Art for episode 1271

1271: 3 Screws

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 57m
August 23rd, 2020
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Executive Producers: Adam from Austin, Grand Duke of the Pacific Northwest Sir Dwayne Melancon, Chris Spradling, Edward Siemens

Associate Executive Producers: Josh Magnuson, Lisa, Lootsafe.org, Gary Phares, Kyle Romagus, Dame Zelda of the Turtle Realm, Peter De Jong of Spuzzum

Cover Artist: Cesium 137

Chapters

0:00
Start of Show
Woodstock
0:41
John's California Wildfires Update
Guest producer
1:45:41
Joe Biden's Gaffe of the Week
Guest producer
2:50:39
End of Show
Guest producer
Suggest a new chapter
Vaccines and such
Churches shut down because of anti-vaxx meeting place and schools force vaxx
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Docs & Vax
Shill from Chapel Hill
In the morning,
I wanted to chime in on the "I sign your form, you sign my form" discussion. I work for UNC Chapel Hill, the university that was first to open and then first to close (more thoughts on that in a separate email). I am an accountant at the UNC dental school. I don't come in contact with patients, in fact I work in a completely separate building, however I am still required to get a flu shot every year. Luckily for me we self report our vaccinations. We have to fill out a form listing the date and location (pharmacy) where we received the vaccine. If requested we are supposed to be able to provide documentation. It's a risk but one of my colleagues and I have been filling out the form without receiving the vaccine by picking a date and listing an off campus pharmacy.
Thank you for your courage,
The Shill for Chapel Hill
Healthcare worker
Hey Adam,
Anonymous healthcare worker here. I wanted to share my experience in regards to forging flu vaccine proof.
When I was first hired to work at a hospital some years ago, I was told that having a flu vaccine was a condition for employment. I worked at a national pharmacy chain and got one. I had never had the flu before in adulthood, but that year I got it so bad I had to take a week off from work because I was so sick. I still have pain in my left arm where I got the injection.
The employee health department at the hospital I was working at did not care about my reaction to the first shit and said that my only option would be to wear a mask at all times in the building and I would be written up if I was ever caught not wearing it.
I spoke with my former coworker at the pharmacy chain about my problem and he offered to fake the shot for me. So I went in and paid for my shot, we went into the shot room and instead of jabbing me he threw the shot into the trash. And now we do this every year. I'm good friends with this pharmacist outside of work, I dont think he would be willing to potentially risk his license for someone he didnt trust otherwise.
All I had to do was present my receipt to my employee health department and I was good to go. The hospital I work at is owned by a corporation that owns hospitals in multiple states. As far as I know the process for providing flu shot proof is the same at every hospital in their network. You just need to show a receipt/record of having received the shot.
I dont know of anyone else who has done this, but its definitely possible. It is entirely dependent on the rules of the hospital and how they want you to show proof of your shot. At this particular company it would only take 2 people with shot giving authority to decide they wanted to fake it for it to work. After talking to some friends at other hospitals I think as long as you know a doctor or pharmacist willing to lie for you, you should be good.
Feel free to paraphrase this if you decide to share on the show, I know I was a little long-winded.
Bio-med worker
Adam,
I work for a biomedical company and I work inside ORs at many hospitals. They require a flu shot. I go to Walgreens or CVS in another town where I don't live and I pay for the vaccine. They give me a receipt and proof I got the vaccine and then they tell me to go wit over there and wait. When they go in the back to get the vaccine, I leave with my proof of vaccine in hand.
Please keep me anonymous.
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Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd.
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 11:00
Donald J. Trump : The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order t'... https://t.co/3RLBgVjFjG
Sat Aug 22 11:49:39 +0000 2020
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2,700 evangelicals warn against politicizing coronavirus, urge Christians to take vaccine - The Christian Post
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 11:36
By
Leonardo Blair
, Christian Post Reporter
Follow | Thursday, August 20, 2020 Dr. Anthony S. Fauci (L), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Vice President Mike Pence (R). | The White HouseA coalition of more than 2,700 high-profile evangelicals spanning the fields of science and religion have signed onto a statement billed ''A Christian Statement on Science for Pandemic Times,'' which warns against the politicization of the new coronavirus and urges Christians to take appropriate action against it, including taking a vaccine when it's ready.
''We are deeply concerned about the polarization and politicization of science in the public square when so many lives are at stake. The word 'science' has become a weapon in the culture wars. Scientists are vilified and their findings ignored, while conspiracy theories go viral. Sadly, Christians seem just as susceptible to these trends. Thoughtful Christians may disagree on public policy in response to the coronavirus, but none of us should ignore clear scientific evidence,'' the statement published online by the nonprofit organization BioLogos says.
"We call on all Christians to follow the advice of public health experts and support scientists doing crucial biomedical research on COVID-19."
BioLogos was founded by U.S. National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, a devout Christian geneticist, and his wife, to foster discussions about the harmony between science and biblical faith. Collins was honored earlier this year with the Templeton Prize, a financial award of $1.3 million for his storied career using science to advocate for the ''integration of faith and reason.''
Some of the influential evangelicals who have already signed the statement include: Bishop Claude Alexander, senior pastor, The Park Church, Charlotte, North Carolina; National Association of Evangelicals President Walter Kim; William Phillips, a distinguished professor of physics at the University of Maryland who was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize of Physics "for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light" in 1997; and Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
The signers affirm that they "uphold the authority of God's Word and see science as a tool to understand God's world."
The statement comes in the wake of the fragmented response in the Christian community to the coronavirus which has fed skepticism about how it has been handled and challenged advice from public health officials on issues such as the wearing of masks to stem the spread of the disease.
From L-R, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, and NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins. | National Institutes of HealthA vocal minority of churches also spoke out against calls from federal and local government authorities to close their churches amid the new coronavirus pandemic, risking fines and arrests. As recently as Sunday, North Carolina Bishop Patrick Wooden Sr. of the conservative Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, slammed Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, as a ''backslidden Catholic and self-professed humanist'' who is being used as a political tool by the left.
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''Humanists do not believe in prayer, humanists do not believe that God intervenes, humanists do not believe that we need help from the Lord at all. That may be one of the reasons he could easily recommend that churches be closed, but he fumbled and waffled when they suggested perhaps the protests should be curtailed because they spread the virus,'' he asserted.
The statement acknowledges that while Christians have a valid reason to be skeptical of the scientific process, it would be unwise to dismiss their research.
''It is appropriate for Christians to be skeptical of claims made by scientists who speak outside their area of expertise. We firmly reject claims that science has somehow shown God does not exist or faith is mere superstition. Such claims go beyond what science is capable of investigating. We lament the times when science and medicine have been misused to perpetrate atrocities like the racist Tuskegee experiments. But Christians should listen to scientists and doctors when they speak in their area of expertise, especially when millions of lives are at stake,'' the statement warns.
It also explains that while some of the scientific guidance on the virus may seem confusing at times, it's simply the nature of the process of trying to fight a virus they are still learning about each day.
''Experts have been communicating their knowledge in real time as the pandemic progresses, which has led to some confusion. In the early days, they advised the public against masks when supplies were needed for healthcare workers, but later they changed their message in response to more data. A change in expert advice is not a sign of weakness or unreliability, but of good scientific practice and honesty," it notes.
''On the biggest points, scientific predictions have been proven right: scientists said stay-home orders would reduce cases, and thankfully those measures worked. Scientists predicted that ending quarantine too soon would increase cases, and that has been the case.
''While any individual scientist may be biased, the community actively critiques each other's work to reduce bias and errors until together they develop a consensus on what the data are saying. It's not a perfect process and one can always find dissenters, but scientists working together are far more accurate than one person's theory on YouTube. Scientists are trained to communicate where the consensus is uncertain and to not overstate conclusions. They may speak in sound bites in an interview, but if you listen a bit longer you will hear the caveats. So when Dr. Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, tells us what scientists have learned about this infectious disease, he should be listened to.''
On the reopening of churches, signers of the statement agree that "Christians need to balance God's call to meet together with God's call to protect the vulnerable among us."
"Our faith calls us to sacrifice ourselves for others and accept temporary limitations on our freedoms because we have a permanent and complete freedom in Christ (Hebrews 10:34). Our faith helps us be humble and patient when discussing contentious issues (Ephesians 4:2-3). It is our faith, not science, that overcomes fear and brings hope."
The statement acknowledges that ''the economic losses and social hardships of the pandemic are painful, and thoughtful Christians will disagree on how to balance those needs with health needs.''
Nevertheless, it urges Christians to wear masks, get vaccinated, correct misinformation, work for justice and pray.
"Mask rules are not experts taking away our freedom, but an opportunity to follow Jesus' command to love our neighbors as ourselves," it says. "Christians are called to love the truth; we should not be swayed by falsehoods.
''Get vaccinated against COVID-19 when a safe and effective vaccine is available and as directed by a physician. A large fraction of the population needs to be vaccinated to develop the 'herd immunity' which protects the immuno-compromised and others who cannot be vaccinated. Vaccination is a provision from God that will prevent disease not only for ourselves but for the most vulnerable among us (Matthew 25:31-36).''
Mounting US deaths reveal an outsize toll on people of color
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 19:15
As many as 215,000 more people than usual died in the U.S. during the first seven months of 2020, suggesting that the number of lives lost to the coronavirus is significantly higher than the official toll. And half the dead were people of color '-- Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and, to a marked degree unrecognized until now, Asian Americans.
The new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight a stark disparity: Deaths among minorities during the crisis have risen far more than they have among whites.
As of the end of July, the official death toll in the U.S. from COVID-19 was about 150,000. It has since grown to over 170,000.
But public health authorities have long known that some coronavirus deaths, especially early on, were mistakenly attributed to other causes, and that the crisis may have led indirectly to the loss of many other lives by preventing or discouraging people with other serious ailments from seeking treatment.
A count of deaths from all causes during the seven-month period yields what experts believe is a fuller '-- and more alarming '-- picture of the disaster and its racial dimensions.
People of color make up just under 40% of the U.S. population but accounted for approximately 52% of all the ''excess deaths'' above normal through July, according to an analysis by The Associated Press and The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization covering the criminal justice system.
''The toll of the pandemic shows just how pervasive structural racism is,'' said Olugbenga Ajilore, senior economist at the Center for American Progress, a public policy organization in Washington.
Earlier data on cases, hospitalizations and deaths revealed the especially heavy toll on Black, Hispanic and Native Americans, a disparity attributed to unequal access to health care and economic opportunities. But the increases in total deaths by race were not reported until now; nor was the disproportionate burden on Asian Americans.
With this new data, Asian Americans join Blacks and Hispanics among the hardest-hit communities, with deaths in each group up at least 30% this year compared with the average over the last five years, the analysis found. Deaths among Native Americans rose more than 20%, though that is probably a severe undercount because of a lack of data. Deaths among whites were up 9%.
The toll on Asian Americans has received far less attention, perhaps in part because the numbers who have died -- about 14,000 more than normal this year -- have been far lower than among several other groups. Still, the 35% increase in Asian American deaths is the second-highest, behind Hispanic Americans.
In an average year, somewhere around 1.7 million people die in the United States between January and the end of July. This year the figure was about 1.9 million, according to the CDC.
Of the possible 215,000 additional deaths above normal through July -- a total that has since risen to as many as 235,000 '--- most were officially attributed to coronavirus infections. The rest were blamed on other causes, including heart disease, high blood pressure and other types of respiratory diseases.
The CDC has not yet provided a breakdown by race and ethnicity of the deaths from other causes. The newly released data is considered provisional and subject to change as more information comes in. Certain categories of deaths '-- suicides or drug overdoses, for example '-- often involve lengthy investigations before a cause is assigned.
The outbreak's disproportionate effect on communities of color is not limited to a specific region of the country.
The virus first hit urban areas on the East and West coasts. But according to University of Minnesota researcher Carrie Henning-Smith, disparities have also been seen as the disease spread across the country to Southern and Western states with large rural populations.
For example, Arizona reported almost 60% more Native American deaths so far this year compared with previous years, and New Mexico recorded over 40% more. Between the two states, over 1,100 more Native Americans have died than normal.
Another surprise: Only about half of the Asian American deaths have been officially linked to COVID-19, lower than for all other groups. Jarvis Chen, a lecturer at Harvard University's public health school, said Asian Americans may not be getting tested at the same rate as other groups, for reasons that are unclear, and that could result in some virus deaths being attributed to something else.
Dr. Namratha Kandula of Northwestern University echoed that theory. She also cautioned against generalizing about the underlying health of Asian Americans as a whole, noting that they are a diverse group from many different nations and cultures.
''It's not enough to clump them all together because it does not tell the whole story,'' she said.
Charlton Rhee, whose parents came to the U.S. from South Korea, lost both of them to COVID-19 this spring as the virus surged in New York City.
His mother, Eulja Rhee, went out one day, and when she returned, ''she told me someone had coughed in her face'' as she was getting off a bus, said Rhee, a nursing home administrator in Queens. ''She was wearing a mask, but it got into her eyes.''
She died in the hospital, just shy of her 75th birthday.
Full Coverage: Virus OutbreakRhee found out a day later that his father, Man Joon Rhee, had tested positive. ''He had caught it from my mother,'' he said. ''His heart was broken. And he said to me that he wanted to know if it was OK to be with Mom.''
He stayed home, receiving hospice care, and died at 83.
''The Asian American community has suffered greatly during this,'' and government officials provided little help, especially initially, Rhee said. Community associations had to step in with food drives, personal protective equipment and other help.
Racial disparities in deaths predate COVID-19, and many forces combine to produce them:
'-- Some communities of color are more likely to have lower incomes and to share living space with larger families, increasing the risk of transmission.
'-- They have higher rates of health problems, including diabetes, obesity and lung ailments, the result of living in places where healthier foods are harder to get and the environment is polluted. Those same factors can make them more likely to become severely ill or die from the coronavirus.
'-- They are more often uninsured and tend to live farther from hospitals.
'-- They are disproportionately incarcerated, which has been linked to long-term effects on health.
'-- Experts point to a long history of discrimination that causes distrust of the health care system.
'-- And people of color are more likely to fill essential roles that require them to keep going to work during the pandemic.
Dr. Sobiya Ansari, who works predominantly with Black immigrant cancer patients in New York City, worries when they miss or postpone radiation or screenings. Already, the city has seen double the number of Black deaths this year compared with previous years.
''If a storm hits and you're safe inside your house, you're safe,'' she said. ''Then there is a population of people that don't even have umbrellas. The storm hits, and they're just really swept away.''
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AP video journalist Marshall Ritzel contributed to this story.
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This story is a collaboration between The Associated Press and The Marshall Project that explores the true toll of the coronavirus pandemic on communities of color. Anna Flagg and Damini Sharma reported for The Marshall Project.
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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Virginia Health Commissioner says he'll mandate a COVID-19 vaccine | 8News
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 13:31
by: Jackie DeFusco, Emma North
Posted:
Aug 21, 2020 / 03:13 PM EDT / Updated:
Aug 22, 2020 / 09:16 AM EDTRICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) '-- State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver told 8News on Friday that he plans to mandate coronavirus vaccinations for Virginians once one is made available to the public.
Virginia state law gives the Commissioner of Health the authority to mandate immediate immunizations during a public health crisis if a vaccine is available. Health officials say an immunization could be released as early as 2021.
Dr. Oliver says that, as long as he is still the Health Commissioner, he intends to mandate the coronavirus vaccine.
Gov. Ralph Northam issues executive order to address crowding of state psychiatric hospitals''It is killing people now, we don't have a treatment for it and if we develop a vaccine that can prevent it from spreading in the community we will save hundreds and hundreds of lives,'' Oliver said.
Under state law, only people with a medical exemption could refuse the mandate.
The Virginia General Assembly is considering a bill during an ongoing special session that would allow people with religious opposition to opt-out of the requirement. The bill needs to clear a committee in the House of Delegates before the full chamber could vote on it.
Oliver says he strongly opposes the bill. He doesn't know what the punishment would be for non-compliance but expects that most people will respond well to the mandate.
Meanwhile, a new poll suggests more than one in three Americans aren't interested in getting a coronavirus vaccine. Even though health officials say it will be safe, some have raised concerns about the speed of development.
''We would not launch a campaign around mass vaccination with anything that hasn't proven to be safe,'' Oliver said.
Stoney asks RVA colleges to require students download COVIDWISE: 'We owe each other accountability'Virginia Freedom Keepers Director of Communications Kathleen Medaries, a mother of three from Chesterfield, says this is a matter of medical choice.
''This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It's not a pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine issue, '' Medaries said. ''For me, it's an issue of being able to assess each vaccine for myself and my family one at a time.''
Oliver believes that, in the case of COVID-19, public health takes precedent over choice. He said herd immunity is the state's best defense to stop the spread.
''He shouldn't be the one person to make a decision for all of Virginians,'' Medaries responded.
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Gates Foundation funds Facebook fact-checkers that defend it from allegations
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 13:56
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provides over $250 million dollars in funding to news organizations, charitable organizations affiliated with news outlets, journalistic organizations, and fact-checking groups that regularly give investor and philanthropist Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation favorable coverage, according to an in-depth report from Columbia Journalism Review (CJR).
The Gates Foundation provides this funding through charitable grants and has given over $2 million to groups such as fact-checker Africa Check ($1.48 million), media company Gannett ($499,651), and the journalism school the Poynter Institute ($382,997). These groups have defended or favorably covered Gates and the Gates Foundation in their fact-checks.
CJR notes that it found ''sixteen examples of Africa Check examining media claims related to Gates'' and that its ''body of work overwhelmingly seems to support or defend Bill and Melinda Gates and their foundation, which has spent billions of dollars on development efforts in Africa.''
Gannet-owned USA Today also regularly publishes fact-checks that defend Gates and his foundation from numerous claims including allegations that they will profit from COVID-19 vaccines or treatments and allegations that Gates and the World Economic Forum predicted the coronavirus pandemic.
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And the Poynter Institute-owned fact-checker Politifact also often defends Gates and the Gates Foundation from allegations such as claims that the Gates Foundation will profit from a vaccine and claims about Gates' vaccine comments.
Poynter senior vice president Kelly McBride told CJR that the money from the Gates Foundation was passed on to media fact-checking sites, including Africa Check, and noted that she is ''absolutely confident'' that no bias or blind spots emerged from the work. However, McBride acknowledged that she has not reviewed the work herself.
The executive director of Africa Check, Noko Makgato, told CJR: ''Our funders or supporters have no influence over the claims we fact-check'...and the conclusions we reach in our reports. With all fact-checks involving our funders, we include a disclosure note to inform the reader.''
In addition to giving funding to these organizations that have provided fact-checks, the Gates Foundation has also given charitable grants to the BBC, The Guardian, NBCUniversal Media, the Financial Times, ProPublica, The Atlantic, Medium, Al Jazeera, National Journal, Univision, the Texas Tribune, Washington Monthly, Le Monde, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, according to CJR's report.
''When Gates gives money to newsrooms, it restricts how the money is used'--often for topics, like global health and education, on which the foundation works'--which can help elevate its agenda in the news media,'' CJR added.
For example, the Africa Check grant's purpose was ''to increase accuracy of health claims by public figures and promote use of evidence backed information by policy makers, the media and the public, when addressing public health and development issues'' while the Poynter Institute grant's purpose was to ''improve the accuracy in worldwide media of claims related to global health and development.''
CJR also notes that ''during the pandemic, news outlets have widely looked to Bill Gates as a public health expert on covid'--even though Gates has no medical training and is not a public official'' and describes this as the news media giving Gates ''an outsize voice in the pandemic.''
Additionally, CJR suggests that when the Gates Foundation launched 20 years ago, journalists were much more critical of Gates' philanthropy efforts and that ''Gates's generosity appears to have helped foster an increasingly friendly media environment for the world's most visible charity.''
While much of the report focuses on the favorable coverage Gates receives on health and education topics, Gates has also used one of his recent appearances on NBCUniversal-owned CNBC to take aim at private messages and end-to-end encryption.
During this appearance, Gates lamented not being able to see the messages in end-to-end encrypted messaging app WhatsApp and claimed that the company has ''made sure they can't intervene'' when users share content such as anti-vaccine content.
A spokesperson for the Gates Foundation told CJR that a ''guiding principle'' of its journalism funding is ''ensuring creative and editorial independence'' and noted that many of the issues the Gates Foundation works on ''do not get the in-depth, consistent media coverage they once did'' because of financial pressures in journalism.
The spokesperson added: ''When well-respected media outlets have an opportunity to produce coverage of under-researched and under-reported issues, they have the power to educate the public and encourage the adoption and implementation of evidence-based policies in both the public and private sectors.''
In a follow-up statement, the Gates Foundation said: ''Recipients of foundation journalism grants have been and continue to be some of the most respected journalism outlets in the world.'... The line of questioning for this story implies that these organizations have compromised their integrity and independence by reporting on global health, development, and education with foundation funding. We strongly dispute this notion.''
The implications of these Gates Foundation charitable grants going to fact-checking groups and news organizations extends far beyond giving positive media coverage to Gates and the issues the Gates Foundation works on.
Facebook works with fact-checking partners that are certified by Poynter's International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and Africa Check and Politifact are both Facebook fact-checking partners.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that when a warning label gets applied to Facebook posts after they're fact-checked, this drastically cuts their viewership and results in users not clicking through to the content 95% of the time.
With Facebook being the world's largest social network and having over 2.7 billion users, the decisions of these Gates-funded fact-checkers can determine how well content about the coronavirus or vaccine heath concerns performs with a ''false'' rating cutting its click through rate by around 20x.
This censorship via fact-checking concern is the subject of a recent lawsuit from the Children's Health Defense group against Facebook and several of its fact-checking partners including the Poynter Institute and Politifact. The lawsuit claims that factually accurate public health posts were purposefully censored by Facebook.
Unintended victims of Gates Foundation generosity - Los Angeles Times
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 20:17
A neighbor shaved Matsepang Nyoba's head with an antiquated razor. Blood beaded on her scalp. Tears trickled down her cheeks, but not because of the pain. She was in mourning, and this was a ritual.
Two days earlier, her newborn baby girl had died in the roach-infested maternity ward of Queen Elizabeth II, a crumbling sprawl that is the largest hospital in Lesotho, a mountainous nation of 2.1 million people surrounded by South Africa.
Nyoba, 30, whose given name means ''mother, have hope,'' has AIDS. But that is not what killed her baby daughter, Mankuebe.
Nyoba owes her own life to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has given $8.5 billion to global health causes. Through its grantees, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the foundation underwrites, inspires or directs major efforts to prevent, cure or treat those diseases. The fund pays for Nyoba's costly AIDS medicine.
But when she gave birth on a recent Sunday morning, her baby was suffering from a different kind of distress. The infant was limp and barely breathing. A nurse rushed her to the nursery, packed with sick babies, some two to a crib. Jury-rigged stethoscope tubes let six of the babies share lifesaving oxygen from a single valve.
There was no oxygen tube for Mankuebe. She asphyxiated for lack of a second valve. It would have cost $35.
The hospital, with no staff to move Mankuebe's remains to the morgue, placed her body on a shelf near the delivery room while her father arranged for burial. The tiny corpse was swaddled in a baby blanket. A handwritten death notice was stuck to the blanket with a used hypodermic needle.
The Gates Foundation, endowed by the personal fortunes of the Microsoft Corp. chairman, his wife and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren E. Buffett, has given $650 million to the Global Fund. But the oxygen valve fell outside the priorities of the fund's grants to Lesotho.
Every day, nurses say, one or two babies at the hospital die as Mankuebe did -- bypassed in a place where AIDS overshadows other concerns.
Mixed effects
The Gates Foundation has targeted AIDS, TB and malaria because of their devastating health and economic effects in sub-Saharan Africa. But a Times investigation has found that programs the foundation has funded, including those of the Global Fund and the GAVI Alliance, which finances vaccines, have had mixed influences on key measures of societal health:
* By pouring most contributions into the fight against such high-profile killers as AIDS, Gates grantees have increased the demand for specially trained, higher-paid clinicians, diverting staff from basic care. The resulting staff shortages have abandoned many children of AIDS survivors to more common killers: birth sepsis, diarrhea and asphyxia.
* The focus on a few diseases has shortchanged basic needs such as nutrition and transportation, undermining the effectiveness of the foundation's grants. Many AIDS patients have so little food that they vomit their free AIDS pills. For lack of bus fare, others cannot get to clinics that offer lifesaving treatment.
* Gates-funded vaccination programs have instructed caregivers to ignore -- even discourage patients from discussing -- ailments that the vaccinations cannot prevent. This is especially harmful in outposts where a visit to a clinic for a shot is the only contact some villagers have with healthcare providers for years.
The Gates Foundation's largest grants for healthcare in Africa go to two organizations: the Global Fund and Geneva-based GAVI. The foundation formed GAVI and has given it $1.5 billion of more than $1.8 billion it has donated for vaccination programs. The Gates Foundation holds a seat on each group's board of directors and helps determine their policies and priorities.
Because of the generosity of the foundation and other donors, millions of children have been protected against scourges such as malaria and measles -- and AIDS deaths in much of Africa are finally leveling off. Dr. Mphu K. Ramatlapeng, Lesotho's health minister, echoed health authorities worldwide when she said this would have been impossible ''if it were not for the money from Bill Gates.''
But because of the overwhelming nature of AIDS, wartime disruptions and poor governance in some nations -- and because of the priorities of global health groups, including GAVI and the Global Fund -- key measures of societal health have stalled at appalling levels or worsened.
Dr. Peter Poore, a pediatrician who has worked in Africa for three decades, is a former Global Fund board member and consultant to GAVI (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization). He says they and other donors provide crucial help but overstate the impact of their programs. ''They can also do dangerous things,'' he said. ''They can be very disruptive to health systems -- the very things they claim they are trying to improve.''
In a recent editorial on the Global Fund, the British medical journal the Lancet Infectious Diseases wrote: ''Many believe that its tight remit is increasingly becoming a strait jacket.''
Joe McCannon, vice president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a U.S.-based nongovernmental aid organization, or NGO, with operations in Africa, said, ''You have to ask: 'Net, are we having a positive effect?' It's a haunting question.''
The Global Fund, GAVI and the Gates Foundation say that pockets of success in several African nations have shown that their approaches are sound and that in time overall health across the continent will improve.
''The Global Fund is very young,'' having started in 2002, said its director, Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, a French physician who formerly led France's National Agency for AIDS Research. To see decades of neglect reversed, ''wait for two or three more years,'' he said.
Bill and Melinda Gates referred questions to Dr. Tadataka Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's global health program. Yamada, a leading gastroenterologist and former research director at the drug company GlaxoSmithKline, said African nations themselves must do more to improve public health. They should spend less on weapons and more on doctors before they demand increased assistance, he said.
''We're a catalyzer. What we can't do is fill the gaps in government budgets,'' Yamada said. ''It's not sustainable.''
Brain drain
During Mankuebe Nyoba's short life, no doctor was available in the maternity ward at ''Queen II.'' That was normal. Fifteen babies were born overnight. Those babies, 110 mothers and other infants were cared for by three nurse-midwives. That was normal.
One woman, Limpho Jobo, 24, lay on a bed screaming as the harried midwives cared for others. Suddenly, Jobo slid off the bed onto the bare floor. At that moment, her baby was born. Jobo's eyes rolled back.
Somehow, she and the baby survived.
