirty and dotted with slugs and insects. The next morning we tried to find another campsite but weren't lucky: all booked out. We are now in a hotel. After the bad start our sightseeing tour in Munich can finally begin!
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 12: A fantastic day in MunichWe wandered to the English Garden where we stared in awe at the surfers riding the famous Eisbach wave. We also listened to the chiming of the New Town Hall bells at Marienplatz square and watched the small figures in the facade twirling around. Something that really struck us was that most tourists were German. It's strange to see an absence of foreigners in one of Germany's most visited cities.
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 13: Windsurfing at Lake StarnbergToday we went windsurfing at Lake Starnberg. By the end of the day, we weren't just able to stand safely on our boards but we were whizzing around, making curves and occasionally picking up some speed. It was great fun! In the evening, we head further south. Only 20 minutes into our drive we started seeing the Alps rising up on the horizon. We stopped a few times to admire the view. Fantastic!
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 14: Fairytale castle to end our road tripToday we visited one of Germany's most popular tourist attractions - Neuschwanstein Castle. We hiked up the hill for about half an hour and then stood in line to get to the Marien Bridge where the view is just spectacular. On the bridge, larger groups are not allowed, because it is too narrow for social distancing. Moreover, all visitors have to wear face masks. Nevertheless, it was all worth it!
COVID-19 Travel Diaries: A road trip through Germany Day 15: Bye ByeToday our road trip through Germany unfortunately came to an end. The day was quite exhausting, because we had a long drive back from the Allg¤u to Leipzig, where we returned our camper and took a train to Berlin. Now we are quite tired and will probably sleep the rest of the day. It was a great trip with many impressions!
Author: Emily Gordine, Olivera Zivkovic
The German government has repeatedly emphasized that the reproduction rate must remain below 1 for the outbreak to gradually subside.
The latest seven-day R-value, which is less subject to daily fluctuations, was recorded at 1.16, up from 1.05.
Germany's coronavirus recovery rate is also one of the best in the world; an estimated 189,800 people had recovered from the virus by Saturday morning.
Read more: First cruise ship sets sail from German harbor since coronavirus lockdown
Returning travelers, large celebrationsMore than 60% of the new cases are due to an uptick in infections in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia and in the south-western state of Baden-W¼rttemberg, according to RKI.
Health officials say that new COVID-19 clusters have been traced to larger celebrations, leisure activities and places of work, or from visits to community and health facilities. The increasing number of cases is also being traced to returning travelers.
COVIDView: A Weekly Surveillance Summary of U.S. COVID-19 Activity | CDC
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 13:33
All data are preliminary and may change as more reports are received.
A description of the surveillance systems summarized in COVIDView, including methodology and detailed descriptions of each data component, is available on the surveillance methods page.
There are increases in the percentage of specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and the percentage of visits for ILI and/or CLI in multiple parts of the country. Three HHS regions (Regions 4 [South East], 6 [South Central] and 9 [South West/Coast]) are reporting percentage of visits for CLI and/or percentage of specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 at higher levels than were seen in March/April, but these regions are starting to show evidence of declines in activity following the early July peak.Using combined data from the three laboratory types, the national percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 with a molecular assay decreased from week 28 (9.3%) to week 29 (8.6%).The highest percentages of specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 were seen in Regions 4 (South East, 13.9%), 6 (South Central, 15.7%) and 9 (South West/Coast, 9.7%).Increasing trends in the percentage of specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 were reported in four of ten HHS surveillance regions: Regions 2 (NY/NJ/Puerto Rico), 5 (Midwest), 7 (Central) and 8 (Mountain).The percentage of outpatient and ED visits for ILI are below baseline nationally and in all regions of the country; however, ILI activity is above what is typical for this time of year. The percentage of visits to EDs for CLI decreased nationally and in the 3 regions (Region 4 [South East], 6 [South Central] and 9 [South West/ Coast] that were previously reporting the highest levels of CLI activity. CLI remained stable in the remaining areas of the country.Systems monitoring ILI and CLI may be influenced by recent changes in health care seeking behavior, including increasing use of telemedicine, recommendations to limit emergency department (ED) visits to severe illnesses, and increased practice of social distancing.The overall cumulative COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate is 120.9 per 100,000; rates were highest in people 65 years of age and older (338.2 per 100,000) followed by people 50-64 years (182.3 per 100,000). Hospitalization rates are cumulative and will increase as the pandemic continues.From week 25 '' week 28 (weeks ending June 20 '' July 11), overall weekly hospitalization rates increased for three consecutive weeks.Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons have an age-adjusted hospitalization rate approximately 5.3 times that of non-Hispanic White persons. Rates for non-Hispanic Black persons and Hispanic or Latino persons are approximately 4.7 and 4.6 times the rate among non-Hispanic White persons, respectively.Over a period of time similar to the length of an influenza season, overall cumulative hospitalization rates for COVID-19 are higher than cumulative end-of-season hospitalization rates for influenza for each of the past 5 influenza seasons. However, for children (0-17 years), cumulative COVID-19 hospitalization rates are lower than cumulative influenza hospitalization rates during recent influenza seasons.Based on death certificate data, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 (PIC) increased from week 26 '' week 28 (weeks ending June 27 '' July 11) after declining for 11 weeks since mid-April. The percentage of deaths due to PIC for week 29 is 9.1%, lower than the percentage during week 28 (11.5%), but above the epidemic threshold. These percentages will likely change as more death certificates are processed.The number of specimens tested for SARS-CoV-2 using a molecular assay and reported to CDC by public health laboratories and a subset of clinical and commercial laboratories in the United States are summarized below. All laboratories are performing primary diagnostic functions; therefore, the percentage of specimens testing positive across laboratory types can be used to monitor overall trends in COVID-19 activity. As the outbreak progresses, it is possible that different types of laboratories will take on different roles, and the data interpretation may need to change.
Summary of Laboratory Testing Results Reported to CDCSummary of Laboratory Testing Results Reported to CDC*Week 29(July 12 '' July 18, 2020)Cumulative since March 1, 2020No. of specimens tested1,796,22328,745,587 Public Health Laboratories246,8393,342,648 Clinical Laboratories168,3892,834,547 Commercial Laboratories1,380,99522,568,392No. of positive specimens (%)155,204 (8.6%)2,762,464 (9.6%) Public Health Laboratories19,771 (8.0%)285,259 (8.5%) Clinical Laboratories9,615 (5.7%)177,956 (6.3%) Commercial Laboratories125,818 (9.1%)2,299,249 (10.2%) * Commercial and clinical laboratory data represent select laboratories and do not capture all tests performed in the United States.
Public Health LaboratoriesView Data TableClinical LaboratoriesView Data TableCommercial Laboratories * Commercial laboratories began testing for SARS-CoV-2 in early March, but the number and geographic distribution of reporting commercial laboratories became stable enough to calculate a weekly percentage of specimens testing positive as of March 29, 2020.
View Data TableAdditional virologic surveillance information: Surveillance Methods
Two syndromic surveillance systems are being used to monitor trends in outpatient and emergency department visits that may be associated with COVID-19 illness. Each system monitors a slightly different syndrome, and together, these systems provide a more comprehensive picture of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 illness than either would individually. Both systems are currently being affected by changes in health care seeking behavior, including increased use of telemedicine, compliance with recommendations to limit emergency department (ED) visits to severe illnesses, and increased social distancing. These changes affect the numbers of people seeking care in the outpatient and ED settings and their reasons for doing so.
ILINetThe U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) provides data on visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) (fever ['‰¥ 100'—‹F] and cough and/or sore throat) to approximately 2,600 primary care providers, emergency departments and urgent care centers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mild COVID-19 illness presents with symptoms similar to ILI, so ILINet is being used to track trends of mild to moderate COVID-19 illness and allows for comparison with prior influenza seasons.
Nationwide during week 29, 1.4% of patient visits reported through ILINet were due to ILI. This percentage is well below the national baseline of 2.4% and, while low overall, is higher than what is typical for this time of year compared to previous influenza seasons. Compared to week 28, the percentage of visits for ILI during week 29 was slightly higher for 0-4 year olds but slightly lower for all other age groups.
* Age-group specific percentages should not be compared to the national baseline.
On a regional level external icon , the percentage of outpatient visits for ILI ranged from 0.5% to 2.2% during week 29. All ten regions are below their region-specific baselines and reported only slight fluctuations in the percentrage of visits for ILI during week 29 compared to week 28.
Note: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, new data sources will be incorporated into ILINet as we move into summer weeks when lower levels of influenza and other respiratory virus circulation are typical. Starting in week 21, increases in the number of patient visits will be seen as new sites are enrolled and the percentage of visits for ILI may change in comparison to previous weeks. While all regions remain below baseline levels for ILI, these system changes should be considered when drawing conclusions from these data. Any changes in ILI due to changes in respiratory virus circulation will be highlighted here.
Overall Percentage of Visits for ILI | Age Group ILI DataILI Activity LevelsData collected in ILINet are used to produce a measure of ILI activity for all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and New York City. The mean reported percentage of visits due to ILI for the current week is compared to the mean reported during non-influenza weeks, and the activity levels correspond to the number of standard deviations below, at or above the mean.
The number of jurisdictions at each activity level during week 29 and the change compared to the previous week are summarized in the table below and shown in the following maps.
ILI Activity LevelsActivity LevelNumber of JurisdictionsWeek 29(Week endingJuly 18, 2020)Compared to Previous WeekVery High0No changeHigh0No changeModerate2No changeLow3+1Minimal48-1Insufficient Data1No change *Data collected in ILINet may disproportionally represent certain populations within a state and may not accurately depict the full picture of influenza activity for the whole state. Differences in the data presented here by CDC and independently by some state health departments likely represent differing levels of data completeness with data presented by the state likely being the more complete.
National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP): Emergency Department (ED) VisitsNSSP is a collaboration among CDC, federal partners, local and state health departments and academic and private sector partners to collect, analyze and share electronic patient encounter data received from multiple healthcare settings. To track trends of potential COVID-19 visits, visits for COVID-19-like illness (CLI) (fever and cough or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing or presence of a coronavirus diagnosis code) and ILI to a subset of emergency departments in 47 states are being monitored.
Nationwide during week 29, 3.5% of emergency department visits captured in NSSP were due to CLI and 1.0% were due to ILI. In comparison to week 28, this week there was a decrease in the percentage of visits for both CLI and ILI. However, the percentage of visits for CLI increased from week 23 through week 28, and trends presented this week may change as more ED visit data are received.
During week 29, seven of ten HHS regions external icon (Regions 1 [New England], 2 [NY/NJ/Puerto Rico], 3 [Mid-Atlantic], 5 [Midwest], 7 [Central], 9 [Mountain] and 10 [Pacific Northwest]) reported only slight fluctuations in percentage of visits for CLI compared to week 28. Three regions (Regions 4 [South East], 6 [South Central] and 9 [South West/Coast]) that have been reporting elevated levels of CLI for several weeks, reported declines in week 29 compared to week 28.
Additional information about medically attended outpatient and emergency department visits for ILI and CLI: Surveillance Methods
The COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) conducts population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in select counties participating in the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) and the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project (IHSP).
A total of 39,432 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations were reported by sites between March 1, 2020 and July 18, 2020. The overall cumulative hospitalization rate is 120.9 per 100,000 population. Among the 0-4 years, 5-17 years, 18-49 years, 50-64 years, and '‰¥ 65 years age groups, the highest rate of hospitalization is among adults aged '‰¥ 65, followed by adults aged 50-64 years and adults aged 18-49 years.
Hospitalization RatesAge GroupCumulative Rate per 100,000 PopulationOverall 120.9 0-4 years 11.2 5-17 years 5.8 18-49 years 78.6 18-29 years
47.1 30-39 years
77.2 40-49 years
121.0 50-64 years 182.3 65+ years 338.2 65-74 years
249.6 75-84 years
400.1 85+ years
635.1 From June 20 (MMWR week 25) '' July 11 (MMWR week 28), overall weekly hospitalization rates increased for three consecutive weeks. . Data for the week ending July 18 (MMWR week 29) currently show a decline; however, those data are likely to change as more data for admissions occurring during that week are received.
Among the 39,432 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalized cases, 37,108 (94.1%) have information on race and ethnicity, while collection of race and ethnicity is still pending for 2,324 (5.9%) cases. When examining overall age-adjusted rates by race/ethnicity, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons have an age-adjusted hospitalization rate approximately 5.3 times that of non-Hispanic White persons. Rates for non-Hispanic Black persons and Hispanic or Latino persons are approximately 4.7 and 4.6 times the rate among non-Hispanic White persons, respectively.
When examining age-stratified crude hospitalization rates by race and ethnicity, compared with non-Hispanic white persons in the same age group, crude hospitalization rates are 7.5 times higher among Hispanic or Latino persons aged 0-17 years; 9.8 times higher among non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons aged 18-49 years; 7.4 times higher among non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons aged 50-64 years; and 3.8 times higher among non-Hispanic Black persons aged '‰¥ 65 years.
Hospitalization rates per 100,000 populationby age and race and ethnicity '-- COVID-NET,March 1, 2020''July 18, 2020 Age Category
Non-HispanicAmerican Indian or Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic Black
Hispanic or Latino
Non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander
Non-Hispanic White
Rate1Rate Ratio2Rate1Rate Ratio2Rate1Rate Ratio2Rate1Rate Ratio2Rate1Rate Ratio20-17y7.83.99.24.614.97.53.61.82.01.018-49y205.89.8120.05.7190.89.134.81.720.91.050-64y510.47.4381.05.5414.36.0107.01.569.31.065+y597.22.9784.53.8513.42.5204.51.0206.91.0Overall rate3 (age-adjusted)281.05.3246.84.7242.54.666.71.353.01.0 1 COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates by race/ethnicity are calculated using hospitalized COVID-NET cases with known race and ethnicity for the numerator and NCHS bridged-race population estimates for the denominator. 2 For each age category, rate ratios are the ratios between crude hospitalization rates within each racial/ethnic group and the crude hospitalization rate among non-Hispanic white persons in the same age category. 3 Overall rates are adjusted to account for differences in age distributions within race/ethnicity strata in the COVID-NET catchment area; the age strata used for the adjustment include 0-17, 18-49, 50-64, and 65+ years.
Non-Hispanic Black persons and non-Hispanic White persons represent the highest proportions of hospitalized cases reported to COVID-NET, followed by Hispanic or Latino, non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander, and non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons. However, some racial and ethnic groups are disproportionately represented among hospitalized cases as compared with the overall population of the catchment area. Prevalence ratios show a similar pattern to that of the age-adjusted hospitalization rates: non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native persons have the highest prevalence ratio, followed by non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic or Latino persons.
Comparison of proportions of COVID-19-Associated Hospitalizations, by race and ethnicity '-- COVID-NET, March 1''July 18, 2020Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska NativeNon-Hispanic BlackHispanic or LatinoNon-Hispanic Asian or Pacific IslanderNon-Hispanic WhiteProportion of hospitalized COVID-NET cases11.5%32.9%22.8%4.7%31.8%Proportion of population in COVID-NET catchment0.7%17.7%14.0%8.8%58.8%Prevalence ratios22.11.91.60.50.5 1 Persons of multiple races (0.2%) or unknown race and ethnicity (6.1%) are not represented in the table but are included as part of the denominator. 2 Prevalence ratio is calculated as the ratio of the proportion of hospitalized COVID-NET cases over the proportion of population in COVID-NET catchment area.
Among 10,227 hospitalized adults with information on underlying medical conditions, 90.9% have at least one reported underlying medical condition. The most commonly reported were hypertension, obesity, chronic metabolic disease, and cardiovascular disease. Among 217 hospitalized children with information on underlying conditions, 52.1% had at least one reported underlying medical condition. The most commonly reported were obesity, asthma, and neurologic conditions.
Additional data on demographics, signs and symptoms at admission, underlying conditions, interventions, outcomes, and discharge diagnoses, stratified by age, sex, and race and ethnicity, are available.
Additional hospitalization surveillance information: Surveillance Methods | Additional rate data | Additional demographic and clinical data
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) collects death certificate data from vital statistics offices for all deaths occurring in the United States. Based on death certificate data available on July 23, 2020, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 (PIC) increased from week 26 '' week 28 (June 27 '' July 11) after declining for 11 weeks since mid-April. The percentage of deaths due to PIC for week 29 is 9.1% and, while lower than the percentage during week 28 (11.5%), remains above the epidemic threshold. These percentages will likely change as more death certificates are processed.
Weekly mortality surveillance data include a combination of machine coded and manually coded causes of death collected from death certificates. Percentages of deaths due to PIC are higher among manually coded records than more rapidly available machine coded records. Due to the additional time needed for manual coding, the initially reported PIC percentages may be lower than percentages calculated from final data.
*Data during recent weeks are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS and processed for reporting purposes.
View Data TableAdditional NCHS mortality surveillance information: Surveillance Methods | Provisional Death Counts for COVID-19
Is America's Second Corona Wave a Political Hoax? | New Eastern Outlook
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 13:37
Is America's Second Corona Wave a Political Hoax? P 20.07.2020 U F. William Engdahl
For several weeks, just as most states across the United States began to reopen, following three months of lockdown to ''flatten the curve'', several states including Texas and Florida began reporting record new numbers who tested positive for the coronavirus. At least that is what the world is being told. More careful investigation suggests what is unfolding as a huge manipulation of coronavirus tests that includes collusion by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the same CDC who badly bungled initial rollout of the virus tests in March by distributing tests that were found to contain traces of the virus and other serious defects. The present scandal bears the earmarks of more than mismanagement. It looks like political collusion to influence the November election and far more.
It seems that today something is very, very rotten in the State of Texas. The same for Florida, California, Arizona and many other states who just after reopening, now have again imposed lockdown and the foolish and ineffective mask-wearing and social distancing. Yet if we look at the actual data for deaths attributed to the coronavirus, since around the middle of April, the daily deaths designated of COVID-19, whether ''with'' or ''of'', has steadily dropped to a level some 90% below the peak.
Even the highly corrupt CDC has had to admit ''Nationally, levels of influenza-like illness (ILI) are low overall'...Changes in indicators that track COVID-19-like illness (CLI) and laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 were inconsistent during the most recent week, with some increasing but others decreasing.'' Then the weekly CDC report updated 17 July, makes the following statement: ''Based on death certificate data, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 (PIC) decreased from 8.1% during week 27 to 6.4% during week 28, representing the twelfth week of a declining percentage of deaths due to PIC'... Nationally, ILI activity remains below baseline for the thirteenth week but has increased for 5 weeks now.''
Note the language very closely. The CDC defines ILI as ''Influenza-like Illness.'' So are we talking about tests for presence of a specific virus, SARS COV-2, that is blamed for the Wuhan outbreak that apparently has spread globally since the beginning of 2020? Or is it ''influenza-like'' illnesses, a catchall which may or may not include the coronavirus? The CDC has cleverly lumped deaths whether from pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 into one neat basket of death cause they call PIC'' Pneumonia, Influenza or COVID-19. All PIC deaths are now conveniently designated as COVID-19 per CDC instructions on a death certificate.
Even with this sly sleight of hand, the CDC cannot hide the fact that all PIC deaths across the USA have declined for twelve weeks now. How to keep the nation in a state of fear and lockdown longer and how to satisfy the agenda of unscrupulous Democrats who seem willing to do everything to weaken the economy to force defeat of the Republican Presidential candidate on November 3?
A 'Cases Pandemic'?
The response has been a dramatic ramping up of the number of tests on citizens for coronavirus or more precisely for an indirect test of antibodies or other signs that may or may not indicate a person has SARS COV-2. Around the middle of June as most states were rightly opening up to more normal conditions, the CDC pushed for a massive increase in testing. Naturally a dramatic increase of those tested will give an increasing number of persons who also test positive for indications of coronavirus. Just as Trump and many state governors were sensibly advocating steps to reopen, the CDC began pushing for a dramatic increase in tests. Testing went from about 150,000 to more than 700,000 per day. Reuters reported that many of the CDC-approved tests were contaminated as well.
Now the case of Texas is exemplary of what seems to be going on. According to officials in Texas in contact with former US Congressman Ron Paul, himself a medical doctor, the Texas State Department of Health Services changed the definition of what constitutes a ''Covid case'' in mid-May when cases were in significant decline. The new definition states, ''while previously the determination of a Covid ''case'' was a confirmed test result, the definition was suddenly changed to count ''probable'' cases as ''cases.'' At the same time, the threshold for determining ''probable'' was lowered to a ridiculous level.'' Basically if you have a fever and headache, even without a corona test, you can be listed as a ''probable COVID-19 patient.''
It gets worse. Based on possibly unrelated subjective criteria, up to 15 people in possible contact with that ''probable'' case were also listed as ''probable cases.'' And ''probable cases'' were considered cases. Presto! Texas is in panic and mandatory masks and other draconian measures imposed. Further, the Texas health officials added to the fears by reporting hospitals in the state were being flooded by corona patients. Yet when contacted, Houston hospital directors themselves, said they were nowhere near actual capacity and in fact were about the same level as they were last year. Texas has a Republican Governor and is a critical state for Trump in November.
Florida Too'...
In Florida where the Republican Governor came under heavy media attack for allowing the beaches to open and other steps, as cases there were dramatically down in ''The Sunshine State,'' the recent spike in corona ''positive'' cases is equally suspicious. A local Florida TV station became alerted when they saw a breakdown of lab tests many of which showed that 100% of all tests were ''positive.'' The TV station contacted test labs across the state. What they found was eye-opening.
TV reporter Charles Billi noted, ''We found numerous labs that are only reporting positive test results, so they show a 100-percent positivity rate. That got our attention.'' They located twenty-two labs that reported 100-percent positivity rates. Two labs reported 91.18-percent positivity rates. Such results suggest something rotten somewhere. Further investigation showed that many labs did not even report negative results. But when the TV journalists contacted the various labs to question the shocking numbers, data suspiciously changed. One lab, Orlando Health, had a 98 percent positivity rate. ''However, when FOX 35 News contacted the hospital, they confirmed errors in the report. Orlando Health's positivity rate is only 9.4 percent, not 98 percent as in the report.'' Similarly, Orlando Veteran's Medical Center had a positivity rate of 76 percent. ''A spokesperson for the VA told FOX 35 News on Tuesday that this does not reflect their numbers and that the positivity rate for the center is actually 6 percent.'' That is a huge difference.
No surprise that COVID-19 ''infections'' showed an alarming rise in Florida in recent weeks. As of July 14 Florida state health officials had not replied to requests from the journalists for comment.
Citing a dramatic rise in corona positive tested persons, California Democrat governor Gavin Newsome on July 14 reversed his decision to allow reopening of schools, offices, public malls and churches, though protest marches like Antifa or BLM are permitted, it seems. That decision in a state of 40 million and the largest state economy, will deal a severe blow to any USA economic recovery before November. Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom last month ordered that ballots be mailed to all of California's 20.6 million voters for the Nov. 3 general election.
Changed Narrative
These cases indicate the huge, stinking miasma surrounding the entire subject of risk to the American population from SARS COV-2 and a political agenda that could have ominous consequences for the democratic process in America.
The influential political forces backing the NIH guru Tony ''trust science'' Fauci'' who has been consistently wrong in his advice, but always pushing the most draconian lockdowns and testing and vaccines''clearly are trying to continue the destructive lockdown until the November US elections. They seem willing to engage in any and every manipulation and panic promotion to do that. Now they have simply changed the narrative. Three months ago Fauci and others said the goal of the lockdowns and social distancing'--something never before done in modern public health'--was to ''flatten the curve'' of new coronavirus cases so hospitals would not be overloaded. That overload rarely happened. Now with hospitals nearly empty across the nation, the narrative has shifted to the meaningless number ''new coronavirus cases,'' which in fact mean new numbers tested with tests whose reliability has repeatedly been called ''unsatisfactory'' or worse.
Stanford University's Dr. John Ioannidis points out that the COVID-19 fatality rate for those under the age of 45 is ''almost zero,'' and between the ages of 45 and 70, it's somewhere between 0.05% and 0.3%. So, the fact that young and middle-aged adults are testing positive in large numbers is not a warning sign of an impending onslaught of deaths, as the risk of death in these age groups is minuscule. The COVID19 Curve has been ''flattened.'' Politics is steering the USA COVID-19 events, but not the politics Fauci and the Governor of California claim. This could have catastrophic social and economic consequences if it continues.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook.''
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COVIDSafe app yet to trace useful number of unique cases despite second wave
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 12:44
"As soon as the developer community heard about this they said 'yeah that's not technically possible so it's not going to work'," Mr Edwards said.
"Apple and Google made their own frameworks that handle contact tracing and because they are the operating system vendors there is a bunch of stuff they can do that a third party developer cannot do."
About $60 million has been spent on advertising the COVIDSafe strategy, including physical distancing and handwashing guidance. The government would not confirm how much of that has been spent advertising the app.
There have been eight updates, since the first version launched on April 26 including the latest one on Tuesday.
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said last week about 400 Victorians who tested positive in recent weeks had downloaded the app.
Data from the app has been accessed 24 times by NSW Health with six people identified that otherwise wouldn't have been found via manual contact tracing, a spokeswoman said. No contacts were found by the app that contact tracers had not already identified in Victoria, despite the huge workload amid that state's second wave.
Meanwhile, an app using a different framework rolled out in Ireland sent 91 users a "close contact exposure alert" telling them to get tested in its first two weeks. Dublin, Ireland's capital, has reported 156 new cases over the past two weeks.
Ireland and the UK backtracked from their own app solutions and switched over to the Apple and Google option with some success according to a BBC report, an app developer, who asked not to be named due to government contracts, said.
Senator Rex Patrick. Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick said when the app was released health officials and ministers promoted it as part of a solution when they knew it didn't work because the Digital Transformation Agency told a committee he was on at the time it was not working.
"If the COVIDSafe app was subject to Australian consumer law the government could be dragged into court for misleading and deceptive conduct," Mr Patrick said.
Labor's health spokesman, Chris Bowen, called the app a flop and said despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisting it was "our ticket to freedom", it was yet to perform as advertised.
"Despite downloads reaching the government's (amended) target, this week we saw the Prime Minister saying in areas of outbreak people haven't used the app, " Mr Bowen said.
Government Services Minister Stuart Robert said the app was "working exactly as intended" with health officials using it more than 300 times to assist manual tracing.
"I think there are some real sovereignty issues with allowing Google and Apple to dictate terms and how to do COVID tracing," Mr Robert said.
The government is open to improving technology on the basis that it maintains a key role for health officials but the current structure of the Google-Apple API does not do that, a spokesman for Mr Robert said.
"We will continue to work with Google and Apple, particularly to see if they can remove their barriers in allowing a sovereign tracing app - that has health professionals at its core - access to improved Bluetooth functionality," the spokesman said.
More than 6.7 million Australians have registered for the COVIDSafe app.
clarificationThis article was updated at 9.35 am on 26/7/2020 with comments from Government Services Minister Stuart Robert explaining the government's concerns about sovereignty issues with the Apple/Google framework suggested by experts to improve its COVIDSafe app. And the advertising budget for the app was not $60 million as has been reported elsewhere. That money was spent on advertising the entire COVIDSafe strategy, including washing hands, and physical distancing. The government would not confirm how much was spent advertising the app itself.
Nigel Gladstone is an investigative journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.
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Masks & Muzzles
Seattle Mask Report
Hi Adam (and John),
Sorry if you already knew this or already spoke about it, but I figured producers may be interested if they aren't already aware.
For some background I'm writing from WA state where there is a mask mandate. Cloth, surgical, N95, bandana are all acceptable, and even required in most stores. In fact, I've been accosted on several occasions for not wearing a mask correctly, and people have gone to the lengths of taking my photo, posting it to social media sites, and reporting me to the authorities. It's incredible how it's now encouraged that we ask strangers their medical history, publicly shame them, and tell them they're killing grandma. I live in West Seattle which rivals any other Seattle neighborhood for ultimate Karen status.
On to the point: I've worked in health science research at a federal hospital for 11 years. What I thought you'd be interested in is that at this hospital, we are not permitted to wear bandanas or the N95s with the ports. The N95 was designed to keep small particles out, but the problem is that the valve basically forces unfiltered air out in one direction upon exhale.
The fact that Gov Inslee is mandating face diapers regardless of material but a federal hospital in the city of Seattle has different rules just further adds strength to the argument that very little of this is scientifically sound or evidence-based.
Stay safe with Jesus,
Anonymish Seattle Girl
Neck gaiter denied at Disney store
Coronavirus: Mandatory mask-wearing becomes the norm in Europe as cases rise | Euronews
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 01:40
As several countries on the continent saw an uptick in reported cases of COVID-19, European countries moved to make mask-wearing mandatory in public spaces.
UKNew rules on wearing masks in England came into effect on Friday, with people entering shops, banks and supermarkets now required to wear face coverings.
People can be fined as much as £100 ('‚¬109) by police if they refuse to wear face coverings but some places including restaurants, pubs, gyms and hairdressers are exempt.
Face coverings have been compulsory in Scotland since July 10, while shoppers are not currently required to wear them in Wales or Northern Ireland.
England and Scotland already have compulsory mask-wearing on public transport, and NI does on most buses, trains and ferries. Wales will see them made mandatory on public transport from July 27.
And as scientists across the world race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has labelled "anti-vaxxers", people opposed to vaccines, as ''nuts.''
Britain has Europe's highest-recorded death toll from the pandemic, which stands at over 45,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
FranceFrench Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Friday that as of August 1, travellers entering France from 16 countries where COVID-19 circulation is strong '-- including the United States '-- must undergo compulsory tests on arrival at French airports or ports, unless they can present a negative test less than 72 hours old from their countries of departure.
Those testing positive on arrival must isolate for 14 days.
Health authorities say cases on the French mainland have surged 66% in the past three weeks and 26% in the last week alone.
Concerns had already prompted the government to make mask-wearing mandatory in all indoor public spaces this week.
BelgiumIn Belgium, health authorities said a three-year-old girl has died after testing positive for COVID-19 as new infections surged 89% from the previous week.
The government has bolstered restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus, including making masks mandatory in crowded outdoor public spaces.
RomaniaRomania set an all-time high for daily new infections on Friday and authorities blamed the surge on a failure to wear masks, including in indoor public places or on mass transit.
ItalyIn Italy, masks must be worn in shops, banks, on public transport and outdoors where it's impossible to keep a safe distance apart.
