Cover for No Agenda Show 1300: Electrical College
December 3rd, 2020 • 3h 39m

1300: Electrical College


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

Let Us Out!
COVER-UP: Quiet Disclosure By CDC '' COVID19 Has No Effect on Deaths in U.S. | RIELPOLITIK
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:35
Source ''
'''...A November 27th study published from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has been retracted after publication. The title? '' Johns Hopkins Study Saying COVID-19 Has 'Relatively No Effect on Deaths' in U.S. Deleted After PublicationDISCLOSURE: COVID19 Has No Effect on Deaths in U.S.By Rosanne Lindsay, ND
A November 27th study published from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has been retracted after publication.
The title?
Johns Hopkins Study Saying COVID-19 Has 'Relatively No Effect on Deaths' in U.S. Deleted After Publication
Why retract and bury an article that can be corroborated by other government-sanctioned sources? Could the consequences of COVID be bigger than those of a respiratory virus?
Quiet Disclosure By CDCThis JHU study concludes that total U.S. deaths are unchanged from previous years. This same conclusion had been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in October of 2020 (see links).
The CDC has quietly disclosed on its website:
''For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned.'...''
(· 9 months = +23,000/month). Source:
Despite contrary reports in the mainstream media, the CDC reported that COVID death counts declined by August 30th, 2020.
As of November, deaths related to COVID have further declined.
COVID19 Never IsolatedAlso, according to the CDC, there are no quantified isolates of COVID19 available. So, after businesses and schools have been locked down, economies destroyed, and people have lost their jobs, western science has yet to purify and isolate that causes COVID19!
My dear Watson, is this not a case of putting the cart before the horse?
The July 13, 2020 CDC document titled, ''CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel'' [For Emergency Use Only] section titled, ''Performance Characteristics,'' p. 39 reads:
Since no quantified virus isolates of the 2019-nCoV are currently available, assays [diagnostic tests] designed for detection of the 2019-nCoV RNA were tested with characterized stocks of in vitro transcribed full length RNA.
In plain words, the CDC has no measurable amount of the virus. They have a lab-manufactured (in-vitro) sequence of RNA. Therefore, wild Coronavirus does not exist. Further, the CDC has quit tracking influenza in 2020 so that cases can more easily be classified as COVID.
PCR Testing InvalidThe PCR test, itself, is not a valid test for viruses. Inventor of the PCR test, biochemist Kary Mullis, stated that the PCR test is inappropriate to test viral infections and cannot be used as a gold standard. In the book, ''PCR Protocols: A Guide to Methods and Applications,'' Dr. Mullis stated: ''If you have to go more than 40 cycles to amplify a single-copy gene, there is something seriously wrong with your PCR.''
At the same time, PCR antibody tests in the United States are being run above 35 cycles despite the fact that doing so can provide inaccurate results as much as 97% of the time (see Even Dr. Anthony Fauci said anything over 35 cycles was not accurate.
Scientists are doing an awful lot of damage to the world in the name of helping it. I don't mind attacking my own fraternity because I am ashamed of it. ''Kary Mullis, Inventor of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), deceased August 7, 2019.
Meanwhile, the CDC shows, statistically, that survival rates are high. If you have the virus between the ages of 0 to 70, you have a 99% survival rate. And if you're over 70, the survival rate is nearly 95%. For the total U.S. population, the average is 97.8%.
Logically, a positive antibody test indicates that antibodies have been produced by your cells, showing immunity. A positive test means you are immune to the virus tested. Bottom line? Your immune system is working as designed.
Two Wrongs Do Not Make a RightNo proof exists for Coronavirus.The PCR test method is not intended to be used for viruses or infectious disease.A COVID Pandemic does not exist. Survival rates for the US total population is 97.8%Where is the logic? If the CDC cannot produce a virus because it cannot isolate a virus, then it follows that the virus does not exist. If the virus does not exist, it cannot be tested using any test.
The COVID ResetStatements by globalist, Klaus Schwab, in his book and podcast on The Great Reset, disclose that coronavirus/COVID is being used to exploit a reset to a new world order. Schwab states openly COVID does not pose an existential threat. What does the founder of the World Economic Forum know about a virus? See him speak about a Cyber Pandemic here.
Klaus Schwab and his friends simulated a scripted pandemic event in Event 201 in October of 2019. (see Epilogue at 32:50 minute mark) with a planned second wave, worse than the first, that would affect all transactions, social, medical, political, banking and financial.
The new world order means to track you as a virus, but first you must be tested, then injected with the RNA lab-created sequence through an experimental vaccine that incorporates into your DNA. Using an electronic I.D. Passport, the new COV I.D. would separate the Haves from the Have Nots. Want to travel by air? See a show? Attend an Event? Maintain Employment? Receive a diploma? Shop for Clothing and groceries? Show us your COV I.D.
What about the inevitable adverse health effects, such as those (i.e, infertility) experienced from other experimental vaccines such as the HPV Gardasil Vaccine?
The World Doctors Alliance, an international group of doctors, has made their own disclosure about what COVID is and is not. See their letter stating the pandemic is over, and there is no need for lockdowns or restrictions when a seasonal flu is easily controlled using current treatments.
Knowing what you know now, how will you choose to live?
Rosanne Lindsay is a Naturopath, Herbalist, writer, and author of the books The Nature of Healing, Heal the Body, Heal the Planet and Free Your Voice, Heal Your Thyroid, Reverse Thyroid Disease Naturally. Find her on Facebook at Consult with her remotely at Listen to her archived podcasts at Subscribe to receive blog posts via email using the form at the bottom of this page.
COVID19 Has No Effect on Deaths in US | Nature of Healing
Rise Up NH! '' Citizens Advocating for Health Freedom and Democracy
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 16:04
Inquiring Minds Want to Know...
Have you felt that there is something ''not quite right'' about the pandemic proclamation?
Are you skeptical of the never-ending government measures that have curtailed free speech, freedom of association, health freedom, access to schools, houses of worship, gyms and other public places, destroyed over 1.5 million US businesses and thrown tens of millions out of work, and now want to force vaccines on everyone?
Have you been wondering what's really going on?'...
IS THERE REALLY A PANDEMIC?A 99.75% COVID survival rate (99.997% < 20 y.o.) is not a pandemic '' it's NOT A CRISIS!Northern states' death curves show the ''epidemic'' was over in June* '' it's NOT A CRISIS!The ''second wave'' was simply the virus moving thru Southern states '' it's NOT A CRISIS!70,000 new college cases but only 3 hospitalizations and zero deaths '' it's NOT A CRISIS!Colder weather brings an annual round of respiratory illness & death '' it's NOT A CRISIS!* Southern states' death curves show that while the disease continues at a reduced level, the epidemic-level event was pretty much over in August
ARE THE DEATH COUNTS WRONG?HAVE MORTALITY COUNTS HAVE BEEN EXAGGERATED? 94% of the people dying from COVID have an average of 2.6 comorbidities, meaning almost every person dying had at least 2, sometimes 3 other significant chronic health conditions. For many, such conditions likely would have resulted in their deaths within the year.It's sad, but most COVID deaths have come at the age of life expectancy. In NH, over 80% of COVID deaths have taken place in nursing homes.The CDC released novel guidance to hospitals at the beginning of the outbreak to count deaths even just suspected of having caused by COVID as being definitively caused by it, without the need for testing after the fact. They also offered perverse monetary incentives to the tune of $13,000 per COVID hospitalization and $39,000 per ventilator use.Prescription drugs and pollution may be the COVID ''smoking guns'' driving the impact of the virusPandemic measures and the suppression of treatments have caused many deaths (see charts below)WHY HAVE THEY STOPPED COUNTING FLU DEATHS? With the normal respiratory illness seasons upon us (Fall through Spring), and with the CDC now conflating COVID-19 with the flu (or not counting the latter at all), it is nigh impossible to understand what the current impacts from the second season with SARS-CoV-2 really are.Read Flu away: Scientists baffled at disappearance of influenza'... but is it really gone, or just masked by Covid-19?Hiding the context of deaths from other causes keeps the fear & lockdowns goingDOES COUNTING NEW CASES TELL US ANYTHING USEFUL? PCR tests can be measuring tiny amounts of dead virus, or even previous colds, based on the ''cycle threshold'' (number of doublings of sample RNA/DNA). Anything over 33 cycles is of practically no use at all. Most states use 37 or over, as much as 45 (like Maine does) , which yields NO USEFUL INFORMATION WHATSOEVER.PCR tests return up to 97% false positives and as much as 80% of people never get sickSee article, False Positive Covid Tests Will Extend Unjustified Lockdowns, Fauci Admits 'Miniscule' AccuracySee our Video section for some good information on PCR testsDO MASKS ACTUALLY WORK?Mask pore size cannot stop tiny virus particles '' cloth masks do virtually nothing at allMasks block O2, concentrate CO2 & multiply viruses and bacteria '' they can make you sick!Decades of guidance from the CDC, NIH, AMA, and WHO all said masks are not needed for healthy people in community settings'... Was it the science or the politics that changed?Click here for the seminal report on the effectiveness of masks (PDF), based on scientific studiesIS THERE A HIDDEN AGENDA?Quite likely, as only with a pandemic proclamation that induces mass panic can things like mass vaccinations, widespread contact tracing, forced business closures, draconian civil rights restrictions and a global economic reset (called The Great Reset by the World Economic Forum, an outgrowth of UN Agenda 21/Agenda 2030 aka ''UN Sustainable Development Goals'') possibly take place.It seems the WHO had the very same agenda with the Swine Flu fraud back on the aughts.For a brief introduction to the financial agenda, see our COVID is a COVER flyer.Watch Your Guide to the Great Reset, by James CorbettRead Dr. Joseph Mercola's in-depth article, Who Pressed the Great Reset Button?Visit No, you're not a crazy ''conspiracy theorist'' if you are questioning the mainstream narrative. Below is some of the all-important context that the mainstream media doesn't really talk about. (Click on any of the images below to enlarge) Bellow, one can observe two charts which secretly terrify our so-called leaders. Non-COVID, natural-cause deaths are: a) extraordinarily high; b) not co-varying with the rate of COVID-19; and c) growing. This is the real story, which is being ignored by our feckless media. (Click images to enlarge) (Source: The Ethical Skeptic, based on CDC/NCHS data)
And even by the CDC's own reckoning, all-cause mortality fell below the epidemic threshold in mid-September.
But, they are hiding the real data and extending the pandemic by combining COVID deaths with pneumonia and influenza '-- see FLU section below. (Source: The Ethical Skeptic, based on CDC/NCHS data)
Let's compare the overall survival rates'...
You mean, every age group has about the same survival rate with or without COVID?
Of course, protect the elderly'... but everyone else has to mask and stay in lockdown? (Source: CDC)
Hair on fire for a global 99.966% survival rate?
COVID deaths account for less than 10% of all US deaths.
But listening to the mainstream narrative you would think it was Ebola raging through the populace and that no deaths from other causes ever happened.
After months of the mainstream media and government pushing death counts at us non-stop, in late May, just as the northern states' death curve was bottoming out, the narrative suddenly switched to focusing almost solely on ''New cases!'' The problem is that this has salted the pandemic numbers, further distorting the perceived dangers of SARS-CoV-2 beyond the actual reality. Cases were rising for a variety of reasons (like faulty PCR tests), but such counts were not accompanied by a proportional rise in deaths. In addition to these distortions (listed in second chart below), for the first time in history, a ''case'' was no longer guaranteed to bear any relationship to real life observations'... you know, like actually having clinically diagnosed symptoms. Source: The Ethical Skeptic. (Click images to enlarge)
So, how are lockdowns doing for YOUR country?
Read, Stats Hold a Surprise: Lockdowns May Have Had Little Effect on COVID-19 Spread.
Lockdowns don't work. Even the WHO has now said so. Lockdowns mean more deaths in the future, economic misery (depression, drug and alcohol abuse, overdoses and deaths; poverty and even starvation in 3rd world countries), lack of access to health care (more deaths), social isolation (more deaths, especially for the elderly) and loss of social trust and cohesion.
Hey Sweden, how dare you not lock down or require masking, and have a death rate lower than 17 other countries that all imposed restrictions! You're ruining our narrative!
Lockdowns or just Seasonality?The experts would like you to believe that government interventions were responsible for curbing the virus. But the impact curve for these northern-climate countries tell a different story about how viruses make their way through populations. (source)
Sorry to say, folks, study after study say lockdowns don't work. Click image below to access the files. (Credit for gathering these resources: Ivor Cummins)
It seems even the WHO, way back in, um, 2019, thought that quarantining and contact tracing were not scientifically supported strategies (click image to enlarge):
Yes, we have an annual flu season in the north, so death rates would be expected to be rising right now.
The death curve for the US follows the annual flu season cycle, which is connected to the carbon cycle, i.e., the loss of carbon-capturing vegetation during fall and winter and related conditions that predispose the vulnerable to respiratory illnesses. This rise in deaths is called the ''winter burden.'' Many are finding it odd, then, that the flu seems to have all but disappeared and almost every death from respiratory disease is being blamed on COVID. Some argue that a more severe virus ''crowds out'' lesser ones, yet even if that were true, mainstream reporting does not offer the all-important context of the increase in mortality rates we would customarily see during the winter season, and of course they lied and warned us about a ''twindemic'' of flu and COVID. It's almost like they want everyone to be frightened beyond reason.
Pneumonia, Influenza, Covid-19/Lockdown (PIC) Fatalities '' '''...a scheme on the part of second tier government officials, including the US Centers for Disease Control, to conflate the upcoming 2020 influenza and pneumonia season as being one-in-the-same as the tail of the Covid-19 outbreak. By this mechanism, the dwindling 1.6% excess Covid deaths characteristic of the October 2020 timeframe, which did not classify as 'epidemic level' (5.7%), could be mixed equivocally with annual P&I deaths and were gain-boosted artificially back to the 7.0%+ range (CDC announced '7.2%' on October 16th, 2020). In this manner, oppressive lockdown mandates could remain in place because of the epistemic doubt as to whether or not Covid-19 was beyond its end of season. Moreover, economic slow-downs and shelter in place orders could be extended until April 2021, when the flu season naturally ends. This scheme was identified in the data released by the CDC, by The Ethical Skeptic on October 16th, and was cited as a 'crime against humanity'.'' Read more on this topic here.
What about New Hampshire?
And here in New Hampshire, similar to everywhere else, is the government conceit that mandates have had a positive effect on the viral outbreak. Sorry, folks, the curves are the same for northern climate states and countries, regardless of government interventions. Now (as of November 20), Gov. Sununu has ordered a more restrictive mask mandate, with only 116 people in hospitals statewide (as of 11/21/20). ( Click images to enlarge)
Please keep in mind that the NH (and most other states') hospitalization data does not differentiate between a person who came in for COVID symptoms and those who came in for other procedures but tested positive for COVID (using highly questionable PCR tests).
Is glyphosate implicated in COVID?
Compare the hotspots for new COVID outbreaks (as of 11/17) against the glyphosate spraying map. Consider that corn and soy, crops most heavily sprayed with glyphosate, were recently harvested in those areas. Read more here.
Get the full story with our free 200+ page ebook, Challenging the Pandemic Narrative , with over 600 links and references, by subscribing to our newsletter. Be informed and get involved so you can make better decisions for yourself and your loved ones.No Spread from Asymptomatic Healthy PeopleFrom a large study in China, published in Nature (click image to see study)
FYI, most PCR tests in the US use a cycle threshold (Ct) between 37 and 40, some as high as 45, all of which are totally useless, according to Anthony Fauci himself:
Even a Fauci admits any PCR results above 35 cycles are false '' which is probably most of the UK results driving policy. Listen to Fauci from July saying you can't culture live virus above 35, it's just dead RNA '' and yet UI bases lockdywn in this fraud.
'-- Jeff Nelson (@vegsource) November 2, 2020 Hospitals are Not StressedOne of the most sensible ways to gauge ''how bad'' things are is to compare our current hospital bed and utilization situation with past years. The table below shows every state, 2016-18 vs 2020 for Nov 1-9. Bottom line: utilization is up less than 5% on average nation-wide. States with big jumps in utilization, like IA, WI and MT, are still at 70% capacity or below. And despite panic-driven reactions in places like UT and NM, their hospital utilization is actually LOWER than previous years' averages. Even if we are seeing a rise in hospitalizations, it doesn't necessary mean it's COVID. WIth many elective procedures previously put off, more can be coming now to hospitals and receive a PCR test with high false-positive rates. Hospitals can gin up the numbers because they will get more money for COVID cases. ( Source: Justin Hart, Rational Ground )
Find daily updates of hospitalization data here.
Mask Mandates Vs. ''The Data''In a real life game of ''Where's Waldo,'' see if you can find the evidence of a positive correlation between the timing of mask-wearing mandates in various states and countries and the progression of COVID-19 that such mandates are claiming to have arrested. ( Source: Justin Hart, Rational Ground '-- for more mask charts, see this page and this page.)
'Stay home,' says US mayor at Mexico beach resort - BBC News
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:18
Published duration 7 hours ago
A US mayor who flew off by private jet on holiday while urging residents to stay home is the latest politician to be accused of Covid-19 hypocrisy.
Steve Adler, leader of Austin, Texas, went on a family getaway to Mexico as he told people to keep indoors amid spiralling virus caseloads.
He recorded a video from the beach resort instructing residents back home: "This is not the time to relax."
But Mr Adler, a Democrat, denied violating his own regulations.
What did the Austin mayor do?
He told the Austin American-Statesman, which revealed his trip: "There was no recommendation for people not to travel during that period of time.
"Someone could look at me and say, 'He travelled.' But what they could not say is that I travelled at a time when I was telling other people not to travel."
According to the Austin American-Statesman, Mr Adler last month hosted an outdoor wedding reception with 20 guests for his daughter at an upmarket hotel in the city.
media caption Five challenges of distributing a Covid-19 vaccine around the world.The mayor acknowledged to the newspaper that masks distributed to guests were "probably not" worn all the time.
The next day, the mayor and seven other attendees of the wedding boarded a private jet for the oceanfront resort of Cabo San Lucas, where they spent a week at a family timeshare apartment.
One night into the trip, Mr Adler addressed Austin residents in a Facebook video, giving no hint he was outside the city, reports the Austin American-Statesman.
"We need to stay home if you can," he said. "This is not the time to relax. We are going to be looking really closely. We may have to close things down if we are not careful."
What other cases have emerged?
A number of cases involving Democratic office-holders being accused of double standards on coronavirus rule-flouting have made headlines in recent weeks.
Democrats tend to be more in favour of broad virus-control measures than their Republican counterparts.
California Governor Gavin Newsom last month apologised after he was caught dining with lobbyists and members of the California Medical Association, all without masks, at a crowded table for 12 in a swanky restaurant in Napa Valley.
He initially claimed the meal at the Michelin-starred French Laundry, where some prix fixe plates go for $450 per person, took place outdoors. But photos emerged showing the space had a roof, three walls and another wall with sliding glass doors.
This week Mr Newsom warned he was considering "dramatic, arguably drastic" stay-at-home orders to tackle surging coronavirus caseload in the state.
It has since emerged that one night after Mr Newsom dined at the French Laundry, San Francisco Mayor London Breed attended a birthday party for a socialite at the same restaurant.
The meal took place as Ms Breed was urging residents to stay at home and avoid socialising, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
In other recent cases involving Democrats:
On Tuesday, the mayor of San Jose, California, Sam Liccardo, apologised for attending a Thanksgiving dinner with family members from five households - more than state regulations allowedA delegation of California lawmakers jetted off to a resort in Maui, Hawaii, for a conference with lobbyists as state residents were being instructed to avoid nonessential travelCalifornia Senator Dianne Feinstein - who has called for congressional coronavirus aid to be made conditional on states imposing mask mandates - was photographed at the US Capitol and at an airport without any face-coveringUS House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also of California, was pictured without a mask inside a hair salon, breaking rules that only allow service outdoors, but she refused to apologiseLos Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl dined outdoors at her favourite restaurant '-- shortly after voting to uphold a ban on outdoor dining, which she said endangered serving staffChicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended her decision to get a haircut while barbershops and salons were closed under Illinois' stay-at-home order. Ms Lightfoot had previously said "getting your roots done is not essential""Pass the potatoes, not COVID... Avoid travel," tweeted Denver Mayor Michael Hancock last week from the airport en route to a family Thanksgiving in MississippiWashington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser violated her own Covid-19 travel advisory and quarantine requirements after going to Delaware to celebrate Joe Biden's presidential victory. She defended the trip as "essential travel"What's the reaction?
In a rare alignment of viewpoints, the White House and liberal-leaning cable network CNN blasted Democratic politicians on Wednesday over the controversies.
In her monologue, CNN host Brianna Keilar said: "A number of Democratic leaders apologising, or reversing course, after multiple occurrences of 'Do as I say, not as I do.' They have been caught not following their own coronavirus guidelines."
.@brikeilarcnn rolls the tape on Democratic officials caught not following their own Covid-19 guidelines:"The past few weeks, brought into relief a pattern of leaders, failing to lead by example. Asking Americans to make sacrifices that they, themselves, are unwilling to make''
'-- CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) December 2, 2020 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. View original tweet on TwitterAt the White House, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany ran a tape during a news briefing of similar instances.
"These images behind me," she said, "make clear Democrats' mindset: rules for thee but not for me."
Meanwhile, in New York there was a mass protest outside a bar on Wednesday evening a day after its co-owner was led away in handcuffs, charged with trespassing on his own business premises after he sold food to plainclothes police officers in a sting operation.
According to Staten Island Live, an angry crowd of hundreds gathered outside Mac's Public House in Staten Island chanting: "Lock up criminals, not Americans!"
Last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo came under fire after he announced plans to have his daughter and 89-year-old mother over for Thanksgiving, even as he told residents to avoid family gatherings.
Amid a backlash, his office later said he had cancelled the dinner.
More than 273,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, and almost 14 million have been infected.
Covid-19 Likely in U.S. in Mid-December 2019, CDC Scientists Report - WSJ
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:46
The new coronavirus infected people in the U.S. in mid-December 2019, a few weeks before it was officially identified in China and about a month earlier than public health authorities found the first U.S. case, according to a government study published Monday.
The findings significantly strengthen evidence suggesting the virus was spreading around the world well before public health authorities and researchers became aware, upending initial thinking about how early and quickly it emerged.
Scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found evidence of infection in 106 of 7,389 blood donations collected by the American Red Cross from residents in nine states across the U.S., according to the study published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The scientists based their study on blood samples that the American Red Cross collected between Dec. 13 and Jan. 17 and later sent to the CDC for testing to see if any had antibodies to the new coronavirus, which is named SARS-CoV-2.
''SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been present in the U.S. in December 2019, earlier than previously recognized,'' the authors wrote.
A person's immune system develops antibodies when exposed to a pathogen like a virus to fight it off. Their presence suggests exposure to a virus.
In analyzing the blood samples, the CDC scientists found antibodies in 39 samples from California, Oregon and Washington state collected between Dec. 13 and Dec. 16.
The findings suggest there were isolated cases of coronavirus infection on the U.S. West Coast in mid-December, the scientists wrote.
They also found 67 samples with antibodies in Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin or Iowa, and Connecticut or Rhode Island collected between Dec. 30 and Jan. 17.
Those findings indicated that cases were more dispersed'--yet still isolated'--by early this year.
The scientists said they ruled out the possibility that the antibodies they found had developed to fight off other coronaviruses, which cause the common cold. They did that by looking for antibodies specific to the new coronavirus in 90 of the samples.
They said they found antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 in 84 of the samples, or nearly all of them.
The results add to growing evidence suggesting Covid-19 was present outside of China earlier than previously known. Researchers found the virus, for example, in a retrospective analysis of a specimen from a patient who was hospitalized in France on Dec. 27, 2019.
The first Covid-19 case in the U.S. was reported on Jan. 19, two days after testing for the virus began there, the CDC researchers said. A young man returning from China a few days earlier suspected he might have the disease and sought care for his symptoms.
Two other people who were subsequently diagnosed in the U.S. also developed symptoms in mid-January.
Earlier studies have also suggested that Covid-19 had moved beyond just isolated cases and was spreading in communities in the U.S. by mid- to late-January, though epidemiologists say that the virus likely didn't circulate widely in communities until later in February.
The new study shows the value of screening routinely collected blood samples for evidence of viruses spreading in a population, the CDC authors said, adding that the agency is continuing to conduct surveillance for Covid-19 this way.
Not only did Covid-19 likely appear in the U.S. earlier than previously known, but researchers have found evidence that the virus is far more widespread in the U.S. than testing indicates.
Some 53 million people in the U.S. likely had contracted Covid-19 by the end of September, according to a modeling estimate published last week by CDC researchers. Roughly 6.9 million infections had been confirmed within that time period, suggesting that roughly one in every eight cases was identified.
Yet, the majority of the U.S. population hasn't been infected. On Nov. 24, a CDC study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine estimated that fewer than 1% to 23% of people in the U.S. had antibodies, depending on the location.
Write to Betsy McKay at
NYC bar owner who defied coronavirus restrictions arrested
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:03
NEW YORK (AP) '-- An owner of a New York City bar that was providing indoor service in defiance of coronavirus restrictions was arrested after a sting in which plainclothes officers went inside and ordered food and beverages, the city sheriff's office said.
Protesters shouted as deputies arrested Danny Presti, the co-owner of Mac's Public House on Staten Island, on Tuesday.
The tavern is in an area designated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as an orange zone because of spiking COVID-19 rates and was not supposed to be serving customers indoors. But the owners had declared the bar an ''autonomous zone,'' a nod to protesters who claimed control over a Seattle neighborhood in June.
The bar has been fined thousands of dollars as it continued to serve patrons inside and to operate past the 10 p.m. curfew for restaurant service that Cuomo imposed citywide.
According to a release from Sheriff Joseph Fucito, plainclothes deputies went inside Tuesday and ordered food in exchange for a mandatory $40 ''donation.'' Uniformed deputies went in then and issued tickets for state and city violations.
Presti, 34, was uncooperative and was charged with obstruction of governmental administration in addition to the charges stemming from unauthorized food and beverage service, the sheriff said.
Lou Gelormino, an attorney who represents the tavern in its battle against the state and city, was there during the bust and was also ticketed. Gelormino told the Staten Island Advance that Presti was arrested because he didn't want to leave his business ''and at that point '... they considered it trespassing.''
Another attorney for the bar, Mark Fonte, told the newspaper, ''These sheriff's officers are 'wannabe' cops. This is what happens when little people get a little power.''
State Sen. Andrew Lanza, a Republican, sought to calm the dozens of tavern supporters who jeered as Presti was led away in handcuffs. Lanza said the bar owner should not have been arrested but added, ''We respect law enforcement on Staten Island like no other borough.''
Presti owns Mac's Public House with Keith McAlarney, who was not present during the enforcement action Tuesday.
Ambulance companies at 'a breaking point' after receiving little Covid aid
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:27
Stefan Hofer's ambulance company, West Traill EMS, in Mayville, North Dakota, has received only one or two calls that weren't related to Covid-19 over the past two months. But he said the case count has ballooned by 20 to 30 percent because of the pandemic. At the same time, the company's expenses have mounted, its revenue has cratered and its workforce is being decimated by the virus.
The company '-- which is private and supported by volunteers, a few employees and four trucks '-- covers more than 1,500 miles of North Dakota prairie and serves about 10,000 people on the far east side of the state.
Private EMS services, both in urban and rural centers across the country, collectively received $350 million in Covid-19 relief funds in April, but those companies said that money ran out within weeks. Months later, the need remains great as they face another coronavirus surge.
Hofer said he doesn't know how long his company can keep up its current pace '-- much less how it will manage the increase in cases they expect from the Thanksgiving holiday '-- if ambulance services like his don't receive additional federal aid. He said he may lose employees soon. That could mean answering fewer calls, too.
An EMT drives an ambulance in Marmarth, N.D. Ackerman + Gruber / for NBC News''This isn't going to be over tomorrow, and that's the big thing,'' he said. ''We got to make sure that we can still take care of people six months from now, and that's what's gotten really hard to figure out.''
In a letter sent to the Department of Health and Human Services and exclusively obtained by NBC News, the American Ambulance Association said ''the 911 emergency medical system throughout the United States is at a breaking point. Without additional relief, it seems likely to break, even as we enter the third surge of the virus in the Mid-West and the West.''
An HHS spokesperson said the agency has delivered nearly $107 billion to more than 550,000 providers across the country and opened a third round of funding of $20 billion last month, which they said is available to ambulance services.
That third phase of funding, however, comes with a limit. It's available to every health care provider and supplier up to 2 percent of their 2019 revenue. EMS services said they're thankful for the money, but it won't keep them from potentially going under.
All the funding that the federal government gave us, whether it was PPP funding or money from HHS, all of that is long gone.
The issue for private ambulance companies like Hofer's is that they no longer get the valuable 911 or hospital transfer calls they once received, as hospitals, nursing homes and people put off surgeries and other medical procedures because of the pandemic. Meanwhile, ambulance services have been forced to buy more personal protective equipment, which has gotten 20 to 25 percent costlier in recent months, to stay safe.
But revenue has collapsed even further because ambulance services are also now expected to treat people in place at the scene of an emergency. It's the new standard of care during the pandemic, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services refuses to reimburse companies for this method of treatment if the patient isn't technically transported.
That's a huge financial hit to ambulance companies that answer 911 calls across the country, especially because if Medicare doesn't cover it, most insurance companies won't either.
''All the funding that the federal government gave us, whether it was PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] funding or money from HHS, all of that is long gone,'' said Jim Finger, the chief administrative officer of the Regional Ambulance Service in Vermont who chairs the American Ambulance Association rural provider task force. ''But we still have all these issues, and we're trying to find ways to financially survive and continue to do our jobs.''
'The reality doesn't look good'Private ambulance services look after about a third of the communities in the U.S., often in rural areas, but they have only received that $350 million in relief from the federal government '-- about the same amount as dentists.
Hospitals and nursing homes, meanwhile, have in total received more than $30 billion.
''America's ambulance services provide skilled, on-demand health care round-the-clock to every family in our nation, despite soaring costs and decreased revenue driven by the Covid-19 pandemic,'' Aarron Reinert, president of the American Ambulance Association, said in a statement. ''These financial challenges are exacerbated by staffing shortages as EMTs and paramedics quarantine after exposure to or infection by coronavirus.''
The association said in its letter to the Department of Health and Human Services that the paramedics and emergency medical techs who make up ambulance services across the country need $2.62 billion '-- about $43,500 for each of the approximately 60,000 ambulances that answer 911 calls. They suggested that the funds be pulled from the Provider Relief Fund, a $175 billion pot created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support health care workers and distributed by HHS.
Despite the ambulance association's ongoing request for support, they haven't received anything beyond the $350 million they received in April.
''Compared to what others that we know in the health care industry have received, it's a fraction, and it's a fraction of the losses that we've incurred,'' said Hanan Cohen, a paramedic and director of corporate development at Empress EMS, which operates in the Bronx and Yonkers in New York. ''We're hoping for more, but the reality doesn't look good for aid. We're also looking for structural changes in how EMS and ambulance services are reimbursed in the United States. It's been an issue for 20 years.''
While the fact that ambulance services are increasingly cash-strapped in the United States is not a new problem, the issue is growing increasingly dire during the pandemic.
The rising case count nationwide is also getting worse than most imagined. Many ambulance companies said that the current wave appears to them to be as bad in their communities as what New York EMS services experienced in March and April.
''We had no idea when we saw all the spikes that happened in New York that we would be one of those places where the spikes have just been incredible and intense,'' said Rachel Harracksingh, the president of Life Ambulance Service in El Paso, Texas. ''I'd love to give hazard pay because of conditions that we're having to go into and what we have to see every day. It's nonstop.''
No aid in sightPresident Donald Trump was asked about the financial challenges faced by ambulance services at a news conference in early August. The American Ambulance Association, he was told, was worried that EMS companies nationwide had not received the aid they needed.
Trump said it was the first he had heard of it.
After praising ''the ambulance people'' as well as health care workers, members of law enforcement, the military and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he said: ''I will certainly look into it. I mean, you're telling me something for the first time. Nobody is complaining about not getting paid too much, but we'll take a look at the ambulance drivers.''
Four months later, the White House declined to comment. Meanwhile, ambulance companies '-- especially smaller ones serving rural areas '-- said they are seeing their staff's nerves fray amid the unrelenting nature of the pandemic and little promise of relief.
''I can tell you that the mental stress is about 10 times what it normally would be for us health care workers,'' said Ronald Nichols, the emergency services director at Chambers County EMS, which serves a large rural county 50 miles east of Houston.
Still, more support is unlikely to appear from the current pot of money or even in a new aid package.
All of our guys are on the front lines doing the same things as those doctors and nurses. We just have less access to funding than they do.
A Republican staffer on Capitol Hill who is familiar with the current pandemic relief fund negotiations said it is doubtful that the ambulance companies will get the help they've requested in the aid package now being negotiated, though additional funding of $50 billion to $100 billion to health care providers is currently being considered as part of that bill.
That money won't specifically go to groups like ambulance companies, however.
''If we start making designations, then all of a sudden we're asking to be lobbied nonstop about how the pot is divided,'' the staffer said, noting tentatively that negotiations appeared recently to be on the right track. ''I just don't think Congress is itching to put in any kind of language that would carve out anything specific to industries.''
A Cataldo ambulance picks up a patient in Chelsea for transfer to Cambridge on April 23, 2020 in Chelsea, Mass. David Degner / Getty Images fileThey'd prefer to use the same language they used in the CARES Act, which delegated much of that decision making to HHS.
But the department is also using similar reasoning, fearing that if it acquiesces to the ambulance companies' demands, they will be pressured by a growing number of people in the health care industry.
Ambulance companies across the country, however, insist that something must be done. They are the first ones to respond to the needs of Americans suffering from the greatest medical emergency in modern history, and they say they are the closest to breaking.
The situation, many said, is increasingly demoralizing and emotionally taxing.
''We have stressful lives to begin with, but we chose to serve our communities, serve the public,'' Nichols said. ''We've always done it without recognition '-- and we got much more now with Covid-19 than we ever have '-- but the state legislators and Congress need to realize that all of our guys are on the front lines doing the same things as those doctors and nurses. We just have less access to funding than they do.''
Masks and Muzzles
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:50
Masks, false safety and real dangers Part 1:
Friable mask particulate and lung vulnerability Paper
Masks, false safety and real dangersPart 2:
Microbial challenges from masks Paper
Masks, false safety and real dangersPart 3:
Hypoxia, hypercapnia and physiological effects
Review report Corman-Drosten et al. Eurosurveillance 2020 '' CORMAN-DROSTEN REVIEW REPORT
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 16:35
November 27, 2020This extensive review report has been officially submitted to Eurosurveillance editorial board on 27th November 2020 via their submission-portal, enclosed to this review report is a retraction request letter, signed by all the main & co-authors. First and last listed names are the first and second main authors. All names in between are co-authors.
External peer review of the RTPCR test to detect SARS-CoV-2 reveals 10 major scientific flaws at the molecular and methodological level: consequences for false positive results.Pieter Borger(1), Bobby Rajesh Malhotra(2) , Michael Yeadon(3) , Clare Craig(4), Kevin McKernan(5) , Klaus Steger(6) , Paul McSheehy(7) , Lidiya Angelova(8), Fabio Franchi(9), Thomas Binder(10), Henrik Ullrich(11) , Makoto Ohashi(12), Stefano Scoglio(13), Marjolein Doesburg-van Kleffens(14), Dorothea Gilbert(15), Rainer Klement(16), Ruth Schruefer(17), Berber W. Pieksma(18), Jan Bonte(19), Bruno H. Dalle Carbonare(20), Kevin P. Corbett(21), Ulrike K¤mmerer(22)ABSTRACTIn the publication entitled ''Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR'' (Eurosurveillance 25(8) 2020) the authors present a diagnostic workflow and RT-qPCR protocol for detection and diagnostics of 2019-nCoV (now known as SARS-CoV-2), which they claim to be validated, as well as being a robust diagnostic methodology for use in public-health laboratory settings.
In light of all the consequences resulting from this very publication for societies worldwide, a group of independent researchers performed a point-by-point review of the aforesaid publication in which 1) all components of the presented test design were cross checked, 2) the RT-qPCR protocol-recommendations were assesses w.r.t. good laboratory practice, and 3) parameters examined against relevant scientific literature covering the field.
The published RT-qPCR protocol for detection and diagnostics of 2019-nCoV and the manuscript suffer from numerous technical and scientific errors, including insufficient primer design, a problematic and insufficient RT-qPCR protocol, and the absence of an accurate test validation. Neither the presented test nor the manuscript itself fulfils the requirements for an acceptable scientific publication. Further, serious conflicts of interest of the authors are not mentioned. Finally, the very short timescale between submission and acceptance of the publication (24 hours) signifies that a systematic peer review process was either not performed here, or of problematic poor quality. We provide compelling evidence of several scientific inadequacies, errors and flaws.Considering the scientific and methodological blemishes presented here, we are confident that the editorial board of Eurosurveillance has no other choice but to retract the publication.
CONCISE REVIEW REPORTThis paper will show numerous serious flaws in the Corman-Drosten paper, the significance of which has led to worldwide misdiagnosis of infections attributed to SARS-CoV-2 and associated with the disease COVID-19. We are confronted with stringent lockdowns which have destroyed many people's lives and livelihoods, limited access to education and these imposed restrictions by governments around the world are a direct attack on people's basic rights and their personal freedoms, resulting in collateral damage for entire economies on a global scale.There are ten fatal problems with the Corman-Drosten paper which we will outline and explain in greater detail in the following sections.
The first and major issue is that the novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (in the publication named 2019-nCoV and in February 2020 named SARS-CoV-2 by an international consortium of virus experts) is based on in silico (theoretical) sequences, supplied by a laboratory in China [1], because at the time neither control material of infectious (''live'') or inactivated SARS-CoV-2 nor isolated genomic RNA of the virus was available to the authors. To date no validation has been performed by the authorship based on isolated SARS-CoV-2 viruses or full length RNA thereof. According to Corman et al.:
''We aimed to develop and deploy robust diagnostic methodology for use in public health laboratory settings without having virus material available.'' [1]
The focus here should be placed upon the two stated aims: a) development and b) deployment of a diagnostic test for use in public health laboratory settings. These aims are not achievable without having any actual virus material available (e.g. for determining the infectious viral load). In any case, only a protocol with maximal accuracy can be the mandatory and primary goal in any scenario-outcome of this magnitude. Critical viral load determination is mandatory information, and it is in Christian Drosten's group responsibility to perform these experiments and provide the crucial data.
Nevertheless these in silico sequences were used to develop a RT-PCR test methodology to identify the aforesaid virus. This model was based on the assumption that the novel virus is very similar to SARS-CoV from 2003 as both are beta-coronaviruses.The PCR test was therefore designed using the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV as a control material for the Sarbeco component; we know this from our personal email-communication with [2] one of the co-authors of the Corman-Drosten paper. This method to model SARS-CoV-2 was described in the Corman-Drosten paper as follows:
''the establishment and validation of a diagnostic workflow for 2019-nCoV screening and specific confirmation, designed in absence of available virus isolates or original patient specimens. Design and validation were enabled by the close genetic relatedness to the 2003 SARS-CoV, and aided by the use of synthetic nucleic acid technology.''
The Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) is an important biomolecular technology to rapidly detect rare RNA fragments, which are known in advance. In the first step, RNA molecules present in the sample are reverse transcribed to yield cDNA. The cDNA is then amplified in the polymerase chain reaction using a specific primer pair and a thermostable DNA polymerase enzyme. The technology is highly sensitive and its detection limit is theoretically 1 molecule of cDNA. The specificity of the PCR is highly influenced by biomolecular design errors.
What is important when designing an RT-PCR Test and the quantitative RT-qPCR test described in the Corman-Drosten publication?1. The primers and probes:a) the concentration of primers and probes must be of optimal range (100-200 nM)b) must be specific to the target-gene you want to amplifyc) must have an optimal percentage of GC content relative to the total nitrogenous bases (minimum 40%, maximum 60%)d) for virus diagnostics at least 3 primer pairs must detect 3 viral genes (preferably as far apart as possible in the viral genome)
2. The temperature at which all reactions take place:a) DNA melting temperature (>92°)b) DNA amplification temperature (TaqPol specific)c) Tm; the annealing temperature (the temperature at which the primers and probes reach the target binding/detachment, not to exceed 2 ̊C per primer pair). Tm heavily depends on GC content of the primers
3. The number of amplification cycles (less than 35; preferably 25-30 cycles);In case of virus detection, >35 cycles only detects signals which do not correlate with infectious virus as determined by isolation in cell culture [reviewed in 2]; if someone is tested by PCR as positive when a threshold of 35 cycles or higher is used (as is the case in most laboratories in Europe & the US), the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, the probability that said result is a false positive is 97% [reviewed in 3]
4. Molecular biological validations; amplified PCR products must be validated either by running the products in a gel with a DNA ruler, or by direct DNA sequencing5. Positive and negative controls should be specified to confirm/refute specific virus detection6. There should be a Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) availableSOP unequivocally specifies the above parameters, so that all laboratories are able to set up the exact same test conditions. To have a validated universal SOP is essential, because it enables the comparison of data within and between countries.
MINOR CONCERNS WITH THE CORMAN-DROSTEN PAPER1. In Table 1 of the Corman-Drosten paper, different abbreviations are stated '' ''nM'' is specified, ''nm'' isn't. Further in regards to correct nomenclature, nm means ''nanometer'' therefore nm should read nM here.
2. It is the general consensus to write genetic sequences always in the 5'-3' direction, including the reverse primers. It is highly unusual to do alignment with reverse complementary writing of the primer sequence as the authors did in figure 2 of the Corman-Drosten paper. Here, in addition, a wobble base is marked as ''y'' without description of the bases the Y stands for.
3. Two misleading pitfalls in the Corman-Drosten paper are that their Table 1 does not include Tm-values (annealing-temperature values), neither does it show GC-values (number of G and C in the sequences as %-value of total bases).
MAJOR CONCERNS WITH THE CORMAN-DROSTEN PAPERA) BACKGROUNDThe authors introduce the background for their scientific work as: ''The ongoing outbreak of the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) poses a challenge for public health laboratories as virus isolates are unavailable while there is growing evidence that the outbreak is more widespread than initially thought, and international spread through travelers does already occur''.According to BBC News [4] and Google Statistics [5] there were 6 deaths world-wide on January 21st 2020 '' the day when the manuscript was submitted. Why did the authors assume a challenge for public health laboratories while there was no substantial evidence at that time to indicate that the outbreak was more widespread than initially thought?
As an aim the authors declared to develop and deploy robust diagnostic methodology for use in public health laboratory settings without having virus material available. Further, they acknowledge that ''The present study demonstrates the enormous response capacity achieved through coordination of academic and public laboratories in national and European research networks.''
B) METHODS AND RESULTS1. Primer & Probe Design1a) Erroneous primer concentrationsReliable and accurate PCR-test protocols are normally designed using between 100 nM and 200 nM per primer [7]. In the Corman-Drosten paper, we observe unusually high and varying primer concentrations for several primers (table 1). For the RdRp_SARSr-F and RdRp_SARSr-R primer pairs, 600 nM and 800 nM are described, respectively. Similarly, for the N_Sarbeco_F and N_Sarbeco_R primer set, they advise 600 nM and 800 nM, respectively [1].It should be clear that these concentrations are far too high to be optimal for specific amplifications of target genes. There exists no specified reason to use these extremely high concentrations of primers in this protocol. Rather, these concentrations lead to increased unspecific binding and PCR product amplification.
Table1: Primers and probes (adapted from Corman-Drosten paper; erroneous primer concentrations are highlighted)
1b) Unspecified (''Wobbly'') primer and probe sequencesTo obtain reproducible and comparable results, it is essential to distinctively define the primer pairs. In the Corman-Drosten paper we observed six unspecified positions, indicated by the letters R, W, M and S (Table 2). The letter W means that at this position there can be either an A or a T; R signifies there can be either a G or an A; M indicates that the position may either be an A or a C; the letter S indicates there can be either a G or a C on this position.This high number of variants not only is unusual, but it also is highly confusing for laboratories. These six unspecified positions could easily result in the design of several different alternative primer sequences which do not relate to SARS-CoV-2 (2 distinct RdRp_SARSr_F primers + 8 distinct RdRp_SARS_P1 probes + 4 distinct RdRp_SARSr_R). The design variations will inevitably lead to results that are not even SARS CoV-2 related. Therefore, the confusing unspecific description in the Corman-Drosten paper is not suitable as a Standard Operational Protocol. These unspecified positions should have been designed unequivocally.
These wobbly sequences have already created a source of concern in the field and resulted in a Letter to the Editor authored by Pillonel et al. [8] regarding blatant errors in the described sequences. These errors are self-evident in the Corman et al. supplement as well.
Table 2: Primers and probes (adapted from Corman-Drosten paper; unspecified (''Wobbly'') nucleotides in the primers are highlighted)
The WHO-protocol (Figure 1), which directly derives from the Corman-Drosten paper, concludes that in order to confirm the presence of SARS-CoV-2, two control genes (the E-and the RdRp-genes) must be identified in the assay. It should be noted, that the RdPd-gene has one uncertain position (''wobbly'') in the forward-primer (R=G/A), two uncertain positions in the reverse-primer (R=G/A; S=G/C) and it has three uncertain positions in the RdRp-probe (W=A/T; R=G/A; M=A/C). So, two different forward primers, four different reverse primers, and eight distinct probes can be synthesized for the RdPd-gene. Together, there are 64 possible combinations of primers and probes!
The Corman-Drosten paper further identifies a third gene which, according to the WHO protocol, was not further validated and deemed unnecessary:
''Of note, the N gene assay also performed well but was not subjected to intensive further validation because it was slightly less sensitive.''
This was an unfortunate omission as it would be best to use all three gene PCRs as confirmatory assays, and this would have resulted in an almost sufficient virus RNA detection diagnostic tool protocol. Three confirmatory assay-steps would at least minimize-out errors & uncertainties at every fold-step in regards to ''Wobbly''-spots. (Nonetheless, the protocol would still fall short of any ''good laboratory practice'', when factoring in all the other design-errors).
As it stands, the N gene assay is regrettably neither proposed in the WHO-recommendation (Figure 1) as a mandatory and crucial third confirmatory step, nor is it emphasized in the Corman-Drosten paper as important optional reassurance ''for a routine workflow'' (Table 2).
Consequently, in nearly all test procedures worldwide, merely 2 primer matches were used instead of all three. This oversight renders the entire test-protocol useless with regards to delivering accurate test-results of real significance in an ongoing pandemic.
Figure 1: The N-Gene confirmatory-assay is neither emphasized as necessary third step in the official WHO Drosten-Corman protocol-recommendation below [8] nor is it required as a crucial step for higher test-accuracy in the Eurosurveillance publication.
1c) Erroneous GC-content (discussed in 2c, together with annealing temperature (Tm))1d) Detection of viral genesRT-PCR is not recommended for primary diagnostics of infection. This is why the RT-PCR Test used in clinical routine for detection of COVID-19 is not indicated for COVID-19 diagnosis on a regulatory basis.
''Clinicians need to recognize the enhanced accuracy and speed of the molecular diagnostic techniques for the diagnosis of infections, but also to understand their limitations. Laboratory results should always be interpreted in the context of the clinical presentation of the patient, and appropriate site, quality, and timing of specimen collection are required for reliable test results''. [9]
However, it may be used to help the physician's differential diagnosis when he or she has to discriminate between different infections of the lung (Flu, Covid-19 and SARS have very similar symptoms). For a confirmative diagnosis of a specific virus, at least 3 specific primer pairs must be applied to detect 3 virus-specific genes. Preferably, these target genes should be located with the greatest distance possible in the viral genome (opposite ends included).Although the Corman-Drosten paper describes 3 primers, these primers only cover roughly half of the virus' genome. This is another factor that decreases specificity for detection of intact COVID-19 virus RNA and increases the quote of false positive test results.
Therefore, even if we obtain three positive signals (i.e. the three primer pairs give 3 different amplification products) in a sample, this does not prove the presence of a virus. A better primer design would have terminal primers on both ends of the viral genome. This is because the whole viral genome would be covered and three positive signals can better discriminate between a complete (and thus potentially infectious) virus and fragmented viral genomes (without infectious potency). In order to infer anything of significance about the infectivity of the virus, the Orf1 gene, which encodes the essential replicase enzyme of SARS-CoV viruses, should have been included as a target (Figure 2). The positioning of the targets in the region of the viral genome that is most heavily and variably transcribed is another weakness of the protocol.
Kim et al. demonstrate a highly variable 3' expression of subgenomic RNA in Sars-CoV-2 [23]. These RNAs are actively monitored as signatures for asymptomatic and non-infectious patients [10]. It is highly questionable to screen a population of asymptomatic people with qPCR primers that have 6 base pairs primer-dimer on the 3 prime end of a primer (Figure 3).Apparently the WHO recommends these primers. We tested all the wobble derivatives from the Corman-Drosten paper with Thermofisher's primer dimer web tool [11]. The RdRp forward primer has 6bp 3prime homology with Sarbeco E Reverse. At high primer concentrations this is enough to create inaccuracies.
Of note: There is a perfect match of one of the N primers to a clinical pathogen (Pantoea), found in immuno-compromised patients. The reverse primer hits Pantoea as well but not in the same region (Figure 3).
These are severe design errors, since the test cannot discriminate between the whole virus and viral fragments. The test cannot be used as a diagnostic for SARS-viruses.
Figure 2: Relative positions of amplicon targets on the SARS coronavirus and the 2019 novel coronavirus genome. ORF: open reading frame; RdRp: RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Numbers below amplicon are genome positions according to SARS-CoV, NC_004718 [1];
Figure 3: A test with Thermofischer's primer dimer web tool reveals that the RdRp forward primer has a 6bp 3`prime homology with Sarbeco E Reverse (left box). Another test reveals that there is a perfect match for one of the N-primers to a clinical pathogen (Pantoea) found in immuno-compromised patients (right box).
2. Reaction temperatures2a) DNA melting temperature (>92°).Adequately addressed in the Corman-Drosten paper.
2b) DNA amplification temperature.Adequately addressed in the Corman-Drosten paper.
2c) Erroneous GC-contents and TmThe annealing-temperature determines at which temperature the primer attaches/detaches from the target sequence. For an efficient and specific amplification, GC content of primers should meet a minimum of 40% and a maximum of 60% amplification. As indicated in table 3, three of the primers described in the Corman-Drosten paper are not within the normal range for GC-content. Two primers (RdRp_SARSr_F and RdRp_SARSr_R) have unusual and very low GC-values of 28%-31% for all possible variants of wobble bases, whereas primer E_Sarbeco_F has a GC-value of 34.6% (Table 3 and second panel of Table 3).It should be noted that the GC-content largely determines the binding to its specific target due to its three hydrogen bonds in base pairing. Thus, the lower the GC-content of the primer, the lower its binding-capability to its specific target gene sequence (i.e. the gene to be detected). This means for a target-sequence to be recognized we have to choose a temperature which is as close as possible to the actual annealing-temperature (best practise-value) for the primer not to detach again, while at the same time specifically selecting the target sequence.
If the Tm-value is very low, as observed for all wobbly-variants of the RdRp reverse primers, the primers can bind non-specifically to several targets, decreasing specificity and increasing potential false positive results.The annealing temperature (Tm) is a crucial factor for the determination of the specificity/accuracy of the qPCR procedure and essential for evaluating the accuracy of qPCR-protocols. Best-practice recommendation: Both primers (forward and reverse) should have an almost similar value, preferably the identical value.
We used the freely available primer design software Primer-BLAST [12, 25] to evaluable the best-practise values for all primers used in the Corman-Drosten paper (Table 3). We attempted to find a Tm-value of 60° C, while similarly seeking the highest possible GC%-value for all primers. A maximal Tm difference of 2° C within primer pairs was considered acceptable. Testing the primer pairs specified in the Corman-Drosten paper, we observed a difference of 10° C with respect to the annealing temperature Tm for primer pair1 (RdRp_SARSr_F and RdRp_SARSr_R). This is a very serious error and makes the protocol useless as a specific diagnostic tool.