After so frantic a night, no one at the hospital told Matsepang Nyoba or her husband why their baby had died. Suspicions were etched on Peo Nyoba's face. ''When we first arrived . . . . [Matsepang] was already in labor, but it took a long time before we were served . . . ,'' he said. ''It is not quite clear what really happened afterward. The way I see it, [the death] could have been avoided.''
Sub-Saharan African nations face desperate shortages of doctors and nurses. Some clinicians, including nurses and doctors, have died of AIDS -- in some cases caused when they were accidentally stuck with used needles. More than a dozen nurses interviewed throughout Lesotho said they would leave as soon as possible for safer, better-paying jobs in South Africa or Europe.
The narrow approach of the Global Fund and other aid groups compounds the problem, according to global health experts and African officials.
Ramatlapeng, the health minister, said her nation faced a conundrum. Donors won't help finance higher salaries for basic health workers. Yet the same groups refuse requests for other types of aid, citing concern that funds would not be spent effectively because of a dearth of staff.
The Global Fund pays for salary increases for clinicians who provide antiretroviral drug therapy, known as ART, for HIV/AIDS patients. Doctors and nurses move into AIDS care to receive these raises, creating a brain drain.
''All over the country, people are furious about incentives for ART staff,'' said Rachel M. Cohen, mission chief in Lesotho for Doctors Without Borders, which operates health facilities in partnership with the government.
Because of the brain drain, responsibilities for education, triage and low-level nursing pass down to lay people, particularly in rural areas that rarely if ever see a clinician. In much of Africa, task-shifting is the key response to staff shortages.
''But there are limits,'' Cohen said. ''Some things shouldn't be done by lay people.''
The situation is as bad or worse elsewhere in Africa.
In Rwanda, nurses often earn $50 to $100 a month if paid from a clinic's standard budget. They work beside Global Fund-supported nurses who earn $175 to $200 a month.
Florence Mukakabano, head nurse at the Central Hospital of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, said she loses many of her staff nurses to United Nations agencies, NGOs and the hospital's own Global Fund-supported AIDS program.
The health personnel shortage in Africa could cost billions of dollars to fix. But in a small country such as Lesotho, major changes could be made for a fraction of the $59 million already committed by the Global Fund, Ramatlapeng said. With $7 million annually, she could raise the pay of every government health professional by two-thirds, sufficient to retain most of them.
In some cases, salary increases targeted to certain types of care ''may have had a distorting effect,'' Kazatchkine acknowledged. But the AIDS crisis justifies such dislocations, he said. ''We are a global fund for AIDS, TB and malaria. We are not a global fund that funds local health.''
He emphasized a key principle of the Global Fund: If the group took over from weak or inept governments, the result would be worse, because African countries would never develop their own expertise.
Botswana offers an example of how a special Gates initiative, narrowly applied to a specific disease, may have disrupted other healthcare.
In 2000, the Gates Foundation joined with the drug firm Merck & Co. and chose Botswana as a test case for a $100-million effort to prove that mass AIDS treatment and prevention could succeed in Africa.
Botswana is a well-governed, stable democracy with a small population and a relatively high living standard, but one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world.
By 2005, health expenditures per capita in Botswana, boosted by the Gates donations, were six times the average for Africa and 21 times the amount spent in Rwanda.
Deaths from AIDS fell sharply.
But AIDS prevention largely failed. HIV continued to spread at an alarming pace. A quarter of all adults were infected in 2003, and the rate was still that high in 2005, according to the U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS. In a 2005 survey, just one in 10 adults could say how to prevent sexual transmission of HIV, despite education programs.
Meanwhile, the rate of pregnancy-related maternal deaths nearly quadrupled and the child mortality rate rose dramatically. Despite improvements in AIDS treatment, life expectancy in Botswana rose just marginally, from 41.1 years in 2000 to 41.5 years in 2005.
Dean Jamison, a health economist who was editor of Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, a Gates Foundation-funded reference book, blamed the pressing needs of Botswana's AIDS patients. But he added that the Gates Foundation effort, with its tight focus on the epidemic, may have contributed to the broader health crisis by drawing the nation's top clinicians away from primary care and child health.
''They have an opportunity to double or triple their salaries by working on AIDS,'' Jamison said. ''Maybe the health ministry replaces them, maybe not.
''But if so, it is usually with less competent people.''
Yamada, the Gates Foundation official, said research was needed to determine whether ''vertical'' aid, such as the foundation's Botswana program, had contributed to brain drain and higher mortality.
To bolster basic healthcare in Africa, he proposed that universities in rich nations help found medical schools on the continent. And he challenged African nations to spend at least 15% of gross domestic product on health.
As of 2004, only 13 countries worldwide spent as much as 10%, and only one African country, Malawi, is among them.
Yamada said the foundation had asked Botswana to focus more on AIDS prevention -- including circumcision, which can reduce susceptibility to HIV.
''I don't know what to do there, frankly,'' to reduce unsafe sex, short of ''changing the hearts and minds of the people,'' he said.
Issues of food and health
Malerotholi moleko says her problem is not AIDS. Thanks to the Global Fund, she gets medicine.
Her problems are transportation to a clinic to get her free AIDS pills, and hunger, which makes many patients vomit them.
''After I've taken the pills, my appetite becomes bigger, and I don't have the food,'' Moleko said, hoisting her niece's baby on her back in a colorful blanket. It is the way women in the mountains of Lesotho carry their children and stay warm.
Moleko, 41, whose husband died of TB in 2004, supports eight children by doing laundry for neighbors. Four are hers, and four are from a niece who died of AIDS. For her own AIDS treatment, Moleko travels to Maseru from her home village of Sefikeng, about a 30-minute ride. The bus costs $3.25 -- more than the average daily wage for domestic servants.
After a recent trip to the clinic, Moleko walked home from the bus stop through steep, rugged pastures. In parts of Lesotho and Rwanda, patients must walk for as long as nine hours to reach the nearest clinics. Sometimes, Moleko said, she barely makes it. Many don't make it at all.
On most days Moleko's family eats only pappa, cornmeal mush. When possible, she adds a few wild greens from the rocky soil. Pellagra, a nutritional disease that can lead to dementia and death, is common here.
The Global Fund has used Gates Foundation money and other support to finance AIDS treatment for 1.1 million people and TB treatment for 2.8 million, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.
''The clinics,'' Moleko said, ''don't have what we need: food.''
Eyes brimming with tears of frustration, Majubilee Mathibeli, the nurse at Queen II hospital who gives Moleko her pills, said four out of five of her patients ate fewer than three meals a day.
''Most of them,'' she said, ''are dying of hunger.''
In recent interviews in Lesotho and Rwanda, many patients described hunger so brutal that nausea prevented them from keeping their anti-AIDS pills down.
Mathibeli is grateful to the Global Fund for its AIDS grants but said the fund was out of touch. ''They have their computers in nice offices and are comfortable,'' she said, nervous about speaking bluntly. But ''they are not coming down to our level. We've got to tell the truth so something will be done.''
The Global Fund provides food for AIDS patients and their families, but only for a few months. When the food runs out, the hunger returns.
At that point, said Epiphanie Nizane, a lay counselor in Rwinkwavu, a village in eastern Rwanda, many women with AIDS turn to prostitution.
''The Haitians have a saying: Giving a patient medicine without food is like washing your hands and drying them in the dirt,'' said Dr. Jennifer Furin, the Lesotho director for Partners in Health, a Boston-based NGO. ''You're consigning that person to death because they are poor.''
Partners in Health gives 10 months' worth of food to AIDS patients, their families and others who need it. The practice has put the group at odds with government officials who fear an endless cycle of dependence.
The imbalance between needs and Global Fund priorities is even more pronounced in Rwanda, where the AIDS problem is far less severe than in Lesotho or Botswana.
In Rwanda, only about 3% of adults are infected. But Dr. Innocent Nyaruhirira, minister of state for HIV/AIDS, said more than 50% of Rwanda's health budget, mostly from the Global Fund and other international sources, was designated for AIDS.
From 2000 to 2005, Rwanda's health budget increased dramatically due to foreign donations -- and deaths from AIDS and AIDS-linked TB dropped.
But despite the aid and strong national leadership, measures of health most dependent on the strength of the nation's overall system of clinics, hospitals and clinicians showed less encouraging results.
TB overall, and TB deaths among patients without HIV, rose dramatically. Child mortality -- mostly from diarrhea, sepsis and other killers rather than from AIDS, stalled at about one death in every five or six live births. Maternal mortality fell slightly, but remained at one of the highest rates in the world.
''Health delivery systems in Africa are now weaker and more fragmented than they were 10 years ago,'' said a 2006 report commissioned by the Global Fund and the World Bank. The weakening has been ''exacerbated as the Global Fund and other programs now promote universal access to [AIDS] treatment.''
To turn this around, the report concluded, the Global Fund needs help from the World Bank to ''provide the human support needed to balance the massive financial contribution.''
Using the most authoritative available data, maternal and child mortality and life expectancy show no statistical relationship -- for better or worse -- to Global Fund grants or to overall Gates Foundation spending in Africa.
Key health measures in countries that received less money per capita have been just as likely to improve or decline as in countries that received more money, according to data from the World Health Organization, World Bank and UNICEF.
Mosilo Motene, the chief nurse at Queen II, expressed frustration with the Global Fund and other donors whose grants don't supply basic needs such as oxygen valves or 3-cent gloves to protect nurses from the AIDS virus. ''Conditions are going from bad to worse,'' she said, ''despite what is given.''
Pregnancy-related deaths often have been the highest in nations where most aid has gone to treat AIDS, TB and malaria, said Dr. Francis Omaswa, special advisor for human resources at the WHO. ''People find it easier to talk about AIDS, about malaria.''
Donations ''could be five times more beneficial,'' Omaswa said, if they better supported health systems.
''Who chose the human right of universal treatment of AIDS over other human rights?'' asked economist William Easterly, co-director of the New York University Development Research Institute, in his book ''The White Man's Burden.'' He added: ''A nonutopian approach would make the tough choices to spend foreign aid resources in a way that reached the most people with their most urgent needs.''
The Global Fund has given 1% of its funds to strengthening overall health systems directly and says that almost half of its AIDS money goes for training, monitoring and evaluation, and administration -- indirectly strengthening basic healthcare.
In Rwanda, the Global Fund money has added buildings, refrigerators and power to rural clinics, supported universal health insurance and subsidized cellphones for lay health workers. In addition, some HIV/AIDS nurses whose salaries are paid for by the fund provide care for other ailments as well.
But benefits take time to trickle down. ''Everyone agrees to subscribe to fairy tales about how investments in this or that top-down mandate will lead to collateral benefits elsewhere,'' said Robert Steinglass, a 30-year global health veteran and now technical director of Immunizationbasics, a U.S.-funded project that operates in three African nations.
''But much of the rhetoric is bogus,'' he said.
Should the Global Fund underwrite essentials such as food, exam gloves and oxygen valves? ''Yes, yes, yes,'' Kazatchkine, the director, said. ''Should, could, will,''
Last month, the fund invited new proposals for health systems support.
But the support had to directly attack AIDS, TB or malaria. In general, Kazatchkine said, health systems and food must be each government's responsibility, with the fund playing ''a catalytic role.'' The Global Fund ''cannot resolve all the problems of all the people.''
Yamada at the Gates Foundation called sustainable food supplies central to the foundation's strategy. It has a large research and development program to improve agriculture in Africa and has donated $70 million to the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, which uses market-based approaches to feed developing nations, including seven in sub-Saharan Africa. It also plans to boost research and development for early-childhood nutrition.
''We want to have something that has a lasting impact,'' he said, ''for the countries to be able to support themselves.''
Beyond vaccinations
Unintended consequences also are a problem in vaccination drives.
Mamoraturoa Polaki trekked for hours down rocky paths to the mountain village of Semongkong, near the center of Lesotho, to get her son Huku, 2, a measles shot.
The boy was small, frail.
His shot was part of a vaccination drive that included vitamin A and deworming medicine. It was supported by the GAVI Alliance and managed by UNICEF, which has received $68 million from the Gates Foundation.
Thanks to such support, measles deaths in Africa have fallen about 90% since 2000. Indeed, measles was not Polaki's main concern. She was worried about Huku's frailty. Was it a sign of malnutrition?
Or was it something worse? Her husband has AIDS. She had tested negative for HIV. But what about the boy? Polaki could not get any answers. Nor did the clinic offer AIDS tests.
Most nurses would not talk about such things. Visitors were admonished not to discuss ailments other than measles. It might scare patients away.
At the very least, UNICEF said, such talk could slow down vaccination lines.
Polaki, however, was joined by many in her concerns. All of the six mothers and six nurses interviewed by a Times reporter volunteered deep worry about hunger, TB or AIDS.
The lack of AIDS tests seemed perverse given that free AIDS testing and treatment are widely available in Lesotho thanks largely to the Gates Foundation.
One nurse, Nthekelong Motsoane, mindful that mountain trails become impassible in winter or during bad weather, had tried to get authorities to piggyback other services onto the vaccination drive.
She was unsuccessful.
After their vaccinations, some patients left with their worst diseases unaddressed.
The GAVI vaccination day at Semongkong typified the narrow, paternalistic health programs seen throughout Africa, said Furin, the Lesotho director for Partners in Health. ''These [patients] are people who haven't seen a doctor in five years. Should they be satisfied with just a vaccination? I wouldn't be for my kids.
''When powerful organizations like UNICEF say, 'Keep it simple or the people will run screaming from the room,' what do you think the ministry of health will say?'' Furin said. ''They are completely dependent on the big international agencies.''
As successful as vaccination drives have been in curbing targeted diseases, 2006 data, the most recent available, show a paradoxical relationship between GAVI funding in Africa and child mortality. Overall, child mortality improved more often in nations that received smaller than average GAVI grants per capita. In seven nations that received greater than average funding, child mortality rates worsened.
To be sure, malaria, wartime disruption and the relentlessness of AIDS play a big role. Restrictive health programs are to blame, as well, where they turn a blind eye to malnutrition and largely neglected diseases, such as diarrhea and pneumonia.
UNICEF supports health systems but discourages general screening during immunization drives, said Dr. Peter Salama, chief of the agency's health section. ''There is a risk of health workers raising expectations and [not] being able to deliver'' and of ''overburdening the campaign and getting poorer [vaccine] coverage.''
Dr. Julian Lob-Levyt, chief executive of GAVI, said his group disagreed with that approach and was committed to integrating general maternal-child health into vaccine drives. ''Some of these campaigns are so focused on their own results,'' he said, ''that maybe they don't see the bigger picture.''
Lob-Levyt predicted that UNICEF and other aid groups would move rapidly in the direction of more integrated efforts. ''We should be spending in all areas, in treatment and prevention,'' he said. ''It isn't . . . a zero-sum game.''
Eleven months ago, in response to demands by recipient governments, GAVI created a $500-million fund to expand its approach by improving general health delivery and training, as well as immunization services.
The program is designed for ''broader, integrated child survival,'' Lob-Levyt said. ''We're learning as we go.''
But he defended GAVI's vaccine emphasis, saying that research had shown that preventing one disease improved overall survival.
Vaccinations, widely seen as cost-effective, numbered more than 15 million in five years against measles, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, and 99 million against hepatitis B, yellow fever and hemophilus influenza B, which causes meningitis.
Bill Gates told CNBC earlier this year that GAVI vaccinations had ''saved several million lives.''
But experts in global vaccination programs said such claims were hard to validate because so many children in developing nations die of conditions for which no vaccine exists.
According to GAVI's website, most of the vaccinations were for prevention of hepatitis B, which can cause cancer and liver failure.
The vaccine was widely used, Lob-Levyt said, because it could be offered rapidly at reasonable cost. Hepatitis B, however, rarely kills children, and many African children die of other ailments long before the vaccine could have saved them.
''You can't say any life was saved until they are older,'' said William Muraskin, a professor of urban studies at the City University of New York and author of a book about GAVI.
Citing a recent study in the Lancet, Yamada agreed that rates of child mortality in much of Africa had been flat to worse due to such problems as diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia.
''We can't rest on our laurels,'' he said. ''The low-hanging fruit didn't necessarily have the outcome that we would have hoped.''
The foundation is supporting research on vaccines against pneumonia and diarrheal illnesses. If these become available, he said, ''you'll start to see an impact on child mortality that may be the next phase of GAVI's success story.''
The failure to support basic care as comprehensively as vaccines and research is a blind spot for the Gates Foundation, said Paul Farmer, recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and founder of Partners in Health, which has received Gates Foundation funds for research and training.
''It doesn't surprise me that as someone who has made his fortune on developing a novel technology, Bill Gates would look for magic bullets'' in vaccines and medicines, Farmer said. ''But if we don't have a solid delivery system, this work will be thwarted.
''That's something that's going to be hard for the big foundations,'' he said. ''They treat tuberculosis. They don't treat poverty.''
Still, Farmer, who knows the Gateses, said they had a deep personal commitment to understanding and addressing the needs of developing countries. He said he expected the Gates Foundation to increase its support for health delivery systems.
Yamada called delivery of care ''a key strategic issue for us.'' The foundation will not provide care, he said, but has begun to study regulation, financing and how markets can improve delivery.
''What we do is we catalyze'' -- develop tools to help governments improve, he said. ''We are not replacement mothers.''
charles.piller@latimes.com
doug.smith@latimes.com
Piller reported from Lesotho, Rwanda, Switzerland and Seattle; Smith reported from Los Angeles. Times staff writer Edmund Sanders, staff photographer Francine Orr, data analyst Sandra Poindexter and researcher Maloy Moore contributed to this report.
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New CRISPR tool could fix almost all disease-causing DNA glitches - STAT
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 04:05
A new form of the genome-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 appears to significantly expand the range of diseases that could be treated with the technology, by enabling scientists to precisely change any of DNA's four ''letters'' into any other and insert or delete any stretch of DNA '-- all more efficiently and precisely than previous versions of CRISPR. Crucially, scientists reported on Monday, it accomplishes all that without making genome-scrambling cuts in the double helix, as classic CRISPR and many of its offshoots do.
News about this ''prime editing'' began circulating among CRISPR-ites this month, when the inventors unveiled it at a meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Since then, ''the excitement has been palpable,'' said genetic engineer Fyodor Urnov of the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the research.
''I can't overstate the significance of this,'' he said, likening the creation of ever-more kinds of genome-editing technologies to the creation of superheroes with different powers: ''This could be quite a useful Avenger for the genome-editing community, especially in translating basic research to the clinic'' to cure diseases ranging from sickle cell to cystic fibrosis.
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Prime editing's inventors, led by David Liu of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Andrew Anzalone, say it has the potential to correct 89% of known disease-causing genetic variations in DNA, from the single-letter misspelling that causes sickle cell to the superfluous four letters that cause Tay-Sachs disease. All told, they report making 175 edits in human and mouse cells.
''There are more than 75,000 DNA changes associated with genetic diseases,'' Liu told reporters ahead of the online publication in Nature describing prime editors. ''Collectively, they cover all of these.''
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Prime editing improves on CRISPR-Cas9 (and all of the tweaks researchers have made to it in the last seven years) in several crucial ways, Liu said. It can change any of DNA's four nucleotides, or ''letters'' '-- denoted A, T, C, and G '-- into any other, a total of 12 possibilities.
One of Liu's earlier CRISPR inventions, called base editing, can make only four of those changes: C-to-T, T-to-C, A-to-G, and G-to-A. It cannot, for instance, correct the sickle-cell-causing mutation in the hemoglobin gene, which requires changing a T to an A at a precise spot.
''Prime editing,'' Urnov said, ''is excellent for the repair of [such] point mutations,'' which are the cause of some 7,000 inherited genetic diseases.
Unlike other forms of CRISPR, prime editors easily make those repairs in non-dividing cells such as neurons and muscle cells, which genome-editing researchers are eyeing as targets for treating diseases ranging from Duchenne muscular dystrophy to Rett syndrome.
In addition to changing one nucleotide to another, prime editors can remove a precise number of nucleotides from a precise spot in the genome. For instance, the Broad scientists removed (from human cells growing in lab dishes) the four nucleotides in the gene HEXA that cause Tay-Sachs disease. Elsewhere, they were able to remove as many as 80.
''It looks like prime editing will offer some new capabilities to the genome editing community,'' said biochemist Benjamin Kleinstiver of Massachusetts General Hospital, whose research centers on turning genome editing into ''molecular medicine.''
Most impressive to other scientists is prime editing's ability to insert missing nucleotides or replace a string of disease-causing ones with nucleotides supplied by CRISPR. Liu and his colleagues inserted as many as 44, a quantity he says they were ''skeptical'' of achieving. Now, however, he believes ''it's likely that larger insertions, and deletions [greater than 80], would be possible.''
In classic CRISPR, genome editing begins when the Cas9 enzyme cuts DNA at a site to which a target-finding molecule, called guide RNA, led it. That triggers DNA's natural repair machinery, which can respond in several ways: mending the break by knitting the two loose ends together; filling the gap with nucleotides randomly grabbed from the cell; or patching the break with a piece of repair DNA supplied by scientists. It turns out that cells much prefer the first and second options. That has made the third, called homology-directed repair, very difficult '-- a real problem since curing many genetic diseases would require this kind of fix.
Prime editing's ability to get human genomes to accept a repair template was therefore particularly impressive to other scientists, since ''no one has found a good way to do it,'' Urnov said. In a study that rocked the genome-editing world, for instance, scientists reported in 2017 that human embryos with a gene that causes the heart disease hypertrophic cardiomyopathy rejected the healthy gene that was introduced via CRISPR. Yet using CRISPR to cure cardiomyopathy and some other inherited genetic diseases would likely require homology-directed repair.
Prime editing ''works for a whole range of nucleotide changes that may be necessary to correct disease genes,'' said Maria Jasin of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, an expert in DNA repair. ''It is a meaningful advance.''
The molecules that accomplish prime editing's genetic legerdemain have three parts. A guide RNA, which the Liu team calls pegRNA (where ''pe'' stands for prime editing), makes a beeline for a pre-programmed spot on the genome. The pegRNA also contains nucleotides that will substitute for the disease-causing ones in the DNA target. The second component, a hobbled Cas9 enzyme, cuts one, but not both, strands of the DNA. The third component, an enzyme called reverse transcriptase that's fused to Cas9, copies the RNA nucleotides carried by the pegRNA and transforms them into DNA nucleotides, which replace those at the target site.
''The net result is a permanent edit that has been copied from the information encoded in the pegRNA,'' Liu said. As for versatility, he and his colleagues used the prime editor to, in one case, precisely delete two DNA nucleotides and, at the same time, convert a G into a T five letters away, ''all in one edit'' '-- the genome equivalent of a pool shark's banking the 9 ball off the 7 and sinking the 1, 5, and 6.
So far, Liu's team has tested the prime editor on human cells and on mouse neurons. In both, the rate at which unintended spots in the genome were edited was extremely low: rates of such off-target edits were below 10%. Efficiency was high, typically 20% to 50%, depending on the kind of edit, and as high as 78%. Other CRISPR systems struggle to get into the double digits. And only 1% to 10% of prime-edited cells had unwanted insertions or deletions (''indels'') of nucleotides, compared to upwards of 90% for some older CRISPR systems.
Because indels could trigger cancer or other genomic havoc, ''avoiding indels in certain gene therapy applications is certainly a big deal,'' Jasin said.
One concern that she and other outside scientists raised is that the human cells used to test the prime editor come from cancer. Although this cell line has been used for decades for many non-cancer experiments, it might not be representative of how well the prime editor will do in other human cells. ''More work needs to be done in other cell types,'' Jasin said.
The Broad has applied for a patent on prime editing, and is already making it freely available to academic and non-profit researchers for non-commercial uses, without requiring a license. Companies may license the technology non-exclusively for research and manufacturing, including for agriculture. But it has given an exclusive license for the commercial development of human therapeutics to Prime Medicine, a new company co-founded by Liu.
For all their versatility, it's far from a given that prime editors will take over the CRISPR landscape. For both basic research and therapeutic uses, classic CRISPR (where the intellectual property ownership is spread around broadly) might work just fine. For instance, treating sickle cell requires that a mere 10% of red blood cells have healthy hemoglobin, which seems well within the reach of classic CRISPR.
Similarly, if the clinical trials currently underway using first-generation CRISPR technology to treat a form of congenital blindness (by Editas Medicine) and sickle cell (by CRISPR Therapeutics) succeed, there is no reason to think they'll be superseded by prime editing. And Beam Therapeutics, which is developing therapies using base editing and has announced plans to go public (and which Liu also co-founded), could well find that that approach works for the diseases it eventually decides to target. It is also sub-licensing rights to prime editing from Prime Medicine.
Dr. Matthew Porteus of Stanford University, who is leading a clinical trial using CRISPR to cure sickle cell, cautioned that whether prime editing can ''solve a problem that can't be solved by [classic CRISPR] remains to be determined.''
Sharon BegleySenior Writer, Science and Discovery
Sharon covers science and discovery.
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Fearing a 'Twindemic,' Health Experts Push Urgently for Flu Shots - The New York Times
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 04:35
As public health officials look to fall and winter, the specter of a new surge of Covid-19 gives them chills. But there is a scenario they dread even more: a severe flu season, resulting in a ''twindemic.''
Even a mild flu season could stagger hospitals already coping with Covid-19 cases. And though officials don't know yet what degree of severity to anticipate this year, they are worried large numbers of people could forgo flu shots, increasing the risk of widespread outbreaks.
The concern about a twindemic is so great that officials around the world are pushing the flu shot even before it becomes available in clinics and doctors' offices. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been talking it up, urging corporate leaders to figure out ways to inoculate employees. The C.D.C. usually purchases 500,000 doses for uninsured adults but this year ordered an additional 9.3 million doses.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been imploring people to get the flu shot, ''so that you could at least blunt the effect of one of those two potential respiratory infections.''
In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been waging his own pro flu-shot campaign. Last month, he labeled people who oppose flu vaccines ''nuts'' and announced the country's largest ever rollout of the shots. In April, one of the few reasons Australia allowed citizens to break the country's strict lockdown was to venture out for their flu shots.
The flu vaccine is rarely mandated in the U.S. except by some health care facilities and nursery schools, but this month the statewide University of California system announced that because of the pandemic, it is requiring all 230,000 employees and 280,000 students to get the flu vaccine by November 1.
A life-threatening respiratory illness that crowds emergency rooms and intensive care units, flu shares symptoms with Covid-19: fever, headache, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue. Flu can leave patients vulnerable to a harsher attack of Covid-19, doctors believe, and that coming down with both viruses at once could be disastrous.
The 2019-20 flu season in the United States was mild, according to the C.D.C. But a mild flu season still takes a toll. In preliminary estimates, the C.D.C. says that cases ranged from 39 million to 56 million, resulting in up to 740,000 hospitalizations and from 24,000 to 62,000 flu-related deaths.
According to the C.D.C., flu season occurs in the fall and winter, peaking from December to February, and so was nearing its end as the pandemic began to flare in the United States in March.
Image A flu patient awaited treatment in a surge tent outside the emergency room of Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pennsylvania during the 2017-18 flu season. Credit... Joshua Bright for The New York Times But now, fighting flu proactively during the continuing pandemic presents significant challenges: not only how to administer the shot safely and readily, but also how to prompt people to get a shot that a majority of Americans have typically distrusted, dismissed and skipped.