Most new cases in the country have occurred in the north '-- where the outbreak in Europe began '-- but southern regions have lately been seeing clusters of infections.
Many recent cases in Italy have been traced to people returning from abroad, most of them foreign workers. Other clusters were among migrants rescued at sea and vacationers.
Last week, the mayor of the tourist island of Capri ordered people to wear masks in the streets. Capri's main square, with its trendy cafes and narrow streets, had been jammed with holiday-goers, many not wearing masks.
SpainAmid fears in Spain that poor living conditions for seasonal agricultural workers are creating coronavirus hotspots, the Spanish farm minister said Friday that authorities are pressing employers to provide decent accommodation and transport for their workers.
The Health Ministry reported 971 new daily infections, the biggest daily increase since Spain's lockdown ended.
GermanyGerman authorities plan to set up testing stations at airports to encourage people arriving from high-risk countries to get tested for the coronavirus.
The country will also allow people arriving from overseas to be tested for free within three days.
The decision, made by the health ministers of Germany's 16 states, came amid mounting concern that holidaymakers could bring the virus back with them.
Overall, Europe has so far seen more than 201,000 deaths during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.
About #Masks4All / The Story / Jeremy Howard
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 11:52
The Story:
In mid-March, only ~10 countries recommended wearing masks.
As of mid-May: 1. 100+ countries and 10 U.S. states require them 2. The U.S. CDC recommends them 3. 95% of the world's population lives in countries that require or recommend masks (including China, the USA, Germany, Russia, South Korea, Brazil, India, and France)
What happened and why did this change?
In March, a group of researchers and scientists started #Masks4All after realizing that there was clear scientific evidence showing that cloth masks limit the spread of COVID-19 (which contradicted the global consensus at the time).
So we shared this information in videos and in the press at the end of March, and we urged everyone to spread the information on social media to government leaders and the public using #Masks4All.
Our message went viral and hundreds of thousands of people all over the world heard our message and took action on a scale much greater than we ever could have imagined.
The story was repeatedly covered by every major global news outlet and as a result, many health and government leaders re-examined the science and changed their opinions.
March 31st Update: Our video and Washington Post article both went extremely viral within days of launching and the story has almost instantly been picked up by almost every major media outlet in the world.
April 2nd Update: ''It's hard to explain just how fast the debate is moving here. When my article came out in The Washington Post on Saturday [March 28th] it was into a void '' there was no mainstream discussion of this at all. Today I am briefing a bipartisan group of US senators and staffers on the issue and talking to international policy experts at Yale University. I was on Good Morning America yesterday telling people how to make masks. This has completely taken over my life.'' '' Jeremy Howard in a Sydney Morning Herald Interview
April 3rd Update: The U.S. CDC changed its stance and now recommends masks! The U.S. ''CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings'' because ''a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms'' and they can be contagious spreaders of the virus.
Jeremy Howard, Co-Founder & Leader Distinguished Research Scientist at USF; Founding Researcher at fast.ai; Member of the World Economic Forum's Global AI Council
Petr Ludwig , Original Founder of #Masks4All A bestselling author, and an expert on critical thinking and the popularization of science
Cam Woodsum, Co-Founder & Website Leader Founder of Nomad Impact Ventures; Former Head of Special Projects at DoorDash
David Keating, Co-Founder President, Institute for Free Speech
Vojtech Petracek, Assoc. Prof., Ph.D., Co-Founder Particle Physicist, President of the Czech Technical University in Prague
Vladimir Zdimal, Ph.D., Co-Founder Head of the Department of Chemistry and Aerosol Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences
Emil Pavlik, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder Microbiologist and Virologist
Leos Navratil, Prof., M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder Population Protection Expert, Head of the Department of Health Care and Population Protection, Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague
Martin Hausenblass, Co-Founder Entrepreneur and investor.
Josef Prusa, Co-Founder Entrepreneur, an expert on 3D printing, founder of Prusa Research
Misha Chellam, Co-Founder Founder at Council on Technology & Society & Tradecraft
Vaccines and Such
An Open Letter to Dr. Anthony Fauci | The Village Voice
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 03:30
The Press of Freedom: A Column Open to Our Readers
An Open Letter Dr. Anthony FauciMay 31, 1988
I have been screaming at the National Institutes of Health since I first visited your Animal House of Horrors in 1984. I called you monsters then and I called you idiots in my play, The Normal Heart, and now I call you murderers.
You are responsible for supervising all government-funded AIDS treatment research programs. In the name of right, you make decisions that cost the lives of others. I call that murder.
At hearings on April 29 before Representative Ted Weiss and his House Subcommittee on Human Resources, after almost eight years of the worst epidemic in modern history, perhaps to be the worst in all history, you were pummeled into admitting publicly what some of us have been claiming since you took over three years ago.
You admitted that you are an incompetent idiot.
Over the past four years, $374 million has been allocated for AIDS treatment research. You were in charge of spending much of that money.
It doesn't take a genius to set up a nationwide network of testing sites, commence a small number of moderately sized treatment efficacy tests on a population desperate to participate in them, import any and all interesting drugs (now numbering approximately 110) from around the world for inclusion in these tests at these sites, and swiftly get into circulation anything that remotely passes muster. Yet, after three years, you have established only a system of waste, chaos, and uselessness.
It doesn't take a genius to announce that you have elected to personally supervise the study of a broad range of new drugs. Yet, two years later, you are forced to admit you've barely begun.
It doesn't take a genius to request, as you did, 126 new staff persons, receive only 11, and then keep your mouth shut about it.
It takes an incompetent idiot.
To quote Representative Henry Waxman at the above hearings: ''Dr. Fauci, your own drug selection committee has named 24 drugs as high priority for development and trials. As best as I can tell, 11 of these 24 are not in trials yet. Six of these drugs have been waiting for six months to more than a year. Why the delays? I understand the need to do what you call setting priorities but it appears even with your own scientists' choices the trials are not going on.''
Your defense? ''There are just confounding delays that no one can help'... we are responsible as investigators to make sure that in our zeal to go quickly, that we do the clinical study correctly, that it's planned correctly and executed correctly, rather than just having the drug distributed.''
Now you come bawling to Congress that you don't have enough staff, office space, lab space, secretaries, computer operators, lab technicians, file clerks, janitors, toilet paper; and that's why the drugs aren't being tested and the network of treatment centers isn't working and the drug protocols aren't in place. You expect us to buy this bullshit and feel sorry for you. YOU FUCKING SON OF A BITCH OF A DUMB IDIOT, YOU HAVE HAD $374 MILLION AND YOU EXPECT US TO BUY THIS GARBAGE BAG OF EXCUSES!
The gay community has been on your ass for three years. For 36 agonizing months, you refused to go public with what was happening (correction: not happening), and because you wouldn't speak up until you were asked pointedly by a congressional committee, we lie down and die and our bodies pile up higher and higher in hospitals and homes and hospices and streets and doorways.
Meanwhile, drugs we have been begging that you test remain untested. The list of promising untested drugs is now so endless and the pipeline so clogged with NIH and FDA bureaucratic lies that there is no Roto-Rooter service in All God's Christendom that will ever muck it out.
You whine to Congress that you are short of staff. You don't need staff to set up hospital treatment centers around the country. The hospitals are already there. They hire their own staff. They only need money. You have money. YOU HAVE $374 MILION FUCKING DOLLARS, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE.
The gay community has, for five years, told the NIH which drugs to test because we know and hear first what is working on some of us somewhere. You couldn't care less about what we say. You won't answer our phone calls or letters, or listen to anyone in our stricken community. What tragic pomposity!
The gay community has consistently warned that unless you move quickly your studies will be worthless because we're already taking drugs into our bodies that we desperately locate all over the world (who can wait for you?!!), and all your ''scientific'' protocols are stupidly based on utilizing guinea-pig bodies that are clean. You wouldn't listen, and now you wonder why so few sign up for your meager assortment of ''scientific'' protocols that make such rigid demands for ''purity'' that no one can fulfill them, unless they lie. And why should those who can obtain the drugs themselves take the chance of receiving a placebo in one of your ''scientific'' studies?
How many years ago did we tell you about aerosol pentamidine, Tony? This stuff saves lives. And we discovered it ourselves. We came to you, bearing this great news on a silver platter, begging you: can we get it officially tested; can we get it approved so insurance companies and Medicaid will pay for it (as well as other drugs we beg you to test) as a routine treatment, and our patients going broke paying for medicine can get it cheaper? You monster.
''Assume that you have AIDS, and that you've had pneumonia once,'' Representative Nancy Pelosi said. ''You know that aerosolized pentamidine was evaluated by NIH as highly promising'... You know as of today that the delays in NIH trials'... may not be solved this year'... Would you wait for [an NIH] study?''
You replied: ''I probably would go with what would be available to me, be it available in the street or what have you.''
We tell you what the good drugs are, you don't test them, then YOU TELL US TO GET THEM ON THE STREETS. You continue to pass down word from On High that you don't like this drug or that drug '-- when you haven't even tested them. THERE ARE MORE AIDS VICTIMS DEAD BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T TEST DRUGS ON THEM THAN BECAUSE YOU DID.
You've yet to test imuthiol, AS101, dextran sulfate, DHEA, Imreg-1, Erythropoietin '-- all drugs Gay Men's Health Crisis considers top priority. You do like AZT, which consumes 80 percent of your studies, even though Dr. Barry Gingell, GMHC's medical director, now describes AZT as ''a cumulative poison'... foisted on the public.'' Soon there will be more AIDS patients dead because you did test drugs on them '-- the wrong drugs.
ACT UP was formed over a year ago to get experimental drugs into the bodies of patients. For one year ACT UP has tried every kind of protest known to man (short of putting bombs in your toilet or flames up your institute) to get some movement in this area. One year later, ACT UP is still screaming for the same drugs they begged and implored you and your world to release. One year of screaming, protesting, crying, cajoling, lobbying, threatening, imprecating, marching, testifying, hoping, wishing, praying has brought nothing. You don't listen. No one listens. No one has ears. Or hearts.
Whose ass are you covering for, Tony? (Besides your own). Is it the head of your Animal House, the invisible Dr. James Wyngaarden, director of the National Institute of Health (and may a Democratic president get him out of office fast)? Is it Dr. Vincent DeVita, head of the National Cancer Institute, another invisible murderer who lets you be his fall guy? Or Dr. Otis Bowen, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, no doubt the biggest murderer on the list; Shultz and Weinberger would never take such constricting shit from the Office of Management and Budget. All the doctors have continuously told the world that All Is Being Done That Can Be Done. Now you admit that isn't so.
WHY DID YOU KEEP QUIET FOR SO LONG?!
I don't know (though it wouldn't surprise me) if you kept quiet intentionally. I don't know (though it wouldn't surprise me) if you were ordered to keep quiet by Higher Ups Somewhere. You are a good lieutenant, like Adolph Eichmann.
I do know that anyone who knows what you have known for three years '-- that, to quote Ted Weiss, ''the dimension of the shortfall is such that you can't possibly meet our needs,'' and, to quote the New York Times and their grossly incompetent AIDS reporter, Philip Boffey (whose articles read like recycled NIH releases): ''Officials Blame Shortage of Staff for Delay in Testing AIDS Drugs'' '-- I repeat, anyone who has known all this and denied it for the past three years is a murderer, not dissimilar to the ''good Germans'' who claimed they didn't know what was happening.
With each day I realize a little more that the gay community has lost the battle. And that we haven't begun to experience the horrors that still await us '-- horrors even worse than you now embryonically signify. We have lost. No one important enough has ears. Or hearts.
You care, I'm told (although I no longer believe it). I've even heard you called a saint. You are in essence a scientist who's expected to be Lee Iacocca. But saints, miracle workers, good administrators, brilliant scientists have imaginations vivid enough to know how to spend $374 million in a dire emergency. You have no imagination. You are banal (a word used so accurately to describe Eichmann).
Do I want you to leave? (Yes.) Could you're replacement possibly be more pea-brained than you? (Yes, it is possible.) Will this raving do any good at all? Will it make Congress shape you up? Will it make my own communities bureaucratically mired AIDS organizations finally ask the right questions? (Judy Peabody of GNHC please take note.) Will Dr. Mathilde Krim ever '-- as she indicated she would '-- get the American Foundation for AIDS Research to fund the desperately needed and desperately needy Community Research Initiative, which is valiantly attempting to do what you should be doing, so tired we are of waiting for you to do it? (Leonard Bernstein and Harry Kraut please take note.)
I have no answers to most of these questions. You may (God help us all) be the best that will be given us. You may, like John Ehrlichman, once accused, seek redemption and forgiveness by rethinking, retooling, and, like Avis, trying harder. Even more miraculous, those Supreme Murderers in the White House might tomorrow acknowledge that families simply everywhere have gay sons and daughters.
But I fear these are only pipe dreams and you'll continue to carry on with your spare equipment. The cries of genocide from this Cassandra will continue to remain unheard. And my noble but enfeebled community of the weak, and dying, and the dead will continue to grow and grow '-- until we are diminished.
ICD-10 Codes
ICD-10 - Wikipedia
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 17:31
ICD-10 is the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), a medical classification list by the World Health Organization (WHO). It contains codes for diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances, and external causes of injury or diseases.[1] Work on ICD-10 began in 1983,[2] became endorsed by the Forty-third World Health Assembly in 1990, and was first used by member states in 1994.[1] It remains current until January 1, 2022, when it will be replaced by ICD-11.[3]
While WHO manages and publishes the base version of the ICD, several member states have modified it to better suit their needs. In the base classification, the code set allows for more than 14,000 different codes[4] and permits the tracking of many new diagnoses compared to the preceding ICD-9. Through the use of optional sub-classifications ICD-10 allows for specificity regarding the cause, manifestation, location, severity and type of injury or disease.[5] The adapted versions may differ in a number of ways, and some national editions have expanded the code set even further; with some going so far as to add procedure codes. ICD-10-CM, for example, has over 70,000 codes.[6]
The WHO provides detailed information regarding the ICD via its website '' including an ICD-10 online browser[7] and ICD training materials.[8] The online training includes a support forum,[9] a self learning tool[8] and user guide.[10]
Chapters Edit The following table lists the chapter number (using Roman numerals), the code range of each chapter, and the chapter's title from the international version of the ICD-10.[11]
ICD-10 chapters ChapterBlockTitleI A00''B99 Certain infectious and parasitic diseasesII C00''D48 NeoplasmsIII D50''D89 Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs and certain disorders involving the immune mechanismIV E00''E90 Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseasesV F00''F99 Mental and behavioural disordersVI G00''G99 Diseases of the nervous systemVII H00''H59 Diseases of the eye and adnexaVIII H60''H95 Diseases of the ear and mastoid processIX I00''I99 Diseases of the circulatory systemX J00''J99 Diseases of the respiratory systemXI K00''K93 Diseases of the digestive systemXII L00''L99 Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissueXIII M00''M99 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissueXIV N00''N99 Diseases of the genitourinary systemXV O00''O99 Pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperiumXVI P00''P96 Certain conditions originating in the perinatal periodXVII Q00''Q99 Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalitiesXVIII R00''R99 Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classifiedXIX S00''T98 Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causesXX V01''Y98 External causes of morbidity and mortalityXXI Z00''Z99 Factors influencing health status and contact with health servicesXXII U00''U99 Codes for special purposesNational adoptions Edit Approximately 27[12][13] countries use ICD-10 for reimbursement and resource allocation in their health system, and some have made modifications to ICD to better accommodate its utility. The unchanged international version of ICD-10 is used in 117 countries for performing cause of death reporting and statistics.[1]
The national versions may differ from the base classification in the level of detail, incomplete adoption of a category,[14] or the addition of procedure codes.
Australia Edit Introduced in 1998, ICD-10 Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) was developed by the National Centre for Classification in Health at the University of Sydney.[15] It is currently maintained by the Australian Consortium for Classification Development.[16]
ICD-10-AM has also been adopted by New Zealand,[17] the Republic of Ireland,[18] Saudi Arabia[19] and several other countries.[20]
Brazil Edit Brazil introduced ICD-10 in 1996.[21]
Canada Edit Canada began using ICD-10 for mortality reporting in 2000.[22] A six-year, phased implementation of ICD-10-CA for morbidity reporting began in 2001.[23] It was staggered across Canada's ten provinces, with Quebec the last to make the switch.[23]
ICD-10-CA is available in both English- and French-language versions.[22]
China Edit China adopted ICD-10 in 2002.[24]
Czech Republic Edit The Czech Republic adopted ICD-10 in 1994, one year after its official release by WHO.[25] Revisions to the international edition are adopted continuously.[26][27] The official Czech translation of ICD-10 2016 10th Revision was published in 2018.[25]
France Edit France introduced a clinical addendum to ICD-10 in 1997.[28] See also website of the ATIH.
Germany Edit Germany's ICD-10 German Modification (ICD-10-GM) is based on ICD-10-AM.[20] ICD-10-GM was developed between 2003 and 2004, by the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information.[20]
Hungary Edit Hungary introduced the use of ICD-10 from January 1 1996 via a ministerial decree.[29]
Korea Edit A Korean modification has existed since 2008.[30]
Netherlands Edit The Dutch translation of ICD-10 is ICD10-nl, which was created by the WHO-FIC Network in 1994.[31] There is an online dictionary.[32]
Russia Edit The Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation ordered in 1997 to transfer all health organizations to ICD-10.[33]
South Africa Edit ICD-10 was implemented in July 2005 under the auspice of the National ICD-10 Implementation Task Team which is a joint task team between the National Department of Health and the Council for Medical Schemes.[34]
Sweden Edit The current Swedish translation of ICD-10 was created in 1997.[35]
Thailand Edit The ICD-10-TM (Thai Modification) is a Thai language version based on the 2016 ICD-10.[citation needed ] An unusual feature of the index of ICD-10-TM is that it is bilingual, containing both Thai and English trails.[36]
United Kingdom Edit ICD-10 was first mandated for use in the UK in 1995.[37] In 2010 the UK Government made a commitment to update the UK version of ICD-10 every three years.[38] On 1 April 2016, following a year's delay,[38] ICD-10 5th Edition[note 1] replaced the 4th Edition as the mandated diagnostic classification within the UK.[39]
United States Edit For disease reporting, the US utilizes its own national variant of ICD-10 called the ICD-10 Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM).[40] A procedural classification called ICD-10 Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS)[note 2] has also been developed for capturing inpatient procedures.[40] The ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS were developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).[40][41] There are over 70,000 ICD-10-PCS procedure codes and over 69,000 ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes, compared to about 3,800 procedure codes and roughly 14,000 diagnosis codes found in the previous ICD-9-CM.[6]
There was much controversy when the transition from the ICD-9-CM to the ICD-10-CM was first announced in the US. Many providers were concerned about the vast number of codes being added, the complexity of the new coding system, and the costs associated with the transition.[42] The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) weighed these concerns against the benefits of having more accurate data collection, clearer documentation of diagnoses and procedures, and more accurate claims processing.[42] CMS decided the financial and public health cost associated with continuing to use the ICD-9-CM was too high and mandated the switch to ICD-10-CM.[42]
The deadline for the United States to begin using ICD-10-CM for diagnosis coding and Procedure Coding System ICD-10-PCS for inpatient hospital procedure coding was set at October 1, 2015,[43][44] a year later than the previous 2014 deadline.[45] Before the 2014 deadline, the previous deadline had been a year before that on October 1, 2013.[46][47] All HIPAA "covered entities" were required to make the change; a pre-requisite to ICD-10-CM is the adoption of EDI Version 5010 by January 1, 2012.[48] Enforcement of 5010 transition by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), however, was postponed by CMS until March 31, 2012, with the federal agency citing numerous factors, including slow software upgrades.[49] The implementation of ICD-10-CM has been subject to previous delays. In January 2009, the date was pushed back to October 1, 2013, rather than an earlier proposal of October 1, 2011.[50]
Criticism Edit The expansion of healthcare delivery systems and changes in global health trends prompted a need for codes with improved clinical accuracy and specificity.[41] The alphanumeric coding in ICD-10 is an improvement from ICD-9 which had a limited number of codes and a restrictive structure.[41] Early concerns in the implementation of ICD-10 included the cost and the availability of resources for training healthcare workers and professional coders.[51]
Two common complaints in the United States about the ICD-10-CM are 1) the long list of potentially relevant codes for a given condition (such as rheumatoid arthritis) which can be confusing and reduce efficiency and 2) the assigned codes for seldom seen conditions (e.g. W55.22XA: Struck by cow, initial encounter and V91.07XA: Burn due to water-skis on fire, initial encounter).[52][53]
See also Edit Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, used in psychiatryDSM-5: its current versionNotes Edit ^ The numbering system of editions only refers to those used in the UK; not those issued by WHO. For example, whilst the 5th edition is based on ICD-10 version:2016, the 4th edition was based on the version from 2010 (skipping the versions of ICD-10 from 2014 and 2015). ^ Although named ICD-10-PCS, this volume is not based on any of the WHO-FIC publications. References Edit ^ a b c "International Classification of Diseases (ICD) Information Sheet" . Retrieved 29 October 2018 . ^ "ICD-10 Fifth Edition" (PDF) . apps.who.int. p. 5 . Retrieved 29 October 2018 . ^ https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/18-06-2018-who-releases-new-international-classification-of-diseases-(icd-11) ^ "FAQ on ICD" . Retrieved 29 October 2018 . ^ "ICD-10 Second Edition Volume 2 '' World Health Organization, p15" (PDF) . Who.int . Retrieved 23 May 2017 . ^ a b "The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10: When and why". icd.codes . Retrieved 19 January 2018 . ^ "ICD-10 Version:2016". apps.who.int . Retrieved 29 October 2018 . ^ a b "ICD-10 Training Tool". apps.who.int . Retrieved 23 May 2017 . ^ "ICD-10-online-training". sites.google.com . Retrieved 23 May 2017 . ^ "ICD-10 User Guide" (PDF) . Retrieved 20 November 2018 . ^ "International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision". World Health Organization. 2010 . Retrieved February 26, 2010 . ^ "3M Health Information Services: ICD-10 Overview" (PDF) . Eastern Ohio Health Information Management Association. 2009 . Retrieved Dec 2, 2015 . ^ France, Francis H. Roger (2001). Case Mix: Global Views, Local Actions : Evolution in Twenty Countries. Amsterdam: IOS Press. ISBN 1-58603-217-8. ^ National Clinical Coding Standards ICD-10 5th Edition (2017). NHS Digital Clinical Classification Services. April 2017. p. 200. ^ "ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS: Australian Consortium for Classification Development". Australian Consortium for Classification Development . Retrieved 3 December 2018 . ^ "Overview : Australian Consortium for Classification Development". Australian Consortium for Classification Development . Retrieved 3 December 2018 . ^ "ICD-10-AM/ACHI/ACS". Ministry of Health NZ . Retrieved 3 December 2018 . ^ "Irish Coding Standards Version 9" (PDF) . Healthcare Pricing Office . Retrieved 3 December 2018 . ^ اÙصحØ(C), فريق بÙابØ(C) ÙزارØ(C). "ICD-10-AM - Introduction". www.moh.gov.sa . Retrieved 3 December 2018 . ^ a b c Killewo, Japhet; Heggenhougen, Kristian; Quah, Stella R. (2010). Epidemiology and Demography in Public Health. Academic Press. ISBN 9780123822017 . Retrieved 3 December 2018 . ^ Fazito, Erika; Cuchi, Paloma; Fat, Doris Ma; Ghys, Peter Denis; Pereira, Mauricio G.; Vasconcelos, Ana Maria Nogales; Pascom, Ana Roberta Pati (1 December 2012). "Identifying and quantifying misclassified and under-reported AIDS deaths in Brazil: a retrospective analysis from 1985 to 2009". Sex Transm Infect. 88 (Suppl 2): i86''i94. doi:10.1136/sextrans-2012-050632. ISSN 1368-4973. PMC 3512438 . PMID 23172349 . Retrieved 3 December 2018 . ^ a b Moskal, Lori (15 October 2004). "Implementation of ICD-10-CA and CCI in Canada". Implementation of ICD-10-CA and CCI in Canada / AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association . Retrieved 3 December 2018 . ^ a b Walker, Robin L.; Hennessy, Deirdre A.; Johansen, Helen; Sambell, Christie; Lix, Lisa; Quan, Hude (10 June 2012). "Implementation of ICD-10 in Canada: how has it impacted coded hospital discharge data?". BMC Health Services Research. 12: 149. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-149. PMC 3411494 . PMID 22682405. ^ "Deloitte Center for Health Solutions" (PDF) . Deloitte.com . Retrieved 23 May 2017 . ^ a b "MKN Mezinrodn­ statistick klasifikace nemoc­ a pÅidružen½ch zdravotn­ch probl(C)mů" [International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems]. uzis.cz (in Czech) . Retrieved 26 April 2019 . ^ "Spoluprce s WHO" [Cooperation with WHO]. uzis.cz (in Czech) . Retrieved 26 April 2019 . ^ Zvolsk½, Miroslav (December 2016). "Implementation of International Classifications in the Czech Republic" (PDF) . uzis.cz . Retrieved 26 April 2019 . ^ "History of ICD-10". 2015-02-17. ^ "42/1995. (XI. 14.) NM rendelet a Betegs(C)gek Nemzetk¶zi Osztlyozsa X. Rev­zi"ja bevezet(C)s(C)ről". ^ Kim, Sukil (July 18, 2013). "Use of Classifications in Korea" (PDF) . Retrieved Oct 10, 2017 . ^ "WHO-Fic". Rivm.nl . Retrieved 23 May 2017 . ^ "Browser". class.who-fic.nl. ^ "ПÑиказ Ð'инздÑава РФ от 27.05.97 '– 170 (Ñед. от 12.01.98) "О ÐеÑеходе оÑÐ"анов и учÑеждений здÑавоохÑанения Российской ФедеÑации на Ð'еждунаÑодную статистическую кÐ>>ассиÑикацию боÐ>>езней и ÐÑобÐ>>ем, связанных со здоÑовьем X ÐеÑесмотÑа " ". zakonbase.ru (in Russian) . Retrieved 2 November 2018 . ^ Council for Medical Schemes (March 2009), South African ICD-10 Coding Standards (PDF) , Republic of South Africa Department of Health, Version 3 , retrieved 2016-01-24 ^ Povl Munk-J¸rgensen, Aksel Bertelse (January 1999). "Implementation of ICD-10 in the Nordic countries". Nordic Journal of Psychiatry. 53 (1): 5''9. doi:10.1080/080394899426648. ISSN 0803-9488. ^ "ICD10TM2016VOL1_FINAL". thcc.or.th. ^ "ICD-10 Classification". Archived from the original on 29 March 2016. ^ a b "SCCI0021: ICD-10 5th Edition: Change Paper" (PDF) . Health & Social Care Information Centre. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 April 2016 . Retrieved 17 January 2016 . ^ "ICD-10 Updates". Health and Social Care Information Centre. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. ^ a b c "ICD-10 FAQs". www.ahima.org . Retrieved 2018-11-20 . ^ a b c "ICD - ICD-10-CM - International Classification of Diseases,(ICD-10-CM/PCS Transition". www.cdc.gov . Retrieved 2018-11-20 . ^ a b c "Misperceptions, Misinformation, and Misrepresentations: the ICD-10-CM/PCS Saga". ^ "Senate Approves ICD-10 Delay, 'Doc Fix ' ". Healthdatamanagement.com . Retrieved 23 May 2017 . ^ "H.R. 4302 (Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014)". United States Senate. March 31, 2014 ^ "Administrative Simplification: Adoption of a Standard for a Unique Health Plan Identifier; Addition to the National Provider Identifier Requirements; and a Change to the Compliance Date for the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD''10''CM and ICD''10''PCS) Medical Data Code Sets". Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services{{inconsistent citations}} . 77 FR 54664 of 5 September 2012. 77 FR 60629 of 4 October 2012. ^ "International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM)". National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). December 20, 2010. ^ "Overview ICD-10". Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. ^ "HIPAA History". hipaajournal.com. ^ "Physicians Get Grace Period from CMS on HIPAA 5010 Enforcement". Physicians Practice. November 18, 2011 ^ "Feds Delay ICD-10 for Two Years". The Wall Street Journal. January 15, 2009. ^ Association, American Hospital (2003-09-23). American Hospital Association; AHIMA. "ICD-10-CM Field Testing Project: Report on Findings: Perceptions, Ideas and Recommendations from Coding Professionals Across the Nation". ICD-10-CM Field Testing Project: Report on Findings: Perceptions, Ideas and Recommendations from Coding Professionals Across the Nation / AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association. ^ "ICD-10: An Ode to Code - The Rheumatologist". The-rheumatologist.org . Retrieved 23 May 2017 . ^ Manchikanti, Laxmaiah; Kaye, Alan D.; Singh, Vijay; Boswell, Mark V. (2015). "The Tragedy of the Implementation of ICD-10-CM as ICD-10: Is the Cart Before the Horse or Is There a Tragic Paradox of Misinformation and Ignorance?". Pain Physician. 18 (4): E485''495. ISSN 2150-1149. PMID 26218946. External links Edit Official website ICD-10 online browser (WHO)ICD-10 online training direct access (WHO)ICD-10-CM (USA '' modification) at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)ICD-11 Home Page
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Covid-19: hydroxychloroquine works, a proof ?
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 00:10
Addendum as of July 16, 2020:
On 14 July some people asked about the Swiss data. According to the latter, Switzerland has reclassified some patients. No information is available to date. We had contacted the OFSP without reply to date.
What we can say is that the source used for the Johns Hopkins University analysis reports the following information: 1968 deaths for Switzerland to date. According to OFSP data there are 1,688 deaths in the graph presented, but there is also a note that explains that 158 cases were not represented due to missing data. As a result, there is a difference of 280 deaths between the two databases.
By comparison Johns Hopkins reports 30,032 deaths for France and Public Health Organisation (sant(C) publique) has 30,029 deaths. A discrepancy of 3 deaths at the date of publication.
Given that Johns Hopkins uploads almost real-time data from various countries, the prevailing assumption is that Johns Hopkins' data is correct. Unless the OFSP's factual and substantiated response is based on the differences in 280 deaths, the data used appear to be reliable. The OFSP contacted us on 16 July with a message and we asked for clarification to understand the discrepancies and reclassifications made as there appears to be some discrepancies in the data published. We inform the reader that this paper is subject to modification.
