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Wuhan Coronavirus: NATO economic weapon? China virology lab?
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote





P McCabe
@PeterMcC66
·
14h
Replying to
@TonyGosling
and
@TristanCorkPost
An often heard question over the past 70 years or so "how could a sophisticated, cultured people such as the Germans allow the rise of Nazism?" Well look around you people. The answer is right there.

_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Italian Government Study: 99% of their Coronavirus Fatalities Were Already Sick; Half Diagnosed with 3 or More Diseases
Views 112148
https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/italian-government-study-99-their-co ronavirus-fatalities-were-already-sick-half-dee

Posted on: Thursday, March 19th 2020 at 9:15 am
Written By: GreenMedInfo Research Group

Mainstream Media Confirmation: 99% of the Italian Coronavirus Fatalities Were Already Sick and Elderly

Serious doubts about the accuracy of COVID-19 testing methods, results, mortality rates, and the supposedly unique and extreme lethality of this virus are starting to emerge, even within mainstream media and government reporting. A recent study released by Italy's national health authority found that nearly everyone who was pronounced dead from COVID-19 was already struggling with serious chronic disease(s).

A recent article in Bloomberg titled, “99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says,” illustrates an overlooked point in the corona-panic taking the world by storm: the status of one’s immune system and overall health determines morbidity and mortality, and likely your susceptibility to infection in the first place.

The study found that,

“More than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions, according to a study by the country’s national health authority.”
Moreover,

“The Rome-based institute has examined medical records of about 18% of the country’s coronavirus fatalities, finding that just three victims, or 0.8% of the total, had no previous pathology. Almost half of the victims suffered from at least three prior illnesses and about a fourth had either one or two previous conditions. More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.”
The Bloomberg article also pointed out that the primary threat is to the elderly (the average age of someone who died was 79.5) and that the fatality rate may have been significantly overblown: instead of 8%, the fatality rate may, in fact, be closer to the global average of about 2%.

“The median age of the infected is 63 but most of those who die are older.

The average age of those who’ve died from the virus in Italy is 79.5. As of March 17, 17 people under 50 had died from the disease. All of Italy’s victims under 40 have been males with serious existing medical conditions.

While data released Tuesday points to a slowdown in the increase of cases, with a 12.6% rise, a separate study shows Italy could be underestimating the real number of cases by testing only patients presenting symptoms.

According to the GIMBE Foundation, about 100,000 Italians have contracted the virus, daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported. That would bring back the country’s death rate closer to the global average of about 2%.”
This new report challenges much of the global reporting on the topic which presents a unilateral narrative that simply being exposed (within six feet) to someone who may have tested positive for the virus is life-threatening, independent of one’s health status and other precautions one might take, such as supporting one’s immune system. Elderly people, already experiencing polypharmacy for multiple life-threatening diagnoses for chronic diseases, are highly susceptible to opportunistic infections due to their chronic conditions, the adverse effects of pharmaceuticals, and subsequently weakened immune systems.



Blaming a single virus for causing their deaths is not evidence-based, nor does it fulfill the basic postulates established by 19th-century German physician Robert Koch to ascertain whether a singular virus can cause a singular disease. There are a wide range of viruses that can cause the symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection, which include the several hundred different influenza viruses known to play a role in seasonal flu. It's also known that the Coronavirus family of viruses contain over a hundred different strains, seven of which cause the common cold. Some of these viruses exist naturally within the human virome, and never express themselves pathogenically, but will potentially cause false positives through the many different COVID-19 testing methods being used today.



Indeed, assuming the original source point of this supposedly novel form of infection came from Wuhan, it doesn't appear that the claimed singular causative agent -- COVID-19 -- was ever properly identified, purified, and characterized in multiple humans suffering from the disease (nor was its absence determined in healthy humans). This would be required, as we pointed out recently in Dr. Wodarg’s testimony, in order to fulfill step one of Koch’s four postulates, which would demonstrate scientifically that a singular microorganism like a bacteria or virus is the causative agent behind a disease (the most basic tenet of germ theory). Based on the testimony of Dr. Wodarg, the gold standard would have required the purification of the virus and characterizing it via electron microscope technology, as well as establishing an effective and independently verified virus testing method (which would have required using PCR-reverse transcriptase testing within multiple cases of those suffering from the identical disease) -- two things, it appears, were never done; or at least not reproduced and therefore validated independently through other laboratories and medical institutions.