With many places where the flu shot is administered en masse now inaccessible '-- including offices and plants that offered it free to employees on site and school health clinics '-- officials have been reaching out to local health departments, health care providers and corporations to arrange distribution. From now through Oct. 31, publicity campaigns will blast through social media, billboards, television and radio. Because the shot will be more difficult to access this year, people are being told to get it as soon as possible, although immunity does wane. There will be flu shot tents with heaters in parking lots and pop-up clinics in empty school buildings.
Because of the efforts, vaccine makers are projecting that a record 98 million flu shots will be given this year in the United States, about 15 percent more than doses ordered last year. The Kaiser Permanente health care system will be flooding more than 12 million of its members with flu shot reminders via postcard, email, text and phone calls.
Pharmacies and even supermarkets are expected to play a bigger role than they have in previous years. As of this week, Walgreens and CVS will have flu shots available. Walgreens will be hosting additional off-site flu vaccine clinics in community centers and churches. To reduce contact time, CVS is allowing patients to fill out paperwork digitally.
In New York City, which averages about 2,000 flu-related deaths a year, the health department has been reaching out to hundreds of independent pharmacies to administer the shots, because they are often located in outer-borough neighborhoods where the coronavirus has been rampaging. The health department has a detailed online flu vaccine locator.
''Access is a problem for all adult vaccines,'' said L. J. Tan, chief strategy officer for the Immunization Action Coalition, a nonprofit group that works to increase vaccination rates, who was an early promoter of the term twindemic. ''Adults may think, If I can get the flu shot easily, I might consider it.''
Image People against mandatory vaccines protested outside the New Jersey state capitol in January on the evening of a vote on religious exemptions from shots. Credit... Michelle Gustafson for The New York Times But as difficult as getting the flu shot to people safely will be, perhaps harder still will be persuading them to actually get it. In the 2018-19 flu season in the United States, only 45.3 percent of adults over 18 got the vaccine, with rates for those ages 18 to 50 considerably lower.
Skepticism to this vaccine runs high, particularly in communities of color because of longstanding distrust and discrimination in public health. A 2017 study in the journal Vaccine noted that, compared with white people, ''African Americans were more likely to report barriers to vaccination, were more hesitant about vaccines in general and the flu vaccine specifically, more likely to believe in conspiracy theories and use naturalism as an alternative to getting vaccinated.''
Across all demographic groups, perhaps the most striking reason given for avoiding the flu vaccine is that people do not see it as efficacious as, say, the measles vaccine.
Indeed, it is a good vaccine but not a great one. It must be repeated annually. Immunity takes up to two weeks to kick in. But its efficacy also depends on how accurately infectious disease centers worldwide forecast which strains are expected to circulate in the coming year. And then those strains can mutate.
Although the flu shot confers immunity at all ages over six months, it can be less complete in people over 65. Depending on many factors, the shot's effectiveness in a given year can range from 40 to 60 percent.
''But a vaccine not given won't protect anyone,'' said Dr. Jane R. Zucker, assistant commissioner for the Bureau of Immunization at the New York City Health Department, which has been hosting webinars for providers about how to have conversations about the flu shot with hesitant patients.
As health officials note, should a vaccinated person contract the flu, the severity will almost certainly be reduced, hospitalization rarely necessary. Especially with Covid-19 raging, public officials reason, those odds look pretty good.
Another reason people give for not getting the shot is they think it makes them sick.
''People who say 'I'll never get it because it gives me the flu' have not had the flu and don't know what it is,'' said Patsy Stinchfield, senior director of infection prevention at Children's Minnesota.
The Coronavirus Outbreak 'ºFrequently Asked QuestionsUpdated August 17, 2020
Why does standing six feet away from others help?The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation of six feet on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet. But six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. Sneezes, for instance, can launch droplets a lot farther than six feet, according to a recent study. It's a rule of thumb: You should be safest standing six feet apart outside, especially when it's windy. But keep a mask on at all times, even when you think you're far enough apart.I have antibodies. Am I now immune?As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that's perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it's highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.I'm a small-business owner. Can I get relief?The stimulus bills enacted in March offer help for the millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for aid are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Some larger companies in some industries are also eligible. The help being offered, which is being managed by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. But lots of folks have not yet seen payouts. Even those who have received help are confused: The rules are draconian, and some are stuck sitting on money they don't know how to use. Many small-business owners are getting less than they expected or not hearing anything at all.What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?Employers have to provide a safe workplace with policies that protect everyone equally. And if one of your co-workers tests positive for the coronavirus, the C.D.C. has said that employers should tell their employees -- without giving you the sick employee's name -- that they may have been exposed to the virus.What is school going to look like in September?It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, requiring the grind of online learning, makeshift child care and stunted workdays to continue. California's two largest public school districts '-- Los Angeles and San Diego '-- said on July 13, that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. For other districts, the solution won't be an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, including the nation's largest, New York City, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending some days in classrooms and other days online. There's no national policy on this yet, so check with your municipal school system regularly to see what is happening in your community.''What you're feeling is your body's immune response to the virus's antigens,'' said Ms. Stinchfield, a member of the C.D.C.'s influenza work group. ''You may feel flu-ish. And that's a good thing. It's your body's way of saying, 'I am ready for the flu, and I won't get as sick if I get the real one.'''
Public campaigns will describe the shot as a critical weapon during the pandemic. ''Hopefully people will say, 'There's no Covid vaccine so I can't control that, but I do have access to the flu vaccine and I can get that,''' Ms. Stinchfield said. ''It gives you a little power to protect yourself.''
Other campaigns will emphasize familial and community responsibility.
Usually, flu vaccine compliance rates among people ages 18 to 49 are low. Vermont's, for example, is only about 27 percent.
Christine Finley, the state's immunization program manager, believes that rates will improve because of the pandemic's stay-at-home households. ''People are more aware that the risks they take can negatively impact others,'' she said. ''They're often taking care of young children and older parents.''
Image Flu vaccination in Miami in 2018. Older Americans are more likely to get the vaccine than younger ones, even though it is not as effective in older populations. Credit... Joe Raedle/Getty Images If any example could prove instructive about protective behavior and flu vaccines during the coronavirus epidemic, it could well be Australia.
Australia's flu vaccine rate tends to be modest, but this year demand was high. The government's rollout of the shot began earlier than usual for the June-through-August winter because the coronavirus pandemic was exploding. Though the government had also issued strict no-entry limits among many states and territories and bans on international travel, the flu shot was one of the few reasons people could emerge from lockdown.
The prevalent strain circulating in the country is Type A, the most common and virulent form of flu, said Dr. Kelly L. Moore, a public health expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
According to the C.D.C., Type A is the most likely to circulate globally. It mutates readily, particularly as it jumps between animals and humans.
''There are two strains of Type A influenza in the vaccine,'' Dr. Moore said, ''and so the very best way to protect yourself is to get the shot.''
Reported cases of flu in Australia have dropped 99 percent compared with 2019.
''Australia's milder-than-usual flu season is likely the result of a number of factors '-- strong flu vaccination uptake, social distancing, but also severely decreased movement of people,'' said Dr. Jonathan Anderson, a spokesman for Seqirus, a supplier of flu vaccine.
But though American public health authorities usually look to Australia's flu season as a predictive, Australians say this year it's not a reliable indicator.
''This situation is of no comfort as these measures do not apply to the United States where the populace has never been effectively physical distancing,'' nor have the country's entry restrictions been as onerous, said Dr. Paul Van Buynder, a public health professor at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.
All that Americans can do is get vaccinated against flu, he added, because circulation of the coronavirus remains high.
''It is likely they will have a significant influenza season this northern winter,'' he said.
Flu Season Will Be a Test Run for the U.S.'s Biggest-Ever Vaccine Campaign
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 04:31
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Kaiser Permanente on Twitter: "There's no vaccine for COVID-19, but there is one for the flu. Great coverage in @nytimes about how we are preparing for a 'twindemic' by encouraging all of our members to get flu shots. https://t.co/QvUtwWdCLJ https:/
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 04:28
Kaiser Permanente : There's no vaccine for COVID-19, but there is one for the flu. Great coverage in @nytimes about how we are preparin'... https://t.co/uRcZ7QSJzA
Mon Aug 17 22:17:08 +0000 2020
Fearing a 'Twindemic,' Health Experts Push Urgently for Flu Shots - The New York Times
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 04:23
As public health officials look to fall and winter, the specter of a new surge of Covid-19 gives them chills. But there is a scenario they dread even more: a severe flu season, resulting in a ''twindemic.''
Even a mild flu season could stagger hospitals already coping with Covid-19 cases. And though officials don't know yet what degree of severity to anticipate this year, they are worried large numbers of people could forgo flu shots, increasing the risk of widespread outbreaks.
The concern about a twindemic is so great that officials around the world are pushing the flu shot even before it becomes available in clinics and doctors' offices. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been talking it up, urging corporate leaders to figure out ways to inoculate employees. The C.D.C. usually purchases 500,000 doses for uninsured adults but this year ordered an additional 9.3 million doses.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been imploring people to get the flu shot, ''so that you could at least blunt the effect of one of those two potential respiratory infections.''
In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been waging his own pro flu-shot campaign. Last month, he labeled people who oppose flu vaccines ''nuts'' and announced the country's largest ever rollout of the shots. In April, one of the few reasons Australia allowed citizens to break the country's strict lockdown was to venture out for their flu shots.
The flu vaccine is rarely mandated in the U.S. except by some health care facilities and nursery schools, but this month the statewide University of California system announced that because of the pandemic, it is requiring all 230,000 employees and 280,000 students to get the flu vaccine by November 1.
A life-threatening respiratory illness that crowds emergency rooms and intensive care units, flu shares symptoms with Covid-19: fever, headache, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue. Flu can leave patients vulnerable to a harsher attack of Covid-19, doctors believe, and that coming down with both viruses at once could be disastrous.
The 2019-20 flu season in the United States was mild, according to the C.D.C. But a mild flu season still takes a toll. In preliminary estimates, the C.D.C. says that cases ranged from 39 million to 56 million, resulting in up to 740,000 hospitalizations and from 24,000 to 62,000 flu-related deaths.
According to the C.D.C., flu season occurs in the fall and winter, peaking from December to February, and so was nearing its end as the pandemic began to flare in the United States in March.
Image A flu patient awaited treatment in a surge tent outside the emergency room of Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pennsylvania during the 2017-18 flu season. Credit... Joshua Bright for The New York Times But now, fighting flu proactively during the continuing pandemic presents significant challenges: not only how to administer the shot safely and readily, but also how to prompt people to get a shot that a majority of Americans have typically distrusted, dismissed and skipped.
With many places where the flu shot is administered en masse now inaccessible '-- including offices and plants that offered it free to employees on site and school health clinics '-- officials have been reaching out to local health departments, health care providers and corporations to arrange distribution. From now through Oct. 31, publicity campaigns will blast through social media, billboards, television and radio. Because the shot will be more difficult to access this year, people are being told to get it as soon as possible, although immunity does wane. There will be flu shot tents with heaters in parking lots and pop-up clinics in empty school buildings.
Because of the efforts, vaccine makers are projecting that a record 98 million flu shots will be given this year in the United States, about 15 percent more than doses ordered last year. The Kaiser Permanente health care system will be flooding more than 12 million of its members with flu shot reminders via postcard, email, text and phone calls.
Pharmacies and even supermarkets are expected to play a bigger role than they have in previous years. As of this week, Walgreens and CVS will have flu shots available. Walgreens will be hosting additional off-site flu vaccine clinics in community centers and churches. To reduce contact time, CVS is allowing patients to fill out paperwork digitally.
In New York City, which averages about 2,000 flu-related deaths a year, the health department has been reaching out to hundreds of independent pharmacies to administer the shots, because they are often located in outer-borough neighborhoods where the coronavirus has been rampaging. The health department has a detailed online flu vaccine locator.
''Access is a problem for all adult vaccines,'' said L. J. Tan, chief strategy officer for the Immunization Action Coalition, a nonprofit group that works to increase vaccination rates, who was an early promoter of the term twindemic. ''Adults may think, If I can get the flu shot easily, I might consider it.''
Image People against mandatory vaccines protested outside the New Jersey state capitol in January on the evening of a vote on religious exemptions from shots. Credit... Michelle Gustafson for The New York Times But as difficult as getting the flu shot to people safely will be, perhaps harder still will be persuading them to actually get it. In the 2018-19 flu season in the United States, only 45.3 percent of adults over 18 got the vaccine, with rates for those ages 18 to 50 considerably lower.
Skepticism to this vaccine runs high, particularly in communities of color because of longstanding distrust and discrimination in public health. A 2017 study in the journal Vaccine noted that, compared with white people, ''African Americans were more likely to report barriers to vaccination, were more hesitant about vaccines in general and the flu vaccine specifically, more likely to believe in conspiracy theories and use naturalism as an alternative to getting vaccinated.''
Across all demographic groups, perhaps the most striking reason given for avoiding the flu vaccine is that people do not see it as efficacious as, say, the measles vaccine.
Indeed, it is a good vaccine but not a great one. It must be repeated annually. Immunity takes up to two weeks to kick in. But its efficacy also depends on how accurately infectious disease centers worldwide forecast which strains are expected to circulate in the coming year. And then those strains can mutate.
Although the flu shot confers immunity at all ages over six months, it can be less complete in people over 65. Depending on many factors, the shot's effectiveness in a given year can range from 40 to 60 percent.
''But a vaccine not given won't protect anyone,'' said Dr. Jane R. Zucker, assistant commissioner for the Bureau of Immunization at the New York City Health Department, which has been hosting webinars for providers about how to have conversations about the flu shot with hesitant patients.
As health officials note, should a vaccinated person contract the flu, the severity will almost certainly be reduced, hospitalization rarely necessary. Especially with Covid-19 raging, public officials reason, those odds look pretty good.
Another reason people give for not getting the shot is they think it makes them sick.
''People who say 'I'll never get it because it gives me the flu' have not had the flu and don't know what it is,'' said Patsy Stinchfield, senior director of infection prevention at Children's Minnesota.
The Coronavirus Outbreak 'ºFrequently Asked QuestionsUpdated August 17, 2020
Why does standing six feet away from others help?The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation of six feet on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet. But six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. Sneezes, for instance, can launch droplets a lot farther than six feet, according to a recent study. It's a rule of thumb: You should be safest standing six feet apart outside, especially when it's windy. But keep a mask on at all times, even when you think you're far enough apart.I have antibodies. Am I now immune?As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that's perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it's highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.I'm a small-business owner. Can I get relief?The stimulus bills enacted in March offer help for the millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for aid are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Some larger companies in some industries are also eligible. The help being offered, which is being managed by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. But lots of folks have not yet seen payouts. Even those who have received help are confused: The rules are draconian, and some are stuck sitting on money they don't know how to use. Many small-business owners are getting less than they expected or not hearing anything at all.What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?Employers have to provide a safe workplace with policies that protect everyone equally. And if one of your co-workers tests positive for the coronavirus, the C.D.C. has said that employers should tell their employees -- without giving you the sick employee's name -- that they may have been exposed to the virus.What is school going to look like in September?It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, requiring the grind of online learning, makeshift child care and stunted workdays to continue. California's two largest public school districts '-- Los Angeles and San Diego '-- said on July 13, that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. For other districts, the solution won't be an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, including the nation's largest, New York City, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending some days in classrooms and other days online. There's no national policy on this yet, so check with your municipal school system regularly to see what is happening in your community.''What you're feeling is your body's immune response to the virus's antigens,'' said Ms. Stinchfield, a member of the C.D.C.'s influenza work group. ''You may feel flu-ish. And that's a good thing. It's your body's way of saying, 'I am ready for the flu, and I won't get as sick if I get the real one.'''
Public campaigns will describe the shot as a critical weapon during the pandemic. ''Hopefully people will say, 'There's no Covid vaccine so I can't control that, but I do have access to the flu vaccine and I can get that,''' Ms. Stinchfield said. ''It gives you a little power to protect yourself.''
Other campaigns will emphasize familial and community responsibility.
Usually, flu vaccine compliance rates among people ages 18 to 49 are low. Vermont's, for example, is only about 27 percent.
Christine Finley, the state's immunization program manager, believes that rates will improve because of the pandemic's stay-at-home households. ''People are more aware that the risks they take can negatively impact others,'' she said. ''They're often taking care of young children and older parents.''
Image Flu vaccination in Miami in 2018. Older Americans are more likely to get the vaccine than younger ones, even though it is not as effective in older populations. Credit... Joe Raedle/Getty Images If any example could prove instructive about protective behavior and flu vaccines during the coronavirus epidemic, it could well be Australia.
Australia's flu vaccine rate tends to be modest, but this year demand was high. The government's rollout of the shot began earlier than usual for the June-through-August winter because the coronavirus pandemic was exploding. Though the government had also issued strict no-entry limits among many states and territories and bans on international travel, the flu shot was one of the few reasons people could emerge from lockdown.
The prevalent strain circulating in the country is Type A, the most common and virulent form of flu, said Dr. Kelly L. Moore, a public health expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
According to the C.D.C., Type A is the most likely to circulate globally. It mutates readily, particularly as it jumps between animals and humans.
''There are two strains of Type A influenza in the vaccine,'' Dr. Moore said, ''and so the very best way to protect yourself is to get the shot.''
Reported cases of flu in Australia have dropped 99 percent compared with 2019.
''Australia's milder-than-usual flu season is likely the result of a number of factors '-- strong flu vaccination uptake, social distancing, but also severely decreased movement of people,'' said Dr. Jonathan Anderson, a spokesman for Seqirus, a supplier of flu vaccine.
But though American public health authorities usually look to Australia's flu season as a predictive, Australians say this year it's not a reliable indicator.
''This situation is of no comfort as these measures do not apply to the United States where the populace has never been effectively physical distancing,'' nor have the country's entry restrictions been as onerous, said Dr. Paul Van Buynder, a public health professor at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.
All that Americans can do is get vaccinated against flu, he added, because circulation of the coronavirus remains high.
''It is likely they will have a significant influenza season this northern winter,'' he said.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Masks & Muzzles
'Hoogleraren: Wat rechter deed kan niet, ze beh""rt mondkapjes te toetsen aan de wet | Binnenland | AD.nl
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 12:46
AD en Krant.nl maken deel uit van DPG Media. Onze sites gebruiken cookies en vergelijkbare technologien ('cookies') onder andere om je een optimale gebruikerservaring te bieden. Ook kunnen we hierdoor het gedrag van bezoekers vastleggen en analyseren en deze informatie toevoegen aan bezoekersprofielen. Cookies kunnen worden gebruikt om advertenties te tonen en artikelen aan te bevelen op de websites en apps van DPG Media die aansluiten op jouw interesses. Ook derden kunnen jouw internetgedrag volgen. Cookies kunnen gebruikt worden om op sites van derden relevante advertenties te tonen. Cookies van derde partijen maken daarnaast mogelijk dat je informatie kunt delen via social media zoals Twitter en Facebook.
AD deelt de informatie die zij verkrijgt middels het gebruik van cookies en vergelijkbare technieken, waaronder ook persoonsgegevens, in een samenwerkingsverband genaamd NLProfiel met Sanoma, DPG Media, Telegraaf Media Groep en RTL Nederland, om gezamenlijke groepsprofielen op te stellen. Door op 'Ja, ik accepteer cookies' te klikken, ga je akkoord met de verstrekking van jouw (persoons)gegevens aan deze Nederlandse uitgevers voor de totstandkoming van gezamenlijke groepsprofielen, welke dit zijn kan je lezen op www.nlprofiel.nl.
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Politie belaagd tijdens demonstratie tegen spoedwet: (C)(C)n agent gewond en meerdere aanhoudingen | Binnenland | AD.nl
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 12:49
AD en Krant.nl maken deel uit van DPG Media. Onze sites gebruiken cookies en vergelijkbare technologien ('cookies') onder andere om je een optimale gebruikerservaring te bieden. Ook kunnen we hierdoor het gedrag van bezoekers vastleggen en analyseren en deze informatie toevoegen aan bezoekersprofielen. Cookies kunnen worden gebruikt om advertenties te tonen en artikelen aan te bevelen op de websites en apps van DPG Media die aansluiten op jouw interesses. Ook derden kunnen jouw internetgedrag volgen. Cookies kunnen gebruikt worden om op sites van derden relevante advertenties te tonen. Cookies van derde partijen maken daarnaast mogelijk dat je informatie kunt delen via social media zoals Twitter en Facebook.
AD deelt de informatie die zij verkrijgt middels het gebruik van cookies en vergelijkbare technieken, waaronder ook persoonsgegevens, in een samenwerkingsverband genaamd NLProfiel met Sanoma, DPG Media, Telegraaf Media Groep en RTL Nederland, om gezamenlijke groepsprofielen op te stellen. Door op 'Ja, ik accepteer cookies' te klikken, ga je akkoord met de verstrekking van jouw (persoons)gegevens aan deze Nederlandse uitgevers voor de totstandkoming van gezamenlijke groepsprofielen, welke dit zijn kan je lezen op www.nlprofiel.nl.
Meer informatie hierover vind je in ons cookie-statement.
Om artikelen op AD te kunnen lezen, dien je de cookies te accepteren door op 'Ja, ik accepteer cookies' te klikken.
De serviceafdeling is te bereiken op telefoonnummer 088 - 0505 050. De servicepagina kun je hier vinden. Klik hier om direct de Krant.ad.nl te lezen.
Let Us Out
NY CAUGHT Deleting Gov. Cuomo's Order that Obliterated Nursing Homes with Covid-19 - YouTube
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 13:17
Pregnant Rona from Anna
Hey, Adam!
I'm having a baby in September and last night, my husband and I took a virtual newborn class through our hospital in Austin. The first 30 minutes was spent on COVID protocols and I wanted to share -
1) upon arrival to hospital to give birth, pregnant woman receives a rapid swab test
2) pregnant woman is allowed one visitor during labor - side note, our friend who gave birth had to choose between having her husband in the room or her doula. In case you were curious, she chose her husband.
3) visitor does NOT receive rapid test, but they get their temp checked
4) if pregnant woman is COVID positive, they will not turn her away, she will still be able to give birth in hospital (how generous)
5) if COVID positive, once she gives birth, baby is socially distanced from mom in same room (at least 6 feet)
6) if COVID positive mom chooses to breastfeed, she will pump and nurse will feed baby from bottle
7) if mom is COVID negative, mom can breastfeed and is not required to wear mask while holding baby (how generous)
After finding out I was pregnant in January, my husband has been able to come to two of my doctors appointments due to no visitor policy in place and I've had 8 appointments. The first appointment he missed, the nurse told me I should invest in an iPhone so that we could FaceTime during future appts.
Anyway, thought these protocols were interesting and wanted to share a boots on the ground report from a pregnant woman.
COVID World Wide
Spain BOTG covid
Hi Adam,
Here in Spain we seem to be being brainwashed into believing we'll need a second lockdown in September.
Some regional governments have started banning smoking outside when the security distance can't be maintained because of supposed larger droplet sizes in the cigarette smoke.
https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-08-14/first-day-of-public-smoking-ban-in-spains-galicia-the-measure-benefits-everyone.html
https://english.elpais.com/spanish_news/2020-08-21/madrid-region-recommends-people-stay-at-home-in-areas-with-highest-coronavirus-infections.html
Brothels appear to hotspots of infection.
https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-08-21/spains-equality-minister-calls-on-regions-to-close-brothels-over-coronavirus-fears.html
Also a video interview with a doctor who works in a hospital in El Escorial (in the mountains outside of Madrid) and he refutes the panic of the journalist who is in a tizzy about the rising number of cases in the region.
He says that we can't take it at face value because the PCR test just says someone is positive with the virus, it doesn't say whether they are actually sick and need to be admitted.
He also disputes the idea of a mandatory vaccine towards the end of the video saying, if everyone has had the virus - why do we need a vaccine?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFa9JHMFO9s
The other day there was also an anti mask protest in the center of Madrid but they are being painted as crazy covid deniers in the media.
Lot's of fun here as summer comes to a close.
Renae
Spain Set To LOCKDOWN Friday the 18th September with Three Phase System closing borders with France & Portugal
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 14:06
Spain's government led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is set to LOCKDOWN Spain again on Friday 18th September 2020Pedro Sanchez is set to re lockdown Spain on Friday 18th of September as the nation battles to contain the increased outbreaks of coronavirus in Spain.
The nation, that is starting to fight a losing battle against the pandemic, has seen a sharp rise nationally of COVID-19 and the government have set the 18th of September as the date to impose lockdown regulations on its citizens according to congress ministers.
Whereas the previous lockdown saw a three-phase release, from the 18th of September the set plan is to introduce a three-phase into lockdown.
Phase one will see if the plans set to go ahead, will see regional lockdown, that will prevent Spanish citizens travelling outside their residential municipalities, as well as the closing of borders with France, Portugal & Italy apart for essential business crossings. Phase one will also see the stopping of flights of non-essential travellers from Europe.
Phase two, if phase one doesn't contain and prevent an increase in a 14-day monitored period, will see the closure of non-essential businesses, the likes of bars, restaurants and cafes. Also included will be theatres, cinemas and other social gatherings venues.
Phase three, if required another 14 days later, will see citizens once again ordered to remain at home and only allowed out for essential needs.
The two Spanish members of congress also revealed to the Euro Weekly News on Saturday that talks have taken place with other nations prime ministers advising of the set-out plan including UK's Boris Johnson.
One of the ministers revealed: ''The governments are working ahead together to try and prevent another pandemic and loss of thousands of lives, this is one of the reasons you are seeing holiday companies cancelling flights and holiday packages into September, they have been pre-warned''
''We, the Spanish government have to protect our nation, be assured the government will do everything in its power to keep the wheels of industry moving but at the same time we must protect our people''
''The first phase is set to start on Friday the 18th of September, the government will then assess the situation 14 days later, nobody wants to see the second phase introduced, everything will be done to avoid it, but it will be put in place and the third if needs must''
''This time we have been able to plan ahead, we have got through the summer and allowed our citizens freedom of movement through the summer months, now we need to get back in control of reducing infections and deaths'' he finished.
Politie belaagd tijdens demonstratie tegen spoedwet: (C)(C)n agent gewond en meerdere aanhoudingen | Binnenland | AD.nl
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 12:49
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New dog walking rule in Germany leaves owners scratching their heads - Reuters
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 12:50
BERLIN (Reuters) - A new rule forcing Germans to take their dog for a walk twice a day has unleashed a debate on whether the state can decide what is best for the country's 9.4 million pet canines.
FILE PHOTO: A pug is pictured during the annual pug meeting in Berlin, Germany, August 31, 2019. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo
Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner announced this week she had taken expert advice and was introducing a law to ensure dogs go for a walk or run in the garden at least twice a day for a total of an hour.
''Pets are not cuddly toys - their needs have to be considered,'' said Kloeckner, adding pets must get sufficient exercise and not be left alone for too long.
With almost one in five German homes owning a hound, the new ''Animal Welfare Dog Regulation'', which also sets limits on the transportation of farm animals in hot weather, affects a significant proportion of the population.
''Compulsory Walkies for Dog Owners? Rubbish!'' wrote the top-selling Bild newspaper in an opinion piece on the new decree.
A spokesman for the VDH German Dog Association said most owners were laughing at the new rule because they already spent enough time walking their four-legged friend.
''One rule for all dogs is probably well meant but unrealistic,'' said VDH spokesman Udo Kopernik.