Long discussions ignited the web and social networks on the role of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment against Covid-19. These exchanges often boil down to throwing in the face the results of various and varied studies. There followed an expert debate on the validity of the study and the various protocols, allowing each to be given the opportunity to advance, with a certain bad faith, their oriented arguments. Indeed, it is always possible to find an argument in favor of the result of a study if it tends to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, and vice versa.
When its effectiveness is not in question, we talk about its side effects. The reality is that this drug has been prescribed for 65 years (1955). Its side effects and precautions for uses are well documented.
An almost incomprehensible debate for the French
It is becoming more and more difficult for viewers or readers to know where to turn, the debates of experts relating to points of detail so limited that we forget the essentials: there have been deaths, many too many dead and sick. While experts from a certain medical world disconnected from reality debated on television sets, other doctors were fighting with the disease without having the right to prescribe in their souls and conscience (according to the reasonably established state of science medical). The Lancet study will have caused great harm to patients since it was followed by immediate effects such as the suspension of prescription and dispensing authorizations for hydroxychloroquine. The World Health Organization (WHO) decided to suspend the trials or to simply ban the drug from being dispensed. Switzerland did the same around the 27th of May, 2020.
The fraudulent study was withdrawn from the 4th of June, but Swiss patients remained deprived of this treatment until the 11th of June, "The OFSP decided to lift the measures put in place for its prescription and dispensing. The Plaquenil® and Zentiva® Hydroxychloroquine can be re-ordered directly from the wholesaler. '' According to the critics of hydroxychloroquine, these 15 days of prohibition should have had no impact on patient survival, but this is not the case: it is enough to look at the evolution over time of the proportion of deaths among newly resolved cases, only to find that hydroxychloroquine, the only molecule banned within this time, works.
Hydroxychloroquine saves lives.
It was enough the collaboration of three internet users to solve this enigma (see the article ''story of a discovery''): the discovery of a strict temporary suspension of the HCQ in Switzerland, the nrCFR * efficiency index of treatments, the observation of a ''bump'' of ~ 2 weeks in this index for Switzerland, the link with the suspension, and finally the analysis concluding with the statistical significance of this correlation with a very high degree of certainty ( > 99%). All analyzes were made from international data ''global time series'' ''Deaths'' and ''Recovered'' from Johns Hopkins University updated every night.
Let's take a look at the period when hydroxychloroquine was banned in Switzerland, i.e. from May 27th till June 11th, 2020. The27th of May is 5 days after the publication of the study criticized in The Lancet , which claimed to demonstrate the toxicity and ineffectiveness of hydroxychloroquine. The consequences of this publication had a global impact, leading to the suspension of hydroxychloroquine and thus depriving many patients of treatment. This ban on the pretext of ''precaution'' has surely done far more harm to patients than what our health ministers have said.
Looking at the evolution curve of this index for Switzerland, we note a ''wave of excess lethality'' of two weeks from June 9th to 22nd, with a lag of a dozen days compared to the period of suspension of the use of hydroxychloroquine by WHO. This demonstrates, without possible rebuttal, the effect of stopping the delivery and use of this drug in Switzerland (country which follows the recommendations of the WHO, based in Geneva). During the weeks preceding the ban, the nrCFR index fluctuated between 3% and 5%. Some 13 days after the start of the prohibition, the nrCFR index increases considerably to be between 10 and 15% for 2 weeks. Some 12 days after the end of the prohibition, the lethality falls back to a lower level.
We were looking for a signal, a proof, here it is the size of a country like Switzerland. Almost the size of the Ile-de-France (Paris area)
What arguments could the Minister of Health and experts in randomized controlled studies oppose to such glaring prosaically observational evidence?
The Lancet and the World Health Organization will have served a purpose. Thanks to them!
A statistically significant difference
For those who are not convinced of the observational result, we conducted a statistical difference test by comparing the three periods: May 28th - June 8th, June 9th '' 22nd, June 23rd - July 6th . The period from June 9th till the 22nd is that in which the index increased some 13 days after the suspension of hydroxychloroquine. There is of course an effect of delay between stopping the prescription of the drug and possible deaths, which explains the delay of 13 days.
We therefore observe that for the period from the 28th of May till the 8th of June, the index is 2.39% and then drops to 11.52% or 4.8 times more and then drops to 3%.
When testing for statistical significance between the various observations, the difference is significant at 99% with a p <0.0001. 13 days after the HCQ prescription was resumed, the index dropped to 3% and this was again a significant effect.
And for France
This index for France over the same period is found in the graph below. Note that during the prohibition period of hydroxychloroquine in Switzerland, the nrCFR index was almost identical between France and Switzerland.
This important information should once and for all make everyone agree.
Editor's note:
Thanks to Nathalie Izzo (@ Nathalienath19) and Annie Wypychowski.
the nrCFR index was created by Michel Jullian.
Translation: @Smackenziekerr & @PaulGreeff
Operation Warp Speed - Donald Trump is hoping for a covid-19 treatment by November | United States | The Economist
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 01:22
Jul 18th 2020
Editor's note: Some of our covid-19 coverage is free for readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. For more stories and our pandemic tracker, see our hub
I T IS EASY to smirk at the president. When it comes to the pandemic, he seems to be wrong about almost everything. He has promoted a dud malaria drug, said the virus would disappear, and even that 99% of cases of covid-19 are harmless. No wonder there is scepticism when Donald Trump says there will be a vaccine or a drug by the end of the year. But could he be right? After all, the government is spending more than $13bn on this goal and pursuing an aggressive strategy to achieve it.
The push to bankroll the rapid development of vaccines started in April. Operation Warp Speed (OWS) is a partnership between Health and Human Services, the Department of Defence and an alphabet soup of health-related agencies. The goal is to deliver 300m doses of a vaccine by January. OWS is also buying into medicines known as antibody therapies, and is part of a broader government strategy to accelerate the arrival of drugs and diagnostic tests. As part of this effort, the government triggered international outrage at the end of June when it bought up most of the supply of the drug remdesivir that the drug firm Gilead has for the next quarter.
Peter Bach, director of the Centre for Health Policy and Outcomes, an academic institute in New York, describes the effort as turning on the federal money hose. Already $3bn of federal cash has been spent on two vaccines in particular, one made by AstraZeneca, and another by Novavax. The biotech firm Moderna has been given $483m. The agreement with AstraZeneca includes the advance purchase of 300m doses of vaccine; the first doses could arrive as early as October this year. Novavax has agreed to deliver 100m doses of its vaccine by ''late 2020''. The deal with Moderna allows for ''large-scale'' production in 2020. The money being directed at vaccine makers is also geared to helping firms scale up development and mass manufacturing.
In effect the government is subsidising the creation of a product that may not work. The strategy, which is also being employed by governments elsewhere, is necessary to help shave months off the development time for vaccines. Firms might otherwise be likely to wait for evidence of efficacy from trials before investing in manufacturing. OWS is investing in a wide range of vaccines because a number are likely to fail. The scale of the effort is so large that it has also been necessary to step up the national production of syringes.
Although OWS is described as a public-private partnership, the government is stumping up a lot of cash and shouldering a lot of risk. Matthew Kavanagh, a professor of global health at Georgetown University, worries that the government has too few levers to pull with the firms and that there is little transparency over how winners are being picked. Others worry about the affordability and cost of these eventual vaccines. American efforts to gain access to German and French vaccines have also sparked controversy in those countries.
Critics of the European Commission, including the boss of Sanofi, Paul Hudson, have accused it of dragging its feet in funding covid-19 research when compared with America. But the US government's purchase of remdesivir caused alarm in many other rich countries, which fear that a drug that improves recovery time will be hard to obtain for their own patients. The move to corner the supply of this drug looked particularly bad abroad because the trials necessary to show that the drug worked involved patients in Germany, Greece, Japan, Korea, Spain and Britain.
Less noticed, but potentially incendiary, was a similar American move on July 7th, when OWS signed a deal worth $450m with Regeneron. This acquired most of Regeneron's supply of a promising experimental therapy, REG-COV2, for the next three months. If it turns out to work, most other countries will be unable to get hold of it. A spokesperson said the firm is working on plans to meet demand elsewhere.
The government's money is not universally appealing to the pharma industry. The giant drug firm Pfizer has rejected cash from OWS. Its boss, Albert Bourla, says working with the government would slow the firm down. That fear seems to be justified. Work by Moderna, a biotech firm, appears to have been delayed amid reports of squabbles between the firm and the federal government over the design of trials.
Yet with the eagerness of the pharma sector to find treatments, along with the broad range of investments made by OWS (as well as other governments) there has been a lot of progress in the search for tests, drugs and vaccines. AstraZeneca has started late-stage trials, and Moderna and Pfizer are expected to do the same before the end of the summer. Even the master of caution on vaccines, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, thinks a signal of vaccine efficacy might arrive in September. If data from trials emerges to suggest that a vaccine works, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will have to decide whether to grant an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA).
Assuming these vaccines work, a best-case scenario could put an EUA for a vaccine well before the November election. A signal from the trials of the Regeneron drug is expected by the end of the summer. If it works, the federal government looks likely to be sitting on most of the world's supply of the drug. All this means that Mr Trump has a reasonable chance at being right about there being a drug or vaccine by the end of the year. More significantly, analysts at Morgan Stanley think that the sort of early data that now looks possible in the coming months, would allow investors to ''look through'' any negative headlines in the economic recovery. This has the potential to help Mr Trump at the polls.
That would heighten concerns over how the government might apply pressure on the FDA to cut corners when approving a vaccine. Commissioner Stephen Hahn has said this will not happen. However his agency has been blasted for granting an EUA for the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, an approval that seems mainly to have been designed to avoid embarrassing the president, who endorsed the drug as a treatment without any evidence.
Confidence in a covid-19 vaccine is essential. There are also concerns over the influence of anti-vaxxers in the uptake of any new vaccine. A poll in May found that half of Americans would take a vaccine, and one in five would refuse. Yet history shows that outbreaks of disease can be persuasive. The California Disneyland measles outbreak in 2014 gave a boost to childhood vaccination rates. The pandemic has even triggered a spike in demand for flu vaccine with one prescription drug firm, SingleCare, saying it saw a 500% increase in demand.
Even if a covid-19 vaccine is only 50% effective, and taken by less than half the population, experience with the flu jab suggests that it would be life-saving. A bigger concern, though, is whether a vaccine would get to those most at risk from covid-19. Persistent racial disparities already exist in flu-vaccination rates, with 9% and 12% lower coverage among black, non-Hispanics and Hispanic Americans, respectively, as compared with the vaccination rate of whites.
Successful therapies, particularly those supported by OWS, would give Mr Trump something to brag about on the campaign Zoom trail. Yet it seems unlikely to blunt much of the effect of the disastrous increase in cases of covid-19 (see article). The administration is keen to paint OWS in heroic terms, describing it as the ''one of the greatest scientific and humanitarian accomplishments in history.'' The reality is that even if international efforts help to create the knowledge to defeat covid-19, America looks unwilling to share the humanitarian gains outside its own borders.
The administration has shunned international efforts to co-operate on vaccines. On July 7th it said it would begin the process of withdrawing from the World Health Organisation, which plays a key role in organising the global distribution of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics. There is a strong argument that vaccines will be more efficiently deployed when delivered to the high-risk populations around the world rather than through near universal vaccination of a few rich countries such as America. That argument has not been very persuasive with this administration, but Mr Trump did promise America First. '–
This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline "America First-Aid"
Jul 18th 2020
Editor's note: Some of our covid-19 coverage is free for readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. For more stories and our pandemic tracker, see our hub
I T IS EASY to smirk at the president. When it comes to the pandemic, he seems to be wrong about almost everything. He has promoted a dud malaria drug, said the virus would disappear, and even that 99% of cases of covid-19 are harmless. No wonder there is scepticism when Donald Trump says there will be a vaccine or a drug by the end of the year. But could he be right? After all, the government is spending more than $13bn on this goal and pursuing an aggressive strategy to achieve it.
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Continue reading this articleRegister with an email addressJul 18th 2020
Editor's note: Some of our covid-19 coverage is free for readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. For more stories and our pandemic tracker, see our hub
I T IS EASY to smirk at the president. When it comes to the pandemic, he seems to be wrong about almost everything. He has promoted a dud malaria drug, said the virus would disappear, and even that 99% of cases of covid-19 are harmless. No wonder there is scepticism when Donald Trump says there will be a vaccine or a drug by the end of the year. But could he be right? After all, the government is spending more than $13bn on this goal and pursuing an aggressive strategy to achieve it.
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What's the backup plan if there's no COVID-19 vaccine?
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 09:44
WASHINGTON '-- Americans struggling through the worsening coronavirus outbreak got some rare good news this week as researchers delivered encouraging updates about potential vaccines. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose gloomy warnings have frustrated President Donald Trump, has sounded consistently enthusiastic about the prospects.
It's a heartening thought that even as the country has failed to contain the virus or implement the kinds of public health measures experts have called for, there's a deus ex machina coming to rescue us if we can just hold out long enough.
But some experts are worried about Americans getting too used to the idea that a miracle vaccine or treatment is around the corner. While there's broad agreement the latest news is promising, some are concerned that the prospect of future relief could breed complacency amid raging outbreaks that are killing hundreds of people each day.
''I think we absolutely have to have a backup plan in place,'' Carl Bergstrom, a biologist at the University of Washington, said. ''It's something that's not talked about enough.''
Even in a best-case scenario, the country may be six months or more away from widespread inoculations. And we may not be in a best-case scenario, which could require policymakers and the public to develop plans for the long haul.
''So far the story of the vaccine development seems to be that none of the things that could have gone wrong have gone wrong,'' Bergstrom said. ''That doesn't mean we're home free by any means.''
If there's a Plan B, it's not clear what it is at the moment. The White House and its allies in Congress are struggling to negotiate even the next temporary relief bill, and Trump has repeatedly speculated that the U.S. will soon find a vaccine or cure, or that the virus will ''disappear'' on its own.
That has some people nervous. Ken Frazier, CEO of the pharmaceutical giant Merck, recently warned that anyone hyping a medical breakthrough before 2021 was doing a ''grave disservice to the public'' given the inherent challenges of developing and administering a vaccine.
''The reality of the world is that this time next year very well may look like what we're experiencing now,'' Frazier said in an interview with Harvard Business School professor Tsedal Neeley. "I think when we do tell people that a vaccine's coming right away, we allow politicians to actually tell the public not to do the things that the public needs to do, like wear the damn masks,'' he added.
While multiple vaccine candidates in the U.K., China and America are progressing well, it's possible the next phase of larger trials could reveal more serious side effects or limits to their effectiveness. And if public expectations are too high, some worry it could put pressure on officials '-- especially in an election year '-- to authorize their use too quickly. (The head of the FDA has insisted it will not ''cut corners'' on safety.)
Even if a vaccine hits every mark on safety and effectiveness, there's a possibility governments could struggle to distribute it quickly. The Trump administration is buying up hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine candidates in advance in the hopes that it can move quickly if they're approved, but roadblocks could still emerge.
Topher Spiro, vice president of health policy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, has spent months researching the logistics of inoculating the public against coronavirus once a vaccine is approved.
Potential problems he's looked at include failing to produce enough glass vials to bureaucratic snafus over who administers the vaccine to simply struggling to convince enough people that it's safe to get vaccinated. An Associated Press poll this week found 20 percent of respondents said they did not plan to get a vaccine if it became available, with another 31 percent unsure.
''We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves and we should start preparing for the possibility we have a vaccine, but that does not mean we should stop looking for strategies to contain the virus in the meantime,'' Spiro said.
Avik Roy, president of the conservative Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, co-wrote a coronavirus response framework in April that argued officials should assume for planning purposes that advances in vaccines or treatments don't materialize.
''I spent a dozen years as an investor in biotech companies,'' Roy said. ''When you're close to the ground in development of novel treatments, you're acutely aware of how often they fail, how often data that looks promising in the early stages doesn't pan out in the late stages."
According to Roy, accepting the prospect of no vaccine as an organizing principle could lend more urgency to installing security measures like temperature scanners, protecting vulnerable populations like seniors, and advancing plans to safely reopen schools.
''If we're going to say it's OK to lock down the economy and keep schools closed because we'll have a vaccine in six months, that involves a lot of premature assumptions,'' he said.
Many expert suggestions involve redoubling current efforts to confront the virus.
Improving testing availability and turnaround times, which the White House has been reluctant to put more federal dollars into, could help detect outbreaks before they get out of hand. Hiring and training more contact tracers, and maybe even experimenting with apps to assist them, could help track the spread of the virus. Finding effective treatments that speed up recovery and increase survivability could make the pandemic easier to manage as a day-to-day threat. Former Obama health official Andy Slavitt has called for a national push to produce high-quality N95 masks for daily public use, rather than the more common cotton masks.
Any struggles on the vaccine front could affect the economic response as well. The longer the crisis persists, the more that temporary shifts like virtual offices or increased e-commerce sales could become entrenched habits. That could make aid programs like Paycheck Protection that are built on maintaining existing businesses, which may no longer be viable in a world ravaged by coronavirus, harder to sustain. As it stands, many businesses are already closing their doors permanently.
''The CARES Act was mainly based on the premise that we would freeze jobs and firms in place and then everyone would go back,'' University of Chicago economics professor Steven Davis told NBC News. ''There's a great deal of evidence that the post-pandemic economy will look significantly different and many of the lost jobs are not coming back.''
Then there's the less desirable backup scenario: The virus wins.
If enough people are infected waiting for a vaccine to emerge, the country could approach herd immunity and gain at least temporary respite from major outbreaks. Some experts have estimated reaching that point would require as much as 60 percent to 70 percent of the population to get infected, while others see a potentially lower threshold. According to a study this week by the CDC, America is still a long way off either way, with only 24 percent of even worst-hit New York City believed to have antibodies against the virus.
But some argue we're likelier to reach that point earlier than we might think if current outbreaks worsen.
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, a CNBC contributor who sits on the board of Pfizer, predicted that by early 2021, ''we will either have a vaccine, or we will have herd immunity.''
The country probably won't be celebrating either way, however.
''We are a long way from it now, and a lot of death and disease until we get there,'' Gottlieb said.
OTG
Garmin outage caused by confirmed WastedLocker ransomware attack
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 17:15
07/24/20 Update below. This article was originally published on July 23rd, 2020. It has been updated to reflect that BleepingComputer now has confirmation from a source familiar with the ongoing investigation that the WastedLocker ransomware hit Garmin's network. We later updated the story with further information from a Garmin employee.
Wearable device maker Garmin shut down some of its connected services and call centers on Thursday following what the company called a worldwide outage, now confirmed to be caused by a WastedLocker ransomware attack.
Garmin's product line includes GPS navigation and wearable technology for the automotive, marine, aviation, marine, fitness, and outdoor markets.
"We are currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin.com and Garmin Connect," an outage update notification published on the company's newsroom says.
"This outage also affects our call centers, and we are currently unable to receive any calls, emails or online chats. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and apologize for this inconvenience."
While Garmin didn't mention it in their outage alert, multiple flyGarmin services used by aircraft pilots are also down, including the flyGarmin website and mobile app, Connext Services (weather, CMC, and position reports) and Garmin Pilot Apps (Flight plan filing unless connected to FltPlan, account syncing, and database concierge).
inReach satellite tech (Service Activation and Billing) and Garmin Explore (Explore site and Explore app sign) used for location sharing, GPS navigation, logistics, and tracking through the Iridium satellite network are also down.
The company's Indian branch first tweeted about some servers being shut down due to planned maintenance nine hours ago that would limit the performance of the Garmin Express, Garmin Connect mobile, and website.
Four hours later, Garmin's main Twitter and Facebook accounts shared the same outage message (1, 2) about the incident impacting Garmin Connect services, including the mobile app and the website, with its call centers also being down due to the outage.
Garmin Connect down for maintenanceThis outage also affects our call centers, and we are currently unable to receive any calls, emails or online chats. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible and apologize for this inconvenience. (2/2)
'-- Garmin (@Garmin) July 23, 2020Confirmed WastedLocker ransomware attackA source close to the Garmin incident response and a Garmin employee confirmed to BleepingComputer that the WastedLocker ransomware attacked Garmin.
A Garmin employee told BleepingComputer that they first learned of the attack when they arrived at their office on Thursday morning.
BleepingComputer was told that the Garmin IT department had tried to remotely shut down all computers on the network as devices were being encrypted, including home computers connected via VPN.
After being unable to do so, employees were told to shut down any computer on the network that they had access to.
In a photo of a Garmin computer with encrypted files shared with BleepingComputer, you can see that the .garminwasted extension was appended to the file's name, and ransom notes were also created for each file.
Source: BleepingComputerAs part of this company-wide shutdown, the employee told us that Garmin did a hard shutdown of all devices hosted in a data center as well to prevent them from possibly being encrypted.
This company-wide shutdown is what caused the global outage for Garmin Connect and other connected services.
iThome also published a report on a Garmin internal memo earlier about a 'virus' attack affecting the company's internal IT servers and databases that caused Garmin Taiwan factories to shut down production lines for two days (on July 24 and 25th).
If you work at Garmin or know someone working there with first-hand information on this incident, you can confidentially contact us on Signal at +16469613731.
After further research, BleepingComputer found the same WastedLocker ransomware sample used in the attack on Garmin.
As WastedLocker samples are customized for each target, having access to the sample lets us generate the same ransom note and encrypted files as seen during the attack.
As you can see below, files encrypted with this WastedLocker sample append the same .garminwasted extension and create the same garminwasted_info ransom note as shown in the photo sent to BleepingComputer by the Garmin employee.
Files encrypted using WastedLocker sample from GarminSource: BleepingComputerFurthermore, the ransom notes generated by the sample are addressed to 'GARMIN', as shown below.
Garmin ransom noteSource: BleepingComputerReports state that the attack started in Taiwan, which coincides with the location of one of the users who uploaded the sample to VirusTotal.
BleepingComputer was told by one of the sources that the attackers are demanding a $10 million ransom.
BleepingComputer has not been able to verify this amount independently.
Evil Corp's WastedLocker ransomwareEvil Corp (aka the Dridex gang) is a Russian-based cybercriminal group active since at least 2007 known to be the ones behind Dridex malware and for using ransomware as part of their attacks including Locky ransomware and their own ransomware strain known as BitPaymer.
The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned evil Corp gang in December 2019 after being charged for using Dridex to cause more than $100 million in financial damages.
Due to this, it is a tricky situation for Garmin if they want to pay the ransom as they would potentially be violating United States sanctions.
Since then, the hacking group has refreshed their tactics once more and are now again involved in the ransomware "business," deploying their new WastedLocker ransomware in targeted corporate attacks and asking for ransoms of millions of dollars.
Evil Corp operators also used WastedLocker ransomware to encrypt systems on Garmin's network, which has led to a significant worldwide outage of multiple services and products, including Garmin Connect, Garmin Explore, Garmin inReach, and flyGarmin.
Last month, Evil Corp was blocked from deploying WastedLocker ransomware as part of dozens of attacks against major U.S. corporations, including multiple Fortune 500 companies.
However, they did manage to compromise devices used by employees of over 30 major US private firms using fake software update alerts displayed by the malicious SocGholish JavaScript-based framework delivered through dozens of hacked U.S. newspaper websites.
BleepingComputer has contacted Garmin for more information on this incident, but the mail bounced back as the mail servers are shut down.
5G
Worst paper of 2020? 5G and Coronavirus induction '' Science Integrity Digest
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 17:24
This paper made my jaw drop:
5G Technology and induction of coronavirus in skin cells '' M Fioranelli et al. '' J Biol Regul Homeost Agents 2020 Jul 16;34(4). doi: 10.23812/20-269-E-4.
The paper suggests that 5G waves (the latest cell phone technology) can spontaneously generate Coronaviruses in skin cells. Yet, there is nothing in this article that proves this extraordinary claim. It is absolute nonsense.
Combining two hot topics into one title, this article is surely asking for some attention. Attention it will get. Because it is one of the worst scientific papers I have seen this year.
The paper, now removed from the journal's website [archived], was first brought to my attention on Twitter by @Reviewer__2.
The fantastic James Heathers had some colorful words to say about it as well.
The paperIn the paper [archived abstract, archived PDF], the authors claim that electromagnetic waves emitted by 5G technology can be absorbed by skin cells, promote the cell to make new nucleotides, and thus produce Coronaviruses.
Why cells would specifically produce Coronaviruses, and not other viruses, roses, cats, or dollar bills remains a mystery.
How did the authors prove this extraordinary claim? Well, they don't. The paper does not include any experiments. It is listed as an Editorial, and it includes a lot of clunky cartoons and impressive formulas, but there is no proof. It is just a wacko hypothesis.
Which cartoons, you may ask?
The cartoon to explain it all. There are waves. And cells. And nucleotides and holes. And thus, Coronavirus gets created.Note that they write that the waves lead to COVID-19 production. They apparently confuse the disease with the virus.
And then there are a bunch of formulas. They are so impressive that the authors might have hoped the reviewers would be afraid to ask any questions.
And of course, there is the Final Figure. It does not prove anything, there is no measured data, but look! the ''Probability'' axis goes to 120%. Like the ''Up to eleven'' amplifier from the movie This Is Spinal Tap.
Here is Figure 6 in all its simple glory. This is peak pseudoscience.
In conclusion, the paper appears to just contain a very wild hypothesis, without any proof. It is not a scientific paper.
As I have written before: Extraordinary claims need to come with extraordinary proof. But there is no data here at all. How on earth could this have passed peer review? And how on earth could this journal been included in NCBI's PubMed index?
The authorsWho are the authors on this article? The first two authors are the notorious duo M Fioranelli and A Sepehri.
I have written about Alireza Sepehri before. In short, Sepehri is an astrophysicist who briefly worked at the Research Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics of Maragha (RIAAM) in Iran, but kept on using his affiliation long after he was not employed anymore. He wrote several preprints and articles in which he decapitated 400 birds to prove they can still live without a head, implanted beans into another bird to create new life, and claimed that DNA of a women will irradiate waves that are canceled by male DNA. Make sure to read his elaborate response to my critique on PubPeer (''we wonder that how this person lets herself to go to twitter and makes some main publishing institutes and publishers questionable'').
Massimo Fioranelli is a Human Physiology professor at the Universit degli studi Guglielmo Marconi in Rome. He also has a website to make sure you know that he always graduated Cum Laude (''sempre con lode'').
Fioranelli and Sepehri have published some incoherent papers together before. Of note, they published a paper in which they propose to infect pregnant women with influenza virus as a novel way to reveal the gender of the fetus [PubPeer thread]. In another paper, they claim that water has a memory and that cancer in men or women can be stopped by treatment with cells from the opposite gender [PubPeer]. At least nine of the papers they published are indexed in PubMed.
In summary, this duo has found each other in terms of crazy ideas, and they have found some crazy journals to publish these crazy ideas.
Co-author KM Lomonosov appears to be one of those mysterious authors that can only be found on ResearchGate, and it is not clear if they really exist. Their affiliation is listed as the Moscow State Medical University, which appears to be founded by Mikhail Lomonosov, so this might be a fake name.
The last author on this paper is Torello Lotti, professor of Dermatology and Venereology at the G. Marconi university in Rome. He is also President of the President of the World Health Academy, Dermatology and a visiting Professor at lots of universities. He has authored Lottis of papers (sorry, could not help it) '' 86 in 2020 alone. He is also the Editor in Chief of Wiley's Dermatologic Therapy. It is not clear how an established researcher like Lotti ended up as an author on this pseudoscience paper.
The journalSurprisingly, the journal that published the 5G/Coronavirus paper is indexed in NCBI's PubMed, giving it an official stamp of approval.
While most predatory journals are not included in the PubMed index, this journal, the Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents, is. Their full catalogue (about 3,000 papers) appears to be included in PubMed.
On their website, the journal promises that all papers are peer-reviewed, and that submissions are very easy. No registration! No password! No papers to be filled out! Just send the manuscripts to Editor In Chief Pio Conti and he will take care of it. The instructions fail to note if including a $1000 euro note with the submission might help.
The journal's website is formatted very strangely. You cannot select text to copy/paste e.g. the title of a paper. Most papers do not have a link to the full text or a PDF; the website only shows the title and abstract. It is unclear how to actually read these papers. Some examples: here and here.
The journal's Editorial Board is not searchable either. It is just a poorly scanned, crooked image of a printed page. Editors are not listed with their affiliations, just with their first initial and country. Some of the Editors appear to be deceased:
''S. Pestka, USA'', presumably refers to Sidney Pestka, a biochemist/geneticist who passed away in 2016. G. Bonadonna died in 2015. V. Bocci died in 2019. Another Editor, JW Mier, was implicated in a research misconduct case.
Retracted '' or notAfter all the outrage this paper caused yesterday on social media and other sites (Twitter, Reddit, 5GRadar, ExtremeTech, Ocasapiens), the journal silently removed the paper. The DOI link now leads to the wrong paper with a different DOI, in what appears to be a violation of scientific publishing rules.
This paper might make you laugh, but it is a serious problem. Because it was indexed in PubMed, it counts as a peer-reviewed scientific paper, and can be used and misused by all kinds of people to support their conspiracy theories.
It is good that the paper was retracted, but it is not OK for a scientific journal to completely remove it from the journal's page and pretend it never existed.
I hereby urge NCBI to ban this journal from being indexed in PubMed. A journal that is publishing unfounded theories disguised as scientific, peer-reviewed papers, with an editorial board full of deceased people, with no way of selecting text or reading full articles online, and that makes poorly received papers vanish in thin air does not deserve to be included in PubMed.