Nor were any of the remaining three Koch postulates fulfilled:

The microorganism must be found in abundance in all organisms suffering from the disease, but should not be found in healthy organisms.
The microorganism must be isolated from a diseased organism and grown in pure culture.
The cultured microorganism should cause disease when introduced into a healthy organism.
The microorganism must be reisolated from the inoculated, diseased experimental host and identified as being identical to the original specific causative agent.
Until an original singular causative agent can be identified through multiple cases, and that agent can be purified and proven to cause the same disease in animals, and then re-purified to establish it is indeed the cause in humans, much of what we are hearing are "confirmed cases" and "COVID-19 fatalities" may be inaccurate, and further fanning the flames of fear, panic, and global instability.

For more information on the problem of false positives and inaccurately inflated numbers of both "confirmed cases" and fatalities, read the following:

Op-Ed: Does the 2019 Coronavirus Exist?

Medical Testimony by Dr. Wodarg on the "Corona Panic"

OP-ED: Coronavirus: How a Rational CDC Scientist Would Think, if One Existed

GMI Research Group
The GMI Research Group (GMIRG) is dedicated to investigating the most important health and environmental issues of the day. Special emphasis will be placed on environmental health. Our focused and deep research will explore the many ways in which the present condition of the human body directly reflects the true state of the ambient environment.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Until this past week, the only available option in for COVID-19 testing was your state laboratory, which was sending samples to the CDC. In order to obtain the COVID-19 test, it was required that the patient have a respiratory virus panel test done. This panel is a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for a variety of viruses, including influenza and the run-of-the-mill coronaviruses that cause the common cold. From a diagnostic perspective, this makes some sense. If the patient’s symptoms can be explained by influenza, then it’s unlikely that they would have COVID-19. The respiratory virus panel test, however, costs $1479.90.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/17/coronavirus-for-all/

Now for a very ill, hospitalized patient, such a cost would be buried within the cost of the entire hospitalization – and health insurance would likely pick up the cost. For the outpatient who is not about to die, however, it means a bill for $1479.90. It appeared unlikely that insurance will pay for a $1500 test to confirm a common cold – especially if we were to start testing larger numbers of patients. An uninsured patient would find such a cost unaffordable, meaning that unless one is deathly ill, an uninsured person cannot get tested for COVID-19. This has hampered our ability to who has the virus in the U.S. In Korea, you can get tested via a drive-through. In China, the authorities will find you, and they will test you – free of charge – and they’ll warehouse you in a re-purposed exhibition hall.

Anthony Fauci says that we’re now moving from containment, the notion that we’re going to track down any individual with the virus and isolate them – to mitigation, just trying to slow down the spread so that your local hospital doesn’t turn into The Central Hospital of Wuhan. In the mitigation phase, we’re social distancing. We’re staying six feet away from each other. We’re going to hole up and subsist on macaroni and cheese. Or the government could lock it down the way China did – where a man was quarantined, and his disabled son starved to death, where a boy was found with the body of his grandfather because he had told him not to venture out.

Our government will compensate the petroleum, airline, cruise ship, hotel, and sports and entertainment industries for their losses. Socialism for corporations is the first order of the day. But if we want to get through the coronavirus with grandma and grandpa alive, we must have Medicare for All. Or would you rather have Coronavirus for All?

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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trump 'offers large sums' for exclusive US access to coronavirus vaccine German government tries to fight off aggressive takeover bid by US, say reports https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/15/trump-offers-large-sum s-for-exclusive-access-to-coronavirus-vaccine
_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is universal basic income the answer to coronavirus in the UK?
Elliot Chappell
https://labourlist.org/2020/03/is-universal-basic-income-the-answer-to -coronavirus/

In response to the coronavirus epidemic, Labour figures are calling on the government to provide urgent financial assistance to people and universal basic income (UBI) has been one of the options touted.