Dog trainer Anja Striegel said the amount of exercise a dog needs depended on the health, age and breed of dog.
''For a young, fit Labrador, two hours of walkies are healthier than for an arthritic pug with heart problems,'' she told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
Germany's most popular breeds are the German Shepherd and short-legged, long-bodied Dachshund, known as ''sausage dogs'' followed by Labradors, retrievers and Jack Russell Terriers and pugs.
Then there is the question of enforcement. The ministry has said the 16 federal states will be responsible for enforcing the rule but it is unclear how.
Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Lisa Shumaker
Finnish economy emerged from corona spring as EU winner, most economists say worst is over | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 19:22
Outdoor diners on Helsinki's Senate Square: Experts say Finland has coped with the pandemic better than most countries. Image: Silja Viitala / YleLast spring, many think tanks and banks predicted that Finland's economy might shrink by as much as 10 percent this year due to the coronavirus crisis.
However, according to preliminary figures out this week from Statistics Finland, seasonally adjusted GDP fell by just 3.2 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter. Adjusted for working days, GDP was 4.9 percent lower than in the corresponding months of 2019.
Finnish economy relatively unscathedBased on Eurostat figures, Finland's economy fared the best of any in the EU last spring.
On average, EU countries' GDP plunged by 11.7 percent between the first and second quarters of this year '' or more than three times worse than here.
Neighbouring Sweden, which took a more relaxed approach to the pandemic and suffered much higher infection and death rates, saw its economy fall by 8.6 percent in the same period. Another Nordic EU neighbour, Denmark, experienced a 7.4 percent drop.
Yle surveyed 22 leading Finnish economists on the outlook for the country's economy. Twelve of them said that they do not believe the economy will slow further this year, or may even improve.
Seven said that the situation is so murky that no predictions can be made for the autumn, while three said they expect matters to deteriorate further.
Smooth transition to remote workAll agreed that the autumn outlook is exceptionally uncertain, and depends heavily on whether Finland's export markets rebound. Early this year, before the pandemic spread, many had full order books but have since seen demand slump.
''There are many sectors where the outlook can't be gauged until autumn. When the vacation season in [continental] Europe ends, we'll begin to see signs of international corporations' ability and willingness to invest after the crisis,'' says Nordea Bank's chief economist, Tuuli Koivu.
Nearly all of those surveyed said that Finland's economy has made it through the pandemic relatively unscathed compared to other EU countries because it did better at controlling the spread of the illness.
The economists agree that the government and other officials generally made the right decisions at the right time, and that much of the labour force transitioned smoothly to working remotely, thanks to solid digital skills and infrastructure.
Sweden records highest death tally in 150 years in first half of 2020 | World news | The Guardian
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 11:38
Sweden, which has stood out among European countries for its low-key approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic, has recorded its highest tally of deaths in the first half of 2020 for 150 years, the Statistics Office said.
Covid-19 claimed about 4,500 lives in the period to the end of June '' a number that has now risen to 5,800 '' a much higher percentage of the population than in other Nordic nations, though lower than in some others, including Britain and Spain.
In total, 51,405 Swedes died in the six-month period, a higher number than in any year since 1869, when 55,431 people died, partly as a result of a famine. The population of Sweden was about 4.1 million then, compared with 10.3 million now.
Covid-19 meant that deaths were about 10% higher than the average for the period over the last five years, the office said on Wednesday. In April the number of deaths was almost 40% higher than average due to a surge in Covid-related fatalities.
Sweden has taken a different approach to most European countries in dealing with the pandemic, relying to a greater extent on voluntary measures focused on social distancing and opting against a strict lockdown.
Most schools have remained open and many businesses have continued to operate to some extent, meaning the economy has fared better than many others.
However, the death toll has been higher than in its Nordic neighbours, which opted for tougher lockdown measures. Norway, with about half Sweden's population, has had only about 260 Covid deaths in total.
The economy of Finland also outperformed its larger neighbour in the second quarter, despite a tougher lockdown. Finland's gross domestic product shrank by 5% against an 8.6% contraction in Sweden from the previous three-month period.
Sweden's Tegnell: Wearing face masks may be 'very dangerous'
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 11:39
August 19, 2020 | 10:46am | Updated August 19, 2020 | 12:24pm
Sign up for our special edition newsletter to get a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic.
Sweden's top infectious disease expert has resisted recommending face masks for the general population '-- arguing it's ''very dangerous'' if people believe the coverings alone will stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist at Sweden's Public Health Agency, has repeatedly expressed skepticism that face masks will control virus outbreaks, the Financial Times reported.
''It is very dangerous to believe face masks would change the game when it comes to COVID-19,'' said Tengell, who is considered the country's equivalent of Dr. Anthony Fauci from the White House COVID-19 task force.
He noted that countries with widespread mask compliance, such as Belgium and Spain, were still seeing rising virus rates.
''Face masks can be a complement to other things when other things are safely in place,'' he said. ''But to start with having face masks and then think you can crowd your buses or your shopping malls '-- that's definitely a mistake.''
He completely brushed off the prospect of wearing masks last month, saying, ''With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport.''
Tegnell has argued that evidence about the effectiveness of face mask use was ''astonishingly weak.''
''I'm surprised that we don't have more or better studies showing what effect masks actually have,'' he told the UK Times.
The infectious disease expert has faced backlash after the nation controversially refused to lock down, leading to a higher death rate per capita than neighboring countries that took stricter approaches.
Sweden's chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty ImagesSweden has recorded at least 85,000 cases, including more than 5,800 fatalities, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.
Belarus
Covid-19 Psychosis Defeated: How Belarus Ignored the WHO and Beat Coronavirus - Fort Russ
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 18:59
By Natalya Grigoryeva '' Jun 20, 2020
MINSK '' Speaking to Grodno labor collectives on June 16, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko explained that his country's experience in combating coronavirus infection has already become ''the property of the whole world'', and the World Bank is even ready to allocate $ 300 million to Minsk to share the details of its tactics.
Such statements by the Belarusian leader during the Covid-19 pandemic are not new. He had previously said that the situation in Belarus had become interesting to the world community, since they didn't go along the path recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), preferring not to quarantine the country. At the same time, Minsk always reminded that not only Belarus decided to act according to a similar scenario, citing Sweden as an example.
The Belarusian authorities have repeatedly emphasized that they managed to prevent high mortality from coronavirus in the country due to the fact that the Soviet health care system was preserved here, and all necessary measures were taken to fight for every human life. According to the official position of the head of the Belarusian Ministry of Health, Vladimir Karanik, it helps to cope with the disease by the fact that ''unlike most European countries, Belarus has maintained a sanitary and epidemiological service, the country is also provided with doctors, a bed facility, oxygen access points, and mechanical ventilation devices (mechanical ventilation) , an adequate level of laboratory diagnosis. ''
''In general, low mortality in patients with coronavirus infection in the republic is explained by early diagnosis and detection of infection in people who do not have symptoms, effective measures to isolate patients and contacts. Effective epidemiological measures to protect vulnerable groups of the population '' the elderly and senile, as well as those with some chronic diseases, also explain the low mortality from Covid-19 infection, '' the Belarusian department noted earlier.
Formally, the fact that Belarus really managed to turn the tide, and since the end of May the country has been on a plateau, is confirmed by official statistics. Over the past weeks, the incidence rate in the republic of coronavirus began to decrease gradually, and the number of people who recovered, on the contrary, increased sharply. For example, by June 19, Belarus already officially had an excess of the number of people recovering from Covid-19 over newly diagnosed cases for two weeks running.
Only 57,333 cases of infection were recorded, which amounted to an increase of 676 people per day (+ 1.2%). At the same time, 35,275 patients recovered, or 1,252 over the past day (+ 3.6%). 337 patients died at this incidence rate. In total, 821,887 tests were carried out in the country, which is still one of the highest indicators in the post-Soviet space. It's worth noting that the mortality rate of 4-7 people per day, even despite a decrease in the incidence rate, remains the same. This, together with a number of other reasons, including the stable increase of about 900 people a day since the end of April, has long called into question the veracity of the information given by the Belarusian authorities about the real situation in the country.
It is worth recalling that Belarus did not officially declare a state of emergency due to the spread of coronavirus infection, although the first case was recorded before the pandemic was announced in late February. Against the backdrop of a panicking Europe, Belarus actually turned into almost the most liberal country, where human rights and freedoms were not curtailed. As you know, Belarusian educational institutions formally continued to work, a number of major public events were held, including the Republican community work day and the Victory Parade in Minsk, most sports championships continued, and the republic left the borders open.
This was officially explained by the fact that quarantining the country would lead to serious problems in the economy, because of which there would be nothing to ''eat''. And this position of the Belarusian leader at the beginning of the pandemic was explained quite simply '' against the backdrop of the ongoing economic recession and the upcoming August 9 presidential election, stopping any non-political activity in the country threatened with serious socio-economic upheavals. Moreover, it must be remembered that in Belarus, about half of those employed work at state enterprises or are civil servants, and sending them to quarantine should have been paid by the state, which simply does not have money for it.
Together with the inability to go out, this could give rise to a high level of tension in Belarusian society, which could well provoke massive protests and problems in the presidential election. Therefore, the republic's authorities decided not to officially impose quarantine, publicly showing people that there is no serious danger in the country, and all this is ''coronapsychosis,'' which is beneficial to someone. Alexander Lukashenko personally became the leader of this opinion, speaking publicly without wearing a mask, greeting him as before, and advising Belarusians, either as a joke or seriously, to be treated with vodka, butter, breathe the smoke of a fire and ride a tractor.
''Wash your hands more often, have breakfast in time, have lunch and dinner, you need to not only wash your hands with vodka, but also, taking into account pure alcohol, take 40-50 grams and poison this virus. But not at work '... No panic, just work. Especially now in the countryside, it's nice to see how people work on the tractor and no one talks about viruses. The tractor will cure everyone, ''the Belarusian leader said in March.
At the same time, while the official media and the leadership of the republic said that the coronavirus was no worse than other diseases, the healthcare system and the Belarusians themselves were embroiled in a serious struggle with it. Despite the fact that quarantine was not officially introduced, the country in one form or another switched to it. So, since mid-March, many private companies on their own initiative transferred workers to remote work. After a three-week vacation, the schools were allowed not to attend classes and study remotely. A similar approach was organized in most Belarusian universities. According to various surveys, about two-thirds of Belarusians began to wash their hands more often, and half stopped attending social events. There are fewer people on the streets and in public transport. Due to the lack of spectators, most concerts and performances were canceled, and cafes, bars and cinemas either began to close or shorten their time.
At the same time, Belarusian doctors took a number of measures aimed at preventing the spread of infection. In Belarus, they began to be hospitalized not only with pneumonia, but also all patients, even with mild symptoms of coronavirus. In addition, people began to bring people of the first and even second level of contacts to hospitals. At the same time, many volunteer initiatives arose in the country, which were involved in raising funds for doctors, cooking food, sewing personal protective equipment, and more. In general, the Belarusian society and the Ministry of Health showed solidarity, despite any statements from officials. And, according to experts, this is precisely what allowed without official quarantine to avoid the development of a negative scenario in Belarus, which many drew for it. According to official figures,
The situation began to change from the end of May '' beginning of June and began to have a dual character. On the one hand, as mentioned above, according to official statistics, the incidence of Covid-19 has declined. This has already led to the fact that more and more Belarusians have appeared on the streets and in public places, bars and restaurants have again begun to fill up with visitors, amusement rides, cinemas and entertainment centers have begun to work. After a two-month break, first one water park opened in Minsk, and then a second one in the open.
In parallel, the state media continued to talk about how the Belarusian health care system copes with the situation, and citizens can not worry about anything. Moreover, demonstrating full control over the situation, the Ministry of Health of Belarus began to gradually change the rules for the provision of medical services to combat coronavirus. For example, at the end of May, the agency amended the protocols for treating patients with Covid-19, as well as the testing principles. It was noted that with a mild course of coronavirus, the patient can close the sick-list already 14 days after the onset of clinical symptoms, as ''the literature does not describe cases of infection of patients 21 days after the diagnosis of the appearance of the clinic in mild forms of the disease.
It is noteworthy that later there was another decision stating that before discharge from the hospital PCR testing would be only if the person was transferred to medical rehabilitation or to spa treatment. If the patient was treated in the hospital and does not have clinical symptoms of the disease, then he can be discharged or transferred to outpatient treatment after an express antibody test.
It is worth noting that on June 15 the government of Belarus decided that coronavirus was included in the list of diseases that give the right to free provision of medicines, as well as medical nutrition. The Ministry of Health, commenting on this provision, noted that at present, some patients with Covid-19 infection ''receive treatment at home.'' To them in Belarus began to include ''patients with mild and moderate forms of the disease, including mild pneumonia.'' Given this circumstance, the fact that the Belarusian hospitals have ceased to experience excessive load due to the coronavirus epidemic becomes quite understandable.
The latter, as well as the fact that the authorities of Belarus began to talk more and more about a possible repeated wave of coronavirus and problems in the future, is the second side of what is happening today in Belarus. Despite official statistics showing positive dynamics, statements and actions of the Belarusian authorities began to cause concern, which was not even in April or May. Thus, the Ministry of Education of the Republic actually banned all entertainment events for graduation parties, allowing only the solemn presentation of certificates. Minister of Health of Belarus stating that there may be a second wave, he prefers not to talk about what kind of mortality from pneumonia is observed in the country, referring to the need for calculations based on the results of six months. Leading epidemiologists, in particular doctor of medical sciences, professor, epidemiologist Natalya Kolomiets , began to emphasize that in the country one cannot refuse social distance and other measures, since ''nothing will go away by itself''. In her opinion, in Belarus there are only ''sprouts of hope that have sprouted and are still too weak for us to behave carelessly.''
In addition, a number of Belarusian cities suddenly began to officially introduce a mask regime. For example, from June 19, this provision is introduced in Bobruisk. Now in public places where it is impossible to ensure social distance, people should be masked. Earlier, a similar regime was introduced on its own initiative in the Ivyevsky district of the Grodno region (it is advisory in nature), the Kirovsky district of the Mogilev region, the Braslavsky region of the Vitebsk region, etc. In all these cases, the need to introduce such measures was caused by ''worsening of the epidemiological situation in the region,'' than they don't report to the central media of the republic.
The position of international organizations, especially the World Health Organization, does not add much optimism. As the official representative of WHO in Belarus Batyr Berdyklychev noted on June 12 , the situation with Covid-19 in the republic looks serious, and the country itself is ''at the stage of local transmission of the virus.'' Moreover, in the spring, statements by officials of this organization were much more optimistic, and official statistics were not called into question by WHO. Now, though indirectly, Berdyklychev doubted that the methods for counting cases of coronavirus infection and mortality from it in Belarus correspond to reality.
The situation is warmed up by persistent media reports that it is practically impossible to get treatment for coronavirus in the country, local doctors make a diagnosis of coronavirus infection extremely rare, and stubbornly refuse to indicate Covid-19 death certificates. The latter is officially in Belarus due to the fact that the basis for the pathologists to pose the cause of death from coronavirus is the presence of a pathomorphological picture with laboratory confirmation of Covid-19. In this case, in contrast to the WHO instructions for coding the cause of death, where it is recommended to use the codes U07.1 (Covid-19 and the virus is identified) and U07.2 (Covid-19 and the virus are not identified, but there are also suspicions) use code B97.2, which means that coronavirus has become the leading cause of death.
The Ministry of Health of the Republic explains the low mortality by the fact that the country conducts early diagnosis and detection of infection in people who do not have symptoms, as well as ''effective measures to isolate the sick and contacts'' and ''effective epidemiological measures to protect vulnerable groups of the elderly and senile age, as well as having some chronic diseases. '' At the same time, they plan to conduct a detailed analysis of mortality in the country only when the pandemic is over.
The situation in Belarus with the Covid-19 has repeatedly become the topic of the most heated debate, including in Russia. For example, the incident occurred on June 10 at an international online conference held by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Guzel Ulumbekova, rector of the Higher School of Health Care Organization and Management, criticized the modern organization of Russian health care, including the work of Rosportebnadzor, setting Belarus and its experience in the fight against coronaviruses as an example.
In response, in a harsh form, the former head of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision of the Russian Federation Gennady Onishchenko said that she is ''not the specialist who will discuss the place and role of Rospotrebnadzor'', advising her not to give lectures ''to the professor, academician and former first deputy minister''. According to analysts, the main reason for such disputes is that, without introducing quarantine, Belarus, according to official figures, is going through a pandemic relatively calmly. It is not possible to obtain any other data on the real situation in the country today. At the same time, relying on various kinds of messages in telegram channels and opposition media is not at risk either in Russia, or in the EU, or in WHO, being content only with the information that the Belarusian state brings to them.
Thus, it can be stated that in the situation with coronavirus infection, the authorities of Belarus officially made a bet on preventing the deterioration of the socio-economic situation in the country. This is due not only to the impossibility of paying for the downtime of state enterprises, but also to political necessity. In anticipation of the presidential election to be held in the country on August 9, the creation of additional tension in society due to the Covid-19 pandemic was recognized as unacceptable. Moreover, a gradual decrease in the number of patients with coronavirus may indicate that by the day the vote is held, the authorities may well declare victory over the disease, which, in their opinion, will only strengthen their authority among ordinary citizens.
At the same time, the real actions of local officials and representatives of the healthcare system make it extremely cautious to say that official information about the situation with Covid-19 in Belarus is in line with the real situation. At the same time, the Belarusian authorities, in fact, managed to defeat the coronapsychosis.
Belarus 2019 - NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 18:52
Central and Eastern Europe Belarus 2019
Broadening Understanding of Security Issues
Freedom of Information
$17,000
To increase access to quality information and analysis on security issues. The program will produce and make available related analytical materials. In addition, it will monitor and analyze the security environment in regions impacted by neighboring countries. The project will engage with media outlets, hold events on regional security issues, and organize a conference on malign influence.
Developing Civil Society in the Gomel Region
NGO Strengthening
$28,400
To increase local and regional civic engagement. The program will hold coordination meetings to identify local problems and develop advocacy strategies to address them. It will also bring together experts, civic activists, and citizens through town hall meetings to press local authorities to resolve key local issues. The project will also produce and disseminate informational bulletins.
Expanding Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information
$40,000
To expand freedom of information. The program will maintain and expand an online depository of publications not readily accessible in the country, including works on politics, civil society, history, human rights, and independent culture. It will also add to its broad collection of archived periodicals. Additionally, the program will promote the library's content via social media and public events.
Fostering Freedom of the Media
Freedom of Information
$43,000
To defend and support independent journalists and media. The project will monitor freedom of information, document and disseminate information about violations, and assist journalists and media outlets. To raise awareness of its monitoring findings, the project will convene a series of meetings as well as publish and disseminate a regular newsletter and a report on press freedom issues.
Fostering Freedom of the Media
Freedom of Information
Supplement: $10,400
To protect and support independent media. The project will monitor freedom of information. It will document and publish information about violations, and assist media outlets. The project will organize meetings, disseminate an electronic newsletter, and publish a report on the state of media freedom. Ahead of elections, it will monitor, assess and report on the fairness of national and regional media coverage.
Fostering Independent Public Discourse and Democratic Values
Democratic Ideas and Values
$40,000
To promote public debate on democratic ideas and values. The program will convene public meetings featuring moderated talks by leading domestic, regional, and international pro-democracy intellectuals and cultural figures on current events and issues. Discussions with participants will follow the talks. The program will record and transcribe the contents of the public meetings, as well as of their resulting discussions, and publish them online.
Fostering Youth Activism
NGO Strengthening
$22,000
To foster youth civic engagement. The program will offer trainings on civic activism for regional youth. It will also raise the skills of representatives of local NGOs in fundraising and social media marketing, communication, and media outreach skills. The program will promote civic activities through a website, social media pages, newsletter, and other public outreach tools.
Increasing Capacity of Civil Society in Belarus
NGO Strengthening
$50,000
To foster coordination and enhance the effectiveness of civic society. The program will organize study trips and internships for civic activists. The participants will learn from and exchange ideas with their counterparts on how to encourage local communities to promote government accountability. Following the program, the participants will establish an international network.
Increasing Party Capacity In Citizen Outreach And Issue Advocacy
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)
$300,000
To enable a broad, diverse group of political activists representing democratic political parties and movements to conduct effective and systematic citizen outreach. The institute will assist political leaders in utilizing important pre- and post-election periods to carry out constructive citizen outreach by training democratic parties and movements in effective advocacy campaigns.
Increasing the Impact of Belarus' Third Sector
NGO Strengthening
$50,000
To build the capacity of regional civil society groups. To foster local activism, the program will hold a series of trainings, organize regional meetings, and support local civic initiatives. It will also oversee a study visit for civic activists, produce a training manual on grassroots activism, and organize a human rights exhibition.
Increasing the Professionalism of Independent Media
Freedom of Information
$89,498
To increase the professionalism of independent journalists. The program will support the professional development of and enhance networking among media professionals. It will organize public lectures, master classes, and other educational meetings, as well as conferences and roundtables. In addition, the program will produce and distribute professional development content for media workers.
Promoting Accountability through Civic Engagement
Accountability and Governance
$25,000
To increase civic engagement in fostering government accountability. The project will maintain and further develop an independent web portal that allows citizens to file appeals on pressing civic issues to state bodies. It will publicize the website and stimulate petition campaigns in the country's regions through public presentations, briefings, and social media.
Promoting Citizen Engagement
Accountability and Governance
$14,000
To foster civic participation and government accountability. The initiative will oversee civic campaigns focusing on local quality of life issues, cultural and historical topics, and political accountability. It will publish a bulletin and a booklet, as well as maintain and upgrade a website. The initiative also will organize roundtables to increase civic engagement.
Promoting Civic Journalism and Engagement
Freedom of Information
$45,000
To promote civic engagement and freedom of information. The program will train local activists in civic journalism, including reporting for online platforms. The trainees will employ their learned skills by interning at news and information websites. The program will also organize offline events that promote civic engagement on local issues.
Promoting Independent Analysis
Democratic Ideas and Values
$35,000
To promote democratic ideas and values. The project will promote critical thinking by regularly producing and disseminating original analysis. The analysis will focus on key events and challenges facing the country. To inform its analysis, the project will convene expert roundtables, organize a regular discussion forum, and carry out public surveys. The project will also aggregate and promote other analytical texts.
Promoting Regional Civic Engagement
NGO Strengthening
$16,000
To promote local independent media and civic engagement. The project will maintain and expand an independent web portal that produces and disseminates local and national news and information. It will promote civic engagement by assisting local civic initiatives, holding regular public discussions, and organizing a series of independent cultural events.
Promoting Youth Activism through Independent Culture
Democratic Ideas and Values
$32,000
To promote youth activism and independent culture. The project will organize a series of independent civic activities, such as cultural events, meetings, lectures, and trainings, to foster indigenous cultural identity. It will assist innovative initiatives supporting youth activism and independent culture around the country. The project will also maintain its website.
Providing Objective Economic Information
Freedom of Information
$40,300
To increase access to independent information. The project will support a website that increases citizens' understanding of the country's economic situation and developments. It will produce and disseminate weekly news and analysis that provides objective information on key economic issues affecting the government, business, and the general public. The project will also produce targeted content to increase its audience, and develop long-term sustainability strategies.
Strengthening Access to Independent Information
Freedom of Information
$25,000
To strengthen access to independent information. The project will produce a website that offers independent political news and information, and informs the public of major issues facing the country, including local, national, and international political and economic developments. To broaden its audience and serve as a counterweight to Russian propaganda, the project will continue to develop the site's content and capacity, create more accessible news formats, and boost its social media presence.
Strengthening and Defending Independent Online Media
Freedom of Information
$50,400
To foster freedom of information and the Internet. The program will support and safeguard independent print and online media outlets by providing secure, reliable hosting and technical support, as well as legal and audit consultations and assistance. It will also conduct trainings and webinars on digital security, legal compliance, and sustainable development for media workers.
Strengthening Public Debate on Reforms
Democratic Ideas and Values
$38,800
To strengthen public understanding of and debate on reforms. The program will promote young experts and their ideas in the digital sphere by producing and publicizing articles, reports, and videos on key reforms necessary for the country's democratic development. In addition, it will organize a series of reform-related offline events, including regional discussions.
Strengthening Regional Civil Society
NGO Strengthening
$18,000
To strengthen the capacity of regional civil society by engaging and assisting civic activists and citizens in addressing urban and quality of life issues. The program will conduct a survey to identify pressing issues; hold meetings with citizens, business, and local officials to discuss them; and publish its findings. It will also organize trainings for activists and assist civic projects that address local challenges.
Supporting a Leading Independent Media Outlet
Freedom of Information
$60,000
To promote independent media and foster freedom of information. The program will maintain and develop an online newspaper, which provides timely coverage of key social, political, and economic developments. It will expand the publication's content, improve its sustainability, and increase its audience by employing new innovative formats and by boosting its presence on social networks.
Supporting an Independent Online Newspaper
Freedom of Information
$60,000
To support freedom of information. The project will maintain an independent online publication. The outlet serves as a free source of objective political, economic, and social information for civil society and ordinary citizens. The publication will post daily news items and analytical articles on politics, international relations, economics, social issues, and civic society.
Supporting an Independent Periodical
Freedom of Information
$16,000
To foster a free exchange of ideas. The project will produce an independent print and online publication. It will expand its readership and sustainability by launching a digital news platform and partnering with other publications through a digital bookstore. The publication supports the dissemination of independent ideas and fosters freedom of expression, critical thinking, and democratic ideas and values.
Supporting Civil Society
NGO Strengthening
$35,000
To assist independent civic initiatives. The program will assist a network of NGO resource centers that provide physical space and independent information, networking and training opportunities, and other support to local civil society groups and initiatives. It will also foster civic activism, publish a bulletin, and serve as civil society hub.
Supporting Independent Culture
Democratic Ideas and Values
$73,300
To foster independent civic identity, critical thinking, and civic activism. The educational program will employ an innovative methodology that promotes civic engagement, human rights, and democratic values. Its courses will feature guest lectures and performances by independent experts and cultural figures. The program will also train instructors, produce a textbook, and launch new tools that facilitate learning.
Supporting Independent Media
Freedom of Information
$194,400
To help ensure the continued viability of independent media. The project will continue to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable independent media groups whose ability to disseminate news and information of public interest is threatened. Through this mechanism, the project will also work to improve the longer-term economic sustainability of independent publications.
Supporting Independent Media
Freedom of Information
$76,000
To promote freedom of information and the sustainability of independent media. The program will support news outlets in pursuing an innovative collaboration and growth strategy. It will assist publications with sharing office space and operating expenses, and engaging in co-branding, cross promotion, and content sharing. The program aims to expand a model for greater media sustainability.
Supporting Independent Online Media
Freedom of Information
$35,000
To foster freedom of information and promote public debate. The program will expand an online platform that engages young, educated audiences in discussions on needed reforms. The program will continue to expand its audiences in the regions by enhancing the quality of its information content, thereby stimulating debate and increasing its outreach.
Supporting Independent Regional Media
Freedom of Information
$46,800
To promote independent media and freedom of information. The program will expand the content and audience of an independent online publication by helping it to develop new digital capabilities, increase its multimedia content, and boost the participation of citizen journalists. It will also expand a new digital publication in another region.