5G Technology and induction of coronavirus in skin cells - PubMed
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 15:38
Editorial
doi: 10.23812/20-269-E-4. Online ahead of print. Affiliations
Affiliations 1 Department of Nuclear, Sub-nuclear and Radiation Physics, G. Marconi University, Rome, Italy. 2 Central Michigan Saginaw, Michigan, USA. 3 Department of Dermatology and Venereology, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia. PMID: 32668870 DOI: 10.23812/20-269-E-4 Item in Clipboard
Editorial
M Fioranelli et al. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents . 2020 .
doi: 10.23812/20-269-E-4. Online ahead of print. Affiliations 1 Department of Nuclear, Sub-nuclear and Radiation Physics, G. Marconi University, Rome, Italy. 2 Central Michigan Saginaw, Michigan, USA. 3 Department of Dermatology and Venereology, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia. PMID: 32668870 DOI: 10.23812/20-269-E-4 Item in Clipboard
Abstract In this research, we show that 5G millimeter waves could be absorbed by dermatologic cells acting like antennas, transferred to other cells and play the main role in producing Coronaviruses in biological cells. DNA is built from charged electrons and atoms and has an inductor-like structure. This structure could be divided into linear, toroid and round inductors. Inductors interact with external electromagnetic waves, move and produce some extra waves within the cells. The shapes of these waves are similar to shapes of hexagonal and pentagonal bases of their DNA source. These waves produce some holes in liquids within the nucleus. To fill these holes, some extra hexagonal and pentagonal bases are produced. These bases could join to each other and form virus-like structures such as Coronavirus. To produce these viruses within a cell, it is necessary that the wavelength of external waves be shorter than the size of the cell. Thus 5G millimeter waves could be good candidates for applying in constructing virus-like structures such as Coronaviruses (COVID-19) within cells.
Keywords: 5G technology; COVID-19; DNA; dermatologic antenna; inductor; millimeter wave.
Copyright 2020 Biolife Sas. www.biolifesas.org.
Similar articles DNA Waves and Their Applications in Biology. Fioranelli M, Sepehri A, Roccia MG, Rossi C, Lotti J, Vojvodic P, Barygina V, Vojvodic A, Vlaskovic-Jovicevic T, Peric-Hajzler Z, Matovic D, Vojvodic J, Dimitrijevic S, Sijan G, Wollina U, Tirant M, Thuong NV, Lotti T. Fioranelli M, et al. Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2019 Sep 11;7(18):3096-3100. doi: 10.3889/oamjms.2019.767. eCollection 2019 Sep 30. Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2019. PMID: 31850131 Free PMC article.
Towards 5G: A Photonic Based Millimeter Wave Signal Generation for Applying in 5G Access Fronthaul. Alavi SE, Soltanian MR, Amiri IS, Khalily M, Supa'at AS, Ahmad H. Alavi SE, et al. Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 27;6:19891. doi: 10.1038/srep19891. Sci Rep. 2016. PMID: 26814621 Free PMC article.
[Protection of the population health from electromagnetic hazards - challenges resulting from the implementation of the 5G network planned in Poland]. Zmyślony M, BieÅkowski P, Bortkiewicz A, Karpowicz J, Kieliszek J, PolitaÅski P, RydzyÅski K. Zmyślony M, et al. Med Pr. 2020 Jan 20;71(1):105-113. doi: 10.13075/mp.5893.00867. Epub 2019 Nov 29. Med Pr. 2020. PMID: 31793559 Polish.
Millimeter waves: acoustic and electromagnetic. Ziskin MC. Ziskin MC. Bioelectromagnetics. 2013 Jan;34(1):3-14. doi: 10.1002/bem.21750. Epub 2012 Aug 24. Bioelectromagnetics. 2013. PMID: 22926874 Free PMC article. Review.
Massive MIMO Systems for 5G and Beyond Networks-Overview, Recent Trends, Challenges, and Future Research Direction. Chataut R, Akl R. Chataut R, et al. Sensors (Basel). 2020 May 12;20(10):2753. doi: 10.3390/s20102753. Sensors (Basel). 2020. PMID: 32408531 Free PMC article. Review.
Ground Zero for 'Inside the Building' 5G Was Also Ground Zero for Coronavirus in the USA '' Frank Report | Investigative Journalism From Frank Parlato
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 19:25
By Fred
Barrie Trower, in a YouTube talk, described hearing a famous British scientist, Sir Lawrie Challis, Order of the British Empire, and long a stalwart of committees saying that mobile phones were perfectly safe:
http://www.iop.org/about/obituaries/page_72193.html
https://scienceblog.com/14196/limited-cell-phone-use-safe-uk-study-says/
Trower was at an early talk by Challis on the planned microwave mobile phone rollout.
Lawrie Challis (1933-2017)He said that afterwards, he spoke to Challis, and said, 'Surely you know that this technology is going to cause death and illness in millions of people?''
He said that, as much as he'll never forget Challis's words, he will also remember the absolutely offhand manner of the reply.
Challis just said: ''What's wrong with that?''
This is the mentality you are dealing with, natural born killers, who think it's a matter of unquestionable right that they should be able to flick a switch and wipe out a billion people. And who get awards from the Queen for doing so.
The Brits are the main producers of fake studies about mobile phones and health. I've personally challenged at least half a dozen.
Perfidious Albion at its knavish tricks.
I've referenced Nellie Bowles's stories in the New York Times on how the tech elite avoid screen time and devices for their own kids.
I've referenced stories that the Mar-a-Lago environs seems to be the one place in the USA where they can't put up 5G towers, because of the ''aesthetic'' impact.
Right now, there's a genuinely explosive video going viral, claiming that the shutdown of schools in the USA is to facilitate a secret rollout of 5G. White vans are going to come in and ''decontaminate'' schools; actually, they're contractors under heavy non-disclosure agreements installing 5G mini base stations:
https://www.takebackyourpower.net/5g-biometrics-covertly-installed-during-lockdown/
This is based on an anonymous whistleblower on a school board. She says she's one of just a handful in her state who are aware of what's going on. You can judge her credibility for yourself. She says she has access to databases in other educational districts and she can see the same thing going on elsewhere.
So, as I've been telling you anyway: watch out; see what's happening in your street, in your apartment block. They can't get the radiation inside your building without some kind of repeater. So watch out for the men in white vans, with ladders, coming to ''decontaminate'' your street and maybe cut back the trees.
Now, here is a piece of information I've been trying to put about, to no apparent avail.
There's a nursing home in Washington state that had about 30 coronavirus deaths. At one stage, I think half the people in the USA who had died were at this one centre. This is Life Care Center in Kirkland, Seattle.
I said to myself: I'll bet you there is some link with 5G in Kirkland, Seattle. It took me about five minutes to find it. Kirkland was the site of the very first demonstration of ''inside the building'' 5G in the USA, maybe even in the world.
This was done by a Bill Gates-backed company called Pivotal, based in Kirkland. This is from a news report in June 2018:
''Today, Pivotal reported a successful field trial of the Echo 5G in a simulated home environment in a Kirkland neighborhood. The unit was affixed to a double-paned glass window and positioned at a 40-degree angle to a 5G base station, set up to simulate a distance of 1,640 feet, or a third of a mile. (The actual distance was 360 feet.)''
https://www.geekwire.com/2018/signal-inside-building-pivotal-commware-demonstrates-5g-wireless-link/
Getting 5G signals inside buildings is going to be a big, big problem. Even foliage in trees will block this radiation, so getting it through walls is another story.
Pivotal fixes this by turning the entire building into a 5G base station, finding clever ways to bend the radiation around corners to cover the whole property.
Pivotal Commware's glass-attached Echo 5G unit picks up a millimeter-wave signal and boosts the signal for wireless customers. (Pivotal Commware Photo)You will see that the first trials of this were in a ''Kirkland neighborhood''. I presume the picture [above] is the actual site; anyone who knows Kirkland can maybe identify the building for us, and tell us exactly where this 5G base station was located.
I checked out the Life Care Center, to see if they mentioned anything to do with 5G.
They did advertise ''Complimentary wireless Internet'' for all patients, so the building had wifi, for sure. Other pictures claiming to be 5G installations near the centre were debunked, and I couldn't load them to judge.
But this Pivotal story is a slam dunk. Truly, it can be said that ground zero for ''inside the building'' 5G, worldwide, was also ground zero for the coronavirus outbreak in the USA.
Some of the stories from the Life Care Center are truly harrowing: ''We have seen as little as one hour from somebody exhibiting no symptoms, going to symptoms that were severe enough they needed to be transferred to a hospital, and then within a short amount of time that patient dying.''
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/still-in-triage-mode-more-residents-employees-of-kirkland-nursing-home-are-hospitalized-with-coronavirus-symptoms/
So any possible explanation as to what the hell is going on there, should be taken seriously. I tracked the distance on Google Maps from the Pivotal HQ to this Life Care Center. It was 1.8 km. I wrote to those Seattle Times journalists, pointing all of this out. I did not receive a reply.
If you want to see some truly provocative PR, then take a look at Pivotal's front page: it shows a pregnant woman on a smartphone, with a 5G repeater on the window, busy radiating her. Take a look back there what I said about pregnant women in microwave fields.
Don't tell me Pivotal don't know what they're doing here. They are deliberately lying to you and telling you this radiation is safe for pregnant women. One day, sooner than you may think, a picture like this will be seen as far worse than doctors advertising cigarettes:
https://pivotalcommware.com/
So, you read all about it in Frank Report first, the Bill Gates ''5G Inside The Building'' company located at the epicentre of the US coronavirus outbreak. Keep it quiet, or my health will be at risk.
Go and look around the world at the connections between 5G and this pandemic of illness. Turin won the competition, the big prize, it was the first 5G city in Europe. Turin and Milan, in the industrialized north, are the epicentres of the disastrous Italian health collapse.
https://www.mobileeurope.co.uk/press-wire/tim-turns-on-europe-s-first-5g-edge-cloud-live-network-in-turin
It's a fact that those cruise ships were loaded with 5G-like communications via satellites.
The whole continent of Africa, with the least 5G infrastructure in the world, has had just two deaths, the last time I looked: Morocco and Egypt. Both have 5G. The other cases are mostly in South Africa, with 5G. There was a riot in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho when a coronavirus victim was diagnosed in that country. There are many Chinese textile companies in the kingdom, and workers were scared of getting infected by their Chinese managers. Lesotho is also a major testbed for 5G in a small African country.
Tenerife has a coronavirus crisis: it has 5G. Same for Spain.
Iran is the big question: they say they are rolling out 5G in March 2021, so they are presumably installing and trialling now. Remember that Meng Wanzhou, the top Huawei executive arrested in Canada, is being held for sanctions violations with IRAN. So there is definitely some shady business going on with 5G and Iran; and even shadier business over coronavirus deaths in that country.
Even more ominous, and in line with this alleged rollout of 5G in schools across the USA: wherever the coronavirus goes, 5G rapidly follows. Huawei found a real gap in the market, ''smart'' diagnosis of covid-19 via remote 5G. So in areas where a coronavirus outbreak is suspected, they rush in 5G base stations:
https://www.gizchina.com/2020/01/26/huawei-coronavirus-5g-base-stations/
The Chinese have erected entire hospitals in 48 hours: check it out, these are constructed around 5G base stations. The entire building is basically a 5G hot spot.
Are you beginning to get the picture? This is a phased rollout, using the chaos of the ensuing health crisis as a cover for further mass rollouts of 5G, just as fast as possible, all to maintain public order and facilitate rapid diagnosis.
Will you please look out for white vans with ladders ''disinfecting'' your neighborhood in the coming weeks? And especially disinfecting the tops of poles? Tell us if you see anything that looks fishy.
Just remember what a risk you'll be taking, even asking a question or two, taking a picture. This is the proverbial ''It'' we've all been waiting for. The entire planet on a lockdown, schools closed, shops closed, factories closed, airports, airlines, borders, conferences, concerts, elections, all off. Stock markets collapsing. Could you have imagined such a thing just a few short weeks ago?
I made a prediction over and again during 2019, you will remember that year, it's got a virus named after it now. I said: ''2020 is the announced rollout of 5G. Therefore: 2019 is the last full year of the human race, people. Use it well. Those climate change doom-mongers haven't remotely got the time scale right, we are down to the last few hours. ''All hell will break loose'' was my exact prediction, as the health dangers of 5G are revealed.''
It's March 22 as I write this, the astrological year has just begun. Taking a look around me, I would say my timetable is holding up pretty well.
***
[Here is some technical data that might interest some students of the effects of 5G]
Take a look at the ''Anatomy of a GSM mobile phone signal'', from a guy who actually measured this radiation as well as looking at the specs:
http://www.techmind.org/gsm/
Note: ''Owing to the coding and control protocols, every 26th pulse is omitted during a conversation, leading to a component in the output modulation at 8.33 hertz.''
Look further down, where the detail of the pulse structure is revealed. Again: ''Every 26th pulse is omitted, causing an 8.3 Hz periodicity in the signal.''
You can clearly hear this pulsing on a meter with an audio output. You can hear it in this video, where Texas Instruments hosts a talk on ''killing the buzz'', i.e., reducing mobile phone interference:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TWXCVbBTcc
Picking virtually at random from studies on brainwaves with GSM phones:
''The average EEG band power in active exposure recordings was compared to corresponding sham recordings. Statistical tests indicated significant difference in the full-power mode trial within the EEG alpha (8''13 Hz) and beta (13''32 Hz) bands. A subsequent statistical analysis of median spectral power in discrete EEG rhythms revealed significant differences in 7 of the 32 distinct frequencies overall. In conclusion, the results of this study lend support to EEG effects from mobile phones activated in talk-mode.''
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03179176
and:
''Previous reports of an overall alpha power enhancement during the MP exposure were confirmed (relative to Sham),with this effect larger at ipsilateral than contralateral sites over posterior regions.''
https://www.avaate.org/IMG/pdf/electroencefalograma_20352_ftp.pdf
The lead author of this latter article is Rodney Croft, one of several Australians who have made lifetime careers out of denying the dangers of mobile phones. You can be certain that he was actually trying to disprove the ''previous reports'', but he's forced to admit that they are correct.
He also confirms that the anomalous spikes in brainwaves occur more strongly on the side of the head where the mobile phone is being held.
What exactly is this alpha brainwave state? This is a most interesting question. Here is one description:
''In general, the alpha rhythm is the prominent EEG wave pattern of an adult who is awake, but relaxed with eyes closed '... In the alpha state, one is open to suggestion as the conscious logical mind is subdued.''
https://www.sleepdisordersguide.com/article/basics/brain-waves-types-of-brainwaves-alpha-brain-waves
Interesting, alpha waves also occur in REM sleep, and ''It has long been believed that alpha waves indicate a wakeful period during sleep'':
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_wave
There is also a vegetative state known as an ''alpha coma'', where the person appears comatose, but there is a distinct alpha brainwave rhythm present. This might be more of a waking nightmare, from the sound of it.
The description of an adult with their eyes closed, their attention shifting inward, is the best characterization of alpha brainwaves. The 8 Hz frequency is at the limit of low alpha, as one is falling off to sleep.
Coincidentally, this frequency is very close to the Schumann resonance frequency of the Earth. This should actually be called the Tesla frequency, as Nikola Tesla first observed it on July 4 1899, when a lightning storm approaching his Colorado Springs laboratory showed an oscillating pattern of intensity. Tesla realised that he was seeing a resonance effect of the whole planet:
http://www.tfcbooks.com/articles/tws6.htm
You'll see that the lower Schumann resonance is about 8 Hz:
https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/gallery/schumann-resonance.html
So if you are messing with brainwaves, and imposing a strong signal on perhaps the single most powerful and pervasive natural frequency on the planet '... you are asking for trouble.
There's a massive WHO review document of brain studies, and I counted 26 of them that reported brainwave anomalies from ordinary cell phone radiation. I'll dig them up and list them when I get time. Plus a few others.
Now: can anyone see any possible risks, in inducing a daydreaming state in people? Including little children? Note that the natural alpha rhythm is generally only found in adults, it develops quite slowly in children.
As an education researcher, I'll give you the clearest example I've seen of this hazy state. I trained as a teacher at the University of London in 1978, and had to do a three-week teaching prac at a primary school before the academic term started, just to acclimatize us to the idea of being teachers. I was faced by barrages of questions from working-class British kids, the oldest about 11. I kept a diary in which I recorded as much of this as possible.
In recent years, I've done quite a bit of primary music teaching, at an international school with kids from all over the world '' quite a few diplomats' kids, I might add.
In every class, with kids of all kinds of abilities '' from seriously brilliant, to seriously challenged '-- I found the same pattern. A child would have their hand up for a question, bursting to ask me something, interrupting the lesson to get my attention. When I said, ''Yes, what do you want to ask?'', these kids would just go blank and stare at me. They had completely forgotten what they wanted to ask.
I've spoken to lots of other teachers, I spoke to parents, all of them have cheerfully confirmed this phenomenon. Kids cannot negotiate from inner space to outer space any more, they get lost along the way. This is absolutely characteristic, in my view, with an imposed alpha brainwave rhythm.
Again, I studied ''attention'' in the classroom, I'm not speaking as a lay person here, but as a teacher and researcher with over 40 years' experience. These modern kids are nothing like the kids I observed and taught in 1978. Those kids knew EXACTLY what they wanted to ask me.
As a teacher, your single most precious asset is the ATTENTION of your class. If you've lost their attention, you've lost your entire lesson, period. Any teacher will tell you this.
So: attention, the single most vital factor in classroom productivity by far, is being visibly destroyed in front of our eyes. We know for a fact, in dozens of studies, that brainwaves are affected at these digitally pulsed frequencies. We know the effect of these imposed brainwave patterns: driving the brain into a daydreaming state.
Look at the sleepwalking people around you, if you can't see it, you are not paying '... attention.
And yet here I am, explaining it all one more time, because someone says I'm talking nonsense.
Let me just deal with this last sentence, then: ''There is no 'pulsing,' and the connection between 16 Hz in the electromagnetic spectrum and cell operation makes zero sense.''
I have established and proved that there is pulsing at just above 8 Hz, you can go and look at the spikes in the graph yourself. Now, anything radiating at 8 Hz will also produce signals at 16 Hz, 24 Hz, etc., the harmonics of that frequency.
If you want to hear a truly charming introduction to harmonics, watch Anna-Maria Hefele demonstrate vocal overtones:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHTF1-IhuC0
You will hear the distinct harmonics of one frequency in her voice.
Now, the very first harmonic of 8 Hz will be 16 Hz. This is just a fact, elementary physics. And 16 Hz happens to be the frequency of the calcium gate in cells, as I referenced above. Many authorities say that this frequency should be avoided in electronic equipment, in order to prevent interference with calcium efflux from cells.
Now, it's simply a no-brainer that something pulsed at 8 Hz will resonate with a system pulsing at 16 Hz. It will hit every other pulse, that's all. The recommendation to avoid 16 Hz is a standard in the electromagnetic literature, I'm not making this up. But I'm told this standard guideline makes ''zero sense''. The only thing controversial in what I'm saying, is to argue that an 8 Hz pulse will affect a system at 16 Hz.
So can I give you an old radio man's analogy? Distant shortwave listeners would often tune into local AM broadcasts by tuning into the harmonic accidentally being broadcast by the same station. So a station on 6 MHz in the 39-metre band would be broadcasting locally in Asia; an American would tune into 12 MHz, and hear the harmonic, which would be in a band that could propagate around the world, bouncing off the ionosphere.
Now, this 12 MHz harmonic was just an artifact, the station wasn't meaning to broadcast it '' but so strong would it be, that you could easily tune in, a continent away. This was a sneaky way to hear what was going on around the world.
In exactly the same way, an 8 Hz pulse will radiate at 16 Hz. If you are trying to argue with me, please go and argue with Anna-Maria Hefele, she will demonstrate the truth of what I'm saying.
So again, I will repeat: a single, digital pulsed frequency, something absolutely never found in nature, will entrain brainwaves into a ''lucid dream'' frame of mind, a seriously semi-zombie, highly suggestible state; will entrain the calcium uptake of all the cells in the body; and for good measure, will interfere with the Schumann resonance, the most fundamental of all Earth frequencies with which we have evolved.
You do not find these resonance effects with nuclear radiation, or with sunlight, period. And this is why microwave radiation can be worse in its biological impact than nuclear radiation.
Just to clarify Mr Barrie Trower's exact quote in this regard, you can look at page 12 of this interview with a medical doctor:
Dr Zac Cox: '''...We're talking worse than nuclear war.''
Barrie Trower: ''Oh, much worse than nuclear war. Absolutely'...''
https://www.naturalscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/2015-06-22-WFNS-Factsheet-Interview-with-Barrie-Trower-english-WEB-.pdf
BLM
Black Lives Matter is in fact an attempt at a color revolution
Hey Google pushing BLM
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Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "Someone opened fire at the Austin protest. https://t.co/cIRah6f3fQ" / Twitter
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 12:00
JustCallMeBoomer : @stillgray It's all fun and games until someone starts shooting. Then they scatter.
Sun Jul 26 11:59:24 +0000 2020
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America's Own Color Revolution | New Eastern Outlook
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 14:19
America's Own Color Revolution P 16.06.2020 U F. William Engdahl
Color Revolution is the term used to describe a series of remarkably effective CIA-led regime change operations using techniques developed by the RAND Corporation, ''democracy'' NGOs and other groups since the 1980's. They were used in crude form to bring down the Polish communist regime in the late 1980s. From there the techniques were refined and used, along with heavy bribes, to topple the Gorbachev regime in the Soviet Union. For anyone who has studied those models closely, it is clear that the protests against police violence led by amorphous organizations with names like Black Lives Matter or Antifa are more than purely spontaneous moral outrage. Hundreds of thousands of young Americans are being used as a battering ram to not only topple a US President, but in the process, the very structures of the US Constitutional order.
If we step back from the immediate issue of videos showing a white Minneapolis policeman pressing his knee on the neck of a black man, George Floyd, and look at what has taken place across the nation since then, it is clear that certain organizations or groups were well-prepared to instrumentalize the horrific event for their own agenda.
The protests since May 25 have often begun peacefully only to be taken over by well-trained violent actors. Two organizations have appeared regularly in connection with the violent protests'--Black Lives Matter and Antifa (USA). Videos show well-equipped protesters dressed uniformly in black and masked (not for coronavirus to be sure), vandalizing police cars, burning police stations, smashing store windows with pipes or baseball bats. Use of Twitter and other social media to coordinate ''hit-and-run'' swarming strikes of protest mobs is evident.
What has unfolded since the Minneapolis trigger event has been compared to the wave of primarily black ghetto protest riots in 1968. I lived through those events in 1968 and what is unfolding today is far different. It is better likened to the Yugoslav color revolution that toppled Milosevic in 2000.
Gene Sharp: Template for Regime Overthrow
In the year 2000 the US State Department, aided by its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and select CIA operatives, began secretly training a group of Belgrade university students led by a student group that was called Otpor! (Resistance!). The NED and its various offshoots was created in the 1980's by CIA head Bill Casey as a covert CIA tool to overthrow specific regimes around the world under the cover of a human rights NGO. In fact, they get their money from Congress and from USAID.
In the Serb Otpor! destabilization of 2000, the NED and US Ambassador Richard Miles in Belgrade selected and trained a group of several dozen students, led by Srđa Popović, using the handbook, From Dictatorship to Democracy, translated to Serbian, of the late Gene Sharp and his Albert Einstein Institution. In a post mortem on the Serb events, the Washington Post wrote, ''US-funded consultants played a crucial role behind the scenes in virtually every facet of the anti-drive, running tracking polls, training thousands of opposition activists and helping to organize a vitally important parallel vote count. US taxpayers paid for 5,000 cans of spray paint used by student activists to scrawl anti-MiloÅević graffiti on walls across Serbia.''
Trained squads of activists were deployed in protests to take over city blocks with the aid of 'intelligence helmet' video screens that give them an instantaneous overview of their environment. Bands of youth converging on targeted intersections in constant dialogue on cell phones, would then overwhelm police. The US government spent some $41 million on the operation. Student groups were secretly trained in the Sharp handbook techniques of staging protests that mocked the authority of the ruling police, showing them to be clumsy and impotent against the youthful protesters. Professionals from the CIA and US State Department guided them behind the scenes.
The Color Revolution Otpor! model was refined and deployed in 2004 as the Ukraine Orange Revolution with logo and color theme scarves, and in 2003 in Georgia as the Rose Revolution. Later Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used the template to launch the Arab Spring. In all cases the NED was involved with other NGOs including the Soros Foundations.
After defeating Milosevic, Popovic went on to establish a global color revolution training center, CANVAS, a kind of for-profit business consultancy for revolution, and was personally present in New York working reportedly with Antifa during the Occupy Wall Street where also Soros money was reported.
Antifa and BLM
The protests, riots, violent and non-violent actions sweeping across the United States since May 25, including an assault on the gates of the White House, begin to make sense when we understand the CIA's Color Revolution playbook.
The impact of the protests would not be possible were it not for a network of local and state political officials inside the Democratic Party lending support to the protesters, even to the point the Democrat Mayor of Seattle ordered police to abandon several blocks in the heart of downtown to occupation by protesters.
In recent years major portions of the Democratic Party across the US have been quietly taken over by what one could call radical left candidates. Often they win with active backing of organizations such as Democratic Socialists of America or Freedom Road Socialist Organizations. In the US House of Representatives the vocal quarter of new representatives around Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib and Minneapolis Representative Ilhan Omar are all members or close to Democratic Socialists of America. Clearly without sympathetic Democrat local officials in key cities, the street protests of organizations such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa would not have such a dramatic impact.
To get a better grasp how serious the present protest movement is we should look at who has been pouring millions into BLM. The Antifa is more difficult owing to its explicit anonymous organization form. However, their online Handbook openly recommends that local Antifa ''cells'' join up with BLM chapters.
FRSO: Follow the Money
BLM began in 2013 when three activist friends created the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to protest the allegations of shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin by a white Hispanic block watchman, George Zimmermann. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi were all were connected with and financed by front groups tied to something called Freedom Road Socialist Organization, one of the four largest radical left organizations in the United States formed out of something called New Communist Movement that dissolved in the 1980s.
On June 12, 2020 the Freedom Road Socialist Organization webpage states, ''The time is now to join a revolutionary organization! Join Freedom Road Socialist Organization'...If you have been out in the streets this past few weeks, the odds are good that you've been thinking about the difference between the kind of change this system has to offer, and the kind of change this country needs. Capitalism is a failed system that thrives on exploitation, inequality and oppression. The reactionary and racist Trump administration has made the pandemic worse. The unfolding economic crisis we are experiencing is the worst since the 1930s. Monopoly capitalism is a dying system and we need to help finish it off. And that is exactly what Freedom Road Socialist Organization is working for.''
In short the protests over the alleged police killing of a black man in Minnesota are now being used to call for a revolution against capitalism. FRSO is an umbrella for dozens of amorphous groups including Black Lives Matter or BLM. What is interesting about the self-described Marxist-Leninist roots of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) is not so much their left politics as much as their very establishment funding by a group of well-endowed tax-exempt foundations.
Alicia Garza of BLM is also a board member or executive of five different Freedom Road front groups including 2011 Board chair of Right to the City Alliance, Board member of School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL), of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Forward Together and Special Projects director of National Domestic Workers Alliance.
The Right to the City Alliance got $6.5 million between 2011 and 2014 from a number of very established tax-exempt foundations including the Ford Foundation ($1.9 million), from both of George Soros's major tax-exempts''Open Society Foundations, and the Foundation to Promote Open Society for $1.3 million. Also the cornflake-tied Kellogg Foundation $250,000, and curiously, Ben & Jerry's Foundation (ice cream) for $30,000.
Garza also got major foundation money as Executive Director of the FRSO front, POWER, where Obama former ''green jobs czar'' Van Jones, a self-described ''communist'' and ''rowdy black nationalist,'' now with CNN, was on the board. Alicia Garza also chaired the Right to the City Alliance, a network of activist groups opposing urban gentrification. That front since 2009 received $1.3 million from the Ford Foundation, as well as $600,000 from the Soros foundations and again, Ben & Jerry's ($50,000). And Garza's SOUL, which claimed to have trained 712 ''organizers'' in 2014, when she co-founded Black Lives Matter, got $210,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation and another $255,000 from the Heinz Foundation (ketchup and John Kerry family) among others. With the Forward Together of FRSO, Garza sat on the board of a ''multi-racial organization that works with community leaders and organizations to transform culture and policy to catalyze social change.'' It officially got $4 million in 2014 revenues and from 2012 and 2014, the organization received a total of $2.9 million from Ford Foundation ($655,000) and other major foundations.
Nigeria-born BLM co-founder Opal Tometi likewise comes from the network of FRSO. Tometi headed the FRSO's Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Curiously with a ''staff'' of two it got money from major foundations including the Kellogg Foundation for $75,000 and Soros foundations for $100,000, and, again, Ben & Jerry's ($10,000). Tometi got $60,000 in 2014 to direct the group.
The Freedom Road Socialist Organization that is now openly calling for a revolution against capitalism in the wake of the Floyd George killing has another arm, The Advancement Project, which describes itself as ''a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization.'' Its board includes a former Obama US Department of Education Director of Community Outreach and a former Bill Clinton Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. The FRSO Advancement Project in 2013 got millions from major US tax-exempt foundations including Ford ($8.5 million), Kellogg ($3 million), Hewlett Foundation of HP defense industry founder ($2.5 million), Rockefeller Foundation ($2.5 million), and Soros foundations ($8.6 million).
Major Money and ActBlue
By 2016, the presidential election year where Hillary Clinton was challenging Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter had established itself as a well-organized network. That year the Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy announced the formation of the Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF), ''a six-year pooled donor campaign aimed at raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition'' in which BLM was a central part. By then Soros foundations had already given some $33 million in grants to the Black Lives Matter movement. This was serious foundation money.
The BLMF identified itself as being created by top foundations including in addition to the Ford Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and the Soros Open Society Foundations. They described their role: ''The BLMF provides grants, movement building resources, and technical assistance to organizations working advance the leadership and vision of young, Black, queer, feminists and immigrant leaders who are shaping and leading a national conversation about criminalization, policing and race in America.''
The Movement for Black Lives Coalition (M4BL) which includes Black Lives Matter, already in 2016 called for ''defunding police departments, race-based reparations, voting rights for illegal immigrants, fossil-fuel divestment, an end to private education and charter schools, a universal basic income, and free college for blacks.''
Notably, when we click on the website of M4BL, under their donate button we learn that the donations will go to something called ActBlue Charities. ActBlue facilitates donations to ''democrats and progressives.'' As of May 21, ActBlue had given $119 million to the campaign of Joe Biden.
That was before the May 25 BLM worldwide protests. Now major corporations such as Apple, Disney, Nike and hundreds others may be pouring untold and unaccounted millions into ActBlue under the name of Black Lives Matter, funds that in fact can go to fund the election of a Democrat President Biden. Perhaps this is the real reason the Biden campaign has been so confident of support from black voters. What is clear from only this account of the crucial role of big money foundations behind protest groups such as Black lives Matter is that there is a far more complex agenda driving the protests now destabilizing cities across America. The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook.''