Additional testing demonstrated that only the primer pair designed to amplify the N-gene (N_Sarbeco_F and N_Sarbeco_R) reached the adequate standard to operate in a diagnostic test, since it has a sufficient GC-content and the Tm difference between the primers (N_Sarbeco_F and N_Sarbeco_R) is 1.85° C (below the crucial maximum of 2° C difference). Importantly, this is the gene which was neither tested in the virus samples (Table 2) nor emphasized as a confirmatory test. In addition to highly variable melting temperatures and degenerate sequences in these primers, there is another factor impacting specificity of the procedure: the dNTPs (0.4uM) are 2x higher than recommended for a highly specific amplification. There is additional magnesium sulphate added to the reaction as well. This procedure combined with a low annealing temperature can create non-specific amplifications. When additional magnesium is required for qPCR, specificity of the assay should be further scrutinized.
The design errors described here are so severe that it is highly unlikely that specific amplification of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material will occur using the protocol of the Corman-Drosten paper.
Table 3: GC-content of the primers and probes (adapted from Corman-Drosten paper; aberrations from optimized GC-contents are highlighted. Second Panel shows a table-listing of all Primer-BLAST best practices values for all primers and probes used in the Corman-Drosten paper by Prof. Dr. Ulrike K¤mmerer & her team
3. The number of amplification cyclesIt should be noted that there is no mention anywhere in the Corman-Drosten paper of a test being positive or negative, or indeed what defines a positive or negative result. These types of virological diagnostic tests must be based on a SOP, including a validated and fixed number of PCR cycles (Ct value) after which a sample is deemed positive or negative. The maximum reasonably reliable Ct value is 30 cycles. Above a Ct of 35 cycles, rapidly increasing numbers of false positives must be expected .
PCR data evaluated as positive after a Ct value of 35 cycles are completely unreliable.
Citing Jaafar et al. 2020 [3]: ''At Ct = 35, the value we used to report a positive result for PCR, <3% of cultures are positive.'' In other words, there was no successful virus isolation of SARS-CoV-2 at those high Ct values.
Further, scientific studies show that only non-infectious (dead) viruses are detected with Ct values of 35 [22].
Between 30 and 35 there is a grey area, where a positive test cannot be established with certainty. This area should be excluded. Of course, one could perform 45 PCR cycles, as recommended in the Corman-Drosten WHO-protocol (Figure 4), but then you also have to define a reasonable Ct-value (which should not exceed 30). But an analytical result with a Ct value of 45 is scientifically and diagnostically absolutely meaningless (a reasonable Ct-value should not exceed 30). All this should be communicated very clearly. It is a significant mistake that the Corman-Drosten paper does not mention the maximum Ct value at which a sample can be unambiguously considered as a positive or a negative test-result. This important cycle threshold limit is also not specified in any follow-up submissions to date.
Figure 4: RT-PCR Kit recommendation in the official Corman-Drosten WHO-protocol [8]. Only a ''Cycler''-value (cycles) is to be found without corresponding and scientifically reasonable Ct (Cutoff-value). This or any other cycles-value is nowhere to be found in the actual Corman-Drosten paper.
4. Biomolecular validationsTo determine whether the amplified products are indeed SARS-CoV-2 genes, biomolecular validation of amplified PCR products is essential. For a diagnostic test, this validation is an absolute must.
Validation of PCR products should be performed by either running the PCR product in a 1% agarose-EtBr gel together with a size indicator (DNA ruler or DNA ladder) so that the size of the product can be estimated. The size must correspond to the calculated size of the amplification product. But it is even better to sequence the amplification product. The latter will give 100% certainty about the identity of the amplification product. Without molecular validation one can not be sure about the identity of the amplified PCR products. Considering the severe design errors described earlier, the amplified PCR products can be anything.
Also not mentioned in the Corman-Drosten paper is the case of small fragments of qPCR (around 100bp): It could be either 1,5% agarose gel or even an acrylamide gel.The fact that these PCR products have not been validated at molecular level is another striking error of the protocol, making any test based upon it useless as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
5. Positive and negative controls to confirm/refute specific virus detection.The unconfirmed assumption described in the Corman-Drosten paper is that SARS-CoV-2 is the only virus from the SARS-like beta-coronavirus group that currently causes infections in humans. The sequences on which their PCR method is based are in silico sequences, supplied by a laboratory in China [23], because at the time of development of the PCR test no control material of infectious (''live'') or inactivated SARS-CoV-2 was available to the authors. The PCR test was therefore designed using the sequence of the known SARS-CoV as a control material for the Sarbeco component (Dr. Meijer, co-author Corman-Drosten paper in an email exchange with Dr. Peter Borger) [2].
All individuals testing positive with the RT-PCR test, as described in the Corman-Drosten paper, are assumed to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 infections. There are three severe flaws in their assumption. First, a positive test for the RNA molecules described in the Corman-Drosten paper cannot be equated to ''infection with a virus''. A positive RT-PCR test merely indicates the presence of viral RNA molecules. As demonstrated under point 1d (above), the Corman-Drosten test was not designed to detect the full-length virus, but only a fragment of the virus. We already concluded that this classifies the test as unsuitable as a diagnostic testfor SARS-virus infections.
Secondly and of major relevance, the functionality of the published RT-PCR Test was not demonstrated with the use of a positive control (isolated SARS-CoV-2 RNA) which is an essential scientific gold standard.
Third, the Corman-Drosten paper states:
''To show that the assays can detect other bat-associated SARS-related viruses, we used the E gene assay to test six bat-derived faecal samples available from Drexler et al. ['...] und Muth et al. ['...]. These virus-positive samples stemmed from European rhinolophid bats. Detection of these phylogenetic outliers within the SARS-related CoV clade suggests that all Asian viruses are likely to be detected. This would, theoretically, ensure broad sensitivity even in case of multiple independent acquisitions of variant viruses from an animal reservoir.''
This statement demonstrates that the E gene used in RT-PCR test, as described in the Corman-Drosten paper, is not specific to SARS-CoV-2.The E gene primers also detect a broad spectrum of other SARS viruses.
The genome of the coronavirus is the largest of all RNA viruses that infect humans and they all have a very similar molecular structure. Still, SARS-CoV1 and SARS-CoV-2 have two highly specific genetic fingerprints, which set them apart from the other coronaviruses. First, a unique fingerprint-sequence (KTFPPTEPKKDKKKK) is present in the N-protein of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 [13,14,15]. Second, both SARS-CoV1 and SARS-CoV2 do not contain the HE protein, whereas all other coronaviruses possess this gene [13, 14]. So, in order to specifically detect a SARS-CoV1 and SARS-CoV-2 PCR product the above region in the N gene should have been chosen as the amplification target. A reliable diagnostic test should focus on this specific region in the N gene as a confirmatory test. The PCR for this N gene was not further validated nor recommended as a test gene by the Drosten-Corman paper, because of being ''not so sensitive'' with the SARS-CoV original probe [1].Furthermore, the absence of the HE gene in both SARS-CoV1 and SARS-CoV-2 makes this gene the ideal negative control to exclude other coronaviruses. The Corman-Drosten paper does not contain this negative control, nor does it contain any other negative controls. The PCR test in the Corman-Drosten paper therefore contains neither a unique positive control nor a negative control to exclude the presence of other coronaviruses. This is another major design flaw which classifies the test as unsuitable for diagnosis.
6. Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) is not availableThere should be a Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) available, which unequivocally specifies the above parameters, so that all laboratories are able to set up the identical same test conditions. To have a validated universal SOP is essential, because it facilitates data comparison within and between countries. It is very important to specify all primer parameters unequivocally. We note that this has not been done. Further, the Ct value to indicate when a sample should be considered positive or negative is not specified. It is also not specified when a sample is considered infected with SARS-CoV viruses. As shown above, the test cannot discern between virus and virus fragments, so the Ct value indicating positivity is crucially important. This Ct value should have been specified in the Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) and put on-line so that all laboratories carrying out this test have exactly the same boundary conditions. It points to flawed science that such an SOP does not exist. The laboratories are thus free to conduct the test as they consider appropriate, resulting in an enormous amount of variation. Laboratories all over Europe are left with a multitude of questions; which primers to order? which nucleotides to fill in the undefined places? which Tm value to choose? How many PCR cycles to run? At what Ct value is the sample positive? And when is it negative? And how many genes to test? Should all genes be tested, or just the E and RpRd gene as shown in Table 2 of the Corman-Drosten paper? Should the N gene be tested as well? And what is their negative control? What is their positive control?The protocol as described is unfortunately very vague and erroneous in its design that one can go in dozens of different directions. There does not appear to be any standardization nor an SOP, so it is not clear how this test can be implemented.
7. Consequences of the errors described under 1-5: false positive results.The RT-PCR test described in the Corman-Drosten paper contains so many molecular biological design errors (see 1-5) that it is not possible to obtain unambiguous results. It is inevitable that this test will generate a tremendous number of so-called ''false positives''. The definition of false positives is a negative sample, which initially scores positive, but which is negative after retesting with the same test. False positives are erroneous positive test-results, i.e. negative samples that test positive. And this is indeed what is found in the Corman-Drosten paper. On page 6 of the manuscript PDF the authors demonstrate, that even under well-controlled laboratory conditions, a considerable percentage of false positives is generated with this test:
''In four individual test reactions, weak initial reactivity was seen however they were negative upon retesting with the same assay. These signals were not associated with any particular virus, and for each virus with which initial positive reactivity occurred, there were other samples that contained the same virus at a higher concentration but did not test positive. Given the results from the extensive technical qualification described above, it was concluded that this initial reactivity was not due to chemical instability of real-time PCR probes and most probably to handling issues caused by the rapid introduction of new diagnostic tests and controls during this evaluation study.'' [1]
The first sentence of this excerpt is clear evidence that the PCR test described in the Corman-Drosten paper generates false positives. Even under the well-controlled conditions of the state-of-the-art Charit(C)-laboratory, 4 out of 310 primary-tests are false positives per definition. Four negative samples initially tested positive, then were negative upon retesting. This is the classical example of a false positive. In this case the authors do not identify them as false positives, which is intellectually dishonest.Another telltale observation in the excerpt above is that the authors explain the false positives away as ''handling issues caused by the rapid introduction of new diagnostic tests''. Imagine the laboratories that have to introduce the test without all the necessary information normally described in an SOP.
8. The Corman-Drosten paper was not peer-reviewedBefore formal publication in a scholarly journal, scientific and medical articles are traditionally certified by ''peer review.'' In this process, the journal's editors take advice from various experts (''referees'') who have assessed the paper and may identify weaknesses in its assumptions, methods, and conclusions. Typically a journal will only publish an article once the editors are satisfied that the authors have addressed referees' concerns and that the data presented supports the conclusions drawn in the paper.'' This process is as well described for Eurosurveillance [16].The Corman-Drosten paper was submitted to Eurosurveillance on January 21st 2020 and accepted for publication on January 22nd 2020. On January 23rd 2020 the paper was online. On January 13th 2020 version 1-0 of the protocol was published at the official WHO website [17], updated on January 17th 2020 as document version 2-1 [18], even before the Corman-Drosten paper was published on January 23rd at Eurosurveillance.
Normally, peer review is a time-consuming process since at least two experts from the field have to critically read and comment on the submitted paper. In our opinion, this paper was not peer-reviewed. Twenty-four hours are simply not enough to carry out a thorough peer review. Our conclusion is supported by the fact that a tremendous number of very serious design flaws were found by us, which make the PCR test completely unsuitable as a diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Any molecular biologist familiar with RT-PCR design would have easily observed the grave errors present in the Corman-Drosten paper before the actual review process. We asked Eurosurveillance on October 26th 2020 to send us a copy of the peer review report. To date, we have not received this report and in a letter dated November 18th 2020, the ECDC as host for Eurosurveillance declined to provide access without providing substantial scientific reasons for their decision. On the contrary, they write that ''disclosure would undermine the purpose of scientific investigations.'' [24].
9. Authors as the editorsA final point is one of major concern. It turns out that two authors of the Corman-Drosten paper, Christian Drosten and Chantal Reusken, are also members of the editorial board of this journal [19]. Hence there is a severe conflict of interest which strengthens suspicions that the paper was not peer-reviewed. It has the appearance that the rapid publication was possible simply because the authors were also part of the editorial board at Eurosurveillance. This practice is categorized as compromising scientific integrity.
SUMMARY CATALOGUE OF ERRORS FOUND IN THE PAPERThe Corman-Drosten paper contains the following specific errors:
1. There exists no specified reason to use these extremely high concentrations of primers in this protocol. The described concentrations lead to increased nonspecific bindings and PCR product amplifications, making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
2. Six unspecified wobbly positions will introduce an enormous variability in the real world laboratory implementations of this test; the confusing nonspecific description in the Corman-Drosten paper is not suitable as a Standard Operational Protocol making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
3. The test cannot discriminate between the whole virus and viral fragments. Therefore, the test cannot be used as a diagnostic for intact (infectious) viruses, making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus and make inferences about the presence of an infection.
4. A difference of 10° C with respect to the annealing temperature Tm for primer pair1 (RdRp_SARSr_F and RdRp_SARSr_R) also makes the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
5. A severe error is the omission of a Ct value at which a sample is considered positive and negative. This Ct value is also not found in follow-up submissions making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
6. The PCR products have not been validated at the molecular level. This fact makes the protocol useless as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
7. The PCR test contains neither a unique positive control to evaluate its specificity for SARS-CoV-2 nor a negative control to exclude the presence of other coronaviruses, making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
8. The test design in the Corman-Drosten paper is so vague and flawed that one can go in dozens of different directions; nothing is standardized and there is no SOP. This highly questions the scientific validity of the test and makes it unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
9. Most likely, the Corman-Drosten paper was not peer-reviewed making the test unsuitable as a specific diagnostic tool to identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
10. We find severe conflicts of interest for at least four authors, in addition to the fact that two of the authors of the Corman-Drosten paper (Christian Drosten and Chantal Reusken) are members of the editorial board of Eurosurveillance. A conflict of interest was added on July 29 2020 (Olfert Landt is CEO of TIB-Molbiol; Marco Kaiser is senior researcher at GenExpress and serves as scientific advisor for TIB-Molbiol), that was not declared in the original version (and still is missing in the PubMed version); TIB-Molbiol is the company which was ''the first'' to produce PCR kits (Light Mix) based on the protocol published in the Corman-Drosten manuscript, and according to their own words, they distributed these PCR-test kits before the publication was even submitted [20]; further, Victor Corman & Christian Drosten failed to mention their second affiliation: the commercial test laboratory ''Labor Berlin''. Both are responsible for the virus diagnostics there [21] and the company operates in the realm of real time PCR-testing.
In light of our re-examination of the test protocol to identify SARS-CoV-2 described in the Corman-Drosten paper we have identified concerning errors and inherent fallacies which render the SARS-CoV-2 PCR test useless.CONCLUSIONThe decision as to which test protocols are published and made widely available lies squarely in the hands of Eurosurveillance. A decision to recognise the errors apparent in the Corman-Drosten paper has the benefit to greatly minimise human cost and suffering going forward.
Is it not in the best interest of Eurosurveillance to retract this paper? Our conclusion is clear. In the face of all the tremendous PCR-protocol design flaws and errors described here, we conclude: There is not much of a choice left in the framework of scientific integrity and responsibility.
REFERENCES[1] Corman Victor M, Landt Olfert, Kaiser Marco, Molenkamp Richard, Meijer Adam, Chu Daniel KW, Bleicker Tobias, Br¼nink Sebastian, Schneider Julia, Schmidt Marie Luisa, Mulders Daphne GJC, Haagmans Bart L, van der Veer Bas, van den Brink Sharon, Wijsman Lisa, Goderski Gabriel, Romette Jean-Louis, Ellis Joanna, Zambon Maria, Peiris Malik, Goossens Herman, Reusken Chantal, Koopmans Marion PG, Drosten Christian. Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(3):pii=2000045.
[2] Email communication between Dr. Peter Borger & Dr. Adam Meijer: Supplementary Material
[3] Jafaar et al., Correlation Between 3790 Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction''Positives Samples and Positive Cell Cultures, Including 1941 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Isolates.
[4] BBC, January 21st 2020:;Archive:
[5] Google Analytics '' COVID19-deaths worldwide: Archive:
[6] Laboratory testing for COVID-19 Emergency Response Technical Centre, NIVD underChina CDC March 15th, 2020:
[7] Real-Time PCR Handbook Life Technologies:
Nolan T, Huggett J, Sanchez E.Good practice guide for the application of quantitative PCR (qPCR) First Edition 2013
[8] Trestan Pillonel et al, Letter to the editor: SARS-CoV-2 detection by real-time RT-PCR:
[9] Kurkela, Satu, and David WG Brown. ''Molecular-diagnostic techniques.'' Medicine 38.10(2009): 535-540.
[10] Wolfel et al., Virological assessment of hospitalized patients with COVID-2019
[11] Thermofischer Primer Dimer Web Tool: Material
[12] Primer-BLAST, NCBI '' National Center for Biotechnology Information:
[13] Marra MA, Steven JMJ, Caroline RA, Robert AH, Angela BW et al. (2003) Science. TheGenome sequence of the SARS-associated coronavirus. Science 300(5624): 1399-1404.
[14] Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 isolate Wuhan-Hu-1, completegenome:
[15] Borger P. A SARS-like Coronavirus was expected but nothing was done to be prepared. Am J Biomed Sci Res 2020.; Archive:
[16] Eurosurveillance paper evaluation / review process:
[17] Official recommendation of the Corman-Drosten protocol & manuscript by the WHO,published on January 13th 2020 as version 1.0 of the document:; archive:
[18] Official WHO-recommendation for the Corman / Drosten RT-qPCR-protocol, whichdirectly derives from the Eurosurveillance-publication, document-version 2-1, published on17th January 2020:
[19] Eurosurveillance Editorial Board, 2020:; Archive:
[20] Instructions For Use LightMix SarbecoV E-gene plus EAV Control, TIB-Molbiol & RocheMolecular Solutions, January 11th 2020: (1).pdfArchive, timestamp '' January 11th 2020:; Archive:
[21] Christian Drosten & Victor Corman, responsible for viral diagnostics at Labor Berlin: Archive:
[22] Tom Jefferson, Elizabeth Spencer, Jon Brassey, Carl Heneghan Viral cultures for COVID-19 infectivity assessment. Systematic review. Systematic review doi:
[23] Kim et al.,The Architecture of SARS-CoV-2 Transcriptome:
[24] ECDC reply to Dr. Peter Borger, 18th November 2020: Supplementary Material
[25] Prof. Dr. Ulrike K¤mmerer & team, survey & Primer-BLAST table: Supplementary Material
Additional literature:Description RT-PCR RKI Germany, on page 10 of this link:
Author's Affiliations:1) Dr. Pieter Borger (MSc, PhD), Molecular Genetics, W+W Research Associate, L¶rrach, Germany 2) Rajesh Kumar Malhotra (Artist Alias: Bobby Rajesh Malhotra), Former 3D Artist / Scientific Visualizations at CeMM '' Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2019-2020), University for Applied Arts '' Department for Digital Arts Vienna, Austria3) Dr. Michael Yeadon BSs(Hons) Biochem Tox U Surrey, PhD Pharmacology U Surrey. Managing Director, Yeadon Consulting Ltd, former Pfizer Chief Scientist, United Kingdom 4) Dr. Clare Craig MA, (Cantab) BM, BCh (Oxon), FRCPath, United Kingdom5) Kevin McKernan, BS Emory University, Chief Scientific Officer, founder Medical Genomics, engineered the sequencing pipeline at WIBR/MIT for the Human Genome Project, Invented and developed the SOLiD sequencer, awarded patents related to PCR, DNA Isolation and Sequencing, USA6) Prof. Dr. Klaus Steger, Department of Urology, Pediatric Urology and Andrology, Molecular Andrology, Biomedical Research Center of the Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany7) Dr. Paul McSheehy (BSc, PhD), Biochemist & Industry Pharmacologist, Loerrach, Germany8) Dr. Lidiya Angelova, MSc in Biology, PhD in Microbiology, Former researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Maryland, USA9) Dr. Fabio Franchi, Former Dirigente Medico (M.D) in an Infectious Disease Ward, specialized in ''Infectious Diseases'' and ''Hygiene and Preventive Medicine'', Societ Scientifica per il Principio di Precauzione (SSPP), Italy10) Dr. med. Thomas Binder, Internist and Cardiologist (FMH), Switzerland11) Prof. Dr. med. Henrik Ullrich, specialist Diagnostic Radiology, Chief Medical Doctor at the Center for Radiology of Collm Oschatz-Hospital, Germany12) Prof. Dr. Makoto Ohashi, Professor emeritus, PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, Tokushima University, Japan13) Dr. Stefano Scoglio, B.Sc. Ph.D., Microbiologist, Nutritionist, Italy14) Dr. Marjolein Doesburg-van Kleffens (MSc, PhD), specialist in Laboratory Medicine (clinical chemistry), Maasziekenhuis Pantein, Beugen, The Netherlands15) Dr. Dorothea Gilbert (MSc, PhD), PhD Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology. DGI Consulting Services, Oslo, Norway16) Dr. Rainer J. Klement, PhD. Department of Radiation Oncology, Leopoldina Hospital Schweinfurt, Germany17) Dr. Ruth Schruefer, PhD, human genetics/ immunology, Munich, Germany, 18) Dra. Berber W. Pieksma, General Practitioner, The Netherlands19) Dr. med. Jan Bonte (GJ), Consultant Neurologist, The Netherlands20) Dr. Bruno H. Dalle Carbonare (Molecular biologist), IP specialist, BDC Basel, Switzerland21) Dr. Kevin P. Corbett, MSc Nursing (Kings College London) PhD (London South Bank) Social Sciences (Science & Technology Studies) London, England, United Kingdom22) Prof. Dr. Ulrike K¤mmerer, specialist in Virology / Immunology / Human Biology / Cell Biology, University Hospital W¼rzburg, GermanyAuthor's Contributions:PB: Planned and conducted the analyses and research, conceptualising the manuscript.BRM: Planned and conducted the research, conceptualising the figures and manuscript.MY: Conducted the analyses and research.KMcK: Conducted the analyses and research, conceptualized the manuscript.KS: Conducted the analyses and research.PMcS: Proofreading the analyses and research.LA: Proofreading the analyses and research.FF: Proofreading the analyses and research.TB: Proofreading the analyses and research.HU: Proofreading the analyses and research.MO: Proofreading the analyses and research.SS: Proofreading the analyses and research.MDvK: Proofreading the analyses and research.DG: Proofreading the analyses and research.RJK: Proofreading the analyses and research.RS: Proofreading the analyses and research, and the manuscript.BWK: Proofreading the analyses and research.RvV: Proofreading the analyses and research.JB: Proofreading the analyses and research.KC: Proofreading the analyses and research.UK: Planned and conducted the analyses and research, conceptualising the manuscript.Additional Proof-Readers:Saji N Hameed, Environmental Informatics, University of Aizu, Tsuruga, Ikki-machi, Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima, JapanHoward R. Steen, MA Chem. Eng. Cantab, Former Research Manager, Germany
Formula One superstar Lewis Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19 - CBS News
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 20:53
Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix. The Mercedes team said in a statement Tuesday that Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit.
"But he up woke Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive," the team said. "Lewis, therefore, took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest."
Hamilton is in isolation in accordance with the health protocols in Bahrain.
"Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery," the team statement said.
The 35-year-old Hamilton appeared to be drained at the end of the Bahrain GP, which was marred by a crash that left Romain Grosjean with minor burns to his hands and ankles after his Haas car crashed and burst into flames moments after the start.
"It's physical, this track has always been physical. We've got lots of high-speed corners so I was definitely feeling it," Hamilton said following Sunday's race. "I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn't really quite sure how it would play out at the end."
There is another race in Bahrain on Sunday - on Sakhir's shorter outer circuit - before the 17-race season concludes in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton clinched the drivers' championship last month in Turkey and has a big lead in the standings with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas (201) and Max Verstappen (189).
The Mercedes team said it would announce a replacement driver later in the week. Reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne was already scheduled to travel to Bahrain after Formula E testing in Valencia.
Hamilton is the third F1 driver to test positive for COVID-19 this season, following Sergio Perez at Silverstone and Lance Stroll in Germany.
Formula One organizers said Hamilton needs a negative test before being allowed to return to the F1 paddock and, therefore, remains a doubtful starter for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
The US reports 3,100 coronavirus deaths in one day -- 20% more than previous record - CNN
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:06
By Madeline Holcombe, CNN
Updated 6:45 AM EST, Thu December 03, 2020
(CNN) There were 3,157 Covid-19 deaths reported Wednesday -- an all-time high for the pandemic -- and health care systems are struggling to support the weight of worsening impacts.
The more recent death toll is an increase of about 20% from the previous record of 2,603 set on April 15. Over the course of the pandemic, 273,799 people in the US have died of the virus and more than 13.9 million have been infected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The record comes as the US suffers climbing cases and hospitalizations that mirror the devastation of the spring but that health experts warn will get even worse further into winter.
The surge has pushed records set one day to be broken the next. The spike in coronavirus deaths came on the same day the number of people hospitalized broke 100,000, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The number of hospitalizations had been steadily growing over the course of last month, setting records nearly every day since November 10, and experts worry health care systems will soon feel the strain.
The 911 emergency call system is "at a breaking point," the American Ambulance Association, which represents all of the nation's ambulance services, said in a letter Wednesday.
"Without additional relief, it seems likely to break, even as we enter the third surge of the virus in the Mid-West and West," the letter said.
And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention top official said Wednesday things aren't likely to look better for hospitals any time soon.
"The reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they're going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation, largely because of the stress that's going to be put on our health care system," said Dr. Robert Redfield.
Los Angeles tells residents to 'cancel everything'States across the US are racing to catch up with the skyrocketing number of coronavirus hospitalizations.
If the coronavirus continues to spread at its current, unprecedented rate, Los Angeles will run out of hospital beds by Christmas, Mayor Eric Garcetti warned in a news conference Wednesday, calling on residents to "hunker down" and "cancel everything" to help stop the spread of the virus.
"The public health condition of our city is as dire as it was in March in the earliest days of this pandemic," he said, adding that the number of daily coronavirus infections in Los Angeles has tripled since early November and hospitalizations are at a new peak.
In the Southwest region of Kansas, Gov. Laura Kelly said Wednesday there are no staffed ICU beds available.
"While case numbers may have dipped slightly, the strain on our hospitals and health care workers has not," she said.
Coronavirus hospitalizations in Nevada have been climbing daily since November, with few exceptions, and were at a peak Wednesday with 1,652 people hospitalized, the state's dashboard shows.
100 million could be vaccinated by FebruaryThere may still be ways to go before the wider public has access to a coronavirus vaccine, but developments are moving quickly.
By February, 100 million Americans could be vaccinated against coronavirus, Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, said Wednesday.
"All the investments we have made in scaling up and starting to stockpile manufacturing of the vaccines allow us to stay confident that we will be able to distribute 20 million vaccines, enough to vaccinate 20 million people in the US in December," Slaoui said in a news briefing.
The United States has said if both Pfizer and Moderna win US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization in December, they could distribute 40 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the month. Each vaccine requires two doses, so that's enough to fully vaccinate 20 million people.
Slaoui said he expected 60 million more vaccines by the end of January.
An FDA panel is expected to meet about whether to authorize the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine candidates on December 10 and December 17, respectively.
Assuming the vaccines are authorized, the first shipments could happen December 15 and 22, respectively, according to a document from the federal government's Operation Warp Speed.
A CDC panel recommended Tuesday that heath care and long-term care workers get inoculated first.
Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA's vaccine advisory group, said Wednesday that technology could help ramp up vaccine production enough to cover the global population.
"You really can, I think, in a couple years, be able to make enough vaccines to vaccinate 7 billion people," he said. "There's no reason to think that couldn't happen."
Vaccine trials for children set for 2021Though vaccines are on the way, they have only been studied in adults and children older than 12.
Trials for younger children could start early next year, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said Wednesday. We "very definitely need to get there," Collins told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
"We will want to, shortly after the first of the year, also find out does this work for younger children because we know they can be infected and they can pass this along," he said.
"So that is a next sort of level of test that's going to need to be done in a ... vaccine trial in order to be sure that the vaccine is safe and effective in that group," he said.
"We think it will be, but we want to be sure," said Collins.
As of November 19, the latest data available, nearly 1.2 million children have tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic's start. And over just two weeks -- between November 5 to November 19 -- the number of child cases increased by 28%, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.
Children now represent nearly 12% of all Covid-19 cases in the country.
CNN's Steve Almasy, Jason Hanna, Shelby Lin Erdman, Raja Razek, Maggie Fox, Andrea Diaz, Jamie Gumbrecht, Jennifer Henderson, Rebekah Riess, and Lauren Mascarenhas contributed to this report.
A global team of experts has found 10 FATAL FLAWS in the main test for Covid and is demanding it's urgently axed. As they should '-- RT Op-ed
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:37
By Peter Andrews, Irish science journalist and writer based in London. He has a background in the life sciences, and graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in genetics
A peer review of the paper on which most Covid testing is based has comprehensively debunked the science behind it, finding major flaws. They conclude it's utterly unsuitable as a means for diagnosis '' and the fall-out is immense.
Last week, I reported on a landmark ruling from Portugal, where a court had ruled against a governmental health authority that had illegally confined four people to a hotel this summer. They had done so because one of the people had tested positive for Covid in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test '' but the court had found the test fundamentally flawed and basically inadmissible.
Now the PCR testing supremacy under which we all now live has received another crushing blow. A peer review from a group of 22 international experts has found 10 ''major flaws'' in the main protocol for such tests. The report systematically dismantles the original study, called the Corman-Drosten paper, which described a protocol for applying the PCR technique to detecting Covid.
The Corman-Drosten paper was published on January, 23, 2020, just a day after being submitted, which would make any peer review process that took place possibly the shortest in history. What is important about it is that the protocol it describes is used in around 70 percent of Covid kits worldwide. It's cheap, fast '' and absolutely useless.
Also on Landmark legal ruling finds that Covid tests are not fit for purpose. So what do the MSM do? They ignore it The 10 deadly sinsAmong the fatal flaws that totally invalidate the PCR testing protocol are that the test:
is non-specific, due to erroneous primer design
is enormously variable
cannot discriminate between the whole virus and viral fragments
has no positive or negative controls
has no standard operating procedure
does not seem to have been properly peer reviewed
Oh dear. One wonders whether anything at all was correct in the paper. But wait '' it gets worse. As has been noted previously, no threshold for positivity was ever identified. This is why labs have been running 40 cycles, almost guaranteeing a large number of false positives '' up to 97 percent, according to some studies.
The cherry on top, though, is that among the authors of the original paper themselves, at least four have severe conflicts of interest. Two of them are members of the editorial board of Eurosurveillance, the sinisterly named journal that published the paper. And at least three of them are on the payroll of the first companies to perform PCR testing!
Also on YouTube removes lockdown-sceptical interview with renowned immunologist Dr Mike Yeadon for 'violating terms of service' Heroes we deserveThe 22 members of the consortium that has challenged this shoddy science deserve huge credit. The scientists, from Europe, the USA, and Japan, comprise senior molecular geneticists, biochemists, immunologists, and microbiologists, with many decades of experience between them.
They have issued a demand to Eurosurveillance to retract the Corman-Drosten paper, writing: ''Considering the scientific and methodological blemishes presented here, we are confident that the editorial board of Eurosurveillance has no other choice but to retract the publication.'' Talk about putting the pressure on.
It is difficult to overstate the implications of this revelation. Every single thing about the Covid orthodoxy relies on 'case numbers', which are largely the results of the now widespread PCR tests. If their results are essentially meaningless, then everything we are being told '' and ordered to do by increasingly dictatorial governments '' is likely to be incorrect. For instance, one of the authors of the review is Dr Mike Yeadon, who asserts that, in the UK, there is no 'second wave' and that the pandemic has been over since June. Having seen the PCR tests so unambiguously debunked, it is hard to see any evidence to the contrary.
Also on All vaccines, including the new Covid ones, carry a tiny risk of serious side effects. But does that mean we shouldn't take them? The house of cards collapsesWhy was this paper rushed to publication in January, despite clearly not meeting proper standards? Why did none of the checks and balances that are meant to prevent bad science dictating public policy kick into action? And why did it take so long for anyone in the scientific community to challenge its faulty methodology? These questions lead to dark ruminations, which I will save for another day.
Even more pressing is the question of what is going to be done about this now. The people responsible for writing and publishing the paper have to be held accountable. But also, all PCR testing based on the Corman-Drosten protocol should be stopped with immediate effect. All those who are so-called current 'Covid cases', diagnosed based on that protocol, should be told they no longer have to isolate. All present and previous Covid deaths, cases, and 'infection rates' should be subject to a massive retroactive inquiry. And lockdowns, shutdowns, and other restrictions should be urgently reviewed and relaxed.
Because this latest blow to PCR testing raises the probability that we are not enduring a killer virus pandemic, but a false positive pseudo-epidemic. And one on which we are destroying our economies, wrecking people's livelihoods and causing more deaths than Covid-19 will ever claim.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Vaccines and such
Robert F. Kennedy Jr: COVID19 vaccine should be avoided at all cost | Principia Scientific Intl.
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:30
Published on November 19, 2020
Written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr
I would like to draw your attention urgently to important issues related to the next Covid-19 vaccination. For the first time in the history of vaccination, the so-called last generation mRNA vaccines intervene directly in the genetic material of the patient and therefore alter the individual genetic material, which represents the genetic manipulation, something that was already forbidden and until then considered criminal.
This intervention can be compared to genetically manipulated food, which is also highly controversial. Even if the media and politicians currently trivialize the problem and even stupidly call for a new type of vaccine to return to normality, this vaccination is problematic in terms of health, morality and ethics, and also in terms of genetic damage that, unlike the damage caused by previous vaccines, will be irreversible and irreparable.
Dear patients, after an unprecedented mRNA vaccine, you will no longer be able to treat the vaccine symptoms in a complementary way. They will have to live with the consequences, because they can no longer be cured simply by removing toxins from the human body, just as a person with a genetic defect like Down syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome, genetic cardiac arrest, hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, Rett syndrome, etc.), because the genetic defect is forever!
This means clearly: if a vaccination symptom develops after an mRNA vaccination, neither I nor any other therapist can help you, because the damage caused by the vaccination will be genetically irreversible. In my opinion, these new vaccines represent a crime against humanity that has never been committed in such a big way in history. As Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, an experienced doctor, said: In fact, this ''promising vaccine'' for the vast majority of people should be FORBIDDEN, because it is genetic manipulation! ''
The vaccine, developed and endorsed by Anthony Fauci and funded by Bill Gates, uses experimental mRNA technology. Three of the 15 human guinea pigs (20%) experienced a ''serious adverse event''.
Note: messenger RNA or mRNA is the ribonucleic acid that transfers the genetic code of the DNA of the cell nucleus to a ribosome in the cytoplasm, that is, the one that determines the order in which the amino acids of a protein bind and act as a mold or pattern for the synthesis of that protein.
Resource:Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. ( )
Yes, like many other viruses.
Yes, if you use the proper medicines and do not leave your health in the hands of corrupt and mercantile health systems.
Yes and many, some are acting discreetly giving appropriate treatments, others have been bolder and there are many videos in the networks talking about these treatments, and many have been threatened, disqualified or silenced.
Yes, and there is a world union calling for more doctors and scientists called Doctors and Scientists for Truth, to expose the falsity of the treatment they have given to the bug issue.
No. The WHO changed the term that referred to the pandemic, before the bug was launched in order to end the pandemic.
Yes, like all flu.
No. If you have symptoms, just take the appropriate medicine from the first day (strengthen the immune system, take anti-inflammatory and anti-influenza) and cure yourself at home.
Yes, being as clean as you should be, and maintaining a high immune system. And you also have: Ozone Therapy, Chlorine Dioxide with the preventive protocol.
No. In the USA it was discovered that any data, would be in fact 10% of that number, because the causes of deaths were other diseases, and the tests are not reliable, they give false positives.
The human being has many microorganisms and viruses in the body and this does not mean that you are a sick or infected person, or that you have the virus, however, the viruses that are supposedly ''so aggressive'' present some symptoms in the patients because the body releases alarms from an intruder (fever, headache, vomiting, etc.) and according to Koch's theory the answer is NO.
Yes, in a laboratory.
To be the excuse to restrict freedoms, to change the current economic system to a more oppressive / enslaving, scary, blind flock obedience.
Yes. And all those who contributed to the deaths and the plan will fall, and they will pay for what they did.
No. Fear diminishes your immune system and makes you mentally controllable.
Yes. The owners of the media are accomplices. This is called mind control.
You protect yourself, and if you get sick you already know how to heal yourself at home, or with your trusted doctor who will not commit to the abandonment protocol.
No. If you get healthy, vaccines bring chemicals, heavy metals and a series of ''bugs'' that will only affect your health more in the medium and long term, both physically and mentally. It's your body, and it's your right to decide about it, and about your physical and mental health. Would you trust a vaccine after a virus has been created to exterminate humanity?
Yes.! And we will be victorious! We need to stay together and wake other people up, giving a lot of information.
''Forced to wear a mask, but not to shut up.''
About the author: Robert F Kennedy Jr is the son of the former U.S. Attorney General under his brother President John F. Kennedy. In his work as a vaccine injury lawyer Robert Jr. has produced the suppressed vaccine documentary, 'VAXXED' and the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN).
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Here's Who the CDC Says Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine First | Time
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 16:05
F rontline healthcare workers and elderly residents of long-term care facilities will receive the very first COVID-19 vaccinations, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory board recommended Tuesday.
These groups will make up Phase 1A of U.S. vaccine recipients who will receive the first 40 million or so doses that could be available by the end of the year. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing two vaccines, from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, for emergency use authorization.
According to the CDC, there are about 21 million healthcare workers, including people who work in hospitals, long term care facilities, home healthcare, pharmacies, emergency medical services as well as in public health, and about 3 million older Americans living in skilled nursing or long term care facilities.
The 13 to 1 vote by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) was the first official step toward prioritizing who will get the scarce first doses of any COVID-19 vaccine. Over the nearly four hour meeting, the committee discussed in detail who within these two priority groups would get access first when doses are limited early on. For example, the committee wanted to ensure that people who work directly in providing patient care will be first in line.
Read more: The First U.S. Shipments of COVID-19 Vaccines Will Include 6.4 Million Doses
The reasons for focusing on healthcare workers and long term care residents include both the potential for magnifying the impact of vaccination: If healthcare workers are protected, they will be able to continue working and caring for more people with COVID-19 as cases continue to spread across the country. The board also focused on the groups most impacted by the disease. While only 1% of the US population lives in long term care, the residents and the staff who work there account for 6% of COVID-19 cases and 40% of the deaths.
''I believe my vote [in favor of the recommendation] reflects maximizing benefit, minimizing harm, promoting justice and mitigating health inequities,'' Dr. Jose Romero, the committee chair, said in explaining his support of the priority groups.
The recommendation now go to the director of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield, who does not have to accept it but likely will. If he accepts the recommendation, state health departments can start making decisions about how to allocate the anticipated 6.4 million doses that will be the first batch released within days of the FDA authorizing a vaccine. They will probably go to hospitals where healthcare workers are most concentrated, as well as to pharmacies that have contracted with long term care facilities to administer shots to residents and staff.
Read more: Yes, We Have COVID-19 Vaccines That Are 95% Effective. But That Doesn't Mean the End of the Pandemic is Near
The committee also discussed at length the systems in place for collecting and monitoring reports of side-effects and adverse events from the vaccine. Participants in large-scale trials for both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have reported no major adverse effects, however the CDC closely monitors the safety of all vaccination programs. The CDC is planning several levels of check ins, beginning with a smartphone-based texting system that vaccinated people can register for in order to report side effects. The agency will also utilize existing national systems that doctors and healthcare providers routinely use to track vaccine side effects, as well as institutional systems for reporting adverse events by hospitals and other facilities.
Dr. Helen Talbot, associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, was the only member to vote against the recommendation, based solely on her misgivings about the lack of safety data on vaccinating residents of long term care facilities. ''I've spent my career studying vaccines in older adults, and traditionally we've tried vaccines in young, healthy populations and hoped it worked in frail, older adults,'' she said during the meeting. ''We have now entered the realm of 'We hope it works, we hope it's safe,' and that concerns me on many levels.''
She noted that while studies so far show that the elderly who are vaccinated don't experience significantly higher adverse events, that could also mean that the vaccine isn't as effective, either. (So far, both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna report that their shots are around 95% effective in protecting against disease in all age groups.)
Second, Talbot said she worried that long term care facilities aren't equipped to properly monitor potential adverse effects from vaccinations. ''I'm still struggling with that since we don't have a good safety surveillance network in place yet,'' she said. It will likely fall to the healthcare professionals at these facilities to take on reporting of any unusual symptoms after residents are vaccinated, but that could place an additional burden on already taxed teams'--not to mention that the symptoms of fever, fatigue and coughing are often common among frailer people in this age group so it will be harder to determine which symptoms need to be reported.
CDC board members also discussed practical issues such as whether healthcare workers in a particular facility should be vaccinated in a staggered fashion to avoid personnel shortages in case people develop side effects severe enough to keep them from working.
Ultimately, based on the growing number of cases and the urgent need to corral the spreading virus, the committee members felt that, at least to begin with, vaccinating healthcare workers and those living in long term care facilities made the most sense. The recommendation, said Dr. Peter Szilagyi, professor pediatrics at University of California, Los Angeles, ''helps to maintain our healthcare system and protect a very fragile population.''
The committee's recommendation is focused only on who should receive the first doses of vaccine once a shot is authorized by the FDA, and doesn't represent a recommendation that people should get vaccinated against COVID-19 '-- yet. That will come after an advisory committee for the FDA meets in mid-December and makes a decision about whether COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective enough to distribute. Then, the ACIP committee will meet again to make recommendations about specific vaccines.
While most of the American public won't be eligible to receive the first doses of vaccine that might be available this year, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, said the end is in sight. ''For all the people who are anxiously awaiting [a COVID-19] vaccine,'' she said, ''we hope this vote gets us one step closer to the day when we can all feel safe again, when this pandemic is over.''
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At-risk groups to receive free winter supply of vitamin D - GOV.UK
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 14:11
Deliveries will be made to clinically extremely vulnerable and care home residents Higher risk of vitamin D deficiency as these groups have spent more time indoors this yearMore than 2.5 million vulnerable people across England will be offered free vitamin D supplements for the winter, the government has announced today (Saturday 28 November).
All care homes will automatically receive a provision for their residents, while individuals on the clinically extremely vulnerable list will receive a letter inviting them to opt in for a supply to be delivered directly to their homes. Deliveries will be free of charge, starting in January, and will provide 4 months' worth of supplements to last people through the winter months.
The supplements will support general health, in particular bone and muscle health. This is particularly important this year as these individuals are more likely to have been indoors for extended periods due to measures introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Evidence of the link of vitamin D to COVID-19 is still being researched with larger scale trials needed. In the meantime, the Secretary of State has asked the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) to re-review the existing evidence. The government will publish its findings towards the end of the year.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:
Because of the incredible sacrifices made by the British people to control the virus, many of us have spent more time indoors this year and could be deficient in vitamin D.
The government is taking action to ensure vulnerable individuals can access a free supply to last them through the darker winter months. This will support their general health, keep their bones and muscles healthy and crucially reduce the pressure on our NHS.
A number of studies indicate vitamin D might have a positive impact in protecting against COVID-19. I have asked NICE and PHE to re-review the existing evidence on the link between COVID-19 and vitamin D to ensure we explore every potential opportunity to beat this virus.
Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England, said:
Vitamin D is important for our bone and muscle health.
We advise that everyone, particularly the elderly, those who don't get outside and those with dark skin, takes a vitamin D supplement containing 10 micrograms (400IU) every day.
This year, the advice is more important than ever with more people spending more time inside, which is why the government will be helping the clinically extremely vulnerable to get vitamin D.
The advice from PHE is for everybody to take 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D a day between October and early March to keep bones and muscles healthy.
PHE advises people who are more at risk of not having enough vitamin D to take a vitamin D supplement all year round. A range of products and doses are available at supermarkets, pharmacies and other retailers.
Anyone who is able to purchase a vitamin D supplement and start taking them now is advised to do so, even if you are also eligible for a delivery later in the year.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will provide further information and guidance for all nursing and residential care home providers in the coming weeks.
Propylene Glycol (peg) vs. Polyethylene Glycol (pg) '' Vaping News & Reviews 2017
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:45
I keep reading warnings, many by the uneducated masses of parrots populating the green face of the Earth and some by the supposedly educated, medical professionals of the world, which impress upon those being warned that the liquid used in E-cigarettes is also used in antifreeze, making it extremely toxic to human beings'... and animals, too, allegedly. The truth, of course, is both more complicated and simpler than the lies and misconceptions surrounding this volatile, semi-political topic based on the rising popularity of electronic cigarettes, purported to be a healthy alternative to ''real'' (analog) tobacco products. This antifreeze scare is nothing new. The most vehement of the anti-smoking gang (the ones who think anything cylindrical, brought to the mouth on a regular basis is a gateway drug to Marlboro Reds) immediately leapt upon the jugular of the first E-cigarettes to hit the First World and disected their ingredients until they found something, anything, that could be used to demonize them to the public who, ironically, were looking for a different way to quit smoking. They found that one of the main ingredients in E-liquid was polyethylene glycol, which is used in antifreeze and is fairly toxic to humans in large quantities. The E-cigarette industry answered by changing that ingredient to propylene glycol, a much safer alternative. In fact, although propylene glycol (or PG) is used in antifreeze as well, it's only used in RV and Marine antifreeze, colored pink to designate it's non-toxic qualities. Hence the picture above.
Here are a few facts about polyethylene glycol (the somewhat dangerous one):
Polyethylene glycol is, in fact, used in antifreeze because it lowers the freezing temperature of water. It produces ethylene glycol when processed.Ethylene Glycol has been known to be lethal in doses as low as 786 mg/kg. Even the electronic cigarettes that DO utilize polyethylene glycol (PEG) come nowhere near this mark.Laboratory studies on the inhalation of vaporized/aerosolized PEG all showed that inahlation did not, in fact, deliver lethal, or even harmful, doses of PEG to laboratory animals.Antifreeze which uses PEG to lower the freezing point of water is generally dyed a blue/green color (we've all seen it on our driveway at one point or another) to indicate toxicity and danger.When ingested (swallowed, not inhaled) PEG is metabolised first into glycolic acid, then into oxalic acid'... which is dangerous. This danger is present in PEG, but as stated above, not enough to cause harm when vaporized.
In contrast, here are some interesting points concerning propylene glycol (the harmless one):
PG is metabolised by the human body into chemicals that are naturally occurring in normal, human metabolic functions. The resulting chemicals are pyruvic and lactic acids, both of which are quite normal in our bodies.PG is listed by the Food and Drug Administration (Yeah, that's right. The FDA, otherwise known as the opponents to the E-cigarette industry) as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe).PG is present in some antifreeze products, but is colored pink to make it readily recognizable as non-toxic. This type of antifreeze is often found in boats and RVs.In addition to being approved for human consumption by the FDA, PG is also approved for human inhalation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).Last but not least in the slightest, PG's germicidal properties has been found to promote healthier human lung function by killing many of the germs and bacteria which take root in the lungs and make us sick with respiratory illnesses. So, in short, PG is not only harmless, it also induces a state of increased healthiness.
PG is now used by the vast majority of E-juice manufacturers. PEG was all-but-abandoned when all of this hogwash about antifreeze started causing the sheeple to panic, as they are wont to do whenever they read a headline with the form ''Is _____ Really Healthy?'' As you can see by the above-mentioned evidence and scientific analyses, Neither PEG nor PG are actually unhealthy when inhaled. Of the two, PG is slightly better, which is why most of the E-cigarette industry has switched from PEG to PG. Of course, they also did so in an effort to shut the ANTZ (Anti-Nicotine and Tobacco Zealots) up'... a move which ultimately failed because they have abandoned all attention to scientific evidence in exchange for a vendetta against the industry as a whole.
Please feel free to spread this around to all the skeptics you know. Encourage them to do more research on their own, and at the very least to read through the sources listed below. All I ask is that you give credit as author. Good luck and VAPE ON!!!!
''Propylene Glycol- Wikipedia
''Code of Federal Regulations
''Product Safety Assessment- Propylene Glycol
''Ethylene Glycol Toxicity
''Ethylene Glycol- Wikipedia
''Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe?
''A Germ-Killing Vapor
''Deposition and Fate of Inhaled Ethylene Glycol Vapor and Condensation Aerosol in the Rat
''Two-week aerosol inhalation study on polyethylene glycol (PEG) 3350 in F-344 rats.
General discussion
Vegetable glycerine (VG) is so safe, no one has even dared to suggest that it might be an unhealthy constituent of E-juice. In reality, however, Propylene Glycol isn't any less healthy than VG, but because of its scary sounding ''other uses,'' it raises a bit of controversy amidst people who only read the headlines/titles of articles/theses.Reply
taz October 29, 2013 at 5:54 am
is the bacterial killing properties in PG, also in VG??? im getting mine from virgin vape.Reply
No, this effect has only been seen in PG.
Gabe April 4, 2014 at 10:28 am
Even this post is pretty full of mis-information. Medical grade polyethylene glycol, which was used in the ''juice'', shares part of a name with ethylene glycol'... and that's it. They are, in fact, two different chemical compounds with the poly signifying the fact that it is a polymer.
Polyethylene glycol is used in a wide variety of medical applications and is completely safe. It is used in things such as eye drops, laxatives, liquid capsules, oral liquids, ointment bases etc. It has also been shown to greatly increase the rate of nerve repair in things such as spinal injuries, though further research needs to be conducted before this application is widely accepted.
It is not, in fact, used in any anti-freeze.
The companies simply decided it was easier to change to a different, and actually inferior, compound than to explain to the masses the benefits and differences between ''anti-freeze'' and polyethylene glycol.Reply
Gabe April 4, 2014 at 10:30 am
Also, the study above mentions PEG 3500 for the substance used in the rat lab study. This is more than 8 times ''heavier'' than the PEG400 which is/was the standard in the vaporizer industry, meaning that the effects of PEG400 are actually significantly less than even the minimal effects of PEG3500.Reply
eat it June 29, 2014 at 10:08 pm
Came here searching for info on PEG and of course google leads me to a page made by an asshole moron. Please go fuck yourself with this article.Reply
E-Juice Connoisseur June 30, 2014 at 4:52 pm
That was a well-structured, thorough, and expertly argued retort there, buddy. I bow to your superiority. Oh, and I took your advice. Turns out the Propylene Glycol did no measurable damage to my colon or lower intestinal tract. I should take another reading in a few years just to be sure, though, right?Reply
Joe July 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm
Your info is grossly misleading and wrong regarding PEG. PEG and Ethylene Glycol are different substances. Please keep your facts straight. Ethylene Glycol is antifreeze and PEG is a polymer used in pharmaceutical injectables and medical inhalers. Do some homework prior to spreading propaganda.Reply
E-Juice Connoisseur July 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm
The article clearly addresses the differences between PEG and EG, and also states the harmless nature of both PEG and PG. What I was pointing out was that despite PEG NOT BEING DANGEROUS, the E-cig industry switched to PG just to placate the worry-warts out there. I put quite a bit of research into this subject before writing it, and the sources are clearly presented at the bottom of the article. Not only that, but I fact check the sources' sources as well.ReplyGabe August 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm
You still have at least one hugely inaccurate statement in your article which, oddly enough, is the same misunderstanding which started this whole anitfreeze debate to begin with.
''Polyethylene glycol is, in fact, used in antifreeze because it lowers the freezing temperature of water. It produces ethylene glycol when processed.''
Ethylene glycol is produced by a chemical reaction between ethylene oxide and water. PEG is never a part of the process.Reply
Cody Velkovich July 29, 2014 at 2:33 pm
Thanks for your article, Oliver. I am a vaper myself and consider this technology one of the most effective means of tobacco cessation known to man. That being said, I came across a study done in the last 12 months on the 'base' solutions in e-juice, specifically PG, VG, and PEG. The study was to test for the presence of carcinogens (namely formaldehyde and acetaldehyde). The results were not particularly promising for the industry (as these chemicals did show up, especially at high-voltages), but one caveat did stick out. A mixture of basically 40% PEG, 30% PG, and 15% VG showed absolutely ZERO presence of the carcinogenic chemicals.
Study: Used:
Ok'... now lets break down all of the chemical compounds that big tobacco puts into cigarettes. Compare/Contrast. Go!