Supporting Local Civil Society
NGO Strengthening
$50,000
To strengthen civil society and independent media at the local and regional levels. The program will support and coordinate civil society initiatives. It will assist regional resource centers, support local civic initiatives, publish online news and a print bulletin, and organize meetings that bring citizens together with civil society leaders.
Supporting Local Media and Civic Initiatives
Freedom of Information
$27,600
To support local and regional civil society and independent media groups. The program will inform citizens and promote civic initiatives in underserved areas around the country. It will produce and disseminate independent news and information through online and traditional media outlets, and engage citizens to participate actively in local governance.
Supporting the Independent Press
Freedom of Information
$40,000
To support independent media and freedom of information. The project will promote freedom of information by producing and disseminating independent news. It will play an important role in informing citizens about key social, political, civic and economic issues, and in raising greater awareness about independent civic initiatives throughout the country.
How one Telegram channel became central to Belarus' protests - RADIO E
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 18:55
The Poland-based Telegram channel Nexta has become a key source of information
An example of a recent post on Nexta Live, showing protesters in the city of Homel reading aloud their demands to the authorities. This post was viewed over half a million times. Screenshot from Nexta Live / Telegram.
It seems that everybody in Belarus follows Nexta Live. During the first days after the country's presidential election, when the entire country went nearly completely offline, this channel on the Telegram messenger service was one of the only sources of information about an escalating political crisis.
That crisis was triggered by President Alexander Lukashenka's bid to secure a sixth term in office in elections on August 9. According to official results, Lukashenka received 80 percent of the vote compared to just 10 percent for his challenger Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Belarusians and international observers alike suspected mass electoral fraud, leading thousands of voters to take to the streets in protest and workers across the country to declare strikes. Riot police responded with extreme violence, detaining over 6,000 protesters.
But protesters have kept up the pressure. On August 16, tens of thousands of Belarusians gathered in the capital Minsk in what may well have been the largest demonstrations since the country gained independence in 1991. They now demand nothing less than Lukashenka's resignation. But the president says he's going nowhere; the next day, before a jeering crowd of factory workers, Lukashenka vowed not to hold a re-run of the election ''unless you kill me.''
Read more: Belarus shuts down internet as thousands protest election results
Belarus' opposition activists and independent journalists have good cause to fear those words. Since becoming president in 1994, Lukashenka has ruthlessly cracked down on all resistance to his rule and on media freedoms. Domestic and international journalists alike have been beaten and detained during recent protests.
With so many obstacles to newsgathering on the ground, Nexta becomes an even sharper thorn in the authorities' side. The channel has circulated footage of police attacks on peaceful protesters, striking workers' political demands, and photographs of what it alleges are ''real'' voting tallies from polling stations across the country.
That content has got Nexta noticed. If at the start of August the channel had more than 300,000 subscribers, it now has over two million '-- not a trivial number in a country of around ten million.
In fact, that makes Nexta one of the most popular Telegram channels in the world. And the Belarusian authorities have noticed; that's why on August 14, the country's police opened a criminal case against Nexta's founder Stepan Putsilo, who lives in Poland, on charges of ''organising mass riots'' and calling for the overthrow of the Belarusian government.
A tale of two countries''It was just a hobby. I made funny videos for my family. Then I decided to gather all the trash from Lukashenka's Belarus,'' explained the 22-year-old Putsilo in an interview with Charter97, a Belarusian human rights website. Thus Nexta, whose name comes from the Belarusian for ''somebody,'' was born in 2015. Initially it was a YouTube channel, where Putsilo and his friends would share reflections on social issues in Belarus alongside their satirical songs with an anti-Lukashenka message.
The lyrics of one such song from 2015 would not be out of place at a protest rally in Minsk today:
Ð'се двадцать Ð>>етÐ'ыбоÑа нет: ÐоÐ>>ько усатые ÐоÑтÑеты.Ð'ужно искатьÐÐособ сбежать, Ð'о всё доÑоже здесь биÐ>>еты'...Ð'се двадцать Ð>>етÐ'ыбоÑа нет'...
All these 20 yearsThere's been no choice. Just moustachioed portraits.I need to findA way to get out, but the tickets are so expensiveAll these 20 yearsThere's been no choice'...
'-- NEXTA, Ð'ыбоÑа нет (cover ÐÐÐ>>ин), YouTube, October 4, 2015
Putilo did eventually find a way out of Belarus '-- with a one-way ticket. In his Charter97 interview, Putilo recounted that he returned once in 2018 to visit his family. However, upon learning that his apartment had been searched by the security services, he has not been back since. Nevertheless, Putilo is one of several opposition-minded Belarusians based in their country's neighbour to the West. The Polish capital also hosts Belsat, a Belarusian-language news channel which is critical of the Lukashenka government (The Nexta founder is the son Alexander Putilo, a Belsat journalists, and writes articles for Belsat himself under the name Stepan Svetlov.)
Nexta's prominence only grew despite, or perhaps due to, its founder's exile. In February 2018, the Belarusian authorities opened a case against Nexta for ''insulting the president'' in critical YouTube videos. That autumn, Nexta moved onto the Telegram messaging service, and most of its YouTube audience followed.
The channel's output also became increasingly professional. In April 2019, Nexta was the first source to report on the murder of a traffic policeman from the Belarusian city of Mogilev; the information it provided later formed the basis of journalistic investigations. Then in October 2019, Nexta released its first professional documentary '-- ''Lukashenka: Criminal Materials'', which told the story of how the current Belarusian president rose to power. The film attracted nearly three million views on YouTube; the Belarusian authorities denounced it as ''extremist.''
This growing following eventually gave Nexta a funding model in the form of paid advertisements, which disappear from its feed after 24 hours. Its editors recently told the Russian version of Esquire Magazine that Nexta has not received grants from any organisations or governments, and survives exclusively from this advertising revenue and donations from its readers.
By the time Belarus held its 2020 presidential election, Nexta had become an essential source of information for any serious observer of Belarus. The project's decentralised structure, featuring profiles on multiple social media platforms but no website, was ideal in building up this following '-- but led to an immense volume of submissions. Hundreds of anonymous users were sending information, photos, and videos to Nexta's channels. There was so much that Putsilo was compelled to hire three colleagues to sift through the submissions from his home country.
They would soon be working overtime.
An army of somebodiesNexta maintains three Telegram channels: Nexta, Nexta Live, and Luxta (which mostly shares satirical posts). During the height of the protests in the days following the presidential election, Nexta Live was publishing hundreds of messages every day, many of them including content provided by anonymous users with only the most cursory contextual information. Each post now has a million reads on average.
But in recent days, Nexta has also circulated texts of protesters' demands, updates about arrests, locations of arrests by riot police, and contacts for lawyers and human rights defenders. It is clear that the channel does not merely report on the protests, but has played a substantial role in organising them:
There are two groups behind Belarus uprising:1) Tsikhanouskaya, incl. her team, team of jailed V. Babaryka, traditional party activists. They create a transitional council2) Telegram'ers (led by NEXTA), including multiple channels and influencers. They organize protests mainly.
'-- Franak Viačorka (@franakviacorka) August 16, 2020
Despite criticism from some quarters, Nexta's editor-in-chief Roman Protasevich does not see a contradiction between this overt political agenda and conventional journalistic ethics. The 25-year-old journalist recently joined Putsilo's team, and has now received political asylum in Poland. Speaking on August 12 with the prominent Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon, who had interviewed Lukashenka a few days before, Protasevich denied that Nexta could be described as the main coordinator of the protests, though acknowledged that he and his colleagues had been forced into the spotlight as key opposition figures:
Это в ÐÑинциÐе невозможно кооÑдиниÑовать, в стÑане откÐ>>ючена от интеÑнета, а вчеÑа даже мобиÐ>>ьный интеÑнет отсутствоваÐ>> вообще ÐоÐ>>ьностью. Ð'евозможно Ðытаться как-то уÐÑавÐ>>ять тоÐ>>Ðы. Это Ñаз. А во-втоÑых, да мы осознаем та ответственность котоÑую на нас Ð>>ежит. Ð'ы Ðонимаем это, но обÐ>>адая таким ÑезуÑсом и такой вообще узнаваемостью и довеÑием к себе сÑеди сотен тысяч беÐ>>оÑусов, мы ÐонимаÐ>>и, что на какой-то момент действитеÐ>>ьно нужно будет отойти от каких-Ð>>ибо ÐаÑадиÐ"мов невмеÑатеÐ>>ьства хотя бы Ðо ÐÑостой ÐÑичине что все мы тоже беÐ>>оÑусы, и все мы Ð>>юди котоÑые живут ÐÑи диктатуÑе уже мноÐ"о Ð>>ет. Ð'ноÐ"ие, особенно моÐ>>одежь, живут ÐÑи Лукаженке с самоÐ"о Ñождения. Рэтим нужно что-то деÐ>>ать. Ð--а, я Ðонимаю что в ÐосÐ>>едные дни мы ÐÑактически ÐоÐ>>ностью наÑуÑиÐ>>и какую-то жуÑнаÐ>>истическую этику, отказаÐ>>ись от каких-то этических ÐÑавиÐ>> в ÐÐ>>ане жуÑнаÐ>>истики, но важно Ðонимать, что мы не тоÐ>>ько жуÑнаÐ>>исты, мы Ð>>юди. Рмы действитеÐ>>ьно хотим ÐеÑемен к Ð>>учÑему. Ð'ы хотим сами веÑнуться домой ['...] Ð'ы такие же беÐ>>аÑусы как и все и мы ÐÑосто стаÑаемся сдеÐ>>ать все, дÐ>>я тоÐ"о чтобы в БеÐ>>аÑуси быÐ>>а сменяемость вÐ>>асти, чтобы в БеÐ>>аÑуси собÐ>>юдаÐ>>ась эÐ>>ементаÑная ÐÑава чеÐ>>овека, дÐ>>я тоÐ"о, чтобы там существоваÐ>>а свобода сÐ>>ова.
In principle, this isn't something which can be coordinated, particularly not in a country which is cut off from the internet, where yesterday there wasn't even mobile internet. It's impossible to somehow direct the crowds. That's one point. Furthermore, we fully comprehend the responsibility which lies on our shoulders. We have an incredible resource, we're widely recognised, and hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have put their trust in us. We understood that at some point, we had to move beyond concepts of non-interference if only for the simple reason that we are also Belarusians, and we are all people who have lived under a dictatorship for many years. Many, particularly young people, have lived under Lukashenka since the day they were born. Something has to be done about that. Yes, I understand that over the last few days we have entirely violated some journalistic ethics, some ethical rules of the field, but it's important to understand that we are not just journalists, we are human beings. And we really do want change for the better. We'd like to return home ourselves some day ['...] We are Belarusians, just like everybody else, and we are trying to do all in our power to ensure that Belarus has rotations of power and that elementary human rights were respected in the country, so that there is some freedom of speech in Belarus.
Protasevich did not respond to GlobalVoices' request for comment. However, his words above make his view clear: when journalists face pressure from the authorities, they are ethically obliged to push for freedom of expression '-- even if that means abandoning the pretence of impartiality.
There can be no doubt that Nexta and a handful of other Telegram channels have played a crucial role in informing the world about the turmoil in Belarus after the election. However, some observers voice discomfort at depending too much on these sources. The information they share is fragmentary, anonymous, contextless, and despite the best efforts of its editors, some of it appears to be unverified. For example, in the early hours of August 10, Nexta reported that the 35-year-old Yevgeny Zaichkin had died during clashes with police in Minsk. As it happened, Zaichkin was wounded but survived.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, these concerns are shared by editors of older Belarusian publications whose readerships now pale in comparison with Nexta. Anna Kaltygina, an editor for one of the largest Belarusian news websites Tut.By, told the Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy on August 12 that she doubted whether it was possible to seriously fact check events on the ground in Belarus from faraway Warsaw. However, one can also ask whether it is possible to report seriously from the ground in Belarus given the authorities' harassment of journalists in recent weeks and generally poor record on press freedom.
In this context, a media source which relies on anonymous content has practical merit. Kaciaryna Å macina, a Research Fellow at the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, told GlobalVoices that Nexta and other Telegram channels rose in prominence at just the right moment:
Right now the Belarusian protests are leaderless, and for the moment this is probably for the good. We have no leader in Belarus who would take charge and channel those protest moods, because if he or she were there, they would have at the very least been thrown out of the country like Tsikhanouskaya or put in jail. And in such a repressive context, these Telegram channels are something very new, allowing people to coordinate themselves and organise protests. They are an important tool and source of information, but at the same time I think it's very legitimate to ask who are the coordinators of these channels, particularly if they call on people to resist the police.
Telegram confounds autocratic rulers in the post-Soviet space, where its use is particularly widespread. This year, the Russian authorities abandoned an attempt to ban the messaging platform; the internet outages in Belarus also failed to silence Nexta and other popular channels. As Deutsche Welle noted this May, Lukashenka has denounced Telegram with ever greater frequency this year. He has continued to do so during the protests; It is not implausible that he had Nexta in mind.
It's now possible that other sources of information will be available for those watching developments in Belarus. On August 17, state television employees went on strike, no longer content to tow the government's line against the protesters.
#BREAKING! In #Minsk, #Belarus, workers of the state TV reportedly joined the nationwide strike in #protest against rigged election results & police brutality.
This is what this morning's state TV show looked like:pic.twitter.com/IonISHw8bh
'-- Alex Kokcharov (@AlexKokcharov) August 17, 2020
Furthermore, some Belarusian television channels have now started to broadcast footage of mass protests.
These developments are extraordinary, but Å macina cautions against a false sense of security where freedom of expression is concerned. ''Everybody who speaks up against the regime or criticises the regime is still in danger, and this danger hasn't gone anywhere. Lukashenka is not close to relinquishing power, and my main concern is that we will see even more ugly scenes.''
Until and unless something cardinally changes in Belarus, it is likely that ordinary Belarusians will continue to opt for anonymity when they speak out '-- and seek out Nexta when they do so.
Why Is Lukshenko Being Color Revolutioned Just Now?
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 19:05
Why Is Lukshenko Being Color Revolutioned Just Now? By F. William Engdahl21 August 2020 Image Credit: Homoatrox Title: Protest rally against Lukashenko, 16 August. Minsk, Belarus License: The Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license Under Some Conditionshttps://bit.ly/325WwSw
The globalist Powers That Be have clearly decided to topple the long-standing sole-ruler of Belarus, President Aleksander Lukashenko. The question is why at just this time? There is a case to be made that one reason is he is being destroyed for his unforgivable coronavirus defiance. In any case Belarus is being hit with a full force West-led Color Revolution. The protests over the August 9 election show every sign of the usual Color Revolution destabilization protests, manufactured by the usual Western NGOs, as well as private contractors using social media to steer the protests.
Under Lukashenko's regime, the country defied WHO and the global coronavirus lockdown demands. He refused to order lockdown of his citizens or the economy. As of August 13 the country had recorded a total of 617 covid19 related deaths. Belarus stood together with Sweden and the US State of South Dakota as one of the very few places in the world to successfully disprove the bizarre and dangerous WHO demands for a global lockdown to control the pandemic. Belarus ordered no lockdown so most industry continued. Schools remained open other than a 3 week closing during Easter. There were no mask requirements, though volunteer groups distributed masks to some and in June the EU sent a shipment of PPE including masks to Health officials for distribution. Football and the May 9 Victory parade went as normal. And now the country stands as an example the WHO and friends do not want.
One very important point is that the Health Ministry ignored the very flawed WHO recommendations on loosely classifying deaths as Covid19 when only a ''suspicion'' is there. The basis for the Belarus pathologists to state the cause of death from coronavirus is the presence of a patho-morphological picture with laboratory confirmation of Covid-19.i
This all did not sit well with the globalist Powers That Be. The manifestly corrupt WHO, whose main private donor is the Gates Foundation, criticized Lukashenko's government for lack of quarantine and in June, when announcing it would grant Belarus a $940 million loan, the IMF said it was conditional on the country imposing quarantine, isolation and closed borders, demands Lukashenko rejected as ''nonsense.'' He noted in a widely-quoted statement, ''the IMF continues to demand from us quarantine measures, isolation, a curfew. This is nonsense. We will not dance to anyone's tune.''
Color Revolution Begins
Clearly NATO and the Western globalist circles have been working on toppling Lukashenko well before the covid19 events. That coronavirus defiance may only have helped galvanize events. The West and its ''democracy'' NGOs have long had Lukashenko in their targets. During the Bush Administration in 2008 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denounced Lukashenko as Europe's ''last dictator.'' After that, Russia created the Eurasian Economic Union along with Kazakhstan and Belarus as members. Until now Lukashenko has refused Putin's proposal to merge with Russia in one large Union State. That may soon change.
The protests broke out in Belarus after elections on August 9 gave Lukashenko some 80% of the vote against his last-minute opposition candidate, the 'western' candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Those protests are being run using the same model that the CIA and its various ''democracy'' NGOs, led by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) developed in Serbia, Ukraine, Russia and numerous other states whose leaders refused to bow to the globalist dictates. A co-founder of the NED, Allen Weinstein, declared in the Washington Post in 1991, ''A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.'' The NED gets its financing from the US government, but poses around the world as a ''private'' democracy-promoting NGO, where it was instrumental in most every Washington-backed regime change destabilizations since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
In 2019, the NED listed on its website some 34 NED project grants in Belarus. All of them were directed to nurture and train an anti-Lukashenko series of opposition groups and domestic NGOs. The grants went for such projects as, ''NGO Strengthening: To increase local and regional civic engagement... to identify local problems and develop advocacy strategies.'' Another was to ''expand an online depository of publications not readily accessible in the country, including works on politics, civil society, history, human rights, and independent culture.'' Then another NED grant went, ''To defend and support independent journalists and media.'' And another, ''NGO Strengthening: To foster youth civic engagement.'' Another large NED grant went to, ''training democratic parties and movements in effective advocacy campaigns.''ii Behind the innocent-sounding NED projects is a pattern of creating a specially-trained opposition on the lines of the CIA's NED model.
The Murky Nexta
A key role in coordinating the ''spontaneous'' protests was played by a Warsaw-based texting and video channel called ''Nexta,'' based on the Telegram messaging app. Nexta, which is Belarusian for ''somebody,'' is nominally headed by a 22-year old Belarus exile based in Poland named Stepan Putila. With the Belarus Internet shut by the government since days, Nexta, operating from Poland, has posted numerous citizen videos of protest and police crackdown and claims now to have 2 million followers. It quickly became the heart of the Color Revolution once Belarus shut its Internet access.
Stepan Putila is also known under the moniker Stepan Svetlov. Putila previously worked for the Warsaw-based Belsat channel which broadcasts propaganda into Belarus and is funded by the Polish Foreign Ministry and USAID. The co-founder and Editor in Chief at Nexta since March, 2020 is a Belarus exile named Roman Protasevich who used to work for the US Government's propaganda media, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Protasevich also worked for the Polish-based Euroradio which is partly funded by USAID. He was active in the CIA's 2013-14 Maidan Square demonstrations in Kiev and according to his Facebook likes is close to Ukrainian neo-nazi Pahonia Detachment. In April 2018, Protasevich ends up at the US State Department in Washington, a notable contact. On his Facebook then he noted, ''The most important week in my life begins." The same day he posted a picture of himself inside the US State Department, stating "Never had so many important and interesting encounters in my life.''iii After he left Washington he went to work for the USAID-funded radio in Belarus Euroradio.fm on August 31, 2018. Two years later Protasevich is coordinating the anti-Lukashenko events from Warsaw via Nexta. Coincidence?
Nexta which uses the London-registered Telegram, and is in NATO-member Poland, outside the country, so far has eluded shutdown. Nexta has been sending out, via social media, such information as plans for protests, at what time and where to gather for a rally, when to start a strike, where police are assembled and so on. Nexta has also circulated texts of protesters' demands, updates about arrests, locations of arrests by riot police, and contacts for lawyers and human rights defenders as well as maps showing where police are located and addresses for protesters to hide in.
It has also advised subscribers how to bypass internet blocking by using proxies and other means. As Maxim Edwards, a pro-opposition British journalist at Global Voices, describes Nexta, ''It is clear that the channel does not merely report on the protests, but has played a substantial role in organising them.''iv
No doubt such coordination from abroad would not be possible unless Nexta had some very sophisticated assistance from certain intelligence services. Nexta claims it depends on ''donations'' and ads for funding, but claims to get no ''grants'' from governments or foundations. Whether true or not, it is an answer that gives little clarity. Is USAID one of their ''donors'' or the Open Society Foundations? The relevant point is that Nexta uses cyber technology that Belarus is not able to shut down. In 2018 the Russian governments unsuccessfully tried to ban Telegram for refusing to reveal their source codes.
Global Stakes
The opposition political candidates to Lukashenko is also surprisingly clever in tactics, suggesting they are being guided by professionals. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya the alleged ''political novice'' who stepped in when her husband was arrested and forbidden to run, claims she won the election based on exit pollers. On August 14 Tikhanovskaya announced that she was forming a "coordination council" to secure a peaceful transfer of power. It echoed the earlier call by another opposition candidate, Valery Tsepkalo, a former Belarus Ambassador to Washington who, like Tikhanovskaya's husband Sergei Tikhanovsky, was barred from running for president. Tsepkalo called it a "national salvation front."
Though Belarus is a small country of less than 10 million, the stakes of this destabilization effort of the West are enormous. In 2014 the Obama CIA head John Brennan led a US-backed coup d'etat in Ukraine to prevent Ukraine joining Russia's economic union. That coup has not given Ukraine anything positive. Instead it has resulted in rule but by other corrupt oligarchs, but friendly with Washington, especially under Obama.
The NED tried in 2018 to destabilize Armenia, another part of the Russian Eurasian Economic Union. Were they now to break off Belarus, the military and political consequences for Russia could be severe. Whether or not the Lukashenko defiance of the WHO coronavirus dictates had a role in the timing of the ongoing Minsk Color Revolution attempt, clearly some powers that be in the West, including the EU and Washington would love to collapse Belarus as they did in Ukraine six years ago. If they succeed we can be sure they will be emboldened to try Russia after.
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.
Endnotes:
1Natalya Grigoryeva, How Belarus Ignored the WHO and Beat Coronavirus, FRN, June 21, 2020, https://fort-russ.com/2020/06/covid-19-psychosis-defeated-how-belarus-ignored-the-who-and-beat-coronavirus/
2NED, Belarus 2019, https://www.ned.org/region/central-and-eastern-europe/belarus-2019/
3Anonymous, Roman Protasevich, August 17, 2020, https://www.foiaresearch.net/person/roman-protasevich
4Maxim Edwards, How one Telegram channel became central to Belarus protests, August 19, 2020, https://radioeonline.com/2020/08/19/how-one-telegram-channel-became-central-to-belarus-protests/
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EU Leaders Urge Putin to Push for Talks in Belarus Over Disputed Vote - The Moscow Times
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 19:14
European leaders urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to push for dialogue in neighbouring Belarus on Tuesday, as opposition supporters protested President Alexander Lukashenko's disputed election win for a 10th day.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered on Independence Square in central Minsk on Tuesday evening waving the red-and-white flags of the opposition and calling on Lukashenko to resign, the latest in a wave of protests after the president claimed he had won a sixth term in the August 9 ballot.
EU chief Charles Michel said on Twitter he had spoken to Putin and added that "only peaceful and truly inclusive dialogue can resolve the crisis in Belarus."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron also spoke with the Russian leader, whose country has close economic and military ties with its neighbor.
Merkel told Putin that authorities in Minsk must "enter into a national dialogue with the opposition and society to overcome the crisis," while Macron urged the Russian leader to foster "calm and dialogue."
In Kremlin readouts of the two calls, Putin emphasized that interfering in Belarus and putting pressure on its authorities would be "unacceptable", as the European Union moves to impose sanctions over the vote and a brutal police crackdown on protesters.
The flurry of calls came ahead of an emergency video summit of European Union leaders to discuss Belarus on Wednesday.
Belarusian state news agency Belta said Putin and Lukashenko had also spoken by phone to discuss the Russian president's calls with European leaders.
'Lawlessness and injustice'Lithuanian lawmakers on Tuesday urged Western governments not to recognize Lukashenko as president and both the United States and Britain this week voiced concerns over the elections and the crackdown.
Moscow has said it is ready to step in if necessary in Belarus through the CSTO military alliance between six ex-Soviet states.
But it is unclear how much support Putin is willing to give to Lukashenko, who in recent years has often played off Moscow against the West.
Lukashenko has defied calls to hold a new election and on Tuesday handed out awards to 300 members of the security services, who have been accused of abusing arrested protesters.
During a meeting of his security council, Lukashenko accused the opposition of attempting to "seize power," and rupture Minsk's economic and military ties with its powerful ally Russia.
"They demand nothing more and nothing less: to transfer power to them," Lukashenko said of the opposition.
Earlier on Tuesday, several hundred people gathered outside the walls of a detention center to mark the 42nd birthday of Sergei Tikhanovsky, a popular blogger who was imprisoned alongside other Lukashenko rivals ahead of the election.
Tikhanovsky's wife, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was allowed to run in his place but fled to neighbouring Lithuania after claiming that Lukashenko rigged the election to secure his official 80 percent of the vote.
Tikhanovskaya, 37, has said she will organize new elections if Lukashenko steps down and her allies have formed a Coordination Council to ensure a transfer of power.
Historic demonstrationsOn Tuesday evening, the council convened its first press conference and announced members '-- including Nobel Prize-winning author and ardent Lukashenko critic Svetlana Alexievich.
"We are just starting to feel like an independent nation," Maria Kolesnikova, the campaign manager of a jailed opposition candidate, told journalists during the briefing.
She also denied Lukashenko's claims that the opposition wanted to cut ties with Moscow and vowed that new leaders in Minsk would "maintain friendly, mutually beneficial, pragmatic," ties with Russia and EU countries.
In a video message, Tikhanovskaya said her husband was spending his birthday in prison accused of "a crime he did not commit."
"All of this blatant lawlessness and injustice shows how this rotting system works, in which one person controls everything, one person who has kept the country in fear for 26 years, one person who robbed Belarusians of their choice," she said.
Belarus over the weekend saw its largest street demonstrations since it gained independence from the Soviet Union, with more than 100,000 people taking to the streets of the capital to demand Lukashenko stand down after 26 years in power.
The police crackdown on post-election demonstrations last week saw more than 6,700 people arrested, hundreds wounded and left two people dead.
Authorities gradually released detainees '-- many emerging with horrific accounts of beatings and torture. The Interior Ministry reported a third death on Tuesday, of a young man hit by a car while demonstrating.
The first Belarusian diplomat to publicly support the protesters, Minsk's ambassador to Slovakia Igor Leshchenya, announced his resignation earlier on Tuesday in an interview with the Tut.by news website.
Noodle Gun
Roald Dahl's Matilda mug canceled after Twitter users say it promotes domestic violence
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 11:28
Celebrated British author Roald Dahl's legacy has indirectly come under attack by Twitter activists who managed to scare a supermarket chain into removing mugs that featured a quote based on a line from his classic children's book, ''Matilda.''
Twitter campaigners who pressured Sainsbury's into removing the mug with the words, ''A brilliant idea hit her'' printed on it '' argued that it was ''actively promoting domestic violence.''
Those offended by the mug and expressing their outrage could be reading too much into the whole thing, as they claim that the quote, and its design, including the use of typeface and capital letters, is dangerously ambiguous.