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Distressed by Portland Unrest, Rural Oregon Citizens Launch Petition to Become 'Greater Idaho' | CNSNews
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 10:46
(Screenshot)
Distressed by the civil unrest in Portland and other urban cities in recent months, a coalition of Oregon citizens in rural counties have launched ''Greater Idaho,'' a movement to ''Move Oregon's Borders'' and make themselves part of Idaho.
On July 18, the group reached one of their first goals: to put their initiative on the Wallowa County ballot in November 2020 elections.
Mike McCarter, President and Chief Petitioner of Move Oregon's Borders for a Greater Idaho, appeared on Fox & Friends First on July 21 to discuss his plan. McCarter said the group is asking Oregon's leaders to honor the will of the people:
''I guess if we want to boil it down to the bottom line: let us go. If that's the vote of the people, that they have lost faith in Oregon's leadership, then let us move to Idaho. Or let Idaho move to us.''
McCarter says the values and concerns of the rural counties make better suited to be part of Idaho, and not of urban-controlled Oregon. In particular, recent months of civil unrest and protests in Portland, as well as Oregon's COVID-19 restrictions, have spurred the group's push to leave the state.
Greater Idaho is seeking an injunction from District Judge Michael J. McShane, which would reduce the number of signatures required and extend the deadline for the petition due to the COVID-19 restrictions. This would enable Greater Idaho to get its petition on the ballot in additional rural counties, Big Country News reports.
Over the weekend, a protest turned into a riot when police precincts were attacked and a fire was ignited inside a Police Association building late Saturday night. Reacting to the ongoing violence, McCarter told ''The Washington Times'' that, ''We want to move the border because the political atmosphere in Oregon is getting too intense.''
''We've seen political violence in Portland and Eugene this year and it could get worse. Instead of fighting, Oregon could let citizens in each region of the state choose which state's governance is more suitable to them,'' McCarter said.
The initiative aims to change 17 rural and eastern Oregon counties to Idaho counties in its first phase, although only 15 counties have active petitions. This plan would leave Oregon with 14 counties. In its second phase, several counties in northern California would join with former Oregon counties to be part of Greater Idaho, according to the Greater Idaho website.
''Rural counties have become increasingly outraged by laws coming out of the Oregon Legislature that threaten our livelihoods, our industries, our wallet, our gun rights, and our values,'' McCarter said in a press release.
''We tried voting those legislators out but rural Oregon is outnumbered and our voices are now ignored. This is our last resort,'' McCarter said.
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King County Executive Office's Training on Dismantling the Justice System - Christopher F. Rufo
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 12:47
Seattle is quickly moving forward with its plan to ''abolish prisons.''I've received a trove of leaked documents from within the King County Executive's Office claiming that the justice system is a ''white supremacist institution'' that must be dismantled.
The result will be chaos: Seattle and King County are moving to cut the police department by 50% and to reduce the county jail capacity by 60%, which will lead to a collapse of public order'--all in pursuit of a critical race theory utopia.
The following documents emanated from the highest levels of county government, including the senior leadership of the Juvenile Division, County Courts, and the King County Executive's Office.
Meeting Powerpoint20200724111522791Meeting Agenda20200724110929227Glossary of TermsGlossary-of-Terms-ZYDChristopher F. Rufo is the director of the Discovery Institute's Center on Wealth & Poverty. He's directed four documentaries for PBS and is currently a contributing editor for City Journal, where he covers homelessness, addiction, mental illness, crime, and other afflictions.
Christopher F. Rufo on Twitter: "The document begins by claiming that the justice system is built of a foundation of "racism," "white fragility," and "white supremacist culture." They say that whites have a "need to control" and have designed "social cond
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 12:46
Christopher F. Rufo : The document begins by claiming that the justice system is built of a foundation of "racism," "white fragility," an'... https://t.co/kKARtFlQeW
Sat Jul 25 00:14:07 +0000 2020
Jenny : @realchrisrufo Looks like it was created by the same people that created the UN's plan to destroy America. Not a coincidence, I'm sure.
Sat Jul 25 12:43:43 +0000 2020
Noodle Gun
Planned Parenthood will remove its founder Margaret Sanger's name over her views on eugenics - CNN
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 13:55
(CNN)If Margaret Sanger sounds familiar, it's because you might have encountered her in history class.
A nurse and educator, Sanger opened in 1916 the
first birth control clinic in the United States, which was illegal at the time. Her arrest and conviction led to a court ruling said that physicians could prescribe contraceptives to women for medical reasons. In 1923, Sanger opened a new clinic staffed by female doctors which eventually became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
But your history book may not have mentioned
the darker side of Sanger, like her views on eugenics, a discredited belief in improving the human race through selective breeding. Eugenics practices targeted the disabled, people of color, and poor people. Sanger
died in 1966.
On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) announced that it would be removing Sanger's name from their Manhattan Health Center.
"The removal of Margaret Sanger's name from our building is both a necessary and overdue step to reckon with our legacy and acknowledge Planned Parenthood's contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color," said Karen Seltzer, the chair of PPGNY's board. "Margaret Sanger's concerns and advocacy for reproductive health have been clearly documented, but so too has her racist legacy."
Planned Parenthood is one of the country's largest providers of reproductive health services for poor women; 40% of American women who receive health care via Title X get that care at Planned Parenthood. The organization, however, is dropping federal funding over the
Trump administration's rule blocking the reproductive rights organization from talking to patients about abortion services.
"It's not complicated. She championed birth control and she supported racist ideas. Both of those things are true," said Merle McGee, chief equity and engagement officer at PPGNY, in a statement emailed to CNN. "This is about saying while we value the work that Margaret Sanger did, we recognize that in the process she caused harm. So we don't want to commemorate 'our heroes' in a way that doesn't reflect their actions fully, especially since women of color continue to be shamed for accessing health services and for supporting our organization,"
Planned Parenthood of Greater New York said it is working with a community board, the New York City Council and the community to rename an honorary street sign that marks Margaret Sanger Square at the intersection of Bleecker and Mott Streets in the East Greenwich Village area of Manhattan.
The organization said the new name would be announced soon.
A Left Wing Site Is Running a Hit Piece On Outkick '' OutKick
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 09:23
Outkick is on fire, in a good way.
July is set to be the greatest month in Outkick history with tens of millions of readers, video views, podcast downloads, you name it, all of it is growing rapidly. Some coronabros might say we've even entered exponential growth.
With that in mind, the expected far left wing hit piece has arrived.
I got the usual far left wing request for comment on a variety of issues for an upcoming article in ''The Daily Beast.''
Quite often I ignore these requests and just let them write whatever they would like to write for their small audiences of wokesters.
But this time Whitlock hit upon a good idea, why not ask for the questions via email and then publish the questions and my responses to them on our site so we get the site traffic instead of them?
Brilliant.
With that in mind, here are my responses to The Daily Beast's questions:
''On various occasions throughout March, you've said healthy people under 80 had ''zero chance of dying. Later you said people younger than 70 had ''nothing to fear.'' You also wrote that month that COVID-19 was far less contagious and fatal than the flu. Worst-case scenario, a ''thousand'' people would die. Now that both have been proven inaccurate, do you still stand by those statements?''
As I wrote and said months ago my initial comments back on March 6th were based on China and the WHO's lies about the initial outbreak in China. If China had been honest about tens of thousands of people dying of the coronavirus and if the WHO hadn't provided faulty information about contagion rate then my comments, which were similar to Dr. Fauci's at the time, wouldn't have been made.
I relied on faulty information from China and the WHO and, in retrospect, should have been smarter than to trust a communist dictatorship's information.
I apologized to my audience months ago both on the site and on the radio for believing these numbers from China and the WHO and making inaccurate predictions.
Having said that, just this week the CDC released a study saying the actual rate of infection in this country was 6-24x the number of confirmed cases. Given that per covidtracking.com we now have roughly 4.1 million confirmed cases in the United States and 137,655 deaths that would mean the CDC now believes there have been somewhere between 24.6 million and 98.4 million cases in this country. That would make the rate of death for those who actually contract the virus to be between .0056 and .0014. Which would mean that regardless of age those that are infected by the coronavirus have a survival rate of between 99.44% and 99.86%, which are a range of outcomes similar to the death rates for a serious or mild flu season.
Remember, those survival percentages are of all ages and they are only for people who are actually infected. And we know deaths are dramatically slanted in those over the age of eighty. Plus, virtually everyone dying ''of'' the coronavirus has multiple comorbidities.
So, yes, the data supports that I was correct when I said that if you are not of a very advanced age and you are healthy you had nothing to fear and nearly zero chance of dying.
''Why do you compare COVID-19 deaths to those caused by lightning strikes, or drownings or from alcohol consumption, or car crashes when none of those lead to further spread of illness or death?''
Because lightning strikes, drownings, alcohol consumption and car crashes are all more common ways of dying for young people than the coronavirus.
You would never know that if you just consumed the media fear porn.
Life requires risks.
I think it's important to contextualize that risk for my audience, especially the young people, who are a huge part of Outkick's audience. I've also regularly told these same young people that if they are going out for social activities they should avoid close interaction with the elderly or those at greater risk of death or serious illness than themselves.
Essentially, I trust my audience with real factual data so they can make the most informed decisions in their lives.
''You've frequently praised both Governor Abbott and Governor DeSantis. Deaths have increased significantly in Florida over the last week. And in Texas, hospitals are being overwhelmed. Do you still think how both governors have dealt with the pandemic is deserving of praise?''
First, deaths have not increased significantly over the past week in Florida. Deaths are up by 130 in the state over the past week, an average of 28.6 more deaths per day in a state with 22 million people. In the past four days, deaths are nearly flat '-- up by just 38 deaths, an average of 9.5 more per day '-- compared to last week, suggesting a peak has been reached in the state of Florida.
Yes, I believe Governor Abbott in Texas and Governor DeSeantis in Florida have done incredible jobs managing large states through the coronavirus. The media hasn't given them credit because both men are Republican governors in red states and because neither man has bought into the abundant fear porn being spread by the media.
Everyone needs to go read my article pointing out that despite similar numbers of confirmed cases in New York, Florida and Texas, the two states are going to have one-tenth of the death rate of New York and Andrew Cuomo, whom the media have universally praised.
Just look at the current death rate per million data this morning:
New York 1679Florida 263Texas 170
Governor Abbott and Governor DeSantis should be universally praised for their state responses to the coronavirus, instead the media has praised the governor who did the worst job.
It's totally backwards.
And it's backwards despite blatant data proving the truth of my argument.
''In late March you also tweeted that if COVID-19 deaths top average flu deaths, ''I'll reconsider my opinion.'' With the total deaths exceeding 145,000 in the U.S. as of this writing, have you reconsidered?''
No, based on the minuscule death rate from this virus and the data that continues to be released by the CDC as we become better informed about this virus I am even more convinced now that shutting down our economy is the most disastrous public policy decision of my life.
We should have never shut down the economy or schools beyond, potentially, two weeks back in March when there was uncertainty about the viruses impact.
Our initial goal was to ''flatten the curve'' which we did. Somewhere along the way flatten the curve has turned into never go back to work or school until there's a vaccine.
That's absurd and ridiculous.
It's long past time to get back to work and school.
''You have referred to people who've disagreed with your assessments as ''Coronabros'' peddling ''fear porn'' who are ''rooting for the virus'' to run rampant. You've used these terms frequently when criticizing people in sports media, all of whom are dependent on the return of sports for their livelihood. Do you actually think the spike in cases and deaths is something anyone is cheering for?''
Fear makes people behave irrationally.
I believe many people in sports media and the media in general hate Donald Trump so much and are so overcome by media fear porn that they they have allowed their hate for Trump and their fear of the virus to destroy any of their ability to objectively analyze factual data and make rational decisions.
Anyone arguing against any school being open in any part of this country is so blinded by their personal political beliefs and fear that they are incapable of thinking logically at this point. Kids are under far more danger from the seasonal flu than the coronavirus and there isn't a single confirmed death in the world from student to teacher infection.
If you doubt me, go read the CDC's statement this week about kids needing to be back in schools.
''Throughout the last four months, you have repeatedly encouraged states to reopen and been critical of lockdowns. Cases and deaths are on the rise in states that reopened early and the Trump admiTrump has recently said some states ''opened up some of the industries a little too quickly.'' Are you willing to reconsider your position?''
No, all of America should be open and everyone should be back at work and school.
Lockdowns make zero logical sense and the long range economic impact of tens of millions of people out of work will have a far more dramatic impact in this country than the virus will.
''On June 8 you tweeted: ''total deaths in 2020 will be very similar to [the] past five years.'' Between March 15 and July 11, the New York Times reported an increase of over 179,000 deaths compared to prior years. Do you still stand by that statement?''
Roughly 2.8 million people die every year in this country. If the New York Times data is accurate '-- which certainly remains to be seen '-- this would mean deaths increased 6% this year over the past several years average. I would consider that to be very similar to the past five years.
What's more, many of the people dying in this country may well be dying not of the coronavirus, but of the impact of the lockdown. Drug overdose deaths, for instance, in my home city of Nashville are on pace to double this year. Many people didn't receive treatment for serious medical issues because of the lockdown. It's likely the lockdown contributed to a death increase that had nothing to do with the coronavirus.
''There are a wide range of negative outcomes from COVID-19 that fall short of death. Patients have reported deleterious symptoms lingering for months or possibly years. Why is it you never mention this either in articles or on any of your broadcasts about COVID-19?''
Because it's just more fear porn.
The vast, vast majority of people who get the coronavirus either never know they had it or experience it as a small cold or flu.
A tiny percentage die, an equally tiny percentage may have long range issues. But, again, they aren't representative of the vast majority.
''You recently criticized Governor Cuomo for his disastrous early decision to let older individuals who tested positive back into nursing homes. On Monday it was reported that Florida has been allowing recovering COVID-19 patients back into nursing homes, and cases are growing. Do you think that was the correct course of action?''
I appreciate you mentioning what a disaster Andrew Cuomo's governorship has been during the coronavirus.
Here's a good stat to illustrate that failure (data from this article I wrote six days ago):
Highest rates of death per million in the entire world:
1. New Jersey 17762. New York 16733. Connecticut 12334. Massachusetts 12215. Rhode Island 9356. Belgium 8457. England 6678. Spain 6089. Italy 58010. Sweden 55611. France 46212. Chile 44213. United States 43214. Peru 39415. Arizona 37916. Brazil 37117. Netherlands 35818. Ireland 35519. Mexico 30120. Ecuador 29921. Georgia 29822. Canada 23423. Florida 23224. Texas 13825. Germany 109
I'd submit that rather than spending hundreds of hours reading and writing about a sports opinion website, your time would be better spent investigating the tens of thousands of people Andrew Cuomo sent to an early grave with his disastrous decisions in New York. And why Cuomo continues to be nearly universally praised by the media in this country despite posting the worst governing record of any politician in the 21st century.
As for my trust in Governor Ron Desantis in Florida, given that if Florida were a country he'd have one of the best records of dealing with the coronavirus of any democracy in the entire world, I'm confident he's making the right decisions for his citizens. And despite the facile argument you're attempting to make, he is not replicating the failed choices of New York and other northeastern governors who followed Andrew Cuomo's lead in embracing fear porn ''expert'' forecasts and leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of people who didn't need to die by sending tens of thousands of patients out of hospitals and in to nursing homes.
''Why do you lead almost every Periscope broadcast with a ''Coronavirus update,'' when so many of your predictions have fallen flat?''
First, thanks for watching.
Second, 99% of my comments are rooted directly in factual data. It's important to share facts about the coronavirus because most in the media, such as yourself, focus on anecdotal fear porn in an effort to terrorize the general public.
I've tried to limit my predictions because we now have so much data on the coronavirus that predictions are far less valuable than simply allowing the data to speak for itself.
It is, however, worth mentioning that the prediction that received the most attention from media in this country was the Imperial College prediction that 2.2 million people would die of the coronavirus. It has, not surprisingly, ended up being wildly inaccurate.
''OutKick recently added Dr. David Chao as a staff writer. Did you ask about the medical lawsuits and six-figure settlements, probations, accusations of ''gross negligence'' and malpractice, and/or the DUIs prior to hiring him? In the blog post announcing his arrival, why is this information omitted? Did Dr. Chao or someone representing him ask you or anyone at OutKick to exclude that information? Do you feel it's relevant for your readers to have this information when reading his content?''
Dr. Chao is a licensed doctor in California. Given that he's licensed to operate on people in this country, I felt comfortable with him writing for an opinion website.
Furthermore, he's been profiled as an NFL injury expert in the New York Times recently, written for the San Diego Tribune for years prior to joining Outkick, and is cited as an NFL injury expert, thanks to his tenure as team physician of the San Diego Chargers, throughout the Internet.
He's not remotely controversial.
We believe in the first amendment on this site, writers don't tell other writers what they can and can't say. And writers certainly don't tell the owners of this site what we can and can't say either.
''Jason Whitlock wrote a column describing Jaden McNeil as a ''martyr'' who was targeted for tweeting ''politically incorrect'' jokes about George Floyd. Jaden McNeil is a member of the openly racist ''Groyper'' movement. He also promotes, works with and praises white nationalists. How and why was this information left out and did you personally edit the column? Are all of the articles on OutKick edited or are staffers allowed to post stories on the site without review?''
I asked Whitlock to respond to this question since the writer didn't email him directly, but asked me to comment on his column. Enjoy his response.
''Karen, I honestly find this line of questioning racist and emblematic of the systemic racism practiced by busybodies in the white alt-left movement. Let me translate what you just did: ''Clay, Mr. White Folks, your negro writer is out of control and published an opinion that upstanding white people disagree with. Discipline and control your negro or we will.''
Karen, I'm a PARTNER at Outkick. Clay is not my overseer. He is my partner. All due respect to Clay, but I am the most accomplished journalist at Outkick. You could argue I'm the most accomplished sports journalist in America.
I'm offended you reached out to Clay and Dr. Chao directly with questions about their work, but in typical Karen fashion chose to report me to Mr. White Folks. Did you question Kansas State president Richard Myers for not mentioning Jaden McNeil's alleged affiliation to white nationalists in Mr. Myers' public critique of McNeil? Like 99.99 percent of America, I've never heard of the Groyper movement. When I was in college I was attracted to and attended events put on by the Nation of Islam, an organized and well-known black nationalist group.
Kids experiment with dumb shit. Karen, I am the wrong negro for you to be f''king with. Go sit down.''
''On Monday, you said OutKick's popularity was in part because ''We're not trying to pick slides. We're trying to be straight down the middle every single day.'' As someone who's read quite a few OutKick articles, the editorial thrust seems openly conservative, especially given the recent appearances made by you and Mr. Whitlock on Fox News of late. Would you disagree with that assessment?''
Yes.
Sports media has become so far left wing that straight down the middle now appears to be far right wing.
I'd be happy, as would Jason Whitlock, to go on MSNBC and CNN if they invited us to do so.
But they have not.
We're both happy to engage with people of differing political opinions. Indeed, that's why I'm publicly responding to these questions.
In the meantime we're happy to go on Fox News, the nation's most watched cable channel, which is currently experiencing record ratings, and share Outkick's stories with their large audience.
''On June 26, you tweeted: ''We already have several thousand VIPs.'' But in early August 2017, you tweeted: ''We've got several thousand people paying $99 a year for Outkick VIP.'' And in April 2018 you similarly wrote in a blog post: ''We have several thousand Outkick VIP subscribers.'' Have the total number of subscribers remained the same in the last three years? And how does that square with the assertion in a recent interview by your partner Sam Savage that sign-ups had grown by ''3,366%''?
I'm glad you asked about Outkick VIP, which I believe is one of the best values in all of media.
What Sam Savage was referencing was the rate of increase in sign ups over last year at this time. I'm pleased to provide you an even more recent update. Outkick VIP sign ups are presently up 14,153.8% over sign ups this time last year.
We will soon be in the tens of thousands of subscribers.
If you're reading this right now and you appreciate a site that doesn't bow to the far left wing in this country, I'd encourage you to go subscribe right now as well. It's a great value and we're having lots of fun every day in the VIP community.
''You also recently said that most people ''don't really care'' about the politics of athletes. Why, then have you harped on LeBron James in particular and the NBA as a whole for failing to criticize China? You have also criticized NFL players who protested during the anthem for potentially harming the league's finances by driving away right-of-center customers. Why then should the NBA take actions or adopt political statements that would harm its bottom line?''
It's hypocritical to claim you care about social justice issues in this country '-- when taking that stand loses you no money because of American freedoms '-- while taking billions of dollars from modern day Nazis in China. Right now China has concentration camps, is banning books in Hong Kong and its people lack basic human rights and freedoms. Yet NBA commissioner Adam Silver just expressed mutual respect for Chinese values.
The NBA is a global corporation, it either embraces democracy and basic human rights for all its fans around the world or it doesn't.
Right now it doesn't.
Go read this article which lays out my position on sports and sports media hypocrisy clearly.
''Why are there so many uncredited articles on OutKick?''
There are very few uncredited articles on Outkick.
But in our last fifty or so articles on the site here are those I see attributed to Outkick as opposed to an individual writer: videos posted of my opinions along with a transcript of those opinions, gambling odds, and an article with multiple writers participating in a piece.
'...
Look forward to your hit piece.
But if you'll excuse me, I'm headed out to the golf course now to try and break 100.
Troy Young, president of Hearst Magazines, resigns after report of 'toxic culture' - The Washington Post
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 11:17
Troy Young, the global president of Hearst Magazines, resigned Thursday evening, a day after a New York Times report detailed inappropriately sexual comments he allegedly made to employees at titles such as Cosmopolitan and a ''toxic culture'' at the company.
Earlier in the day, Young had apologized in a memo to staffers while also disputing the story, which he said ''misrepresented the culture we have built.'' He had pushed back even more vehemently in the Times report, responding in a statement that ''specific allegations raised by my detractors are either untrue, greatly exaggerated or taken out of context.''
But by Thursday evening, the corporate calculation seemed to have changed. Young's resignation was announced by Hearst president and chief executive Steven R. Swartz in a terse email to staffers.
''Troy Young and I have agreed that it is in the best interest of all of us that he resign his position as president of Hearst Magazines, effective immediately,'' Swartz wrote in the memo, which was obtained by The Washington Post.
Young was promoted to the top editorial job in August 2018, after serving as the company's digital-side president for five years and overseeing the company's pivot from print-first publishing to more quick-turn Web publishing.
He paid tribute to that evolution in his statement responding to the allegations in the report. ''The pace of evolving our business and the strength of my commitment is ambitious, and I sincerely regret the toll it has taken on some in our organization,'' he said.
In responding to the Times report, Hearst had acknowledged that Young's ''relentless pursuit of excellence was at times combined with a brash demeanor that rubbed some the wrong way'' but said that he ''has worked to develop a more inclusive management style'' after taking over the magazine division, which publishes brands such as Elle, Esquire and Women's Health.
According to the report in the Times, Young asked a pregnant Cosmopolitan employee in the Hearst cafeteria, ''So, is the baby mine?''
After publication of the report, former Hearst employees took to social media to make allegations about Young's behavior.
By Thursday, when his resignation was announced, the company had deleted his staff bio page.
Hearst Employees Say Troy Young Led Toxic Culture - The New York Times
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 11:21
At Cosmopolitan staff meetings, workers complain of discrimination and tokenism. Former employees say the Hearst Magazines president, Troy Young, made sexually offensive remarks.
Troy Young became the head of Hearst Magazines, the publisher of Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping and Town & Country, after an internal power struggle. Credit... Noam Galai/Getty Images Published July 22, 2020Updated July 23, 2020
Update: Troy Young has resigned, the chief executive of Hearst told employees.
For decades Hearst magazines have advised American women on how they should conduct themselves in the home (Good Housekeeping, Redbook), in society (Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country) and in the bedroom (Cosmopolitan).
This is the company whose stars have included Oprah Winfrey, the head of O: The Oprah Magazine, which Hearst has helped run since 2000; and Helen Gurley Brown, the groundbreaking editor who transformed the once-staid Cosmopolitan into a racy monthly that angered conservatives and feminists alike while selling big on newsstands.
But inside the Hearst Tower in Midtown Manhattan, the Hearst Magazines leader, Troy Young, has drawn complaints from people who said he had made lewd, sexist remarks at work. And in recent weeks, inspired by the civil rights movement, current and former employees at Cosmopolitan and another Hearst women's title, Marie Claire, have spoken out on social media and during staff meetings on what they describe as a toxic environment.
Mr. Young, a former advertising executive, joined Hearst in 2013 as its first head of digital media. He quickly changed the corporate structure so that the editors of the magazines' websites reported to him, rather than to the editors of individual publications. As part of his plan, digital editors with relatively low salaries replaced high-priced veteran print editors.
His work impressed Steven R. Swartz, the chief executive of Hearst Communications, and Mr. Young succeeded David Carey as Hearst Magazines president in 2018, winning the job over the high-profile former editor and magazine executive Joanna Coles.
That promotion came after at least four employees had complained about what they described as Mr. Young's bullying or harassing behavior to the human resources department or senior executives, according to four former Hearst employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation.
One incident involving Mr. Young occurred during a visit to the Cosmopolitan office when he was the digital head, according to two people who were present. Mr. Young picked up one of the sex toys that had been sent to the magazine and asked if he could keep it, the people said. Referring to the openings of two toys, he said he would ''definitely need the bigger one,'' the people said.
Mr. Young also emailed pornography to a high-level Hearst editor, Jay Fielden, according to three people with knowledge of what happened. Mr. Fielden complained to Mr. Carey, who was then the division president, the people said. In May last year, Mr. Fielden left Hearst, where he had been the top editor of Esquire and Town & Country. He declined to comment for this article.
At a Cosmopolitan holiday party in 2013, Mr. Young joined a group in which a young staff member was describing a bad date with a man who complained of an ex-girlfriend's odor. The woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a sensitive conversation, said Mr. Young had told her that she should have inserted her fingers into herself and asked her date if he liked her smell. The woman said she was shocked by his comment and walked away.
Two Esquire staff members witnessed the incident: Nate Hopper, an assistant editor at the time, and Ben Collins, an editor who is now a reporter for NBC. Both confirmed the Cosmopolitan staff member's recollection.
''I think he violated the decency of what was otherwise a friendly conversation,'' Mr. Hopper said. ''It has been something that I wish I had done something about in the moment for a very long time.''
Mr. Young, 52, addressed the former Hearst employees' complaints in a statement for this article: ''Specific allegations raised by my detractors are either untrue, greatly exaggerated or taken out of context. The pace of evolving our business and the strength of my commitment is ambitious, and I sincerely regret the toll it has taken on some in our organization.''
As for the holiday party, he said in a separate statement, ''Candid conversations about sex defined the Cosmo brand for decades, and those who worked there discussed it openly.'' He did not address the other specific allegations.
A Hearst Magazines spokeswoman said that, during Mr. Young's years as digital chief, his ''relentless pursuit of excellence was at times combined with a brash demeanor that rubbed some the wrong way.'' The spokeswoman added, ''Since being named president of the division, he has worked to develop a more inclusive management style.''
Image Jessica Pels, the top editor of Cosmopolitan, at the ACE Awards in New York last year. Ms. Pels apologized to her staff during a videoconference last month. Credit... Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Accessories Council As part of the shake-up on Mr. Young's watch, Jessica Pels became Cosmopolitan's youngest top editor in 2018. Before that, she had run the magazine's digital side and was the digital head of Marie Claire. During the recent weeks of protests against racism and police violence, Ms. Pels has faced staff members' demands for action on what they described as a culture of discrimination that has long been ignored.
Ms. Pels held staff videoconferences in the wake of social media comments posted last month by Jazmin Jones, who had worked under Ms. Pels as a video editor at Marie Claire. In an Instagram post, Ms. Jones, who is Black, accused the company of racial discrimination, saying she was made to feel uncomfortable in threads that touched on race in the interoffice communications app Slack.
A screen shot of a Slack conversation posted by Ms. Jones shows an editor, whom she identified as Ms. Pels, commenting disparagingly on the hair and makeup of a staff member of color during an on-camera appearance for a Marie Claire video. Ms. Pels sprinkled the Slack conversation with remarks that she was committing a human resources violation by making the complaint.
In an interview, Ms. Jones, 30, said, ''Hearst doesn't care about you if you're not a skinny white lady.''
During a videoconference last month for the Cosmopolitan staff, a woman of color confronted Ms. Pels over being pulled into meetings she would not normally have been part of when camera crews were present. She said her inclusion was evidence of the company's attempt to promote a false appearance of staff diversity, according to a recording of the meeting obtained by The New York Times.
Prachi Gupta, who covered politics for the Cosmopolitan site during the 2016 presidential campaign, before Ms. Pels became editor, said she felt that Black and brown women were made to ''feel less than equal'' at the company.
''Because there were no women of color in leadership positions, I was not able to seek advice or counsel when I was pushed into some of the uncomfortable positions,'' she said.
In a June 6 Twitter post, Ms. Gupta, who is Indian-American, wrote: ''From the get-go, I was tokenized. A white P.R. person at Hearst told me that it would be easy to book me for media appearances because my look was 'very on trend,' and it was clear she meant that I wasn't white.''
Image The former Cosmopolitan reporter Prachi Gupta, shown here at the Writers Guild Awards in New York this year, said she had felt ''tokenized'' at Hearst. Credit... Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Ms. Jones's and Ms. Gupta's descriptions of their experiences were echoed by 10 former and current Hearst Magazines staff members in interviews with The Times.
In a videoconference staff meeting, Ms. Pels offered tearful apologies. ''I have not done enough to correct imbalances,'' she said, according to an audio recording of the meeting obtained by The Times.
In a statement for this article, Ms. Pels said diversity was a ''career-long priority for me.''
''At this pivotal moment, my team and I have been making real changes and having extensive, honest and passionate discussions about the progress that needs to be made, and the work I can do as a leader to actively facilitate it,'' she said in the statement.
As Cosmopolitan's top editor, Ms. Pels has conducted interviews with Democratic presidential candidates and published an essay in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement by Senator Kamala Harris of California.
Image Hearst Tower, in New York, is the home of the magazines Good Housekeeping, Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country, Cosmopolitan, and more. Credit... Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times Hearst employees have questioned company leadership at a time when employees at its more glamorous rival, Cond(C) Nast, have done the same. There have also been staff revolts at other media organizations, including The Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Wall Street Journal and Refinery29.