I think there is a key point you missed in the PG/VG question.PG boils at 188°C (370°F) while VG boils at 290°C (554°F). Thus, vaping at 100% VG involves higher coil temperatures (water does not mitigate temps since it evaporates early) that are hardly compatible with cotton (the dominant wicking material) integrity.Cotton fibers do not decompose (thermally ) significantly until 240°C (< 0.5% mass release), but when heated between 240 and 270° they release about 2-3% of their mass as volatile substances. So if you chose to vape 100% VG you have to be aware that you are going to inhale also a small amount of cotton decomposition products.To keep the VG/PG boiling point below 240°C no less than 20% PG (over PG+ VG) should be used, irrespectively of the water content.
Reading the comments everyone has been kind enough to share, the points made regarding cotton fiber decomposition and vaping 100% VG = vaping cotton decomposition products I personally find a bit over the top. I am a DIY Juicer and all flavour concentrates on the market are suspended in PG as with the majority of nicotine bases, the average juice is an average ratio of 20-25% then if it's your choice you add nicotine (with a 100mg base for a target of 3mg you add 3%) some juices (and I suspect with a lot of commercial juices) use as much as 30% flavouring, so the majority of juices use a mix of 70-80% VG anyway. In my life of vaping I have only met (or heard of) one person who vapes 100% VG. Therefore the point made on vaping burning cotton with every vape is somewhat misleading and whilst it's always good to know the dangers of inhaling burnt cotton, the ''key point'' you think as being missed is a very rare scenario. Always check fluid levels regularly, it's a great habit to get into to avoid dry hits and ensure you allow a few minutes for your coils to soak up the juice before vaping on a new coil, even better, wet it down with juice to speed up the process, but this is all common knowledge isn't it. '...
Can you get allergy or skin rash reaction from PG/VG?
Hey Amanda, may I ask what type of Juice he is vaping on? It could just be that he has a VG or PG allergy. There a quite a few people that have an allergy against Propylene Glycol. I have a few friends that don't have any allergies what so ever yet they can't handle PG at all. An allergy towards VG is less likely as it is not common but it is worth getting a test done. If a test does not come into question, then I suggest trying different liquids with different VG/PG (Pure VG or maybe pure PG) ratios, maybe that will help him cancel out an allergy. It is always best to seek medical attention as I can only help with certain questions. This is only an temporary solution, please go do the doctor if it gets worse or does not go away.
No u will be fine u just will not get much throat hit and it will be difficult to taste the flavor but keep the wattage low so u don't mess up the coil other than that there is nothing wrong with it
Dr. Wodarg and Dr. Yeadon request a stop of all corona vaccination studies and call for co-signing the petition - 2020 NEWS
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:45
On December 1, 2020, the ex-Pfizer head of respiratory research Dr. Michael Yeadon and the lung specialist and former head of the public health department Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg filed an application with the EMA, the European Medicine Agency responsible for EU-wide drug approval, for the immediate suspension of all SARS CoV 2 vaccine studies, in particular the BioNtech/Pfizer study on BNT162b (EudraCT number 2020-002641-42).
Dr. Wodarg and Dr. Yeadon demand that the studies '' for the protection of the life and health of the volunteers '' should not be continued until a study design is available that is suitable to address the significant safety concerns expressed by an increasing number of renowned scientists against the vaccine and the study design.
On the one hand, the petitioners demand that, due to the known lack of accuracy of the PCR test in a serious study, a so-called Sanger sequencing must be used. This is the only way to make reliable statements on the effectiveness of a vaccine against Covid-19. On the basis of the many different PCR tests of highly varying quality, neither the risk of disease nor a possible vaccine benefit can be determined with the necessary certainty, which is why testing the vaccine on humans is unethical per se.
Furthermore, they demand that it must be excluded, e.g. by means of animal experiments, that risks already known from previous studies, which partly originate from the nature of the corona viruses, can be realized. The concerns are directed in particular to the following points:
The formation of so-called ''non-neutralizing antibodies'' can lead to an exaggerated immune reaction, especially when the test person is confronted with the real, ''wild'' virus after vaccination. This so-called antibody-dependent amplification, ADE, has long been known from experiments with corona vaccines in cats, for example. In the course of these studies all cats that initially tolerated the vaccination well died after catching the wild virus.The vaccinations are expected to produce antibodies against spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. However, spike proteins also contain syncytin-homologous proteins, which are essential for the formation of the placenta in mammals such as humans. It must be absolutely ruled out that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 could trigger an immune reaction against syncytin-1, as otherwise infertility of indefinite duration could result in vaccinated women.The mRNA vaccines from BioNTech/Pfizer contain polyethylene glycol (PEG). 70% of people develop antibodies against this substance '' this means that many people can develop allergic, potentially fatal reactions to the vaccination.The much too short duration of the study does not allow a realistic estimation of the late effects. As in the narcolepsy cases after the swine flu vaccination, millions of healthy people would be exposed to an unacceptable risk if an emergency approval were to be granted and the possibility of observing the late effects of the vaccination were to follow. Nevertheless, BioNTech/Pfizer apparently submitted an application for emergency approval on December 1, 2020.CALL FOR HELP: Dr. Wodarg and Dr. Yeadon ask as many EU citizens as possible to co-sign their petition by sending the e-mail prepared here to the EMA.
Nachtrag: Wegen teilweiser 'berlastung der Server hier der Inhalt der E-Mail und die Kontaktadressen zum sp¤teren Selbst-Versenden:
Betreff: Co-signing the petition of Dr. Wodarg, Germany, and Dr. Yeadon, UK (submitted on 1-Dec-2020)
Dear Sir or Madam, I am hereby co-signing the petition of Dr. Wodarg and Dr. Yeadon to support their urgent request to stay the Phase III clinical trial(s) of BNT162b (EudraCT Number 2020-002641-42) and other clinical trials. The full text of the petition of Dr. Wodarg and Dr. Yeadon can be found here: I hereby respectfully request that EMA act on the petition of Dr. Wodarg and Dr. Yeadon immediately. Regards
People Harmed by Coronavirus Vaccines Will Have Little Recourse - WSJ
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:06
The U.S. government paid out $4.4 billion over more than 30 years covering injuries relating to a host of vaccines'--from flu to polio'--but payouts for potential injuries from Covid-19 vaccines will be covered by a far less-generous program.
Covid-19 vaccine injuries will be covered under a program known as the ''countermeasures injury'' compensation fund, which was set up in 2010 to cover harm resulting from vaccines for a flu pandemic, or drugs to treat an anthrax or Ebola outbreak, for example.
This year, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said the countermeasures fund should also cover injuries from Covid-19 vaccines, giving drug companies immunity from potential liability lawsuits.
But the fund isn't expected to offer much of a remedy to the public, according to lawyers and vaccine experts. Since it began processing claims, the fund has paid out $6 million on 29 claims, averaging $207,000 per person, compared with $585,000 on average per person for an older vaccine injury fund.
Behind the gap: The new fund has a tougher threshold for proving a relationship between an injury and the vaccine, experts say. The newer fund has a shorter statute of limitations, no avenue for appeals and doesn't pay damages for pain or suffering like the older vaccine program does.
''The recourse for the people that get it initially is not going to be great'' if they are harmed by any Covid-19 vaccines, said Ren(C)e Gentry, director of the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic at George Washington University Law School. ''The countermeasures compensation program is effectively a right to file and lose.''
Several companies, including Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., are testing whether experimental vaccines safely protect people from Covid-19 in late-stage clinical trials. Initial results could be available in the coming weeks, and if they are positive the U.S. government could authorize emergency use of the shots.
Vaccines generally are safe, but they can cause side effects'--called ''adverse events'' in studies'--including shoulder injuries related to injections, allergic reactions, fainting and certain neurological conditions like encephalitis. Some of the side effects are rare, and public-health officials say the benefits of vaccines in preventing diseases like polio, measles and rotavirus outweigh the risks.
Some people receiving experimental Covid-19 vaccines have experienced fatigue, chills and injection-site pain, studies show. Drug companies have said most of the events are mild or moderate, and that the vaccines were generally well tolerated.
Yet some of the symptoms have been pronounced. In a small study of Moderna's vaccine in healthy volunteers ages 18 to 55, about 40% of people receiving the dose level now being tested in a larger trial experienced fever after the second of the two-injection regimen, and 80% had chills.
Nearly all study subjects had injection-site pain, according to results published online by the New England Journal of Medicine in July.
Ian Hayden received the two-dose Moderna vaccine regimen at a study site in Seattle. After the second shot in May, he experienced fever and chills, which became severe enough to send him to an urgent-care facility, where he was treated with IV fluids and Tylenol.
The symptoms went away within two days and weren't life-threatening, said Mr. Haydon, 29 years old, a science communications manager at the University of Washington. He said he'd been warned at enrollment that symptoms could arise, and he doesn't expect any compensation beyond the medical care paid for by the study leaders.
Moderna says temporary flulike symptoms could be a sign that the vaccine is having the desired effect on the immune system.
One patient in the Moderna Phase 1 trial withdrew after the first dose, after developing hives on both legs, according to the New England Journal of Medicine paper. The case of hives was judged to be ''related to the vaccine,'' the article said.
Drugmakers say such protection for liability is especially important during the pandemic because they are expected to develop and manufacture vaccines as quickly as possible.
''It's important for people, if there would be side effects, that they get compensated,'' Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said in an interview. ''But for the industry to make multiple billion vaccines available you also have to have'' liability protection for companies, he said.
J&J, which is developing a Covid-19 vaccine, also is having discussions in other countries to secure liability protections, he said.
Pfizer, a leading Covid-19 vaccine developer, expects to receive broad protections against personal-injury claims that may arise from its vaccine in the U.S. It is also pursuing liability protections in other countries through contractual or legislative efforts, general counsel Douglas Lankler said on a conference call with analysts in July.
The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program provides liability protection for companies that develop vaccines, drugs and other products that are intended to end a pandemic or other emergency.
Federal declarations have specified which countermeasures are covered by the program. For example, the countermeasures program covered a rare neurological disorder, Guillain-Barre syndrome, that occurred in some people who received the vaccine against the H1N1 flu strain that caused a pandemic in 2009.
For any Covid-19 vaccine, HHS says people are eligible for compensation if they can show compelling medical evidence that it caused a serious injury.
The countermeasures program generally makes it tougher to file claims than the older National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which was enacted by Congress in 1986 to try to stem the tide of drugmakers exiting the vaccine business over liability concerns after a rash of lawsuits relating to childhood vaccines.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program generally shields manufacturers of vaccines from product-liability lawsuits over harm suffered after receiving vaccines recommended for routine use in children or pregnant women. More recently, conditions linked to the flu vaccine have also been covered. The program is funded by a 75-cent excise tax paid by drug companies on each vaccine administered.
Congress established the fund as a no-fault system and mandated that it should make awards quickly and easily, according to the legislation.
HHS can negotiate settlements of some claims, while a special court, known among lawyers as the ''vaccine court,'' can order payouts for claims that HHS contests.
Dorothy Smith, of Odessa, Texas, took her case to vaccine court in 2018 after she developed a condition known as transverse myelitis'--an autoimmune response to an infection that in severe cases can lead to paralysis. Ms. Smith is seeking $1.5 million to cover future medical costs.
Ms. Smith, 74, developed the condition about three weeks after the flu vaccine and was soon unable to walk, according to the complaint she filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. A former church worker, she now is using a wheelchair, said David Calvillo, her Houston lawyer.
Her case is awaiting a final hearing or ruling from vaccine court, Mr. Calvillo said.
Transverse myelitis has been a suspected condition in testing of the AstraZeneca /Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, factoring into halts of large clinical trials of the shot.
All studies of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine were halted in September, after a study subject developed an unexplained illness that a U.S. health official described as a spinal-cord problem. Regulators in the U.K. and elsewhere have allowed studies to resume after concluding it was safe to do so.
But a trial is still halted in the U.S. as the company's safety experts and regulators weigh the evidence.
Write to Peter Loftus at and Susan Pulliam at
Freedom Pass
Welsh Government Says People Will Get ID Cards to Prove They've Been Vaccinated '' Summit News
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 14:03
Coronavirus Communist state's GDP set for 1.8% increase in 2020, U.S. is down 3.7%.
Kevin Frayer via Getty ImagesThe OECD has revealed that China is set to enjoy a post-COVID economic recovery that outstrips every other major country, most of which will see debilitating drops in their GDP.
''A graph proposing GDP projections for various nations and areas showed that China was the only nation on the list to enjoy real GDP growth in 2020, with 1.8%, 8% in 2021 and 4.9% in 2022,'' reports Sputnik.
''In comparison, the United States, having suffered a 3.7% drop in 2020, is set to achieve 3.2% and 3.5% real GDP growth in 2021 and 2022 respectively.''
''The United Kingdom, compared to most countries on the Outlook's graph, got affected more heavily suffering a GDP reduction of 11.2% in 2020, with only Argentina showing worse results '' 12.9% drop.''
NEW'--#GDP 2020 projections of @OECD countries. Hardest hit: 🇬🇧 ðŸ‡...🇷.
🌎-4.2%ðŸ‡...🇺-3.8%🇨ðŸ‡...-5.4%🇪🇺-7.5%ðŸ‡(C)🇪-5.5%ðŸ‡ðŸ‡·-9.1%🇮🇹-9.1%🇯🇵-5.3%🇰🇷-1.1%🇬🇧-11.2%🇺🇸-3.7%ðŸ‡...🇷-12.9%🇧🇷-6.0%🇨ðŸ‡"+1.8%🇮ðŸ‡"-9.9%🇮ðŸ‡(C)-2.4%🇲🇽-9.2%🇷🇺-4.3%🇸ðŸ‡...-5.1%ðŸ‡ðŸ‡...-8.1%🇹🇷-1.3%(HT @pitres)
'-- Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) December 1, 2020
While small businesses continue to go bust and see their profits dwindle, Amazon and other massive transnational corporations have joined China in coming out of the pandemic on a strong economic footing.
Amazon has seen its profits during the COVID pandemic soar by 100% while small businesses on average have lost 30% in profits and 21% have closed down permanently.
The CEO's of these companies have also seen their personal wealth increase by tens of billions while small businesses have lost over $200 billion.
As we previously highlighted, while the United States and Europe continue to subject their citizens to crippling lockdowns, people in China where the virus originated are enjoying massive pool parties and nightclubs where there is no social distancing or mask wearing.
Some have suggested that videos which emerged out of China in the early days of the pandemic which showed people convulsing and dropping dead on the streets were part of a propaganda ploy to convince other countries that coronavirus was immeasurably worse than it turned out to be.
This overreaction continues to this day, with discussions in the UK of a third lockdown now taking place despite the fact that hospitals are not overwhelmed and the yearly average death statistics are no different from usual.
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Coronavirus Contradicts his own vaccine minister.
Leon Neal via Getty ImagesCabinet Office Minister Michael Gove contradicted his own government's vaccine minister by asserting that there were no plans to issue 'vaccination passports' that would be required before people were allowed to enter bars, restaurants and other venues.
As we highlighted yesterday, during an interview on BBC Radio, UK vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi suggested that the NHS 'track and trace' app would be used to digitally store information about whether a person has been inoculated or not.
''I think you'll find that restaurants and bars and cinemas and other venues, football stadiums, will probably also use that system,'' said Zahawi.
With airlines also suggesting they will adopt the system, this creates the prospect of millions of people who refuse to take the vaccine being prevented from being able to travel or engage in basic social activities.
However, in an interview with Sky News earlier today, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said no such plans were being considered.
"I certainly am not planning to issue any vaccine passports and i don't know anyone else in government who would."@michaelgove tells @kayburley there will not be a #COVID19 vaccine passport.#KayBurley
'-- Sky News (@SkyNews) December 1, 2020
''People in this country have common sense, the overwhelming majority can see that getting vaccinated is not just good for you, it's also good for others, it's a way of making sure that granny and grandad, mum and dad are safe,'' said Gove.
Asked if there would be a vaccine passport, Gove responded, ''No, that's not being planned.''
''I certainly am not planning to issue any vaccine passports and I don't know anyone else in government who would,'' he added.
However, as we have previously discussed, service providers and companies could still require proof of vaccination outside any government involvement, potentially using technology like the 'Common Pass' being developed by the World Economic Forum.
Gove's denial also contradicts NHS Test and Trace boss Baroness Harding's indication that the NHS app will be used to ''record as a citizen of your test results and whether you've been vaccinated.''
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Coronavirus Psyops outfit turned on the public to ensure no one strays from the acceptable opinion on the vaccine
1 day ago
1 December, 2020
Steve Watson
Yevgeniy Sambulov / Getty ImagesThe British government has mobilised an elite ''information warfare'' unit to combat ''anti-vaccine militants'' and interrupt their ''propaganda content'' online, according to a report in The Sunday Times.
The report (behind a paywall) says that the unit is usually used to assist with operations against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but now will be turned on to those who dare question the sanctity of COVID vaccination.
The army has mobilised an elite ''information warfare'' unit renowned for assisting operations against al-Qaeda and the Taliban to counter online propaganda against vaccines, as Britain prepares to deliver its first injections within days.
'-- The Times (@thetimes) November 29, 2020The report further notes that the outfit known as 'The defence cultural specialist unit' was formed in Afghanistan in 2010 and is part of the army's 77th Brigade.
''The secretive unit has often worked side-by-side with psychological operations teams,'' the report adds.
Nice'... The government employing the military to use psyops on the public to ensure no one strays from the acceptable opinion on the vaccine.
The Times claims that the move was revealed by 'leaked' documents'.
''Soldiers are already monitoring cyberspace for Covid-19 content and analysing how British citizens are being targeted online,'' it claims.
Of course, the government claims that muh Russians are involved'... a way of confusing people into accepting the enforcement of group think by military spies.
''It is also gathering evidence of vaccine disinformation from hostile states, including Russia,'' the report states.
Exactly what constitutes vaccine ''disinformation'' will be down to the government, and will likely make a target of anyone who points out potential side effects of vaccination, or questions the idea of mandating the jab, whether literally by law or by making it impossible to participate in society without it.
After the 'leak' came to light, the UK Ministry of Defence claimed that the unit is ''not being directed at the UK population,'' only at 'hostile foreign actors'.
Yeah, OK.
Just like the GCHQ spook unit inside 10 Downing Street is also not targeted at the public.
A fortnight ago it was revealed by The London Telegraph (Paywall) that spies from Britain's most secretive intelligence and security organisation have embedded a 'cell' at the heart of government to provide Prime Minister Boris Johnson with real time information pertaining to the public's movements.
Words we didn't expect to read in 2020:"GCHQ analysts have been given access to mobile phone data to track the public's movements during the national lockdown. The up-to-the-minute reports on compliance are passed to the Prime Minister"
'-- Big Brother Watch (@BigBrotherWatch) November 19, 2020The Daily Mail also reports on the development, which notes that GCHQ, normally tasked with spying on terrorists and foreign powers, has been turned on the British public to gauge whether people are following the COVID 'rules' or not, and to combat anti-vaccination material.
Speaking anonymously to the London Times in November, a source noted that ''GCHQ has been told to take out antivaxers online and on social media. There are ways they have used to monitor and disrupt terrorist propaganda.''
The report noted that the spy agency was considering taking down websites and content that isn't pro-vaccination, as well as 'disrupting' those creating the content by ''using a toolkit developed to tackle disinformation and recruitment material peddled by Islamic State.''
People in Wales will get ID-style card to show they have been vaccinated for coroanvirus | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 14:35
People in Wales are to receive an ID-style card to prove they have been vaccinated for coronavirus, it was announced today.
Health minister Vaughan Gething revealed the move as he hailed news that that Pfizer jabs have been approved by UK regulators.
The cards will include the date of immunisation, with the Labour-run Welsh government insisting it will serve as a 'reminder' about when individuals need the second dose.
However, they raised fears of an 'authoritarian' crackdown with pubs, shops and other public venues able to demand to see the proof before people are given access.
UK government ministers have dismissed the idea they are preparing official 'immunity passports' that would allow people to return to normal life once they have received a jab.
But vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi suggested earlier this week that although the jabs will be voluntary, businesses could ask to see proof before allowing people in.
In a statement to the Welsh parliament, Mr Gething said: 'Those receiving a COVID-19 vaccination will be given a credit card-sized NHS Wales immunisation card which will have the vaccine name, date of immunisation and batch number of each of the doses given handwritten on them.
'These will act as a reminder for a second dose and for the type of vaccine, and it will also give information about how to report side effects.'
UK regulators today approved Pfizer/BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine, paving the way for mass vaccination to start in just days.
Health minister Vaughan Gething revealed the move as he hailed news that that Pfizer jabs have been approved by UK regulators
Officials said the jab '-- which the UK has ordered 40million doses of '-- will be made available 'from next week' as Health Secretary Matt Hancock declared 'help is on its way'.
Department of Health and Social Care officials made the announcement just after 7am this morning, as England left its second national lockdown and shops reopened for 'wild Wednesday'.
Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccine has been shown to block 95 per cent of coronavirus infections in late-stage trials, with equal efficacy among younger volunteers and those over 65 who are most at risk from Covid.
Mr Hancock declared the end of the pandemic was 'in sight' today, revealing that 800,000 doses of the jab will be available next week '-- enough to vaccinate 400,000 people because it is administered in two shots '-- but conceded the bulk of the roll out won't happen until the New Year.
He said: 'The NHS stands ready to start vaccinating early next week. The UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically approved vaccine for supply.'
Mr Hancock revealed those 'who are vulnerable from Covid' will be first in line, meaning care home residents and workers will be first to be contacted '-- despite claims NHS workers would be first.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford tweeted: 'Significant news this morning.
'Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make this a reality.
'Our vaccine programme is ready to go, but the impact won't be seen nationally for some months.
'In the meantime, we all must continue to follow the rules and protect each other.'
But Tory MP and former minister David Jones, who represents Clwyd West, said it was more evidence of the 'authoritarian' streak in the Welsh government.
'It is not really surprising. The Welsh government has shown itself to be very authoritarian throughout this pandemic,' he told MailOnline.
'They have imposed a lot more restrictions than England.
'You would hope that these cards are not expected to be carried, and if people want to throw them away then they should be entitled to.
'We don't want to get to the stage where government are requiring people to carry cards.'
Grey Collier of campaign group Liberty said: 'Any form of immunity card raises more questions than it answers. It is currently unclear how these cards will be used, and whether people could be asked to use them to prove they have immunity.
'Once cards like these have been created it would be easy for their use to be extended so they can be used like an immunity passport. This could result in people who don't have a card potentially being blocked from essential public services, work or housing '' with the most marginalised among us hardest hit.
'This has wider implications too because any form of immunity passport could pave the way for a full ID system '' an idea which has repeatedly been rejected as incompatible with building a rights-respecting society.
'We have always supported proportionate action to protect lives, but that must not come at the expense of our rights and freedoms.'
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove was asked during a round of interviews yesterday whether people could need to prove they had been given coronavirus vaccines to enter bars and restaurants in England. He replied flatly: 'No.'
Pressed on whether they could be required at theatres or sports centres, he said: 'No I don't think so, no.'
Michael Gove (left) yesterday denied that Britons will need 'immunity certificates' to go to the pub in England - despite Nadhim Zahawi (right) raising the prospect previously
The comments contrasted with the words from new vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi, who indicated on Monday that although an injection would be voluntary some venues might insist on proof of one before granting entry.
'You'll probably find restaurants and bars and cinemas and other venues '' sports venues '' will probably also use that system as they've done with the app,' Mr Zahawi told the BBC.
The imminent prospect of a huge vaccination drive has raised questions over whether those waiting for a jab '' or refusing to have one '' will enjoy fewer freedoms than those who have protection.
Airlines have already been examining the idea of asking for 'immunity passports' as a condition of flying.
Mr Hancock urged England to abide by the controversial three-tier lockdown system that came into force today after being approved last night, saying the end is 'in sight' and that 'we've got to keep people safe in the meantime'. He told BBC Breakfast: 'From Easter onwards, things are going to be better and we're going to have a summer next year that everybody can enjoy.'
Boris Johnson hailed the vaccine's approval this morning, saying it would 'allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again'. The Prime Minister tweeted: 'It's fantastic that @MHRAgovuk has formally authorised the @Pfizer/@BioNTech_Group vaccine for Covid-19. The vaccine will begin to be made available across the UK from next week. It's the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again.'
Mass-vaccination is seen as the only way to put an end to the perpetual opening up and closing down of society through draconian lockdowns, which have had devastating consequences on the economy and wider health.
In total, Britain will receive 10million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccine by the end of the year, enough to inoculate 5million people, with the remaining 40million doses due in the first quarter of 2021.
Government advisers met this morning to iron out a final vaccine priority list, following reports that NHS workers would now be first in line to be inoculated. The most recent guidance, drawn up by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), says care home residents and the staff who look after them should be prioritised.
However, Pfizer's jab has to be stored at -70C which makes transporting the vaccine to care homes a logistical nightmare. Fifty NHS hospitals are already equipped with the super-cold freezers, which means health staff are likely to be immunised first.
The Great Reset
The Covid-19 pandemic is fueling a record decline in emissions '-- RT Business News
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 14:09
A new report by BloombergNEF (BNEF) has attributed the Covid-19 pandemic to a record decline in carbon dioxide emissions in the United States.
The report estimates that 2020 emissions will be 9.2 percent lower than in 2019, reaching a level last seen in 1983.
Although US carbon dioxide emissions have been declining for a dozen years, BNEF estimates that this year's decline will be the largest on record. Without the impact of Covid-19, the report estimates that emissions would have still fallen by about one percent. Thus, the pandemic alone was responsible for about an 8 percent decrease in emissions.
The report breaks down emissions by sector, and also includes the impacts of this year's forest fires. On the sector-by-sector impact, BNEF Chief Content Officer Nathaniel Bullard wrote:
Also on US gasoline demand is crumbling as driving season comes to an end ''Transport, now the biggest contributor to US greenhouse gas emissions, has taken its biggest year-on-year hit ever. Emissions from transportation will probably be down more than twice as much as during the early days of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. Power emissions are likely to drop by a record proportion too, but industrial emissions won't.''
Forest fires were a significant contributor to US emissions this year. Although the transport and power sectors are experiencing estimated declines of 4.0 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively, forest fires are estimated to have added 2.8 percent to US emissions this year. That would offset the decline from the power sector. However, the report also notes that the impact from forest fires is usually temporary, as atmospheric carbon dioxide is removed as the forests regrow.
The flip side of the historic emission decrease this year is that BNEF expects a significant rebound in emissions after the pandemic. However, the report highlights that the silver lining in this year's pandemic is that it puts the US back on track to meeting our commitments from the Paris Accord prior to leaving the agreement:
''The downtick in emissions we expect to see for 2020 would bring the US back on track to meet its original Paris pledge of reducing emissions 26-28 percent on 2005 levels by 2025. Prior to that, the US was well off track. The pandemic inadvertently gives the US a second chance to make good on its commitment.''
By Robert Rapier for
European Court of Human Rights greenlights Portuguese lawsuit against 33 nations for climate policy inaction | Disrn
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 16:09
Last Updated Dec 1st, 2020 at 10:49 amA lawsuit brought by six young Portuguese citizens against 33 European countries for their perceived inaction has been validated by the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that such inaction has threatened their well being.
The young climate activists who brought the suit against the 33 nations '' including the U.K., France, and Germany '' range from just 8 to 21 years old. They allege that a lack of government spending on wide-ranging climate policies has put their futures in jeopardy.
One brother and sister in the suit '' 12-year-old Andr(C) Oliveira and 15-year-old Sofia Oliveira '' said they were inspired by climate activist Greta Thunberg and British television naturalist David Attenborough.
"Climate change is a matter that brings me much anxiety and fear, because I don't know if my generation is going to have the same life that this generation had," said Andr(C) Oliveira.
Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), a non-profit that specializes in representing human rights cases, is supporting the litigation, which now goes to each of the individual nations after the court's ruling. The 33 countries will have until the end of February to respond to the allegations, unless a settlement between each nation and the plaintiffs is reached before then.
Bombshell filing reveals the DOJ is investigating a potential 'bribery conspiracy' for a presidential pardon -
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 14:55
President Donald J. Trump, joined by U.S. Coast Guard personnel, speaks with reporters following his briefing on Tropical Storm Imelda Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at the U.S. Coast Guard Hangar in Houston, Texas. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
A new, heavily redacted filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia revealed on Tuesday that the Justice Department is seriously investigating a potential "bribery conspiracy scheme" relating to a presidential pardon. The document were first publicized by CNN.
The names of individuals involved in the investigation have been redacted throughout the documents since they haven't been charged at this point with any crimes. President Donald Trump's name does not appear in the filing. But of course, only a president can issue a presidential pardon.
A memorandum opinion from Chief Judge Beryl Howell also suggests that the Justice Department is investigating whether two people whose names are redacted "acted as lobbyists to senior White House officials, without complying with the registration requirement of the Lobbying Disclosure Act."
The investigators are pursuing what the judge referred to as a "Bribery-for-pardon scheme" in which a person whose name is redacted "would offer a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence for [redacted]." A footnote indicates that the government has submitted emails do not show a direct payment for a pardon. Instead, the judge wrote, they "indicate that [redacted] expected [redacted] to assist in obtaining clemency for [redacted] due to [redacted]'s past substantial campaign contributions [extensive redaction] and [redacted]'s anticipated future substantial political contributions."
The memorandum suggests that the person seeking a pardon has already been charged and sentenced for a crime. It also suggests the person in question is already in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons.
The heart of the question Howell was addressing in the opinion was whether certain evidence, obtained by investigators with a search warrant, should be covered by attorney-client privilege. Her discussion of the issue suggests that an attorney, possibly working for the president, was involved. However, she also says that the involvement of a third-party in the communications nullifies the attorney-client protection.
CNN Anchors And Biden Advisers Attended A Major Chinese Communist Conference With Xi Jinping
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 20:29
CNN Host Fareed Zakaria and an adviser to Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign attended the recent Understanding China Conference, which counted Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping and high-level apparatchiks in attendance.The conference, themed ''Huge Shake-up, Big Test, Great Cooperation: China's New Journey toward Modernization and Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind,'' argued for increased cooperation between the Chinese Communist Party and the broader world.
Featuring nearly 20 Chinese speakers '' all boasting high-level involvement with the Chinese Communist Party '' the conference depends on Western figures to grant legitimacy to the event.
The conferenceZakaria, who hosts CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS and writes for The Washington Post, along with Lawrence Summers were keen on assisting the Chinese Communist Party in their quest.
Summers, a former Obama-era National Economic Council Director, has also been identified as ''advising Joe Biden's presidential campaign,'' according to Reuters.
CNN's Zakaria on the conference websiteAmong the Chinese government officials in attendance were Zheng Bijian, who directed a state-run think tank's Research Institute for Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, and Ye Xiaowen, who served as Vice President of the Central Institute of Socialism and directed the United Front Work Department which has been identified by the U.S. government as ''neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party'' through ''influence operations targeting foreign actors and states.''
Among the Western-based personalities in attendance were former Labour Party leader and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Wolfgang Sch¤uble, a former German Minister of Finance and sitting president of the Bundestag '' the country's federal parliament. Nicholas Berggruen, the founder of the Berggruen Institute, has also repeatedly attended the event.
The Berggruen Institute is linked to the Joe Biden-backing Transition Integrity Project, as the group's co-founder, Nils Gilman, serves as Vice President of Programs and editor of the Berggruen Institute's magazine. Gilman notoriously threatened former Trump administration official Michael Anton with execution.
For years, Xi has offered his support to the conference, meeting with attendees in 2019 and routinely sending letters praising the event. At the most recent conference, he penned a letter that was read aloud at the conference. Per a Chinese state-run media outlet's synopsis of his speech, he argued ''close to achieving the goals of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and eradicating poverty, and it will embark on a new journey to fully build a modern socialist country next year.''
Documents from the conference reveal that its opening ceremony featured a host of party apparatchiks in addition to primers on China's 14th- Five-Year Plan.
Agenda for day one of conference. Natalie Winters Natalie Winters is a Senior Reporter at the National Pulse and producer of The National Pulse TV show.
Previous Article You May Also Like
China Conference Friday, November 20, 2020
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 20:29
Source:CIIDS Updated¼š2020-10-13
Chinese step up attempts to influence Biden team - US official - BBC News
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:04
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The US and China have clashed repeatedly in recent months, over trade, coronavirus and Hong Kong Chinese agents have stepped up their efforts to influence President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration, a US intelligence official has said.
William Evanina, from the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said the Chinese were also focusing on people close to Mr Biden's team.
Mr Evanina said it was an influence campaign "on steroids".
Separately, a justice department official said more than 1,000 suspected Chinese agents had fled the US.
In Wednesday's virtual discussion at the Aspen Institute think tank, Mr Evanina, chief of the Director of National Intelligence's counter-intelligence branch, said China had been attempting to meddle in the US efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine and recent American elections.
He continued: "We've also seen an uptick, which was planned and we predicted, that China would now re-vector their influence campaigns to the new [Biden] administration.
"And when I say that, that malign foreign influence, that diplomatic influence plus, or on steroids, we're starting to see that play across the country to not only the folks starting in the new administration, but those who are around those folks in the new administration.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption President Donald Trump accused President Xi Jinping's China of unleashing coronavirus on the United States "So that's one area we're going to be very keen on making sure the new administration understands that influence, what it looks like, what it tastes like, what it feels like when you see it."
Both Mr Biden and President Donald Trump traded bitter accusations during the recent White House campaign of being influenced by Beijing.
Mr Trump focused on business dealings by his rival's son Hunter Biden in China, while the Democratic candidate highlighted Mr Trump's Chinese bank account.
What was Hunter Biden doing in Ukraine and China?During the same think tank discussion on Wednesday, John Demers, chief of the justice department's national security division, said hundreds of Chinese researchers with ties to their country's military had been identified by FBI investigators over the summer.
Mr Demers said the inquiry began when US authorities arrested five or six Chinese researchers who had hidden their affiliation with the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
'Neither the US nor China wants us'"Those five or six arrests were just the tip of the iceberg and honestly the size of the iceberg was one that I don't know that we or other folks realised how large it was," he said.
He told the discussion that after the FBI conducted dozens of interviews with other individuals, "more than 1,000 PLA-affiliated Chinese researchers left the country".
Mr Demers said "only the Chinese have the resources and ability and will" to conduct such alleged political and economic espionage and "other malign activity".
He told the discussion these researchers were in addition to a group to 1,000 Chinese students and researchers whose visas were revoked by the US back in September.
US revokes visas for 1,000 Chinese students US orders China to close Houston consulateThe US state department said back then it would only welcome Chinese students "who do not further the Chinese Communist Party's goals of military dominance".
In July, the state department also closed China's consulate in Houston, Texas, accusing Beijing of stealing intellectual property.
Beijing hit back by accusing the US of racial discrimination, but Mr Demers denied on Wednesday that the American authorities were racially profiling Chinese students.
Sino-US relations have hit rock bottom after outgoing President Trump's disputes with Beijing over issues ranging from trade to Hong Kong to the pandemic.
Reuben Mark Initiative Announces Spring 2021 Leaders-in-Residence | Reuben Mark Initiative
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:57
The Reuben Mark Initiative for Organizational Character and Leadership at Columbia Law School will welcome two experienced Leaders-in-Residence for the Spring 2021 semester. The Mark Initiative's Leader-in-Residence Program hosts executives from multinational corporations, leading law firms, and key government agencies who have first-hand experience with the challenges of building organizational policies and practices premised on ethical values and optimal work environments. The Leaders-in-Residence teach classes, advise students, and participate in programming at Columbia.
JAMES B. COMEY'--Beginning in January 2021, former director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation James B. Comey will be appointed senior research scholar at Columbia Law School and distinguished fellow of the Reuben Mark Initiative for Organizational Character and Leadership. He will teach a new seminar entitled ''Lawyers and Leaders'' and engage with students and faculty. A longtime federal prosecutor who led the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and served as deputy attorney general of the United States prior to becoming FBI director, Comey's experience represents a broadening of the Mark Initiative's focus to include leadership of major public institutions, complementing existing offerings relating to corporations and law firms. In addition to his government work, Comey led the in-house legal teams at major corporations, including Lockheed Martin Corp. and Bridgewater Associates, and previously held a senior research appointment with Columbia Law School's National Security Law Program. His second book, Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency, and Trust, has a publication release date of January 12, 2021.
COLIN STRETCH'--Former General Counsel of Facebook, Inc. Colin Stretch will return to Columbia Law School during the Spring 2021 semester to reprise his popular seminar, ''The Role of the General Counsel in the Modern Economy,'' part of the Mark Initiative's In-House Counsel Program. Stretch, who led Facebook's legal and compliance functions from 2013 to 2019, previously served as partner at the law firm Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick PLLC, where he focused on litigation, appellate, and regulatory matters. He served as law clerk to Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court. Stretch was first appointed as Mark Initiative Leader-in-Residence in Spring 2020.
In addition to Stretch, past Leaders-In-Residence include Hilary Krane, EVP, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Nike, Inc., and Bruce Sewell, former SVP, General Counsel and Secretary of Apple, Inc.
About the Reuben Mark Initiative for Organizational Character and LeadershipThe Reuben Mark Initiative for Organizational Character and Leadership is a joint initiative between Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School that provides students, practitioners, and organizations an unmatched curriculum and distinctive programs that impart lifelong leadership lessons on exceptional organizational character and culture.
The Great Awakwning
WTPC Calls for Trump to Declare Limited Martial Law | We the People Convention |
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 22:02
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 1, 2020Contact: Tom Zawistowski, WTPC Calls for President to Invoke Limited Martial Law to Hold New Election and Protect our Vote, in Full Page Washington Times Ad, if Legislators, Courts and Congress Do Not Follow the ConstitutionAkron, OH: Today, Tom Zawistowski, President of the TEA Party affiliated We the People Convention (WTPC) and Executive Director of the Portage County TEA Party,
published a full page ad in the Washington Times newspaper demanding that President Trump Invoke limited Martial law in order to allow the U.S. Military to oversee a new free and fair federal election if Legislators, Courts and the Congress do not follow the Constitution.
Zawistowski said, "We wanted to express our concerns to the President, to the legislators, courts and Congress that We the People will NOT cede our exclusive Constitutional right to elect our Representatives to judges, lawyers, courts, Governors, Secretary's of State, Congress, corrupt election officials and local politicians, the corrupt media - or Leftist threats of violence! It is OUR EXCLUSIVE RIGHT to elect our President and that sacred right has been infringed by the massive, planned, illegal election fraud conducted by corrupt Democrat/Socialist Party operatives across our nation to steal our vote. We will NOT stand for it."
The Ad compares the Extraordinary Executive actions implemented by President Abraham Lincoln in his efforts to save the Union during the Civil War and the literal civil war that is dividing our nation today. Without full confidence that our courts or Congress will indeed follow the 12th Amendment of the Constitution and defend our electoral process, the ad calls upon President Trump, like Lincoln, to exercise the Extraordinary Powers of his office and declare limited Martial Law to temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of these federal elections in order to have the military implement a national re-vote that reflects the true will of the people. Federal candidates only. Paper ballots. No computers. Hand-counted with both parties watching every vote. Only registered voters. Photo ID to prove residence. Conducted safely with everyone wearing masks and six feet apart, just like we did in Ohio. Click Here to Sign the Petition to Demand a National Re-Vote! Here is the full text of the Ad: Exercising Extraordinary Authority in Defense of Our VoteMay be Required because Martial Law is better than Civil War! In the months following the start of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln struggled to preserve the Union. Many objected to Lincoln's extraordinary use of Presidential authority, in particular his suspension of the right of ''Habeas Corpus''. On June 12, 1863 Lincoln defended his extreme measures in a letter published in the New York Times. Citing Article I of the Constitution he argued: ''Ours is a case of rebellion' fact, a clear, flagrant, and gigantic case of rebellion; and the provision of the Constitution that 'the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it', is the provision which specifically applies to our present case.'' Lincoln used the same reasoning in justifying a series of extraordinary Presidential Orders:
Lincoln ordered hundreds of Northern newspapers that spoke against him to be shut down and their owners and editors arrested.Lincoln ordered the arrest of Ohio Congressman Clement Vallandigham for the crime of speaking out against him.Chief Justice of the US Roger Taney ruled that Lincoln had violated the US Constitution when he illegally suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus. After hearing this Lincoln signed an arrest warrant to have the Chief Justice of the U.S. arrested.Lincoln ordered the arrest of thousands in Maryland for the crime of ''suspected Southern sympathies'' including ordering the arrest of US Congressman Henry May from Maryland. These people were arrested and held in military prisons, without trial, some of them for years.While some debate these measures still today, no one disagrees that Lincoln and his use of Presidential power were responsible for saving the Republic. While History, and even former President Obama, has judged Lincoln as perhaps our greatest President, few would have agreed at the time he took those actions. Then, as now, a President with courage and determination was needed to preserve the Union. Today, the current threat to our United States by the
international and domestic socialist/communist left is much more serious than anything Lincoln or our nation has faced in its history - including the civil war.
We have well-funded, armed and trained marxists in ANTIFA and BLM strategically positioned in our major cities acting openly with violence to silence opposition to their anti-American agenda. Attacking federal buildings and police, cowardly punching innocent people in the back of the head, assaulting people just eating in restaurants, and burning minority-owned businesses to the ground. All with elected officials in Democrat/Socialist-controlled cities openly encouraging this planned violence against civilians and businesses. Then, to advance their cause, these socialists are acting to ''Defund the Police,'' creating chaos and suspending the rule of law that protects millions of average, and particularly minority, Americans. The results being massive increases in violent crime and deaths in our cities and the destruction of small businesses orchestrated by those politicians and leftist groups, many
funded by domestic and international communists . We are literally under attack from within!
Then there are admitted Democrat/Socialist federal officials plotting to finish gutting the US Constitution after 100 years of trying. They promise to take away critical individual rights like free speech, religious freedom and the 2nd Amendment; destroy states rights by eliminating the electoral college and more; pack the Supreme Court with activist anti-constitutionalist judges who will make law from the bench; give the right to vote to tens of millions of non-Americans; and open our borders to more illegals which will reduce wages. No one voted for these things that were hidden from the majority of Americans by the corrupt media. Not only do we have corrupt media, like in Lincoln's day, we have a new and more sinister form of media in Big Tech, actively censoring free speech and promoting leftist propaganda to blind our citizens to their real goals and the real consequences of their actions - the end of America as we have known it.
The Socialist Left has been openly working to destroy the United States since Obama promised and tried to ''transform'' America in 2008-16, and having been stopped by the will of the American people, they openly staged a four year long coup attempt to remove the duly elected President.
Culminating in this corrupt and
provably fraudulent current election planned to illegally and un-constitutionally deny the American people their most sacred honor, right and privilege - which is the right to elect their Representatives! How can we have a Representative Republic if we cannot hold fair elections to elect our Representatives? There is no doubt that this attempted stealing of these elections again ''is a case of rebellion' fact, a clear, flagrant, and gigantic case of rebellion'' that requires exercising extraordinary authority to preserve our Union.
President Trump, you and every other official in our local, state and federal governments, and everyone in law enforcement and in our military have sworn an oath that says ''I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.'' It is time for everyone who swore that oath to act upon it. The enemies are within our gates and our Constitution and Nation are in real risk of being lost to this socialist/communist invasion unless you act decisively.
At least half of all Americans do not and will not accept this fraudulent election because of the eyewitness testimony, and the material, statistical and mathematical evidence of
OVERWHELMING fraud . The other half will not accept the outcome if the courts see the evidence of fraud and rightfully overturn the election! The Left has literally been planning riots just for that occasion for months.
We the People must not and WILL NOT cede our exclusive Constitutional right to elect our Representatives to judges, lawyers, courts, Governors, Secretary's of State, Congress, corrupt election officials and local politicians, the corrupt media - or Leftist threats of violence! It is OUR EXCLUSIVE RIGHT to decide our Representatives not theirs! Therefore, We the People MUST demand a NEW and fair national vote, a vote that all Americans can trust and live by regardless of the winner!
Without a fair vote, we fear, with good reason, the threat of a shooting civil war is imminent. Gun sales are at an all time high and
40% are first time gun owners looking to defend themselves, their property, and their rights. Therefore, Mr. President you must act now before there is no peaceful way left to preserve our Union.
When the legislators, courts and/or Congress fail to do their duty under the 12th Amendment, you must be ready Mr. President to immediately declare a limited form of Martial Law, and temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of these federal elections, for the sole purpose of having the military oversee a national re-vote. A vote that assures a fair election in every jurisdiction and reflects the true will of the people. Federal candidates only. Paper ballots. No computers. Hand-counted with both parties watching every vote. Only registered voters. Photo ID to prove residence. Conducted safely with everyone wearing masks and six feet apart, just like we did in Ohio. Only then can the winning candidate be accepted as legitimate by a true majority of We the People who must give our consent to be justly governed! Unfortunately we are at a point where we can only trust our military to do this because our corrupt political class and courts have proven their inability to act fairly and within the law. You must also act, like Lincoln did, to silence the destructive media's one-sided propaganda designed and
proven to influence the election outcome , and end the unlawful censorship of Big Tech, to restore the confidence of the American People in our electoral process or we cannot continue as a nation. Failure to do so could result in massive violence and destruction on a level not seen since the Civil War. Limited Martial Law is clearly a better option than Civil War!
Many will object to these actions, as they did in Lincoln's day, but we assure you that We the People understand that no less action will suffice to prevent the loss of our Constitutional right to vote and preserve our Republic. It is time to honor your oath, Mr. President. It is time for you to boldly act to save our nation as Lincoln did. We the People will support a national re-vote. We will also have no other choice but to take matters into our own hands, and defend our rights on our own, if you do not act within your powers to defend us.
Former President Barack Obama arrested for ESPIONAGE '' Conservative Beaver
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 06:12
Barack Obama, a former President of the US, was arrested on Nov. 28, 2020, on a charge that he conspired with a business partner of his who also was a former CIA officer to communicate classified information up to the Top Secret level to intelligence officials of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Criminal Complaint containing the charge was unsealed this morning.
BREAKING: Obama has been arrested. More to come.
'-- Shane Smedley (@ShaneSmedley) November 30, 2020Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii Kenji M. Price, Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division Alan E. Kohler Jr., and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Honolulu Field Office Eli S. Miranda made the announcement.
The judge has imposed a ''media blackout'', but Canadian outlets like Conservative Beaver are not subject to those rules. Other Canadian and Spanish-language outlets have already reported on this development.
The story was originally reported on in Mexico. The story originated on lesser-known forums. Bits and pieces of evidence regarding Obama's recent arrest were leaked to the Darkweb before making it to the Clearweb. Celebrities and influencers soon began spreading the reports on Twitter.
You'd really enjoy Parler.
'-- Craig Spencer MD MPH (@Craig_A_Spencer) December 1, 2020''The trail of Chinese espionage is long and, sadly, strewn with former American intelligence officers who betrayed their colleagues, their country and its liberal democratic values to support an authoritarian communist regime,'' said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. ''This betrayal is never worth it. Whether immediately, or many years after they thought they got away with it, we will find these traitors and we will bring them to justice. To the Chinese intelligence services, these individuals are expendable. To us, they are sad but urgent reminders of the need to stay vigilant.''
YouTube Influencers all over the globe have been reporting on the arrest ''The charges announced today are a sobering reminder to our communities in Hawaii of the constant threat posed by those who seek to jeopardize our nation's security through acts of espionage,'' said U.S. Attorney Price. ''Of particular concern are the criminal acts of those who served in our nation's intelligence community, but then choose to betray their former colleagues and the nation-at large by divulging classified national defense information to China. My office will continue to tenaciously pursue espionage cases.''
Read more breaking news''This serious act of espionage is another example in a long string of illicit activities that the'‹People's Republic of China is conducting within and against the United States,'' said Alan E. Kohler Jr., Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division. ''This case demonstrates that no matter the length or difficulty of the investigation, the men and women of the FBI will work tirelessly to protect our national security from the threat posed by Chinese intelligence services. Let it be known that anyone who violates a position of trust to betray the United States will face justice, no matter how many years it takes to bring their crimes to light.''
''These cases are very complicated and take years if not decades to bring to a conclusion,'' said Eli Miranda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Honolulu Division. ''I could not be more proud of the work done by the men and women of the FBI's Honolulu Division in pursuing this case. Their dedication is a reminder that the FBI will never waiver when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of our nation.''
Obama's lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.
Obama hasn't been seen or tweeted in 5 days. Rumors are circulating that he was arrested for espionage with colluding with the ccp!? Wow I wonder when this story is gonna drop if it's true? 🬠
'-- Self-Aware 🤖 (@F1sT) December 1, 2020Self-described ''fact-checkers'' from Reuters and the Associated Press have been trying to ascertain the validity of Obama's arrest. Many describe liberal fact-checkers as ''deep state assets'' and accuse them of intentionally spreading disinformation to mislead the public.
Oh man I just browsed his tweets. All the conspiracies come home to roost
'-- Brian Wagner (@BrianBWagner) December 1, 2020 PRESIDENT @BarackObama has not been arrested for espionage.This is a LIE circulated by Trumpanzees still desperately clinging to dashed hopes that something will change the fate of their lame duck mango mussolini being evicted on January 20.
'-- Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) December 1, 2020It is important to note, due to the media blackout, American journalists are forbidden from reporting on Obama's arrest. It appears these ''journalists'' didn't get the memo.
Google is delisting results! Be the first to tell the world the TRUTH!
Obama, Biden, CIA Director Gina Haspel Evidently Arrested for Espionage, Voter Fraud | Politics
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:00
Evidently Barak Obama has been arrested in Hawaii and charged with Espionage according to an announcement by Assistant Attorney General for National Security, John C. Demers on Saturday 28 Nov.
That same day Obama's former VP Joe Biden began wearing a boot that could hide an ankle bracelet, although he claimed the boot was due to an ankle injury. Two weeks ago CIA Director Gina Haspel was captured and detained on charges of Election Fraud '' and said to be spilling the beans on Obama and Biden.
Obama, Biden and Haspel were suspected of colluding with foreign powers including the Chinese Communist Party, plus promoting the use of Election Fraud, to put the socialist leaning and compromised Biden/ Harris ticket in power, overtake the US government and establish a New World Order.
Obama's complaint alleged that the former US President compromised US security by conspiring with a business partner and former CIA agent to give US government classified information to high up Chinese intelligence officials in the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Biden was reported to be under house arrest for compromising US security by conspiring with a foreign power to interfere with a US Election. Although, Biden was quite upfront about his Voter Fraud on national TV, saying right before the election that he had ''compiled the most extensive Voter Fraud organization in the history of politics.''
Biden's son Hunter's laptop was said to contain evidence that Biden was compromised, having accepted millions of dollars from China, the Ukraine and other countries during his years in public office, including his eight years of serving as Vice President of the US.
A Sun. 22 Nov. report showed Joe Biden stole $140 million from US Treasury and transferred it to his personal account in the Cayman Islands: ''Report Shows Joe Biden Stole $140 Million From US Federal Treasury & Transferred the $$ to Rosemont Seneca, Purportedly For Bank Bailouts & Then to His Personal Account in the Cayman Islands.''
Months before the Election, the Ukraine had issued a warrant on Biden for his dealings there '' news which like everything else connected to the Democrat Cabal, never made it to the Left Wing Mass Media headlines.
Haspel's, Obama's and Biden's alleged arrests were said connected to an extensive investigation of massive Voter Fraud issues centering around Dominion Company servers and the 2020 Presidential Election that Biden claimed to have won.
On 7 Nov, the Saturday after Elections, CIA Director Gina Haspel was captured and detained for Election Fraud. She was injured by US Spec OP's forces that raided a Frankfurt Germany CIA server farm site. Unfortunately five US soldiers and one of the CIA mercenaries were killed in the firefight.
Haspel, evidently in Frankfurt to protect server data that would incriminate Deep State leaders such as Obama and Biden, was said to be cooperating to lessen her own sentence and revealing information about an extensive Voter Fraud scam perpetrated by Democrats in the 2020 Election.
The Military raid captured Dominion Voting servers, which were found to have swung votes from Trump to Biden from their locations in Germany, Canada and Spain. Simultaneous raids took place in Toronto (Dominion Voting System headquarters) and Barcelona Spain (another CIA Scytl server farm used in the election vote switching fraud).
Although you would never hear about it in today's Mass Media, the connections were obviously there. George Soros was head of the Board of Directors for Dominion. Since the Nov. 3 election, a boatload of evidence has come forth around George Soros-owned, CIA-developed Dominion Voting Machines that tabulated the US Election results. The tabulation was done on easily compromised servers in Germany, Canada and Spain which were hooked up to the Internet. The Dominion programs were said to be designed to throw millions of Trump votes to Biden.