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Other than idiocy, one possible explanation could be the campaigners' poor grasp of English (''A brilliant idea hit her. She had a brilliant idea,'' the head of the Institute for the Study of Civil Society explained in a tweet, urging the retailer not to bow to pressure.) But it could also be that as Twitter has proved time and again to be a very useful tool to those looking to weaponize it for their political and ideological goals '' it's becoming hard for a certain type of activist not to use it that way.
And given the current political and social climate, Sainsbury's would not take a chance on resisting: it seems that the relentless waves of canceling and deplatforming have driven fear into celebrities and brands in particular. Not only is the supermarket chain removing the mugs, the company also apologized, and announced it was ''working with the Roald Dahl team to remove the mug from sale and review the design.''
One of those putting pressure on Sainsbury's was Dr. Miranda Horvath, who, in addition to demanding the removal of the mugs from the shelves and an apology, also wants ''a huge donation'' to be made to charities combating violence against women and girls.
The original quote from ''Matilda'' says, ''The germ of a brilliant idea hit her.'' At this point, it's not entirely far-fetched to think that had that been used on the ''problematic'' mug '' Sainsbury's might have been accused of promoting coronavirus misinformation, in addition to domestic violence.
BLM
BasedPoland on Twitter: "I repeat... Earlier this week, Moroccan gangs rioted for 5 consecutive days in several cities in the Netherlands. The police refused to do anything against them. Today, elderly Dutch people protested against the face mask mandate.
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 20:39
BasedPoland : I repeat... Earlier this week, Moroccan gangs rioted for 5 consecutive days in several cities in the Netherlands.'... https://t.co/9O50wYA5Lg
Thu Aug 20 19:19:03 +0000 2020
🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸Lynn Riley 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 : @BasedPoland @elizabethwila Over a F'in mask that does no good.
Thu Aug 20 20:38:04 +0000 2020
Private Perkins : @BasedPoland Leftists are sadists.That is their primary addiction.It's not sadistic to attack a criminal.
Thu Aug 20 20:37:05 +0000 2020
Legislation to Require Diversity on Corporate Boards Passes First Policy Committee | Official Website - Assemblymember Chris Holden Representing the 41st California Assembly District
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 11:33
Sacramento, CA '' Today, a bill that requires diversity on corporate boards in California passed the Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions. The legislation, AB 979, is joint authored by Assemblymembers Chris Holden, Cristina Garcia, and David Chiu, with Eloise Gomez Reyes as principal co-author. The bill requires publicly held corporations headquartered in California to have at least one director from an underrepresented community by the close of 2021.
''Corporations have money, power, and influence,'' said Assemblymember Chris Holden. ''If we are going to address racial injustice and inequity in our society, it's imperative that corporate boards reflect the diversity of our State. One great benefit of this action '' corporations with ethnically diverse boards have shown to outperform those that lack diversity.''
Soon after the social unrest following the killing of George Floyd, many corporations publicly stated their support for diversity and Black lives. Critics, however, have pointed out that this public support for social justice movements often does not lead to long-term structural change in hiring and retention policies of a diverse staff and leadership. The current statistics are quite stark. The Harvard Law School Missing Pieces Report: The 2018 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards found that out of 1,222 new board members of Fortune 100 companies, 77% were white.
''The lack of diversity on California's boards and upper level corporate positions is a challenge we urged corporations to address on their own during our time in the Legislature. However, it is clear we can no longer wait for corporations to figure it out on their own. By ensuring diversity on their boards, we know the corporations are more likely to both create opportunities for people of color and give them the support to thrive within that corporation,'' said Assemblymember Cristina Garcia.
In addition to the 2021 benchmark, AB 979 also requires corporate boards to include two members from underrepresented communities for corporations with more than four members, while corporations with more than nine must have a minimum of three by 2022. The bill defines a director from an underrepresented community as an individual who self-identifies as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native.
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Susan B. Anthony memorial refuses to accept Trump's pardon of civil rights leader | Just The News
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 12:01
A group honoring the life and legacy of American civil rights icon Susan B. Anthony has refused to accept President Trump's posthumous pardon of her, arguing the effort would give unearned legitimacy to the 1873 court proceedings that found her guilty of breaking a law that prohibited women from voting.
Trump this week announced he was pardoning Anthony for the conviction, a measure the president took on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which recognized the right of women to vote.
Yet the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House this week rejected the president's gesture, telling the president in a press release that the memorial organization "must decline [his] offer of a pardon."
The foundation noted that Anthony, when she was convicted of voting, refused to "pay a dollar of [the] unjust penalty."
"To pay would have been to validate the proceedings. To pardon Susan B. Anthony does the same," the museum said in its statement.
"If one wants to honor Susan B. Anthony today, a clear stance against any form of voter suppression would be welcome," the announcement continued. "Enforcement and expansion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would be celebrated. ... Support for the Equal Rights Amendment would be well received. Advocacy for human rights for all would be splendid."
Anthony, who was also a noted abolitionist near the end of slavery in the country, was the first woman to be depicted on U.S. coinage, with her profile being stamped on a dollar coin from 1979 to 1981.
Middle East Deal
Kushner's secret push to sell F-35 jets to UAE causes frustration among US agencies and lawmakers - CNNPolitics
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 21:50
By Kylie Atwood and Zachary Cohen, CNN
Updated 4:33 PM EDT, Thu August 20, 2020
(CNN) A secret push by President Donald Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner to sell advanced arms -- including F-35 stealth fighter jets -- to the United Arab Emirates has caused confusion and frustration among agencies and congressional committees that would normally be involved in such a sale but have been left in the dark.
Kushner is supporting the administration's discussions with the UAE about the potential advanced arms sale, which have been led by the NSC Senior Director for the Middle East, Miguel Correa, a senior administration official said.
The tight hold on details about these discussions has created confusion across the US government, two State Department officials and multiple congressional aides tell CNN.
Trump said the potential sale was "under review" during a press conference on Wednesday. He also said the Emirates have the funds to pay for the military hardware.
Expecting closer cooperationOn Thursday, Anwar Gargash, the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, said at an Atlantic Council event that "the UAE has indicated that it wants F-35s. The first time we made this request was 6 years ago. We ought to get them. It should be easier to get them." Gargash added that discussions about the F-35 are not connected to the deal with Israel.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said in a statement Thursday that "we have been flying the most advanced model of the US-made F-16 for more than 15 years. Facing new threats and more sophisticated adversaries, the UAE will continue to upgrade and improve our air defense capabilities. The F-35 has been part of these plans for more than six years."
"With the signing of the new accord and the added assurances it provides, we expect closer security cooperation among all three countries including on air defense and systems," the statement continued.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that the Emirati military was given a classified briefing by administration officials on the F-35 fighter jet in recent weeks.
Reports of a possible arms deal surfaced Tuesday when one of Israel's leading newspapers alleged there was a "secret clause" in Israel's deal to normalize relations with the UAE -- one that would allow the UAE to buy billions of dollars in advanced military hardware from the US, including drones, F-35 stealth fighters and other weaponry.
The story raised hackles in Israel because of the potential threat to Israel's military superiority in the region. Israel has long opposed sales of strategic weapons systems to other countries in the Middle East and under US law, any arms sales must take Israel's qualitative military edge into account.
It is unclear if there is a direct correlation between the discussions over the possible arms sale and the agreement which was inked last week, but Trump administration officials have indicated that the agreement paved the way for these discussions.
Kushner was directly involved in discussion with the Emirates and the Israelis in the lead up to the agreement last week, he told reporters.
The National Security Council did not reply to a request for comment.
Any sale involving the F-35 would require serious scrutiny from Congress, said two congressional aides. But relevant committees in Congress have not been notified of an arms sale to UAE involving F-35s and there is no unofficial review underway either, the aides said. There is frustration among members of both parties about the lack of communication from the administration on these discussions, the aides added.
A Democratic Senate aide told CNN that Congress "would almost certainly" attempt to block a sale of F-35s to the UAE with a resolution of disapproval if the Trump administration disregards Israel's objections and moves forward with the deal.
"F-35s are really another level of technology that threaten Israel's qualitative military edge... so it is a big deal," the aide added.
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Ellen Lord, referred all questions about the F-35 and UAE to the State Department when asked about the issue Thursday.
The State Department office that handles arms sales has not been formally been notified of a request for the purchase from the Emirates, which is required to trigger a formal review process, State Department officials tell CNN.
Arms sales take years to come to fruition, particularly ones that involve such advanced defense systems.
Earlier this month a group of Trump administration national security officials visited the UAE. Discussions focused on the UAE relationship with China, said a source familiar with the trip. It is unclear if there were also sideline discussions about the possible arms sale.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement Tuesday that Israel repeatedly raised concerns about the possibility of advanced arms sales to "any country in the Middle East" in the weeks before the normalization deal was announced. Trump announced that agreement, heralding it as a "significant step towards building a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous Middle East."
CNN's Mostafa Salem and Becky Anderson contributed to this report
Banyon
Google News - Steve Bannon, three others charged with fraud in border wall fundraising campaign
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 21:53
Language & region English (United States)
Opinion | Trumpism Is a Racket, and Steve Bannon Knew It - The New York Times
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 11:16
In the MAGA movement, you're either a predator or a mark.
Aug. 20, 2020President Trump and Stephen Bannon in 2017. The president on Thursday sought to distance himself from Mr. Bannon, just arrested on fraud charges. Credit... Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty Images In the most recent Senate Intelligence report on Russian campaign interference, a footnote quotes Steve Bannon, the former chief executive of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, disparaging Trump's oldest son. Bannon said he thought ''very highly'' of Donald Trump Jr., but also called him ''a guy who believes everything on Breitbart is true.''
Bannon, of course, ran Breitbart, the far-right media outlet, before joining the Trump campaign, and then for several months after leaving the White House. Yet he seemed to want the senators to know that he was never enough of a rube to take his own propaganda seriously.
Shaggy, pretentious and endlessly cynical, Bannon presented himself as a man with a limbic connection to Trump's base. But few people had more disdain for the members of the right-wing grass roots '-- whom Bannon sometimes referred to as ''hobbits.''
In ''The Brink,'' a 2019 documentary about Bannon, there's a scene in which he speaks to supporters in a modest living room stuffed with furniture and bedecked with crosses. As his small audience sits rapt, he lauds the room's similarity to one in his grandmother's house and pays homage to the ''working class, middle class'' people who make up nationalist movements everywhere.
Then he and a young man traveling with him walk out and step into their chauffeured car. ''You couldn't pay me a million dollars a year to live in that house,'' sneers Bannon's associate. They head to a private airport. Bannon starts to make a crack about the luxurious locale: ''This is the populist '...'' Then he thinks better of it and shoves some popcorn into his mouth.
So it's fitting that when Bannon on Thursday became the most recent member of Trump's 2016 campaign staff to be arrested, it was on charges of defrauding gullible Trump supporters. According to a federal indictment, Bannon, along with his associates Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea, ran a crowdfunding campaign, We Build the Wall, ostensibly to help fund Trump's promised southern border barrier. The project became, said prosecutors, a source of illicit personal enrichment.
We Build the Wall was run as a nonprofit, and assured donors that ''100 percent of funds raised'' would go toward wall construction. Some donors, said the indictment, wrote to Kolfage that ''they did not have a lot of money and were skeptical of online fund-raising campaigns,'' but they were ''giving what they could'' because they trusted his promises.
According to the indictment, Bannon used a separate nonprofit to siphon off over $1 million, some of which was used to pay Kolfage, who also received money through a shell company set up by Shea.
Among other things, the indictment says, Kolfage used the funds to pay for ''home renovations, payments towards a boat, a luxury S.U.V., a golf cart, jewelry, cosmetic surgery, personal tax payments and credit card debt.'' (He seems to have used the boat, called the Warfighter, to sail in one of Trump's beloved boat parades.)
On Thursday, Trump tried to distance himself from Bannon and We Build the Wall, first saying he knew nothing about the group, then contradicting himself and saying he disliked it. But lots of Trumpworld figures have been involved with We Build the Wall.
Kris Kobach, a hard-line anti-immigrant Kansas politician close to Trump, is listed as the group's general counsel, and last year told The New York Times it had the president's blessing. Also on the advisory board is the Blackwater founder and close Trump ally Erik Prince; Curt Schilling, the ex-Red Sox pitcher Trump encouraged to run for Congress; and Robert Spalding, former senior director for strategic planning on Trump's National Security Council.
Donald Trump Jr. praised We Build the Wall at a 2019 event for the group: ''This is private enterprise at its finest. Doing it better, faster, cheaper than anything else, and what you guys are doing is pretty amazing.''
Maybe Trump Jr. was a sucker who believed this, or maybe he just didn't care. The truth is that We Build the Wall is what Trumpist private enterprise looks like '-- a gaudy scam that monetizes grievance.
Bannon's arrest comes just two weeks after New York's attorney general sought to dissolve the National Rifle Association, claiming that its leadership ''looted'' it. On Thursday, Politico reported that Jerry Falwell Jr., recently suspended as president of Liberty University, has ''repeatedly used a 164-foot yacht owned by NASCAR mogul Rick Hendrick for family vacations after the university committed to a lucrative sponsorship deal with Hendrick Motorsports.''
Bannon himself was apprehended on a yacht belonging to the Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui; The Wall Street Journal reported that a media company the two men are involved with is being investigated by federal and state authorities.
The social philosopher Eric Hoffer wrote that in America, every mass movement ''ends up as a racket, a cult or a corporation.'' Trumpism reversed this. The racket came first.
Ministry of Truthiness
Shannon Pettypiece - Wikipedia
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 21:44
Shannon Pettypiece is an American print and broadcast journalist. She is currently Senior White House Correspondent for NBC News Digital.[3]
Early life Edit Pettypiece grew up in Lake Orion, Michigan where she attended Lake Orion High School.[1][2] At age 5, she began showing horses competitively and was involved in 4-H as well as her high school and college equestrian teams. She attended the University of Michigan where she was a reporter and editor at The Michigan Daily, the university's student-run newspaper.[4] She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in political science with a focus on Russia and the former-Soviet Union. Her mother is a teacher and her father is a woodworker.[2]
Journalism career Edit Pettypiece's first journalism job was as an intern for The New York Times in Washington, D.C.[3] She later worked as a stringer for The New York Times in Detroit.[citation needed ] She has covered local government for Miami Today News and health care and technology for Crain's Cleveland Business.
In 2006, she joined Bloomberg News in Washington covering the Food and Drug Administration. She later moved to New York where she took over coverage of the pharmaceutical industry. She has also been a contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek.[4] While at Bloomberg, she has interviewed the chief executives of the world's largest health care companies, including Pfizer, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, and Eli Lilly. Her reporting has taken her to China, where she went inside Chinese hospitals, research labs, and homes for a four-part series on the country's evolving health care system.[5]
In 2010, she became a correspondent for Bloomberg TV, covering the health care industry.[4]
As of July 3, 2019 she is a senior White House reporter for NBC News Digital.
References Edit
Fact check: Trump delivers blizzard of false claims in Pennsylvania speech attacking Biden - CNNPolitics
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 02:47
Washington(CNN) Hours before former Vice President Joe Biden was scheduled to give his prime-time speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, President Donald Trump attacked him at length in a speech near Biden's birthplace.
Speaking in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, just outside Biden's home town of Scranton, Trump delivered a wild monologue that involved unscripted musings about sharks, boxing, dishwashers and the maintenance of forests.
It also involved a blizzard of false claims.
We're still going through the transcript, but here are the ones we can tell you about so far:
The fairness of the election
Trump said of Democrats: "The only way they're gonna win is by a rigged election. I really believe that. I saw the crowd outside."
Facts First: This is nonsense. Trump is trailing in every major national poll and in many polls of swing states. The existence of Trump supporters does not mean he cannot lose fairly.
Biden's availability to the media
Trump said he had seen a news report that said Biden hasn't taken questions from journalists since July 17.
Facts First: We have no idea what Trump might have seen, but the July 17 date is incorrect. Biden took questions during a formal media availability on July 28. He also took questions from a group of four Black and Latino Hispanic journalists on August 4. And he has taken assorted other questions, including in a People magazine joint interview with Sen. Kamala Harris, his vice presidential selection, on August 14.
Obama and 'spying'
Trump repeated his familiar claim that former President Barack Obama got caught spying on his campaign.
Facts First: Investigators engaged in lawful surveillance of Trump campaign advisers in 2016. But there is no evidence Obama had any role in this surveillance.
Trump has used the word "spying" to describe lawful FBI surveillance of people affiliated with his campaign as part of its investigation into the Trump campaign's relationship with Russia; the surveillance included court-approved wiretaps and the use of a secret FBI source who reached out to Trump advisers to try to arrange conversations and meetings. (FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was appointed by Trump, has said he would not use the word "spying" to describe what he called "surveillance activity.")
The Justice Department's inspector general rejected Trump's previous claims that the FBI planted spies inside his campaign, though the watchdog did find significant errors in its court applications for surveillance of former campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
-- CNN's Marshall Cohen contributed to this fact check
New Zealand and the pandemic
Trump said that New Zealand, which has been praised for its handling of the coronavirus, had a "massive breakout yesterday."
Facts First: New Zealand did not have a "massive breakout": it reported six new cases on Wednesday, and five more on Thursday. While those small numbers represent an uptick in cases for New Zealand, which went 102 days without any recorded local transmission of the virus, it is a tiny uptick that does not compare with the ongoing US crisis.
The US reported 47,408 new cases on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data, and it had reported more than 32,000 on Thursday as of 5:15 PM.
You can read more here.
Trump's stance on the war in Iraq
Trump said he had opposed the war in Iraq before it began but was ignored: "I'd say, 'Don't go into Iraq.' But I was a civilian, nobody cared."
Facts First: Trump never publicly urged the US not to go into Iraq. Rather, he expressed tentative support for an invasion in a radio interview in September 2002. The war began in March 2003; Trump expressed some critical sentiments soon after that, but he did not emerge as an explicit opponent of the war until 2004.
You can read more here.
The state of the pandemic
Trump touted recent jobs growth, then said the growth is happening during what he said is "hopefully" the "closing moments of the pandemic."
Facts First: Hopefully or otherwise, it's just not true that the coronavirus pandemic is in its "closing moments." The US continues to have tens of thousands of new reported cases per day.
Veterans Choice
Trump repeated a lie he has uttered more than 150 times, saying, "We passed Veterans Choice."
Facts First: The Veterans Choice bill -- a bipartisan initiative led by Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and the late John McCain of Arizona that allows certain veterans to be covered by the government for health care outside the VA system -- was signed into law by Barack Obama in 2014. In 2018, Trump signed the VA Mission Act, which expanded and changed the program.
Polling
Trump referred to polls as "suppression polls," which are designed to deflate his supporters, then criticized pollsters for surveying registered voters rather than likely voters. Some people who are registered to vote have died, he noted.
Facts First: There is simply no evidence that major pollsters have manipulated their numbers to suppress the enthusiasm of Trump voters, as Trump has repeatedly alleged.
Trump is entitled to argue that polls of likely voters are more accurate than polls of registered voters. (Pollsters often switch to surveying likely voters in the late stages of a campaign, since people can more accurately assess their likelihood to vote as voting gets closer.) But Trump's comments about deceased people are nonsensical. The fact that some people remain on the voter rolls after having died does not make polls of living registered voters inaccurate.
Gates Foundation funds Facebook fact-checkers that defend it from allegations
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 13:56
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provides over $250 million dollars in funding to news organizations, charitable organizations affiliated with news outlets, journalistic organizations, and fact-checking groups that regularly give investor and philanthropist Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation favorable coverage, according to an in-depth report from Columbia Journalism Review (CJR).
The Gates Foundation provides this funding through charitable grants and has given over $2 million to groups such as fact-checker Africa Check ($1.48 million), media company Gannett ($499,651), and the journalism school the Poynter Institute ($382,997). These groups have defended or favorably covered Gates and the Gates Foundation in their fact-checks.
CJR notes that it found ''sixteen examples of Africa Check examining media claims related to Gates'' and that its ''body of work overwhelmingly seems to support or defend Bill and Melinda Gates and their foundation, which has spent billions of dollars on development efforts in Africa.''
Gannet-owned USA Today also regularly publishes fact-checks that defend Gates and his foundation from numerous claims including allegations that they will profit from COVID-19 vaccines or treatments and allegations that Gates and the World Economic Forum predicted the coronavirus pandemic.
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And the Poynter Institute-owned fact-checker Politifact also often defends Gates and the Gates Foundation from allegations such as claims that the Gates Foundation will profit from a vaccine and claims about Gates' vaccine comments.
Poynter senior vice president Kelly McBride told CJR that the money from the Gates Foundation was passed on to media fact-checking sites, including Africa Check, and noted that she is ''absolutely confident'' that no bias or blind spots emerged from the work. However, McBride acknowledged that she has not reviewed the work herself.
The executive director of Africa Check, Noko Makgato, told CJR: ''Our funders or supporters have no influence over the claims we fact-check'...and the conclusions we reach in our reports. With all fact-checks involving our funders, we include a disclosure note to inform the reader.''
In addition to giving funding to these organizations that have provided fact-checks, the Gates Foundation has also given charitable grants to the BBC, The Guardian, NBCUniversal Media, the Financial Times, ProPublica, The Atlantic, Medium, Al Jazeera, National Journal, Univision, the Texas Tribune, Washington Monthly, Le Monde, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, according to CJR's report.
''When Gates gives money to newsrooms, it restricts how the money is used'--often for topics, like global health and education, on which the foundation works'--which can help elevate its agenda in the news media,'' CJR added.
For example, the Africa Check grant's purpose was ''to increase accuracy of health claims by public figures and promote use of evidence backed information by policy makers, the media and the public, when addressing public health and development issues'' while the Poynter Institute grant's purpose was to ''improve the accuracy in worldwide media of claims related to global health and development.''
CJR also notes that ''during the pandemic, news outlets have widely looked to Bill Gates as a public health expert on covid'--even though Gates has no medical training and is not a public official'' and describes this as the news media giving Gates ''an outsize voice in the pandemic.''
Additionally, CJR suggests that when the Gates Foundation launched 20 years ago, journalists were much more critical of Gates' philanthropy efforts and that ''Gates's generosity appears to have helped foster an increasingly friendly media environment for the world's most visible charity.''
While much of the report focuses on the favorable coverage Gates receives on health and education topics, Gates has also used one of his recent appearances on NBCUniversal-owned CNBC to take aim at private messages and end-to-end encryption.
During this appearance, Gates lamented not being able to see the messages in end-to-end encrypted messaging app WhatsApp and claimed that the company has ''made sure they can't intervene'' when users share content such as anti-vaccine content.
A spokesperson for the Gates Foundation told CJR that a ''guiding principle'' of its journalism funding is ''ensuring creative and editorial independence'' and noted that many of the issues the Gates Foundation works on ''do not get the in-depth, consistent media coverage they once did'' because of financial pressures in journalism.
The spokesperson added: ''When well-respected media outlets have an opportunity to produce coverage of under-researched and under-reported issues, they have the power to educate the public and encourage the adoption and implementation of evidence-based policies in both the public and private sectors.''
In a follow-up statement, the Gates Foundation said: ''Recipients of foundation journalism grants have been and continue to be some of the most respected journalism outlets in the world.'... The line of questioning for this story implies that these organizations have compromised their integrity and independence by reporting on global health, development, and education with foundation funding. We strongly dispute this notion.''
The implications of these Gates Foundation charitable grants going to fact-checking groups and news organizations extends far beyond giving positive media coverage to Gates and the issues the Gates Foundation works on.
Facebook works with fact-checking partners that are certified by Poynter's International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and Africa Check and Politifact are both Facebook fact-checking partners.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that when a warning label gets applied to Facebook posts after they're fact-checked, this drastically cuts their viewership and results in users not clicking through to the content 95% of the time.
With Facebook being the world's largest social network and having over 2.7 billion users, the decisions of these Gates-funded fact-checkers can determine how well content about the coronavirus or vaccine heath concerns performs with a ''false'' rating cutting its click through rate by around 20x.
This censorship via fact-checking concern is the subject of a recent lawsuit from the Children's Health Defense group against Facebook and several of its fact-checking partners including the Poynter Institute and Politifact. The lawsuit claims that factually accurate public health posts were purposefully censored by Facebook.
2020
Trump is vibrating at higher frequencies now
Dixie chicks now the chicks
Kamala Harris's Father, Donald Harris, is a Prominent Economist - The New York Times
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 03:36
Donald J. Harris, a Jamaican-born economics professor, has expressed regret that a custody battle brought his close contact with his daughters ''to an abrupt halt.''
Donald Harris holding his daughter Kamala in April 1965. Credit... Kamala Harris campaign, via Associated Press Aug. 20, 2020, 10:01 p.m. ET In a warm, encyclopedic tribute to her family Wednesday night, as she formally accepted the vice-presidential nomination, Senator Kamala Harris skimmed past any discussion of her father, Donald J. Harris, a Jamaican-born professor of economics at Stanford University.
The reason is common to many of Ms. Harris's generation: She is a child of divorce, raised by a single mother who became her most profound influence.
As Ms. Harris has stepped into the national spotlight, Dr. Harris, now 81 and long retired from teaching, has remained mostly silent. His only recent comments about her, published on a Jamaican website run by an acquaintance, express a combination of pride in his daughter and bitterness over their estrangement.
He scolded her in a letter, which has since been removed from the site, for joking in an interview that, growing up in a Jamaican family, it was natural that she had smoked marijuana. ''Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty,'' he wrote.
Dr. Harris did not respond to requests for comment for this article.
Despite his low profile in the election cycle, Dr. Harris is not an obscure figure. He was the first Black scholar to receive tenure in Stanford's economics department, and a prominent critic of mainstream economic theory from the left.
The Stanford Daily, reporting in 1976, described him as a ''Marxist scholar,'' and said there was some opposition to granting him tenure because he was ''too charismatic, a pied piper leading students astray from neo-Classical economics.''
One of his former students at Stanford, Robert A. Blecker, now a professor of economics at American University, said Dr. Harris's work questioned orthodox assumptions about growth '-- for instance that lower wages would increase employment rates, or that lower interest rates always result in increased investment.
''He was certainly very outspoken and prominent in the profession at one time, but not in a public way,'' Dr. Blecker said. ''He was certainly not shy. When I saw Kamala grill Judge Kavanaugh at his hearing,'' during his confirmation for the U.S. Supreme Court, ''I saw echoes of her father grilling someone in a seminar.''
Dr. Harris was raised in a landowning family on the north coast of Jamaica by a paternal grandmother whom he described as ''reserved and stern in look, firm with 'the strap,' but capable of the most endearing and genuine acts of love, affection and care.'' Reserved and highly intelligent, he was more cut out for academia than activism, contemporaries said.
He arrived at the University of California, Berkeley, as a graduate student in 1961. There, he met Shyamala Gopalan, an Indian graduate student his age, who was pursuing a Ph.D. in nutrition and endocrinology.
Ms. Harris, their eldest daughter, has written that the two ''fell in love at Berkeley while participating in the civil rights movement,'' and described learning about protests from a ''strollers-eye view.'' When the children were very young, Dr. Harris got a series of teaching jobs at colleges in Illinois and Wisconsin, moving the family repeatedly. The couple separated in 1969, when Ms. Harris was 5, and divorced two years later.