The general idea of a universal basic income is, as the name suggests, to give all citizens a regular payment regardless of their income or employment status, with recent proposals ranging from Ł50 to Ł100 per month.

Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Tracy Brabin has urged a temporary introduction for freelancers and the self-employed after a call for evidence on how Covid-19 is affecting them.

Meanwhile Lord Andrew Adonis tweeted to say that this might be the time for a “national basic income, made up by the state where people can’t earn it, as an emergency step”.

But Torsten Bell, head of the Resolution Foundation, has expressed concerns about implementing UBI as a result of the spread of the virus, arguing that it would be “misguided given the pace of what is happening”.


He laid out his reservations on the efficacy of introducing it now, and cited Universal Credit as an example of how establishing a whole new system would take longer than the urgency the coronavirus situation requires.

Bell suggested that the priority should be “quicker/more generous” payments addressing the cost of getting sick and losing hours. He targeted the benefit freeze specifically, and urged the extension of sick pay to the low paid.

With up to a fifth of the working population estimated to become sick with the virus, the virus is exposing many of the flaws in our sick pay and wider welfare system that leave people financially vulnerable when ill.

The government has made statutory sick pay payable from day one, instead of having to wait until the fourth day as per the previous system. But many aren’t protected by this benefit, including two million self-employed and low-paid workers.

Boris Johnson has urged this group to apply for Universal Credit, but the benefit has a notoriously long waiting period of up to five weeks and is clearly not suited to the urgent support needed by many.

While there are concerns about the ability of any government to introduce UBI in the short term, as expressed by Bell, The Guardian has reported that the epidemic is set to extend into 2021.

It is clear that measures introduced to deal with the economic impact of Covid-19 will not only apply in the short term, which means any policy developed should be sustainable and appropriate for the long term as well as for immediate requirements.

The question of whether Labour should back UBI generally has been hotly debated within the party, with arguments both for and against offered by LabourList contributors.

Last year, Labour included the piloting of UBI in a few certain places in its manifesto for the 2019 general election, with bids submitted from Liverpool and Sheffield among other areas.

In the run-up to the election, Labour MPs supporting the policy included Ed Miliband, Thelma Walker, John McDonnell and Jonathan Reynolds.

McDonnell revealed his personal support in an interview shortly before the ‘Clause V’ meeting – in which the party determines what goes in the manifesto – and said that he would be pushing for the party to include the policy.

UBI is a pretty old idea, and the core elements of the concept stretch back centuries. The idea of minimum income emerged in the early 1500s, while the concept of an unconditional payment to citizens came later in the 18th century.

But it has received a lot of acclaim in recent years, buoyed by increasing concerns about the rising proportion of jobs that are becoming automated and rising unemployment as a result.

It’s found support among both the left and the libertarian right. And pilots have appeared in countries around the world, including in Finland, Canada, Scotland, Iran and the US.

Supporters cite studies of the Finland and Canada, saying that the trials show that recipients of UBI had improved mental and physical health, as well as reporting no reduction in the overall amount of time people spent working.

A low-level basic income has been in place for over two decades in Alaska in the US, in the form of a dividend of around $2,000 per year generated from the state’s oil profits. It has paid out more than $24,000 to each resident in that time.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biological WarfareCoronavirus COVID19
Dr. Francis Boyle Creator Of BioWeapons Act Says Coronavirus Is Biological Warfare Weapon
By GreatGameIndia - February 3, 2020 | Last modified on March 16th, 2020 at 11:00 pm,
https://greatgameindia.com/dr-francis-boyle-creator-of-bioweapons-act- says-coronavirus-is-biological-warfare-weapon/

In an explosive interview Dr. Francis Boyle, who drafted the Biological Weapons Act has given a detailed statement admitting that the 2019 Wuhan Coronavirus is an offensive Biological Warfare Weapon and that the World Health Organization (WHO) already knows about it.

Infographic – The Secret History Of Coronavirus

Dr Francis Boyle Coronavirus Biological Warfare Weapon
Dr. Francis Boyle Creator Of BioWeapons Act Says Coronavirus Is Biological Warfare Weapon
Francis Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He drafted the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, that was approved unanimously by both Houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.