Last month Hearst Magazines appointed Samira Nasr, previously Vanity Fair's fashion director, as the top editor of the U.S. edition of Harper's Bazaar. She is the first woman of color to hold the post. And Cosmopolitan started an initiative, ''Cosmo Can Do Better,'' that calls for the hiring of more Black people and people of color. As part of it, the magazine released staff statistics, saying its work force was made up of 29 percent Black people and people of color, 61 percent white employees, with 10 percent undisclosed. Its leadership comprised 21 percent people of color, the survey said. A Hearst spokeswoman said the company is committed to diversity at all levels.
Michelle Ruiz, a former senior editor at Cosmopolitan, said the messages of inclusion and empowerment from many Hearst publications were at odds with company leadership. She described an encounter with Mr. Young at the Hearst cafeteria that took place when she was heavily pregnant. ''So, is the baby mine?'' he said, as she recalled it.
''For an executive at the company to suggest that he'd impregnated me was clearly inappropriate,'' said Ms. Ruiz, now a contributing editor at Vogue.com. ''There's a real hypocrisy to elevating this man to lead a company populated with magazines that are preaching women's empowerment on their covers.''
Embattled professor who compared coronavirus restrictions to slavery found dead in North Carolina home
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 19:08
(C) Provided by New York Daily News Police discovered the body of Mike Adams, a tenured sociology and criminology professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, while performing a wellness check at his home. An embattled North Carolina professor who sparked furious backlash over a series of controversial tweets in recent months, including one comparing coronavirus restrictions to living in a ''slave state,'' was found dead Thursday.
Police discovered the body of Mike Adams, a tenured sociology and criminology professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, while performing a wellness check at his home. The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office has not released any details, but an investigation is underway, local news outlets reported.
Adams' provocative and sometimes-offensive remarks had angered many UNCW students and members of the community for more than a decade, but he made national headlines this year over numerous social media posts about the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-racism protests.
In a May 29 tweet, he compared Gov. Roy Cooper's social distancing guidelines to slavery.
''This evening I ate pizza and drank beer with six guys at a six seat table top,'' Adams wrote. ''I almost felt like a free man who was not living in the slave state of North Carolina. Massa Cooper, let my people go!''
The professor, who was white, had also attacked anti-racism rioters earlier that day.
''Rioters don't care about social issues,'' he wrote. ''They are thugs looking for an opportunity to break the law with impunity.''
A day earlier, Adams criticized the state's decision to close universities to contain the spread of coronavirus, suggesting it should shut down ''non essential majors'' like women's studies, instead.
His words prompted widespread outrage, with tens of thousands of people signing multiple online petitions that called for his firing.
One of them claimed Adams had ''a long history of espousing racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and abusive rhetoric.'' In 2016, he wrote an article outing a student's sexual orientation, using her full name and mocking her religion, according to the petition.
Adams, who was also a columnist for at least two Conservative websites, was set to retire early on Aug. 1 after reaching a settlement with UNCW for more than $500,000 over lost salary and retirement benefits.
The university confirmed his death in a notice to students on Thursday.
''It is with sadness that we share the news that the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office is conducting a death investigation involving Dr. Mike Adams, professor of criminology,'' the statement reads. ''Please keep his friends and loved ones in your thoughts.''
The UNCW chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom called him a ''free speech warrior'' who kept ''left-wing universities'' in check throughout his career.
''But Mike Adams was more than just his efforts to protect fundamental rights which our founders enshrined at this nation's birth,'' the group wrote, adding that he was ''charming and kind'' and someone who could be relied upon in ''trying circumstances and desperate times.''
UNCW professor L.J. Randolph asked the public do mourn Adams' death, but he warned against sugarcoating his rhetoric as merely ''controversial.''
''He was blatantly racist, homophobic, and sexist,'' Randolph said, ''and his own words left no room for interpretation on any of that.''
Video: Roger Stone Denied Using Racial Slur In Radio Interview (CBS Miami)
SoulCycle instructors quit over 'racism and bigotry' accusations | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 22:33
Three SoulCycle instructors have publicly resigned from their roles while accusing the company of 'supporting racism and bigotry' and 'using the bodies' of black women in 'performative activism'.
All three women - who have each worked for the fitness brand for more than five years - took to Instagram to call out SoulCycle for failing to promote inclusion and diversity within the company, while slamming its leadership for 'prioritizing profit over people'.
One instructor - Mary Kate Hurlbutt - accused the popular spin studio of 'passing over... qualified [Black, Indigenous and people of color] for promotions', while one black instructor - Soeuraya Wilson - claimed that SoulCycle had consistently used her images in ad campaigns in order to appear more diverse, but continued to 'support racism and bigotry' behind the scenes.
Accusations: Three longtime SoulCycle instructors - including Soeuraya Wilson (pictured) - have publicly quit the company, while accusing it of 'supporting racism and bigotry'
Following suit: One week after Soeuraya resigned, Mary Kate Hurlbutt (left) and Tina Jackson (right) revealed that they had also quit, while making similar accusations against the company
Soeuraya, who has worked for the company for six years, both in Miami and New York was the first of the three to resign, and in a searing Instagram post shared on July 15, she called out SoulCycle for 'using her image' to publicly promote diversity and inclusion, while 'continuing to support racism and bigotry' behind the scenes.
'In these times I can no longer allow my image to be used by a company that performs its activism when it is convenient for their bottom line or their seasonal campaign,' she wrote, while sharing an image of herself in one of the brand's popular spin classes.
'I can no longer allow my voice to be used by a company that does not respect that voice when it dissents. A company who chooses silence.'
The fitness pro - who has been featured in numerous campaigns for the company, including several to promote its new at-home spin bikes - went on to slam SoulCycle for 'standing alongside investors and individuals who continue to support racism and bigotry' - perhaps referring to the company's chairman, Stephen Ross, a longtime supporter of Donald Trump.
His decision to host several fundraisers for the President saw thousands of longtime SoulCycle clients boycotting the company and its classes - while the brand's CEO, Melanie Whelan, quit just months after Ross came under fire for holding events that are believed to have brought in $12 million for Trump's 2020 campaign.
Soeuraya concluded her post by slamming SoulCycle's leadership, noting that while it 'must be difficult to lead a company through a pandemic and a revolution', she believes that those in charge of the brand have 'failed' in their responsibilities to cultivate a diverse and inclusive atmosphere.
Although SoulCycle has not specifically responded to any of the resignation posts specifically, interim CEO Sunder Reddy shared an open letter to the 'Soul fam' on the same day that Mary Kate and Tina resigned in which she addressed the company's 'plan to move forward'.
'There is no place for racism, bigotry, inequality, or discrimination at SoulCycle,' she wrote. 'Our focus has, and always will be, building a community centered on our values, not politics.
'Values such as diversity, inclusion, acceptance, and love will always be core aspects of our brand and are what guide us forward.'
Upset: In an Instagram post, shared on July 15, Soeuraya, who has held classes in Miami and New York, slammed the company for 'using her image' in its performative activism
Taking a stand: 'In these times I can no longer allow my image to be used by a company that performs its activism when it is convenient for their bottom line,' Soeuraya wrote
One week after Soeuraya publicly left the company, two other longtime spin instructors followed in her footsteps, addressing their reasons for resigning in their own Instagram posts.
Sharing the resignation letter that she sent to SoulCycle bosses, Mary Kate Hurlbutt, a San Francisco-based spin instructor who has worked for the company for six years, praised Soeuraya's 'brave actions' admitting that they had 'inspired her' to walk away from the company herself.
'It is with a heavy and grateful heart that I announce my resignation from SoulCycle,' she wrote in her post. 'Last week, my talented and courageous friend [Soeuraya] announced her own departure and reading her words felt like the first full breath I've taken in months.
'The brave actions of a Black woman have inspired me to finally answer the call of my own soul and follow her lead.'
In her resignation letter, Mary Kate called out the company for 'prioritizing profit over people', explaining that she has 'watched... qualified [Black, Indigenous and people of color] be passed over for promotions'.
'I've been disheartened by our silence around the tangible actions SoulCycle intends to take as a company to create an actively anti-racist culture and corporate structure,' the spin instructor added.
She continued in her post caption: 'I've been disheartened by our lack of response to the ongoing oppression, disenfranchisement, and endangerment that Black, Indigenous, and POC, and LGTQIA+ members of our community face daily.'
Mary Kate then called out SoulCycle for failing to put 'time, energy, and resources' into 'creating a safe and inclusive environment for staff and riders', alleging in her letter to bosses that, in addition to the company's lack of focus on real diversity, it has also consistently neglected to offer support to all of its instructors.
'I've felt the fatigue of being an instructor teaching an average of 15 classes a week who has had to beg for the bare minimum physical support we need to keep churning out those classes,' she said.
Anger: 'In her resignation letter, Mary Kate (right), from San Francisco, said she has 'watched... qualified [Black, Indigenous and people of color] be passed over for promotions'
The resignation letter concluded with several calls to action, with Mary Kate laying out a number of suggestions for how SouCycle can make changes to its structure and corporate culture - including 'prioritizing access for marginalized communities and demographics' and 'pursuing new investors'.
'So long as our current shareholders continue to prioritize profit at the expense of the well-being of our staff, riders, and values - the Soul in SoulCycle will be empty and meaningless,' she said.
On the same day as Mary Kate shared her resignation letter, spin instructor Tina Jackson, from Los Angeles, also took to Instagram to reveal that she had quit her role with the company after seven years.
Although the fitness pro did not make the same targeted accusations about the fitness brand, she noted in her post that 'with the times we are living in I must stand in truth'.
'Those that know me well, know that I advocate for authenticity in every aspect of life and with the times we are living in I must stand in truth,' Tina wrote.
'Who would I be as your teacher if I didn't walk in my own words? If I didn't stand up for what I believe?'
The three public resignations come just five months after it was alleged that SoulCycle sales had plummeted by 30 per cent over the holidays, after customers boycotted the brand over links to Trump fundraisers.
SoulCycle experienced the steepest year-over-year decline in sales in the last week of December and the first weeks of January, Earnest Research claimed.
Action: Tina Jackson, from LA, did not make such specific accusations against the brand when she resigned, simply telling followers, 'With the times we are living in I must stand in truth'
The company which analyses web, debit and credit card transaction data also reported that in December 2019, nine per cent of SoulCycle customers had made a purchase with rival spin company Peloton in the last six months, which is three times the number from a couple of years earlier.
However a representative from SoulCycle told DailyMail.com: 'Earnest Research's data is completely false.'
SoulCycle would not comment on their exact figures but disputed the figures in the Recode article from Earnest Research matched their sales reports.
'We are disappointed in Recode's irresponsible decision to publish what we have made them aware is inaccurate and misleading data in an attempt to damage our business and inappropriately obtain and publish our confidential business information.'
The end of November also saw the CEO of SoulCycle, Melanie Whelan, suddenly quit after eight years.
It was after a summer of boycotts linked to SoulCycle chairman Ross hosting fundraisers for President Trump; for one of them tickets cost as much as $250,000.
Celebrities including Chrissy Teigen and Bill Eichner backed the boycott and customers claimed the brand's ethos 'all souls welcome' opposed Trump's stance.
In August, members of SoulCycle started cancelling their memberships after Ross, chairman of the fitness brands' parent company The Related Cos., came under fire for hosting events expected to have brought in up to $12million for the president's 2020 campaign.
SoulCycle instructors resignation posts in full Soeuraya Wilson
In these times I can no longer allow my image to be used by a company that performs it's activism when it is convenient for their bottom line or their seasonal campaign.
I can no longer allow my voice to be used by a company that does not respect that voice when it dissents. A company who chooses silence.
I can no longer allow my body to be used by a company that ultimately stands alongside it's investors and individuals who continue to support racism and bigotry without true compassion for the health and wellness of the employees and riders.
I know it must be difficult to lead a company through a pandemic and a revolution.
I know this because my company and it's leadership who I once respected have failed to lead.
Six years ago I started working for SoulCycle.
A very different one than it is today.
I became who I am today because of the people I met and the work I did here and for that I will be forever thankful.
It is with a heart full of gratitude that I choose to leave this place.
Tina Jackson
To the Soulcycle Community:
It is with the greatest honor that I have decided to not return to Soulcycle. I have spent the last 7 years of my life cultivating community, empowering others to feel alive each day, to coach you to say yes to the call that is on your life, and to be of service in every way that I can. Those that know me well, know that I advocate for authenticity in every aspect of life and with the times we are living in I must stand in truth. Who would I be as your teacher if I didn't walk in my own words? If I didn't stand up for what I believe?
Teaching you has been one of life's greatest gifts. You have taught me how to intertwine our energies, to connect deeper to our core and raise the vibration of our hearts. My gratitude overflows to the riders, the staff and the many instructors who helped me along the way. Thank you for pulling the light out of me on some of my darkest days. So here is to actually believing anything is possible, practicing faith at the ultimate level, being an artist that represents the times we are living in and Aligning with the call that is on my life. Never goodbye, but a toast to what we created these past 7 years! Lets stay connected and never stop fighting for the truth. With the deepest love....
Mary Kate Hurlbutt
6 years ago today, a little voice inside, begging me to live a more fulfilled, purpose-driven life, became too loud to ignore. It walked me straight into my SoulCycle Instructor audition. Since that day, my life has changed in ways I could have never imagined. Listening to that little voice was the best decision I've ever made. And listening to it now is the hardest.
It is with a heavy and grateful heart that I announce my resignation from SoulCycle. Last week, my talented and courageous friend
announced her own departure and reading her words felt like the first full breath I've taken in months. The brave actions of a Black woman have inspired me to finally answer the call of my own soul and follow her lead.
I can no longer lend my voice and energy to an organization that I feel is operating in misalignment with my own values. I've been disheartened by our lack of response to the ongoing oppression, disenfranchisement, and endangerment that Black, Indigenous, and POC, and LGTQIA+ members of our community face daily. I've watched as we pour time, energy, and resources into creating thoughtful operational strategies to prioritize reopening our facilities in order to generate revenue; only to also witness the historical lack of time, energy, and resources that go toward creating a safe and inclusive environment for staff and riders alike.
For transparency, I've included a copy of my resignation letter on the following slides. I'll forever be grateful to the amazing leaders, mentors, & colleagues I've worked with during my tenure.
Though leaving is a devastating choice, it's a privileged one to make. Some of my favorite people in the world continue to work at Soul & I fully support their decision to do so. I'm excited to see the way they usher in a new era. It's my sincerest hope to proudly walk through the doors as a client in the future, full of love and respect as I celebrate the way company leadership answered the calls from their colleagues and clients & reimagined what Soul could be.
This community drastically changed my life for the better. I love you beyond measure. It's not goodbye, it's just a new way forward. Together.
mervin brass on Twitter: "Effective immediately CBC Sports will stop the use of Indigenous names in reference to teams and symbols. This will be reflected in all published work across CBC Sports and CBC Olympics platforms." / Twitter
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 15:11
mervin brass : Effective immediately CBC Sports will stop the use of Indigenous names in reference to teams and symbols. This will'... https://t.co/50XDlWBSlQ
Fri Jul 24 19:36:52 +0000 2020
Weezie(Louise-PhD. U.of LIFE) : @mervinbrasscbc I THINK CBC SHOULD CHANGE ITS NAME TO REFLECT THEIR TRUE AGENDA. IT IS NOT A "CANADIAN PUBLIC BROAD'... https://t.co/wLXxs6x3Td
Sat Jul 25 15:04:45 +0000 2020
Graham : @mervinbrasscbc i have more faith in the national enquirer then CBC !
Sat Jul 25 14:57:45 +0000 2020
Ryan McCabe : @mervinbrasscbc Hahaha
Sat Jul 25 14:52:40 +0000 2020
ðŸ'MotomomðŸ' : @mervinbrasscbc Nobody but seniors watches CBC! Who cares what your broke liberal company does
Sat Jul 25 14:43:58 +0000 2020
Anthony : @mervinbrasscbc If our imbecilic PM really wanted to help Indigenous people, they might want to start by helping wi'... https://t.co/pwx935t5cl
Sat Jul 25 14:10:46 +0000 2020
Anthony : @mervinbrasscbc Hahaha.... CBC lost the NHL telecast, baseball, basketball & football are broadcast elsewhere, so w'... https://t.co/b9WRCGYoGi
Sat Jul 25 14:06:03 +0000 2020
Justin Houston : @mervinbrasscbc CBC oks systemic racism in sports by only cancel culturing indigenous names.What about the Vikings'... https://t.co/oASCFWokvH
Sat Jul 25 13:52:29 +0000 2020
Eddiethecheat : @mervinbrasscbc Nice virtue signaling CBC. Add this to the ever growing list of reasons to #DefundCBC
Sat Jul 25 13:45:58 +0000 2020
Dave Ruch : @mervinbrasscbc That's dumb, they're supposed to report not invent.
Sat Jul 25 13:40:47 +0000 2020
Lucy Camden : @mervinbrasscbc Effective immediately, no one cares anymore! #cbcSUCKS over payed professional distractions!! Keep digging your graves ðŸ
Sat Jul 25 13:29:50 +0000 2020
Joe Kelly : @mervinbrasscbc Would never hear them anyway, MLB, NBA, NFL and now NHLChannel changed, they changed, politics an'... https://t.co/TIJ2sH4vdW
Sat Jul 25 13:23:49 +0000 2020
Michael Melro : @mervinbrasscbc Can't wait to see the CBC walk this one back after they see the reaction they're getting lol. Not e'... https://t.co/8YqwUV6OJ0
Sat Jul 25 13:21:36 +0000 2020
Mark Wilcox : @mervinbrasscbc you and the entire CBC is a joke. Liberal wonderland, dont worry though your govt funding will be g'... https://t.co/SeJa1nOgS5
Sat Jul 25 13:18:21 +0000 2020
donairman : @mervinbrasscbc I hope you'll be similarly sensitive to the descendants of Vikings and Pirates to never utter those names either.
Sat Jul 25 13:08:31 +0000 2020
donairman : @mervinbrasscbc you are a joke.
Sat Jul 25 13:07:21 +0000 2020
Rico Suav(C) : @mervinbrasscbc You're a joke @CBC
Sat Jul 25 13:00:25 +0000 2020
CanadianMom73🇨ðŸ‡... : @mervinbrasscbc How about Lacrosse team names? Many lacrosse teams are named after indigenous names (eg. Burlington'... https://t.co/ro2fKaFVQp
Sat Jul 25 12:54:28 +0000 2020
SK8Lobster : @mervinbrasscbc You should say what they are called regardless of ideology
Sat Jul 25 12:53:38 +0000 2020
me : @mervinbrasscbc Somehow this upsets a bunch of racists. This doesn't affect anyone in a bad way, and is the right'... https://t.co/nPadbCCNSC
Sat Jul 25 12:44:03 +0000 2020
Trev : @mervinbrasscbc Nice way to erase and quietly make indigenous people forgotten. Shame CBC.
Sat Jul 25 12:41:43 +0000 2020
jason james prince : @mervinbrasscbc #DefundCBC
Sat Jul 25 12:41:27 +0000 2020
rickclarke : @mervinbrasscbc Yawn.....
Sat Jul 25 12:33:02 +0000 2020
Droogs 🍁🇬🇧👌 : @mervinbrasscbc If CBC stops using words and nobody ever tunes in to them, did it really happen? #DefundCBC https://t.co/B05HmYEYBN
Sat Jul 25 12:29:40 +0000 2020
Pheroze Jeejeebhoy : @mervinbrasscbc A more nuanced approach, with real dialogue with affected groups, would be better than sweeping sta'... https://t.co/yKdhlkZDiZ
Sat Jul 25 12:19:33 +0000 2020
Apple is now restricting Chinese language podcasts in China '' TechCrunch
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 18:40
Just as podcasting hits the mainstream in the west, China, which is also experiencing an audio boom, is seeing restrictions tighten around shows as evidenced by new curbs from Apple.
This week, the U.S. tech giant has pulled a handful of Chinese-language podcasts from its Chinese Podcasts store, one of the few remaining channels for people in mainland China to find content immune from scrutiny by the country's media regulators.
The crackdown seems to be taking an incremental pace so far. Three podcasters, including hosts of NickTalk and Two I.T. Uncles (两个iT大å--), confirmed with TechCrunch on Tuesday that their shows disappeared from Apple's Chinese Podcasts app this week.
Several other noted shows, including Yitianshijie (ä¸å¤(C)世界), appear to remain unaffected, while others, such as Suijiya (随æ'ºé¸­), seem to have suffered from a partial blockade. That's to say that individual episodes appear in search results, but the podcast homepages are inaccessible, which makes it impossible for new subscribers to sign up.
A few Chinese podcasts have disappeared from Apple's Chinese Podcasts store since the beginning of June. / Screenshot by TechCrunch
In an email reply to Two I.T. Uncles reviewed by TechCrunch, Apple confirmed that the podcast is currently available in ''all territories except China,'' adding that ''only shows from select partners are available in the Chinese Apple Podcasts store.''
Apple did not provide further details as to what it means by ''select partners.'' TechCrunch has contacted the company for clarification, but we had not heard back at the time of writing.
The removals appear to be ill-timed, coinciding with the thirtieth anniversary of China's Tiananmen Square crackdown, which falls on June 4th and has already led to tighter control on China's online discourse.
That's a big deal for Apple, as people have long celebrated its Podcasts app as unhampered by Beijing's censorship. The IPN, a variety of popular Chinese talk shows on different topics, has repeatedly urged listeners to choose international services like Apple Podcasts, Castro and Overcast over Himalaya FM, Lizhi FM and other local counterparts that are prone to Chinese reins.
Some have foretold the curbs, arguing that this marks Apple's latest step to fill a regulatory loophole in its Chinese service. Word on the street has it that the American company's ''select partners'' might include Himalaya and Lizhi, which not only deliver shows to listeners but also host the content.
Under Chinese laws, they must screen the podcasts before making them public. In other words, if Apple China starts requesting episodes to be kept on these platforms, the content will come under scrutiny by China's often murky and vague media policies.
The tie-up, however, ''could make Apple's podcast operations more law-abiding in China,'' suggested Wang Boyuan, editor at TechCrunch.cn, TechCrunch's content partner in China.
By contrast, Apple Podcasts serve as directories of podcast RSS feeds, which keep information about where a show is stored and when a new episode has been added, meaning it's usually more hands-off compared to the hosting services.
''The Apple Podcasts store is like an aggregate search engine,'' said Nick Zhang, host of NickTalk. ''That's why my episode about the June 4th [incident] could still play as usual.''
A number of popular English-language podcasts from the west have long been unavailable in the Chinese store, but the latest crackdown seems to have extended the control to overseas Chinese content. Chinese podcasts uploaded from non-Chinese Apple accounts were also being restricted, according to a Telegram notice posted by the show Renjian Zhinan (人间指南), citing tests it had performed.
This isn't the first time Apple has placed limits on its Chinese services. In 2017, the firm dropped hundreds of VPNs, tools that help local internet users access overseas sites that are otherwise blocked, from its Chinese App Store to comply with local internet laws. In another major step last year, Apple began storing data of its China-based users locally, making seas of digital footprints accessible to local authority.
FDNY official defends excluding famed 9/11 officer from procession
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 23:55
A top FDNY official says it's ''most definitely'' acceptable to exclude a white firefighter from a ceremonial unit based solely on his skin color, The Post has learned.
Cecilia Loving, the department's chief diversity and inclusion officer, is defending a decision to kick Lt. Daniel McWilliams '-- one of three firefighters in the iconic 9/11 Ground Zero flag-raising photo '-- off a color-guard procession so it would be all-black.
Loving testified at a state Divsion of Human Rights trial on McWilliam's complaint that he was the victim of racial bias.
When McWilliams showed up at a 2017 memorial mass to honor deceased members of the Vulcan Society, a fraternal group of black FDNY firefighters, he was barred from holding a flag in the color guard.
Regina Wilson, then Vulcan Society president, asked McWilliams to ''help in a different capacity'' because he is not black.
Loving, who is black, testified there is nothing wrong with that.
''So, a request for an all-black color guard is not discriminatory?'' McWilliam's lawyer, Keith Sullivan, asked in the trial.
''No, it isn't,'' Loving replied.
Asked if it's acceptable to request an all-black color guard, she said, ''Most definitely.''
Loving said it's okay to replace a white member with an African-American to ''uplift our identities and our separate ethnicities in order to instill a sense of pride and community and support for one another.''
Daniel McWilliams APIn a written brief, Sullivan called the rejection of McWilliams ''deplorable,'' and evidence of a stark double standard in the FDNY.
''If you're black and you discriminate against a white person in the workplace, you get a slap on the wrist at best,'' he wrote. A white person who discriminates gets ''heavy-handed discipline and punishment.''
Wilson received ''one hour of counseling'' as discipline for her treatment of McWilliams.
''The FDNY has created a policy and procedure for bending over backwards, coming up with excuses and accommodating members of the Vulcan Society '... who commit racist acts, and it has to stop,'' Sullivan wrote.
McWilliams declined to comment, but he was upset and ''embarrassed'' by the incident, Sullivan said.
After filing his complaint, McWilliams was the target of retaliation and intimidation by Wilson's supporters, Sullivan argues. One put his hands on McWilliams, and said, ''I've heard about you, they told me you'd act this way, and now you know me.''
The FDNY declined to comment because a final decision is pending.
Sinclair Delays Airing Interview With Pandemic Conspiracy Theorist '' Deadline
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 01:34
Sinclair Broadcasting said today it will delay its planned broadcast of a news segment that included an interview with a conspiracy theorist who made several wild claims on the pandemic.
America This Week host Eric Bolling was planning to air an interview with Judy Mikovits, a medical researcher who was featured in a conspiracy video called The Plandemic.
The video, which emerged in May, advocated against masks and made claims against any proposed vaccine. It also claimed Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House infectious disease expert, created the coronavirus, Media Matters reported. The video has been banned from many social media platforms because of its claims.
Mikovits was featured in the video, and when Bolling interviewed her, he made no mention of the controversy, instead touting her as ''an expert in virology'' who previously ''worked with Dr. Anthony Fauci.''
However, an outcry on social media about the Bolling interview has given pause to Sinclair and apparently to Bolling himself, who issued his own statement on the interview.
''I recognize that this segment does need to be reworked to provide better context, and as such we are delaying the airing of the episode for one week,'' Bolling said in a statement posted to his Twitter feed on Saturday afternoon.
He added, ''I have always welcomed all points of on my show and have consistently stood for free speech in my 15 years in media,'' Bolling said. ''In this case, admittedly I was caught off guard by some of Dr. Mikovits' claims. At no point did I agree with her. Further, I brought on another doctor to debunk the theories she espoused. I repeat: I do not agree with Dr. Mikovits.''
Sinclair said in its statement that it will ''spend the coming days bringing together other viewpoints and provide additional context. All stations have been notified not to air this and will instead be re-airing last week's episode in its place.''
Jay Rosen on Twitter: "As a propaganda machine, Sinclair is far more dangerous than OANN. Although it's emerging a little more as itself lately, it is still for the most part a stealth network that operates through local "community" stations that present
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 01:19
Jay Rosen : As a propaganda machine, Sinclair is far more dangerous than OANN. Although it's emerging a little more as itself l'... https://t.co/OtvLfzjFp9
Sat Jul 25 15:35:28 +0000 2020
Sandy : @jayrosen_nyu We need to out every Sinclair station and the raise funds to advertise on billboards and other statio'... https://t.co/99grRh3Sjm
Sun Jul 26 01:00:15 +0000 2020
I, Clavicless : @jayrosen_nyu This is all I needed to see. Absolutely chilling.https://t.co/AmR0dWTXLI
Sun Jul 26 00:41:17 +0000 2020
Shaun M : @jayrosen_nyu @david_hemond They own the cbs affiliate here. The worlds first TV station, WRGB.
Sun Jul 26 00:40:52 +0000 2020
Matt McMullin : @jayrosen_nyu @onlxn It just kills me that they own Comet TV...I feel dirty every time I watch, and I watch a LOT. ðŸ
Sun Jul 26 00:21:55 +0000 2020
Helen🌊🌊🌊ðŸ‹ðŸŒŠðŸŒŠðŸŒŠðŸ--¥ðŸ--¥ : @jayrosen_nyu @joncoopertweets If I see that da.n dinosaur I won't stop. Screw Sinclair's and it's state tv bullshi'... https://t.co/ErtGKEMAgK
Sun Jul 26 00:00:46 +0000 2020
Cagle : @jayrosen_nyu @joncoopertweets People like this and trump are going to hell fast.
Sat Jul 25 23:31:00 +0000 2020
Alice Brumfield : @jayrosen_nyu @joncoopertweets MSN has reported that they have pulled it---to be shown next week after some changes.
Sat Jul 25 23:14:31 +0000 2020
Elizabeth C Madsen : @jayrosen_nyu In Portland, OR, Channel 2 (KATU) was acquired by Sinclair Broadcasting. Many of the anchors have be'... https://t.co/1UFwZBueqm
Sat Jul 25 22:40:15 +0000 2020
Jeremy Roenick sues NBC claiming straight man discrimination | Toronto Sun
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 08:59
Who fired J.R.? It was NBC. Why? Because of discrimination, the former NHL star claims.
Jeremy Roenick is suing NBC Sports for wrongful termination, saying they discriminated against him as a straight man after a number of controversial things he told another outlet.
Roenick was fired after going on the ''Spittin' Chiclets'' podcast on Barstool Sports and joking about having a threesome with his wife and Kathryn Tappen, an NBC coworker. Roenick also says his outspoken support of U.S. President Donald Trump in 2016 hurt his cause.
''I'm swimming with my wife and Kathryn, and they've got their bikinis on, and they look f***in' smokin','' he said on the podcast in December. ''Ass and boobs everywhere. It's great.''
It wasn't long after that NBC suspended the former Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes sniper. Despite an apology, Roenick was later fired.
Former NHL star Jeremy Roenick in happier times. Kevin King / Postmedia files
Roenick claims in his suit, which was filed in New York Supreme Court on Friday, that he asked his supervisor, Sam Flood, for permission to speak at the Republican National Convention in 2016 and was told: ''I'm not saying what you can do. You know who you work for. You work for NBC. That would not look good on your NBC record.''
The Boston native also alleges that Flood made disparaging comments about ''your boy'' Trump.