In ''The Truths We Hold,'' her 2018 memoir, Ms. Harris wrote that ''had they been a little older, a little more emotionally mature, maybe the marriage could have survived. But they were so young. My father was my mother's first boyfriend.''
The divorce was bitter. Ms. Harris recalls inviting both her parents to her high school graduation, ''even though I knew they wouldn't speak to each other,'' and initially fearing that her mother would not show up. (She did, in a ''very bright red dress and heels,'' Ms. Harris wrote.)
Dr. Harris, in his 2018 essay, said his early, close contact with his daughters ''came to an abrupt halt'' after a contentious custody battle. He said the divorce settlement had been ''based on the false assumption by the State of California that fathers cannot handle parenting (especially in the case of this father, 'a neegroe from da eyelans,' was the Yankee stereotype, who might just end up eating his children for breakfast!) Nevertheless I persisted, never giving up on my love for my children.''
This friction did not slow Dr. Harris's professional rise, and he was granted tenure first at the University of Wisconsin and then at Stanford University. Dr. Harris's 1978 book, ''Capital Accumulation and Income Distribution,'' is dedicated ''to Kamala and Maya.''
His work was followed closely in Jamaica, said Renee Anne Shirley, who was an adviser to Jamaica's prime minister in the early 2000s, a period when Dr. Harris served as an economic consultant to the government.
She recalled reading Dr. Harris's dispatches from the United States as far back as 1965, when he published a lengthy article about Malcolm X in The Sunday Gleaner.
''In three years, he got tenure '-- think about it, a Black man '-- and then he left and went to go to Stanford? He is a big thing for us,'' Ms. Shirley said. ''He pushed the boundaries. He was way ahead of his time.''
Students described him as an attentive mentor. Lisa Cook, now a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University, recalled visiting him at Stanford in the 1980s, when she was weighing whether to pursue a doctorate in economics.
She said he treated her with unusual deference, inviting her to join him for a meal in the faculty club.
''I went to each one of the top 10 programs in the country, and nobody else took me to the faculty club,'' Dr. Cook said.
Dr. Harris also stood out because he had deep knowledge of the historically Black college she had attended. Perhaps, she said, this was because his daughter Kamala had enrolled at Howard University, studying economics.
''Everybody wants the best for their children,'' she said. ''I'm sure he was hoping someone at Howard was taking Kamala under their wing.''
DNC 2020: Joe Biden convention speech fact-checked - BBC News
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 19:27
Image copyright Getty Images Joe Biden has made his first major speech as the Democratic presidential nominee at the party's convention.
He said President Trump had "cloaked America in darkness" and made several claims about his record in office, including his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
We've taken a look at three of these claims.
Claim 1: "We lead the world in confirmed cases. We lead the world in deaths."Mr Biden criticised President Trump's response to the coronavirus outbreak saying he had failed to protect American people.
The US does have the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, with more than 5.5 million confirmed cases and 174,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
It also has a larger population than many other countries.
If you look at deaths per capita - as a proportion of each country's population - the US is no longer top of the list but remains in the top ten worst hit countries.
The US has recorded more than 52 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 people - according to Johns Hopkins University - but there are a handful of countries that have recorded more on this measurement, including the UK and Italy.
It is worth remembering that there are differences in how countries count coronavirus deaths, making exact comparisons difficult.
Claim 2: "More than 50 million people have filed for unemployment this year." Mr Biden was talking about the impact of the pandemic on the US economy.
The 50m figure is right and is based on the total number of Americans who have filed jobless claims since the virus struck, according to US Labor Department statistics.
The number of people currently claiming unemployment benefits is 14.8m, according to the latest release of weekly figures. It has been declining since May, when there were more than 20m claims.
The unemployment rate is still much higher than pre-pandemic levels and currently stands at 10.2%.
Mr Biden also said: "Nearly one in six small businesses have closed this year."
But a recent survey of small business owners in the US suggested that only 1% of small businesses had closed permanently by mid-July this year.
A further 12% said they had closed temporarily, but even accounting for these it is less than the one in six Mr Biden claimed.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption White nationalist militia descended on Charlottesville armed with rifles and handguns Claim 3: President Trump said there were "very fine people on both sides", when asked about a far-right rally in 2017. Mr Biden said one of his goals would be to "wipe out the stain of racism" and he recalled the far-right protests in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 which led to violent clashes and left one counter-protester dead.
He said: "Remember what the President said when asked, he said there were, quote, very fine people on both sides".
Mr Biden said that after this moment "I knew I had to run" for president.
According to a transcript of a press conference on 15 August, President Trump did say - when asked about the presence of neo-Nazis at the rally - "you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides."
During the same press conference, Mr Trump went on to say "I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally."
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Joe Biden accused of plagiarizing late Canadian politician Jack Layton in DNC speech | The Post Millennial
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 05:20
Left-wing Canadian activists took to social media to claim that Joe Biden's DNC acceptance speech had been plagiarized.Left-wing Canadian activists took to social media to claim that Joe Biden's DNC acceptance speech had been plagiarized.
Judge for yourself. Biden's words were: "For love is more powerful than hate. Hope is more powerful than fear. And light is more powerful than dark."
In his goodbye letter just before his death, Layton wrote the following: "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair."
In a now-deleted tweet, Trans activist Sophia Banks wrote, "Jack Layton is trending. One of Canada's most beloved politicians. As Biden butchers his dying words left to us"
Sandy Hudson, a Black Lives Matter activist, added "So very very Jack Layton."
So very very Jack Layton #DNC2020 #cdnpoli https://t.co/e2pbOPZ73J
'-- Sandy Hudson (@sandela) August 21, 2020Comedian Mark Critch tweeted "Joe Biden lifts some Jack Layton. The last time an American copied a Canadian this obviously was when Lenny Kravitz covered the Guess Who"
Joe Biden lifts some Jack Layton. The last time an American copied a Canadian this obviously was when Lenny Kravitz covered the Guess Who https://t.co/87ZC4ot9mt
'-- Mark Critch (@markcritch) August 21, 2020Twitter user @RodneyTory wrote, "Joe Biden will plagiarize Jack Layton's speeches but not Jack Layton's policy. We have health care in Canada, thanks to the NDP's Tommy Douglas, the father of Jack Layton's party!"
Joe Biden will plagiarize Jack Layton's speeches but not Jack Layton's policy.We have health care in Canada, thanks to the NDP's Tommy Douglas, the father of Jack Layton's party!
'-- T?ri (@RodneyTori) August 21, 2020While the phrases used by Layton and Biden are similar, it could be that Biden was merely paying homage to the late former head of Canada's New Democratic Party, or it could be chalked up to a case of similar platitudes as opposed to plagiarism.
Biden, however is no stranger to plagiarism scandal. Biden was forced to end his 1988 presidential bid after he was busted lifting from British politician Neil Kinnock.
Kinnock's speech: "Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Why is Glenys (his wife) the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Was it because all our predecessors were thick?"
Biden's speech: "I started thinking as I was coming over here, why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright?"
However, Jonathan Bradley of the National Post points out that "the sentiments Layton made also channel lines from a speech former prime minister Wilfrid Laurier gave in 1916."
Laurier's speech: "Let me tell you that for the solution of these problems you have a safe guide, an unfailing light if you remember that faith is better than doubt and love is better than hate."
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Here's the MacBook Air that directed the DNC from a California family room | Philip Elmer'‘DeWitt
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 17:33
From a Facebook post by Janis Friedlander Svendsen, afficanced to director Glenn Weiss:
This is my fianc(C) and I could not be prouder of this man than I am at this historic moment in time. He has been on endless Zoom calls for months working on production aspects and directing the Democratic National Convention. Throughout these past few months, the pandemic has had the production team pivoting on a daily basis. First Glenn was going to Milwaukee, then Delaware and in the end and since there were so many LIVE remotes anyway, he had an entire control room set up in the house.
I have had the privilege to watch Glenn (from our Family Room) plan out and bring in all the technology to direct 58 cameras from around the country, deal with dozens of speakers and talent, and hundreds of folks on the production team. Watching the process of Glenn and his partner, Ricky Kirshner work with the leadership of the DNC and Biden campaign to make this all happen has been astonishing. The level of detail has been extraordinary. We even have a generator in our backyard as the heatwave has caused blackouts in our area.
I have played the role of Craft Services, ''Truck PA'', and more. Glenn at the helm is steady, creative, calm, funny, polite, and decisive. I know I am biased, but Glenn's talent and experience were exactly what this unconventional convention needed. As a proud Democrat and American citizen (and loving partner), I am so grateful we had Glenn's leadership and instincts helping to make this coming together of our party so successful and meaningful'... '-- with Glenn Weiss in Brentwood
My take: I love seeing what's going on behind the screen.
See also: Shot on iPhone: The raucous fringes of RNC 2016 (video)
Clips
VIDEO - President Trump Remarks at Council For National Policy Meeting | C-SPAN.org
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 14:02
August 21, 2020 2020-08-21T14:48:02-04:00 https://images.c-span.org/Files/2a9/20200821120908013_hd.jpg President Trump delivered campaign-style remarks at the 2020 Council for National Policy meeting in Arlington, Virginia. He compared his actions in office to that of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden while he served as vice president. He also outlined what he would do to address certain policy issues versus what his opponent would do. President Trump heavily criticized the use of mail-in voting during the pandemic and warned supporters that they may never know the outcome of the election.President Trump delivered campaign-style remarks at the 2020 Council for National Policy meeting in Arlington, Virginia. He compared his'... read more
President Trump delivered campaign-style remarks at the 2020 Council for National Policy meeting in Arlington, Virginia. He compared his actions in office to that of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden while he served as vice president. He also outlined what he would do to address certain policy issues versus what his opponent would do. President Trump heavily criticized the use of mail-in voting during the pandemic and warned supporters that they may never know the outcome of the election. close
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Hosting OrganizationWhite HouseWhite House SeriesCampaign 2020 Featured Clips from This Video 12:46 PM President Trump Says Speaker Pelosi Would Become President If Election Outcome Is UnclearDuring an address the 2020 Council for National Policy, President Trump says he believes that Americans will not know'...
1 minute187 views Related Video February 22, 2020 Weekly Presidential AddressIn his weekly address, President Trump talked about the economy.
December 11, 2019 Senator Amy Klobuchar at the Council on Foreign RelationsSenator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, delivered remarks on foreign policy at the'...
November 12, 2019 President Trump Remarks at Economic Club of New YorkPresident Trump delivered remarks and took a couple questions from audience members at the Economic Club of New York.'...
May 2, 2018 2018 National Teacher of YearPresident Trump welcomed and honored the 2018 National Teacher of the Year award recipient, Mandy Manning, to the White'...
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VIDEO - (1143) PM Trudeau on prorogation of Parliament, Chrystia Freeland's move to finance '' August 18, 2020 - YouTube
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 13:58
VIDEO - (1143) Covid-19: Zanny Minton Beddoes interviews Bill Gates - YouTube
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 13:45
VIDEO-PBS Panel: How Dare Candidates Evade the Liberal Media! | Newsbusters
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 12:33
August 20th, 2020 9:30 PM
On Tuesday's Amanpour & Co. on PBS and CNN International, Daily Beast columnist Margaret Carlson lamented the dominant left-leaning media's diminished hold over politicians as she spoke during a segment hosted by her ex-boss, former Time magazine editor Walter Isaacson.
Later in the segment, former CBS Evening News host Dan Rather fondly recalled Barack Obama's first convention speech from 2004 as the "transparently liberal" former news anchor described it as being one of the most memorable speeches for him.
Raising the issue of news media influence, Isaacson posed: "Margaret, do you worry that candidates can now just bypass the news media -- that what happens on TV and in newspapers doesn't really matter much?"
Carlson expressed her disappointment that the news media can be more easily ignored these days and longed for the "golden days of journalism" as she began her response:
Do I ever worry about that and does it ever hurt me because I think about the convention we're about to see. It could be the Twitter convention in which the first impression people get is from their Twitter feed, skipping us altogether because we'll be coming out, you know, in the middle of the night. ... We were there in the golden age of journalism.
She then hoped that some day she and her ilk will no longer be seen as "fake news":
So much has happened, and so much is lost, and I don't think it's just because I'm in it that I say that. (inaudible) someday people will come back to the notion that we weren't fake news and that buying a newspaper as a citizen was a good thing to do and that it matters. How you used to learn about things happening in the government really mattered.
After Isaacson asked about memorable convention speeches, Rather brought up Obama's 2004 speech -- when he was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Illinois -- that stood out in the veteran liberal journalist's memory:
One that stands out the most is Barack Obama, who had just been elected as a senator from Illinois, made a tremendous speech in 2004. And I interviewed him immediately after that speech, and, as most politicians, he drilled you in the eye. He had strong eye contact.
And in giving the speech and the way he handled himself in the wake of that speech, I did find myself saying there's a great future ahead for him. I can't say I thought he'd become President of the United States as quickly as he did, but for a speech who was not a candidate on the ticket, it was the most memorable, thoughtful, and tremendous speech. Every young, aspiring politician, whatever their party (inaudible) entered the national consciousness as a model of how to give a convention speech on television.
This episode of Amanpour & Co. was sponsored by the Anderson Family Fund and the Straus Family Foundation. You can fight back by letting advertisers know how you feel about them sponsoring such content.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, August 18, Amanpour & Co. on PBS and CNN International:
Amanpour and Co.
8/18/2020
WALTER ISAACSON: Margaret, do you worry that candidates can now just bypass the news media -- that what happens on TV and in newspapers doesn't really matter much?
MARGARET CARLSON, THE DAILY BEAST: Do I ever worry about that and does it ever hurt me because I think about the convention we're about to see. It could be the Twitter convention in which the first impression people get is from their Twitter feed, skipping us altogether because we'll be coming out, you know, in the middle of the night. You know, it's -- we were there -- we were there in the golden age of journalism.
So much has happened, and so much is lost, and I don't think it's just because I'm in it that I say that. (inaudible) someday people will come back to the notion that we weren't fake news and that buying a newspaper as a citizen was a good thing to do and that it matters. How you used to learn about things happening in the government really mattered.
ISAACSON: Some of the most memorable moments for me at conventions have been great speeches, whether it was, you know, Ted Kennedy's "A Dream Shall Never Die" at that 1980 convention we've been talking about, or Jesse Jackson taking the early morning bus. Margaret, what's most memorable for you in terms of great convention speeches?
[Margaret Carlson recalls George H.W. Bush's acceptance speech in 1988]
DAN RATHER, FORMER CBS NEWS ANCHOR: One that stands out the most is Barack Obama, who had just been elected as a senator from Illinois, made a tremendous speech in 2004. And I interviewed him immediately after that speech, and, as most politicians, he drilled you in the eye. He had strong eye contact.
And in giving the speech and the way he handled himself in the wake of that speech, I did find myself saying there's a great future ahead for him. I can't say I thought he'd become President of the United States as quickly as he did, but for a speech who was not a candidate on the ticket, it was the most memorable, thoughtful, and tremendous speech. Every young, aspiring politician, whatever their party (inaudible) entered the national consciousness as a model of how to give a convention speech on television.
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At MRC's NewsBusters, we cut through the hypocrisy and expose the media's bias, bringing the truth to the American people'--but without you, our efforts can only go so far.
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VIDEO-Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War - Official 'Know Your History' Teaser Trailer - YouTube
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 12:21
VIDEO-Liss on Twitter: "Australia has turned into a big pile of shit. I used to be so proud to be Australian ðŸ' https://t.co/vUeCgIBkvo" / Twitter
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 12:06
Liss : Australia has turned into a big pile of shit. I used to be so proud to be Australian ðŸ' https://t.co/vUeCgIBkvo
Thu Aug 20 12:10:39 +0000 2020
Curiosity : @truth_seeker_85 Australia has become North Korea.
Sun Aug 23 07:15:24 +0000 2020
''¨ : @truth_seeker_85 created by motorola? i think i'm ok knowing the likelihood of this lasting https://t.co/u9Pchr7Ppb
Sun Aug 23 06:41:53 +0000 2020
Adey May : @truth_seeker_85 This is also based on the Chinese surveillance models.
Sun Aug 23 01:09:47 +0000 2020
Adey May : @truth_seeker_85 Say hello New World Order. Say he;lo agenda 21. Say hello agenda 30. Australia seems to be a guin'... https://t.co/OX8tmUODuO
Sun Aug 23 01:07:36 +0000 2020
Adey May : @truth_seeker_85 https://t.co/KTlqtqdgfQ
Sun Aug 23 01:06:22 +0000 2020
Blinded by the Truth : @truth_seeker_85 Australia's Victoria has now become Ground Zero for expediting a transnational corporatist "New No'... https://t.co/wIyUoWZNN2
Sun Aug 23 00:19:47 +0000 2020
Dr Mum PhD : @truth_seeker_85 Fake news.
Sat Aug 22 22:11:16 +0000 2020
Sumum : @truth_seeker_85 NZ welcomes Australians..come live in NZ :)
Sat Aug 22 21:43:37 +0000 2020
John Hamilton : @truth_seeker_85 I thought we were bad here in Canada. You guys take it to another level.
Sat Aug 22 20:29:15 +0000 2020
proud boomer : @truth_seeker_85 Omg
Sat Aug 22 19:54:03 +0000 2020
Jeff Green : @truth_seeker_85 So sorry Lisa. Great memories of AUS!
Sat Aug 22 19:04:44 +0000 2020
NRV : @truth_seeker_85 Of course the "expert" is not too worried.ðŸ
Sat Aug 22 18:41:43 +0000 2020
NilusofSinai : @truth_seeker_85 Correct. Probably the most compliant, subservient western country. Gave up their guns willingly a'... https://t.co/LGOFTjjvqL
Sat Aug 22 14:28:45 +0000 2020
Porkchop : @truth_seeker_85 @caitoz I'm tagging you because you said you are collecting information, so I thought I could hel'... https://t.co/uq77Y4RPrd
Sat Aug 22 14:01:08 +0000 2020
Card bet : @truth_seeker_85 Why do we accept this kind of shit?
Sat Aug 22 13:52:27 +0000 2020
Don Felipe : @truth_seeker_85 So china 🇨ðŸ‡" has installed their CCTV tech into Australia ðŸ‡...🇺ðŸ'
Sat Aug 22 12:08:32 +0000 2020
Jo rac : @truth_seeker_85 And from what I hear my home country of Canada has been just as bad ..
Sat Aug 22 11:27:43 +0000 2020
Azam : @truth_seeker_85 Laughs in Kim Jong-un https://t.co/4fnb1suIvl
Sat Aug 22 11:14:22 +0000 2020
PelmazQ+ : @truth_seeker_85 THE ANGLOSAXON MISSION (BILL RYAN)
Sat Aug 22 08:07:41 +0000 2020
Chris Garritano : @truth_seeker_85 China
Sat Aug 22 06:16:34 +0000 2020
B : @truth_seeker_85 She see his package? Bit rude
Sat Aug 22 05:53:21 +0000 2020
Sara : @truth_seeker_85 It seems like a lot of expensive and pervasive equipment for something that isn't going to last fo'... https://t.co/1Wql22n6FX
Sat Aug 22 05:12:39 +0000 2020
ericorddaear : @truth_seeker_85 The problem is this tech will empower people who have no respect for human rights. Karen at your w'... https://t.co/VMORNcYI2Q
Sat Aug 22 03:46:06 +0000 2020
VKRZ : @truth_seeker_85 Travel agent in 2021 :'' Visit Australia ! the sister country of China ''
Sat Aug 22 03:44:30 +0000 2020
Paul Davies : @truth_seeker_85 This is getting insanely ridiculous. I. Red to start protesting out loud... see if anyone joins me'... https://t.co/UgHT7KcDd7
Sat Aug 22 03:37:22 +0000 2020
B : @truth_seeker_85 It's a scam. They renamed the flu Covid-19. For what? Profits, tyranny, control, greed. Every sing'... https://t.co/R9juNp3mhq
Sat Aug 22 01:52:43 +0000 2020
ÏριανÏάφυÎ>>Î>>Î : @truth_seeker_85 Sad really. Don't eat any poultry in Australia for a while OK?
Sat Aug 22 01:18:23 +0000 2020
Tracy : @truth_seeker_85 Are you kidding me?
Sat Aug 22 01:08:47 +0000 2020
kits : @truth_seeker_85 Scary https://t.co/TkBtgJQiZK
Sat Aug 22 00:29:39 +0000 2020
Amanda Schmitt : @truth_seeker_85 LOL. Let them try arresting every Australian in one day!
Sat Aug 22 00:27:38 +0000 2020
kits : @truth_seeker_85 Sorry ðŸ' ''If We Lose Freedom Here, There Is No Place To Escape To. This Is The Last Stand On Earth'... https://t.co/EXULPizy76
Sat Aug 22 00:20:13 +0000 2020
John Cocktoston : @truth_seeker_85 That's been my number one place to see before I died. It breaks my heart to hear what is being done there.
Fri Aug 21 23:38:32 +0000 2020
Patricia Anne Cook : @truth_seeker_85 How awful! Come on Australia! STAND UP to this TYRANNY! You are not a communist country!
Fri Aug 21 23:36:16 +0000 2020
Maureen : @truth_seeker_85 There is an old saying in Australia that relates to early economic growth in agriculture 'we rode'... https://t.co/Q7FsWIQ60H
Fri Aug 21 23:35:24 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Tennessee mom says parents asked to sign 'ridiculous' waiver they will not eavesdrop on kids' online lessons | Fox News
Sun, 23 Aug 2020 00:53
A Tennessee school district is under fire for asking parents to sign a form agreeing not to eavesdrop on kids' virtual classes over concerns they could overhear confidential information.
After significant pushback, Rutherford County Schools is allowing parents to tune in with permission from the teacher but they can't record the classes.
TRUMP DESIGNATES TEACHERS ESSENTIAL WORKERS IN PUSH TO REOPEN SCHOOLS
"It's ridiculous. It's so hypocritical because they've been data mining our children for years, compliments of common core," Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, said on "Fox & Friends Weekend" Saturday.
"What are they trying to hide? What is the problem? Why won't they let us sit in?" the homeschool mom of five asked.
"Obviously, because they are teaching our children propaganda that they should not be teaching," she said. "They are trying to socialize our children."
She added: "We have had a major problem in education, not just here in Tennessee, but across the country where they are indoctrinating our children with propaganda."
TWITTER CEO DONATES $10M TO 'ANTI-RACIST' PROFESSOR WHO SEEKS CENSORSHIP OF POLITICIANS' 'IDEAS'
Cardoza-Moore questioned why the school would encourage parents to snitch on one another and what would happen if a parent violates the waiver.
"Does that mean somebody from the school district is going to knock on my door and pull my kid out of my home, his virtual classroom?" she asked. "Or is it going to be my tax dollars that fund my child's public education, my child won't get to participate in education because of it?"
The school district responded in a statement to Fox News.
"We are aware of the concern that has been raised about this distance-learning letter that was sent to parents," James Evans, communications director for Rutherford County Schools, said.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Evans added: "We have issued new guidance to principles that parents can assist their children during virtual group lessons with permission of the instructor but should refrain from sharing or recordings any information about other students in the classroom."
Cardoza-Moore said this is because teachers are pushing "social justice" instead of reading, writing and math, and they don't want to be held accountable to the parents.
VIDEO-Former Princeton Prof: Democrats Are Using Black People, Destroying Nation
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 19:37
Former Princeton professor Carol Swain had some scathing words for the newly empowered Black Lives Matter movement and the Democratic Party that has fully embraced the far-left crusade.
Appearing on Fox News' ''Life, Liberty & Levin,'' Swain, an African-American who has taught at both Princeton and Vanderbilt, described the Black Lives Matter movement as ''part of the cultural Marxist agenda against America.''
According to Swain, Democrats ''are using black people to advance a radical agenda that will be destructive to our nation, that will hurt all of us. And it's hurting us right now.''
In other words, Black Lives Matter is not a civil rights organization '-- it's a political organization.
The co-founder of the movement acknowledged this during an appearance on CNN where she proclaimed that the goal of BLM was to ''get Trump out.''
TRENDING: Democratic Senator Caught Making Vulgar Outburst During Live Hearing
Swain explained that BLM and the left believe that advancing a narrative of ''systemic racism'' will help them achieve that goal. She contended that this ''false narrative'' is being pushed this year because of the election.
''I am an American success story,'' she said in explaining why she rejects the presence of ''systemic racism'' against African-Americans in the United States.
After growing up in poverty, dropping out of school in the eighth grade and having three small children by the age of 20, Swain attended community college, eventually becoming a successful university professor who earned early tenure at Princeton.
Swain informed the audience that she had won ''national prizes'' and had been ''cited by the U.S. Supreme Court'' before proudly declaring, ''I love America.''
Do you support the Black Lives Matter movement?
0% (17 Votes)
100% (3709 Votes)
It is a love for America that causes Swain to be especially horrified by the rhetoric and objectives of the Black Lives Matter movement.
''It's clear that this movement to tear down monuments is really to divide the country,'' she said on Fox News. ''So we're all suffering as a result of this political agenda. It will not bring us closer together.''
Sadly, many in corporate America do not see Black Lives Matter for what it is. Instead, they have bent over backward to appease the left-wing group.
Executives from all 30 MLB teams have held up signs reading ''Black Lives Matter. United for Change.'' The New York Mets general manager recycled the talking points about ''systemic racism'' in a Zoom call.
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Amid a backlash over reports that Starbucks banned employees from wearing Black Lives Matter apparel '-- as part of its prohibition on political, religious or personal accessories or clothing '-- the coffee company bowed to the mob and announced that it would ''not only allow such gear, it would also buy it for workers.''
Unfortunately, it's not just corporate America and the far left that have favorable opinions of Black Lives Matter. A poll from the Pew Research Center, released in June, found that 67 percent of Americans support the movement.
A Pew poll taken four years prior to the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, which caused a resurgence of BLM, found that just 43 percent of Americans supported the movement.
Unfortunately, all of these developments signify that the Democrats' push to use the death of Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement to win the 2020 election might be working.
Should the far left obtain power in America, they will quickly work to advance the ''radical agenda'' Swain warned about, which includes ''defunding the police,'' an action already underway in some of America's largest liberal enclaves.
Hopefully, by the time the election rolls around, more Americans will subscribe to Swain's point of view that America is the land of opportunity.
Considering the fact that the establishment media, the left, academia and corporate America have all lined up on the other side of the debate, it's not going to be easy.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.
VIDEO-France and Germany offer immediate help to Putin's prominent critic Alexei Navalny | World News - YouTube
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 19:11
VIDEO-Putin enemy Navalny fighting for life after 'drinking poisoned tea' - YouTube
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 19:04
VIDEO-Navalny airlifted to Berlin after suspected poisoning in Russia | DW News - YouTube
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 19:03
VIDEO-Brexit: UK-EU trade talks are going backward and time is running out - CNN
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 18:36
By Vasco Cotovio and Luke McGee, CNN Business
Updated 8:52 AM EDT, Fri August 21, 2020
London(CNN Business) The latest round of trade talks between Britain and the European Union has concluded without a breakthrough, leaving negotiators just two months to reach a deal and avoid further damage to businesses that have already been slammed by the coronavirus recession.
British and EU officials said Friday that little progress was made in negotiations to set new terms of trade before transitional Brexit arrangements expire at the end of 2020. Michel Barnier, lead negotiator for the European Union, said that discussions had even shifted into reverse on key issues including commercial fishing rights.