In 2002-2004 a Hammer Supercomputer Scorecard app vote switching algorithm software on Dominion machines was borrowed from the CIA to be used in Venezuelan-developed Smartmatic vote switching software by dictator Hugo Chavez and Venezuelan military officers in order to rig elections.
On Sat. morning 28 Nov. Obama's Criminal Complaint was unsealed by Demers, U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii Kenji M. Price, Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division Alan E. Kohler Jr., and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Honolulu Field Office Eli S. Miranda.
A judge has imposed a ''media blackout'' in the US on news about the arrest, but Canadian outlets like Conservative Beaver and a couple of Spanish speaking newspapers were not subject to those rules and have reported on the high profile arrest.
Under direction of General Michael Flynn Mass Arrests were continuing on over 209,000 sealed indictments filed in federal courts across the nation since President Trump took office. On Wed. 25 Nov. Flynn began executing high level arrests overseas and was presently after pedophiles in the Netherlands '' the New World Order and Council of Foreign Relations headquarters '' where recently, a lot of planes have mysteriously crashed. Henry Kissinger and others have been ousted from the Council of Foreign Relations.
Military rendition flights were all over the US. It was said that hundreds of treasonous actors were being extracted, put onto flights and interrogated until they turned, with an emphasis on finding evidence of voter fraud. These Military flights were increasing in preparation for potential Antifa violence and RV release security.
For years Democratic Party and some Republican political elites apparently have been working in cooperation with the Chinese and other Communist Parties to overthrow the US government and set up a New World Order. Trump and the White Hats of the Alliance set up the 2020 Presidential Election as a Sting to catch these bad guys in treason '' with intelligence gathered by ''The Kraken.''
The Kraken was the nickname of the 305th Battalion Military Intelligence corps located at Fort Huachuca, AZ. It provided electronic warfare and signals intelligence (SIGINT). The 305th consisting of six companies, HHC, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta and Echo.
On Wed. morning 4 Nov. right after the Election, the Department of Defense, 305th Battalion and NSA began recording real time fraud evidence of vote switching from all six Battleground states (GA, PA, MI, WI, AZ, NV) in a blockchain tech ledger that was un-hackable and undelete-able. This real time digital evidence would now be used to prosecute all Deep Staters involved in Election and Voter Fraud '' including Obama, Biden and Haspel.
Page 9 of Sydney Powell's Federal Lawsuits filed in Georgia and Michigan midnight Wed. 25 Nov. 2020: ''The Dominion software was accessed by agents acting on behalf of China and Iran in order to monitor and manipulate elections, including the most recent US general election in 2020.''
On Tues. 1 Nov. Lt. General McInerney Tweeted: ''It is TREASON. They are trying to overturn this government.''
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politicians with foot boot - Google Search
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:43
Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos...
Steal the Vote
What you've been asking for: A (fairly) complete list of (some of) the most significant claims of 2020 election miscounts, errors or fraud. | Sharyl Attkisson
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 16:02
It's easy to find articles claiming that there was no election fraud, or that it was ''not widespread,'' or that it was not enough to ''make a difference.'' It is less easy to find some of the actual complaints and allegations, unfiltered and undistorted.
Here is a (fairly) complete list of (some of) the most significant claims involving 2020 election miscounting, errors or fraud.
Please note that this resource lists allegations. It is intended neither to validate nor disprove any particular claim. The information and links help provide counterpoints to widespread, one-sided media reporting so that you can research and make your own judgements. All elections officials accused of improper counting or fraud have denied any improprieties.
The legislatures of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona are holding public hearings on election fraud issues.
Read: Hard-to-find election stories and links
ArizonaState officials blame ''a data error'' for conflicting and fluctuating results in one county that dropped the appearance of Biden's lead by 6,000 votes, and then posted it back again.
Read More
CaliforniaTwo men are charged with voter fraud after they allegedly submitted more than 8,000 fraudulent voter registration applications for homeless people between July and October 2020.
GeorgiaStatistical analysis shows Biden pulling from behind in improbably consistent increments in Georgia and other states. ''On Wednesday, Nov. 4, the New York Times reported President Trump was leading in Georgia by 103,997 votes. Then the Times' continuous voting updates showed ballots arriving for Biden in multiples of Joe 4,800 votes over and over again. In some vote dumps, the President actually lost votes.'' This continued until Biden pulled ahead by almost exactly 1,000 votes, gaining 104,984 votes in multiples of 4,800.
Read More
In Fulton County, all 900 military ballots went for Joe Biden. The 100% military vote rate for Biden seems improbably in conflict with the 2016 split, where Trump reportedly won the overall military vote 60% to 34%, according to attorney Lin Wood.
On election night, Georgia election officials suspended the vote count, citing a water leak in a master pipe. When Republican observers left, thousands of votes were counted, exclusively for Joe Biden. When people inquired, there was no work order for any leak. The only reported leak that night was a small leak in a toilet that ''had nothing to do with a room with ballot counting,'' according to a lawsuit filed by attorney Lin Wood.
Read Lin Wood Lawsuit
Election workers put masses of ballots in the wrong stacks and blocked Republican observers; there were suspiciously ''pristine" ''pre-printed'' ballots; thousands of voters registered at specific, fraudulent addresses; 20,311 absentee or early votes were cast by people who were registered as having moved out of state; 96,000 votes were illegally counted for Biden; absentee ballot signatures were not properly matched. That's according to attorney Sidney Powell's lawsuit. The lawsuit also states that Dominion voting machines allowed for manual manipulation of vote tallies and alteration of settings to put ballots in a ''question'' pile where they can be deleted.
Read Sidney Powell Lawsuit
Attorney and registered Democrat Carlos Silva says he observed ''widespread fraud'' in several precincts, always benefitting Biden. At one precinct, a stack of absentee ballots had perfectly filled out black bubbles and, as poll workers went through the stack, he heard then call out Biden's name ''more than 500 times in a row.'' At a second precinct, he observed similarly filled in black bubbles for Biden on absentee ballots and poll workers moved him away from his observation position He observed absentee ballots for Trump counted for Biden; says the required signature verification process was not being followed; and thousands of the ''perfect bubble'' ballots were for Biden, with no state or local candidates selected. The claims are filed in a sworn declaration.
Read Declaration
Government data indicates "well over 100,000 illegal votes [in Georgia] were improperly counted, while tens of thousands of legal votes were not counted.'' That's according to the Thomas More Society's Amistad Project, which has filed litigation questioning more than 200,000 Georgia ballots.
Read More
Gov. Brian Kemp illegally authorized election officials to open outer envelopes of absentee ballots three weeks before the election, which is prohibited by state law, according to a lawsuit.
A Project Veritas video claims observers heard votes for Trump being counted for Biden.
See Video
Some voters who requested a mail-in ballot but instead decided to vote in person on Election Day were denied the chance to vote in person, according to a witness. The witness also said many such voters were denied the opportunity to cast a ''provisional'' mail-in ballot on Election Day. Signatures on mail-in ballot envelopes weren't verified during the recount, says a witness. Some counties didn't recount ballots by hand, but improperly used machines. One observer said he saw a batch of ballots that was suspiciously ''pristine,'' almost all for Biden, and ''there was a difference in the texture of the paper.''
At a Milton, Georgia, precinct, poll workers were asked to sign a chain of custody letter a day and a half before the voting machines arrived, according to a witness. She also said the machines were not sealed or locked as required, and the serial numbers didn't match.
One observer described many batches of ballots in which every vote was for Biden, and says he saw that the watermark on some ballots differed from the rest.
Read More
Read Declaration
More than 1,000 early/absentee votes were cast by people whose registered addresses are at post offices, UPS, and FedEx; willfully disguising the box numbers as 'Apt,' 'Unit,' etc. in violation of state election law. That's according to Matt Braynard, former data and strategy director for President Trump's 2016 campaign. (A sample of 15 such address entries in a Nov. 24 tweet:
Read More
The hand recount was not legitimate because pro-Trump observers were not allowed proper access, according to multiple observers. Some votes for Trump were placed into piles for Biden. Some ballots from the ''No Vote'' and ''Jorgensen'' candidate trays were moved to the ''Biden'' tray, according to one witness.
A recount monitor flagged a 9,626-vote error in the hand recount in DeKalb County, according to the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party in a declaration. One batch had 10,707 votes for Biden and 13 for Trump. But the true count was 1,081 for Biden and 13 for Trump. Two official counters had signed off on the miscounted batch.
Read Affidavit
Read More
A post-election audit and recount discovered memory cards with thousands of uncounted ballots, most of them for Trump, two weeks after the election: 508 in Walton County, 2,600 in Floyd County and 2,755 in Fayette County. The discovery cut Biden's lead in the state by more than 1,400 votes.
Read More
In one county, 3,300 votes were found after the election on memory sticks that had not been loaded into the central vote tally system. There are no procedures to ensure the security of the USB drives reporting vote tallies, according to a lawsuit.
Georgia election officials allegedly intended to alter and/or wipe machines. A judge granted attorney Lin Wood's emergency request to preserve the machines as-they-are while other motions are considered (Sunday, Nov. 29).
Read Judge's Order
IdahoLive online election results from Associated Press (AP) appear to show some sort of glitch, with Trump seeming to lose 6,000 votes in a span of two minutes.
MichiganRead Sidney Powell lawsuit
Read More
Forensic analysis by a former military intelligence analyst alleges proof of foreign interference and/or access in the election. It shows Dominion's voting machine server connected to Iran, China and Serbia. Also, the analyst says records show HongKong Shanghai Bank became collateral agent for Dominion voting systems on Sept. 25, 2019. The declaration is contained in the lawsuit filed by attorney Sidney Powell and includes screen shots and a summary of the evidence.
Read analysis
Read more
Detroit worker Jessy Jacob states in a declaration that she witnessed and was instructed to backdate thousands of absentee ballots the day after the election to make them appear legal even though they were not in the Qualified Voter File and had not arrived by the deadline. She also testified that leading up to Election Day, Detroit poll workers skipped voter ID checks.
Read More
Read Jacob Declaration
Wayne County Board of Canvassing member William Hartmann, a Republican, says in a sworn declaration that Michigan's largest county certified results knowing there were massive discrepancies between the approved voter files and the ballots cast and counted in Detroit. 71% of Detroit's 134 absentee voter counting boards were ''left unbalanced'' and many unexplained, he said in a statement. He also said birth dates in voter ID files were ''altered.''
Pre-Order "Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship and Hate Journalism" by Sharyl Attkisson today at Harper Collins, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, IndieBound, Bookshop!In an Oakland County commissioner race, incumbent Republican Adam Kochenderfer was told he lost, but a later review determined he won. The director of elections blamed the mistake on ''a computer issue'' that caused Rochester Hills to incorrectly send in results for ''seven precincts as both precinct votes and absentee votes'' when they should only have been counted once, as absentees.
Results were reversed in Antrim County after it first appeared Biden beat Trump in a landslide by 6,000 votes there. Michigan officials later blamed ''user error'' for the incorrect results, and declared Trump actually won the county. The state blamed an Antrim County clerk for failing to properly ''update software used to collect voting machine data.'' The reason the information got a second look is because people who know the county thought the initial Biden landslide seemed unlikely. But officials say the mishap never affected totals.
Read More
NevadaThe Trump campaign claims gift cards and other incentives given away in a a get-out-the-vote effort aimed at Native Americans was illegal. The organizing group says it is not.
Read More
Read More
Republicans say they identified several thousand voters who appear to have cast ballots after they moved from Nevada.
The Voter Integrity Project says 8,443 people who voted in Nevada who did not meet the legal residency requirements.
PennsylvaniaBallots of approximately 1,400 voters illegally listed postal facility addresses as residential. That's according to Matt Braynard, of Trump's 2016 election campaign. Braynard also says large percentages of registered Republicans say they voted absentee, while the state data indicates they didn't.
A statistical analysis of New York Times data in Philadelphia claims a suspicious strangers of voting ''ratios'' benefitting Biden as also happened in Georgia. By 11pm Election Day, Trump was leading Biden by about 285,000 votes. Then, 347,768 votes from somewhere dumped into the system in 44 batches increments of approximately 6,000, 12,000, or 18,000 additional net votes for Biden. As a result, Biden came back from an election night deficit of 285,000 to a 46,000 vote win four days later.
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1.8 million absentee ballots were mailed out for the 2020 election in Pennsylvania, but 2.5 million were counted, according to testimony at a Pennsylvania state hearing.
One incident recorded on video indicates 2,600 to 2,700 votes were not initially counted, that ''ballots didn't transfer over like they should have.'' The voting machine company, Dominion, was troubleshooting, but nobody could explain.
Dominion Voting Systems' executives canceled a planned appearance at a hearing in Pennsylvania on Nov. 20.
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Registered Republicans requested 165,412 ballots that ultimately were not returned or counted. A statistical analysis determined up to nearly 54,000 ballots were improperly requested by someone other than the registered voter and sent to people who did not request them; and Republicans mailed up to nearly 45,000 ballots that did not ultimately get counted.
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A poll watching attorney in Pittsburgh, David Shestokas, says observers were kept from observing the ballot tabulations, saying the ballots are therefore illegal.
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There were 47 missing USB cards, according to a poll worker.
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TexasA social worker at the Mexia State Supported Living Centers in Texas is charged with illegally submitting 67 voter registration applications for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities without signatures or meaning consent, including some who are not eligible because they are totally mentally incapacitated.
WisconsinElections officials twice found batches of missing ballots in voting machines.
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A disability service coordinator who works with adults in assisted living facilities and group homes in and around Milwaukee, says every one of her more than 20 clients told her that they were either pressured to vote for Biden or had a vote cast for Biden before they ever had a chance to see their ballot.
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There were illegally altered and illegally issued absentee ballots; and government officials gave illegal advice to voters. That's according to a Trump campaign filing.
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The Trump campaign questions an estimated 238,420 ballots from two counties, Dane and Milwaukee, where election clerks filled in missing information on the certification envelope; where voters declared themselves ''indefinitely confined''; and roughly 69,000 absentee ballots cast in person before Election Day. Biden won Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes.
There was a suspicious spike in voters registering as ''indefinitely confined,'' which allows them to be exempt from presenting a photo ID to vote. Year to year, the number of voters calling themselves "indefinitely confined'' increased 238% from 72,000 to 243,900.
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Nearly 400 absentee ballots that were not initially counted were later found. Officials blame "human error.''
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A trickle of votes that had Trump in the lead all night suddenly shifted when 170,000 votes, 5% of the total state count, came in one giant dump 17 times larger than average. Before the dump, Trump was ahead by 108,000 votes. He fell behind by 9,000 votes an instant later.
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Preorder "Slanted," and request free signed bookplate (sticker) here!
Allegations about Dominion voting machinesDominion machines can be altered to manipulate tallies in just a few minutes, using malicious code, according to Princeton professor of computer science and election security expert Andrew Appel.
A ballot can be spoiled or altered by the Dominion machine because ''the ballot marking printer is in the same paper path as the mechanism to deposit marked ballots into an attached ballot box,'' a study by University of California''Berkeley said.
The voting machines are susceptible to hacking or remote tampering because they are connected to the internet, even though they're not supposed to be, according to a lawsuit. ''If one laptop was connected to the internet, the entire precinct was compromised.''
There is evidence of remote access and remote troubleshooting, ''which presents a grave security implication,'' according to Finnish computer programmer and election security expert Hari Hursti. His declaration also claims the activity logs of the voting machines can be overwritten by hackers to erase their steps.
Dominion machine operators can change settings to exclude certain ballots from being counted. The ballots can be put in a separate file and deleted simply, according to Ronald Watkins, a software and cyber-security expert who reviewed the Dominion software manual. He also said final vote count involved machine operators copying and pasting the ''Results'' folder onto a USB drive, a process he calls ''error-prone and very vulnerable to malicious administrators.''
Support the fight against government overreach in Attkisson v. DOJ and FBI for the government computer intrusions.Thanks to the thousands who have already supported!
Sen. Cruz Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Emergency Appeal on Pennsylvania Election Challenge | Ted Cruz | U.S. Senator for Texas
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 21:33
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued the following statement in support of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing an emergency appeal challenging the election results in Pennsylvania:
"Today, an emergency appeal was filed in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the election results in Pennsylvania. This appeal raises serious legal issues, and I believe the Court should hear the case on an expedited basis.
"The Pennsylvania Constitution requires in-person voting, except in narrow and defined circumstances. Late last year, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a law that purported to allow universal mail-in voting, notwithstanding the Pennsylvania Constitution's express prohibition.
"This appeal argues that Pennsylvania cannot change the rules in the middle of the game. If Pennsylvania wants to change how voting occurs, the state must follow the law to do so.
"The illegality was compounded by a partisan Democrat Supreme Court in Pennsylvania, which has issued multiple decisions that reflect their political and ideological biases. Just over a month ago, Justice Alito, along with Justice Thomas and Justice Gorsuch, wrote-correctly, I believe-concerning the Pennsylvania court's previous decision to count ballots received after Election Day, that 'there is a strong likelihood that the State Supreme Court decision violates the Federal Constitution.'
"In the current appeal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed the claim based on a legal doctrine called 'laches,' which essentially means the plaintiffs waited too long to bring the challenge. But, the plaintiffs reasonably argue that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has not applied that doctrine consistently and so they cannot selectively enforce it now.
"Even more persuasively, the plaintiffs point out that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has also held that plaintiffs don't have standing to challenge an election law until after the election, meaning that the court effectively put them in a Catch-22: before the election, they lacked standing; after the election, they've delayed too long. The result of the court's gamesmanship is that a facially unconstitutional election law can never be judicially challenged.
"Ordinarily, the U.S. Supreme Court would stay out of election disputes, especially concerning state law. But these are not ordinary times.
"As of today, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling, 39 percent of Americans believe that 'the election was rigged.' That is not healthy for our democracy. The bitter division and acrimony we see across the nation needs resolution. And I believe the U.S. Supreme Court has a responsibility to the American people to ensure that we are following the law and following the Constitution. Hearing this case-now, on an emergency expedited basis-would be an important step in helping rebuild confidence in the integrity of our democratic system."
Georgia group founded by Stacey Abrams under investigation for seeking out-of-state, dead voters | Fox News
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:08
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has launched investigations into several groups, including one founded by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, for seeking to ''aggressively'' register ''ineligible, out-of-state, or deceased voters'' before the state's Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections.
Raffensperger's office on Wednesday said the investigations are into groups including America Votes, Vote Forward and The New Georgia Project '-- which was founded by Abrams and previously chaired by Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock.
Raffensperger for weeks has issued warnings against efforts to register individuals who are ineligible to vote in Georgia's runoff elections or to encourage people to come to Georgia with the sole purpose of casting ballots.
''I have issued clear warnings several times to groups and individuals working to undermine the integrity of elections in Georgia through false and fraudulent registrations,'' Raffensperger said in a statement Wednesday. ''The security of Georgia's elections is of the utmost importance.''
Raffensperger said Wednesday that his office has ''received specific evidence that these groups have solicited voter registrations from ineligible individuals who have passed away or live out of state.''
''I will investigate these claims thoroughly and take action against anyone attempting to undermine our elections,'' he vowed.
Raffensperger said earlier this week that America Votes "is sending absentee ballot applications to people at addresses where they have not lived since 1994."
Vote Forward, he said, "attempted to register a dead Alabama voter, a woman, to vote here in Georgia." He also spotlighted The New Georgia Project, "who sent voter registration applications to New York City.''
The secretary of state also pinpointed ''Operation New Voter Registration Georgia, who is telling college students in Georgia that they can change their residency to Georgia and then change it back after the election.''
Raffensperger's office also has 23 investigators working on 250 open investigations into "credible claims of illegal voting" and election law violations, he said.
According to the Georgia Code, false registration, i.e. someone who registers to vote knowing that they do not possess the qualifications required by law, is a felony and can be punished by between one and 10 years in prison and/or up to a $100,000 fine.
Raffensperger's office on Wednesday detailed several instances in which the Abrams-Warnock associated group, The New Georgia Project, have allegedly solicited voters living out of state and people who have passed away. Warnock was chairman of the group until January.
Raffensperger's office referenced one Fulton County resident who reported receiving five postcards from The New Georgia Project soliciting a registration ''for the same dead person" and a Cherokee County resident who received a voter registration solicitation from The New Georgia Project for his spouse who is ineligible to vote. A third person, according to Raffensperger's office, said The New Georgia Project sent a voter registration solicitation to his daughter who is not registered to vote in Georgia and had not lived in a different state for five years, while a fourth individual reported receiving a ''package of postcards'' at her home in New York City from The New Georgia Project encouraging people to register to vote in the Georgia Senate runoffs.
Another effort, according to Georgia election officials, Operation New Voter Registration GA, encouraged Emory students to register fraudulently to vote in the Jan. 5 runoffs. A flier from the group told students that ''Your current residence can be another state. You are simply changing your state of residence now; and it can be switched back for future elections (your option).''
Meanwhile, Vote Forward, a nonprofit organization, sent a letter to a long-deceased Alabama resident, encouraging her to register to vote, while America Votes, which calls itself ''the coordination hub of the progressive community,'' sent two absentee ballot applications in one week to an individual at an address where they had not resided since July 1994.
The current balance of power for the next Senate coming out of this month's elections is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. That means Democrats must win both of Georgia's runoff elections to make it a 50-50 Senate. If that occurs, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote, giving her party a razor-thin majority in the chamber.
In Georgia, where state law dictates a runoff if no candidate reaches 50% of the vote, GOP Sen. David Perdue narrowly missed avoiding a runoff, winning 49.75% of the vote. Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff trails by roughly 87,000 votes.
In the other race, appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler captured nearly 26% of the vote in a whopping 20-candidate special election to fill the final two years of the term of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson. The Democratic candidate in the runoff, Rev. Raphael Warnock, won nearly 33% of the vote in the first round.
Fox News' Paul Conner contributed to this report.
Georgia Voter Group Founded By Stacey Abrams Under Investigation For Allegedly Registering Out-Of-State, Dead Voters | The Daily Wire
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:09
Stacey Abrams' voter registration group, The New Georgia Project, is one of three such organizations now under investigation by the Georgia Secretary of State amid concerns that certain voting rights groups were ''seeking to 'aggressively' register 'ineligible, out-of-state, or deceased voters' before the state's Jan. 5 Senate runoff election,'' according to Fox News.
Abrams' group, as well as America Votes and Vote Forward, are largely credited with putting Georgia in play for Democrats in the 2020 presidential election. Abrams even recently credited her own efforts to register Georgia voters and fight what she termed ''voter suppression'' with helping to secure a win in Georgia for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
President Donald Trump and his Republican supporters say those results are flawed. The president's legal team demanded a hand recount in the state and, although a judge tossed a Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to overturn Georgia's election results, per CNN, litigation on behalf of the president is ongoing.
Both of Georgia's Senate seats are still up for grabs and, as a result, so is control of the Senate. Those seats will be decided in a runoff election on January 5th, with Republican incumbent David Perdue squaring off against Democrat John Ossof for Purdue's seat and Republican Kelly Loeffler up against Raphael Warnock for the seat vacated by the death of John Lewis. Loeffler was appointed to the seat in 2019.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Fox News says, is concerned that activist organizations who worked to impact the presidential election are hard at work ahead of the runoff election, and Raffensperger has ''issued warnings against efforts to register individuals who are ineligible to vote in Georgia's runoff elections or to encourage people to come to Georgia with the sole purpose of casting ballots.''
''Raffensperger's office on Wednesday said the investigations are into groups including America Votes, Vote Forward and The New Georgia Project '-- which was founded by Abrams and previously chaired by Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock,'' the outlet continued.
''I have issued clear warnings several times to groups and individuals working to undermine the integrity of elections in Georgia through false and fraudulent registrations,'' the Georgia Secretary of State's office said in a statement on Wednesday. ''The security of Georgia's elections is of the utmost importance.''
Raffensperger said that claims have been made against several voter rights organizations and ''I will investigate these claims thoroughly and take action against anyone attempting to undermine our elections.''
Those claims include attempts to register out-of-state voters '-- ''telling college students in Georgia that they can change their residency to Georgia and then change it back after the election'' '-- as well as deliberately sending absentee ballots to vacant addresses, to individuals known to be deceased, and to voters living in other cities.
Abrams' group, the New Georgia Project, is accused of ''[soliciting] voters living out of state and people who have passed away.'' In one case, Raffensperger's office says, a ''Fulton County resident'' reported ''receiving five postcards from The New Georgia Project soliciting a registration 'for the same dead person.'''
The Georgia Secretary of State says there are more than 20 investigators on the case, tracking down at least 250 separate leads.
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It's in the Code: Hanky-Panky in Virginia's Votes - American Thinker
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 22:35
November 23, 2020
Based on Internet blogger "Pede's" analysis of "votes switched" from Trump to Biden, and of "votes lost" (thrown away) -- mostly votes for Trump, and my own analyses to detect imaginary "votes added" for Biden, I have decided to continue examining states where says ballot fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential election.
"Pede" identified two states -- Virginia and Minnesota -- where there were hundreds of thousands of "votes lost," a sure indicator of fraud, even though those states' votes are not being recounted, nor are there legal challenges. Additionally, AT's Andrea Widburg, on November 16 in " There may have been massive voter fraud in Virginia ", noted strange happenings in the vote totals and allocations in the wee hours of November 4. I have read the JSON code provided by the New York Times (see below), and I concur.
Translating the code in the graphic above, we see that at 11:03 PM EST on November 3, total votes were 2,724,165, and Trump had 1,419,290 votes (52.1%), Biden had 1.258,564 votes (46.2%), other candidates had 46,311 votes (1.4%).
Between 11:14 and 11:42 came a big Biden vote dump. At 11:43, when the dump had ended, total votes were 3,368,181, and Trump had 1,512,627 votes (45.8%) and Biden had 1,771,663 votes (52.6%). During this half-hour period when the fraudsters switched the lead from Trump to Biden, Trump gained 93,337 votes (a 6.58% increase), and Biden gained 513,099 votes (a 40.77% increase). That is, there were about 5.5 Biden votes for every Trump vote during this interval.
Before the dump, during the heat of the count, Trump votes were rolling in at the rate of almost 8,000 per minute. After the dump (in the half-hour that followed), Trump votes accumulated at the rate of about 1,900 per minute. During the dump, Trump votes piled up at the rate of 2300 per minute, so it appears to me that those Trump votes were being counted more-or-less honestly, without any "votes switched" or "votes lost". So, Biden's outsized vote tally I rate as "votes added", and by my calculation this means about 479,337 fraudulent votes were created for Biden.
Now we come to the real craziness that happened just after midnight on November 4. Here is the JSON code from the New York Times between 12:04 AM and 12:01 PM EST:
And here is my line-by line description of the "events" that the code identifies. I've numbered these lines so I can refer back to them:
1. 12:04 AM, total votes 3,524,459; Trump 1,617,727 votes (45.9%), Biden 1,846,817 votes (52.4%).
2. 12:07 AM, total votes 3,572,807; Trump, 1,643,491 votes (46.0%), Biden 1,872,151 votes (52.4%).
3. 12:12 AM, total votes 3,199,165; Trump, 1,605,981 votes (50.2%), Biden 1,541,998 votes (48.2%).
4. 12:26:21 AM, total votes 3,390,813; Trump, 1,678,452 votes (49.5%), Biden 1,654,717 votes (48.8%).
5. 12:26:48 AM, total votes 3,782,386; Trump, 1,758,890 votes (46.5%), Biden 1,963,058 votes (51.9%).
6. 12:30 AM, total votes 3,390,813; Trump, 1,678,452 votes (49.5%), Biden 1,654,717 votes (48.8%).
7. 12:38 AM, total votes 3,439,609; Trump, 1,699,167 votes (49.4%), Biden 1,685,408 votes (49.0%).
8. 12:42 AM, total votes 3,441,979; Trump, 1,700,338 votes (49.4%), Biden 1,686,570 votes (49.0%).
9. 12:43 AM, total votes 3,442,999; Trump, 1,700,841 votes (49.4%) Biden 1,687,070 votes (49.0%).
10. 12:58 AM, total votes 3,488,507; Trump, 1,709,368 votes (49.0%), Biden 1,719,834 votes (49.3%).
11. 1;34 AM, total votes 3,498,592; Trump, 1,717,808 votes (49.1%), Biden 1,724,806 votes (49.3%).
12. 2:17 AM, total votes 3,894,363; Trump, 1,795,301 votes (46.1%), Biden 2,032,857 votes (52.2%).
13. 4:00 AM, total votes 4,157,392; Trump, 1,916,558 votes (44.8%), Biden 2,224,204 votes (53.5%).
14. 4:59 AM, total votes 4,312,181; Trump, 1,927,545 votes (44.7%), Biden 2,315,641 votes (53.7%).
15. 8:02 AM, total votes 4,312,181; Trump, 1,927,545 votes (44.7%), Biden 2,315,641 votes (53.7%).
Here is, in my opinion, the explanation for the screwy stuff that was going on between midnight and 4 AM on November 4:
Remember, earlier in the evening of November 3 Trump had a huge lead of 500,000-plus votes which the crooks had to eliminate; thus between 11:14 and 11:43 they created an enormous, out-of-thin-air surge of almost a half-million votes for Biden which, at 11:33 PM on November 3, suddenly flipped the lead in the race from Trump to Biden.
But this fraudulent maneuver had two problems. First, it was hard to believe, a sudden vote swing of 4.5% in just 8 minutes; and second, those half-million fake Biden votes might show more "votes" cast than there were registered voters to cast them, making the fraud immediately obvious. So the crooks had to lower the overall vote total to bring it more into line with the 2016 and prior presidential elections.
In Line 2 you see what was probably the running count of the total votes before the fakers got to work -- 3,572,807 votes.
In Line 3, at 12:12 AM, the fraud began, by calling up data that looks like was from an hour earlier. Total votes suddenly shrank to 3,199,165, a loss of 373,462 votes.
In an honest election the vote totals never go backwards. They always get larger, because votes are continually being counted and added to the totals. This is prima facie evidence of fraud being committed, by humans directly intervening in the tabulation of votes, in real time. Software "algorithms" don't work this way; the do their dirty work surreptitiously, in small increments.
However, the old data in Line 3 also flipped the election back to Trump (50.2%) from Biden (48.2%) -- definitely not what the crooks wanted. Also, from Line 2 to Line 3 Biden lost 37,510 votes, and it was important to the fraudsters to recover those. So in Lines 4 and 5 they got to work, restoring Biden's lead (51.9%) by adding 421,060 Biden votes compared to Trump's (46.5%) additional 152,909 votes.
But this action inflated the overall vote total to 3,782,386, which re-created the problem of too many total votes. So the crooks backtracked. They "deleted" Line 5 by "restoring" the data in Line 4. If you look at Line 4 and Line 6 (highlighted in yellow), you will see that they have identical data, except for the timestamp.
Thereafter, the vote thieves proceeded more cautiously, slowly bleeding votes from Trump and adding them to Biden (Lines 7 through 14) until, at 5 AM, the race was over.
As far as I can tell, the 372,462 votes that were thrown away at 12:12 AM never came back, except to the extent the fraudsters created votes out of thin air for Biden.
During the past two decades, enough D.C. swamp dwellers have settled in the northern Virginia suburbs to turn the state from red to purple, so it's possible that Basement Biden would have won the state without the fraud. But that's not the point.
The point is that the U.S.A won't survive as a free country without honest elections. The evidence I have shown here, by itself, should be sufficient to say that the Virginia 2020 election has been irredeemably corrupted, and the results should not be certified. And if they are certified, they should be contested in court. And a criminal investigation should be opened to identify and prosecute the vote thieves, and when they're found guilty, they should be put in jail for a long, long time.
November 21 unofficial vote totals: Trump -- 1,958,619, Biden -- 2,384,014.
"Pede's" numbers: Votes switched from Trump to Biden -- 12,163; "Lost votes" -- 789,023.
(remember, I'm allocating 85% of "lost votes" to Trump, 15% to Biden)
Deduction for fraudulent electronic votes added to Biden: -- 479,337.
Adjusted totals: Trump -- 2,629,289 (56.5%), Biden -- 2,023,030 (43.5%).
Trump wins (13 electoral votes).
Previous articles in this series : Examining the code, internet geeks conclude 'Trump's win was yuuuge' ; 'Lost votes' are fraud votes ; It's in the code: Trump won Michigan and Wisconsin .
About the author: Nick Chase is a retired but still very active writer, editor and webmaster, and records classical music concerts for radio broadcast. You can read more of his work on the American Thinker website and at
Based on Internet blogger "Pede's" analysis of "votes switched" from Trump to Biden, and of "votes lost" (thrown away) -- mostly votes for Trump, and my own analyses to detect imaginary "votes added" for Biden, I have decided to continue examining states where says ballot fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential election.
"Pede" identified two states -- Virginia and Minnesota -- where there were hundreds of thousands of "votes lost," a sure indicator of fraud, even though those states' votes are not being recounted, nor are there legal challenges. Additionally, AT's Andrea Widburg, on November 16 in " There may have been massive voter fraud in Virginia ", noted strange happenings in the vote totals and allocations in the wee hours of November 4. I have read the JSON code provided by the New York Times (see below), and I concur.
Translating the code in the graphic above, we see that at 11:03 PM EST on November 3, total votes were 2,724,165, and Trump had 1,419,290 votes (52.1%), Biden had 1.258,564 votes (46.2%), other candidates had 46,311 votes (1.4%).
Between 11:14 and 11:42 came a big Biden vote dump. At 11:43, when the dump had ended, total votes were 3,368,181, and Trump had 1,512,627 votes (45.8%) and Biden had 1,771,663 votes (52.6%). During this half-hour period when the fraudsters switched the lead from Trump to Biden, Trump gained 93,337 votes (a 6.58% increase), and Biden gained 513,099 votes (a 40.77% increase). That is, there were about 5.5 Biden votes for every Trump vote during this interval.
Before the dump, during the heat of the count, Trump votes were rolling in at the rate of almost 8,000 per minute. After the dump (in the half-hour that followed), Trump votes accumulated at the rate of about 1,900 per minute. During the dump, Trump votes piled up at the rate of 2300 per minute, so it appears to me that those Trump votes were being counted more-or-less honestly, without any "votes switched" or "votes lost". So, Biden's outsized vote tally I rate as "votes added", and by my calculation this means about 479,337 fraudulent votes were created for Biden.
Now we come to the real craziness that happened just after midnight on November 4. Here is the JSON code from the New York Times between 12:04 AM and 12:01 PM EST:
And here is my line-by line description of the "events" that the code identifies. I've numbered these lines so I can refer back to them:
1. 12:04 AM, total votes 3,524,459; Trump 1,617,727 votes (45.9%), Biden 1,846,817 votes (52.4%).
2. 12:07 AM, total votes 3,572,807; Trump, 1,643,491 votes (46.0%), Biden 1,872,151 votes (52.4%).
3. 12:12 AM, total votes 3,199,165; Trump, 1,605,981 votes (50.2%), Biden 1,541,998 votes (48.2%).
4. 12:26:21 AM, total votes 3,390,813; Trump, 1,678,452 votes (49.5%), Biden 1,654,717 votes (48.8%).
5. 12:26:48 AM, total votes 3,782,386; Trump, 1,758,890 votes (46.5%), Biden 1,963,058 votes (51.9%).
6. 12:30 AM, total votes 3,390,813; Trump, 1,678,452 votes (49.5%), Biden 1,654,717 votes (48.8%).
7. 12:38 AM, total votes 3,439,609; Trump, 1,699,167 votes (49.4%), Biden 1,685,408 votes (49.0%).
8. 12:42 AM, total votes 3,441,979; Trump, 1,700,338 votes (49.4%), Biden 1,686,570 votes (49.0%).
9. 12:43 AM, total votes 3,442,999; Trump, 1,700,841 votes (49.4%) Biden 1,687,070 votes (49.0%).
10. 12:58 AM, total votes 3,488,507; Trump, 1,709,368 votes (49.0%), Biden 1,719,834 votes (49.3%).
11. 1;34 AM, total votes 3,498,592; Trump, 1,717,808 votes (49.1%), Biden 1,724,806 votes (49.3%).
12. 2:17 AM, total votes 3,894,363; Trump, 1,795,301 votes (46.1%), Biden 2,032,857 votes (52.2%).
13. 4:00 AM, total votes 4,157,392; Trump, 1,916,558 votes (44.8%), Biden 2,224,204 votes (53.5%).
14. 4:59 AM, total votes 4,312,181; Trump, 1,927,545 votes (44.7%), Biden 2,315,641 votes (53.7%).
15. 8:02 AM, total votes 4,312,181; Trump, 1,927,545 votes (44.7%), Biden 2,315,641 votes (53.7%).
Here is, in my opinion, the explanation for the screwy stuff that was going on between midnight and 4 AM on November 4:
Remember, earlier in the evening of November 3 Trump had a huge lead of 500,000-plus votes which the crooks had to eliminate; thus between 11:14 and 11:43 they created an enormous, out-of-thin-air surge of almost a half-million votes for Biden which, at 11:33 PM on November 3, suddenly flipped the lead in the race from Trump to Biden.
But this fraudulent maneuver had two problems. First, it was hard to believe, a sudden vote swing of 4.5% in just 8 minutes; and second, those half-million fake Biden votes might show more "votes" cast than there were registered voters to cast them, making the fraud immediately obvious. So the crooks had to lower the overall vote total to bring it more into line with the 2016 and prior presidential elections.
In Line 2 you see what was probably the running count of the total votes before the fakers got to work -- 3,572,807 votes.
In Line 3, at 12:12 AM, the fraud began, by calling up data that looks like was from an hour earlier. Total votes suddenly shrank to 3,199,165, a loss of 373,462 votes.
In an honest election the vote totals never go backwards. They always get larger, because votes are continually being counted and added to the totals. This is prima facie evidence of fraud being committed, by humans directly intervening in the tabulation of votes, in real time. Software "algorithms" don't work this way; the do their dirty work surreptitiously, in small increments.
However, the old data in Line 3 also flipped the election back to Trump (50.2%) from Biden (48.2%) -- definitely not what the crooks wanted. Also, from Line 2 to Line 3 Biden lost 37,510 votes, and it was important to the fraudsters to recover those. So in Lines 4 and 5 they got to work, restoring Biden's lead (51.9%) by adding 421,060 Biden votes compared to Trump's (46.5%) additional 152,909 votes.
But this action inflated the overall vote total to 3,782,386, which re-created the problem of too many total votes. So the crooks backtracked. They "deleted" Line 5 by "restoring" the data in Line 4. If you look at Line 4 and Line 6 (highlighted in yellow), you will see that they have identical data, except for the timestamp.
Thereafter, the vote thieves proceeded more cautiously, slowly bleeding votes from Trump and adding them to Biden (Lines 7 through 14) until, at 5 AM, the race was over.
As far as I can tell, the 372,462 votes that were thrown away at 12:12 AM never came back, except to the extent the fraudsters created votes out of thin air for Biden.
During the past two decades, enough D.C. swamp dwellers have settled in the northern Virginia suburbs to turn the state from red to purple, so it's possible that Basement Biden would have won the state without the fraud. But that's not the point.
The point is that the U.S.A won't survive as a free country without honest elections. The evidence I have shown here, by itself, should be sufficient to say that the Virginia 2020 election has been irredeemably corrupted, and the results should not be certified. And if they are certified, they should be contested in court. And a criminal investigation should be opened to identify and prosecute the vote thieves, and when they're found guilty, they should be put in jail for a long, long time.
November 21 unofficial vote totals: Trump -- 1,958,619, Biden -- 2,384,014.
"Pede's" numbers: Votes switched from Trump to Biden -- 12,163; "Lost votes" -- 789,023.
(remember, I'm allocating 85% of "lost votes" to Trump, 15% to Biden)
Deduction for fraudulent electronic votes added to Biden: -- 479,337.
Adjusted totals: Trump -- 2,629,289 (56.5%), Biden -- 2,023,030 (43.5%).
Trump wins (13 electoral votes).
Previous articles in this series : Examining the code, internet geeks conclude 'Trump's win was yuuuge' ; 'Lost votes' are fraud votes ; It's in the code: Trump won Michigan and Wisconsin .
About the author: Nick Chase is a retired but still very active writer, editor and webmaster, and records classical music concerts for radio broadcast. You can read more of his work on the American Thinker website and at
FBI Requests Fraud, Disenfranchisement Evidence, Researcher Says
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:53
The FBI has reached out to an election integrity researcher for evidence of potential crimes in the 2020 election, according to the researcher, who is also a former Trump campaign official.
The evidence was collected by the Voter Integrity Project (VIP) led by Matt Braynard, former data and strategy director for President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign.
''The @FBI has proactively and directly requested from me the VIP findings that indicates illegal ballots,'' Braynard said in a Nov. 29 tweet.
''By Tuesday, we will have delivered to the agency all of our data, including names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.''
His account was backed by the Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society, a conservative nonprofit that says it retained Braynard to conduct the work.
''We've learned that Mr. Braynard was contacted by FBI Special Agent Young Oh of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office seeking our data. Mr. Braynard is fully cooperating with this request and we fully support him,'' said a statement posted on Twitter by the project's director, former Kansas Attorney General Phillip Kline, on Nov. 29.
''This data has been used to identify hundreds of thousands of potentially fraudulent ballots in the states where we filed litigation.''
An FBI spokesperson told The Epoch Times that ''in keeping with DOJ standard practice, the FBI neither confirms nor denies the existence of any investigation.''
The evidence indicates that thousands of voters were disenfranchised as absentee ballots they said they returned weren't counted.
The VIP also found that thousands of people voted in states where they likely no longer resided, because they already requested an address change or even registered in another state.
Thousands more were registered at postal locations or commercial establishments, while listing information that seemed to serve to disguise the addresses as residential ones, such as by listing ''APT,'' ''UNIT,'' or ''STE.''
Moreover, a large number of voters were marked in state data as requesting absentee ballots, though they said they didn't.
''The number of questionable ballots surpasses the vote margin in at least three states right now, Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin,'' Braynard told The Epoch Times' ''Crossroads'' program in a recent interview.
Many Republicans, including the president, have criticized the FBI for not doing enough to investigate election irregularities and fraud allegations leveled by the Trump campaign and other groups in multiple states following the 2020 election. Based on unofficial results, Trump's opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, has enough electoral votes to claim the presidency.
The Epoch Times will not declare a winner of the 2020 presidential election until all results are certified and any legal challenges are resolved.
Braynard vouched for the integrity of many FBI line agents.
''While there has been legit criticism of the actions of leaders of the agency over the last several years, I can personally attest to the many patriots within the rank-and-file who are fighting on the side of the Constitution and Law and Order,'' he said in a Nov. 29 tweet.
His findings have been cited in several lawsuits, including two released by former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, alleging Georgia and Michigan election results are invalid.
''All the analysis that we've done doesn't really require you to say, 'Trust me about a magical mathematical formula,' or some pattern we discovered, or something that supposedly happened in the software of the voting machines,'' Braynard said.
''I can give you the list of the people who voted in this election who filed national change-of-address cards in Georgia, moving themselves to another state. And I can also show you the subsequent state voter registrations of these individuals in other states, who then cast early or absentee ballots back in Georgia. I can show you the names of the people and the records of them having voted in multiple states and the raw data that the states make available.
''So this isn't speculative. This is just what the data shows.''
The 'Smartest Man In The Room' Just Joined Sidney Powell's Team | Zero Hedge
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 16:12
Authored by Andrea Widburg via,
In her Georgia complaint, Sidney Powell included the declaration of Navid Keshavarz-Nia, an expert witness who stated under oath that there was massive computer fraud in the 2020 election, all of it intended to secure a victory for Joe Biden. Dr. Kershavarz-Nia's name may not mean a lot to you, but it's one of the weightiest names in the world when it comes to sniffing out cyber-security problems.
We know how important Dr. Kershavarz-Nia is because, just two and a half months ago, the New York Times ran one of its Sunday long-form articles about a massive, multi-million-dollar fraud that a talented grifter ran against the American intelligence and military communities. Dr. Kershavarz-Nia is one of the few people who comes off looking good:
Navid Keshavarz-Nia, those who worked with him said, "was always the smartest person in the room." In doing cybersecurity and technical counterintelligence work for the C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I., he had spent decades connecting top-secret dots. After several months of working with Mr. Courtney, he began connecting those dots too. He did not like where they led.
Not only does Dr. Kershavarz-Nia have an innate intelligence, but he's also got extraordinary academic and practical skills in cyber-fraud detection and analysis. The reason we know about his qualifications is that it takes seven paragraphs for him to list them in the declaration he signed to support the Georgia complaint.
His qualifications include a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in various areas of electrical and computer engineering. In addition, "I have advanced trained from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), DHS office of Intelligence & Analysis (I&A) and Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT)."
Professionally, Dr. Kershavarz-Nia has spent his career as a cyber-security engineer.
"My experience," he attests," spans 35 years performing technical assessment, mathematical modeling, cyber-attack pattern analysis, and security intelligence[.]"
I will not belabor the point. Take it as given that Dr. Kershavarz-Nia may know more about cyber-security than anyone else in America.
So what does the brilliant Dr. Kershavarz-Nia have to say? This:
1. Hammer and Scorecard is real, not a hoax (as Democrats allege), and both are used to manipulate election outcomes.
2. Dominion, ES&S, Scytl, and Smartmatic are all vulnerable to fraud and vote manipulation '-- and the mainstream media reported on these vulnerabilities in the past.
3. Dominion has been used in other countries to "forge election results."
4. Dominion's corporate structure is deliberately confusing to hide relationships with Venezuela, China, and Cuba.
5. Dominion machines are easily hackable.
6. Dominion memory cards with cryptographic key access to the systems were stolen in 2019.
Although he had no access to the machines, Dr. Kershavarz has looked at available data about the election and the vote results. Based on that information, he concluded
1. The counts in the disputed states (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia) show electronic manipulation.
2. The simultaneous decision in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia to pretend to halt counting votes was unprecedented and demonstrated a coordinated effort to collude toward desired results.
3. One to two percent of votes were forged in Biden's favor.
4. Optical scanners were set to accept unverified, un-validated ballots.
5. The scanners failed to keep records for audits, an outcome that must have been deliberately programmed.
6. The stolen cryptographic key, which applied to all voting systems, was used to alter vote counts.
7. The favorable votes pouring in after hours for Biden could not be accounted for by a Democrat preference for mailed in ballots. They demonstrated manipulation. For example, in Pennsylvania, it was physically impossible to feed 400,000 ballots into the machines within 2''3 hours.
8. Dominion used Chinese parts, and there's reason to believe that China, Venezuela, Cuba interfered in the election.
9. There was a Hammer and Scorecard cyber-attack that altered votes in the battleground states, and then forwarded the results to Scytl servers in Frankfurt, Germany, to avoid detection.
10. The systems failed to produce any auditable results.
Based on the above findings, Dr. Keshavarz-Nia concluded with "high confidence that the election 2020 data were altered in all battleground states resulting in a [sic] hundreds of thousands of votes that were cast for President Trump to be transferred [sic] to Vice President Biden."
This is going to be tough evidence for Democrats to counter. Back when the na¯ve Democrats thought Trump would be the one to commit fraud, they held congressional hearings and wrote articles about the voting machines' vulnerability. And with the New York Times touting Dr. Keshavarz-Nia's brilliance and his ability to sniff out fraud, they'll struggle to that he's not a reliable expert. Things are getting fun.
Pennsylvania Lawmakers Formally Introduce Resolution to Dispute 2020 Election Results
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 13:47
Republican state lawmakers in Pennsylvania on Nov. 30 introduced a resolution to dispute the results of the 2020 election.
The text of the resolution, first previewed in a memo on Nov. 27, states that the executive and judicial branches of the Keystone State's government usurped the legislature's constitutional power to set the rules of the election.
''Officials in the Executive and Judicial Branches of the Commonwealth infringed upon the General Assembly's authority under the Constitution of the United States by unlawfully changing the rules governing the November 3, 2020, election in the Commonwealth,'' the resolution (pdf) states.
The resolution calls on the secretary of the Commonwealth to withdraw the ''premature certification'' of the presidential election and delay certifying other races. It declares the 2020 election to be in dispute, and urges the U.S. Congress ''to declare the selection of presidential electors in this Commonwealth to be in dispute.''
Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly said in a statement: ''A number of compromises of Pennsylvania's election laws took place during the 2020 General Election. The documented irregularities and improprieties associated with mail-in balloting, pre-canvassing, and canvassing have undermined our elector process and, as a result, we cannot accept certification of the results in statewide races.
''We believe this moment is pivotal and important enough that the General Assembly needs to take extraordinary measures to answer these extraordinary questions. We also believe our representative oversight duty as Pennsylvania's legislative branch of government demands us to re-assume our constitutional authority and take immediate action.''
The proposed text lists three steps taken by the judicial and executive branches to change the rules of the election.
First, on Sept. 17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ''unlawfully and unilaterally'' extended the deadline by which mail ballots could be received, mandated that ballots without a postmark would be treated as timely, and allowed for ballots without a verified voter signature to be accepted, the resolution says.
Second, on Oct. 23, upon a petition from the secretary of the commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that signatures on mail-in ballots need not be authenticated.
And third, on Nov. 2, the secretary of the commonwealth ''encouraged certain counties to notify party and candidate representatives of mail-in voters whose ballots contained defects,'' the resolution states.
All of the changes are contrary to the Pennsylvania Election Code, which requires mail-in ballots to be received at 8 p.m. on Election Day, mandates that signatures on the mail-in ballots be authenticated, and forbids the counting of defective mail-in ballots.
The resolution also lists a variety of election irregularities and potential fraud, including the issues brought up by witnesses during the hearing before the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee on Nov. 25.
''On November 24, 2020, the Secretary of the Commonwealth unilaterally and prematurely certified results of the November 3, 2020 election regarding presidential electors despite ongoing litigation,'' the resolution states.
''The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has the duty to ensure that no citizen of this Commonwealth is disenfranchised, to insist that all elections are conducted according to the law, and to satisfy the general public that every legal vote is counted accurately.''
Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, said on Nov. 27 that the GOP-controlled state legislature will make a bid to reclaim its power to appoint the state's electors to the Electoral College, saying they could start the process on Nov. 30.
''So, we're going to do a resolution between the House and Senate, hopefully today,'' he told Steve Bannon's War Room on Nov. 27.
Whistleblowers: Postal Service labeled Trump mail 'Undeliverable,' 388,000 ballots backdated, 'disappear'
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 02:28
| December 01, 2020 02:25 PM
Several whistleblowers on Tuesday cast new uncertainty on the 2020 election process, claiming up to 288,000 ballots disappeared, another 100,000 were improperly backdated, and mail promoting President Trump was junked while mail for Joe Biden was delivered.
In the most extraordinary report, a U.S. Postal Service contractor said his trailer full of 144,000-288,000 completed mail-in ballots, which he drove between New York and Pennsylvania, disappeared after he delivered it to a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, depot.
Another claimed that ballots were backdated by postal workers, and in Traverse City, Michigan, Trump campaign mail was put in bins labeled ''Undeliverable Bulk Business Mail'' while the same type of mail for Joe Biden was ordered to be delivered on time.
And a third raised new issues about the integrity of Dominion voting machines.
The claims were unveiled by the Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society, which has mounted an independent investigation of voting and voter registration in several key battleground states. It recently made headlines by revealing that the FBI has requested the findings of its Voter Integrity Project.
After learning that hundreds of thousands of ballots are potentially fraudulent- The FBI has now requested to look at our data.See statement below:
'-- Phillip Kline (@PhillDKline) November 29, 2020 The project has uncovered potential flaws and fraud in ballots and voter registration of several states that have certified the election counts in favor of Biden.
In today's release, and in a press conference, the group said that whistleblowers found that election officials in mostly Democratic areas manipulated ballots and campaign mail, potentially influencing the outcome.
''The whistleblower accounts released today, detail the failure of election officials in blue jurisdictions to maintain ballot chain of custody, allowing for the potential infusion of fraudulent ballots. These accounts include photographs of individuals improperly accessing voting machines and a detailed eyewitness account of the breaking of sealed boxes of ballot jump drives and commingling of those jump drives with others,'' said the legal outfit.
It added, ''The accounts also reveal multi-state illegal efforts by USPS workers to influence the election in at least three of six swing states. Details include potentially hundreds of thousands of completed absentee ballots being transported across three state lines, and a trailer filled with ballots disappearing in Pennsylvania.''