The lawsuit accuses NBC of violating the state law against discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. Roenick pointed to a controversial promotional video featuring NBC figure skating commentators Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. Roenick's suit notes neither were suspended or fired for their ''colourful commentary about skaters'' and says Flood responded that Weir ''is gay and can say whatever.''
Pipelines
Turkey-Greece tensions escalate over Turkish Med drilling plans - BBC News
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 13:27
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Turkey has rejected Greece's complaints over the ship's planned voyage as against international law Greece has issued a naval alert after Turkey announced it was sending a ship to carry out a drilling survey in waters close to a Greek island off Turkey's south coast.
Turkey's initial advisory on Tuesday sparked alarm in Greece amid reports that naval ships from both countries were preparing to patrol the area.
The EU said Turkey's alert was "not helpful and sends the wrong message".
Turkey said its survey ship was working entirely within its continental shelf.
How have relations soured?Although the Turkish survey ship, Oruc Reis, was still reported to be at anchor in the Turkish port of Antalya on Wednesday, the Turkish alert - known as a Navtex - prompted alarm in the Greek military and was condemned by Athens as illegal.
The survey alert covers an area between Cyprus and Crete. Unconfirmed Greek reports said Turkish and Greek navy ships were heading to an area near the Greek island of Kastellorizo, a short distance from the Turkish mainland.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption This Turkish drilling ship, Fatih, went into operation off Cyprus last year Relations between Greece and Turkey have been icy anyway. The two countries have quarrelled over migrants crossing into Greece; then earlier this month Greece was appalled when Turkey said the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul, for centuries an Orthodox Christian cathedral, would be turned into a mosque.
Greece has said the Turkish naval move violates its sovereign rights. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and said he would talk to other Greek political leaders about the escalation on Thursday.
Why the flare-up?Nato allies Turkey and Greece are on separate sides in a race to develop energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In recent years, huge gas reserves have been found in the waters off Cyprus, prompting the Cypriot government, Greece, Israel and Egypt to work together to make the most of the resources. As part of that agreement, energy supplies would go to Europe via a 2,000km (1,200-mile) pipeline in the Med.
Last year Turkey stepped up drilling to the west of Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974, with Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus only recognised as a republic by Ankara. The division of the island was marked in Turkey this week, and Ankara has always argued that the island's natural resources should be shared.
Then, in November 2019, Ankara signed a deal with Libya that Turkey said created an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from the Turkish southern coast to Libya's north-east coast. Egypt said it was illegal, Greece said it was absurd as it failed to take account of the Greek island of Crete, midway between the two countries.
At the end of May, Turkey said it planned to start drilling in the coming months in several other areas further west, alarming EU members Greece and Cyprus.
Several licences have been issued to Turkish Petroleum to drill in the Eastern Med, including off the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete.
"Everyone should accept that Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus cannot be excluded from the energy equation in the region," said Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay.
What are the legal issues?Many Greek islands in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean are within sight of the Turkish coast, so issues of territorial waters are complex and the two countries have come to the brink of war in the past.
If Greece were to extend its territorial waters from six miles to the maximum of 12 allowed internationally, Turkey argues its sea routes would be severely affected.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Turkish drilling ship Yavuz seen last year being escorted by a Turkish naval vessel to the Cyprus coast Apart from territorial waters, there are exclusive economic zones (EEZs), like that agreed between Turkey and Libya, but also like the Cypriot EEZ accords with Lebanon, Egypt and Israel. They can extend for 200 nautical miles.
So where does Kastellorizo fit in, 2km from the Turkish mainland?
Greece argues that the Turkish alert involves a large area of the continental shelf of Kastellorizo. But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said last month that "islands that are far from the mainland and closer to Turkey cannot have a continental shelf".
Turkey's vice-president said last month that Ankara was tearing up maps "drawn to imprison us on the mainland", and Ankara insists it is acting with the UN's Law of the Sea.
What reaction has there been?Greece's European allies have backed its position. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, on a visit to Athens, urged Ankara to stop "provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean". French President Emmanuel Macron, who was in the region on Thursday, gave Cyprus and Greece his full backing.
Condemning Turkey's "violations of their sovereignty", Mr Macron said anyone threatening an EU member's maritime space "must be sanctioned". French relations with Turkey have been strained in recent months, particularly over Libya.
On Wednesday, an EU spokeswoman said Turkey's new move was "not helpful and sends the wrong message".
The bloc had repeatedly underlined that the limitation of exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf should be addressed through negotiations and in good faith, she added.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption For more than 40 years Cyprus has been a divided island
EuroLand
Europees Parlement: EU-deal moet op de schop | Politiek | AD.nl
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 14:22
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2020
Kanye quits Trump's reality show
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 20:27
Kanye West makes his first presidential campaign appearance July 19 in North Charleston, S.C. | Lauren Petracca Ipetracca/The Post And Courier via AP
Kanye West's quixotic presidential bid has been roundly dismissed as a publicity stunt. A caper. Just Kanye being Kanye.
But there's no question it has already revealed something about American politics in 2020: The reality show President Donald Trump imported from the New York tabloids to the Oval Office is losing some of its stars.
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Just over 100 days from the November election, West, a one-time Trump supporter, is spinning up a whirlwind of attention with his own Trumpian display amid the conflagration of a life-altering pandemic and a historic resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. He has questioned vaccines, demonized abortion, said Harriet Tubman ''never actually freed the slaves,'' proselytized for more religion in public life and proposed a radical albeit confusing restructuring of government.
And for a certain brand of political wanderers '-- conservatives appalled by Trump's authoritarian tendencies but turned off by Joe Biden's decades in Washington, libertarians growing nihilistic about the state of the world '-- West's display is working. To them, West is a postmodern outlet for their frustrations with society; one who won't win, but is saying something at a national level that resonates.
''I love the fact that he's doing it, right?'' said Zuby Udezue, a British musician, podcaster and artist with an influential conservative following in the U.S. '-- 300,000 followers on Twitter and frequently cited by libertarian and conservative figures like Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson and Ann Coulter.
''I look at things like this on a more cultural level, and even a spiritual level to a degree, because I think that there's a lot of spiritual warfare going on,'' added Udezue, a fan of West's music since 2003, referring to West's religious evangelism. ''And it might sound like mumbo jumbo to a lot of people who don't understand that language, but I think it's very real.''
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West's political moment is interwoven with several factors. No one interviewed for this story, even those drawn to West, believes he poses a serious threat to Trump or Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. They also expressed concern for West's ongoing mental health issues '-- West has said he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2017. West's wife, Kim Kardashian-West, issued a statement on Wednesday addressing the issue, calling West ''brilliant but complicated'' and asking the media for ''compassion and empathy'' during this period. She added: ''Living with bipolar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some.''
Indeed, some of the ideas West has been promoting, his begrudging right-wing admirers say, ring true to them.
''The independent minded nature of Kanye's messages, to the extent that you can discern his messages, is bound to attract libertarian support,'' said a conservative political operative with a decade of work in the Republican Party and libertarian-leaning views, although the person expressed skepticism about West as a candidate.
''Libertarians are those who buck the status quo, are not interested in our two-party system and want new voices brought into the fold,'' the person added. ''They're looking for political innovation, and some might argue that Kanye represents that.''
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West's political confidants insist the musician's views are sincere, regardless of the stigma of mental illness. ''Let 'Ye be 'Ye,'' said Ali Alexander, one of the few GOP operatives who both talks politics with West and has also met with Trump.
West initially tweeted that he was running for president on July 4, generating the internet buzz and panoply of think pieces that only the rapper's intermittent bursts into the public spotlight can. West then filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, listing ''BDY'' '-- the Birthday Party '-- as his party affiliation. He later held a rally in South Carolina this past weekend but missed the state's deadline to submit paperwork to appear on the state's ballot. He did qualify to appear on the ballot in Oklahoma.
No one can truly place West's scattershot political views in a comfortable place on the ideological spectrum, though West said recently that if Trump were not the GOP nominee, he would run as a Republican.
West is pro-Black Lives Matter, but called assumptions that he should lean Democratic ''a form of racism and white supremacy.'' He is pro-LGBTQ rights, but said Planned Parenthood was ''placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil's work.'' Hovering over all of it is his intense Christianity.
West also offers effusive praise for China, a stance anathema to current Republican orthodoxy, and said Black History Month is ''torture porn,'' a view that left many aghast.
Over the past several days, West's own seriousness in his political endeavor has been thrown into doubt. His campaign apparatus is nonexistent, and he himself has said he doesn't want to put together a policy platform: ''I don't know if I would use the word 'policy' for the way I would approach things.''
West's time in the political spotlight traces back to his 2005 declaration on live TV: ''George Bush doesn't care about Black people.''
While the proclamation won him liberal praise at the time, West's reputation has been marked by his flirtation with Trumpism in 2018 and right-wing ideology. He started tweeting his approval of the president and of controversial conservative pundit Candace Owens, and made an appearance in the Oval Office, where he wore a MAGA hat as he spoke to a captive audience, Trump included, for a full, freewheeling hour.
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Trump himself seems unsure about West, previously thanking him after West claimed the two shared ''dragon energy,'' then later dismissing a potential 2020 challenge from West. "If he did it, he would have to view this as a trial run for what's going to happen in four years,'' Trump told reporters earlier this month.
West's views, the conservative operative said, are hardly going to siphon liberal support from Biden. But West's views are likely to attract some nonestablishment Trump fans who were once key in generating cultural chatter around the future president but have now soured on him.
''He is just not respecting the rules of political correctness,'' the operative said. ''[And] from what you can discern, there's strong themes of Christian messaging and bringing God back into our schools. And I don't think that all is gonna play well on the left.''
Take, for instance, West's controversial comments about famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman at his South Carolina event, which featured West giving an impromptu speech to a few hundred attendees. Udezue said liberals were decontextualizing West's conservative message, even as the remarks caused some people in the room to groan and walk out.
''Actually, if you listen to the whole context, and what he's trying to say about the importance of family and property and passing on wealth to future generations, and valuing life and taking care of your children, all these things,'' Udezue said. ''This is what people need to hear. These are actual values that lead to individuals and communities becoming successful. But people just get stuck on the stupid part.''
Kmele Foster, host of the libertarian-leaning podcast ''The Fifth Column'' and a professed West fan, said he could understand a conservative's attraction to West as a leader '-- increasingly religious and standing in opposition to the authoritarian Trump. Foster also emphasized that his first concern was for West's mental health.
''It's hard to imagine President Kanye dispatching federal law enforcement officers to go and try to quell the concern that is manifesting itself off in the streets of Portland,'' Foster said, referencing Trump's recent decision to send unmarked officers to Portland, Ore., where videos showed them detaining protesters in unmarked cars.
''President Kanye flies in and he gets into the street himself in an appeal to people,'' Foster added. ''He's giving a Kanye speech. And at a minimum, it mystifies everyone on all sides. But maybe it brings people together and calms the storm. And maybe he puts on a show? Who knows.''
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In some ways, Foster said, Kanye's disavowal of any policy platform plays into ''the libertarian conception of the presidency is chief administrator. It's not supposed to be a guy who has a tremendous amount of unilateral authority. He's kind of constrained in important ways. And that's not how it is. But that's certainly the ideal.''
Ultimately, conservatives and libertarians acknowledge that the surreal concept of a President Yeezy is most likely a pipe dream. But in an already surreal world '-- where a pandemic has seized entire countries and devastated industries, political parties fight over wearing masks and Donald Trump is already president '-- it's a pipe dream that can almost, just almost, exist.
''There are people right now, myself included, who are just politically homeless,'' said the operative. ''And they're just interested in anything that's not this.''
Kanye West issues public apology to wife Kim Kardashian following Twitter rant | Fox News
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 01:38
Published July 25, 2020
Last Update 2 hrs ago
The rapper-turned-presidential-hopeful asks his wife for forgivenessKanye West issued an apology to his wife Kim Kardashian on Twitter on Saturday -- the same social media platform where he announced his plans to divorce her just days prior.
"I would like to apologize to my wife Kim for going public with something that was a private matter. I did not cover her like she has covered me.to [sic] Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me," West, 43, wrote.
Although West did not specify what "private matter" he was referring to, it's likely related to his admission during a South Carolina campaign rally last weekend that the couple considered abortion when they were expecting their first child, daughter North, 7.
KIM KARDASHIAN 'MOST UPSET' OVER KANYE WEST'S CLAIM THAT HER MOM KRIS JENNER CAN'T SEE THEIR KIDS: REPORT
"Even if my wife wants to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world even when I didn't want to," West told a crowd while crying. "She stood up and she protected that child. You know who else protected a child? Forty-three years ago, who do you think protected a child?''
Reports indicated earlier in the week that Kardashian, 39, was "furious" over the abortion claims.
He then claimed in a now-deleted tweet that he's been "trying" to divorce Kardashian, 39, ever since she attended a prison reform event also attended by rapper Meek Mill.
The Yeezy founder also subtly shaded the reality star's past photoshoot with Playboy and claimed his mother-in-law Kris Jenner was no longer allowed to see the couple's four kids.
KIM KARDASHIAN BREAKS SILENCE ON KANYE WEST'S BIPOLAR DISORDER: 'HE IS BRILLIANT BUT COMPLICATED'
Also on Monday, West tweeted that Kardashian "tried to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughter's life yesterday.''
Recording artist Kanye West, right, and wife Kim Kardashian West attend The Fashion Group International's annual "Night of Stars" gala at Cipriani Wall Street on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in New York. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
West's other tweets blasted Vogue editor Anna Wintour, whom he said balked at his latest design venture with Gap and then returned to "kiss his a--." He also referred to Jenner as "Kris Jung-Un" and reportedly called her a White supremacist in now-deleted tweets.
Kardashian ultimately broke her silence on the drama on Wednesday with a public statement acknowledging West's bipolar disorder.
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"As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand," Kardashian's statement shared to Instagram begins.
Kardashian said she realizes that her husband's words can carry particular weight and ''cause strong opinions and emotions'' due to his status as a public figure. However, she said she finds him to be a ''brilliant and complicated'' person that is simply struggling to deal with his mental illness at times.
Kanye West tweets he 'can beat Biden off of write ins' | Fox News
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 12:47
Published July 25, 2020
Last Update 13 hrs ago
West on Wednesday morning posted and then deleted tweets suggesting he may hold off on running for president in 2020Kanye West has found new confidence in his run for the presidency.
He tweeted Saturday, ''I can beat Biden off of write ins'' after suggesting earlier this week he may postpone his campaign until 2024.
West on Wednesday morning posted and then deleted tweets suggesting he may hold off on running for president in 2020.
''#2020VISION or maybe '24 I guess all black people supposed to vote on Biden? Y'all want me to run on nah???'' West said prior to deleting the tweet, according to Billboard.
KANYE WEST FAILS TO SUBMIT SIGNATURES TO GET ON SOUTH CAROLINA'S PRESIDENTIAL RACE BALLOT
West has missed the deadline to appear on state ballots in North Carolina, New Mexico, Texas, Michigan, Florida and Indiana, and failed to get enough petition signatures in South Carolina. He is expected to appear on Oklahoma's state ballot but it is unclear at this time if enough signatures from his home state of Illinois were submitted to make the state's November ballot.
West's campaign has caught some controversy over comments he made during a rally he held Sunday in South Carolina, where he falsely claimed that Harriet Tubman ''never actually freed the slaves," adding: ''She just had the slaves go work for other white people.''
West was once an avid supporter of President Trump's, even visiting the White House to express his support for the president in October 2018. But in an interview with Forbes magazine earlier this month, West said Trump lost his support when he ''caught wind that he hid in the bunker'' during the George Floyd protests in June.
President Trump has said these claims are false.
West, who announced his candidacy on the Fourth of July, has said Biden lacked the "special" factor that was needed in a candidate.
KANYE WEST SUBMITS SIGNATURES TO APPEAR ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BALLOT IN ILLINOIS
''I'm not saying Trump's in my way, he may be a part of my way. And Joe Biden? Like come on man, please. You know? Obama's special. Trump's special. We say Kanye West is special. America needs special people that lead. Bill Clinton? Special. Joe Biden's not special,'' West told Forbes.
Later Saturday, Kanye tweeted out an apology to his wife, reality television star and makeup mogul Kim Kardashian West, "for going public with something that was a private matter," likely related to his admission during a South Carolina campaign rally last weekend that the couple considered abortion when they were expecting their first child, daughter North, 7.
"I did not cover her like she has covered [me.to] [sic] Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me," he wrote.
"Even if my wife wants to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world even when I didn't want to," West told a crowd while crying on Sunday. "She stood up and she protected that child. You know who else protected a child? Forty-three years ago, who do you think protected a child?''
Reports indicated earlier in the week that Kardashian, 39, was "furious" over the abortion claims.
Kardashian has said her husband's often sporadic tweets are a result of his bipolar disorder.
''As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder,'' she said in a statement earlier this week. ''Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand.''
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
She said he is a ''brilliant and complicated'' person who struggles with his mental health at times.
''We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole, however we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it the most,'' Kardashian West said Wednesday.
Fox News' Melissa Robert contributed to this report.
ObamaGate
New document shows FBI used Trump's candidate briefing to advance Russia probe
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 17:06
President Donald Trump. | AP Photo
President Donald Trump's first intelligence briefing as a candidate in August 2016 was led by FBI agents who had just opened an investigation into his team's ties to Russia, according to a newly declassified document obtained by POLITICO.
The document, a seven-page summary of Trump's intelligence briefing by the agent who helped lead it, was filed as part of the so-called Crossfire Hurricane probe, the codename for the bureau's broader Russia investigation.
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Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified the document, along with two others, on Thursday and sent them to Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who have been investigating the origins of the probe in addition to the Obama administration's actions during the presidential transition period.
The documents are the latest in a series of disclosures by Ratcliffe to congressional Republicans seeking to support claims by Trump and his allies that the FBI investigation of Trump was politically motivated and corrupt.
The agents' decision to monitor the briefing appeared aimed at gleaning information from Trump's close adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who attended the briefing with Trump, and then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was Trump's transition team leader at the time. Flynn was codenamed ''Crossfire Razor'' by investigators, and the document heading includes a reference to his case. At the time, Trump had recently secured the Republican presidential nomination.
The summary indicates that the agent coordinating the briefing, Joe Pientka '-- also one of the agents who later interviewed Flynn days after Trump's inauguration in 2017 '-- paid special attention to any mentions that Trump or Flynn made of Russia.
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''During the [intelligence] briefs, writer actively listened for topics or questions regarding the Russian Federation,'' Pientka wrote.
Though there were a handful of mentions of Russia, it's unclear whether the agents' approach yielded anything of significance. At one point, after Trump's briefers described Chinese and Russian intelligence officers operating in the United States, Trump interjected with a question: ''Joe, are the Russians bad'' Because they have more numbers are they worse than the Chinese?"
''Writer responded by saying both countries are bad,'' Pientka wrote.
Trump also asked which country, Russia or China, was worse when it came to violations of nuclear testing bans. According to Pientka, the briefer responded: "They are both bad, but Russia is worse.''
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''Trump and Christie turned toward each other and Christie commented, 'I'm shocked,''' Pientka wrote.
The document, dated Aug. 30, 2016, was written two weeks after Trump's briefing and a month after the FBI opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. It was approved by one of the probe's lead agents, Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump text messages during the campaign have fueled Trump's claims that the investigation was a ''hoax.''
It was also approved by FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who has been accused by the Justice Department inspector general of doctoring an email that was used to obtain a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Pientka's contemporaneous notes from the briefing were also declassified. They include a general outline of the topics that were discussed.
During the briefing, FBI officials warned Trump that foreign agents might try to approach his associates, including family, friends and campaign staff. Though Trump has argued he was never warned explicitly that the FBI had concerns that some of his closest aides were compromised '-- including Flynn and campaign manager Paul Manafort '-- the file indicates that he and his team were given a general warning about the possibility.
During a discussion of some foreign intelligence capabilities, Flynn mentioned that he had been responsible for signals intelligence during his time as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Pientka replied that that should give him a good sense of the capabilities foreign powers could deploy against the United States.
''Trump then stated, 'Yes I understand it's a dark time,''' Pientka described. '''Nothing is safe on computers anymore. We used to lock things in a safe in a room. Now anyone can get in. My son is ten years old. He has a computer and we put a codeword on it. Within ten minutes he broke the codeword.'''
In addition to information about Trump's first intelligence briefing, Ratcliffe on Thursday declassified a series of emails between Pientka and Strzok, in which Strzok asks that counterintelligence agents be included in future briefings.
Epstein
Former Cardinal McCarrick accused of participating in beach house 'sex ring,' lawyers allege - nj.com
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 14:23
He is known only as ''Doe 14.''
Raised in a devout Catholic family, he attended St. Francis Xavier in Newark and Essex Catholic in East Orange in the Archdiocese of Newark, participating in church and youth activities.
And by the time he was a teenager, his lawyers say he was being groomed for a role in what they called a ''sex ring'' involving then-Bishop Theodore McCarrick, the 90-year-old now defrocked and disgraced former cardinal who was cast out of the ministry last year over decades-old sexual abuse allegations.
In a lawsuit, they charged other priests served as ''procurers'' to bring victims to McCarrick at his beach house on the Jersey Shore, where he ''assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house,'' and that they were paired with adult clerics.
The lawsuit does not say if McCarrick asked the other priests to bring boys to the beach house.
In a press conference on Wednesday, attorneys for the now 53-year-old victim serving as the plaintiff in the lawsuit detailed a sordid, predatory scheme of sexual abuse involving McCarrick and other members of the clergy involving at least seven children, including Doe 14, that they said played out over dozens of years.
Jeff Anderson, who represents Doe 14, said priests and others under the control of McCarrick engaged in ''open and obvious criminal sexual conduct'' that was kept cloaked by the church.
''That continued for 50 years until McCarrick, having been publicly exposed, was ultimately defrocked,'' declared Anderson.
In their court papers filed Tuesday night in New Jersey Superior Court in Middlesex County, the unnamed victim filed suit against the Diocese of Metuchen, where McCarrick served as bishop, the Archdiocese of Newark, where he was the archbishop, and the schools, high schools and parish schools Doe 14 had attended while growing up in New Jersey.
According to the lawsuit, much of what allegedly transpired occurred at a Sea Girt beach house that has been the focus of other complaints involving charges of abuse by McCarrick of seminarian students, who he allegedly would bring down to the Jersey Shore.
''McCarrick would creep into this kid's bed and engage in criminal sexual behavior and whisper, 'It's okay,''' said Anderson.
Asked about the charges, attorney Barry Coburn, who represents McCarrick, said only, ''no comment at this time.''
The Newark Archdiocese also declined comment.
''It would be inappropriate to discuss or comment on matters in litigation,'' said spokeswoman Maria Margiotta. ''The Archdiocese of Newark remains fully committed to transparency and to our long-standing programs to protect the faithful and will continue to work with victims, their legal representatives and law enforcement authorities in an ongoing effort to resolve allegations and bring closure to victims.''
The Doe 14 complaint charged that boys were also selected and abused not only by McCarrick, but by other priests and clergy at the beach house, who were named in the court papers.
Gerald Ruane, Michael Walters and John Laferrera, allegedly abused Doe 14, the lawsuit claimed. All three were listed last year by the Newark Archdiocese as having credible accusations of sex abuse made against them. Ruane was listed as deceased, and the others had previously removed from ministry.
Brother Andrew Thomas Hewitt, the former Essex Catholic principal, was also accused of abusing the boy from 1981 to 1983, and named as well in a list of those accused of sexual abuse. He is now dead as well.
Also accused of ''unpermitted sexual contact'' when the plaintiff was 11 years old was a former priest named Anthony Nardino. He had not been publicly accused before, but was said to have left the ministry as well. Church officials did not respond to questions about him.
McCarrick, once the most recognized Catholic leader in New Jersey and a major voice on national issues for the church, has already been repeatedly accused of sexual abuse in earlier court filings.
Last year, James Grein stepped forward with a lawsuit under a new law that gives people more time to sue their alleged abusers and the institutions that protected them. He charged McCarrick sexually abused him for 20 years, even after he told Pope John Paul II during a visit to the Vatican about the abuse.
In a separate lawsuit, John Bellocchio, a former Catholic schoolteacher and principal, alleged in a lawsuit that McCarrick sexually assaulted him when he was the archbishop of Newark.
Even before any of those allegations came to light, church officials in New Jersey later revealed that McCarrick had previously been accused of sexual misconduct with three adults during his time in the state. Two of those cases resulted in secret legal settlements, according to the Archdiocese of Newark.
The settlements included $80,000 paid to a former priest turned lawyer from New Jersey who said McCarrick, known as ''Uncle Ted,'' would invite young seminarians and priests to the house in Sea Girt, where they would be expected to share a bed with McCarrick.
All that time, McCarrick continued his ascendancy in the church hierarchy, picked by Pope John Paul II as Washington's archbishop in late 2000. A year later, he was made a cardinal.
The cardinal's downfall began after a former altar server went to the Archdiocese of New York after hearing that a panel was considering settlements for alleged victims, to report how he had been abused as a teenager while being measured by McCarrick for a special cassock for Christmas Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
He told them that McCarrick, then a monsignor, unzipped the teenager's pants while measuring him for the garment and was later cornered in a bathroom.
The allegation led to McCarrick being removed from public ministry and later forced to resign from the College of Cardinals. A subsequent Vatican investigation ended with his being laicized, or dismissed from the clerical state '-- considered one the harshest forms of punishment that can be issued by the church.
McCarrick has never admitted to any wrongdoing.
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Staff writer Kelly Heyboer contributed to this report.
Ted Sherman may be reached at tsherman@njadvancemedia.com.
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Pope
Hagia Sophia: Pope's Interfaith Time Bomb
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 14:25
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Sign up today!ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - Greece's president is urging Pope Francis to condemn the Islamic takeover of Hagia Sophia a day after Turkey's radical Islamic president made a counteroffer inviting the pontiff to attend the Byzantine basilica's reopening as a mosque on July 24.
Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın revealed Sunday that Pope Francis was among the guests invited to attend the reversion of Hagia Sophia to its status as a mosque conquered by Sultan Mehmet II in 1453.
Greek president sworn in by Orthodox Abp. IeronymosGreece's president Katerina Sakellaropoulou, however, phoned the pontiff Monday, calling for the move to be "explicitly and unequivocally condemned." The progressive judge, known for her leftwing positions on ecology and same-sex unions, asked Francis to help her raise international support on revoking Turkey's decision.
"I asked @Pontifex to use his influence to raise the awareness of the international community about the conversion of #HagiaSophia into a mosque. I stressed that this decision by Turkey undermines the foundations of tolerance and deepens the rift between cultures and religions," 62-year-old Sakellaropoulou tweeted.
"Pope Francis is now caught in a massive dilemma of his own making," distinguished Islamic historian Robert Spencer told Church Militant. "He has for the entire span of his pontificate assiduously courted the goodwill of Muslims, and Muslim leaders have praised him for his defense of Islam."
"So it's entirely reasonable for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to invite him and think he will be delighted to attend and serve as the Turkish president's trophy of the surrender and submission of Christianity," Spencer pointed out.
Pope Francis is now caught in a massive dilemma of his own making.
Spencer, author of the bestselling The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS, described the trap Francis had created for himself:
If Pope Francis does attend, however, he will insult and offend millions of Christians, Catholic and non-Catholic who wonder why he hasn't stood up for Christianity the way he has for Islam and why he would attend a ceremony that commemorates what Erdoğan believes is the triumph of Islam over Christianity and its superiority to Christianity.
"If Francis doesn't go, he risks offending his Muslim friends and supporters. If he does go, he risks offending Christians worldwide. There is no pleasing everyone," Spencer observed.
Spencer, director of Jihad Watch and Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, also noted that the pontiff's "Human Fraternity declaration with the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar has not brought about harmony between the two religions, nor will it '-- and now he is caught between reality and the bland fictions he has propagated about Islam being peaceful."
Meanwhile, Greece's president is slamming "the decision of the Turkish leadership to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque" as "a profoundly provocative act against the international community."
"It brutally insults historical memory, undermines the value of tolerance, and poisons Turkey's relations with the entire civilized world," she fumed.
Spencer told Church Militant he was expecting Francis "to ignore the Greek president's appeal."
"If the pope does answer, I'd expect he will say nothing about Hagia Sophia and instead enlarge upon how different faith traditions have to have mutual respect and engage in dialogue," Spencer remarked.
The injunction to protect churches applies only to dhimmis '-- those who have surrendered to Islam, are subject to its rules and paying the jizya tax to their Muslim overlords.
Pope Francis broke his silence on Hagia Sophia at the end of his Angelus address July 13 to deliver a six-word (not counting a single letter preposition and conjunction) non-condemnation of the takeover of the basilica built by Emperor Justinian the Great in 537.
"Penso a Santa Sofia, e sono molto addolorato" (I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened), the pontiff said. One critic blasted Francis, commenting that "the loquacious and ever-sensitive bishop of Rome is ... silent."
Erdoğan has orderedgreen carpets laid in Hagia Sophia"The pope shouldn't worry," Turkey's presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın reiterated.
"Hagia Sophia has been turned into a place of worship where the name of God will be remembered. This place was converted not from a church to a mosque, but from a museum to a mosque. However, it will remain a cultural area as well as a mosque," Kalın said.
Kalın also assured the international community that the Byzantine Christian icons "will be preserved untouched."
"These mosaics are beautiful mosaics that describe Jesus, the Virgin Mary and other Christian personalities," he stressed.
Last week, Egyptian Grand Mufti Shawki Allam sparked controversy in the Muslim world after claiming that Hagia Sophia's conversion into a mosque is "impermissible" and "forbidden in Islam."
"Islamic texts tell us that we are protectors and defenders and should, therefore, take great care with human cultural heritage," Allam said, arguing that Muhammad followed this principle when Muslim armies conquered Egypt, the Levant and Iraq, as well as countries that were home to civilizations including Persian, Roman and Pharaonic.
Earlier, A. Belteshazzar, Arabic author of The Mosque and Its Role in Society, told Church Militant that Egypt and Turkey were playing a game of "good cop/bad cop," and according to Islamic law, the mosque '-- once seized and declared as Islamic territory (waqf) '-- could never be relinquished either for secular or, even worse, for Christian purposes.
I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened.
"Don't forget Egypt's Grand Mufti Shawki Allam, President Erdoğan and Al-Zahar's Grand Imam Ahmad al-Tayyeb are all Sunni Muslims and on the same side," he said.