"At this stage, an agreement between the UK and the European Union seems unlikely," Barnier told reporters in Brussels. "I simply do not understand why we are wasting valuable time. The clock is ticking."
Chief UK negotiator David Frost said an agreement was "still possible," but he cautioned that it "it will not be easy to achieve."
"Substantive work continues to be necessary across a range of different areas of potential UK-EU future cooperation if we are to deliver it," Frost said in a statement. "We have had useful discussions this week but there has been little progress."
The United Kingdom left the European Union in January, but the terms of trade with its single biggest export market have remained unchanged during a transitional period that will expire at the end of 2020. If negotiators fail to hammer out a new deal, UK companies will face higher trading costs at a time when many have been slammed by a historic recession.
UK economic output shrank by a record 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, pushing the country into the deepest recession of any major global economy. About 730,000 jobs have been shed since the coronavirus pandemic shuttered British businesses in March.
The UK government has also failed so far to replicate dozens of EU trade deals with third countries, let alone strike a new one with the United States, meaning British companies could face barriers to doing business in most of the foreign markets they serve.
EU officials say a deal with the United Kingdom must be reached by the middle of October to ensure ratification by the bloc's 27 members. On Friday, the two sides agreed to remain in contact over the next two weeks before the next round of negotiations in London in the week of September 7.
Frost said that fisheries policies and rules on government aid to companies were among the key sticking points.
"There are other significant areas which remain to be resolved and, even where there is a broad understanding between negotiators, there is a lot of detail to work through. Time is short for both sides," he said.
VIDEO-WHO warns a coronavirus vaccine alone will not end pandemic
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 18:19
Published Fri, Aug 21 2020 11:53 AM EDT
Updated Fri, Aug 21 2020 3:17 PM EDT
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World leaders and the public must learn to manage the virus and make permanent adjustments to their daily lives to bring the virus down to low levels, the WHO said.Throughout history, outbreaks and pandemics have changed economies and societies, the agency said. The World Health Organization said Friday that a vaccine will be a "vital tool" in the global fight against the coronavirus, but it won't end the Covid-19 pandemic on its own and there's no guarantee scientists will find one.
World leaders and the public must learn to manage the virus and make permanent adjustments to their daily lives to bring the virus down to low levels, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news conference from the agency's Geneva headquarters. "At the same time, we will not, we cannot go back to the way things were."
Throughout history, outbreaks and pandemics have changed economies and societies, he said.
"In particular, the Covid-19 pandemic has given new impetus to the need to accelerate efforts to respond to climate change," he said. "The Covid-19 pandemic has given us a glimpse of our world as it could be: cleaner skies and rivers."
The virus has infected more than 22.7 million people worldwide and killed at least 794,100 in more than seven months, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 30 potential vaccines currently in clinical trials, according to the WHO, but there is no guarantee they will be safe and effective, he said.
Even though human trials for potential vaccines are progressing, scientists say key questions remain. Covid-19 was discovered in December. While numerous research papers and studies have been produced on the virus, scientists still don't fully understand how it affects the body or how well someone is protected from reinfection after recovering.
Earlier this month, Tedros said there was no "silver bullet" to the coronavirus and "there might never be."
He said world leaders can stop new outbreaks by practicing the "basics" of public health and disease control. "Testing, isolating and treating patients and tracing and quarantining their contacts. Do it all. Inform, empower and listen to communities. Do it all," he said Aug. 3.
Tedros said Friday that "every single person" can make a difference in the pandemic.
"Every person and family has a responsibility to know the level of Covid-19 transmission locally and to understand what they can do to protect themselves and others," he said.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO's emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said it's "very important" for the public to learn "how to live with this virus."
That will help "continue to suppress transmission, identify cases and clusters that pop up so we can quickly put those out and minimize as many deaths as possible," she said. "In doing so, some countries may need to implement some measures again."
Van Kerkhove said some countries, using data, are now choosing to implement social distancing measures in areas where there is a high level of transmission.
"What we are seeing now is a targeted approach to adding interventions that need to be put in place to get outbreaks under control and reduce the number of infections that are happening," she said.
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VIDEO - User Clip: Sen Carper F | C-SPAN.org
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 13:39
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VIDEO -16m58-Kamalas Father- The Market Surges, The System Crumbles: Prof. Richard Wolff on The Vulgarity Of Today's Capitalism - YouTube
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 13:10
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VIDEO - PAINFUL: Race Activist Lebron James Asked About Malcolm X Book He's Reading - Gives the Response You'd Expect (Video)
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 13:02
Lebron James is the latest professional athlete to trash the US, its history and its national anthem.
Lebron and his fellow NBA multi-millionaires continue to kneel for the anthem of the country that gave them the opportunity to play basketball for a living.
And recently Lebron told reporters he's reading ''The Autobiography of Malcolm X.''
Unfortunately, when he was asked a simple question about the story, Lebron gave new meaning to the phrase 'dumb jock.'
TRENDING: SHOCK VIDEO: "Mom! Call 911!" - Biden Supporters Attack 7-Year-Old Boy Outside DNC Convention For Wearing Red MAGA Hat
This was painful.
Lebron is reading 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X' '' I asked him for his biggest takeaway from the book. pic.twitter.com/s2OzUww3XD
'-- Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) August 21, 2020
Hahah!
''What's your biggest takeaway from The Autobiography of Malcolm X?''
LeBron: pic.twitter.com/1c6DL5amuC
'-- Ronald Isley (@yoyotrav) August 21, 2020
Ouch.
Why is he always only a couple pages into any book he reads
LeBron loves reading the first page of books pic.twitter.com/fhy07GyzrH
'-- Sean H (@hudd07) August 21, 2020
VIDEO-Austin Public Health moves away from COVID hospital admissions as key indicator for risk stages
Sat, 22 Aug 2020 00:01
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AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden said it is not time for Travis County to let its guard down. The health agency has seen a decline in daily COVID-19 hospital admissions and new cases but still considers the county in stage 4 risk guidance.
Wednesday's 7-day moving average for hospital admissions was 29, well below stage 4's risk-based guidelines of 40 or higher. Looking at the chart the Austin Travis County area should be in yellow, stage 3. Stage 3 allows for non-essential travel and gives the green light to shop and dine.
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The pandemic has drastically impacted businesses shutting doors and making it difficult for small businesses to operate at limited capacity. Director of the Texas Small Business Association, Annie Spillman said the organization is working on legislation to help provide economic relief for small businesses.
Members have reported low sales and are struggling to maintain staffing. Spillman said if local governments and health officials see an improvement in the public's behaviors and the numbers reflect it, businesses should have been able to open at full capacity.
RELATED: Austin Public Health: High COVID-19 case counts due to backlog
''Whether or not they are making a profit at this time, all they are asking the government is to open their doors and keep them open for business,'' Spillman said. ''You can trust that small business owners especially, will follow and have shown that they've followed health and safety guidelines.''
New case data has not been up to date. Austin Public Health's Chief Epidemiologist Janet Pichette said the state has experienced a backlog in cases caused by a data glitch to Texas's electronic system. On August 13th, APH received 2,200 new cases they are still working to process, some from as far back as April.
RELATED: FEMA awards $1.8M grant to Texas DPS for COVID-19 response
''We are going to be doing some data queries probably over this week to try to determine what this impact is in our total number,'' said Pichette.
Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said his office is working on moving away from hospital admissions as their key indicator for the stages of risk-based guidelines and instead may look at the positivity rate and new cases for thresholds.
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''We are still considering ourselves at stage 4 and we want to keep it that way until we can get below 5% in terms of positivity across the board,'' said Dr. Escott. ''Certainly we want to be more protective in our advice as we approach September 8th in the expected return of some students to school.''
Dr. Escott said the county met a new milestone this week reaching 337 Covid-19 deaths making COVID-19 tied for 4th in the leading cause of death in Travis County.
CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST INFO ON THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.
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Fri, 21 Aug 2020 11:24
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VIDEO-Build back better 🏗¸ - YouTube
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VIDEO-Townhall.com on Twitter: "Julia Louis-Dreyfus refers to Vice President Mike Pence as "Vice President Poonce." "Poonce" appears to be Australian slang for a male homosexual. https://t.co/vkaB8JlWps" / Twitter
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 02:23
Townhall.com : Julia Louis-Dreyfus refers to Vice President Mike Pence as "Vice President Poonce.""Poonce" appears to be Austral'... https://t.co/sK3obotAKG
Fri Aug 21 01:45:58 +0000 2020
Miles Nored : @townhallcom Lol! Then don't invite her to your next cross burning. Get over yourselves, snowflakes.
Fri Aug 21 02:23:22 +0000 2020
CandyB : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich The party of live and tolerance - not.
Fri Aug 21 02:23:14 +0000 2020
Cathy A. Salazar : @townhallcom https://t.co/62tDdL5uNO
Fri Aug 21 02:23:12 +0000 2020
Jennifer Howe : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich Cringy
Fri Aug 21 02:23:01 +0000 2020
Saduj Toiracsi : @townhallcom @Mastermind7864 Poonce: The smell of ones butt crack sweat.I believe Australian slang for a male homosexual is poof!
Fri Aug 21 02:22:54 +0000 2020
Real John Smith : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich Wow
Fri Aug 21 02:22:51 +0000 2020
PA2FL2NC : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich Cheap
Fri Aug 21 02:22:35 +0000 2020
Magic8Ball : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich She's always been a vulgarian.
Fri Aug 21 02:22:01 +0000 2020
Eric Winer : @townhallcom #YentzPence
Fri Aug 21 02:21:59 +0000 2020
Manute Bowl58 : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich What a coont
Fri Aug 21 02:21:54 +0000 2020
((('°2¸'ƒ£Re-''‚🍑))) : @townhallcom Not a man, not a mouse ... but something in between. 🐁(F*** VP #Poonce) https://t.co/fuXKeTy19L
Fri Aug 21 02:21:32 +0000 2020
CAT - '¸ ðŸ'šðŸ•ŠðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ : @townhallcom Love ðŸ'• Julia!! https://t.co/nkURzeixU6
Fri Aug 21 02:21:28 +0000 2020
Rebecca Rodriguez : @townhallcom Ugh, please bring back @VeepHBO. Maybe an prequel/origin story series or something.
Fri Aug 21 02:21:00 +0000 2020
Carlos Delecto : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich She should have done the Elaine dance, it might have helped.
Fri Aug 21 02:20:58 +0000 2020
andy huber : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich so it's sexist to mispronounce kamala if you are a man, but it's totally fine when it's the other way around?
Fri Aug 21 02:20:45 +0000 2020
sdfsdfscoioo : @townhallcom Australian here. a) She didn't pronounce it like the insult. The insult is pronounced like the "o" in'... https://t.co/LX9ONfUFfQ
Fri Aug 21 02:20:37 +0000 2020
SheDoesn'tDoFake : @townhallcom @jeffonli Oh Hahahaha
Fri Aug 21 02:20:30 +0000 2020
mike : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich Elaine is there to feed Biden his navy beans.
Fri Aug 21 02:20:13 +0000 2020
Allen : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich I will never understand why people believe the opinion of a Hollywood actor who makes a'... https://t.co/fmNx7RsNf5
Fri Aug 21 02:20:05 +0000 2020
Sharon Olivari ðŸ'🇺🇸ðŸ' : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich Idiot
Fri Aug 21 02:19:49 +0000 2020
Frank Willett : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich https://t.co/uzMPUCiGMt
Fri Aug 21 02:19:40 +0000 2020
Kade : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich This is so weird!! What's wrong with them???Not funny!! Not even close!ðŸ¬ðŸðŸ'
Fri Aug 21 02:19:39 +0000 2020
George Heslin : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich The dingo ate her brain!
Fri Aug 21 02:19:30 +0000 2020
Peter Turano : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich They always take the high road.
Fri Aug 21 02:19:12 +0000 2020
TRON : @townhallcom 'š°¸'š°¸'š°¸ https://t.co/iBdAp2Lgww
Fri Aug 21 02:19:09 +0000 2020
Gary Logsdon : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich Is she legal in this country
Fri Aug 21 02:19:03 +0000 2020
The 2020 Hoax : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich If I'm not mistaken her father was a billionaire.. another person where nothing applies'... https://t.co/qXF8LfK3e2
Fri Aug 21 02:18:59 +0000 2020
grey skye : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich FUCKING PATHETIC
Fri Aug 21 02:18:58 +0000 2020
James Palmer : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich Why me
Fri Aug 21 02:18:45 +0000 2020
CatMurph 🇺🇸 : @townhallcom @KatiePavlich Ew.
Fri Aug 21 02:18:39 +0000 2020
Tricia Nixx I Resist 🌊 : @townhallcom Poonce!!!! https://t.co/AyM9b8VzMe
Fri Aug 21 02:18:35 +0000 2020
Mike Inindy : @townhallcom Yes it is! https://t.co/vJvkd5MxBO
Fri Aug 21 02:18:33 +0000 2020
Laura Hawk : @townhallcom Or it's an American word for mocking people that keep intentionally mispronouncing Kamala... Nice try'... https://t.co/MnCCRYqFmS
Fri Aug 21 02:18:30 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Bombshell Evidence that COVID is Chromosome 8 Human DNA - Faulty PCR Test - YouTube
Thu, 20 Aug 2020 20:35

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus refers to Vice President Mike Pence as Vice President Poonce.mp3
Marxian Economist Richard Wolff n Kamala's Father.mp3
Trump Counc Natl Policy - Super V.mp3
Trump Counc Natl Policy -2- Biden joke.mp3
Trump Counc Natl Policy -3- Iran deal in a month.mp3
Trump Counc Natl Policy -4- Statues solved.mp3
How Crazy Nancy Pelosi can become President in 2021.m4a
France and Germany offer immediate help to Putin's prominent critic Alexei Navalny.mp3
City of Austin resumes cleanups of underpasses that have become makeshift homeless camps.mp3
Old movie reeel of Books about government submission tactics.mp3
State Rep Vernon Jones is a Democrat who likes Trump with Black MSNBC host.mp3
AUSTIN LEADERS REACT AFTER TEXAS GOVERNOR PROPOSES LEGISLATION TO RETALIATE AGAINST CITIES THAT DEFUND POLICE.mp3
Ayanna Presley calls for unrest in the streets.mp3
UK-EU trade talks are going backward and time is running out.mp3
Build Back Better - Trudeau.mp3
Boris Johnson - Build Back Better.mp3
Biden 2008 comp.mp3
Biden quirk ending to speech ONE.mp3
Biden quirk ending to speech TWO.mp3
bleep bleep ISO.mp3
Colbert versus Warren.mp3
earth overshoot day F24.mp3
German experiment on live events.mp3
Ivory coast new hotspot.mp3
Loomer Dn.mp3
Mali update f24.mp3
Michael Moore on Warren Colbert.mp3
National Parks breaking records.mp3
rando really good speech comment.mp3
Republic invite odd speakers.mp3
Scott Adams curse fill Biden rant ONE.mp3
Scott Adams curse fill Biden rant TWO.mp3
Senat Intel Russia report DN.mp3
substance abuse 1.mp3
substance abuse 2 voice.mp3
substance abuse 3.mp3
substance abuse 4.mp3
susan b anthony pardoned DN.mp3
Teachers designated essential DN.mp3
Tucker anad the Mermaid.mp3
Amy exaggerates corona DN.mp3
Balless wonder voting for Biden.mp3
belarus update F24.mp3
Australian Surveillance Technology Update.mp3
Tennessee parents forced to sign waiver stating they will not eavesdrop on their children's online lessons FOX NEWS.mp3
Austin Public Health moves away from COVID hospital admissions as key indicator for risk stages.mp3
Amanpour & Co - Daily Beast columnist Margaret Carlson pm twitter vs journalism.mp3
CIA’s Brennan will never be indicted the fix is in.mp3
Former Cabinet Member Bill McGinley on the USPS REFORMS.mp3
Dejoy hearing USPS Sen Carper dropping 3 f-bombs.mp3
Bill Gates - Economist -1- Why has USA done so badly FREEDOM.mp3
Bill Gates - Economist -2- Conspiracy theories and the damage they do.mp3
Bill Gates - Economist -3- Climate change setup.mp3
Kamala says pandemic is the result of structural racism.mp3
Tedros warns coronavirus vaccine alone won't end pandemic CLIMATE CHANGE.mp3
05. Mayo Clinic Discovers African-Americans Respond Better to Rubella Vaccine 1.mp3
  • 0:00
    this is my show i ask the question just
  • 0:02
    to do what i say
  • 0:04
    adam curry john c devorah it's sunday
  • 0:06
    august 23rd
  • 0:07
    2020. this is your award-winning kimbo
  • 0:09
    nation media assassination episode 1271
  • 0:12
    this
  • 0:13
    is no agenda duped again
  • 0:16
    and broadcasting live from opportunity
  • 0:18
    zone 33 here in the frontier of austin
  • 0:21
    texas capital of the drone star
  • 0:22
    state good morning everybody i'm adam
  • 0:25
    curry
  • 0:26
    and from northern silicon valley where
  • 0:28
    we're all trying to catch our breath
  • 0:30
    over the joe biden speech i'm john cena
  • 0:33
    vorak
  • 0:37
    yeah i can't wait to talk about good old
  • 0:39
    joe
  • 0:41
    but more importantly how's the fire
  • 0:44
    there's no fire around here i know
  • 0:46
    fire's everywhere apparently
  • 0:47
    what's the the in your you don't have
  • 0:50
    any local uh
  • 0:51
    info any updates i mean is it moving is
  • 0:54
    it moving towards you is it moving away
  • 0:56
    is it not important to move it toward me
  • 0:59
    i'm on the bay
  • 1:00
    has it has it consumed scott adams home
  • 1:02
    yet i heard he was really
  • 1:04
    not yeah all right okay do you need a
  • 1:07
    rain stick does somebody need a rain
  • 1:09
    stick over there
  • 1:11
    i mean it's no because what happens with
  • 1:13
    the rain stick and i think this is the
  • 1:14
    reason these all started is because of
  • 1:16
    your rain stick what
  • 1:18
    it triggered this yeah it brought in
  • 1:21
    rain
  • 1:21
    but it also brought in all those 2500
  • 1:24
    lightning strikes
  • 1:27
    what do you mean that's my light i
  • 1:29
    didn't do that with the rain stick i i
  • 1:31
    i did some stuff for colorado well it's
  • 1:34
    it's just
  • 1:35
    it goes over everywhere that's very
  • 1:37
    uncomfortable you don't know what the
  • 1:38
    result is
  • 1:39
    it's dangerous to do it that's okay but
  • 1:41
    it's very unprofessional to blame a
  • 1:42
    fellow rain sticker
  • 1:44
    for something like that you know back it
  • 1:46
    up man facts
  • 1:50
    pump the brakes yeah pump the brakes
  • 1:54
    hey we're getting screwed here in austin
  • 1:57
    screwed screwed screwed
  • 2:00
    and it will not stand screwed screws
  • 2:03
    richards
  • 2:04
    it's really screws three screws in a row
  • 2:06
    yeah we're getting screwed
  • 2:09
    okay the promise was okay shutting the
  • 2:12
    bars down again
  • 2:13
    restaurants still at half capacity uh
  • 2:16
    we'll do more curve flattening and once
  • 2:19
    we were
  • 2:19
    on a seven day average of below 44
  • 2:22
    hospital admissions
  • 2:24
    per week we could really had these rules
  • 2:26
    they were set in stone
  • 2:28
    so you can count on them yeah right we
  • 2:31
    cannot
  • 2:32
    let our guard down we cannot
  • 2:35
    make any changes from the behavior
  • 2:38
    that we've had austin public health has
  • 2:40
    seen a downward trend in both new
  • 2:42
    covenant 19 cases
  • 2:43
    and hospital admissions the hospital
  • 2:45
    emissions are
  • 2:47
    they're still going down but they're
  • 2:49
    certainly going down at a much slower
  • 2:51
    rate
  • 2:51
    than we saw in july wednesday's 7 day
  • 2:54
    moving average for hospital admissions
  • 2:57
    is 29 well below stage 4's risk-based
  • 3:00
    guidelines of 40 or higher
  • 3:03
    looking at the chart the austin travis
  • 3:05
    county area should be in yellow
  • 3:07
    stage 3 which would allow for
  • 3:09
    non-essential travel and give the green
  • 3:11
    light to shop and dine
  • 3:13
    the pandemic has drastically impacted
  • 3:15
    businesses
  • 3:16
    shutting doors and making it difficult
  • 3:18
    for small businesses to operate at
  • 3:20
    limited capacity
  • 3:21
    interim health authority dr mark scott
  • 3:24
    says his office is working on moving
  • 3:26
    away from hospital admissions
  • 3:27
    as their key indicator for the stages of
  • 3:30
    risk-based guidelines
  • 3:31
    and instead may look at the positivity
  • 3:33
    rate and new cases
  • 3:35
    as the new indicator to move thresholds
  • 3:38
    we're still
  • 3:39
    considering ourselves in stage four and
  • 3:42
    we wanted
  • 3:43
    to keep it that way until we can get
  • 3:45
    below 5
  • 3:47
    in terms of positivity across the board
  • 3:50
    and certainly
  • 3:50
    we want to be more protective in our
  • 3:52
    advice as we approach september 8th
  • 3:55
    and the expected return of some students
  • 3:57
    to school
  • 3:58
    oh so really it's just until september
  • 4:02
    8th
  • 4:03
    this is really this is really um
  • 4:06
    un-american
  • 4:11
    you know it's un-american about it well
  • 4:13
    the american way
  • 4:14
    is all right everybody let's get this
  • 4:17
    down
  • 4:17
    less than 44 seven day average come on
  • 4:20
    everybody shape up let's do it okay
  • 4:22
    we're all in we're going for the goal we
  • 4:24
    can do it we're a team we're murk on
  • 4:25
    number one
  • 4:26
    we do it and then it's nah well you know
  • 4:30
    we're going to change from
  • 4:31
    hospitalizations
  • 4:32
    to positive test rate are you kidding me
  • 4:39
    so it's the austin city council man
  • 4:42
    you're very disappointed
  • 4:44
    very disappointed the mayor the city
  • 4:47
    council on that shill you heard that
  • 4:49
    the temporary health expert that they've
  • 4:52
    hired some consultant a-hole
  • 4:54
    it's all it's all that it's all the
  • 4:56
    pharma guys and they're all too afraid
  • 4:58
    to say no
  • 4:59
    are you clipping your pen it's really
  • 5:02
    it's really loud you know it's so
  • 5:05
    you know that's it's funny you always
  • 5:07
    say that i i click it when i'm listening
  • 5:08
    to you sometimes just like
  • 5:10
    out of habit because i have the pen in
  • 5:11
    my hand because i was writing with it
  • 5:13
    and so i got the pen in my hand i'm
  • 5:14
    clicking clicking
  • 5:15
    it is a mile away from the microphone
  • 5:18
    yeah but it's in the zone of the
  • 5:21
    microphone
  • 5:22
    what are you using i have my precise v7
  • 5:25
    rt
  • 5:25
    from uh pilot that's your
  • 5:29
    that's your microphone no that's my pen
  • 5:31
    this one
  • 5:34
    yes everybody i'm using a brand new
  • 5:36
    podcaster mic
  • 5:37
    which i'm crowdfunding it's the precise
  • 5:39
    vt v7rt
  • 5:41
    you're gonna love it from pilot
  • 5:44
    well it's a pin i got from the commerce
  • 5:47
    with the z
  • 5:47
    bank brazil when you're
  • 5:50
    moving some cash down there the commerce
  • 5:54
    ebay
  • 5:54
    ah mr dvorak here you go so
  • 5:57
    this is very disappointing yes it's also
  • 6:01
    not it's just not okay so they will have
  • 6:03
    to they will have to account they shall
  • 6:05
    repent for this one way or the other
  • 6:07
    but we're moving into this phase which i
  • 6:10
    am not even sure we're gonna have
  • 6:12
    schools open at all
  • 6:15
    uh the vaccine phase is coming hard and
  • 6:17
    heavy now
  • 6:19
    hard and heavy and by the way the
  • 6:21
    vaccine might not even arrive
  • 6:23
    who knows and we always already know it
  • 6:26
    doesn't work
  • 6:28
    oh we have uh trump now gaslighting the
  • 6:30
    industry by tweeting
  • 6:32
    the deep state or whoever over at the
  • 6:35
    fda
  • 6:36
    is making it very difficult for drug
  • 6:38
    companies to get people
  • 6:39
    in order to test the vaccines and
  • 6:42
    therapeutics
  • 6:43
    obviously they're hoping to delay the
  • 6:45
    answer until after november third
  • 6:48
    this is very interesting so they are
  • 6:50
    having what you're talking about they
  • 6:52
    are hard to get people all you have to
  • 6:53
    do is keep up in the end you want a
  • 6:54
    hundred bucks you want 200 bucks you
  • 6:56
    want 300 bucks you want 400 bucks
  • 6:58
    they got tons of money this is a good
  • 7:00
    question
  • 7:01
    why exactly does he say that and i have
  • 7:04
    a feeling that they have a very strong
  • 7:07
    um push actually it was kamala harris
  • 7:11
    who kind of
  • 7:12
    brought that back to my attention on
  • 7:15
    um here this is what kamala said
  • 7:19
    and while this virus touches us all
  • 7:23
    we gotta be honest it is not an equal
  • 7:26
    opportunity
  • 7:27
    offender black latino and indigenous
  • 7:30
    people are suffering and dying
  • 7:32
    disproportionately
  • 7:34
    and this is not a coincidence it is the
  • 7:36
    effect
  • 7:37
    of structural racism of course
  • 7:41
    of course the virus is racist but what's
  • 7:43
    happening
  • 7:45
    is they are trying to find uh
  • 7:48
    two groups native americans and african
  • 7:50
    americans or what they call the black
  • 7:52
    community
  • 7:53
    uh what we would say ados to
  • 7:57
    be the first in line to take the vaccine
  • 8:00
    and this is apparently because
  • 8:04
    surprise surprise
  • 8:07
    african-americans have different
  • 8:09
    responses to vaccines
  • 8:11
    we know they have according to what
  • 8:13
    they're saying a much higher case rate
  • 8:16
    and oh my goodness it's all
  • 8:17
    it's racist where the virus is racist or
  • 8:20
    our health care system is racist all
  • 8:21
    racism
  • 8:22
    so they're trying to get black americans
  • 8:25
    and native americans to be in the first
  • 8:28
    trial
  • 8:29
    they're not so um
  • 8:33
    not so enthusiastic i had a chat with mo
  • 8:36
    yesterday it's like are you kid do you
  • 8:38
    know
  • 8:40
    we remember tuskegee airmen we remember
  • 8:43
    all the times that black people in
  • 8:46
    america have been experimented on
  • 8:48
    and really and not you know very
  • 8:49
    conspiratorial in that regard
  • 8:52
    it's it's rampant amongst the black
  • 8:54
    community
  • 8:55
    and then he said something else that
  • 8:57
    really kind of blew me away
  • 8:59
    and he said they're going so hard for
  • 9:01
    the vaccines what are the two things
  • 9:03
    that are that we're having trouble
  • 9:05
    reopening that just remain shut
  • 9:08
    one is schools which is
  • 9:11
    great for black and brown parents
  • 9:13
    because they're poor
  • 9:14
    and you know they're only going to open