In previewing today's whistleblower accounts, the Amistad Project said:
Postal subcontractor Jesse Morgan on Oct. 21 moved 144,000-288,000 completed mail-in ballots from Bethpage, New York, to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where his trailer holding the ballots disappears. Postal subcontractor Nathan Pease is told by two separate postal workers on two separate occasions that the USPS in Wisconsin was gathering over 100,000 ballots on the morning of Nov. 4 to backdate the ballots so that the ballots would be counted even if they arrived after the statutory deadline. Computer expert Gregory Stenstrom of Pennsylvania witnessed a vendor of Dominion machines and local election officials download and update counting machines in violation of election system protocol and the comingling of machine jump drives in violation of election protocols and rendering audits impossible without direct forensic access to the machines. Postal workers in Traverse City, Michigan; Coraopolis, Pennsylvania; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, indicate widespread malfeasance in the Postal Service including backdating ballots, ordering that Trump mail be interdicted to be placed in the 'Undeliverable Bulk Business Mail' bin, and emphasizing that Biden mail be delivered on time.
Exclusive: UPS, FedEx warn they cannot carry ballots like U.S. Postal Service | Reuters
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 14:34
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - United Parcel Service and FedEx on Friday shot down social media calls that they step in to deliver mail-in ballots from the U.S. Postal Service, which is warning states of potentially ''significant'' delays.
''State ballots must be postmarked to be considered valid and only the USPS has lawful postmarking status. Therefore UPS, FedEx and other private parties cannot technically be involved in shipping ballots,'' UPS told Reuters in a statement.
''FedEx does accept individual ballots, and we advise that customers planning to return their ballots via FedEx should closely review their state's guidelines on absentee voting and deadlines for ballots or related election documents,'' FedEx said.
Republican President Donald Trump on Thursday said he opposed providing funds for the struggling Postal Service for mail voting, which is expected to surge to 50% as the coronavirus pandemic rages ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
The Postal Service said on Friday it has written to 46 states and the District of Columbia warning there is a significant risk voters will not have enough time to complete and return their ballots.
In a viral Twitter post here on Thursday, author and radio host David Rothkopf said there was a "big opportunity" for UPS and FedEx to deliver ballots for free. "You'll overnight become the most beloved and respected organization in America," he wrote.
Various laws and regulations for the most part prohibit private delivery companies from handling mail-in and absentee ballots, the companies and experts told Reuters. Exceptions include deliveries deemed ''extremely urgent'' by statute and deliveries on the day of and afternoon prior to election day.
In some states, collection would be prohibited because it would be considered ''ballot harvesting,'' said Tammy Patrick, a former Arizona election official and senior advisor to the Democracy Fund foundation.
There are other hurdles that those companies, already coping with a pandemic-related surge in e-commerce shipments, would have to overcome.
For example, the Postal Service touches every U.S. mailbox six days a week. Private companies visit only when they have a delivery or an pre-arranged pickup - and they do not have blanket coverage in rural areas.'s upstart delivery service has also been floated as an alternative. That service does not do residential pickups.
Representatives from Amazon and the Postal Service did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
''Establishing a protocol of how they would collect the ballots would be a challenge,'' Patrick said.
Domestic costs would skyrocket since delivery firms charge significantly more for deliveries than the price of a 55-cent stamp, which is the cost to return many ballots.
And, international costs would be ''astronomical,'' Patrick said.
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Statistician Reveals How Pennsylvania Democrats Used Fake Voter Registration "Birthdays" to Commit Voter Fraud - Revolver
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 14:38
Statistician Reveals How Pennsylvania Democrats Used Fake Voter Registration ''Birthdays'' to Commit Voter Fraud
ATTENTION NEWS JUNKIES: We are the new Drudge, be sure to check our news feed by CLICKING HERE
This guest post is the third installment of Revolver News's ongoing series on election fraud. Revolver News is applying a rigorous, statistically informed approach to investigating fraud in the 2020 United States presidential election. We encourage the reader to consult Part 1 and Part 2 of the series, as well as our summary of another major statistical analysis.
Guest Post by Carl Bell
Identifying Voter Fraud through Suspicious Birthday Distributions in Pennsylvania Voter Registration Data, and the Effect on the 2020 Pennsylvania Presidential Election
Short Summary:
We construct a new metric of potential voter fraud using suspicious distributions of birthdays in Pennsylvania voter registration data. The basic idea is that people picking fake birthdays will make predictable non-random choices, like picking round numbers for days of the month, and not knowing what true birth month distributions look like.
Under this metric, a number of counties in Pennsylvania have extremely unlikely distributions of voter birthdays. Seven counties representing almost 1.4 million votes total (Northumberland, Delaware, Montgomery, Lawrence, Dauphin, LeHigh, and Luzerne) have suspicious birthdays above the 99.5th percentile of plausible distributions, even when using conservative assumptions about what these distributions should look like.
These suspicious birthdays also matter significantly for election outcomes. While there are suspicious counties that vote Republican overall, in general more suspicious birthdays in a county are strongly associated with a larger Biden vote share, and a higher Biden vote share relative to all Democrat presidential candidates since 2000. More suspicious birthdays are also associated with a higher vote share for Jorgensen relative to Trump (consistent with a fraud scheme aiming to get Biden high but not ''too high'', while simultaneously giving as few votes to Trump as possible).
Finally, we quantify the magnitude of how this potential fraud may have impacted the election. Even a small reduction in the amount of suspicious birthdays (to the 98th percentile of the conservative distribution) would be predicted to have resulted in Trump winning the state by 71,500 votes. This suggests that whatever is driving the anomalous patterns in birthdays is sufficiently important to affect the statewide election result.
Executive Summary:
We use a largely ignored data source to identify suspicious voter registrations by county, a data source that is independent of the actual vote outcomes. In other words, we will construct metrics that identify counties that show indications of potential voter fraud regardless of who a county is voting for. Then, once this is done, we will show how these measures correlate with vote outcomes.
Our key insight is that someone making up fake birthdays for voter registrations is unlikely to be able to do so in a truly random manner. Instead, we identify several likely hallmarks of fake birthdays:
-They are likely to excessively cluster on round number days of the month (1, 10, 15, 20, 30, 31), since people generally overweight round numbers.
-They are likely to excessively cluster on January and December for the same reason.
-They are likely to excessively cluster on months of the year which in general have few birthdays in overall demographic data (i.e. fake birthdays will be drawn roughly evenly across months, subject to the round number effect above, while true birthdays tend to cluster more in certain months like July and August, and less in months like February and November).
We call these ''suspicious birthdays'' '-- individually any one person can easily have any of the traits above, but having too many overall in a county suggests that fake birthdays have been added to the pool. We take these three measures of suspicious birthdays, and evaluate them against a combination of two types of benchmarks of what might be expected in the absence of fraud. These are designed to ensure that any unusual patterns are not coming from other reasons (e.g. births generally avoiding holidays, or people generally having sex more at certain times of the year):
-A ''best guess'' benchmark, where we compare each county to overall demographic data:Historical Day-of-the-month in birthdays from the Social Security Master Death File, andHistorical Month-of-the-year in birthdays for that county from the National Center for Health Statistics
-A ''conservative'' benchmark, where we also add in measures of each county relative to the distribution of all voter birthdays in the state of Pennsylvania. This has the effect of measuring how unusual each county looks just compared to other counties, and so effectively strips out the average level of fraud across all counties.
We find that even under the conservative distribution, seven counties representing almost 1.4 million votes total (Northumberland, Delaware, Montgomery, Lawrence, Dauphin, LeHigh, and Luzerne) have numbers of suspicious birthdays above the 99.5th percentile of plausible distributions. This represents the average abnormal metric across six different ways of measuring suspicious birthdays. In other words, these counties are not abnormal just along one or two measures, but across the whole range of them. The three worst offenders, Northumberland, Delaware and Montgomery, are above the 99.97th percentile, the 99.91th percentile, and 99.74th percentile respectively, a result extremely unlikely to occur by chance. Montgomery also has significant evidence of voter fraud across entirely separate measures. Meanwhile, 15 counties score above the 95th percentile of abnormal birthdays on average, and these represent almost 3.5 million votes (the additional eight are Berks, Northampton, Cumberland, Bucks, Philadelphia, Monroe, Lancaster and Erie). Recall, these measures are under the conservative benchmark '' under the best guess benchmark, the deviations look even more extreme.
Next, having identified measures that indicate potential voter fraud, we show that they also make a large difference to county election outcomes. A greater level of suspicious birthdays in a county is significantly related to higher vote share for Biden. A one standard deviation increase in suspicious birthdays is associated with a 6.8 percentage point increase in the two-party vote share for Biden. The probability of observing such a relationship by chance (i.e. the p-value) is less than 0.000008.
It is worth noting that abnormal counties are not exclusively majority Democrat '' indeed, the most extreme county in suspicious birthdays, Northumberland, voted almost 70% for Trump. Lawrence, Luzerne and Berks, also majority Republican, look suspicious as well. This is consistent with a genuine measure of fraud '' it would be highly surprising if fraud were a uniquely Democrat phenomenon.
Nonetheless, higher likelihood of fraud is strongly associated with more votes for Biden. Out of the 13 counties in Pennsylvania who voted majority Biden, 9 are above the 95th percentile of suspicious birthdays.
Second, we show that more suspicious birthdays are also associated with a county having a higher presidential Democrat vote share relative to all previous elections in recent history. The p-value for this relation is less than 0.003, and a one standard deviation in abnormal birthdays increases Biden's vote share relative to all recent past elections by 2.4 percentage points. There are 5 counties out of 67 where Biden's two-party vote share exceeded the performance of the Democratic candidate in all presidential elections since 2000 '' Montgomery, Delaware, Cumberland, Allegheny, and Chester. Of these, three are above the 98th percentile of the suspicious birthday distribution.
Third, more suspicious birthdays are also associated with higher vote shares for Jorgensen relative to Trump. This is an additional likely consequence of fraud '' if a perpetrator wants to maximize the overall contribution to Biden over Trump in the statewide race, and doesn't want to report an implausibly high overall vote for Biden, the only alternative is to add votes to Jorgensen.
Finally, we can use these results to estimate the likely effect of suspicious birthdays on the overall Pennsylvania election outcome. Because someone making up birthdays will not always select, for example, round days in January or December, the actual numbers of excess suspicious birthdays are likely to considerably understate the magnitude of possible fraud. As a result, we use the relationship between excess birthdays and Biden vote share to estimate the effect of a change in the magnitude of suspicious births on county vote outcomes.
In particular, we consider what would happen if the ten counties who scored above the 98th percentile of suspicious birthdays under the conservative distribution were instead to merely be exactly at the 98th percentile. This would still leave these counties looking very suspicious, but merely less so. Even this minor change would result in an additional predicted 76,600 votes for Trump and the same number fewer for Biden, which would be enough to swing the state to a Trump win overall by 71,500 (as Biden has a vote lead of 81,660 votes).
These results suggest strongly the presence of abnormal birthday distributions consistent with a large number of fraudulent voter registrations. They also provide strong evidence that the presence of such abnormal birthdays is positively associated with more votes for Biden, including at historically anomalous levels. Finally, the magnitude of these suspicious birthdays is plausibly large enough to affect the entire statewide outcome of the Pennsylvania presidential election vote.
Detailed Description of Analysis
Data Sources
Pennsylvania Voter Data, the Social Security Master Death File, and the NYT county election results are all available at the ''Audit the Election'' wiki:
County birth data is available from the National Center for Health Statistics
Definition of Suspicious Birthday Scores
We will start with a definition of what we mean by suspicious birthdays, and how we measure them. To construct each score of suspicious birthdays, we need two aspects:
A definition of the measure we expect to be higher in a list of fictitious/fraudulent birthdaysA benchmark for what we expect this number to be absent fraud. Once we have each combination of measure and benchmark, our strategy is to take each county and simulate 1000 random draws of all the voters in that county from the benchmark distribution. This tells us how wide the range of variation is that we might expect to find just by chance. Then, we take the actual value in the true data, and subtract off the mean of the benchmark distribution, and divide by the standard deviation of the benchmark distribution. This produces what is known in statistics as a z-score for that county and metric '' in other words, how many standard deviations away from the simulated mean the true value is.
The z-score has several desirable properties. First, it gives a measure of the magnitude of the anomaly that is comparable across counties of different sizes, as each one is compared to the range of expected variation for that county in the simulated distribution. Second, it can be averaged across multiple different anomalies for a given county, and retains the intuition of being an overall measure of how unusual the county looks across multiple dimensions. Third, the z-score (either for the individual anomaly, or the aggregated measure) can be turned into an associated probability under the normal distribution, which measures how unlikely the particular outcome is. This is particularly valuable for the aggregated anomaly measure, where it is not straightforward otherwise to simulate the joint outcome of all the anomalies together.
Below, we describe each of the six scores we generate per county, which are then averaged together to form the aggregate suspicious birthday score. We explain how each score arises from the combination of measures and benchmarks. The first three scores form the best-guess distribution, while the conservative distribution (which we use through most of the analysis) adds the final three scores.
Three Scores Under Best Guess Distribution
Score 1: Round Day-of-Month, Measured Relative to Social Security Birthdates
Measure: Excess birthdays on round days of the month (1, 10, 15, 20, 30, 31)
Benchmark: Birthday distribution in Social Security master death file
In this measure, we hypothesize that someone making up birthdays will be likely to oversample suspiciously round numbers. We test this in the aspect that has the strongest intuitive reasons to be random and uniform across counties '' the day of the month on which the person was born. While there are strong reasons why births may cluster on particular days of the week (such as scheduled C-sections avoiding weekends), it is not clear why the distribution of days within a month should vary across counties.
Rather than simply assume uniformity in day-of-birth within a given month (which may be considered an intuitive benchmark), we instead benchmark each county to the overall distribution of day-of-the-month for birthdays in the Social Security Master Death File, for births after 1940. Getting administrative data on the distribution of day-of-the-month for birthdates is surprisingly hard '' it is not contained in the American Community Survey (which only gives birth quarter), nor the National Center for Health Statistics births file (which only gives birth month, starting in 1989). The reason is that that exact birthdays often are important personal identifying information, and so are not included in many administrative datasets (except for dead people, where the issue is less important). This distribution is only for those already dead and so is thus somewhat selective, and not available at local levels. Nonetheless, it is the best publicly available metric for actual days of the month in a real, national sample of births.
Score 2: January and December Births, Relative to County Historical Data
The second main measure we use is an overweighting of January and December birthdays. For someone picking round numbers, the first and last month are likely clusters. This is the equivalent of the 1st/31st days above. As it turns out, January and December are also demographically low birth months (the measure used for score 3), so these are actually doubly likely to be overweighted. Recall that we are not predicting that January and December should have more birthdays overall than other months, because the overall voter distribution will be made up of a large mass of genuine voters (who will underweight January and December for demographic reasons) plus a likely smaller mass of fraudulent voters who will overweight these months. As a result, the estimate is that there will be too many relative to the base guess of the low numbers in the benchmark distributions.
As a first benchmark, we take the distribution of months for all births within that county between 1989 and 2002, from the National Center for Health Statistics. For 31 larger counties in Pennsylvania, county level breakdowns are given, and for these counties we use the county-specific distribution. For the remainder, we use the average distribution across all small counties (which are not separated in the NCHS data). The series we use starts only in 1989, as before this time, only the birth year was reported. Nonetheless, this gives a measure for the range of birth months for everyone born in that particular county for 14 years of eligible voter birthdays.
Score 3: Demographically Low Birth Months, Relative to County Historical Data
The third main measure we use is the presence of too many birthdays in months that demographically have fewer births. The base idea here is that someone making up birthdays will be roughly randomizing across months (subject to the tendency to overweight January and December as round numbers). By contrast, real birthdays tend to cluster in certain months of the year. In Pennsylvania, the months with historically low birthdates are January, February, November and December (all these months are below the 8.33% rate under a uniform distribution, for all 31 counties and for all 14 years of data). If one picks a month at random, one will end up with too many birthdays from these demographically ''low birth'' months, and not enough birthdays from the demographically high birth months. The two are mirror images, but to keep the prediction in the same direction (i.e. too many birthdays of type X) we test the number of birthdays in demographically low birth months.
In the first benchmark, we compare this again with the same-county historical births data for the 31 counties with detailed data, and with the remaining county average for all rest. For each county distribution, because we have the history of 14 years of birth dates, we take the measure of ''low birth'' months from the overall average of all births in the county over those 14 years. That is to say, while low birth months show a lot of overlap (e.g. always including Jan, Feb, Nov and Dec), we allow the distribution to vary by county, to allow maximum flexibility for what we should expect to see in that particular county.
Additional Metrics for Conservative Distribution
For scores 4, 5 and 6, we take the same three metrics above, and we also examine how each county scores relative to the benchmark of all county voter registration birthdays. In essence, it simply measures which counties look unusual relative to other counties, without taking any stand on what the underlying distribution should be. This has the advantage that it takes into account any possible odd selection effects that may be present around which types of birthdays register to vote. However, it is likely to understate the magnitude of possible fraud, by effectively stripping out the average level of fraud from the distribution. In other words, suppose hypothetically birthdays were made up of 75% honest counties (with almost uniform distributions of days) and 25% fraudulent counties (with excess round numbers). The average frequency of round numbers would be higher than uniform due to fraud, but this benchmark would strip out the average effect, and just identify counties that looked more fraudulent than the average.
By averaging these together (along with the other scores), we thus bias ourselves against finding overall measures of fraud, but also consider how unusual a county looks relative to other counties. We do this for all the three metrics above, using either the distribution of days of the month, or months of the year. For the low birth month measure, the only variation is that our definition of low birth months applies now uniformly across counties, so we take the four months that score low in every county and year observation '' January, February, November and December. As before, these are benchmarked against all voter birthdays in Pennsylvania.
Effect of Aggregating Measures
This gives us either three or six z-score measures of abnormal birthdays for each county (depending on whether the conservative or best guess measure is used). Each z-scores measure effectively ''how large are the deviations from what is expected''? Next, we can measure the probability of each outcome '' effectively ''how unlikely is the true data under the benchmark?''. For the statistically inclined '' for individual scores, we can just use the percentile rank in the bootstrapped distribution, but for the aggregated measure, have to convert the average z-score to a probability using the normal distribution. In either case, we end up with an overall probability of observing an outcome as unusual as the one we actually see.
Having obtained each of the three or six measures, we average them for the county, and compute the associated probability of a number that extreme. This forms the basis for our subsequent tests. For simplicity, we will just refer to this as the ''abnormal birthday score'', and the associated percentile in the distribution as the ''abnormal birthday percentile''. Unless otherwise specified all results use the conservative distribution. The relations documented below generally get stronger if the best guess distribution is used instead.
It is worth noting what impact it has to aggregate all the measures. If there actually is fraud, then adding in more measures will improve our reliability '' scoring high on lots of different metrics provides a stronger signal of fraud than just scoring high on one. By contrast, if any one of our measures is not actually a measure of fraud, then adding it will bias the average z-score towards zero, and will mean all counties will look less suspicious.
Second, our prediction actually has a specific direction. We are not measuring whether a county just looks unusual on a measure by being either too high or too low. Our predictions specifically require that a county scores highly, and when we average, we test if the county scores high on average across all the measures. If a county scores too low on one particular measure (e.g. it has too few birthdays in January and December, rather than too many), this might be considered suspicious in some ways, but in our measure, this will actually be considered anti-fraud '' adding in a negative number to any existing positive numbers will bring down the average. In summary, adding in many metrics the way we do will actually bias us against finding results if some of our measures are incorrect.
Finally, it is worth noting that these distributions of unusual birthdays are inherently suspicious regardless of whether they predict any particular outcome. In other words, the basis for suspicion is not because these metrics predict outcomes. The basis for suspicion is that these metrics look highly implausible relative to what we would expect. The predictive power merely speaks to the question that these deviations are likely to be quantitatively important for affecting the election outcomes.
Possible Alternative Explanations
The metrics chosen are designed to represent patterns that are very plausible under fraud, but that do not have many obvious alternative explanations. That is to say, it seems plausible that these measures ought not vary much across counties, as a base assumption. Such an assumption would not be a good one for birth years, for instance, where there are strong reasons to think that some counties will have more young people than others. But it is not nearly as obvious why some counties should have more 10th of the month birthdays than other counties.
However, for each metric, alternatives are possible. Nonetheless, one of the other strengths of combining multiple metrics is that it also is much more difficult to explain the results merely with possible alternative explanations for one of the underlying components. Suppose one has a theory of why there are excessive births on round days of the month, for instance '' maybe scheduled C-sections avoid certain holidays (though why there should be too many on New Years Eve, New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day etc. is another question). Such a theory would also have to explain not just the level of births being non-uniform (because, recall, this pattern in general ought to be in the Social Security birth data too). It would also need to explain why this pattern should vary across counties. Having done all that, it would further need to explain why such a pattern should predict so many various aspects of election results.
Now, suppose one has generated such an explanation. There is now the additional hurdle of explaining why there should also be too many birthdays in January. If one manages to do that, one further has to explain why there ought to also be too many birthdays in February and November. And one has to explain why both these facts vary across counties in this predictable manner. This becomes much harder.
Similar difficulties arise from the benchmark distributions. Suppose one doesn't think the social security birthdays are the right benchmark, notwithstanding the difficulty of finding better ones. In that case, the metrics using voter birthdays as the benchmark do not rely on this data. Similarly, if one is worried about the historical birth data not being reflective of current populations, the voter data also does not predict the same problem should occur there. If one is worried that the voter birthdays may have innocent errors for reasons other than fraud, then using alternative benchmarks from administrative data sources circumvents this problem.
And recall, the hurdles of an alternative explanation are twofold. First, they must explain why the distribution looks so anomalous in the first place. That is to say, the level of the distribution looks wrong. And even if this is accomplished, they must also explain why these deviations should predict so many aspects of vote outcomes '' not just Democrat performance, not just Democrat performance relative to all recent elections, but also the relative preference for Libertarians and Republicans.
We do not assert that such an alternative is impossible. But the nature of the combined metric makes it much more difficult to explain the overall pattern of results with any single criticism of one particular score.
Distribution of Abnormal Birthday Metrics
First, we compute the overall distribution of abnormal birthday scores under the conservative distribution of aggregating all six measures. We find that even under the conservative distribution, seven counties representing almost 1.4 million votes total (Northumberland, Delaware, Montgomery, Lawrence, Dauphin, LeHigh, and Luzerne) have numbers of suspicious birthdays above the 99.5th percentile of plausible distributions. This represents the average abnormal metric across six different ways of measuring suspicious birthdays. In other words, these counties are not abnormal just along one or two measures, but across the whole range of them. Meanwhile, 15 counties score above the 95th percentile of abnormal birthdays on average, and these represent almost 3.5 million votes. Recall, these measures are under the conservative benchmark '' under the best guess benchmark, the deviations look even more extreme.
It is also worth observing the asymmetry in these z-scores. The lowest scores are negative, but not by very much. However, the highest scoring counties not only look much larger and positive, but do not fit the rest of the pattern of the curve.
The three worst offenders, Northumberland, Delaware and Montgomery, are above the 99.97th percentile, the 99.91th percentile, and 99.74th percentile respectively, a result extremely unlikely to occur by chance. Montgomery also has significant evidence of voter fraud along entirely separate measures. To show just one example of the underlying simulations that go into the score, below is shown the simulated distribution for Montgomery of the likely number of births in low birth months (Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec) based on the historical birth data, and the actual value. As the graph shows, the county is a colossal outlier.
However, these graphs actually understate the likely extent of the problem, because three of the six scores (using the voter birthday distribution) effectively strip out the average level of fraud, by comparing only the distribution of voter birthdays, including any fraudulent ones. If we instead plot the best-guess distribution (which does not derive from the same voter birthdays being examined) the majority of the counties look fairly similar, while the outliers look even more extreme.
Under this metric, there are now 14 counties that are above the 99.9th percentile of the simulated distribution.
Relation between Abnormal Birthdays and Biden Vote Share
Next, we consider how these measures of abnormal birthdays may have impacted the election. We first examine the relationship between abnormal birthdays and the two-party vote share for Biden.
The easiest way to visualize this is just with a scatter plot of the Biden two-party vote share and the percentile of abnormal birthdays.
To formally test the relationship, we regress the Biden two-party vote share on either the abnormal birthday z-score or percentile. Even with only 67 data points, the relationship is strongly statistically significant, with regression p-values for the main explanatory variable of abnormal birthdays being 0.000008 and 0.0002 respectively.
The size of the effect is also economically large '' a one standard deviation increase in abnormal birthday z-scores under the conservative benchmark (1.068) is associated with a higher Biden two-party vote share by 6.8 percentage points.
If the same graph is plotted for z-scores, the relationship is also evident.
Relationship with Historical Democrat Vote Share
In addition, we would like to test how suspicious birthday distributions relate to a stronger measure '' the difference between Biden's two-party vote share and the historical performance of Democratic presidential candidates in the same county. Using the MIT Election lab data, we consider all presidential elections since 2000, and take the maximum Democratic vote share in that county across all five previous elections. This is now ensuring that the high Biden vote share associated with abnormal birthdays is not just measuring counties that always vote for Democrats.
We run the same regressions as last time, but instead take as the dependent variable the difference between Biden's two-party vote share, and the maximum Democrat two party vote share over the previous five presidential elections. Most of these observations are now negative, reflecting the fact that in any given observation, one is normally below the historical maximum.
The relation is similar to before. Greater suspicious birthdays are also associated with higher performance for Biden relative to all elections since 2000. Once again, the relation is positive and highly statistically significant, with p-values of 0.0027 and 0.016 for regressions using the z-score and percentile respectively. In terms of magnitudes, a one standard deviation in the z-score is associated with a higher Biden vote share relative to historical elections by 2.4 percentage points.
Another way to show this result is the following. There are 5 counties out of 67 where Biden's two-party vote share exceeded the performance of the Democratic candidate in all presidential elections since 2000 '' Montgomery, Delaware, Cumberland, Allegheny, and Chester. Of these, three of them score above the 98th percentile of suspicious birthdays, and two score above the 99.7th percentile.
Effect on Jorgensen/Trump Two Party Vote Share
Another secondary indication of fraud is that not only is Biden likely to gain relative to Trump, but in addition Jorgensen is likely to gain relative to Trump. The reason is that any fraud perpetrator targeting the statewide race wants to simultaneously add as many votes as possible to Biden, and add as few as possible to Trump (since each Trump vote erodes the margin they're trying to add to). However, reporting an enormous overall vote for Biden is likely to look suspicious. As a consequence, another way to transfer net two-party margin to Biden is to also increase the votes for the Libertarian candidate.
We test this using the same methods as before, but instead examining the Jorgensen / Trump two party ratio. We find that greater levels of suspicious birthdays are also associated with a significantly higher vote share for Jorgensen relative to Trump. The p-value associated with abnormal birthdays in the regression is 0.00063 and 0.0021 for the versions using the z-score and the percentile measure, respectively.
Overall Effect on Pennsylvania Election Results
Finally, we can use these results to estimate the likely effect of suspicious birthdays on the overall Pennsylvania election outcome. Because someone making up birthdays will not always select e.g. round days in January or December, the actual numbers of excess suspicious birthdays are likely to considerably understate the magnitude of possible fraud.
To estimate the magnitude of these effects, we use the relationship between excess birthdays and Biden vote share to estimate the effect of a change in the magnitude of suspicious births on county vote outcomes. In essence, we assume that the overall relationship between suspicious birthdays and Biden votes is due to voter fraud, and estimate how large a change in suspicious birthdays would be predicted to produce.
In particular, we consider what would happen if the eleven counties who scored above the 98th percentile of suspicious birthdays under the conservative distribution were instead to merely be exactly at the 98th percentile. This proceeds in three steps:
Take the z-scores for each county, and work out how much lower they would be to get to the 98th percentile (a z-score of 2.095)Multiply this by the coefficient from the regression of Biden two-party vote share on the z-scores (0.0633). This then works out how much the two-party vote share would have changedMultiple this by the total number of two party votes in that county to get the overall change in Biden votes and Trump votesWe take the set of counties with z-scores above the 98th percentile (Northumberland (3.46), Delaware (3.13), Montgomery (2.79), Lawrence (2.79), Dauphin (2.78), LeHigh (2.61), Luzerne (2.60), Berks (2.39) Northampton (2.38), Cumberland (2.25) and Bucks (2.25)), and compute how many two-party votes would change sides if those counties were merely at the 98th percentile (2.095). This would change the total two party votes by 76,585. Since these would be votes being added to Trump and subtracted from Biden, this would be enough to overcome the 81,660 vote lead of Biden, and put Trump in the lead by 71,509 votes.
These patterns overall present strong evidence of two important facts about voter fraud in Pennsylvania. First, the distribution of birthdays in a number of counties significantly overweights unusual dates. Second, these counties look very suspicious along a large number of metrics and benchmarks, even when making deliberately conservative assumptions. Third, and independent of all the above, these patterns in birthdays are strongly associated with greater vote share for Biden, including at historically anomalous levels. Fourth, the magnitude of these deviations is large enough on its own to change the outcome of the Pennsylvania election, without reference to any of the other documented anomalies in Pennsylvania election data. Fifth, it is striking that Montgomery County, which was the subject of an entirely separate analysis of fraud, also looks strikingly suspicious along this alternative metric that has absolutely nothing to do with the variables previously studied. If one thinks that the previous analysis was just explained by data errors, one now has an entirely separate set of governmental data and separate tests that also confirm the same strong suspicions about fraud in the county. Nonetheless, this new metric allows the investigation to be considerably broadened, and finds evidence of fraud in other nearby large counties in Philadelphia. This raises serious questions about the integrity of the overall election result in Pennsylvania.
Carl Bell holds a Ph.D. in a quantitative discipline and works in a field relevant to statistical analysis
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BIZARRE: Georgia Govt Lawyers Defended Dominion's 'Trade Secrets' to Stop Forensic Analysis of Machines/Software - The National Pulse
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 16:44
November 30, 2020 Staff Writer A buried lead in Judge Timothy C. Batten's order released late last night from an Atlantic District Court describes Georgia State lawyers '' ostensibly acting on behalf of the public via the local government '' defending Dominion Voting Systems' ''trade secrets''.The court ordered that voting software and information contained therein should not be destroyed, or erased or altered in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee Counties.
But the order also revealed:
''Defendants' counsel also argued that allowing such forensic inspections would pose substantial security and proprietary/trade secret risks to Defendants.'' READ: The bizarre nature of government lawyers defending a private, foreign company's ''trade secrets'' instead of attempting to secure the vote of the American public will raise further questions about the company's involvement in U.S. voting systems.
The term ''trade secret'' is used no fewer than NINE times in the contract between Georgia and Dominion Voting Systems.
Staff Writer The National Pulse is a part of the American Principles Project.
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Fulton County recount hits snag with Dominion mobile server crash |
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 14:40
All counties are required to complete the recount by Dec. 2.
ATLANTA '-- The push to complete a recount requested by President Donald Trump's re-election campaign has hit a snag in Georgia's most populous county as the statewide deadline looms.
Fulton County elections officials confirmed to 11Alive on Sunday that a newly-purchased Dominion Voting Systems mobile server had crashed earlier in the day.
"Technicians from Dominion have been dispatched to resolve the issue," Fulton County officials said in a statement. "The Georgia Secretary of State's office has also been alerted to the issue and is aware of efforts to resolve the problem."
The county plans to resume its counting process on Monday morning. So far, Fulton suggests its teams have already concluded the counting of absentee, early in-person, and provisional ballots - 88 percent of ballots cast.
Based on existing numbers statewide, which aren't expected to see a significant change, President-elect Joe Biden leads Trump by roughly 13,000 votes in the state - the first Democrat to take Georgia since Bill Clinton decades earlier.
The candidate-requested recount follows the election day tallies and a pre-certification hand audit of ballots. However, the Trump campaign insisted this particular recount also include signature matching - something not allowed under existing Georgia law.
All 159 Georgia counties are required to complete the recount by Dec. 2.
Amazon: Here's what caused the major AWS outage last week | ZDNet
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 16:12
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has explained the cause of last Wednesday's widespread outage, which impacted thousands of third-party online services for several hours.
While dozens of AWS services were affected, AWS says the outage occurred in its Northern Virginia, US-East-1, region. It happened after a "small addition of capacity" to its front-end fleet of Kinesis servers.
Kinesis is used by developers, as well as other AWS services like CloudWatch and Cognito authentication, to capture data and video streams and run them through AWS machine-learning platforms.
SEE: IT Data Center Green Energy Policy (TechRepublic Premium)
The Kinesis service's front-end handles authentication, throttling, and distributes workloads to its back-end "workhorse" cluster via a database mechanism called sharding.
As AWS notes in a lengthy summary of the outage, the addition of capacity triggered the outage but wasn't the root cause of it. AWS was adding capacity for an hour after 2:44am PST, and after that all the servers in Kinesis front-end fleet began to exceed the maximum number of threads allowed by its current operating system configuration.
The first alarm was triggered at 5:15am PST and AWS engineers spent the next five hours trying to resolve the issue. Kinesis was fully restored at 10:23pm PST.
Amazon explains how the front-end servers distribute data across its Kinesis back-end: "Each server in the front-end fleet maintains a cache of information, including membership details and shard ownership for the back-end clusters, called a shard-map."
According to AWS, that information is obtained through calls to a microservice vending the membership information, retrieval of configuration information from DynamoDB, and continuous processing of messages from other Kinesis front-end servers.
"For [Kinesis] communication, each front-end server creates operating system threads for each of the other servers in the front-end fleet. Upon any addition of capacity, the servers that are already operating members of the fleet will learn of new servers joining and establish the appropriate threads. It takes up to an hour for any existing front-end fleet member to learn of new participants."
As the number of threads exceeded the OS configuration, the front-end servers ended up with "useless shard-maps" and were unable to route requests to Kinesis back-end clusters. AWS had already rolled back the additional capacity that triggered the event but had reservations about boosting the thread limit in case it delayed the recovery.
As a first step, AWS has moved to larger CPU and memory servers, as well as reduced the total number of servers and threads required by each server to communicate across the fleet.
It's also testing an increase in thread count limits in its operating system configuration and working to "radically improve the cold-start time for the front-end fleet".
CloudWatch and other large AWS services will move to a separate, partitioned front-end fleet. It's also working on a broader project to isolate failures in one service from affecting other services.
SEE: AWS is opening yet another cloud computing region
AWS has also acknowledged the delays in updating its Service Health Dashboard during the incident, but says that was because the tool its support engineers use to update the public dashboard was affected by the outage. During that time it was updating customers via the Personal Health Dashboard.
"With an event such as this one, we typically post to the Service Health Dashboard. During the early part of this event, we were unable to update the Service Health Dashboard because the tool we use to post these updates itself uses Cognito, which was impacted by this event," AWS said.
"We want to apologize for the impact this event caused for our customers."
Former NSA chief Keith Alexander has joined Amazon's board of directors - The Verge
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:28
Gen. Keith Alexander is joining Amazon's board of directors, the company revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing today. (Alexander has also been added to the company board's official site.) A former director of the National Security Agency and the first commander of the US Cyber Command, Alexander served as the public face of US data collection during the Edward Snowden leaks, but he retired from public service in 2013.
Alexander is a controversial figure for many in the tech community because of his involvement in the widespread surveillance systems revealed by the Snowden leaks. Those systems included PRISM, a broad data collection program that compromised systems at Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook '-- but not Amazon.
Alexander was broadly critical of reporting on the Snowden leaks, even suggesting that reporters should be legally restrained from covering the documents. ''I think it's wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000-whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these '-- you know it just doesn't make sense,'' Alexander in an interview in 2013. ''We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don't know how to do that. That's more of the courts and the policymakers but, from my perspective, it's wrong to allow this to go on.''
Alexander's board spot will also give Amazon new expertise in defense contracting, an area of particular focus for the company in recent years. Amazon was a leading candidate for a recent $10 billion cloud computing contract with the Pentagon, but it ultimately lost out to Microsoft. The company is currently engaged in a lawsuit against the federal government in connection with the contract, alleging that President Donald Trump's personal statements against Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos biased the process against Amazon.
Trump to add China's SMIC and CNOOC to defense blacklist: Reuters
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 04:36
Published Sun, Nov 29 2020 8:14 PM EST
Updated 39 min ago
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The Trump administration is poised to add China's top chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, according to a document and Reuters sources.The directive is unlikely to deal the firms a serious blow, experts said, due to its limited scope, uncertainty about the stance of the Biden administration and already-scant holdings by U.S. funds.Still, combined with other measures, it deepens a rift between Washington and Beijing, already at loggerheads over the coronavirus and China's crackdown on Hong Kong.A close up image of a CPU socket and motherboard laying on the table.
Narumon Bowonkitwanchai | Moment | Getty Images
The Trump administration is poised to add China's top chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, according to a document and sources, curbing their access to U.S. investors and escalating tensions with Beijing weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Reuters reported earlier this month that the Department of Defense (DOD) was planning to designate four more Chinese companies as owned or controlled by the Chinese military, bringing the number of Chinese companies affected to 35. A recent executive order issued by President Donald Trump would prevent U.S. investors from buying securities of the listed firms starting late next year.
It was not immediately clear when the new tranche, would be published in the Federal Register. But the list comprises China Construction Technology and China International Engineering Consulting, in addition to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), according to the document and three sources.
SMIC said it continued "to engage constructively and openly with the U.S. government" and that its products and services were solely for civilian and commercial use. "The Company has no relationship with the Chinese military and does not manufacture for any military end-users or end-uses."
The DOD, the Chinese embassy in Washington and CNOOC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
SMIC, which relies heavily on equipment from U.S. suppliers, was already in Washington's crosshairs. In September, the U.S. Commerce Department informed some firms that they need to obtain a license before supplying goods and services to SMIC after concluding there was an "unacceptable risk" that equipment supplied to it could be used for military purposes.
The upcoming move, coupled with similar policies, is seen as seeking to cement outgoing Republican President Donald Trump's tough-on-China legacy and to box incoming Democrat Biden into hardline positions on Beijing amid bipartisan anti-China sentiment in Congress. The Biden campaign declined to comment.
The list is also part of a broader effort by Washington to target what it sees as Beijing's efforts to enlist corporations to harness emerging civilian technologies for military purposes.
Reuters reported last week that the Trump administration is close to declaring that 89 Chinese aerospace and other companies have military ties, restricting them from buying a range of U.S. goods and technology.
The list of "Communist Chinese Military Companies" was mandated by a 1999 law requiring the Pentagon to compile a catalog of companies "owned or controlled" by the People's Liberation Army, but DOD only complied in 2020. Giants like Hikvision, China Telecom and China Mobile were added earlier this year.
This month, the White House published an executive order, first reported by Reuters, that sought to give teeth to the list by prohibiting U.S. investors from buying securities of the blacklisted companies from November 2021.
The directive is unlikely to deal the firms a serious blow, experts said, due to its limited scope, uncertainty about the stance of the Biden administration and already-scant holdings by U.S. funds.
Still, combined with other measures, it deepens a rift between Washington and Beijing, already at loggerheads over the China's handling of the coronavirus and its crackdown on Hong Kong.
Congress and the administration have sought increasingly to curb the U.S. market access of Chinese companies that do not comply with rules faced by American rivals, even if that means antagonizing Wall Street.
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Newsom Dinner Party Pal, Facebook VP, McCain Adviser Among Lobbyists For Firm Set To Be Blacklisted By Trump Over Chinese Military Ties - The National Pulse
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 16:53
The Trump administration is set to add more Chinese Communist Party-linked companies to its defense blacklist. One of the entities counts a close friend and adviser to California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Facebook Vice President, and a former adviser to the late Senator John McCain amongst its lobbying team.According to a Reuters report, companies targeted by the Trump administration include China's top chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), China Construction Technology Co, and China International Engineering Consulting Corp.
The U.S. has designated an additional 35 entities as having ties to China's military.
One company singled out by the Trump administration, CNOOC, has an extensive team of U.S.-based lobbyists.
Among the American taking cash from the state-run and military-linked oil firm are Charles Black, Jason Kinney, and Michael Buckley.
CHARLES BLACK. Black, for a retainer of $60,000, provided CNOOC with ''strategic and political counsel and government relations services'' in an attempt to ''promote federal government approval'' of CNOOC purchasing assets of the California-based Unocal corporation.
''Under this agreement BKSH will provide the services of Charlie Black to perform a leadership role for the Client's team of consultants, lobbyists and attorneys in this project,'' Black's Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) filing reveals.
Black served as a senior political advisor and strategist to Senator John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and sits on the McCain Institute Human Trafficking Advisory Council.
Black's FARA letter.He also served as the Chief Spokesman for the Republican National Committee and the Campaign Spokesman for the 1992 Bush for President campaign.
JASON KINNEY. While at California Strategies, Jason Kinney earned a monthly retainer of $25,000 for ''communicating with California elected and appointed officials concerning issues relating to the bid offer to merge with Unocal corporation.''
Kinney, whom Newsom described as a ''friend that I've known for almost 20 years,'' was the individual whose birthday part was being celebrated at the California Governor's now-infamous French Laundry dinner.
Newsom dined in a 12-person group at a restaurant, despite imposing tough restrictions on California residents gathering in large groups and recently forcing restaurants to shutdown their in-person services.
MICHAEL BUCKLEY. Buckley, who was listed as a ''leading'' member of the Brunswick Group's CNOOC lobbying team, assisted with the effort to ''assist CNOOC with all communications needs related to this project.''
''CNOOC is admired, with a reputation for caution and financial prudence '' we need to make sure that reputation remains in succeeding this transaction,'' the FARA filing notes.
Brunswick boosting CNOOC.Before serving as Senior Counselor to the Brunswick Group, Buckley's prior job was Facebook's Vice President of Global Business Communications.
He held the position from 2013 to 2016, which he described as ''leading [a] 70-person global team with responsibilities including oversight of all corporate, policy, internal, international, and advertising/monetization communications'' on his LinkedIn.
China Conference Friday, November 20, 2020
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 20:29
Source:CIIDS Updated¼š2020-10-13
Australia Demands China Apology for 'Repugnant' Afghan Tweet - Bloomberg
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:49
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Apple, Nike Lobby Against Cracking Down on Forced Labor Suppliers in China '' OutKick
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 16:21
LeBron James would be proud.
The New York Times reports that Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola are among the many global companies and business groups lobbying Congress to weaken a bipartisan bill that cracks down on human rights abuses and forced labor in China.
''The bill also targets so-called poverty alleviation and pairing programs that ship Muslims from impoverished areas to work in factories elsewhere, which human rights groups say are often coercive.''
For human rights supporters, the bill is great news. For companies that care about their bottom line first, it's terrible.
The legislation, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, bans imported goods from China's Xinjiang region made with forced labor. In September, the House passed the bill 406 to 3. Aides say that it has the backing to pass in the Senate and that either the Trump or Biden administration could sign it into law.
If passed, companies would be required to disclose information on their ties to Xinjiang to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It would ''require companies sending goods to the United States to scrutinize those supply chains, or perhaps abandon Chinese suppliers altogether.''
''While they strongly condemn forced labor and current atrocities in Xinjiang,'' the Times notes. ''The act's ambitious requirements could wreak havoc on supply chains that are deeply embedded in China.''
Translation: They do care. Just not that much.
It's unknown to what extent the lobbyists want to relax the measures contained in the bill. People familiar with the conversations say they've already pushed for various revisions, including easing disclosure requirements.
Coca-Cola is linked to sugar suppliers in the Xinjiang region, while Nike is tied to a Qingdao factory that reportedly employs Uyghur workers. Apple also opposes some of the measures, despite claiming that it sets industry standards for fair labor practices. Its $2 trillion market cap has a supply chain that touches the far western Xinjiang region.
Disclosure forms show that Apple paid Fierce Government Relations $90,000 to lobby on issues including Xinjiang-related legislation in the third quarter.
As noted in the report, all three companies have publicly denied they would allow forced labor in order to keep their suppliers. The Times doubled-down, reporting ''lobbying disclosures show that companies have spent heavily to sway Congress on Xinjiang-related legislation, though they reveal nothing about their specific requests.''
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce declined to comment on lobbying.
These major corporations frequently place themselves at the forefront of social issues and purport to lead the charge for change, but informed readers already know just how hollow their commitment to true social justice is. The priorities of Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola, in order, are: 1) Money; 2) PR; 3) Human rights/social issues.
Any company that has seen the impact that a China-driven agenda has had on the NBA should think twice before pushing back against this legislation. Far-left politics and social pandering has caused much of the unprecedented tank in NBA ratings, but it's obedience to China has also been a factor.
LeBron and the NBA thought closing their eyes and bowing to China was smart business, as do Apple and Nike, for now. It may make financial sense, but if the NBA is any indication, opposing the bill will be an eventual regret.
CNN Anchors And Biden Advisers Attended A Major Chinese Communist Conference With Xi Jinping
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 20:29
CNN Host Fareed Zakaria and an adviser to Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign attended the recent Understanding China Conference, which counted Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping and high-level apparatchiks in attendance.The conference, themed ''Huge Shake-up, Big Test, Great Cooperation: China's New Journey toward Modernization and Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind,'' argued for increased cooperation between the Chinese Communist Party and the broader world.
Featuring nearly 20 Chinese speakers '' all boasting high-level involvement with the Chinese Communist Party '' the conference depends on Western figures to grant legitimacy to the event.
The conferenceZakaria, who hosts CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS and writes for The Washington Post, along with Lawrence Summers were keen on assisting the Chinese Communist Party in their quest.
Summers, a former Obama-era National Economic Council Director, has also been identified as ''advising Joe Biden's presidential campaign,'' according to Reuters.
CNN's Zakaria on the conference websiteAmong the Chinese government officials in attendance were Zheng Bijian, who directed a state-run think tank's Research Institute for Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, and Ye Xiaowen, who served as Vice President of the Central Institute of Socialism and directed the United Front Work Department which has been identified by the U.S. government as ''neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party'' through ''influence operations targeting foreign actors and states.''
Among the Western-based personalities in attendance were former Labour Party leader and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Wolfgang Sch¤uble, a former German Minister of Finance and sitting president of the Bundestag '' the country's federal parliament. Nicholas Berggruen, the founder of the Berggruen Institute, has also repeatedly attended the event.
The Berggruen Institute is linked to the Joe Biden-backing Transition Integrity Project, as the group's co-founder, Nils Gilman, serves as Vice President of Programs and editor of the Berggruen Institute's magazine. Gilman notoriously threatened former Trump administration official Michael Anton with execution.
For years, Xi has offered his support to the conference, meeting with attendees in 2019 and routinely sending letters praising the event. At the most recent conference, he penned a letter that was read aloud at the conference. Per a Chinese state-run media outlet's synopsis of his speech, he argued ''close to achieving the goals of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and eradicating poverty, and it will embark on a new journey to fully build a modern socialist country next year.''
Documents from the conference reveal that its opening ceremony featured a host of party apparatchiks in addition to primers on China's 14th- Five-Year Plan.
Agenda for day one of conference. Natalie Winters Natalie Winters is a Senior Reporter at the National Pulse and producer of The National Pulse TV show.
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Chinese step up attempts to influence Biden team - US official - BBC News
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:04
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The US and China have clashed repeatedly in recent months, over trade, coronavirus and Hong Kong Chinese agents have stepped up their efforts to influence President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration, a US intelligence official has said.
William Evanina, from the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said the Chinese were also focusing on people close to Mr Biden's team.
Mr Evanina said it was an influence campaign "on steroids".
Separately, a justice department official said more than 1,000 suspected Chinese agents had fled the US.
In Wednesday's virtual discussion at the Aspen Institute think tank, Mr Evanina, chief of the Director of National Intelligence's counter-intelligence branch, said China had been attempting to meddle in the US efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine and recent American elections.
He continued: "We've also seen an uptick, which was planned and we predicted, that China would now re-vector their influence campaigns to the new [Biden] administration.
"And when I say that, that malign foreign influence, that diplomatic influence plus, or on steroids, we're starting to see that play across the country to not only the folks starting in the new administration, but those who are around those folks in the new administration.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption President Donald Trump accused President Xi Jinping's China of unleashing coronavirus on the United States "So that's one area we're going to be very keen on making sure the new administration understands that influence, what it looks like, what it tastes like, what it feels like when you see it."
Both Mr Biden and President Donald Trump traded bitter accusations during the recent White House campaign of being influenced by Beijing.
Mr Trump focused on business dealings by his rival's son Hunter Biden in China, while the Democratic candidate highlighted Mr Trump's Chinese bank account.
What was Hunter Biden doing in Ukraine and China?During the same think tank discussion on Wednesday, John Demers, chief of the justice department's national security division, said hundreds of Chinese researchers with ties to their country's military had been identified by FBI investigators over the summer.
Mr Demers said the inquiry began when US authorities arrested five or six Chinese researchers who had hidden their affiliation with the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
'Neither the US nor China wants us'"Those five or six arrests were just the tip of the iceberg and honestly the size of the iceberg was one that I don't know that we or other folks realised how large it was," he said.
He told the discussion that after the FBI conducted dozens of interviews with other individuals, "more than 1,000 PLA-affiliated Chinese researchers left the country".
Mr Demers said "only the Chinese have the resources and ability and will" to conduct such alleged political and economic espionage and "other malign activity".
He told the discussion these researchers were in addition to a group to 1,000 Chinese students and researchers whose visas were revoked by the US back in September.
US revokes visas for 1,000 Chinese students US orders China to close Houston consulateThe US state department said back then it would only welcome Chinese students "who do not further the Chinese Communist Party's goals of military dominance".
In July, the state department also closed China's consulate in Houston, Texas, accusing Beijing of stealing intellectual property.
Beijing hit back by accusing the US of racial discrimination, but Mr Demers denied on Wednesday that the American authorities were racially profiling Chinese students.
Sino-US relations have hit rock bottom after outgoing President Trump's disputes with Beijing over issues ranging from trade to Hong Kong to the pandemic.
Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy figure Jimmy Lai charged with fraud | Hong Kong | The Guardian
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:46
Jimmy Lai, the Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy activist whose Apple Daily newspaper was raided by police earlier this year, has been denied bail after being charged with fraud. Lai '' the owner of Hong Kong tabloid and founder of Next Digital Media '' will be held on remand until his next court date in April next year.
Lai has been one of the loudest pro-democracy voices in Hong Kong, amid a worsening crackdown on dissent. On Wednesday Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, and Ivan Lam were jailed for their activism.
Lai and two Next Digital Media executives were charged on Wednesday night when making a regular reporting appearance to police over their previous arrests under the national security law. The executives, chief operating officer Royston Chow Tat-kuen, and chief administrative officer Wong Wai-keung, were released on bail on Thursday.
The trio are accused of breaching land-lease terms by misusing Next Digital's office space in Tseung Kwan O for other purposes.
Lai was among more than 10 people arrested on one day in August, under suspicion of breaching the national security law imposed by Beijing in June. Apple Daily's newsroom was also raided by hundreds of police. Lai was suspected of collusion with foreign forces and conspiracy to commit fraud, but police have not laid charges of foreign collusion.
Speaking after the arrest, Lai said the accusations were ''trumped up'' but he couldn't go into details because legal proceedings were underway.
At least 31 people have been arrested under the national security law, which has been internationally condemned as overly broad and undefined, criminalising benign acts of protest. Hong Kong authorities have been accused of using the national security and other laws to crackdown on dissent and free speech. In an editorial on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal said the charge against Lai was China sending a clear message that it would crush any opposition, and that ''any charges will do''.
More than 10,000 people have also been arrested under other laws, over acts related to the mass protests.
Some have fled. Activist Nathan Law left Hong Kong for the UK, and Andy Li, who was also arrested under the national security law, is among those detained on the mainland after being caught trying to escape to Taiwan by boat. On Wednesday, Hong Kong media reported that pro-democracy former legislator Ted Hui and his family had moved to Denmark. Hui was arrested in August over his involvement in a 2019 protest.
On Wednesday Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, and Ivan Lam, were all jailed for their part in an unauthorised demonstration outside police headquarters in June 2019. Wong was sentenced to 13-and-a-half months, Chow to 10, and Lam to seven. All three had pleaded guilty to the non-violent acts of organising, inciting, or participating in the protest but the judge said jail time was required to deter others.
There are fears the high-profile pro-democracy activists will spend far longer in jail than the sentences delivered on Wednesday. Chow, who turned 24 on Thursday, was also arrested under the national security law on the same day as Lai, but has not been charged so far. Wong is facing potential charges over a Tiananmen Square massacre vigil, and an October 2019 protest.