Erdoğan supervising plans for the mosque reopening"Moreover, the injunction to protect churches applies only to dhimmis '-- those who have surrendered to Islam, are subject to its rules and paying the jizya tax to their Muslim overlords," he clarified.
In June, Church Militant reported that Egypt's Dar al-Ifta, the central authority for issuing fatwas (religious rulings) led by Allam, had backtracked on labeling the historical event as occupation, and instead glorified it as "a great Islamic conquest."
Erdoğan reiterated the theme of Islamic conquest, triumphalism and supremacy in his "victory address" on the takeover of Hagia Sophia.
"Hagia Sophia Mosque, the symbol of conquest, is reopening for worship," Ali Erbaş, Turkish Minister of Religious Affairs, announced.
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VIDEO-The Wave - YouTube
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 12:24
VIDEO-Patriot Mimi 🇺🇸(@patriotmimi) on TikTok: Fox News is now censoring @KayleighMcEnany and blocking their audience from the violence of Portland??!! #fakenews #censorship #trump #riots #usa
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Fox News is now censoring @KayleighMcEnany and blocking their audience from the violence of Portland??!! #fakenews #censorship #trump #riots #usa
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VIDEO-Woman who defaced BLM mural speaks out - YouTube
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 12:19
VIDEO-A Texas hospital overwhelmed by coronavirus may send some patients home to die - CNN
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 12:15
(CNN)Doctors at a Texas hospital along the US-Mexico border may decide to send coronavirus patients "home to die by their loved ones" due to limited resources, officials say.
Government and health officials in Starr County announced this week they are creating committees to review patients' cases at the
Starr County Memorial Hospital in Rio Grande City.
At least 50% of the patients admitted in the hospital's emergency room have tested positive for Covid-19, Dr. Jose Vasquez, the county's health authority, said in a news conference earlier this week.
"The situation is desperate," he said.
This rural South Texas county began seeing an increase in positive cases about a month ago, Vasquez said, and the hospital admitted its first Covid-19 patient at that time.
The hospital quickly filled the eight beds in its Covid-19 unit, so it expanded to 17 and then 29 beds, Vasquez said. About 33 medical workers, including medical practitioners and lab technicians, were deployed by the state to assist the hospital.
"Unfortunately, Starr County Memorial Hospital has limited resources and our doctors are going to have to decide who receives treatment, and who is sent home to die by their loved ones," Starr County Judge Eloy Vera wrote in a
Facebook post on Thursday. "This is what we did not want our community to experience."
Vasquez said it was a difficult decision to start reviewing the cases but with limited resources, officials have to consider who has a *the best chance* of survival.
"Those patients who most certainly don't have any hope of improving, we believe they are better taken care of within their own family in the love of their own home rather than thousands of miles away, dying in a hospital room alone," Vasquez said.
At least 40 new coronavirus cases were reported on Thursday in Starr County, bringing the county's total to 1,701. There have been 17 deaths linked to the virus and 32 others are pending state confirmation, local health officials said.
"When we talk about people who have died in our community, we are talking about uncles, cousins, siblings, a coworker, a relative," Vasquez said. "We are talking about people who had a close relationship with any of us one way or another."
An estimated 64,000 people live in Starr County, according to data by the
US Census Bureau.The pandemic surge has been particularly hard along the Texas-Mexico border. Starr County's neighbor,
Hidalgo County, has turned into one of the state's main coronavirus hotspots.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Sunday that five US Navy teams were being deploying to South Texas to help combat the spread of the virus.
A new shelter-at-home order began Friday in Starr County, nearly three months after
Gov. Abbott ended the state's stay-at-home order, allowing businesses to reopen at limited capacity. Texas was one of the first states to reopen its economy.
The county's order is set to remain in place until August 10 and requires residents to shelter at home, including those who live in hotels, motels and shared rentals.
A mandatory curfew was also issued from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. for anyone over 18 years and from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for residents 17 years and under unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
"Our backs are against the wall," Judge Vera, who signed the order, said in a news conference. "We are literally in a life and death situation."
CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.
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VIDEO-Matt Tomo on Twitter: "Joe Buck talks about the ''New World Order'' on-air during #NYYvsWSH #MLB https://t.co/BOJVdfyWvo" / Twitter
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 11:27
Matt Tomo : Joe Buck talks about the ''New World Order'' on-air during #NYYvsWSH #MLB https://t.co/BOJVdfyWvo
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VIDEO-President Trump Signs Executive Order on Lowering Drug Prices | C-SPAN.org
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 11:10
July 24, 2020 2020-07-24T15:45:18-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/8a7/20200724154805001_hd.jpg President Trump signed four executive orders aimed at lowering prescription drug costs for patients. The first order would lower the cost of insulin and Epipens. The second allows for the importation of lower cost medicines from Canada. The third prevents the ''middleman'' from profiting from drug company discounts. The final executive order would require Medicare to purchase prescription drugs at the same cost as other countries, giving the United States ''favored nation status,'' according to the president.President Trump signed four executive orders aimed at lowering prescription drug costs for patients. The first order would lower the cost of insulin and Epipens.'... read more
President Trump signed four executive orders aimed at lowering prescription drug costs for patients. The first order would lower the cost of insulin and Epipens. The second allows for the importation of lower cost medicines from Canada. The third prevents the ''middleman'' from profiting from drug company discounts. The final executive order would require Medicare to purchase prescription drugs at the same cost as other countries, giving the United States ''favored nation status,'' according to the president. close
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*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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VIDEO - Explainer: Why is the EU Commission betting on hydrogen for a greener future? | Euronews
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 01:47
The coronavirus pandemic has diverted public attention away from many pressing issues, not least the climate crisis. But behind the scenes, the EU appears to be keeping its foot on the gas in dealing with climate change.
At a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, the European Commission unveiled its strategy for a greener, cleaner energy future, with high hopes for increased use of hydrogen across various sectors, including energy.
This new policy is set to help enforce the European Green Deal's commitment for the bloc to become carbon-neutral by 2050. Currently, the energy sector accounts for 75 per cent of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions.
The commission published its EU Strategy for Energy System Integration as a framework for an energy transition, comprising of measures to achieve a more circular system, to implement greater direct electrification and to develop clean fuels. But commissioners also believe that hydrogen has a special role to play in this seismic shift, launching the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance (ECHA).
What is hydrogen?
Firstly, what is it? We are in fact surrounded by hydrogen. The gas makes up 75 per cent of the universe. Though it's abundant in the atmosphere, it is difficult to isolate. It can be extracted through electrolysis, the process of separating hydrogen and oxygen atoms by running a high electrical current through water. This technique is quite expensive since it involves large amounts of energy to do.
The gas has many applications and can be very useful in areas that are not suited to electrification. For instance, it can be used as a fuel, an energy carrier and storage, or as a feedstock (a raw material to power a machine or an industrial process).
What are the benefits of hydrogen energy?
No other energy source is as infinite as hydrogen and, therefore, there is no possibility of it ever running out. Hydrogen can also be used in places where nuclear energy or natural gas, for instance, cannot be used, as well as being safer and less hazardous to human health.
This particular source of energy is highly efficient since it requires less energy to operate compared to fossil fuels. No harmful by-products are released into the atmosphere when used, either, which makes hydrogen a clean energy source. Once used, it can even be converted into drinking water for astronauts.
What are the downsides?
On the other hand, hydrogen still faces challenges when it comes to storage and transport, let alone the fact that its current cost of production makes it impossible for the gas to outperform other fuels for now, in spite of its plentiful supply.
Today, hydrogen represents a very small fraction of the EU's energy output, at around 2 per cent. Moreover, it still largely comes from fossil fuels - like oil, natural gas or coal - and is responsible for between 70 to 100 million tonnes of the CO2 being produced annually in the EU.
The EU Commission plans on fully decarbonising industry and turning to clean, renewable hydrogen thanks to research and innovation. Although they aim to eventually use wind, solar and hydropower energy, they do not rule out that "other forms of low-carbon hydrogen are needed to rapidly reduce emissions and support the development of a viable market."
How will the new strategy be delivered?
The road map has been designed in three phases spread over the next 30 years. Starting from today, the objective is to put in place infrastructure so production can reach up to 1 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2024.
It is hoped that production will become cost-competitive from 2025 to 2030, generating up to 10 million tonnes of the gas which will then be used to power steel production, some modes of transport and so on.
By the third phase, it is hoped renewable hydrogen technologies will have reached maturity and deployed on a large scale.
From now to 2050, putting this strategy into action would amount to investments of around '‚¬180-470 billion. The European Commission has kick-started the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance this week precisely with the purpose of "identify[ing] and build[ing] up a clear pipeline of viable investment projects."
Is hydrogen a safe bet?
The EU's Hydrogen Strategy, alongside the EU Strategy for Energy System Integration, have been presented as part of Green Deal's commitments. However, given the global current crisis, commissioners argue that this framework was to boost Europe's resilience and that "the planned investments have the potential to stimulate the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis."
Gas Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network. Esther Bollendorff would prefer to remain vigilant. She notes the will of the Commission to draw away from fossil fuels but is concerned regarding how the ECHA would work.
"This is worrying because this is the first step into defining pilot programs and investments and the panel was outnumbered by major industrial gas leaders," such as SNAM, Gasunie, Verbund, she says.
Climate advocates note that there's been "some sort of frenzy" around hydrogen of late, whereas they believe it cannot be seen as the only solution. "We can be putting all our eggs in the same basket", Bollendorff firmly believes.
In a press release, the European networks points out that "keep[ing] the door open for the use of dirty fossil fuels [...] will not get us closer or faster to the Paris Agreement objective."
VIDEO-EU insists European companies could replace Huawei in 5G network | Euronews
Sun, 26 Jul 2020 01:43
Belgium
By
Daniel Bellamy with
AFP &bullet; last updated: 25/07/2020 - 17:08 European companies Nokia and Ericsson can provide the European Union with everything it needs to develop 5G infrastructure if the Chinese company Huawei were sidelined for security reasons, the European Commission said on Friday.
Three firms offer complete solutions for 5G: Finland's Nokia, Sweden's Ericsson and Chinese Huawei, said a European official, who wanted to remain anonymous.
Others, such as Korea's Samsung and China's ZTE, offer solutions "for part of the network", the official added.
Security must come first for Europe, the Commission said in a report published on Friday.
"It is more important than ever to ensure a high level of security when deploying 5G networks in the EU in view of the growing needs for digital infrastructure in our economies," said Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.
"In cooperation with Member States, we are committed to putting in place reliable, coordinated measures not only to ensure the cybersecurity of 5G but also to strengthen our technological autonomy," he added in a statement.
"The integrity of telecommunications networks is the keystone of a secure architecture in all Member States", said Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.
The European Union must "identify high risk suppliers", the European Commission said.
But Huawei said it could be trusted.
"We are not a newcomer in Europe, we have been here and we have been a trusted partner in Europe for nearly 20 years," Abraham Liu, Huawei's Chief Representative to the EU, told Euronews.
"Europe's authorities, politicians, should have enough confidence to its own authorities and to its own operators, which are the top operators in the world and they have the first class cyber security standards and experts in the industry," he added.
The UK, which left the EU this year, said on on July 15 it would strip its 5G network of all equipment produced by Huawei, citing security fears.
The purchase of new Huawei equipment will be banned after December 31, 2020 and existing equipment will have to be retired by 2027, the British government said.
The decision was welcomed by the US administration, and denounced as "politicised" by Beijing.
Nokia and Ericsson said they will be able to replace the Chinese group in the UK.
VIDEO-BIGDAVE on Twitter: "This Guy won Twitter. Permanently. Forever... https://t.co/PaBVzZmckX" / Twitter
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BIGDAVE : This Guy won Twitter.Permanently. Forever... https://t.co/PaBVzZmckX
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lsbrigge : @BIGDAVE21420668 Absolutely on the money!!!!!!!!!
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GTSteveB : @BIGDAVE21420668 Awesomely put👍👍👍
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VIDEO-President Trump Delivers Remarks and Signs Executive Orders on Lowering Drug Prices - YouTube
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VIDEO-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's speech against misogyny in Congress was overdue - Vox
Sat, 25 Jul 2020 13:19
In a powerful floor speech condemning Rep. Ted Yoho's misogynistic statements earlier this week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez decimated a common trope that men have used time and again to defend themselves from allegations of sexism: the ''father of daughters'' excuse.
During a policy disagreement at the US Capitol on Tuesday, Yoho called the Congress member ''crazy,'' ''disgusting,'' and ''out of [her] freaking mind.'' After she left, he reportedly said she was a ''fucking bitch,'' according to The Hill's Mike Lillis.
In his remarks on Wednesday, Yoho glanced over most of this without taking accountability for his words. ''Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I'm very cognizant of my language,'' Yoho said. ''The offensive name-calling words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues and if they were construed that way, I apologize for their misunderstanding.''
Ocasio-Cortez, however, called his deflection out for what it was: the latest example of men engaging in a culture of abuse toward women while using the women in their lives to avoid scrutiny for their actions.
''I will not stay up late at night waiting for an apology from a man who has no remorse over calling women and using abusive language towards women,'' she said in a floor speech on Thursday. ''But what I do have issue with is using women '-- wives and daughters '-- as shields and excuses for poor behavior.''
Her speech, which emphasized that the problem is much bigger than Yoho, was long overdue.
''Mr. Yoho was not alone. He was walking shoulder to shoulder with Representative Roger Williams,'' she said. ''And that's when we start to see that this issue is not about one incident. It is cultural. It is a culture of a lack of impunity, of acceptance of violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports that.''
You can watch the entirety of her remarks below:
The inequities Ocasio-Cortez called out are ones that have been a problem for some time: In her speech, she decried misogyny in Congress, dismissed the excuses that have been made for men's behavior, and questioned the example that Yoho and others were setting for other men.
When someone leverages the ''father of daughters'' trope as a shield from accountability, for example, they hurt the very people they claim to respect and value, Ocasio-Cortez argued. In fact, they admit via their own actions that it's acceptable to act in this way toward all women.
''Mr. Yoho mentioned that he has a wife and two daughters. I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho's youngest daughter. I am someone's daughter too,'' Ocasio-Cortez said. ''Now, what I am here to say is that this harm that Mr. Yoho levied, tried to levy against me, was not just an incident directed at me, but when you do that to any woman, what Mr. Yoho did was give permission to other men to do that to his daughters.''
For too long, men have used this ''father of daughters'' cop-out as a seemingly valid response while failing to address the specific harms caused by their actions.
Ocasio-Cortez's speech has sparked a broader conversation about misogynyOcasio-Cortez's speech on Thursday was about more than just the incident with Yoho.
While that exchange was the inciting factor, it ultimately sparked a broader conversation about sexism in Congress, an institution that's still overwhelmingly dominated by men. Presently, just 24 percent of the House members are women while the other three-quarters are men.
During her floor speech, Ocasio-Cortez was joined by more than 10 men and women who took turns excoriating Yoho's remarks and an institution that has long advanced and tolerated such misogyny.
''I want to be clear that this violent language is about power,'' said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who referenced a time she was criticized by a Republican lawmaker as a ''young lady [who] didn't know a damn thing about what [she] was talking about.'' ''These are the things that happen to us all the time,'' Jayapal said.
Others who spoke included Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Jackie Speier, Ilhan Omar, Al Green, and Steny Hoyer, all of whom you can watch in the clip below:
Further highlighting the prevalence of sexism, a New York Times report about Ocasio-Cortez's speech has since been criticized for its framing of Ocasio-Cortez's actions. The piece, which back-handedly praised her skill at ''using her detractors to amplify her own political brand,'' drew pushback for deeming her speech '-- and not Yoho's comments '-- as the ''disruptive'' event.
''[Women voicing] fury at systemic degradation is read as opportunistic. Whereas men's abusive behavior [is] rarely understood as fundamental to how they attained & maintain THEIR power. But it is!'' tweeted New York magazine writer Rebecca Traister.
Women's anger at male power abuse regularly presented as path to self-advancement for the women. Voicing fury at systemic degradation is read as opportunistic. Whereas men's abusive behavior rarely understood as fundamental to how they attained & maintain THEIR power. But it is! https://t.co/w5OVarKE4N
'-- Rebecca Traister (@rtraister) July 24, 2020Ultimately, Ocasio-Cortez's speech and the comments by her colleagues highlighted how entrenched misogyny continues to be on Capitol Hill and beyond, as well as the dedicated focus that more and more lawmakers have to combatting it.
In Congress, a growing number of women lawmakers have led to more open confrontations about sexism in recent years, discussions that are poised to continue. ''Nothing is more wholesome for our government, for our politics, for our country, than the increased participation of women,'' said Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a press conference on Friday.
''We are not going away,'' emphasized Jayapal.
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VIDEO-White House Briefing | C-SPAN.org
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 19:53
July 24, 2020 2020-07-24T13:36:15-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/5b7/20200724133740003_hd.jpg Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany briefs reporters at the White House.Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany briefs reporters at the White House.
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VIDEO-Mysterious seeds sent from China to Utah
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 16:24
TOOELE, Utah '-- Over the past few weeks, people in Utah have been reporting mysterious packages they've been receiving in the mail from China.
Lori Culley, who lives in Tooele, said she was excited to find two small packages in her mailbox on Tuesday. Although most of the writing on the outside was in Chinese, the label indicated there would be earrings inside.
''I opened them up and they were seeds,'' Culley said. ''Obviously they're not jewelry!''
Culley couldn't understand why she would be receiving mislabeled seeds from China in the mail, but at first she didn't think much of it.
She posted about the strange incident on Facebook, where some of her friends reminded her plants and seeds are strictly regulated in Utah.
FOX 13 has confirmed the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food will likely team up with Customs and Border Protection agents to investigate.
An employee with the Utah Department of Agriculture picked up the seeds within a few hours of learning about the incident.
Culley said she was surprised to learn the same thing has happened to ''at least 40 people'' who either publicly commented or privately responded to her post. Most of them live in Tooele.
Now Culley wonders how many people might have been so curious about the seeds that they decided to plant them.
''There was an article that I found in the UK saying this has been happening over there, and they are bad seeds, they are invasive,'' Culley said. ''I hope that it's nothing too serious'... don't throw them in the garbage. Don't plant them. Don't touch them.''
Employees with the Utah Department of Agriculture encouraged anyone who received mysterious seeds in the mail to please give them a call so they can pick up the mail for further investigation.
''I mean there's even a possibility it could be a drug or something!'' Culley said. ''It just smells '' it doesn't sound right.''
The Better Business Bureau is planting a different idea.
Jane Rupp, president of BBB's Utah chapter, told FOX 13 the incidents could just be a scam known as ''brushing'' where some companies will send you a product so they can post a fake review in your name.
''That is rather random. I don't think I've heard of seeds before,'' Rupp said. ''The first thing to do is Google your address and see what's out there'... Numerous things will come up when you Google your address. It's kind of scary sometimes.''
''Hopefully that's all it is, but why?'' Culley said. ''We just can't be too vigilant. We have to. There's too much crazy stuff going on in our world anymore, and a lot of it's coming from China.''
Copyright 2020 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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VIDEO-Brexit: UK-EU trade deal looking unlikely, says Michel Barnier | Euronews
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 14:22
brussels bureau
By Euronews &bullet; last updated: 23/07/2020 - 17:40
European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier gives a news conference after Brexit talks, in Brussels, Belgium, Friday, June 5, 2020. -
Copyright
Yves Herman/APThe EU's top Brexit negotiator said on Thursday that a new trade agreement with the UK was looking unlikely due to the country's unwillingness to budge on two key issues.
''By its current refusal to commit to conditions of open and fair competition and to a balanced agreement on fisheries, the UK makes a trade agreement - at this point - unlikely,'' Michel Barnier said.
He added that while London fails to change its position on these core issues there was a real risk of negotiations concluding fruitlessly, resulting in a no-deal separation between Britain and the bloc at the end of 2020.
"The time for answers is quickly running out on important areas such as climate, environment, labour and social law'' he added.
While Barnier said headway had been made on some issues this week, he added the two sides were at loggerheads over a deal concerning fisheries and the EU refused to sign off on an accord that would damage its fishing industry.
It came as the UK's chief negotiator David Frost said his country must "face the possibility" that it may not agree a deal on its future relationship with the EU by the end of this year.
Although Frost struck a more positive tone, saying "despite all the difficulties" he still thought a deal could be reached in September.
"We will keep working hard to bridge the gaps and find a way through," he added.
With less than six months to go until the end of the Brexit transition period, the UK must "continue preparing for all possible scenarios" for once that deadline passes, he warned in a statement.
The comments came after the week's negotiations in London, with Barnier hammering home at a news conference that the "time for answers is quickly running out''.
`Five months remain before Britain's transition period draws to a close after it formally left the EU in January.
''If we do not reach an agreement on our future partnership, there will be more friction,'' Barnier said.
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VIDEO - MSNBC's Heilemann Goes DEFCON 2: No One Can Deny Trump Wants Martial Law! | Newsbusters
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 13:15
It's become a repetitive round of Crazy Talk on MSNBC this week that Donald Trump sent federal troops to Portland as a practice run for Trump declaring martial law if he loses the election.
This has as much basis in fact as the notion that Joe Biden rarely leaves his basement because he's practicing to govern from the White House bowling alley if elected.
P.J. Gladnick reported John Heilemann trotted out this scaremongering routine on Tuesday's Morning Joe, but this morning he escalated the hyperbole to a metaphorical DEFCON-2, one step short of nuclear war. He insisted that no sentient human being can possibly state that this conspiracy theory is alarmist and unrealistic.
A panicky Heilmann declared:
"Anybody who's not looking at this with a state of alarm and concern, and worried about is this president going to employ formally martial law at some point, as Ron Wyden suggested yesterday? Is that on the president's mind?
Is there anybody, having watched Donald Trump for the last three-and-a-half years, who doesn't think that Donald Trump would try to employ martial law if he thought it was the only way he could stay in power? I ask you, Joe: is there anybody who sensibly comes on this show who doesn't think that that's possible?"
What we've actually witnessed for the last 42 months is a constant leftist conspiracy theory that Fascism Is Around the Corner, and it still hasn't arrived. They're doubling down on nothingness.
There was some unintentional humor in Heilemann's last line, asking if there's anybody who "sensibly" comes on Morning Joe who doesn't think that Trump might declare martial law. Translation: all good leftists agree with me! Joe Scarborough proved himself to be one of those sensible folks, agreeing with Heilemann:
"Yeah . . . even Donald Trump's allies understand he will do whatever it takes to stay in power."
Heilemann's mention of Ron Wyden was a reference to the Democrat senator's statement at a Senate intelligence committee hearing yesterday that:
"If the line is not drawn in the sand right now, America may be staring down the barrel of martial law in the middle of a presidential election."
As for Mika's concerns that Heilemann approvingly cited, earlier in the show she accused President Trump of intentionally stoking violence, and concluded: "I'll say it very basely: this man won't leave."
This, from the show that insisted Trump would lose worse than Barry Goldwater last time...
Here's the transcript.
MSNBCMorning Joe7/23/208:10 am EDT
JOHN HEILEMANN: He's setting precedents now, and I think Mika was exactly right this morning when she raised the proper concerns. And the Ron Wyden quote to me crystallizes it.
This is what would happen if you are an authoritarian president who was preparing to resist a loss in the election. You would be saying the things that Donald Trump is saying, and you would be gradually rolling out federal police power into the states against the wishes of the mayors and governors in question.
This is how it would happen! This is how the movie would play out. And anybody who's not looking at this with a state of alarm and concern, and worried about is this president going to employ formally martial law at some point, as Ron Wyden suggested yesterday? Is that on the president's mind?
Is there anybody, having watched Donald Trump for the last three-and-a-half years, who doesn't think that Donald Trump would try to employ martial law if he thought it was the only way he could stay in power? I ask you, Joe: is there anybody who sensibly comes on this show who doesn't think that that's possible?"
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, I think, Willie, even Donald Trump's allies understand he will do whatever it takes to stay in power.
Heilemann's martial-law scaremongering was brought to you by, among others, Chevrolet. Follow the link to our Conservatives Fight Back page to contact Chevrolet to let them know what their advertising dollars supported.
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VIDEO-MLB on Twitter: "Today, and every day, we come together as brothers. As equals, all with the same goal - to level the playing field. To change the injustices. Equality is not just a word. It's our right! Today we stand as men from 25 nations on 6
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MLB : Today, and every day, we come together as brothers. As equals, all with the same goal - to level the playing field.'... https://t.co/CT76JzeOMQ
Thu Jul 23 23:46:32 +0000 2020
VIDEO-CNN on Twitter: "Bill Gates responds to conspiracy theorists who are spreading the lie that he's responsible for the coronavirus outbreak, saying "it's a bad combination of pandemic and social media and people looking for a very simple explanation."
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VIDEO-'Filled with racism and hatred': Louie Gohmert introduces legislation banning Democratic Party from Congress
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 20:20
| July 23, 2020 01:43 PM
R ep. Louie Gohmert would like to see the House of Representatives ban the Democratic Party and urged party leaders to change the name of the caucus because the party once supported slavery.
"A great portion of the history of the Democratic Party is filled with racism and hatred," Gohmert said. "Since people are demanding we rid ourselves of the entities, symbols, and reminders of the repugnant aspects of our past, then the time has come for Democrats to acknowledge their party's loathsome and bigoted past and consider changing their party name to something that isn't so blatantly and offensively tied to slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination, and the Ku Klux Klan.''
On Wednesday, the House voted to take down the statue of former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as well as 15 other figures on display inside the U.S. Capitol, deeming them insensitive to racial minorities in America.
''For those of us who are sons of the South, those of us who have endured hardship, discrimination, and a lot of things that are very difficult to even talk about, for this moment in time where we are today, where we are going to start the process of healing and setting the record straight as it relates to the real history of this country, it is fitting and proper that those individuals who fought to keep many of our ancestors enslaved should not have to be recognized in a place where people who do good expect to be recognized,'' said Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat.
Gohmert, a Republican, introduced a resolution Thursday that would ban any ''names, symbolizes or mentions any political organization or party that has ever held a public position that supported slavery or the Confederacy.''
The Texas congressman included in his resolution more than a dozen instances of Democrats either standing in the way of civil rights reform or promoting racist policies.
These included Woodrow Wilson's segregation policies in 1912, the Ku Klux Klan's presence at the 1924 Democratic National Convention, and the prominence of Sen. Robert Byrd, who was one of the country's most racist lawmakers.
''To avoid triggering innocent bystanders by the racist past of the Democratic Party, I would suggest they change their name," Gohmert said. "That is the standard to which they are holding everyone else, so the name change needs to occur."
Gohmert's resolution was co-sponsored by Reps. Andy Biggs, Jody Hice, Rand Weber, and Andy Harris.
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VIDEO-Ian Miles Cheong on Twitter: "Black Lives Matter London: "There is one common enemy: the white man ... we need to get rid of them" https://t.co/z6WhOUGsIP" / Twitter
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Ian Miles Cheong : Black Lives Matter London:"There is one common enemy: the white man ... we need to get rid of them" https://t.co/z6WhOUGsIP
Thu Jul 23 03:39:06 +0000 2020
Mischievous Mitchell : @stillgray "We're just gonna KILL 'EM!""We're just gonna KILL 'EM!"
Thu Jul 23 15:30:04 +0000 2020
WÎ--lk3r? : @stillgray https://t.co/W2SYocVflC
Thu Jul 23 15:27:15 +0000 2020
MAGA the Martian : @stillgray This person has been poorly educated.
Thu Jul 23 15:25:58 +0000 2020
VIDEO-WHO Cares What Celebrities Think - #PropagandaWatch - YouTube
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 15:18

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Clips

Pharmacy Benefit Manager 3 Rebates.mp3
Trump PBM EO -1- Insulin and Epi pens.mp3
Trump PBM EO -2- States can import directly.mp3
Trump PBM EO -3- Drug prices canada PBM not happy.mp3
Pharmacy Benefit Manager 1 Spread.mp3
Pharmacy Benefit Manager 2 repackaging.mp3
Black Lives Matter London the white man is the problem.mp3
MSNBC's Heilemann Goes DEFCON 2 - No One Can Deny Trump Wants Martial Law.mp3
Thousands of Boeing 737s ordered to undergo emergency inspections.mp3
Q1 Saagar_Bush- Hidden Hands Exposing How The Chinese Communist Party Is Reshaping The World.mp3
Q2 KBall- How do the do it.mp3
Q3 Saagar- Doesn't everyone do this.mp3
Tedros announces the Law Lab pre written crap.mp3
Mysterious seeds sent from China to Utah.mp3
Anti-feminist lawyer identified as shooter who killed Judge Esther Salas' son then self.mp3
CSIS Romney 4.mp3
CSIS Romney 5.mp3
CSIS Romney One.mp3
CSIS Romney three Iram datapoint.mp3
CSIS Romney two.mp3
Defense Bill passed with proviso DN.mp3
ELEMENTARY Lasy season kicker.mp3
evictions and unemplyment DN.mp3
GMaxwell story and analysis ONE ABC.mp3
GMaxwell story and analysis TWO ABC.mp3
GMaxwell story optional 3ABC.mp3
Immigration filmakers DN.mp3
Joprdan Peterson on Twitter.mp3
Noam chiomsky on cacelling THREE.mp3
Noam Chiomsky ONE DN.mp3
Noam Chomsky Two DN.mp3
Open schools DN.mp3
Pompao speech in the series.mp3
re-intro climate change NPR.mp3
re-intro climate changeTWO NPR.mp3
substance abuse 1.mp3
substance abuse 2 voice.mp3
substance abuse 3.mp3
substance abuse 4.mp3
the future of work MIT study.mp3
Trump cancels convention DN.mp3
word of the day flibbertigebbitt.mp3
AOC full speech on DN.mp3
covid cases doubles DN.mp3
Covid cases low.mp3
COVID immigration news DN.mp3
Crysta and Saagar on jobless claimes dummies.mp3
Covid Death Panels formed in TX to Ration Treatment.m4a
CNN Brolf report south texas covid death panels HOAX.mp3
Gates and Pooper on conspiracies -1- Intro.mp3
Gates and Pooper on conspiracies -2- worried about anti-vaxx.mp3
Gates and Pooper on conspiracies -3- Pooper is innocent LOL.mp3
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Moderna Vaccine Trial requires 30k volunteers in San Diego.m4a
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