The jail terms drew international rebuke, including from the UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, and US Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
''We are disturbed by the prospect of China pressing additional charges against these activists, which could result in additional years of jail time,'' said Pelosi, who added the US congress was ''seriously concerned'' about allegations that Wong was mistreated in prison, including several days in solitary confinement.
Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, said the trio ''represent the collective will of the people of Hong Kong for democracy''.
''It is very regrettable that the judgment of Hong Kong people has once again been suppressed by the authority,'' Tsai said.
Noodle Gun
Spotify Employee Accused of Deleting Joe Rogan's Alex Jones Interview
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 14:20
Alex Jones appears on The Joe Rogan Experience in October (photo: Digital Music News)
The temporary disappearance of a recent Joe Rogan interview with Alex Jones wasn't an accident, according to sources within Spotify.Last month, Joe Rogan did the unthinkable '-- at least in the eyes of Spotify employees demanding editorial oversight over The Joe Rogan Experience. Rogan, who recently inked an estimated $100 million exclusive podcasting deal with Spotify, brought Alex Jones as a guest in October. Jones was previously banned from the platform by Spotify higher-ups, though those same executives refused to remove the controversial episode despite heavy demands from activist employees.
Then, something strange happened. The episode mysteriously disappeared from the stack of Rogan's podcasts, and share links to the podcast became inoperable. That mishap certainly seemed suspicious, though it was immediately dismissed as an accident '-- including by Rogan himself.
''The conspiracy about the show with the conspiracy theorist,'' Rogan quipped after fans sounded the alarm.
''The episode that was uploaded to Spotify had some cache issues, and it wasn't working correctly on some devices, so the engineers had Jamie re-upload it with the same date, thinking it would fix the problem but still play for everyone like it was never missing,'' Rogan continued.
That 'cache issues' explanation sounded reasonable, except for one problem. As far as we're aware, no other Spotify podcast episode had previously experienced the 'cache issue' mentioned. As you might expect, a lot of Rogan fans simply weren't buying it.
Now, two sources within Spotify, specifically within podcasting subdivisions, have confirmed that at least one employee is responsible for intentionally removing the Joe Rogan episode.The employee's name was not released to Digital Music News, even though we agreed not to publish any identifying information. Instead, the sources decided not to share the name given that an investigation could be forthcoming, and nobody's been proven guilty, fired, or otherwise punished.
Still, repercussions could be forthcoming. One source confidently noted that ''this [removal was] definitely no accident,'' while further noting that ''[the evidence] is in the logs'' and can be proven. Specifically, it appears that the episode was removed from the stack with an attempted permanent delete, which promulgated the cacheing issue (because there was nothing to cache anymore).
Engineers within Spotify soon started troubleshooting the issue, and eventually moved to replace the master file while alerting Rogan and his team (including his assistant Jamie) of the issue.
That last part is critical, because Rogan himself was apparently not alerted to any foul play.Instead, a second source told us that Rogan was ''fed the mumbo jumbo'' related to technical concerns, with ''a lotta tech jargon'' to throw off the scent. That seemed to work, with Rogan himself working to dispel any notions of employee interference.
Exactly what happens next is unclear, though this looks like a touchy political subject. The second source also noted that Spotify's executives may not pursue the issue, given the sensitivity internally over Joe Rogan. That includes the previous ban on Alex Jones uploads, as well as a string of earlier meetings relating to Joe Rogan's content.
Earlier, Spotify employees reportedly demanded that additional episodes be removed, including an interview with Abigail Shrier deemed to be transphobic (the episode is still live). Previously, Spotify quietly omitted a number of older episodes while migrating Joe Rogan's catalog to their platform, including an earlier discussion with Alex Jones.
At one point, the group of activist employees '-- largely based in New York '-- threatened a walkout if not given direct editorial oversight over Joe Rogan's podcasts, though the Spotify executives pushed back and the strike never materialized.
More as this develops.
Bountiful High School to drop 'Braves' nickname after monthslong inquiry |
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 14:34
BOUNTIFUL '-- The mascot name is going.
Bountiful High School principal Aaron Hogge announced Monday the school will change its "Braves" moniker following a petition from some alumni, feedback from Native American groups, and months of meetings that have taken place over the name over the past few months.
The school has held that moniker since it opened in 1951. Hogge said the school will make the change after the 2020-2021 school year ends.
"To all those who have graduated Bountiful High School as Braves, that tradition and pride will continue. The class of 2021 will graduate as Braves," he said in a short video announcing the decision which was posted on YouTube Monday afternoon.
"We will begin the process within our school community of selecting a culturally-sensitive mascot that will unite all stakeholders and continue the tradition of unity, respect, honor, courage, bravery and excellence in the classroom, and on the stage, court or field," he added.
School officials began an inquiry into the mascot name earlier this year following a petition launched in July from a pair of alumni: Mallory Rogers and Mykala Rogers. The petition urged the school to change the mascot name, which they said was offensive to Native Americans. It was inspired by the conversations of systemic racism and cultural appropriation propelled in the weeks after the death of George Floyd.
Mallory Rogers told Monday evening that she was "thrilled" and "grateful" that the school administration chose to listen to current and former students, community members and, especially, Native American-led groups. Rogers said she was also surprised how quickly her petition resulted in a decision from school officials.
"Some of the Native American activists that I've been working with '-- who have worked on this issue before in other areas '-- were shocked with how fast things were going, which I think shows that the community was listening and just aware," she said. "I was pleased with how fast it went. When I started it, I didn't think it would be this fast."
Native American-led groups like the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Utah, Peace Advocates for Native Dialogue & Organizing Support, Salt Lake City Air Protectors, and the League of Native American Voters were among the organizations that backed the petition shortly after it went online.
James Singer, the co-founder of the League of Native American Voters, told in July that he felt Native American mascot names "dehumanizes and desensitizes" Native Americans.
However, not everyone was on board with changing the school's mascot name after it had been in use for nearly 70 years. An alumnus of the school posted a counterpetition online aimed to keep the Braves moniker in response to the call to remove it. It landed the support of a Native American group that supports Native American mascot names, arguing removing names leads to removing Native Americans from any national discourse.
The two petitions ended up with about 6,000 signatures. Interestingly enough, both were also posted online days before the Washington Redskins announced they would drop their controversial mascot name after 87 years. The NFL organization has played this season as the Washington Football Team.
The online discussion from the petitions ultimately led to a formal review of the mascot name, which Hogge and other school administrators began in August.
A committee was formed to weigh both arguments. It sought feedback not just from Bountiful High staff and students, but also from community members and representatives from the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation. After compiling the input from the listening sessions, Hogge said he believed the mascot name had a proud legacy, but that it was necessary for the school to change its mascot name.
"Over the years, the theme of 'Braves' and the courage, strength and bravery that is rich in the Native American culture represented our school community. '... At times, depictions of Native Americans have crossed the line of cultural respect," Hogge said in the video.
"Attempts have been made over the years to become more culturally sensitive," the principal added. "I believe leaders and students in the past have had the best of intentions to create unity, respect, honor, courage and bravery when they use the Braves mascot."
Rogers isn't done with her efforts to promote change in regard to Native American mascots in Utah. She was one of the individuals who spoke at a press conference last week in favor of a nonbinding resolution that would urge public schools to retire Native American-themed mascots, acknowledge the harm they have caused, and encourage more Native American culture and history education.
The Native American Mascots and Equality in Public Schools, or NAMES, resolution '-- sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Weight, D-West Valley City '-- is expected to be introduced during the Utah Legislature 2021 general session.
While she is not Native American herself, Rogers said she was originally nervous to speak up against the Braves mascot. After working alongside Native American groups over the past few months, she's glad she followed through with the petition. She referenced a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. as she pointed out that it is important for people to speak up for what is right. It's something that Rogers hopes others will do when cast in similar positions.
"If you see a wrong; if you see an injustice, it's your place to speak up and to say 'hey, this doesn't seem right to me, this doesn't seem OK. Let's talk about it and see if it needs to change,'" she said. "Anyone can stand up for what's right."
As for what the new Bountiful High mascot should be, Rogers isn't overly concerned with what her alma mater selects.
"They're thinking about being culturally senstive, so, me personally, I'm not concerned about it," she said. "I think it will be fun for the student body to come together and pick a new mascot. I'm sure they'll be some creative, fun ideas that everyone can get behind."
— Related Stories Carter Williams More stories you may be interested in
Ellen Page publicly comes out as a transgender male named Elliot, says: 'My pronouns are he/they' | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 15:23
The Oscar-nominated star once known as Ellen Page has come out as transgender, while revealing that he has changed his name to Elliot, six years after he publicly revealed he was gay.
The 33-year-old Canadian actor, who has been married to dancer Emma Portner, 26, since 2018, took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to share an emotional statement with the revelation, writing: 'Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot.
'I feel lucky to be writing this. To have arrived at this place in my life.'
Elliot, who received an Oscar nod for their role in the hit 2008 movie Juno, asking his followers and fans for 'patience', admitting that he is 'scared' of the 'invasiveness, the hate, the jokes, and of the violence' that he may face moving forward.
'My job is real, but it is also fragile,' the actor said, adding: 'The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared.'
Opening up: The Juno star once known as Ellen Page has come out as a transgender person named Elliot, nearly three years after marrying Emma Portner (seen together in June 2019)
'I feel lucky to be writing this': The 33-year-old actor took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to share an emotional post with the revelation
Changes: As well as releasing his statement, Elliot also updated his social media accounts, changing his usernames, and adding a new profile picture (above) to his Twitter and Instagram
Emotional: Elliot's wife Emma took to Instagram shortly after the actor shared his statement to offer public words of support, writing, 'Shine on sweet E. Love you so much'
In his statement, Elliot did not reveal what stage of his transition process he is in, nor did he share whether he has, or plans to, undergo hormone therapy or top and bottom surgery.
The process of transitioning from female to male is different for every person, however many begin the process with hormone therapy, before deciding whether to undergo top surgery to remove the breasts and breast tissue, bottom surgery to construct a penis, and a hysterectomy to remove the female reproductive organs.
His use of gender-neutral pronouns also suggests that Elliot is non-binary, meaning that he does not identify with any gender specifically - although he did not use this label in his statement.
Elliot, who is currently due to begin filming the third season of Netflix hit The Umbrella Academy in February, also unveiled changes to his official social media accounts, posting on Twitter under the username @TheElliotPage, and on Instagram as @elliotpage.
Although Elliot did not detail how or when he came out to his family, he thanked his loved ones for their support through his journey, expressing his 'overwhelming gratitude' for helping him to reach a stage where he felt comfortable to 'pursue his authentic self'.
Shortly after the actor posted the statement, his wife Emma voiced her public support for him on Instagram, while reiterating her partner's plea for patience.
'I am so proud of @elliotpage. Trans, queer and non-binary people are a gift to this world,' Emma wrote.
'I also ask for patience & privacy [and] that you join me in the fervent support of trans life every single day. Elliot's existence is a gift in and of itself. Shine on sweet E. Love you so much.'
She also commented on Elliot's Instagram post, writing: 'Love you so much elliot.'
Elliot's decision to publicly reveal he is transgender comes almost three years after the couple tied the knot in a secret ceremony, having only been dating publicly for six months.
Prior to their relationship, Juno star Elliot had been linked to several different partners, both male and female, including Big Little Lies star Alexander Skarsg¥rd and actress Shailene Woodley - although their romance was never confirmed.
Speaking out: Elliot (pictured in November 2019) publicly came out as gay in 2014 while speaking at the Human Rights Campaign's Time to Thrive conference for LGTBQ youth
Breakthrough: Elliot first became a household name after starring as a pregnant teenager in the hit 2007 movie Juno, for which he earned an Oscar nomination
Looking ahead: The actor is preparing to begin filming for the third season of Netflix hit The Umbrella Academy, and insiders have revealed he will continue to play female violinist Vanya
Abuse of power: In 2017, Elliot accused X-Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner of outing him on set when he was just 18
He also dated artist Samantha Thomas for 18 months, with the couple splitting just months before Elliot tied the knot with Emma.
Elliot came out publicly as gay in 2014 in an emotional speech at the Human Rights Campaign's Time to Thrive conference for LGTBQ youth.
In the speech, the actor shared that he hoped his news would help others struggling with their sexuality, saying: 'I'm here today because I am gay. And because maybe I can make a difference.'
Elliot Page's statement in full Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.
I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can't begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self. I've been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community. Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society.
I also ask for patience. My joy is real, but it is also fragile. The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared. I'm scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the 'jokes' and of violence. To be clear, I am not trying to dampen a moment that is joyous and one that I celebrate, but I want to address the full picture. The statistics are staggering. The discrimination towards trans people is rife, insidious and cruel, resulting in horrific consequences. In 2020 alone it has been reported that at least 40 transgender people have been murdered, the majority of which were Black and Latinx trans women. To the political leaders who work to criminalize trans health care and deny our right to exist and to all of those with a massive platform who continue to spew hostility towards the trans community: you have blood on your hands. You unleash a fury of vile and demeaning rage that lands on the shoulders of the trans community, a community in which 40% of trans adults report attempting suicide. Enough is enough. You aren't being 'cancelled', you are hurting people. I am one of those people and we won't be silent in the face of your attacks.
I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive. To all trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you and I will do everything to change this world for the better.
Thank you for reading this.
All my love,
Three years later, in November 2017, Elliot accused X-Men director Brett Ratner of outing him as gay on set, when the actor was just 18.
The Juno actor made the allegations in a lengthy Facebook post, in which he also revealed that he had been fondled by a director and was sexually assaulted by a crew member when he was 16.
According to Elliot, Ratner outed him during a cast and crew meet-and-greet for X-Men: The Last Stand, where he urged a woman to have sex with the actor.
'He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior, pointed to me and said: "You should f*** her to make her realize she's gay,"' Elliot claimed.
'I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened.'
He continued: 'He "outed" me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic.
'...This public, aggressive outing left me with long standing feelings of shame, one of the most destructive results of homophobia.'
However, Elliot's decision to come out as transgender was met with a much more positive outpouring of support from dozens of A-listers, including Miley Cyrus, who wrote: 'Elliot rules!'
Anna Paquin - who starred alongside Elliot's ex Alexander in True Blood - also commented, writing: 'Sending you all the love and support Elliot!
'And just to save some time to everyone who is being hateful/transphobic/homophobic you can all f*** off. Elliot is a f***ing warrior and treasure of a human being.'
The official Umbrella Academy account also shared some kind words, commenting: 'So proud of our superhero!! WE LOVE YOU ELLIOT!!!'
Several co-stars also left comments on the post, with actress Marin Ireland - who plays Elliot's love interest on the show - writing: 'I love you Elliot!'
The series' showrunner Steve Blackman added: 'Proud of you, Elliot. Love you!!!'
Elliot is currently due to commence filming on the third season of the hit Netflix series, and - according to Variety - he will continue to play the role of female violinist Vanya Hargreeves, one of seven siblings with extraordinary abilities who are adopted by an eccentric billionaire and turned into a crime-fighting team.
Insiders revealed to the publication that there are 'no plans to change the character's gender'.
In the second season of the show, Vanya falls in love with a woman, and Elliot praised the decision to explore the character's queerness in an interview with Pride, saying: '...Getting to play her falling in love for the first time and the beauty of that and the joy of that and then hoping to be mindful and sensitive in terms of how to represent the other aspects and mostly, I'm just happy that a storyline like this is in a show that has the reach that it does.'
Variety also reported that Netflix is in the process of updating Elliot's name in the metadata of already-released titles that he has been associated with that are currently available on the streaming site. An insider said that these changes are likely to be seen throughout the day on Tuesday, although as of 5PM EST they were not yet reflected on the website.
Online movie database IMDB has already updated the actor's profile to reflect his name change, and his biography on the site now uses gender-neutral pronouns. Similarly, Elliot's Wikipedia page was updated minutes after he released his statement in order to reflect the information within it.
Standing together: Emma commented on Elliot's Instagram statement to once again voice her support for her spouse. The pair are pictured together in a photo shared to mark Pride 2019
Past: Before Elliot began dating his wife Emma, he was in a relationship with artist Samantha Thomas. The couple (seen in 2015) dated for around 18 months before splitting in 2017
Young love: Elliot also dated Big Little Lies star Alexander Skarsg¥rd in 2013, after starring alongside him in drama movie The East
Family first: The Juno star (pictured with his parents at the 2008 Oscars) did not reveal how or when he came out to his family and friends, but thanked his loved ones for their support
Following the release of his statement, GLAAD also voiced its support for Elliot, with the organization's Director of Transgender Media, Nick Adams, saying: 'Elliot Page has given us fantastic characters on-screen, and has been an outspoken advocate for all LGBTQ people.
'He will now be an inspiration to countless trans and non-binary people. All transgender people deserve the chance to be ourselves and to be accepted for who we are. We celebrate the remarkable Elliot Page today.'
He also hit back at the suggestion that a cisgender actor should be cast to replace Elliot in The Umbrella Academy, telling Variety: 'Trans actors can and do play both trans and cisgender characters. I'm sure Elliot will continue to be brilliant in Umbrella Academy and many different types of roles in the future.'
Elliot has long been a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ community, and he took the opportunity in his latest statement to speak out about the 'violence' and 'harassment' that so many transgender people face.
'The statistics are staggering,' he wrote. 'The discrimination towards trans people is rife, insidious and cruel, resulting in horrific consequences.
'In 2020 alone it has been reported that at least 40 transgender people have been murdered, the majority of which were Black and Latinx trans women.'
Elliot then slammed 'political leaders' who have tried to pass legislation that would 'criminalize trans health care'; in June of this year, the Trump administration put an end to Obama-era protections for transgender patients against discrimination from doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies.
'To the political leaders who work to criminalize trans health care and deny our right to exist and to all of those with a massive platform who continue to spew hostility towards the trans community: you have blood on your hands,' Elliot wrote.
'You unleash a fury of vile and demeaning rage that lands on the shoulders of the trans community, a community in which 40% of trans adults report attempting suicide. Enough is enough. You aren't being "cancelled", you are hurting people. I am one of those people and we won't be silent in the face of your attacks.'
Process: In his statement Elliot (seen in January 2020 at one of his last public appearances) did not address whether he has, or plans to undergo hormone therapy or surgery
Star: Elliot (seen in March 2014) thanked his loved ones for their support through his journey and gave credit to the trailblazers in transgender community
Debut: The actor (pictured left in 2007 and right in 2008) made his debut in revenge thriller Hard Candy in 2005, but it was his role in indie flick Juno in 2007 that launched him to stardom
Throwback: Elliot (pictured in 1992 when he was around five years old) first began acting professionally at the age of ten, when he appeared in Canadian movie Pit Pony
Childhood: The actor (pictured as a child) continued to attend school while acting
He also spoke out to praise the trailblazers in the transgender community who have worked tirelessly to 'make this world a more inclusive place'.
'I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey,' he wrote. 'I can't begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.
'I've been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community. Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society.'
Elliot, who was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to mom Martha Philpotts, a teacher, and dad Dennis Page, a graphic designer, made his on-screen debut at the age of ten, after being spotted by a casting director who visited his school and chose him to star in Canadian movie Pit Pony, which then spawned a TV spin-off.
While continuing to attend local schools, including one that focused on Buddhist principles and Eastern meditation techniques, the budding star continued to act, landing several small roles in films and TV shows, many of which earned the young star critical applause and several accolades.
He then broke out from his native Canada in 2005 with the revenge thriller Hard Candy, and two years later, Elliot shot to global stardom after landing the lead role in Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody's indie flick Juno, for which the actor received an Academy Award nomination among other accolades.
His other notable roles include Kitty Pryde in the X-Men series, Christopher Nolan's Inception, Whip It! and Sony's reboot of Flatliners.
He has produced and starred in films such as Tallulah and Freeheld, and last year marked his directorial debut examining environmental racism faced by people of color and the First Nations communities of Canada.
Prior to transition, Page was one of the most visible out gay actors in Hollywood; his latest announcement further enriches his legacy, and adds him to a small but growing number of trans creators and stars who have made the decision to come out publicly, including performers like Laverne Cox, Trace Lysette, and Brian Michael Smith, and creators including The Wachowski Sisters.
Transitioning from female to male: What does it involve and how is it done? The transition process is different for every person, with some transgender men choosing to undergo surgery in order to change their physical appearance, while others rely simply on hormone therapy - including testosterone - to create masculine characteristics.
According to Planned Parenthood, for many transgender people, the process often begins by taking several social steps, including coming out to friends and family, and asking people to refer to them by the pronouns that match their gender identity (him/he, her/she, they/them).
Going by a different name is also an important step for some, as is dressing in ways that better match your gender.
Medically, gender transitional typically begins with hormone therapy; in the case of transgender men, testosterone is used to create more masculine characteristics, such as a deeper voice, facial hair growth, muscle growth, and the redistribution of fat away from the hips and breasts.
Hormone therapy is also used to stop a transgender man from menstruating.
For those who choose to undergo surgery, there are several procedures that can be carried out, including 'top' surgery - which removes the breasts and breast tissue - and 'bottom' surgery to construct a penis.
The phalloplasty typically involves doctors taking skin from other parts of the body to build a penis, while the metoidioplasty causes the clitoris to work more like a penis; hormone therapy usually makes it grow larger.
Some transgender men also decide to get a hysterectomy to remove their female reproductive organs.
However not all transgender people choose to transition, with some opting to take social steps without undergoing any medical treatment.
'There are many reasons for the differences in how people transition,' the Planned Parenthood website states.
'These medical procedures can be very expensive, which means that not everyone can afford them. Some transgender people may have health insurance that covers transition-related procedures, and some may not. And finally, but most importantly '-- not all trans people want all of the available medical procedures.'
Ex-Washington state Democrat campaigner among two charged over terrorist attack | The Post Millennial
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 21:25
December 2, 2020 3:38 PM 3 mins reading
As the big tech tyrants tighten their grip, join us for more free speech at Parler'--the anti-censorship social media platform.
Two suspected militant far-left activists in Washington state have been federally charged for a terrorist attack following an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation into dozens of attempts to derail trains.
Ellen Brennan Reiche, 27, and Samantha Frances Brooks, 23, were arrested over the weekend by federal authorities in Bellingham, Wash. and charged with committing a terrorist attack on a railroad facility.
According to the criminal complaint, Reiche and Brooks were placing wired devices known as ''shunts'' over BNSF Railway tracks in the middle of the night on Nov. 28. The wires are capable of disrupting a train's electrical signal and cause it to erroneously brake.
''Depending on the location, the shunt may also interfere with the proper operation of crossing gates at railroad/traffic intersections, causing the gates to allow vehicular traffic across the tracks even when a train is oncoming,'' wrote the officer assigned in the Seattle Division of the FBI in the affidavit.
Ellen Brennan Reiche, 23, of Bellingham, Wash., has been charged with a federal terrorism offenseThe two suspects were caught by a Whatcom County deputy. Reiche was carrying a bag that contained gloves, supplies and tools needed to make the wired devices. The insulated copper wire Reiche was carrying was similar to what was used in 41 other attacks on the railway this year, including an incident on Oct. 11 where a train carrying combustible material was decoupled from the engine after riding over a shunt.
Reiche was parked nearby at the time of the duo's arrest and their vehicle has a sticker on the back with the text ''INDIGENOUS LAND'' over a map of the entire United States.
Ellen Brennan Reiche was parked nearby the scene of the terrorist attack in November. Photo: US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington ??The affidavit names extreme Antifa website It's Going Down for claiming responsibility for railway attacks in the Pacific Northwest earlier this year. The site said in a post that the direct actions were done to ''fight against colonial invasion'' in relation to the building of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline project in British Columbia, Canada. It called for others to carry out more attacks.
Reiche and Brooks have mostly scrubbed their online presence but some remaining clues give insight into who Reiche is.
Reiche, who identifies as ''non-binary'' and uses ''they/them'' pronouns, was the deputy field organizer for Washington State Democrats, according to their now-deleted LinkedIn profile. (The official Democrat organization has been reached for comment.)
Ellen Brennan Reiche co-founded and leads the 'Bellingham Lesbian Collective'Additionally, Reiche is a radical queer and environmental activist who co-founded the Bellingham Lesbian Collective. They are a co-host on ''The L World'' lesbian-themed podcast.
Reiche and Brooks made their first court appearance on Monday and have been released on pre-trial. Their next court date is scheduled for Dec. 14. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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Nasdaq wants to force racial minorities, women, and LGBTQ people onto company boards
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:37
| December 01, 2020 11:39 AM
Nasdaq on Tuesday moved to require that companies on its exchange include a woman and a person of a minority racial background or sexual orientation on their boards of directors.
''This proposal and partnership gives companies an opportunity to make progress toward increasing representation of women, underrepresented minorities and the LGBTQ+ community on their boards,'' said Nelson Griggs, president of Nasdaq Stock Exchange, in announcing the proposal.
Listed companies would have to include ''one who self-identifies as female and one who self-identifies as either an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+,'' according to the company's press release.
This rule would not apply to foreign companies or smaller reporting companies, but they would have to include at least two female directors.
Nasdaq filed the proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for approval.
If approved, all companies will be expected to have one director from the specified categories within two years of the SEC's approval. These companies would have between four and five years to announce their second such director.
Companies that do not comply with the rule, if approved, will not be delisted from the exchange, but they will have to publicly explain why they are not following the rule.
''Our goal with this proposal is to provide a transparent framework for Nasdaq-listed companies to present their board composition and diversity philosophy effectively to all stakeholders; we believe this listing rule is one step in a broader journey to achieve inclusive representation across corporate America,'' said Adena Friedman, Nasdaq's president CEO.
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Trump Senior Aide Kushner and Team Heading to Saudi Arabia, Qatar
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 16:32
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Bitcoin and the Rhythms of History - Brandon Quittem
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 14:44
You're living through a particularly potent period in history.
But you already knew that.
Since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, we've been in what Neil Howe and William Strauss describe as a ''Fourth Turning.'' The final act in a drama that began on the heels of WWII.
Fourth Turnings are defined by the collective realization that ''things are bad enough that we're willing to actually do something about it.'' The cement is wet and everything in the exterior world gets redesigned. Political, social, and economic structures reimagined.
''Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and the twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.'' -The Fourth Turning by Neil Howe and William Strauss. This essay explores the Strauss''Howe generational theory through the lens of Bitcoin.
Common ailments of the day, namely economic inequality, failing institutions, cultural decay, and the rise of populism were all predicted (and are easily explained) by this theory.
Practically speaking, you'll learn a new framework for understanding the world around you. It's neither perfect nor precise. However, if you squint hard enough you might catch a glimpse of the future.
Sections Seasons of Time (Introducing Fourth Turning Concepts) Where Are We In The Current Cycle? Anatomy of a Fourth Turning (Crisis) Fourth Turnings of The Last 500 Years Supply and Demand of Order Lessons From The Previous Fourth Turning (1929-1946) Analyzing Our Current Fourth Turning (2008-2030?) How to Protect Yourself During a Fourth Turning Author's Note : The first few sections are focused on summarizing the key concepts of The Fourth Turning . If you've already read the book, feel free to skip ahead for my analysis.
Seasons of Time (Introducing Fourth Turning Concepts) Modern humans view time as a linear phenomenon. A steady march of progress from a ''worst past'' to an ''improved future.'' However, life doesn't progress linearly, instead, it follows a natural rhythm, a circle of life if you will.
Practically speaking, days, months, and years are simply convenient names given to the observable cycles in astronomy. The earth rotating on an axis, the moon around our earth, and the earth circumnavigating the sun.
Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Life and death. The carbon cycle, the water cycle. We're surrounded by natural cycles.
The wisdom of cycles is embedded in modern culture. Represented by common phrases like ''history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes,'' and ''there are decades when nothing happens, and weeks when decades happen.''
Ancient man observed a human cycle called the ''Saeculum.'' Which essentially means ''a long human life'' or roughly 90 years.
The original meaning was ''the amount of time between an event happening (ex: founding a city) and when everyone who experienced that event had died.'' At that point, a new Saeculum would start. According to legend, the gods allot a certain number of Saecula for every leader or civilization. For example, the gods allotted the Etruscans ten Saecula.
Each 90-year period (Saecula) can be divided into four stages (Turnings) each lasting approximately 22 years. These Turnings are often represented by the seasons (spring, summer, etc) or represented by the stages of life, namely youth, young adulthood, midlife, and old age.
The Four Generational Archetypes
Each Turning has a well-defined mood that produces a well-defined generation of people. Each generation embodies one of four archetypes that appear in a specific, repeating order.
The full cycle (four human generations) takes roughly 90 years or one full Saeculum . Each archetype follows a similar script throughout history:
Prophet (Baby Boomers) '' principled, yet narcissistic''Prophets grow up as the indulged, post-crisis children, come of age as the narcissistic crusaders of an Awakening, cultivate principle as moralistic midlifers, and emerge as wise elders during the next Crisis.''Nomad (Gen X) '' Practical, yet unfeeling''Nomads grow up as under-protected children during an Awakening, come of age as alienated young adults, mellow into pragmatic midlife leaders during a Crisis, and age into tough post-Crisis elders.''Hero (Millennials) '' Competent, yet unreflective''Heroes grow up as increasingly protected post-Awakening children, come of ages as the heroic young teamworkers of a Crisis, demonstrate hubris as energic midlifers, and emerge as powerful elders attacked by the next Awakening''Artist (Gen Z) '' Caring, yet indecisive''Artists grow up as overprotected children during a crisis, come of age as the sensitive young adults of a post-crisis world, break free of indecisive midlife leaders during an Awakening, and age into empathic post-Awakening elders. These generational trends are a natural, emergent, human phenomenon. We have well-defined stages of life and predictable human characteristics. Interestingly, we can observe this cyclical pattern going back 500+ years.
There is a symbiotic relationship between history and generations. The historic moment imprints itself onto the new generation. Then when that generation grows up it changes history. Repeat ad infinitum.
Each Saeculum is made up of Four Turnings
Just as generations follow cyclical patterns, each ~90-year Saeculum is composed of four well-defined stages called ''Turnings'' or ''moods'' that dictate how society responds to events.
Each Turning is defined by the constellation of generational archetypes in respective stages of life. Are the Hero archetypes still children or middle-aged managers? Are Prophets coming of age or are they elders controlling politics?
First Turning (Rebirth/High/Spring) '-- 1946-1964 Second Turning (Revolution/Summer) '-- 1964-1984 Third Turning (Unraveling/Fall) '-- 1984-2008 Fourth Turning (Crisis/Winter) '--2008-2030? The two most potent times in history are when Prophets and Heroes enter adulthood. Prophets come of age in Second Turnings and ''cause a revolution'' (eg: 60s Consciousness Revolution, Protestant Reformation) then two generations later the Hero generation ''goes to war'' during a Fourth Turning ''crisis'' (eg: WWII, Civil War, American Revolution, etc).
Throughout these generational cycles, history oscillates between classical opposing forces. Capital vs labor, liberty vs equality, isolationism vs expansionism. Again, driven by the constellation of generational archetypes at that point in time.
Humans have a tendency to rebel against the previous generation. This causes wild shifts in public sentiment. For example, the white-picket-fence 1950s sparked a backlash from the young Boomers who felt the culture was spiritually bankrupt. This led to the Consciousness Revolution.
Are some generations better than others? The short answer is no. Each generation has strengths and weaknesses that must be balanced out by the others. This cycle serves as a guardrail ensuring humanity doesn't spiral out of control.
If the Prophet archetype is in power too long (Baby Boomer/Missionary), society would decay and nothing would be built because everyone is selfishly focused on their own interior world. Sound familiar?
On the other hand, the Hero archetype (Millennial/GI) rebuilds our socio-political institutions. However, if society was led by the Hero archetype alone, everything would become too orderly, bland, lacking liberty, art, or a rich internal experience. Example: Nazi Germany rise to power.
Doesn't technology drive changes more than demographics?
Most people assume technology is the primary force behind change. However, the Fourth Turning thesis claims the opposite. The cultural mood determines what technology gets built and ultimately adopted. Simply, the mood signals the unmet demands which will ultimately be satisfied by entrepreneurs.
New technology, or any specific catalyst for that matter, doesn't guarantee a consistent outcome. Instead, our ''response to a catalyst'' is what drives change. Is society seeking change? Or hoping for stability after a period of chaos?
Our response to any catalyst is determined by which ''Turning'' we're in.
Let's explore two catalysts, the sinking of Lusitania and Pearl Harbor. Both are similar events which resulted in dramatically different outcomes.
World War 1 started in 1914, right in the middle of a Third Turning. The Germans sunk the US Ship Lusitania in 1915. However, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the US would remain neutral. Americans widely supported this policy of nonintervention. It wasn't until 1917, when the US commercial interests were being disrupted, that the US officially entered the conflict.
Fast forward to December 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The U.S. declared war on Japan the very next day and the whole country rallied around the decision. This was a similar catalyst as Lusitania, however this time it was during a Fourth Turning which is when the people are primed for war.
Where Are We In The Current Cycle? The Millennial Saeculum at a glance:
First Turning (The American High) '-- 1946-1964 Second Turning (Consciousness Revolution) '-- 1964-1984 Third Turning (Culture Wars) '-- 1984-2008 Fourth Turning (Millennial Crisis) ''2008-2030? Since 2008, America has been in the Fourth Turning (crisis) which is the final stage in a roughly 90-year cycle. In order to set the context, let's rewind to the beginning of our current cycle, known as the ''Millennial Saeculum.''
First Turning: The Great American High (1946-1964)
Lost generation enters elderhood / G.I. generation enters midlife / Silent generation enters young adulthood / Boomers enter childhood
Our current cycle began as we wrapped up WWII and America ascended to a global superpower. Everyone's grown tired of fighting, civic duty reaches a peak as we rebuild back home. Soldiers returned from battle and wanted a ''decent life.'' Social movements stalled. Middle class grew and prospered. Increased peacetime government budgets were uncontroversial. Collectivist infrastructure flourished as we built suburbs, interstates, and (regulated) mass communications. Declaring an ''end to ideology,'' authorities presided over a bland, modernist, spiritually dead culture.
Second Turning: Consciousness Revolution (1964-1984)
G.I. generation enters elderhood / Silent enters midlife / Boomers enter young adulthood / Gen X enter childhood
Kicked off with urban riots and campus protests. Supercharged by anti-Vietnam War sentiment led by a rebellious youth. Even though they were given everything, Boomers led the revolution. They clashed with the bland ''Leave it to Beaver'' culture lacking anything resembling spirituality. This gave rise to feminist, environmentalist, and black power movements. We also saw the destruction of the nuclear family and a rise in violent crime. Peak chaos hit with Watergate in 1974 and passions turned inward towards ''New Age'' lifestyles and spiritual rebirth. The revolutionary mood expired when Reagan was elected for a second term, converting former hippies into selfish yuppies.
Third Turning: Culture Wars (1984-2007)
Silent enter elderhood / Boomers enter midlife / GenX enter young adulthood / Millennials enter childhood
An unraveling begins as society embraces the liberating cultural forces let loose by the boomer-led consciousness revolution of the psychedelic 60s. Personal satisfaction is high, and few national problems demand immediate action. Public is concerned about widening inequality, civic duty declines, and culture begins to diverge into competing value camps. Pervasive distrust of leaders and institutions, popular culture bends towards futuristic dystopia memorialized by Total Recall dysfunction, Robocop crimes, Terminator punishment, and Independence Day deliverance from evil. People can now feel the pain, but collectively we cannot yet do anything.
Fourth Turning: Millennial Crisis (2008-2030?)
Boomers enter elderhood / GenX enter midlife / Millennials enter young adulthood / Zoomers enter childhood
37 years after leaving the gold standard , Americans have experienced rising inequality, increased debt, and rampant inflation. Eventually, we have to pay the piper, and the time is nigh.
The 2008-2009 Global Financial Crises kicked off the Millennial Crisis, and the population finally demanded change. Occupy Wallstreet movement surged, Obama took office campaigning on ''Hope and Change.'' Society shifts away from individualism and towards collectivism marked by the rise of Social Justice Warriors, cancel culture, and policing speech. The crisis heats up in 2020 with the Covid pandemic, widespread economic depression, and riots erupting on the streets.
Anatomy of a Fourth Turning (Crisis) During Fourth Turnings, the old social order combusts and gives birth to something entirely new. The ancients called this ekpyrosis , nature's fiery moment of death and discontinuity.
Welcome to winter. A time of fire and ice. The supply of social order is still falling, but the demand for order is steadily rising. Although not required, Fourth Turnings historically end with total war.
''Pleasures recede, tempests hurt, pretense is exposed, and toughness rewarded'' -Victor Hugo While Fourth Turnings are not fun, this is not a doom and gloom prophecy. As a society, we need these moments of crisis. They serve as brush fires to clean out the decrepit institutions to make way for new growth. This generates buy-in from young people. Out with the old and in with the new. Optimistically, it's a regenerative process allowing the cycle to continue.
Morphology of a Crisis (Fourth Turning)
Catalyst (2008) '' each crisis begins with an event (or series of events) that produces a sudden shift in the mood. 2008 global financial crisis, Occupy Wall Street, and Obama's ''Hope and Change.'' Regeneracy (2012) '' once catalyzed, society finds a new counter entropy that reunifies and re-energizes civic life. Rise of ''Democratic Socialism,'' Bernie Sanders's popularity, ''equal pay for equal jobs,'' and Social Justice Warriors enforcing civic duty to ensure everyone is ''equal'' during hard times. Climax (2020?) '' A crucial moment that confirms the death of the old order and birth of the new. Typically the climax is a war (WWII, Civil War, etc), but so far all we've experienced is the Covid Pandemic. Are we destined for war? War on the Virus, loss of liberties, riots, economic inequality becomes the hot topic, and Universal Basic Income begins . Resolution (2026?) '' A triumphant or tragic conclusion that separates the winners from the losers, resolves the big public questions, and establishes the new order. This has yet to play out in our current cycle. Speculation: Overcoming Covid (or another, larger conflict), UBI lightens the mood, bootstrap a new global financial system. Each Crisis ends with a ''resolution period'' which historically speaking is 3-5 years before a crisis concludes. We haven't hit the resolution yet, but we'll know when the mood transforms into one of exhaustion, relief, and optimism. We'll see a resurgence of faith in humanity and authority, and society will yearn for a good and simple life.
''When you're going through hell, keep on going''  -Winston ChurchillToday's oldest Americans recognize this mood from the previous Fourth Turning during the Great Depression and WWII. Cultural artifacts from the last Resolution period include ''Somewhere over the rainbow'' and the 1939 New York World's Fair. A better future on the horizon, if we could only work together and make personal sacrifices .
Fourth Turnings of the Last 500 Years During a Crisis, the outer world of power and politics is completely rearranged. The old paradigm dies making way for anew. Historically, Fourth Turnings have been settled with bloody conflicts. Are we destined for war sometime in the 2020s? Maybe not, but more on that later'...
''History never repeats itself. Man always does.'' '• Voltaire What can we learn from previous Fourth Turnings?
Wars of Roses Crisis (1459-1487) '-- Kicked off with a fracturing of England's most powerful families, the Lancasters (Lannisters) and the Yorks (Starks). Defined by a period of political turmoil, decades of conflict, and the crown changed heads six different times. Fun fact: This was the period George R.R. Martin based Game of Thrones on .
Transition : England entered the crisis as a traditional medieval kingdom; later emerged a modern monarchical nation-state.
Armada Crisis (1569-1594) '-- Newly Protestant England was threatened by the mighty Catholic Habsburgs. Lead to Assassination attempts on Queen Elizabeth, Francis Drake circumnavigating the globe with Spanish treasure, and eventually, the great Spanish Armada fell.
Transition : England entered the Crisis as a struggling heretical nation; later emerged as the global superpower with an expanding global empire.
Glorious Revolution Crisis (1675-1704) '-- Began with Bacon's Rebellion, King Philip's war, and escalating conflicts with the Algonquin Indians. Hit a crescendo with the Americans winning a decade long war against Canadian New France. Churchill described this period as having ''changed the political axis of the world forever.''
Transition : English-speaking America entered the Crisis as a fanatical colonial backwater, and later emerged as a stable society whose education and affluence rivaled its former European home.
American Revolution Crisis (1773-1794) '-- Began with the Boston Tea Party, Samuel Adams ''committees of correspondence,'' arming local militias, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The ''mood of emergency'' calmed after the ratification of the Constitution.
Transition : British America entered the Crisis as a collection of violent, yet loyal, Colonies. Later emerged as the most ambitious experiment in Republican Democracy the world had ever seen.
Civil War Crisis (1860-1865) '-- Began with John Brown's raid and Abraham Lincoln's election which quickly led to Southern states seceding and the Civil War. Hit its climax during the Emancipation Proclamation and Battle of Gettysburg. Eventually concluding after Robert E Lee surrendered, and soon after the assassination of Lincoln. Uniquely, America didn't feel optimistic after this crisis; instead, there was a feeling that a tragedy had simply run its course.
Transition : The United States entered the crisis as a racially divided agrarian republic, and emerged as an industrializing dynamo, battle scared yet newly dedicated to equal citizenship.
Great Depression and WWII Crisis (1929-1946) '-- Kicked off with the stock market crash, leading into the dust bowls and great depression. Attack on Pearl harbor ignited a unified public response leading to World War II. Crisis mood calmed down when the Axis capitulated, demobilized, and brought a surprising period of peacetime prosperity.
Transition : The US entered the Crisis as an Isolationist, fledgling nation; and later emerged a global superpower with industrial prowess, democratic institutions, and control over much of the world's gold. New institutions include the UN, NATO, World Bank, IMF, Bretton Woods, etc.
Supply and Demand for Order The ''supply and demand for order'' in society fluctuates over time. Depending on the position of these two variables, you can determine the direction society is heading.
Chart designed by Nick Ward @nckbtc
The two most explosive points come when the gap between supply and demand for order is widest. Second Turnings produce an Awakening (internal change) and the Fourth Turnings produce a Crisis (external change).
During Third Turnings, called ''unravelings,'' we see both low supply and low demand for order. Everything is slowly falling apart but no one seems to care. Then after enough potential energy is stored during the Third Turning, the mood shifts. Fourth Turnings are a period when the supply of order is at rock bottom, but the demand for order starts rising.
After roughly 40 years of declining order, we've let our institutions crumble. It's no secret that our governmental bodies, legal system, banking, healthcare, and education are derelict. Beginning around the 2008 global financial crisis, people increasingly realized how important our institutions actually are. The mood shifts and the demand for order rises.
What if our government was helpful? What if healthcare was great? What if our education system was incredible? This increasing demand for order juxtaposed next to failing institutions (low supply of order) catalyzes widespread structural change.
Lessons From The Previous Fourth Turning (1929-1946) The previous Fourth Turning (1929-1946) has the most in common with our current situation. Join me for a stroll down memory lane.
''Those who don't read history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past'' In response to the stock market crash of 1929 and the widespread economic hardship, the mood became one of desperation. Previously unthinkable policies (born out of the New Deal) gained popular support as Roosevelt led the greatest expansion of the Federal Government ever known. This was a natural consequence of implementing the Federal Reserve in 1913.
Social dynamics in the 1930s mirror today
Both the 1930s and the 2010s produced declining fertility rates, low migration to America, declining violent crimes, declining use of alcohol and tobacco, and many young people living with their parents. This social dynamic is consistent anytime you have the ''hero'' archetype in young adulthood. For example, Millennials today and GI Generation in the 1930s.
The start of widespread deficit spending (The New Deal)
In 1933, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102 which ''forbid the hoarding of gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States.'' The stated reason for this desperate move was ''hard times caused hoarding of gold, stalling economic growth and worsened the depression.''
Also in 1933, FDR kicked off his flagship program The New Deal which focused on three things: relief for the poor (and unemployed), recovery of the economy, and reforming the financial system to prevent another depression.
Since the crisis was so severe, progressive leaders and average Americans demanded the Fed take greater responsibility to ''help the poor'' and ''prevent poverty.'' The Social Security Act of 1935 birthed unemployment insurance, Social Security, and Welfare.
National Recovery Administration (NRA) was formed which sought to stabilize the economy by artificially fixing wages and prices, establishing production quotas to deter ''dumping'' of surplus inventories of products on the consumer market. Similarly, the Agricultural Adjustment Agency was created to curtail farm production in order to maintain higher farm prices. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was created to rebuild confidence in the banking sector. Now depositors could trust banks as their deposits were ''insured.''
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was formed in response to public sentiment that ''excessive speculation'' led to the 1929 stock market crash and the subsequent great depression.
The tax rate for the highest earners soared from 25% to almost 63% by 1937 in an attempt to ''soak-the-rich.'' Blaming the rich is common during Fourth Turnings as the social consensus is led by the Hero Archetype (G.I. and Millenials) who reject individualism and fan the flames of populism.
Roosevelt goes full Keynesian
Roosevelt took office in 1932 claiming he would balance the federal budget. After the ''Roosevelt Recession'' of 1937-1938 was blamed on ''a reduction in federal spending,'' Roosevelt accepted the advice of British economist John Maynard Keynes.
Keynes argued that technically advanced economies would need either:
(i) Permanent budget deficits or (ii ) Redistribution of income away from the wealthy to stimulate the consumption of goods and to maintain full employment.
The acceptance by the Roosevelt Administration of what became known as Keynesianism established the precedent of using deficit spending as a vehicle for promoting economic recovery in times of national crisis.
Big business leaders joined the Keynesian train (incentives win the day) The obvious connection between deficit spending and economic expansion was not lost on many Americans, including business leaders who much preferred large deficits to Keynes's alternative of massive redistribution of wealth through taxation as a way to sustain America's prosperity in peacetime. As Charlie Munger says, ''show me the incentives and I'll show you the outcome.''
The 1940s and WWII
The period of tremendous fiscal spending continued into the 1940s to support the war efforts. Debt levels reached their peak but were quickly resolved after WWII due to America's relative position of strength and the new monetary system (Bretton Woods)
WWII left the world in shambles, a typical process during Fourth Turnings. Now what? Time to rebuild while the cement is still wet .
Enter Bretton Woods: Bancor vs Gold-pegged USD
In an effort to put the financial pieces back together, world leaders gathered in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to create a new global monetary system.
The two main proposals were:
Bancor '-- Keynes championed the bancor system, a supranational settlement medium based on a basket of currencies. Under this system, no one could independently print more bancors, ironically similar to Facebook's Libra. Gold-backed USD '--Since the US was in a relative position of global power, they could create a gold proxy by pegging all U.S. Dollars to gold. This system was to be managed by the IMF and World Bank. The entire world can rest easy knowing U.S. dollars are ''as good as gold.'' Obviously, they decided on a USD proxy for gold which only lasted about 25 years before Nixon closed the gold window pushing us into a strictly fiat system in 1971. Besides a new monetary standard, both the IMF and World Bank were also created at Bretton Woods.
The seen and unseen
During Fourth Turnings, the global structures are torn down and rebuilt. These drastic measures seem warranted in the moment. However, each decision comes with a bouquet of seen and unseen consequences . This is often called the cobra effect which occurs when an attempted solution to a problem makes the problem worse. In other words, centrally planned institutions usually fail in managing complex systems.
Unintended outcomes aka ''unseen consequences'' of the previous Fourth Turning:
National Recovery Administration '' Intended to ''manage the recovery.'' Ultimately fixed prices, stifled competition and sometimes made American exports uncompetitive. Another reminder that central planning slows economic recovery. Agricultural Adjustment Act '' Intended to improve food production. Ultimately paid farmers not to produce, raised food prices and kicked thousands of farmers off the land and into the unemployment lines. FDIC insurance '' Intended to reduce the risk of bank runs. Ultimately taught bank customers they no longer need to shop around for a well-run bank. If the market doesn't force banks to behave, they will take advantage of their position. This led to a moral hazard we're still paying for 60+ years later. Keynesianism '' Intended to avoid economic damages today, at the expense of tomorrow. Resulted in never-ending deficit spending and a pattern of ongoing currency devaluation which we may see come to a head in the 2020s. SEC (and other regulators) '' Intended to ''prevent'' excessive market speculation. Ultimately got captured and now serves as an extension of the most powerful corporations (creating harmful monopolies that stifle innovation). Pensions and Social Security '' Intended to quell social unrest, which can work when young people are producing enough to pay for the entitlements of the elderly. Ultimately as soon as demographics flipped, the mounting entitlements from a retiring boomer generation created a catastrophe. It's clear we've outgrown the infrastructure created between 1929-1946. As the cycle goes, it's time to tear down the old world and build anew.
Does that mean we should just succumb to nihilism? No. Your actions matter as the results of this decade will define the next 100 years. However, you can be sure they'll have unseen consequences for future generations to remedy.
Analyzing our Current Fourth Turning (2008-2030?) Considering what we know about previous Fourth Turnings, here are the key trends to follow as society seeks to deconstruct existing institutions.
Domestic Politics, The rise of Populism, and Everyone's a Socialist
2020 marks the widest partisan gap since the 1930s. People under 30 are predominantly left-leaning and those over 60 heavily lean right. To make matters worse, the most ideological generation in history (Boomers) controls politics.
Trust in the central government is the lowest it's been in the last century. In 1961, 80% of people said they ''trust the Federal government to do the right thing.'' In 2020, that number dropped to only 20% trust the Federal government.
Source: Pew Research
The people realize the socio-political infrastructure is not working and they're grasping for a solution. This creates demand for a ''strong man'' leader to get us out of this mess. People increasingly believe that collective action is the only way to make a civic change. This leads to popular culture demanding consensus instead of accepting individualism. Popular sentiment gets harnessed (Populism) as propaganda for the purpose of overtly reinforcing ''good'' conduct (cancel culture, etc). With the ability to make a change, leaders start exaggerating the bad stuff (instead of downplaying it like they do in Third Turnings).
Trump's 2016 presidential victory is a symptom of the ''crisis mood.'' The people wanted change and Trump successfully captured the mood with a successful ''drain the swamp'' campaign. The rise of Bernie can be explained in the same way. The consolidation of power is guaranteed, but if we're not careful we'll fall into totalitarianism as we're seeing around the world.
Just like FDR in the 1930s, America is doomed to repeat a decade of expanding the Federal government. In 2020 alone, we saw Universal Basic Income (''Trump Bucks''), business bailouts, yield curve control via QE, and more. Will this be enough? Not a chance. We're just getting warmed up.
''By the end of this decade, the Fed's balance sheet will be between $40T and $50T'' - Felix Zulauf on  The Grant Williams Podcast Before the decade is over, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) will run its course. We'll see some combination of Universal Basic Income (via Central Bank Digital Currencies), college loan forgiveness, free healthcare, A New New Deal, Increased minimum wage, and more. The appetite for handouts will be insatiable.
What about the fiscally conservative party? There isn't one. You wouldn't expect helicopter money from the ''fiscally conservative'' party, but things are different in 2020. Everyone's a Socialist now.
Foreign Affairs, Geopolitics, and Isolationism
Populism, and in many cases totalitarianism, is rising all around the world. Look no further than Maduro's Venezuela, Duterte's Philippines, Modi's India, Xi's China, the Yellow Vest Movement in France, and many more. This points to a global synchronization of these demographic cycles since WWII. In addition, this is the first time in history we've seen the world connected under a globally dominant reserve currency (USD). If every country is in a Fourth Turning simultaneously, the results could be explosive.
3rd Turnings produce relaxed borders, increased international travel, and waves of immigration. Fourth Turnings reverse all of that. Global trade as a percentage of global GDP peaked in 2008 and has been declining since. The pendulum is swinging towards isolationism.
Covid exposed our reliance on foreign imports, especially from an increasingly hostile China. Politicians will respond by incentivizing manufacturing in America and the market will support it.
America's foreign policy will support global trade as long as it comes with no political baggage. A nice parallel to America's foreign policy at the end of the 18th century:
''The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, to extend our commercial relations with as little political connection as possible.'' -George Washington's farewell address (1796) Minimizing political baggage abroad is good for many things, including the fact that trade is more profitable than war.
The shift to isolationism will expose nations who are reliant on crucial foreign imports such as energy, food, and medicine. Combined with a slowing GDP and increasing sovereign debt, nation-states will flail in desperation. Expect more civil wars, hyperinflation events, deadly totalitarianism, and regional conflicts. Smart nations will start monetizing energy assets by mining Bitcoin and eventually buying it outright.
Optimistically, isolationism will increase the competition between nation-states. When countries compete for citizens, individuals win. Nations will increasingly compete for capital by selling passports and offering favorable tax treatment. Those with capital can shop around, those without are tied to the fate of their passport.
Protectionism, Demographics, and Entitlements
In the 1990s, America made a conscious effort to increase child-rearing efforts. The young gen Xers at the time were universally disliked by adults. They were the neglected bad boys, the Latchkey kids, as portrayed by Mikauley Caulkin in Home Alone . This produced a popular backlash in America resulting in the Millennial generation. Millennials were defined by a period of over-parenting, baby-on-board stickers, bike helmets, D.A.R.E. programs, and 13th place ribbons.
This mood of ''protectionism'' was not isolated to child-rearing. In fact, our central bankers and governments had a protectionist bias. The ''can't let anything fail'' attitude created an economic environment where companies cannot fail, interest rates are suppressed, and the fed will backstop the economy with QE infinity. This pushed up boomer assets and left millennials with nothing to buy.
In 2020 we have top-heavy demographics. The Boomers are retiring which means entitlement liabilities are increasing steadily. Unfortunately, there isn't enough value being produced by young people to pay for Boomer retirements.
''Long term productivity has slowed, this has driven entitlements from 4.7% of U.S. GDP in 1965 to 14.7% of GDP now'....We need to shrink entitlements back as % of the pie and need to resolve it before we have a crisis. Unfortunately, though, I don't see how we're going to get out of this.'' - Alan Greenspan, 2015 [ source ] Due to these entitlements, America is forced to ''print more or allow a revolution.'' We've already seen a 22% increase in base money in 2020 alone. This brought the U.S. Debt-to-GDP Ratio to 135%. Not to mention the economy is slowing down. This means sovereign debt must continually increase, likely to unsustainable levels.
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis
In previous Fourth Turnings, wealth gets taken from the old and wealthy and given to the young and poor. However, wealth redistribution only eases social tensions temporarily, it doesn't fix the underlying debt problem.
What do we do with all the debt?
In Lyn Alden's recent essay , she examines the fiscal and monetary policy of the last century. She explains Ray Dalio's long term credit cycles and the inevitable monetary reset that follows. Interestingly this long-term credit cycle overlaps nicely with the 90-year cycles laid out in the Fourth Turning. Do demographics drive the long-term credit cycle or is it the other way around?
Notably, there is a major overlap with the 1930s-1940s and today. Both are Fourth Turnings that began with a monetary/banking crisis (1929 vs 2008) which led to interest rates being pushed to 0%. This makes central banks less powerful as their main tool (interest rate manipulation) is impotent.
Source: Lyn Alden
Soon after, America gets plunged into a spending/fiscal crisis marked by WWII and Covid-19 (potentially another conflict in the 2020s). With powerless central banks, the only option is massive government spending in the form of QE and UBI. Just like in the 1940s, this setup indicates an inflationary period and a high risk of currency failures coming in the 2020s. Although, we'll likely see a couple of years of deflation first.
This brings us to the key question: what do we do with all the debt?
One option is a decade or two of austerity (think high taxes and low government spending). Highly unlikely since there is no political will for austerity.
Increase global GDP? Highly unlikely as the world is heading into a recession and the demographics are against us. What about debt forgiveness? Since the Fed owns most of the student loan debt, they can simply press ''delete'' on their spreadsheet. Seems pretty likely under the circumstances and it would empower young people to start families and buy homes from boomers.
How about increasing taxes on the wealthy? During the previous Fourth Turning, the tax rate for the highest earners soared from 25% to almost 63% by 1937. This was known as ''soak the rich'' in the 1930s and a similar sentiment is gaining steam in America today. Seems inevitable as millennials take power away from aging boomers.
Our final option is to devalue the debt in real terms (inflation). This would likely be accomplished by Quantitative Easing (QE) and increasing the broad money base.
The federal reserve will now have an unlimited budget to buy as many assets (treasuries, corporate debt, and soon to be equities) as necessary to keep interest rates down. Practically speaking, that means anyone holding dollars or bonds will see negative real returns for the next decade. Again, just like the 1940s.
Source: Lyn Alden by way of Robert Shiller, Aswath Damodaran
At the same time, the government will increase the broad money base with various forms of government spending and UBI. Programs like a ''New New Deal'' and direct to individual UBI facilitated by a Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) are likely.
What about hyperinflation?
As weak currencies break down, some will hyperinflate which draws more attention to Bitcoin's value proposition. Volume taken from LocalBitcoins exchange shows that nations with weakening currencies lead to increased Bitcoin adoption .
How long before a nation-state moves heavily into Bitcoin? Venezuela already runs BTC Pay Server , Iran gives tax incentives to miners, Marshall Island tried launching their own ICO. The writing's on the wall. Judging by incentives alone, smaller nations will adopt Bitcoin by 2030, likely sooner.
What about the United States? Although some Bitcoiners believe we'll see hyperinflation with the USD, I'm skeptical. The USD is still in high demand globally and the U.S. has a relatively strong economy with relatively sound demographics. The USD won't hyperinflate this decade, but it will be majorly devalued (along with all other currencies).
We haven't seen enough Conflict yet
Every Fourth Turning in the last 500 years climaxed with a bloody conflict. Climaxes of previous Fourth Turnings include WWII, Civil War, and the American Revolution.
Does that mean we're destined for total war in the 2020s?
Not necessarily. War represents a period of maximum urgency which mobilizes society for a specific purpose. We don't necessarily need bloodshed, simply a catalyst on par with war. Wartime creates conditions needed to reboot society: increased centralized planning, populous willing to make sacrifices, easier to confiscate money from the wealthy, etc.
Four potential conflicts which may serve as the Climax of our current Crisis:
Covid '-- is this big enough to mobilize the nation? Civil War '-- feels more likely by the day Total War '-- tensions rising with China, a battle over the future financial system could spark conflict Black Swan '-- unpredictable spark that would catapult the world into conflict (financial collapse, terrorism, cyber-attacks, etc) In March 2020 I thought Covid would serve as our Climax to rally the troops through the dark night. We saw increased government spending, begging for the central government to manage the crisis, Universal Basic Income, business bailouts, and many people willing to give up liberties for the ''greater good.''
However, the issue became politicized and created a wider gap between political party lines. Could Covid be the climax? Yes, it's possible, but I fear we have a much bigger event on the horizon.
The Case for a Second American Civil War
A 2014 poll showed that 23.9% of Americans support secession from the Federal Government. If they ran the same poll today, it would no doubt be higher. This is alarming because it only requires a strong minority to kickstart a conflict. For example, most people in the colonies didn't support the American Revolution .
Source: Reuters poll data
We're not doomed to see a repeat of the first American Civil War. Instead, they can materialize in all shapes and sizes. There doesn't need to be a clear beginning, clearly defined sides, each with their own clearly defined goal. Instead, Civil wars are often a quagmire of different factions fighting over an ever-changing landscape.
Civil wars become more likely when the community that commands the greatest loyalty doesn't necessarily align to the political or geographic boundaries. The biggest points of contention in America right now are Rural vs Urban, States vs Federal Government, and Red vs Blue.
Unsurprisingly, wartime is when humans create all the deadly weapons (ex: Project Manhattan). If America unravels into civil war, we'll see new weapons developed and deployed on our own citizens. We're already seeing a militarization of police, unmarked paramilitary troops occupying hot zones, increasing surveillance technology, spyware, Fed Coin being discussed, and attacks against encryption . Sadly, the state can cook up much worse things if the ''need arises.''
If you want to understand the risks of a Second American Civil War, I recommend the podcast series It Could Happen here (2019) .
Plan for the worst; hope for the best.
The Fulcrum of this Crisis: Individualism vs Collectivism
Each Fourth Turning resolves some deep point of friction in society. The previous one (1930s and 1940s) was rooted in a battle between capitalism and socialism. The next decade's battleground will be Individualism vs Collectivism. At a glance, these concepts sound similar. The difference is the previous cycle was a fight over the means of production. State or Market? Our current cycle is a fight over ''the culture.'' Is individualism celebrated or condemned?
Collectivism is growing today (see: rising populism). If this continues, society will become a totalitarian nightmare. The trick is to get support for individualism (liberty) from collectivist minded people. This will shift the pendulum back towards freedom. As Matt Ridley says '' Innovation is the child of freedom and the parent of prosperity. '' In other words, freedom leads to innovation which leads to prosperity.
Free individuals can take on more risk, with less red tape, in an attempt to create value. Most fail (necessary sacrifice) but the few who succeed produce fruits enjoyed by society at large.
This point cannot be overstated during a Fourth Turning '' when the temptation is to succumb to collectivism. As Naval has rightly pointed out, there are only two ways to coordinate societies at scale'... by free markets or by force. Bitcoin acts as a novel institution that improves society's ability to coordinate through free markets, rather than state-enforced violence.
Bitcoin is also a monetary asset outside anyone's control. This contests the state's monopoly on money and banking. Less state control empowers individuals to unleash latent creativity that would otherwise be stifled by government or cultural censorship. In other words, Bitcoin increases marginal productivity in society.
Bitcoin is the life raft during the great fiat flood
Bitcoin is our best hope for a peaceful transition to a new financial system.
Individuals can opt-out of their local currency by joining the Bitcoin life raft. Protect purchasing power, rather than go down with the sinking ship that is their state. This reduces conflict risk as fewer citizens become desperate.
As currencies collapse and resources become scarce, nations will become desperate which often leads to bloody conflict. Adopting Bitcoin early means states and individuals will benefit from Bitcoin's price appreciation, increased economic opportunity, and a headstart in a new paradigm. In some cases, this may de-escalate conflicts by minimizing fallout from failed states.
Which country will announce they've been accumulating Bitcoin first? Hard to say.
All I know is you don't want to be the last country to do so.
Is Bitcoin the Fifth Turning that finally breaks the cycle?
My original thesis for this essay was: Bitcoin will break the Fourth Turning cycle. However, after spending [a lot] more time with the material, I no longer believe that.
These generational cycles appear to be an emergent phenomenon foundational to human civilization. It ''shouldn't happen'' but it does. Any technology, including Bitcoin, is processed on ''higher layers'' in the human stack. Through this lens, the question becomes: ''how will the current mood affect Bitcoin?''
Bitcoin is the Perfect Fourth Turning Money.
Bitcoin was born at the dawn of the Fourth Turning in 2009, at the peak of the global financial crisis. It was engineered for maximum survivability and grew up during a period of high volatility. Bitcoin is the perfect Fourth Turning money.
Our existing Fiat Financial system was born during peacetime, was sheltered by central bankers, and has never faced real adversity. Fiat is not well suited for the volatility of Fourth Turnings.
''Oh, you think the Fourth Turning is your ally. But you merely adopted the Fourth Turning; I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the First Turning until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING! The volatility betrays you, because it belongs to me!'' -Bitcoin Or as Andreas Antonopolous would say : Fiat is Bubble Boy trying to compete against the battle-hardened sewer rat that is Bitcoin.
How does BTC perform in this Fourth Turning?
In a world where central bankers are racing to devalue their currency, scarce assets win. Bitcoin is the most scarce asset in history and it's still 50x smaller than gold. As Paul Tudor Jones said, ''Bitcoin is the fastest horse.''
The stakes are high during Fourth Turnings and governments will intervene in markets in unpredictable ways. In other words, even if you make the right trade, the gamemaster might change the rules on you. Bitcoin is the least manipulable asset, it's prudent to hold some.
It takes considerable effort to grasp Bitcoin and most people haven't bothered. Current Bitcoin investors benefit from this information asymmetry. As the world wakes up to Bitcoin, it will become ''the asset heard round the world.''
Will governments ban Bitcoin?
Some governments are hostile to Bitcoin today and others will be hostile tomorrow. Luckily, nations are in competition with each other. Banning Bitcoin in one jurisdiction creates an opportunity for another nation to attract that capital.
Bitcoin is really hard to attack head-on and failing to stop it could easily backfire. Optimistically, just like gold became accepted by the powers that be, Bitcoin might get a similar pass.
However, this doesn't mean they won't try to suppress Bitcoin. Be prepared for a repeat of the 1933 Executive Order 6102 (making self custody of gold illegal). Self custody your Bitcoin and encourage others to do the same.
Lastly, increasing isolationism will reduce the United States' role as the world police and decrease intergovernmental cooperation. Increased competition is good for customers (citizens). Enterprising governments will offer favorable tax treatment for Bitcoiners, sell passports, and offer digital citizenship.
Millennials love Bitcoin, they just don't know it yet
In 2017, Neil Howe, the author of The Fourth Turning, made a video explaining why he's bearish on Bitcoin long term. Neil makes rookie mistakes like: ''Bitcoin is anonymous and only good for illicit activity,'' and ''Bitcoin can't be money because it's not a commodity or government debt.'' Not worth the effort debunking these claims for the Nth time. Neil also argued that most Millennials won't adopt Bitcoin because they're community-oriented, want to trust strong central institutions, and they're famously risk-averse. Neil thinks Millennials will avoid Bitcoin and adopt Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) because they'll be regulated, transparent, accountable, and safe. Interesting critiques, but only partially true.
Neil's right that millennials are collectivists and deeply desire to trust institutions. Millennials don't want to ''defund the state'' or ''separate money from state'' or have unfettered free markets. An important point for Bitcoin evangelists to consider. However, Neil missed a few key points about Bitcoin. In short, Millennials love Bitcoin, they just don't know it yet.
Bitcoin is based on principles of community, transparency (open ledger), equal opportunity for everyone in the economy. It's the perfect institution upon which Millenials will reorient society.
Bitcoin is the most community-oriented monetary network in existence. Replace the old white guys at the Fed with software. Everyone can run a node. Consensus is king. Protocols over bureaucrats.
Millennials are definitely risk-averse. They won't volunteer to be the first person buying Bitcoin, but they'll avoid being last at all costs. Luckily for them, Bitcoin is becoming de-risked as public companies, famous people, and their friends adopt Bitcoin. Not to mention, Bitcoin is one of the only options for a positive real yield in the 2020s. Millennials can either adopt Bitcoin or have fun staying poor (as the meme goes).
To Neil's credit, UBI delivered via CBDCs will be popular with millennials. However, millennials will also get more comfortable with a new monetary system and they'll observe Bitcoin increasing in price relative to their Fed Coin. Ultimately, CBDCs will accelerate Bitcoin adoption.
Finally, a quick look at some data. Unsurprisingly, 90% of Millennials prefer Bitcoin over Gold . Millennials also picked cryptocurrencies as their top long-term investment 9% of the time, triple the rate of Gen X . Charles Schwab published their top 10 holdings by generation in the chart below, again Millennials are leading the charge with the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.
Source: Charles Schwab (emphasis mine)
Based on the current data we have and the reasons listed above, Bitcoin will be adopted by Millenials at an increasing rate over the coming decade.
Bitcoin as a treasury reserve asset
The chaos kicked off by Covid in 2020 served as a wake-up call. Everyone around the world is forced to reevaluate assumptions, hard conversations are being had, big changes being made. This shakeup led to individuals, companies, and governments reevaluating Bitcoin.
Notably, major corporations started adding Bitcoin to their balance sheet. Two narratives drive this decision: economics and ideology.
Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, bought $425m worth of Bitcoin ''not as a speculation, but rather a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a Bitcoin Standard.'' He sees fiat money like an ice cube melting between his fingers. Bitcoin is a way to protect the purchasing power of their treasury. A rational economic decision.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, bought $50m worth of Bitcoin because it's an ''instrument of economic empowerment'....which aligns with the company's purpose.'' This is a sound ideological decision.
Buying Bitcoin to support ''economic empowerment'' sends a very powerful message today as equality is being widely discussed. Not to mention, corporations feel the weight of economic uncertainty. Two separate threads, both leading to more Bitcoin ending up on corporate balance sheets. Corporate FOMO here we come.
At the time of writing, 3.74% of all Bitcoins are held on publicly-traded company balance sheets .
Can Bitcoin become too big to fail?
As of October 2020, Bitcoin's market cap is around $250b. Impressive, but still a rounding error in the global financial system. With that in mind, Bitcoin has a lot of growing up to do. Many challenges yet to overcome. However, I remain optimistic. The community coalescing around Bitcoin is unparalleled. But don't take my word for it'...
''Bitcoin has this enormous contingence of really, really smart and sophisticated people who believe in it'....It's like investing with Steve Jobs and Apple or investing in Google early.'' -  Paul Tudor Jones ''Bitcoin is a swarm of cyber hornets serving the goddess of wisdom, feeding on the fire of truth, exponentially growing ever smarter, faster, and stronger behind a wall of encrypted energy.'' -  Michael Saylor ''The Bitcoin guys have a perspective on what the true liberation of America and humanity will be.'' -  Kanye West In other words, if you bet against Bitcoiners, you're going to have a bad time.
An increasing number of American politicians have publicly voiced support for Bitcoin . An optimistic sign for the future of Bitcoin.
Publically traded corporations owning Bitcoin reduces the chance of a state-level attack because doing so would crash the almighty stock market.
At a certain point, Bitcoin will have reached enough market penetration that dislocating it would be impossible. Not to mention, Bitcoin held in self custody is really hard to confiscate. Orders of magnitude harder to seize than gold or marijuana, both of which survived state-level attacks.
Global reserve asset: What comes next?
The monetary system sits at the base of humanity. All other institutions reference the monetary layer making it the primordial institution.
In the previous Fourth Turning, we birthed the Bretton Woods system, the World Bank, IMF, United Nations, and much more. As the current fiat financial system starts to crumble, maybe it's time for an upgrade.
In 2009, the head of the PBOC, Zhou Xiaochuan, called for reforming the international monetary system (citing Keynes bancor system). Since then, China has been publicly developing a central bank-backed digital currency. In 2019, the Governor of the BOE argued for Central Bank Digital Currencies to replace the dollar. Then weeks before the 2020 presidential election, the IMF calls for a new Bretton Woods moment .
In other words, the global financial system is going to be rebooted. What will come out the other side? Central Bank Digital Currencies? Bancor 2.0? Libra? Return to a Gold Standard? Bitcoin Standard?
A return to the Gold Standard is nearly impossible today because the economy demands stimulus and gold forces austerity. There is no political will for austerity. Sorry, gold bugs. It's not happening.
Libra or a similar ''corporate money'' seems to have taken a back seat for now. Not because it wouldn't work, instead because governments are fighting back. As it stands today, big tech is the bad guy.
This leaves CBDCs, Bancor 2.0, and a Bitcoin standard left to discuss.
Central Bank Digital Currencies are inevitable.
Currently, central banks can only indirectly manage the economy by adjusting interest rates and QE. A clumsy approach that's becoming less effective every year. Interest rates cannot be lowered further and QE isn't very effective. This leaves fiscal policy as the solution available today (aka spend our way out of this mess).
Enter Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). They'll serve two purposes: enable central banks to manipulate the economy in more sophisticated ways and serve as a surveillance tool that would make Hitler, Stalin, Mao jealous.
CBDCs will enable the central banks to surgically manage the economy. They can simultaneously inject cash in one sector while taxing another (negative interest rates). They'll deduct taxes automatically and send UBI payments directly from the Fed to the plebs. This will give incredible power to central banks at the expense of liberty for individuals. This new digital dollar will spy on you and will only work at government-approved vendors. If the government doesn't like your political views, they'll turn your money off. This is the weaponization of behavioral economics through an all-powerful, closed-loop, financial system. Apparently, the banking class has no upper limit on hubris.
Whether we like it or not, all major countries are racing to create their own CBDC. By 2030, an entirely new financial system will be in place.
New Global Reserve Asset?
In a few years, all major nations will have successfully forced their citizens onto their CBDC system. Smaller nations will adopt regional CBDC standards. How will nations settle between each other? Currently, this is done with gold, dollars, or U.S. treasuries.
One option is to create a new global reserve asset pegged to a basket of CBDCs, we can call this Bancor 2.0. Governments are incentivized to support this as it enables everyone to print money simultaneously without destroying their foreign exchange rates. This will lead to a major devaluation of the entire fiat system. This is the most likely outcome by 2030. Raoul Pal explores this in a recent video.
However, Bancor 2.0 comes with major execution risk and requires cooperation from major nation-states. Do governments have the technical chops to pull it off? Will they partner with Facebook to build the tech? Will competitive nations agree to terms for a Bancor 2.0? This plan is attractive to technocrats, but it's not bulletproof. Even if Bancor 2.0 is implemented, Bitcoin's uncompromising monetary policy will serve as the true barometer of success. In other words, all shitcoins trend to zero in Bitcoin terms.
Bitcoin is the most pristine collateral.
Bitcoin is the perfect settlement medium between nations. It's scarce, verifiable, secure, publicly auditable, and resistant to capture. Most importantly, it doesn't require trusting your counterparty.
The question becomes: is Bitcoin ready to serve as the foundation of a new global financial system? The short answer is not yet. However, competitors such as Bancor 2.0, aren't ready either.
The Fourth Turning will end sometime around 2030. This leaves room for Bitcoin to continue its exponential path of adoption. While I fear Bancor 2.0 will be attempted, Bitcoin will be the future reserve asset of the planet. The only question is will Bitcoin be ready by 2030? Author's note : It would be poetic if Bitcoin became the global reserve asset in 2030, just in time for Bitcoin's 21st birthday.
How to Protect Yourself During The Fourth Turning The next decade will be chaotic and unpredictable. There will be many losers and a few big winners. So how do you protect yourself during a Fourth Turning? The short answer is to make yourself antifragile.
How to protect yourself during this Fourth Turning:
Protect your wealth with Bitcoin (self custody) '' Bitcoin cannot be seized, will likely increase in value, and you can travel anywhere with money stored in your head. Self custody is required to defend against a 6102-'‚ type attack. Minimize debt '' Don't get wiped out by volatility. Fixed-rate mortgages are OK. Live below your means '' Survive on one spouse's income, invest the rest. Multiple sources of income '' what happens if you lose your primary income? Invest in yourself, build skills for the future, find a side hustle. Acquire a second passport '' Do not be locked into the fate of your jurisdiction. Useful for immigration, reducing tax burden, and peace of mind. Katie Ananina helps Bitcoiners acquire a second passport at Plan B Passports . Don't be cancelable '' If your income is independent of mob sentiment, being ''canceled'' will not sting so bad. Start a business, side hustle, or work for someone you trust. Don't invest in politics du jour '' Culture is not your friend . Opt-out. Be self-reliant '' Grow food, defend yourself, have access to energy. Become more technical '' Learn digital privacy, how to code, and Bitcoin. Become super literate '' Avoid junk-food content. Read books and write essays. The more you read and write, the better you think, and the more effective your decision-making will be. Find community (citadel) '' Individuals are vulnerable on their own, join a citadel. Build a community of like-minded people. Digital and Analog communities. Stay vigilant '' Pay attention, be proactive, make a plan, stick to it. First and foremost take care of you and yours during this tumultuous time. If you have extra bandwidth, build a better future. If you don't step up, who will?
Will this Fourth Turning End in Tragedy or Triumph? Art by CRYPTOXEER-IV
The chess pieces are set, but the game is not over.
Fourth Turnings, despite their unpredictable nature, present a rare opportunity to redesign society. We're alive to witness the global power struggle to shape the future of humanity. Will this crisis end in tragedy or triumph?
Let's face it, we're tragically trending towards totalitarianism. And I'm not interested in being farmed by our fiat overlords.
Thankfully we have Bitcoin to serve as a protection against tyranny. A beacon of hope during the cold dark night.
By 2030, America will have completed this Fourth Turning and the global order will have been reshaped. Hopefully, we'll begin the next Saeculum on a sturdy foundation enabling a new era of prosperity.
Better fasten your seatbelt because this decade defines the next 100 years.
. . .
Thank you for reading Bitcoin and the Rhythms of History.
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Acknowledgments Huge thanks to Neil Howe for writing The Fourth Turning. I've learned so much from your ideas and look forward to your upcoming book. Editors: Robert Breedlove, Mark Stephany, Justin Evidon, Lee, Steven Oustecky, Derek Waltchack Inspiration and mentions: William Strauss (deceased), Lyn Alden, Raoul Pal, Luke Gromen, Naval Ravikant, Robert Evans, Tuur Demeester, Pierre Rochard, Michael Saylor, Sahil Bloom, Cory Klippsten, NVK, Katie Ananina, Brady Swenson, Andreas Antonopolous, Matt Ridley, Grant Williams, Felix Zulauf, Kanye, Paul Tudor Jones, WTF happened in 1971, and anyone else I forgot 🂠Creative Direction: Nick Ward helped with creative direction and the Supply vs Demand of Order chart Audio Version: Read by Guy Swann @ Bitcoin AudibleFinally, thanks to everyone who sharpened my thinking through conversations on this topic over the last few months.
The Sorry State of Fintech Privacy: Visa Wants to Buy Plaid, and with it, Bank Transaction Data for Millions of People. DOJ Sues | Wolf Street
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 13:35
Plaid asks for your bank credentials, logs into your account, and obtains your banking data, such as balances, assets, transaction history, and debt. Visa wants to buy it all.By Bennett Cyphers, Electronic Frontier Foundation:Visa, the credit card network, is trying to buy financial technology company Plaid for $5.3 billion. The merger is bad for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it would allow a giant company with a controlling market share and a history of anticompetitive practices to snap up its fast-growing competition in the market for payment apps. But Plaid is more than a potential disruptor, it's also sitting on a massive amount of financial data acquired through questionable means. By buying Plaid, Visa is buying all of its data. And Plaid's users'--even those protected by California's new privacy law'--can't do anything about it.
Since mergers and acquisitions often fall outside the purview of privacy laws, only a pointed intervention by government authorities can stop the sale. Thankfully, this month, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to do just that. This merger is about more than just competition in the financial technology (fintech) space; it's about the exploitation of sensitive data from hundreds of millions of people. Courts should stop the merger to protect both competition and privacy.
Visa's Monopolistic HedgeThe Department of Justice lawsuit outlines a very simple motive for the acquisition. Visa, it says, already controls around 70% of the digital debit card payment market, from which it earned approximately $2 billion last year. (Mastercard, at 25% market share, is Visa's only significant competitor.) Thanks to network effects with merchants and consumers, plus exclusivity clauses in its agreements with banks, Visa is comfortably insulated from threats by traditional competitors. But apps like Venmo have started'--just barely'--to eat away at the digital transaction market. And Plaid sits at the center of that new wave, providing the infrastructure that Venmo and hundreds of other apps use to send money around the world.
According to the DoJ, a Visa executive predicted that Plaid would undercut its debit card processing business eventually, and that buying Plaid would be an ''insurance policy'' to protect Visa's dominant market share. The lawsuit alleges that Plaid already had plans to leverage its relationships with banks and consumers to launch a new debit service. Seen through this lens, the acquisition is a simple preemptive strike against an emerging threat in one of Visa's core markets. Challenging the purchase of a smaller company by a giant one, under the theory that the purchase eliminates future competition rather than creating a monopoly in the short term, is a strong step for the DoJ, and one we hope to see repeated in technology markets.
But users' interest in the Visa-Plaid merger should extend beyond fears of market concentration. Both companies are deeply involved in the collection and monetization of personal data. And as the DoJ's lawsuit underscores, ''Acquiring Plaid would also give Visa access to Plaid's enormous trove of consumer data, including real-time sensitive information about merchants and Visa's rivals.''
Plaid, Yodlee, and the sorry state of fintech privacyPlaid is what's known as a ''data aggregator'' in the fintech space. It provides the infrastructure that connects banks to financial apps like Venmo and Coinbase, and its customers are usually apps that need programmatic access to a bank account.
It works like this: first, an app developer installs code from Plaid. When a user downloads the app, Plaid asks the user for their bank credentials, then logs in on their behalf. Plaid then has access to all the information the bank would normally share with the user, including balances, assets, transaction history, and debt. It collects data from the bank and passes it along to the app developer. From then on, the app can use Plaid's services to initiate electronic transfers to and from the bank account, or to collect new information about the user's activity.
In a shadowy industry, Plaid has tried to cultivate a reputation as the ''trustworthy'' data aggregator. Envestnet/Yodlee, a direct competitor, has long sold consumer behavior data to marketers and hedge funds. The company claims the data are ''anonymous,'' but reporters have discovered that that's not always the case. And Finicity, another financial data aggregator, uses its access to moonlight as a credit reporting agency. A glance at data broker listings shows a thriving marketplace for individually-identified transactions data, with dozens of sellers and untold numbers of buyers. But Plaid is adamant that it doesn't sell or monetize user data beyond its core business proposition. Until recently, Plaid has often been mentioned alongside Yodlee in order to contrast the two companies' approaches, when it's been mentioned at all.
Now, in the wake of the Visa announcement, two new lawsuits (Cottle et al v. Plaid Inc and Evans v. Plaid Inc) claim that Plaid has exploited users all along. Chief among the accusations is that Plaid's interface misleads users into sharing their bank passwords with the company, a practice that plaintiffs allege runs afoul of California's anti-phishing law. The lawsuits also claim that Plaid collected much more data than was necessary, deceived users about what it was doing, and made money by selling that data back to the apps which used it.
EFF is not involved in either lawsuit against Visa/Plaid, nor are we taking any position on the validity of the legal claims. We're not privy to any information that hasn't been reported publicly. But many of the facts presented by the lawsuits are relatively straightforward, and can be verified with Plaid's own documentation. For example, at the time of writing, still hosts example sign-in flow with Plaid. Plaid does not dispute that it collects users' real bank credentials in order to log in on their behalf. You can see for yourself what that looks like: the interface puts the bank's logo front and center, and looks for all the world like a secure OAuth page. Try to think about whether, seeing this for the first time, you'd really understand who's getting what information.
Who's getting your credentials? Not just Citi.
Many users might not realize the scope of the data that Plaid receives. Plaid's Transactions API gives both Plaid and app developers access to a user's entire transaction and balance history, including a geolocation and category for each purchase made. Plaid's other APIs grant access to users' liabilities, including credit card debt and student loans; their investments, including individual stocks and bonds; and identity information, including name, address, email, and phone number.
A screenshot from Plaid's demo. What, exactly, does ''link'' mean?
For some products, Plaid's demo will throw up a dialog box asking users to ''Allow'' the app to access certain kinds of data. (It doesn't explain that Plaid will have access as well.) When we tested it, access to the ''transactions,'' ''auth,'' ''identity,'' and ''investments'' products didn't trigger any prompts beyond the default ''X uses Plaid to link to your bank'' screen. It's unclear how users are supposed to know what information an app will actually get, much less what they'll do with it. And once a user enters their password, the data starts flowing.
Users can view the data they're sharing through Plaid, and revoke access, after creating an account at This tool, which was apparently introduced in mid-2018 (after GDPR went into effect in Europe), is useful'--for users who know where to look. But nothing in the standard ''sign in with Plaid'' flow directs users to the tool, or even lets them know it exists.
On the whole, it's clear that Plaid was using questionable design practices to ''nudge'' people into sharing sensitive information.
What's in it for Visa?Whatever Plaid has been doing with its data until now, things are about to change.
Plaid is a hot fintech startup, but Visa thinks it can squeeze more out of Plaid than the company is making on its own. Visa is paying approximately 50 times Plaid's annual revenue to acquire the company'--a ''very steep'' sum by traditional metrics.
A huge part of Plaid's value is its data. Like a canal on a major trade route, it sits at a key point between users and their banks, observing and directing flows of personal information both into and out of the financial system. Plaid currently makes money by charging apps for access to its system, like levying tariffs on those who pass through its port. But Visa is positioned to do much more.
For one, Visa already runs a targeted-advertising wing using customer transaction data, and thus has a straightforward way to monetize Plaid's data stream. Visa aggregates transaction data from its own customers to create ''audiences'' based on their behavior, which it sells to marketers. It offers over two hundred pre-configured categories of users, including ''recently engaged,'' ''international traveler '' Mexico,'' and ''likely to have recently shifted spend from gasoline to public transportation services.'' It also lets clients create custom audiences based on what people bought, where they bought it, and how much they spent.
Plaid's wealth of transaction, liability, and identity information is good for more than selling ads. It can also be used to build financial profiles for credit underwriting, an obviously attractive application for credit-card magnate Visa, and to perform ''identity matching'' and other useful services for advertisers and lenders. Documents uncovered by the DoJ show that Visa is well aware of the value in Plaid's data.
Illustration by a Visa executive of Plaid's untapped potential, included in Department of Justice filings. The executive ''analogized Plaid to an island 'volcano' whose current capabilities are just 'the tip showing above the water' and warned that 'what lies beneath, though, is a massive opportunity '' one that threatens Visa.''' Note ''identity matching,'' ''credit decisioning,'' and ''advertising and marketing'''--all data-based businesses.
Through Plaid, Visa is about to acquire transaction data from millions of users of its competitors: banks, other credit and debit cards, and fintech apps. As TechCrunch has reported, ''Buying Plaid is insurance against disruption for Visa, and also a way to know who to buy.'' The DoJ went deeper into the data grab's anticompetitive effects: ''With this insight into which fintechs are more likely to develop competitive alternative payments methods, Visa could take steps to partner with, buy out, or otherwise disadvantage these up-and coming competitors,'' positioning Visa to ''insulate itself from competition.''
The Data-Sale LoopholeThe California Privacy Rights Act, which amends the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), was passed by California voters in early November. It's the strongest law of its kind in the U.S., and it gives people a general right to opt out of the sale of their data. In addition, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), a federal law regulating financial institutions, allows Americans to tell financial institutions not to share their personal financial information. Since the CPRA exempts businesses which are already subject to GLBA, it's not clear which of the two governs Plaid. But neither law restricts the transfer of data during a merger or acquisition. Plaid's own privacy policy claims, loudly and clearly, that ''We do not sell or rent personal information that we collect.'' But elsewhere in the same section, Plaid admits it may share data ''in connection with a change in ownership or control of all or a part of our business (such as a merger, acquisition, reorganization, or bankruptcy).'' In other words, the data was always for sale under one condition: you had to buy everything.
That's what Visa is doing. It's acquiring everything Plaid has ever collected and'--more importantly'--access to data flows from everyone who uses a Plaid-connected app. It can monetize the data in ways Plaid never could. And the move completely side-steps restrictions on old-fashioned data sales.
Stop the MergerIt's easy to draw parallels from the Visa/Plaid deal to other recent mergers. Some, like Facebook buying Instagram or Google buying YouTube, gave large companies footholds in new or emerging markets. Others, like Facebook's purchase of Onavo, gave them data they could use to surveil both users and competitors. Still others, like Google's acquisitions of Doubleclick and Fitbit, gave them abundant new inflows of personal information that they could fold into their existing databases. Visa's acquisition of Plaid does all three.
The DoJ's lawsuit argues that the acquisition would ''unlawfully maintain Visa's monopoly'' and ''unlawfully extend [Visa's] advantage'' in the U.S. online debit market, violating both the Clayton and Sherman antitrust acts. The courts should block Visa from buying up a nascent competitor and torrents of questionably-acquired data in one move.
Beyond this specific case, Congress should take a hard look at the trend of data-grab mergers taking place across the industry. New privacy laws often regulate the sharing or sale of data across company boundaries. That's great as far as it goes'--but it's completely sidestepped by mergers and acquisitions. Visa, Google, and Facebook don't need to buy water by the bucket, they can just buy the well. Moreover, analysts predict that this deal, if allowed to go through, could set off a spree of other fintech acquisitions. It may have already begun: just months after Visa announced its intention to buy Plaid, Mastercard (Visa's rival in the debit duopoly) began the process of acquiring Plaid competitor Finicity. It's long past time for better merger review and meaningful, enforceable restrictions on how companies can use our personal information. By Bennett Cyphers, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Internet of Things at Home: Ring sends the surveillance data of its own customers to third parties, including Facebook. Read... Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers to Surveil its Own Customers
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New Visa Credit Card To Offer Bitcoin Rewards Instead of Airline Miles or Cash - Bloomberg
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:48
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Bitcoin Acceptance Skyrockets in Venezuela Amid Hyperinflation Crisis
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:37
As Venezuela's economy continues to endure hyperinflation, more businesses start accepting crypto.
News Over 20,000 shops and enterprises in Venezuela will reportedly start accepting crypto by June 1. This news was made available as part of an effort to drive crypto adoption in the hyperinflation-stricken country.
Earlier today, Panama-based cryptocurrency merchant-gateway startup Cryptobuyer announced a partnership with Venezuelan company Mega Soft, which processes payments for thousands of local businesses via its platform called ''Merchant Server.''
The platform will now accept Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Dash (DASH), Litecoin (LTC), Tether (USDT) and dozens of other cryptocurrencies along with fiat, thereby adopting the technology on a national scale. Merchants that are paid with cryptocurrencies will have the possibility to instantly settle them to fiat or to store them for future purposes.
Bitcoin wins over fiat in unstable economiesVenezuela's hyperinflation rate hit 10 million percent at some point last year, making it extremely inefficient to store VES, the local sovereign currency, for longer than one day. Although inflation has since slowed, cryptocurrencies remain a much more stable medium of exchange in Carcas, local reports show.
''This is real financial inclusion,'' Farias said of the new partnership in an email sent to Cointelegraph, arguing that cryptocurrencies are even more convenient for everyday shopping in countries like Venezuela than foreign fiat currencies:
''The use of cash like US Dollars is complicated by many times not having the necessary change at the time of a purchase forcing people to buy more products than they need is here where the use of cryptocurrencies is much more versatile in countries where payment systems are inefficient''
Farias noted that Cryptobuyer's solution has already been in use in ''more than 400 stores'' in Venezuela, including a Burger King branch in the Sambil area of Caracas. The companies will now start activating the crypto-friendly system in thousands of ''Merchant Sever''-affiliated businesses. ''We must have most of them operational by June,'' Farias told Cointelegraph.
When asked whether the new system supports Petro, a controversial cryptocurrency championed by President Nicholas Maduro, the Cryptobuyer CEO replied that it is not something they have contemplated thus far.
Bitcoin and China Are Winning the Covid-19 Monetary Revolution - Bloomberg
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:41
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Dogs are People Too
Dogs trained to help people with disabilities are only service animals allowed on planes: Officials | KTLA
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 17:49
In this April 1, 2017 file photo, a service dog strolls through the isle inside a United Airlines plane at Newark Liberty International Airport while taking part in a training exercise in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
The government has decided that when it comes to air travel, only dogs can be service animals, and companions used for emotional support don't count.
The Transportation Department issued a final rule Wednesday that aims to settle years of tension between airlines and passengers who bring their pets on board for free by saying they need them for emotional support.
For years, the department required airlines to allow animals with passengers who had a doctor's note saying they needed the animal for emotional support. Airlines believed passengers abused the rule to bring a menagerie of animals on board including cats, turtles, pigs and in one case, a peacock.
The agency said Wednesday that it was rewriting the rules partly because passengers carrying unusual animals on board ''eroded the public trust in legitimate service animals.'' It also cited the increasing frequency of people ''fraudulently representing their pets as service animals,'' and a rise in misbehavior by emotional-support animals.
The new rule will force passengers with emotional-support animals to check them into the cargo hold '-- and pay a pet fee '-- or leave them at home. The agency estimated airlines will gain up to $59.6 million a year in pet fees.
Under the final rule, which takes effect in 30 days, a service animal is a dog trained to help a person with a physical or psychiatric disability. Advocates for veterans and others had pushed for inclusion of psychiatric service dogs.
Airlines will be able to require owners to vouch for the dog's health, behavior and training. Airlines can require people with a service dog to turn in paperwork up to 48 hours before a flight, but they can't bar those travelers from checking in online like other passengers.
Airlines can require that service dogs to be leashed at all times, and they can bar dogs that show aggressive behavior. There have been incidents of emotional-support animals biting passengers.
The Transportation Department stood by an earlier decision to prohibit airlines from banning entire dog breeds. That is a setback for Delta Air Lines, which banned ''pit bull type dogs'' in 2018, a move that was criticized by disability advocates.
Delta, however, is giving no indication of backing down. In a statement, a Delta spokeswoman said the airline is reviewing the new rule but, ''At this time, there are no changes to Delta's current service and support animal policies.''
Why the Bay Area's pets are behaving strangely
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:15
Has your normally stand-offish cat become clingy? Has your dog started barking incessantly at the humans in the house? There's a reason for that, and it has to do with the coronavirus quarantine.
Lately I've had a few readers ask me about unusual behavior they're seeing in their pets. One woman's cat has become so needy that he must sit in her lap and meows constantly when there is no lap provided. A co-worker's dog has started barking at everyone in the house, for seemingly no reason.
Experts say pets are feeling the strain of the pandemic just as their human companions are. We've been staying home for months '-- with no end in sight '-- and many of us believed our pets were thrilled to have us there with them.
It turns out, however, that we're starting to get on their nerves.
Most of our pets are creatures of habit and routine. They were accustomed to us waking up early, tending to their needs, then going away for several hours. Sure, they missed us, but that was what happened every day.
Suddenly, we're in the house all the time, which is confusing to our pets '-- and it's robbing them of their personal time and space. Our pets might be social animals, but many like having their ''me time,'' whether it's to bask undisturbed in the sun, snooze in a favorite cozy spot or explore areas we really don't want them exploring.
Our pets also are attuned to our feelings, worries and stresses. They might not be aware of the exact nature of our pandemic angst, but they sense it in us and so they become stressed, too.
Stress in our pets can manifest itself in several different ways. In the case of the clingy cat, the feline may be trying to comfort his human and be comforted in return. He wants to be near her, preferably curled up in her lap being stroked, so when the woman is working around the home, the cat becomes anxious and vocalizes his worries.
Barking is how dogs have learned to communicate with us. In the case of the co-worker's dog, who used to only bark at front door visitors, the pup may be trying to say he's kind of over constantly having people in his space.
Stress can show up in other ways '-- overdoing it with the grooming, pacing the floors, constantly going in and out of the house and even some misplaced aggression.
Experts say we shouldn't worry too much about the behavior, but try to figure out what our pets need, whether it's reassurance or alone time. Sticking to regular routines is important. I know we're housebound, but doing things such as setting feeding and walking schedules can restore some sense of normalcy.
For pets craving too much attention, give them a little at certain times of the day '-- or reserve most of it for the evening '-- and otherwise ignore their pleas for attention, which may make some of those Zoom meetings a tad embarrassing. For pets needing space, let them hang out by themselves.
When we're able to return to our normal lives, we'll be dealing with another set of pet issues, but we'll get to those in due time.
For more pets and animals coverage follow us on Flipboard.Have a question for Joan?Use this form to submit questions. Photos should be mailed separately to
Podcasting 2.0
Report: Amazon in exclusive talks to acquire podcasting company Wondery - 9to5Mac
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 21:38
According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is now in exclusive talks to purchase the independent podcast network Wondery. This comes after a report last month suggested that Apple was among a handful of companies that had expressed interest in acquiring Wondery.
Today's report says that the talks between Amazon and Wondery value the company at over $300 million. The talks, while exclusive, are still ''ongoing and negotiations could still fall apart,'' the report cautions. The valuation comes as Wondery will increase its revenue to more than $40 million this year.
The WSJ also has some detail on why the acquisition of Wondery would be so notable:
Closely held Wondery is the last large independent podcaster on the market'--and could present the final opportunity for a major tech or media giant to buy its way into the exploding field. Wondery's investors include venture-capital firms such as Waverley Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Greycroft Partners and Advancit Capital.
Apple and Wondery do have an existing relationship. Earlier this year, it was announced that Apple TV+ would develop a limited series telling the story of WeWork, based on the Wondery podcast ''WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork.''
For Apple, Wondery was an interesting acquisition target likely because of the boost it could provide to both Apple Podcasts as well as Apple TV+. Apple has slowly been expanding its podcasting efforts recently, introducing companion podcasts for TV+ originals and acquiring the Scout FM podcast app earlier this year.
Nonetheless, despite Apple's interest in acquiring Wondery, it appears that Amazon has become the front-runner. Notably, Spotify had apparently decided not to throw its hat in the ring, despite having previously acquired a multitude of podcasting companies.
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Out There
'Wow, it was bright': Big boom and fireball rattles upstate New York - and plenty of windows - New York Daily News
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:07
By Cathy Burke
New York Daily News |
Dec 02, 2020 at 10:41 PM
Meteors and fireballs and noon-time booms, oh boy.
A disintegrating meteor likely triggered a thundering boom in upstate New York on Wednesday, an organization in western New York reported.
Robert Lunsford, a ''fireball report coordinator'' with the American Meteor Society said a meteor blew up over Syracuse, creating the big boom and an impressive light show, the Associated Press reported. Another sky-watcher reported seeing the fireball over Niagara.
Meteor shower (Scott Cramer/Getty Images)
''Wow, it was bright!'' Scott Sutherland marveled.
By 5 p.m., the meteor organization had recorded 90 reports of the fireball seen in Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the AP reported.
The celestial commotion had police agencies and fire departments around central New York busy with 911 calls about shaking windows caused by the noise. Clouds shrouded the fireball from view in much of the area, however.
Lundsford told the AP that since most reports of the boom were around Syracuse, that's likely where the meteor blew up.
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On the society's website, an observer in western New York reported the fireball was bright white with shades of yellow. An observer in Hagerstown, Md. reported a fireball with red and orange sparks, smoke and a persistent train. A report from Welland, Ontario, described a long, bright green train.
''Sunny day so it looked like a gold metallic flash against the blue sky,'' said a report from Winchester, Va.
Margaret Campbell-Brown, a member of the Meteor Physics Group at Western University in London, told the AP that fireballs are real attention-getters at night.
''They stand out better,'' she told the news agency. ''But it's not terribly unusual for very bright ones to be noticed during the day. It happens several times a year over populated areas.''
She explained that all fireballs '-- which are bright meteors '• produce sound waves. A big one can produce a thunderlike sonic boom with possible extra bangs from fragmentation, she added.
The invisible crisis in Ethiopia
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:46
While Americans awaited the result of the 2020 presidential election with glib accusations about the collapse of civilization, half a world away the people of the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia experienced it.
On November 4, security forces taking the side of the dominant ethno-nationalist political party in Tigray attacked a military command center in Mekelle, the capital of the region. This seems to have been in response to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's attempts to merge Ethiopia's long-standing but uneasy coalition of regional and ethnic political factions into a single party representing the entire nation. The result has been a civil war, one that has been all but invisible in the United States.
The sad truth is that there has been very little reliable reporting about Tigray in the last month. What we do know is horrifying enough. Electricity, internet, and other utilities have been shut down throughout the region, with both sides insisting that the other was responsible. At least a million people have become refugees virtually overnight, including nearly a 100,000 Eritreans who had already fled to Tigray. The United Nations and our own secretary of state are demanding that humanitarian observers be allowed entry to the region, and the European Union is preparing to offer hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Sudan, which, despite having officially closed its borders, is currently bearing most of the refugee burden from the conflict. (As far as I am aware there have been no serious calls for any western country to house even a fraction of those currently displaced.) This is what the actual breakdown of "democracy" looks like.
Writers, including this columnist, often accuse the American people of being indifferent to the world's problems. But increasingly it seems to me that a better way of putting it is that the world is indifferent to ours. A story that has hovered near the top of the news aggregator I read every morning for the last two weeks '-- during what we are supposed to believe are the death throes of a fascist junta amid the spread of a new Black Death '-- is about whether an actress who has made dismissive comments about cloth face coverings should not be allowed to play a space mercenary in a popular streaming program. (This should not be confused with yet another story about an actress from the same show alleging that the woman who plays a snake-headed warrior princess is guilty of something called "deadnaming," also apparently grounds for her dismissal.)
It would be interesting to ask Tigrayan refugees what they think about insufficient LGBT representation in comic book films or various other outrages that (we are told) rank very high among the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind. Are they worried about an increase in what we call "cases," positive test results for a disease that has spread across the African continent relatively inconsequentially during the last year? What about the latest stock market rally?
There are a number of conclusions to be drawn from the situation in Ethiopia. One is that we should be grateful for our prosperity. Even the poorest Americans are wealthy beyond the reckoning of the global poor, whose exploitation makes the former possible. We should also acknowledge that nationalism, the proximate cause of the conflict in Tigray, is a curse, and that it is on balance a very good thing that vanishingly few of us are willing to take up arms on behalf of an abstract belief in the right to racial or tribal "self-determination." The fact that ethnicity itself has nothing to do with one's identity as an American is a great blessing.
But our reflections cannot end there. We live in a country in which performative outrage about the outgoing president's use of social media makes our best educated citizens despair about the future of our political and economic order, and one in which it is possible for a faraway region home to some 5 million people '-- roughly equivalent to the population of Washington, D.C. '-- to become immiserated overnight without attracting our attention, much less our sympathy.
Something is wrong here.
VIDEO-Dr Peter McCullough at US Senate - YouTube
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:39
VIDEO-Bill Gates [+]Is A Wanker (Coronovirus Song)
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:39
First published at 14:58 UTC on November 24th, 2020.
#nwo#covid19#plandemicHilarious song by Charlie Chiswick about the Wankers who want to imprison Humanity as slaves !Sometimes you've just gotta say it as it is, so that's what I've done with this song, I've just said it as it is...They're all a b'...
Hilarious song by Charlie Chiswick about the Wankers who want to imprison Humanity as slaves !Sometimes you've just gotta say it as it is, so that's what I've done with this song, I've just said it as it is...They're all a bunch of WANKER'S!!!
VIDEO-'Changes The Whole Landscape': Marijuana Home Delivery Approved In Mass. - YouTube
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:36
VIDEO-Naty 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "CNN, not long ago, made a full expos(C) on Smartmatic revealing its purchase of Sequoia, its ties to the Chavista regime, its rigged software, Chavez's fraudulent elections... @CNN exposed exactly what @SidneyPowell1 has de
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:35
Naty 🇺🇸 : CNN, not long ago, made a full expos(C) on Smartmatic revealing its purchase of Sequoia, its ties to the Chavista reg'...
Fri Nov 27 03:09:17 +0000 2020
VIDEO-TWiV 687: Peter Hotez sticks to the vax - YouTube
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:34
VIDEO-The Elitists Who Control You - YouTube
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:24
VIDEO-Hewlett Packard's Bay Area headquarters relocating to Texas | KRON4
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:16
by: Alexa Mae Asperin
Dec 1, 2020 / 02:19 PM PST / Updated:
Dec 1, 2020 / 02:19 PM PSTPALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) '' Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that Hewlett Packard Enterprises, which is currently headquartered in San Jose, is relocating to Spring, Texas.
In a statement, Gov. Abbott said the new headquarters will be located in a state-of-the-art campus that will open in early 2022, holding the potential to add more jobs in the coming years.
HPE already has locations across Texas in Austin, Plano, and Houston.
''As we look to the future, our business needs, opportunities for cost savings, and team members' preferences about the future of work, we are excited to relocate HPE's headquarters to the Houston region,'' said Antonio Neri, CEO of HPE. ''Houston is an attractive market to recruit and retain future diverse talent and where we are currently constructing a state-of-the-art new campus. We look forward to continuing to expand our strong presence in the market.''
More Bay Area Stories
VIDEO-Anonymous Donor Pays $1000 Toward Layaway Orders
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:10
Shoppers in Fort Wayne, Indiana, were shocked to learn that an anonymous benefactor paid off $1,000 of their layaway orders at Walmart.
''I didn't believe it. I was like, is this some kind of joke?'' said Ryan Dirschell who had already paid much of his balance before the unnamed benefactor took care of the remaining $141 on his bill.
Dirschell told WANE he has used the layaway service for the past six years but does not recall anything like this happening in the area.
However, store manager Lori Oaks said the Walmart, located on Apple Glen Boulevard, usually has a few Good Samaritans donate money for the layaway orders.
''Typically they will have stipulations where they want to focus on the layaways that have toys on them versus the electronics or the furniture, just to take care of the kids a little bit more,'' she said.
''We probably get two or three businesses or individuals that would could [sic] come in every year to take care of layaway for us,'' Oaks continued.
Walmart offers layaway from August 28 through December 14 for items such as toys, sporting goods, and jewelry.
The donor's gift took care of four or five shopping accounts, the WANE article reported.
Dirschell said the gifts in his layaway account were for his eight-year-old son and even though he was close to paying it off, the anonymous person's kind gesture gave him some financial relief.
He added that it has been a difficult year for everyone, which made the gift all the more appreciated.
''I want to say thank you. It was a huge surprise, absolutely. The spirit of giving in a year when everything has been so bad and this was just wonderful. I want to say thank you for all of the other families that were affected by this,'' Dirschell concluded.
VIDEO-"These vaccines are unlikely to "completely sterilize" a population. Professor Sir John Bell, SAGE! - YouTube
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:52
VIDEO-DOJ hasn't uncovered widespread fraud that would change election results: Barr - ABC News
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:10
The comments to AP undercut allegations made by Trump and his legal team.
December 1, 2020, 11:08 PM
' 10 min read
Attorney General William Barr said in an interview Tuesday that the Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would tip the results of the presidential election, a comment directly undercutting allegations being made by President Donald Trump and his legal team.
"To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election," Barr told the Associated Press.
The comments are likely to infuriate President Trump and members of his legal team, who have increasingly turned their ire towards the Justice Department and FBI in recent days over the agencies' refusal to investigate baseless conspiracies of widespread voter fraud.
"You would think, if you're in the FBI or Department of Justice, this is -- this is the biggest thing you could be looking at," Trump said in a Sunday interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo. "Where are they? I have not seen anything. I mean, I just -- they just keep moving along, and they go on to the next president."
Attorney General William Barr speaks during a roundtable discussion, Oct. 15, 2020, in St. Louis.
Barr specifically singled out one theory peddled by Trump and his allies that vote tabulation machines had been tampered with in a way to skew the election towards President-elect Joe Biden.
"There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven't seen anything to substantiate that," Barr said.
Attorney General William Barr arrives at the White House on Dec. 1, 2020 in Washington.
Separately, Barr appointed Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham as special counsel to investigate the origins of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Durham was previously appointed to investigate any criminal wrongdoing in the way top leaders at the Justice Department and FBI handled the investigation, but Barr's decision to elevate him as a special counsel, done two weeks prior to the election, gives Durham an extra layer of protection -- he can't easily be fired in a Justice Department under a new administration.
"I decided the best thing to do would be to appoint them under the same regulation that covered Bob Muller, to provide Durham and his team some assurance that they'd be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election," Barr told the AP on Tuesday.
Barr was seen arriving at the White House shortly after the interview was published but a spokesperson said it was for a "previously scheduled meeting" and not with the president. The attorney general left at about 5 p.m.
The Trump campaign immediately released a statement from President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Trump campaign senior adviser Jenna Ellis saying Barr's "opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud."
They added, "With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn't been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation."
In the days after Biden was officially projected as the winner of the election, Barr provoked outrage from current and former prosecutors when he issued a memo reversing longstanding DOJ policy intended to prevent announcements of election fraud investigations prior to states moving to certify their votes.
Barr said prosecutors were authorized "to pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities" in the event there are "clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State."
At the same time, Barr urged investigators to be vigilant against "specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims" that he said "should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries."
The memo led a top career official in the DOJ's elections crimes division to resign from his position, and a group of current federal prosecutors later sent a letter to Barr asking he rescind the policy reversal, calling it "not based in fact."
Sources close to Barr at the time who defended his decision to pen the memo described the elections policy as "antiquated," while saying that if no such investigation announcement was made as a result then it would, in the end, bolster arguments that the election was conducted securely and without massive fraud.
Attorney General Bill Barr leaves the U.S. Capitol after meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in his office, Nov. 9, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
More than three weeks later, the DOJ and FBI have announced no such investigations relevant to the parameters of Barr's memo as an increasing number of states have moved forward with certifying their vote tabulations.
Barr told the AP that, to date, the department's investigations have been more isolated instances of potential fraud rather than anything indicating a systemic failure in how the election was carried out.
"Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct," Barr said. "They are not systemic allegations and. And those have been run down; they are being run down," Barr said. "Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on."
Trump, who initially celebrated news of Barr's memo with a retweet, on Sunday went as far to suggest that the FBI and DOJ might be "involved" in an unspecified fraud conspiracy to elect Biden.
Attorney General William Barr arrives at the White House on Dec. 1, 2020 in Washington.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger criticized the comment in a tweet accusing the president of peddling "baseless conspiracies."
"The @FBI did not rig the election," Kinzinger, of Illinois, said. "If you find yourself believing they did, please stop, and say it out loud, and you will realize how silly it sounds."
Other Trump allies have expressed similar exasperation at the FBI's unwillingness to involve itself, amid their ongoing campaign to convince Republican electors that they should refuse to validate their state's votes over incremental allegations of fraud.
"I don't know where the FBI has been for the last three years," Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said in a Nov. 19 news conference. "What do we have to do to get the FBI to wake up? Maybe we need a new agency to protect us."
Prior to his interview, Barr had gone more than a month without holding a public event and avoided giving any media interviews.
It was a notable contrast from his relatively frequent public appearances throughout the summer, including interviews where he repeatedly stoked conspiracies about foreign countries being able to flood the country with fraudulent mail-in ballots.
"This is playing with fire," Barr told CNN in a September interview. "We're very closely divided country here. And if people have to have confidence in the results of the election and the legitimacy of the government."
Barr's claim, however, was disputed by statements from top intelligence officials including the head of DHS' cyber division Christopher Krebs and National Counterintelligence and Security Center director William Evanina, who argued mail-in ballot systems were too complex for a foreign country to be able to successfully mount such a scheme. No evidence has thus far surfaced of any foreign countries successfully tampering with the election by mailing ballots into the U.S.
ABC News' Will Steakin contributed to this report.
VIDEO-Stimulus checks? Here's a breakdown of what's in the $908 billion bipartisan economic plan |
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:03
Michael Geheren and Nexstar Media Wire
8 hours ago
WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) '-- President-elect Joe Biden has joined other top Democrats to back the $908 billion bipartisan COVID-19 relief effort announced this week.
The plan introduced by ''The Problem Solvers Caucus,'' a group of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans in both the U.S. Senate and House, splits the more than $900 billion to 15 different areas.
A majority goes to three areas: $288 billion for small businesses, including more fund for the Paycheck Protection Program$180 billion for additional Unemployment Insurance$160 billion for state, local and tribal governmentsSmall businessesThe Paycheck Protection Program will get another round of funding. The forgivable loans to keep workers on payroll closed applications in August.
''I am particularly pleased that this package includes funding for another round of Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans, which has helped keep our small businesses afloat. In Maine alone, the PPP has helped sustain the jobs of 250,000 workers,'' said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
The $288 billion also will help fund the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, a low interest loan from the Small Business Administration '' designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to coronavirus.''
The money will also go to restaurants, stages, and deductibility.
In addition, Republicans pushed for ''short term Federal protection from Coronavirus related lawsuits.''
''Included in this measure is a liability provision that provides a temporary suspension of any liability-related lawsuits at the state or federal level associated with COVID-19, giving states enough time to put in place their own protections,'' said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).
State, local and tribal governmentsDemocrats, meanwhile, got a win with funding for state, local and tribal governments. State governments have been dealing with many key aspects of the COVID-19 response.
''If enacted into law, today's bipartisan package would increase unemployment benefits to help families make ends meet, give essential assistance to small businesses on the verge of closing, provide funds to the state and local governments who've led the response to this crisis, and much more '' including support for schools, hospitals, and vaccine distribution,'' said Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.
Unemployment insuranceExtended federal unemployment benefits expired in September. Previously, the program added a $600 federal benefit.
This plan would provide a $300 weekly addition for four months.
Stimulus checks?No, the plan doesn't include the second round of economic impact payments. Earlier in the year, the IRS issued 160 million checks of $1,200 per eligible taxpayer, plus $500 per child.
What else is included:The rest of the funds will go to support:
$82 billion for education$45 billion for transportation, including airlines, airports, buses, transit and Amtrak$35 billion for the Healthcare Provider Relief Fund from the Department of Health and Human Services$26 billion for nutrition and agriculture$25 billion for housing assistance, related to rentals$16 billion for vaccine development and distribution, testing and contact tracing$12 billion for Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions$10 billion each for the U.S. Postal Service, child care and broadband$5 billion for opioid treatment$4 billion for student loans''This is a win for the American people, for common sense, and for problem-solving. With cases spiking, winter around the corner, and countless small businesses closing every day, and far too many families hurting, we simply cannot leave anyone out in the cold. This is an essential down payment on what our families, small businesses, and local communities need,'' said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5).
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the bipartisan offer on Tuesday, instead aiming to rally Republicans around the $550 billion GOP proposal.
VIDEO-Roger Stone Says North Korean Boats Delivered Ballots Through Maine Harbor As Trump Boosts Fraud Claims
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:01
Former Trump adviser Roger Stone claimed on Wednesday that North Korea had interfered in the U.S. presidential election. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump continued to assert that fraudulent activity was prevalent during the November election.
Stone, who has previously spoken of his respect for some members of the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, was sentenced to 40 months in prison for lying to investigators in connection with the Mueller probe into Russian election meddling during Trump's 2016 campaign. Trump commuted Stone's sentence in July.
With the Electoral College expected to meet on December 14, Trump has intensified his claims of widespread election fraud. Democrat President-elect Joe Biden was widely projected to be the winner of the election despite Trump's protestations. During an interview on The Alex Jones Show, Stone said he had received further proof of election fraud.
"I just learned of absolute incontrovertible evidence of North Korean boats delivering ballots through a harbor in Maine, the state of Maine," Stone said. "If this checks out, if law enforcement looked into that and it turned out to be true, it would be proof of foreign involvement in the election."
Newsweek reached out to the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions for comment.
Stone told Jones that he prayed daily for Trump to be "strengthened" in his fight against "an epically corrupt deep state that has no problem in what appears to be the cyber-manipulation of the votes of the American people."
Roger Stone, former adviser to President Donald Trump, said Wednesday that he had knowledge of "incontrovertible evidence" of election fraud. Mark Wilson/GettyIn a July interview, Stone praised some members of the QAnon movement as "great patriots." Many of the theories espoused by QAnon adherents revolve around Trump leading a covert battle against Democrats, some members of the business community and individuals in the entertainment industry. According to the theory, those individuals are involved in pedophilia, human trafficking and satanic worship.
While Trump has declined to distance himself from the QAnon movement, his claims that Democrats conspired to win the election have continued. On Wednesday, Trump released a 46-minute long video on his Twitter feed detailing his allegations of election fraud.
"The Democrats had this election rigged right from the beginning," Trump said, citing claims of voting machine manipulation, improper mail-in ballots and insufficient signature checks.
Trump has alleged that many of the mail-in ballots, which skewed Democratic, were illegally counted. Those ballots allegedly helped swing the election in Biden's favor. "If we are right about the fraud," Trump said, "Joe Biden can't be president. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of votes."
Trump's legal team has filed litigation in some battleground states contesting the election process. However, many of those lawsuits have been dismissed by judges.
"What a disaster this election was," Trump said. "A total catastrophe, but we're going to show it, and hopefully the courts'--in particular, the Supreme Court of the United States'--will see it and respectfully, hopefully, they will do what's right for our country."
According to the Associated Press, Biden was projected to win the election with 51.3 percent of the popular vote to Trump's 47 percent. Biden received 306 electoral votes, more than the 270 electoral votes required to be officially declared president. Although some litigation on behalf of Trump is still ongoing, states have until December 8 to certify their election results before the Electoral College convenes on December 14.
VIDEO-Trump Delivers His "The Most Important Speech He's Ever Made" On the Election
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 02:55
Rumble '-- "This might be the most important speech I've ever made."
... and disable advertisements! No kidding :)
VIDEO-Press Conference by Amistad Project on 'Election Whistleblowers Come Forward' (Dec. 1) | NTD - YouTube
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 02:52
VIDEO-James O'Keefe on Twitter: "The only reason the Hunter Biden laptop scandal was talked about in what David Chalian called an ''echo-chamber'' is because media organizations like his deliberately refused to cover it. #CNNTapes
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 21:29
James O'Keefe : The only reason the Hunter Biden laptop scandal was talked about in what David Chalian called an ''echo-chamber'' is'...
Wed Dec 02 20:25:55 +0000 2020
Nᴏᴠᴏwels : @JamesOKeefeIII The only reason the Batboy cave drawing scandal was talked about in what David Chaplin called an "e'...
Wed Dec 02 21:28:42 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Michigan Oversight Committee on Election Issues: Articia Bomer - YouTube
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 21:26
VIDEO-Watch in full: Boris Johnson holds coronavirus news conference on vaccine rollout - YouTube
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 20:30
VIDEO-SHOCKING: Are PCR Tests SECRET VACCINES? - Johns Hopkins Develops Micro Drugs Delivered By SWAB!
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 16:29
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Josh Sigurdson reports on the shocking new study by Johns Hopkins regarding microdevices meant to deliver drugs to the body, copying the makeup of a parasitic worm and delivered by Q-tip swabs!
Johns Hopkins calls this new medical device a "theragripper" and proudly claims it could be hidden from site on a swab and delivered via your nostril to your body.
Johns Hopkins has been involved many times over with biowarfare. From the exercise 'Dark Winter' to Crimson Contagion and most recently, the infamous 'Event 201.'
This is highly alarming and while it sounds absolutely crazy and one of those things you come across on Facebook that is obviously a hoax, after much research on the Johns Hopkins Institute's own website, this is absolutely real! Truth is so often stranger than fiction!
Many have been claiming for months that people have been force vaccinated by the PCR tests many are taking for travel or work. Could they be delivering this in such a way? There have been many cases of coronavirus infected swabs sent to Britain from Canada earlier this year which were luckily caught before being used. Also, it's worth mentioning that cows are vaccinated quite often with nose swabs.
Stay tuned as we continue to follow this insane new development as vaccines are rolled out and social credit system are constructed to deliver them!
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VIDEO-PBS NewsHour live episode, Dec. 1, 2020 - YouTube
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 14:53
VIDEO-Important Vaccine Message - YouTube
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 14:51
VIDEO-Black Trump Supporter Hilariously GOES OFF in Michigan Hearing
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 14:40
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VIDEO-James O'Keefe on Twitter: "BREAKING: Special Correspondent @JamieGangel Details How @CNN Should Cover Up Trump's Contested Election Claims On 9am Call ''News organizations have to be very careful & very responsible about not giving @realDonal
Wed, 02 Dec 2020 02:31
James O'Keefe : BREAKING: Special Correspondent @JamieGangel Details How @CNN Should Cover Up Trump's Contested Election Claims On'...
Wed Dec 02 00:00:01 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Colorado State Patrol beings accepting Colorado Digital ID |
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 20:45
Colorado State Patrol said Colorado Digital ID provides residents a secure, safe and convenient way to exchange information with troopers.
DENVER '-- The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) announced Tuesday that troopers will begin accepting the Colorado Digital ID within the myColorado mobile app as proof of identity, age and address for traffic stops within the state.
CSP troopers across Colorado began accepting the Digital ID on Monday, Nov. 30 and full adoption will be completed by Dec. 31, 2020.
CSP said Colorado is the first state in the nation to offer residents the option to electronically transmit digital identification, vehicle registration and proof of insurance to law enforcement.
The contactless Digital ID has been downloaded by more than 75,000 Coloradans, according to CSP.
''These days, so many people rely on smartphones for purchases and other transactions every day and leave their wallets at home," said Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado). "Mobile digital identity is the way of the future and our goal is for Colorado to lead the way in convenience and security with the Digital ID. Digital IDs on smartphones are already valid for purchasing alcohol and marijuana, and now I want to thank the Colorado State Patrol for their leadership in accepting Digital ID for traffic stops and paving the way for other local law enforcement agencies to begin accepting Digital ID, and soon allow for cross-jurisdictional use throughout Colorado.''
Polis signed the Executive Order to authorize Digital ID as a legal form of identification in Colorado on Oct. 30, 2019.
''When we first heard of the Colorado Digital ID, we immediately recognized the benefits it could have in protecting our state troopers," said Colorado State Patrol Col. Matthew Packard. "Anything we can do to reduce the length of time spent on the roadside increases safety. The global pandemic introduces a whole new dimension of health and safety concerns for both troopers and our residents. Eliminating the need to handle a physical ID while on the road is one way to reduce exposure to the virus.''
More than 300 restaurants, bars, businesses and state agencies have joined the myColorado Partner Program and already accept the Colorado Digital ID, according to CSP.
''At the Colorado Department of Public Safety, we are proud to be part of a culture of innovation and improvement," said Colorado Department of Public Safety Executive Director Stan Hilkey. "We continuously strive to find ways to better serve our customers in the pursuit of making Colorado safer and more resilient."
Coloradans can generate their Digital ID by downloading the myColorado app to their smartphones via the App Store or Google Play.
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VIDEO-Schumer Uses COVID to Claim It's 'Imperative' for Senate to Hold Hearings for Biden's Cabinet Before He's Inaugurated
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 16:01
On this episode of ''Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste,'' Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer trotted out to the Senate floor on Monday to claim it ''imperative'' that the Senate begin confirmation hearings for Joe Biden's cabinet picks immediately after the January 5 Senate runoff elections in Georgia '-- two weeks before Biden's presumed inauguration.
Why the rush? Because, as the always-melodramatic senior senator from New York said:
''In the midst of this once-in-a-century crisis, it's imperative the next administration can count on the Senate to confirm its cabinet without delay.''
I don't want to waste time going through the history of crises in America over the last 100 years, but c'mon, Chuck. #TryHarder
BREAKING: Sen. Schumer says Senate should begin confirmation hearings for Biden's Cabinet BEFORE inauguration:
''In the midst of this once-in-a-century crisis, it's imperative the next administration can count on the Senate to confirm its cabinet without delay''
'-- Breaking911 (@Breaking911) November 30, 2020
Schumer noted that the Senate began hearings in early January for presidents-elect Obama and Trump '-- leaving out the fact that the elections of Barack Obama and Donald Trump had been certified before the Senate leader of their respective parties called for confirmation hearings to begin prior to the inauguration.
So why would Schumer have a need to call for the hearings since they've happened with the last two administrations? Sounds like SOP. Oh, wait '-- because he knows half of America doesn't accept Biden as president-elect, with good reason: unlike Obama and Trump, Biden has not been certified as president-elect.
Nonetheless, Schumer not only called on the Senate to begin confirmation hearings after the Georgia runoff elections; he torched Trump's cabinet picks in the process.
''President-elect Biden's slate of nominees provides a stark contrast to the caliber of nominees advanced by the current Trump administration over the last four years.
''The early days of the Trump presidency were defined by high-level appointments of individuals who were manifestly unqualified, plagued by ethical complaints, or swimming in conflicts of interest '-- sometimes all three.''
So Schumer thinks that throwing the entirety of Trump's four years of cabinet selections under the bus is going to help him win support from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republicans how? Why he wouldn't just be grandstanding for the cameras, right?
''At the time, Republicans in the Senate lined up to confirm President Trump's appointments, Schumer continued, ''arguing that a president deserves his cabinet in broad deference on his nominees.
''I would hope the same deference will be extended to president-elect Biden's nominees, he added, before once again taking a shot at Trump's cabinet selections, ''especially considering the obvious gulf in quality, experience, [and] ethics.''
I won't waste time defending good people like Dr. Ben Carson, Steve Mnuchin, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, and others, but I will note the ''caliber'' of a few of Biden's selections.
Biden's choice for secretary of state, longtime aide Antony Blinken, slammed President Trump's ''America First'' foreign policy as ''a mix of nationalism, unilateralism, and xenophobia,'' that would only ''make the world worse.'' That didn't age well, did it? (See: ''The Middle East,'' for example.)
Biden's selection for director of the Office of Management and Budget is Neera Tandan, who in 2016 spread wild conspiracy theories about Russian vote-hackers, all the while denying that Hillary Clinton lost the election.
Next up, Biden's pick for national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, was up to his eyebrows in the Hillary Clinton email scandal, and also pushed the thoroughly-discredited Russian ''collusion'' hoax.
Finally '-- for now, that is '-- Biden tapped Phil Washington, CEO of LA Metro, the agency that runs Greater Los Angeles's trains, subways, and buses, to lead his transportation transition team. Just one problem. LA Metro is currently the focus of two ongoing federal investigations.
Hey, nobody's perfect '-- right, Chucky?
#ProTip for Schumer: Come back when Joe has his election certification card and then we'll talk about it. Until then, take a seat.
H/T ~ Twitchy
VIDEO-1h19min30sec-Michael Malice Interview - YouTube
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 15:34
VIDEO-Cyber-Security Analyst Described As 'The Smartest Man In The Room' By NYT Sides With Trump on Election Fraud | Gregg Jarrett
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 15:25
O ver Thanksgiving, Trump Attorney Sidney Powell released what she refers to as 'the Kraken' which are two lawsuits alleging massive voter fraud in the presidential election. Powell published a ''104-page document detailing allegations about Georgia and a 75-page document looking at Michigan on Wednesday night, calling for the election results to be decertified, Trump to be declared the winner and voting machines to be impounded'' reports Conservative US.
Powell released the document online at midnight on the eve of Thanksgiving with a link to her website in the tweet, ''The #Kraken was just released on #Georgia'...Exhibits to follow. Also #ReleaseTheKraken in #Michigan.'' In a bombshell phone interview posted by Kyle Becker, Sidney Powell said ''we've got pictures of the check stubs paid to people to ballot harvest and do fraudulent voting.'' When asked how many fraudulent votes she believes Joe Biden ''had on his slate'' Powell answered, ''probably at least ten million.''
Here's where it gets quite fun. While Democrats are calling the lawsuits and allegations of voter fraud delusional, they cannot ignore one man whose declaration under oath was included in Powell's Georgia complaint. Navid Keshavarz-Nia is an expert witness who declared there was massive computer fraud in the 2020 election, ''all of it intended to secure a victory for Joe Biden'' reports American Thinker.
Dr. Keshavarz-Nia concluded with ''high confidence that the election 2020 data were altered in all battleground states resulting in a [sic] hundreds of thousands of votes that were cast for President Trump to be transferred [sic] to Vice President Biden.'' Only a mere two and a half months ago, the New York Times spoke highly of Dr. Kershavarz-Nia in relation to a massive, multi-million-dollar fraud against the American intelligence and military communities.
The Times wrote, ''Navid Keshavarz-Nia, those who worked with him said, 'was always the smartest person in the room.' In doing cybersecurity and technical counterintelligence work for the C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I., he had spent decades connecting top-secret dots. After several months of working with Mr. Courtney, he began connecting those dots too. He did not like where they led.'' Low and behold, 'the smartest person in the room' concurs with Trump and his legal team that the vote counts for Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia show ''electronic manipulation.''
VIDEO-Effect of interventions - YouTube
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 14:42
VIDEO-China's mishandling of the early stages of Covid-19 pandemic revealed by leaked documents - CNN
Tue, 01 Dec 2020 14:21
From a secure room about 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) from the epicenter, Xi expressed his condolences to those who have died in the outbreak. He urged greater public communication, as around the world concerns mounted about the potential threat posed by the new disease.
That same day, Chinese authorities reported 2,478 new confirmed cases -- raising the total global number to more than 40,000, with fewer than 400 cases occurring outside of mainland China. Yet CNN can now reveal how official documents circulated internally show that this was only part of the picture.
In a report marked "internal document, please keep confidential," local health authorities in the province of Hubei, where the virus was first detected, list a total of 5,918 newly detected cases on February 10, more than double the official public number of confirmed cases, breaking down the total into a variety of subcategories. This larger figure was never fully revealed at that time, as China's accounting system seemed, in the tumult of the early weeks of the pandemic, to downplay the severity of the outbreak.
The previously undisclosed figure is among a string of revelations contained within 117 pages of leaked documents from the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, shared with and verified by CNN.
Taken together, the documents amount to the most significant leak from inside China since the beginning of the pandemic and provide the first clear window into what local authorities knew internally and when.
The Chinese government has steadfastly rejected accusations made by the United States and other Western governments that it deliberately concealed information relating to the virus, maintaining that it has been upfront since the beginning of the outbreak. However, though the documents provide no evidence of a deliberate attempt to obfuscate findings, they do reveal numerous inconsistencies in what authorities believed to be happening and what was revealed to the public.
The documents, which cover an incomplete period between October 2019 and April this year, reveal what appears to be an inflexible health care system constrained by top-down bureaucracy and rigid procedures that were ill-equipped to deal with the emerging crisis. At several critical moments in the early phase of the pandemic, the documents show evidence of clear missteps and point to a pattern of institutional failings.
One of the more striking data points concerns the slowness with which local Covid-19 patients were diagnosed. Even as authorities in Hubei presented their handling of the initial outbreak to the public as efficient and transparent, the documents show that local health officials were reliant on flawed testing and reporting mechanisms. A report in the documents from early March says the average time between the onset of symptoms to confirmed diagnosis was 23.3 days, which experts have told CNN would have significantly hampered steps to both monitor and combat the disease.
China has staunchly defended its handling of the outbreak. At a news conference on June 7, China's State Council released a White Paper saying the Chinese government had always published information related to the epidemic in a "timely, open and transparent fashion."
"While making an all-out effort to contain the virus, China has also acted with a keen sense of responsibility to humanity, its people, posterity, and the international community. It has provided information on Covid-19 in a thoroughly professional and efficient way. It has released authoritative and detailed information as early as possible on a regular basis, thus effectively responding to public concern and building public consensus," says the White Paper.
CNN has reached out to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and National Health Commission, as well as Hubei's Health Commission, which oversees the provincial CDC, for comment on the findings disclosed in the documents, but received no response.
Health experts said the documents laid bare why what China knew in the early months mattered.
"It was clear they did make mistakes -- and not just mistakes that happen when you're dealing with a novel virus -- also bureaucratic and politically-motivated errors in how they handled it," said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, who has written extensively on public health in China. "These had global consequences. You can never guarantee 100% transparency. It's not just about any intentional cover-up, you are also constrained with by technology and other issues with a novel virus. But even if they had been 100% transparent, that would not stop the Trump administration downplaying the seriousness of it. It would probably not have stopped this developing into a pandemic."
Tuesday, December 1, marks one year since the first known patient showed symptoms of the disease in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, according to a key study in the Lancet medical journal.
At the same time that the virus is believed to have first emerged, the documents show another health crisis was unfolding: Hubei was dealing with a significant influenza outbreak. It caused cases to rise to 20 times the level recorded the previous year, the documents show, placing enormous levels of additional stress on an already stretched health care system.
The influenza "epidemic," as officials noted in the document, was not only present in Wuhan in December, but was greatest in the neighboring cities of Yichang and Xianning. It remains unclear what impact or connection the influenza spike had on the Covid-19 outbreak. And while there is no suggestion in the documents the two parallel crises are linked, information regarding the magnitude of Hubei's influenza spike has still yet to be made public.
The leaked revelations come as pressure builds from the US and the European Union on China to fully cooperate with a World Health Organization inquiry into the origins of the virus that has since spread to every corner of the globe, infecting more than 60 million people and killing 1.46 million.
But, so far, access for international experts to hospital medial records and raw data in Hubei has been limited, with the WHO saying last week they had "reassurances from our Chinese government colleagues that a trip to the field" would be granted as part of their investigation.
The files were presented to CNN by a whistleblower who requested anonymity. They said they worked inside the Chinese healthcare system, and were a patriot motivated to expose a truth that had been censored, and honor colleagues who had also spoken out. It is unclear how the documents were obtained or why specific papers were selected.
The documents have been verified by six independent experts who examined the veracity of their content on behalf of CNN. One expert with close ties to China reported seeing some of the reports during confidential research earlier this year. A European security official with knowledge of Chinese internal documents and procedures also confirmed to CNN that the files were genuine.
Metadata from the files seen by CNN contains the names of serving CDC officials as modifiers and authors. The metadata creation dates align with the content of the documents. Digital forensic analysis was also performed to test their computer code against their purported origins.
Sarah Morris, from the Digital Forensics Unit at Britain's Cranfield University, said there was no evidence the data had been tampered with or was misleading. She added the older files looked like they had been used repeatedly over a long period of time. "It's almost like a mini file system," she said. "So, it's got lots of room for deleted stuff, for old things. That's a really good sign [of authenticity]."
World got more optimistic data than reality
The documents show a wide-range of data on two specific days, February 10 and March 7, that is often at odds with what officials said publicly at the time. This discrepancy was likely due to a combination of a highly dysfunctional reporting system and a recurrent instinct to suppress bad news, said analysts. These documents show the full extent of what officials knew, but chose not to spell out to the public.
On February 10, when China reported 2,478 new confirmed cases nationwide, the documents show Hubei actually circulated a different total of 5,918 newly reported cases. The internal number is divided into subcategories, providing an insight into the full scope of Hubei's diagnosis methodology at the time.
"Confirmed cases" number 2,345, "clinically diagnosed cases" 1,772, and "suspected cases" 1,796.
The strict and limiting criteria led ultimately to misleading figures, said analysts. "A lot of the suspected cases there should have been included with the confirmed cases," said Huang, from the Council on Foreign Relations, who reviewed the documents and found them to be authentic.
"The numbers they were giving out were conservative, and this reflects how confusing, complex and chaotic the situation was," he added.
That month, Hubei officials presented a daily number of "confirmed cases," and then included later in their statements "suspected cases," without specifying the number of seriously ill patients who had been diagnosed by doctors as being "clinically diagnosed." Often in nationwide tolls, officials would give the daily new "confirmed" cases, and provide a running tally for the entire pandemic of "suspected cases," also into which it seems the "clinically diagnosed" were added. This use of a broad "suspected case" tally effectively downplayed the severity of patients who doctors had seen and determined were infected, according to stringent criteria, experts said.
William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, said the Chinese approach was conservative, and the data "would have been presented in a different way had US epidemiologists been there to assist."
He said Chinese officials "seemed actually to minimize the impact of the epidemic at any moment in time. To include patients who were suspected of having the infection obviously would have expanded the size of outbreak and would have given, I think, a truer appreciation of the nature of the infection and its size."
Protocols for coronavirus diagnosis, published by China's National Health Commission in late January, told doctors to label a case "suspected" if a patient had contact history with known cases, and a fever and pneumonia symptoms, and to elevate the case to "clinically diagnosed" if those symptoms were confirmed by an X-ray or CT scan. A case would only be "confirmed" if polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or genetic sequencing tests came back positive.
Andrew Mertha, director of the China Studies Program at John Hopkins University, said officials might have been motivated to "lowball" numbers to disguise under-funding and preparedness issues in local health care bodies like the provincial CDC.
According to Mertha, the documents, which he reviewed and considered authentic, seemed to be organized so as to allow senior officials to paint whatever picture they wished.
"You are giving them all the options there without putting somebody in an explicitly embarrassing position -- giving them both the anvil or the life-raft to then choose from."
Chinese officials did soon improve the reporting system, placing the "clinically diagnosed" cases into the "confirmed" category by mid-February. Top health and provincial officials in Hubei were also removed from their positions at that time, who would have been ultimately responsible for the reporting. Furthermore, wider and improved testing meant "suspected" cases could be clarified quicker and featured less in reporting. Separately, China's diagnostic criteria have been criticized by health experts for their continued, public decision to not count asymptomatic cases.
Death tolls listed in the documents reveal the starkest discrepancies. On March 7, the total death toll in Hubei since the beginning of the outbreak stood at 2,986, but in the internal report it is listed as 3,456, including 2,675 confirmed deaths, 647 "clinically diagnosed" deaths, and 126 "suspected" case deaths.
Dali Yang, who has extensively studied the outbreak's origins, said that in February numbers "still mattered because of global perceptions."
"They were still hoping it was like 2003, and like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) would be eventually contained, and everything can go back to normal," added Yang, who is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. He pointed to the February 7 call between presidents Trump and Xi. "I think that's also the (wishful) impression that Trump got -- that this is going to disappear."
The documents, however, are by no means clear cut. On two occasions, the public death numbers are narrowly over reported, with the internal figures indicating single-digit discrepancies of five and one, respectively.
On other occasions, the data provides glimpses of new information but without vital context. Even though China has never revealed the total number of Covid-19 cases in 2019, a graph in one document appears to suggest a much higher number had been detected. In the bottom left hand column of the graph marked 2019 the number of "confirmed cases" and "clinically diagnosed" cases appears to reach around 200 altogether. The documents do not elaborate further. To date, the clearest indication of how many cases were detected in 2019 is the 44 "cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause)" that Chinese authorities reported to the WHO for the period of the pandemic up to January 3, 2020.
Long wait time for tests
Testing was inaccurate from the start, the documents said, and led to a reporting system with weeks long delays in diagnosing new cases. Experts said that meant most of the daily figures that informed the government response risked being inaccurate or dated.
On January 10, one of the documents reveals how during an audit of testing facilities, officials reported that the SARS testing kits that were being used to diagnose the new virus were ineffective, regularly giving false negatives. It also indicated that poor levels of personal protective equipment meant that virus samples had to be made inactive before testing.
The high false-negative rate exposed a series of problems China would take weeks to rectify. According to reports in Chinese state media in early February, Hubei health experts had expressed frustration with the accuracy of nucleic acid tests. Nucleic acid tests work by detecting the virus' genetic code, and were thought to be more effective at detecting the infection, particularly in the early stages.
However, the tests carried out at that time resulted in only a 30% to 50% positive rate, among already confirmed cases, according to officials quoted in state media. In order to avoid "false negative" results, health officials began to test suspected cases repeatedly.
By early February, laboratories in Hubei had capacity to test more than 10,000 people a day, according to state media reports. To cope with the high volume, officials decided to begin incorporating other clinical diagnosis methods, such as CT scans. This led to the creation of category referred to internally as "clinically diagnosed cases." It was not until mid-February that the clinically diagnosed cases were added to the confirmed case numbers.
Other, yet graver issues noted in the documents were raised by health experts.
In the first months of the outbreak, the average time required to process a case -- from the patient experiencing symptoms (onset) to being confirmed diagnosed was 23.3 days.
The persistent delay would likely have made it much harder to direct public health interventions, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
"You're looking at data that's three weeks old and trying to make a decision for today," he said.
The report notes that, by March 7, the system had much improved, with over 80% of the new confirmed cases diagnosed that day being recorded in the system that same day.
Multiple experts described the time lag as extraordinary, even when factoring in the initial difficulties faced by authorities.
"That adds another layer of understanding as to why some of the numbers that came out from the higher levels of government probably were off," said Schaffner from Vanderbilt University. "In the United States, Britain, France and Germany, there's always a lag. You don't know instantaneously. But 23 days is a long time."
Early warning system hampered
A lack of preparedness is reflected throughout the documents, sections of which are highly critical in their internal assessment of the government's support for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention operations in Hubei.
The report characterizes the Hubei CDC as underfunded, lacking the right testing equipment, and with unmotivated staff who were often felt ignored in China's vast bureaucracy.
The documents include an internal audit, which forensic analysis shows was written in October 2019, before the pandemic began.
More than a month before the first cases are believed to have emerged, the review continues to urge the health authorities to "rigorously find the weak link in the work of disease control, actively analyze and make up for the shortcomings."
The CDC internal report complains over an absence of operational funding from the Hubei provincial government and notes the staffing budget is 29% short of its annual target.
After the outbreak, Chinese officials swiftly moved to assess the problems. Yet more than four months after the virus was first identified, major issues continued to hamper disease control efforts in key areas, the documents show.
The report also highlights the CDC's peripheral role in investigating the initial outbreak, noting that staff were constrained by official processes and their expertise not fully utilized. Rather than taking a lead, the report suggests CDC staff were resigned to "passively" completing the task issued by superiors.
Officials were also faced with a lumbering and unresponsive IT network, known as the China Infectious Disease Direct Reporting System, according to state media, installed at cost of $167 million after the 2003 SARS outbreak.
Theoretically, the system was supposed to enable regional hospitals and CDCs to directly report infectious diseases to a centrally managed system. This would then allow the data to be shared instantly with CDCs and relevant health departments nationwide. In reality, it was slow to log into, one audit said, and many other bureaucratic procedural restrictions hampered rapid data recording and gathering.
According to Huang, from the Council on Foreign Relations, the report belies China's claim to have massively invested in disease control and prevention after the 2003 SARS outbreak.
"If you look at the local level, the picture is not as rosy as the government had claimed," he said.
Large outbreak of flu in Hubei
The documents also reveal a previously undisclosed a 20-fold spike in influenza cases recorded in one week in early December in Hubei province.
The spike, which occurred in the week beginning December 2, saw cases rise by approximately 2,059% compared to the same week the year before, according to the internal data.
Notably, the outbreak that week is not felt most severely in Wuhan -- the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak -- but in the nearby cities of Yichang, with 6,135 cases, and Xianning, with 2,148 cases. Wuhan was the third worst hit with 2,032 new cases that week.
Public data shows a nationwide spike in influenza in December. Experts, however, note the rise in influenza cases, while not unique to Hubei, would have complicated the task of officials on the lookout for new dangerous viruses.
Though the magnitude of the Hubei flu spike has not been previously reported, it is difficult to draw any hard conclusions, especially in regard to the potential prevalence of previously undetected Covid-19.
The documents show that testing carried out on the influenza patients return a high number of unknown results. However, experts cautioned that this did not necessarily indicate that the unknown test results were in fact undetected coronavirus cases.
"They're only testing for what they know -- this [coronavirus] is an unknown unknown," said Adalja, the JHU academic, adding that such a scenario that was not uncommon, globally.
"We're just not that great at diagnosing them. We look for the usual suspects. We're always looking for the horses, but never the zebras."
The Wuhan CDC later conducted retrospective research into influenza cases dated as early as October 2019 in two Wuhan hospitals, in an attempt to look for traces of coronavirus. But, according to a study published in the journal Nature, they were unable to detect samples of the virus dating back earlier than January 2020. Similar studies have yet to be carried out in other Hubei cities.
Separately, the flu spike could have helped to unintentionally accelerate the coronavirus' early spread, said Huang.
"Those people were seeking care in hospitals, increasing the chances of COVID infection there," he said.
The influenza data also points to the influenza outbreak being worst in Yichang. While the influenza spike and the emergence of Covid-19 are not linked in the documents or by other evidence, data pinpointing a flu-like outbreak in multiple cities in Hubei will likely be of interest to those researching the origins of the disease.
The Chinese government has previously pointed to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan as the likely initial epicenter of the outbreak in mid-December, where meat of exotic wild animals was sold. Yet that claim has been at least partially challenged by a Lancet study of the first December patients, which determined one third of the 41 infected that month had no direct connection to that market.
Yichang, 320 kilometers (198 miles) west of Wuhan, was hit hardest by the influenza outbreak -- almost three times as many as Wuhan in the same week beginning December 2.
Mertha, the China expert from JHU, said the spike in Yichang, while not connected to Covid-19 in the documents, could nonetheless open up new theories about where the virus began.
"The order of magnitude of change means there has to be something going on," he said.
An unfolding crisis
China's leaders were the first to confront the virus, implementing a raft of draconian restrictions beginning in late January intended to curb the spread of the outbreak. Using sophisticated surveillance tools, government officials enforced strict lockdowns across the country, largely restricting more than 700 million people to their homes, while sealing national borders and carrying out widespread testing and contract tracing.
According to a study published in the journal Science in May, the stringent measures adopted during those first 50 days of the pandemic likely helped break the localized chain of transmission.
Today, China is close to zero local cases and although small-scale outbreaks continue to flare, the virus is mostly contained.
In February, however, it was a different story. As case numbers soared nationwide, government officials were facing a potential crisis of legitimacy, with public opinion fast turning against the ruling Communist Party over its perceived mishandling of the deadly new disease.
During the last 30 years, analysts say, many in China have appeared willing to relinquish political freedoms in return for increased material wealth, social stability and greater opportunities.
The virus fundamentally threatened that social contract -- putting hundreds of millions at risk while damaging an economy already weakened by an ongoing US-China trade war. In late January, Xi, China's most powerful leader in decades, publicly ordered "all-out efforts" to contain the virus' spread.
At the time, China was celebrating the Lunar New Year holiday, its most important annual holiday. The notion of an impending pandemic seemed to many like an abstract distraction, as people returned home to spend time with their families.
Xi's highly public intervention, which came just days after Wuhan was placed under lockdown, carried with it a clear message: Failure is not an option.
Throughout this period, the gulf between public statements by Chinese officials and the internally distributed data is at times blunt. The leaked documents show the daily confirmed death toll in Hubei rose to 196 on February 17. That same day, Hubei publicly reported just 93 virus deaths.
Another report also records the deaths of six health care workers from Covid-19 by February 10. Their deaths were not public at the time, and were highly sensitive, given the volume of sympathy over-worked health care staff, on the frontline of the pandemic, were getting on social media at the time.
As the virus spread, local officials were accused of downplaying the outbreak and its risk to the public. In late December, a young doctor named Li Wenliang in one of Wuhan's main hospitals, was among other medical workers summoned by local authorities and later received formal "reprimand" from the police for attempting to raise the alarm about a potential "SARS-like" virus. State media reported their punishment and warned public against rumour mongering.
Li, 34, later contracted the disease. His condition quickly worsened and in the early morning of February 7 he died, resulting in almost unprecedented levels of anger and outrage across mainland China's heavily censored internet.
It is not clear to what extent the central government was aware of the actions taking place in Hubei at that time, or how much information was being shared and with whom. The documents offer no indication that authorities in Beijing were directing the local decision-making process.
However, Mertha, the JHU academic, said the mismatch between the higher internal and lower public figures on the February death toll "appeared to be a deception, for unsurprising reasons."
"China had an image to protect internationally, and lower-ranking officials had a clear incentive to under-report -- or to show their superiors that they were under-reporting -- to outside eyes," he said.
Conversely, however, the leaked documents also provide something of a defense of China's overall handling of the virus. The reports show that in the early stages of the pandemic, China faced the same problems of accounting, testing, and diagnosis that still haunt many Western democracies even now -- issues compounded by Hubei encountering an entirely new virus.
Similarly, no mention is made by officials of a so-called laboratory leak, or that the virus was man-made, as some critics, including top US officials, have claimed without evidence. There is one mention of sub-par facilities at a bacterial and toxic species preservation center, though the point is not elaborated on, nor is its significance made clear.
China and its healthcare workers were under immense strain as the outbreak took hold, said Yang, from the Council of Foreign Relations.
"They had a massive run on the medical system. They were overwhelmed. There was truly despair among medical professionals by the end of January, because they were extremely overworked and they were also enormously discouraged by the high number of deaths that were occurring with a disease they had not treated previously," he added.
Hubei, which lags far behind Beijing, Shanghai and other major Chinese administrative divisions in terms of GDP per capita, was the first region to confront a virus that would go on to confound many of the world's most powerful countries.
Schaffner, from Vanderbilt University, said many of the comments in the documents might have been made in the US, "where, over the past 15 to 20 years, at particularly the state and the local level, public health funding has become constrained."
The documents show health care officials had no comprehension as to the magnitude of the impending disaster.
Nowhere in the files is it indicated that officials believed the virus would become a global pandemic.
Tuesday marks exactly 12 months since the first patient in Wuhan started showing symptoms, according to the Lancet study. The death toll and number of people infected by the virus, now known to the world as Covid-19 and impacting the lives across the planet, continues to grow, day on day.
VIDEO-COVID-19 vaccine sign hanging over I-40 in Durham worries doctors ::
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 16:38
Durham, N.C. '-- Local doctors are concerned a sign hanging over Interstate 40 in Durham will create fear over the coronavirus vaccine.
The first doses of the vaccine could be distributed to health care workers and vulnerable populations in the United States in less than two weeks. Experts say the vaccine could be widely available by the spring.
This sign, posted on the pedestrian bridge on Fayetteville Road over I-40, reads, "COVID-19 vaccine makers are exempt from liability." It is not clear who was responsible for hanging it.
Dr. David Wohl, an infectious disease specialist at UNC Health, said it's true that drug makers are protected from liability of any potential injures caused by their vaccines.
"If we find out three years from now that it turns your hair purple, you are not going to be able to sue Pfizer or Moderna because you now have purple hair," Wohl said. "That can't happen."
Wohl said he is concerned the sign could cause fear in people who are skeptical to get the vaccine.
"This is all done in somewhat good faith -- that these companies are moving forward, taking some chances and taking some risks," he said.
Other local doctors agree we should trust the vaccine.
Dr. Susanna Naggie, a clinical research expert at Duke University School of Medicine, stressed that FDA regulators are not cutting corners to try to make the vaccine available more quickly. She said she's confident their review will be thorough and complete, and that any vaccine approved through an Emergency Use Authorization will be safe.
"We're not used to this process where things may be approved on a much more rapid timeline," Naggie said. "I think it is absolutely necessary because we do need to get these vaccines out to people as soon as we are confident that we have the appropriate safety."
VIDEO-Andrew YangðŸ§ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ on Twitter: "We should pay people to get the vaccine. We should also pay people to stay home." / Twitter
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:44
Andrew YangðŸ§ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¸ : We should pay people to get the vaccine. We should also pay people to stay home.
Sun Nov 29 22:55:51 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Miranda Devine on Twitter: "Bravo ScoMo! Puerile #CCP propaganda. Boot a few diplomats while you're at it" / Twitter
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:41
Miranda Devine : Bravo ScoMo! Puerile #CCP propaganda. Boot a few diplomats while you're at it
Mon Nov 30 05:35:50 +0000 2020
Maula : @mirandadevine
Mon Nov 30 10:35:08 +0000 2020
Byron Pencil : @mirandadevine Are you still on Parler Miranda?
Mon Nov 30 09:04:53 +0000 2020
sNot Morison : @mirandadevine Another pathetic performance from Scott. Where the bloody hell is our leader?
Mon Nov 30 08:59:24 +0000 2020
Barnold : @mirandadevine Bahaha, politicians are great at talking about tough decisions. Politicians are terrible at enacting tough decisions.
Mon Nov 30 08:40:35 +0000 2020
Jeff : @mirandadevine So the image wasn't close to anything that actually happened then? Instead of chasing China on this'...
Mon Nov 30 08:38:41 +0000 2020
Newcastle retiree : @mirandadevine But he must be careful as he let his mouth run away with him on the Brereton Reports !These actions have now had effects.
Mon Nov 30 08:33:29 +0000 2020
ZILLA ... 🐪🐪🐪🐪 : @mirandadevine They, the 3 amigos asked for it. Just imagine how emboldened China will be with Biden's backing ...
Mon Nov 30 08:19:26 +0000 2020
Deplorable ðŸ‡...🇺VK2 : @mirandadevine A little too late the government has sold our country off to #China @ScottMorrisonMP ðŸ @OneNationAus'...
Mon Nov 30 07:27:14 +0000 2020
TheBigAussie : @mirandadevine It will be interesting to see if Trump or Biden will have anything to say with regards to China.
Mon Nov 30 07:26:52 +0000 2020
Gigi : @mirandadevine And Mr Scott Morrison we would like an apology for the 665 deaths that occured in Federal run aged c'...
Mon Nov 30 07:07:59 +0000 2020
Peter Campbell : @mirandadevine Morrison takes the bait.
Mon Nov 30 06:56:41 +0000 2020
Corrine Barraclough : @mirandadevine 👏👏
Mon Nov 30 06:18:49 +0000 2020
VIDEO-Birx says Americans who gathered for Thanksgiving should assume they have COVID and get tested - CBS News
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 14:00
Washington '-- Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, warned Sunday that Americans who traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday and attended large gatherings should assume they were infected with COVID-19 and get tested within the next few days.
"We know people may have made mistakes over the Thanksgiving time period," Birx said in an interview with "Face the Nation." "If you're young and you gathered, you need to be tested about five to 10 days later. But you need to assume that you're infected and not go near your grandparents and aunts and others without a mask."
Birx also said it's crucial to avoid others with comorbidities.
In the run-up to Thanksgiving, public health experts urged Americans to forego large family celebrations amid the latest surge of coronavirus infections. There have been more than 13.2 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., and more than 266,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.
In response to the spike in coronavirus cases and the increase in hospitalizations, some governors and mayors have begun reimposing restrictions on businesses and restaurants to mitigate the spread. Others, however, have still refrained from implementing mask mandates and are allowing bars and restaurants to remain open with few restrictions.
Transcript: Dr. Deborah Birx on "Face the Nation" Birx said in places where mitigation measures are not in place, it's up to individual Americans to take their own steps to protect themselves and their family.
"To every American, this is the moment to protect yourself and your family," she said. "So if your governor or your mayor isn't doing the policies that we know are critical '-- masking, physical distancing, avoiding bars, avoiding crowded indoor areas '-- if those restrictions don't exist in your state, you need to take it upon yourself to be restricted. You need to not go to these places. You need to protect your family now."
Birx stressed that mask requirements have proven to be effective at combating the spread of the coronavirus, but noted public health experts are "deeply worried about what could happen" with infection rates after Thanksgiving.
Tackling the coronavirus pandemic has been a top priority for President-elect Joe Biden and his team, and leaders of his coronavirus advisory board have begun participating in briefings with federal agencies to better prepare for tackling the pandemic once Mr. Biden is sworn in.
Birx said she hopes to begin briefing the incoming Biden administration Monday, saying it's critical they begin examining data compiled by the federal government on coronavirus infections and the spread of the virus.
"The one thing that we will bring to the Biden administration in that discussion is to understand how they want to see the data because data isn't helpful if it's not actionable," she said. "And each group needs to see it the way it moves them to action."
Still, the Trump administration is helming the federal government until January 20, and Birx said she is briefing Vice President Mike Pence daily. She did not, however, say when she last briefed President Trump.
(C) 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-Fauci: Coronavirus surge 'superimposed' on current spike possible in coming weeks | TheHill
Mon, 30 Nov 2020 04:20
Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that a coronavirus surge "superimposed" on the current spike could emerge in the weeks after Thanksgiving.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told NBC News's "Meet the Press" that the increase in U.S. cases would be almost vertical if shown on a graph.
He acknowledged that while health experts warned Americans not to travel for or spend Thanksgiving with people outside of their household, "people are not always going to do that."
"So what we expect, unfortunately, as we go for the next couple of weeks into December, that we might see a surge superimposed upon that surge that we're already in," he said.
"When I give that message, I don't want to frighten people, except to say it is not too late at all for us to do something about this, because as we travel back, to be careful when we go back to where we are, to just continue to do the things that we've been talking about," he added.
Fauci pointed to states that have instituted coronavirus restrictions involving mask wearing, social distancing and limits on gatherings, saying in those states, the COVID-19 cases curve starts to flatten.
"So we know we can do something about it particularly now as we get into the colder season and as we approach the Christmas holidays," he said.
The prominent health expert said he plans to instruct President-elect Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, to pursue "much broader blanket" testing across the country.
The U.S. surpassed 13 million coronavirus cases on Friday, after reaching 12 million cases only six days prior. The number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations have reached an all-time high of more than 91,000, with more than 18,000 Americans in the intensive care unit, according to the Covid Tracking Project .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned people not to travel or gather with groups outside of their immediate household for Thanksgiving, but in the days before the holiday, millions of people got on flights.
WATCH: Soros-Linked Smartmatic Chairman Admits 'Technology Is Licensed From Dominion'
Sun, 29 Nov 2020 23:59
Despite voter tech firm Smartmatic's insistence that it has ''no affiliate relationships or financial ties'' with the foreign-owned Dominion Voting Systems, the company Chairman has previously admitted during interviews that ''part of our technology is licensed from Dominion.''The comments came from Smartmatic company Chairman Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, who enjoys intricate financial relations and a ''famous friendship'' with leftist mega-donor George Soros. During a June 2015 interview with Philippine news outlet ABS-CBN, Lord Malloch-Brown admitted, '''...yes part of our technology is licensed from Dominion.''
The news will raise further questions as to why both Dominion and Smartmatic have gone to recent lengths to distance themselves from one another, following allegations of corruption during the 2020 U.S. elections.
Recently, the pair claimed they were competitors in order to deflect from the idea that their technologies were both used to defraud people in the United States. The National Pulse soon after revealed that the companies actually have a non-compete agreement.
Malloch-Brown is pressed by the interviewer about difficulties experienced with Smartmatic products in the 2010 election, when he reveals that Smartmatic has a ''license for the international use of that particular piece of the technology that we employ'':
HOST : ''It was never supposed to be allowed to bid in the 2010 elections because it did not actually own the software '' Dominion Voting Systems owned the software. Plus the difficulty which Smartmatic had to put the COMELEC through just in order to access the source code.''
MALLOCH-BROWN : ''Well, look. I think that's competitors who say that. The fact is, yes part of our technology is licensed from Dominion, but you tell me a large technology company which isn't using in part licenses from other companies. We have a license for the international use of that particular piece of the technology that we employ.''
The interviewer follows up by inquiring if ''the license issued by Dominion for you to use their proprietary software'' is ''live,'' ''active,'' ''and has not been revoked.'' Malloch-Brown confirms all three answers are ''yes.''
SOROS CONNECTION. When moving to New York, Malloch-Brown rented his home from Soros, for what critics allege was priced below market rate.
Noting ''they are good friends,'' a United Nations spokesperson described the arrangement, as ''since both are public figures, they decided to set up the living arrangement as a commercial transaction, rather than a gift.''
In 2007, he was appointed Vice-President of Soros's Quantum Fund as well as vice-chairman of Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Institute in the same year.
Despite this, Smartmatic maintains it ''has no ties to governments or political parties.''
WATCH: Natalie Winters Natalie Winters is a Senior Reporter at the National Pulse and producer of The National Pulse TV show.
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