In an exclusive interview given to Geopolitics and Empire, Dr. Boyle discusses the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China and the Biosafety Level 4 laboratory (BSL-4) from which he believes the infectious disease escaped. He believes the virus is potentially lethal and an offensive biological warfare weapon or dual-use biowarfare weapons agent genetically modified with gain of function properties, which is why the Chinese government originally tried to cover it up and is now taking drastic measures to contain it. The Wuhan BSL-4 lab is also a specially designated World Health Organization (WHO) research lab and Dr. Boyle contends that the WHO knows full well what is occurring.



Dr. Boyle also touches upon GreatGameIndia‘s exclusive report Coronavirus Bioweapon – where we reported in detail how Chinese Biowarfare agents working at the Canadian lab in Winnipeg were involved in the smuggling of Coronavirus to Wuhan’s lab from where it is believed to have been leaked.

Watch Dr. Francis Boyle’s interview with Geopolitics and Empire below:

India in Cognitive Dissonance Book by GreatGameIndia
Read here the full transcript of Dr. Francis Boyle’s interview on Coronavirus



Dr. Boyle’s position is in stark contrast to the mainstream media’s narrative of the virus being originated from the seafood market, which is increasingly being questioned by many experts.

Recently, American Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas also dismantled the mainstream media’s claim on Thursday that pinned the coronavirus outbreak on a market selling dead and live animals.



In a video accompanying his post, Cotton explained that the Wuhan wet market (which Cotton incorrectly referred to as a seafood market) has been shown by experts to not be the source of the deadly contagion.

Cotton referenced a Lancet study which showed that many of the first cases of the novel coronavirus, including patient zero, had no connection to the wet market — devastatingly undermining mainstream media’s claim.

“As one epidemiologist said: ‘That virus went into the seafood market before it came out of the seafood market.’ We still don’t know where it originated,” Cotton said.

“I would note that Wuhan also has China’s only bio-safety level four super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus.”


Such concerns have also been raised by J.R. Nyquist, the well known author of the books “Origins of the Fourth World War” and “The Fool and His Enemy,” as well as co-author of “The New Tactics of Global War”. In his insightful article he published secret speechs given to high-level Communist Party cadres by Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chi Haotian explaining a long-range plan for ensuring a Chinese national renaissance – the catalyst for which would be China’s secret plan to weaponiz viruses.

Nyquist gave three different data points for making his case in analyzing Coronavirus. He writes:

The third data point worth considering: the journal GreatGameIndia has published a piece titled “Coronavirus Bioweapon – How China Stole Coronavirus From Canada And Weaponized It.”


The authors were clever enough to put Khan’s Virology Journal article together with news of a security breach by Chinese nationals at the Canadian (P4) National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, where the novel coronavirus was allegedly stored with other lethal organisms. Last May, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called in to investigate; by late July the Chinese were kicked out of the facility. The chief Chinese scientist (Dr. Xiangguo Qiu) was allegedly making trips between Winnipeg and Wuhan.

Here we have a plausible theory of the NCoV organism’s travels: first discovered in Saudi Arabia, then studied in Canada from whence it was stolen by a Chinese scientist and brought to Wuhan. Like the statement of Taiwan’s intelligence chief in 2008, the GreatGameIndia story has come under intensive attack. Whatever the truth, the fact of proximity and the unlikelihood of mutation must figure into our calculations.


It’s highly probable that the 2019-nCoV organism is a weaponized version of the NCoV discovered by Saudi doctors in 2012.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media’s narrative still maintains that the origin of the 2019 Coronavirus is the Wuhan Seafood Market. After GreatGameIndia published the story on Coronavirus Bioweapon – not only were our databse tinkered with and our reports blocked by Facebook on the flimsy reason that they could not find GreatGameIndia Facebook page, but the report itself was viciously attacked by Foreign Policy magazine, PolitiFact (known widely as Facebook’s propaganda arm) and BuzzFeedNews.

It is not GreatGameIndia alone which is being viciously attacked. Zero Hedge, a popular alternate media blog was suspended by Twitter for publishing a story related to a study by Indian scientists finding 2019 Wuhan Coronavirus to be not naturally evolved, raising the possibility of it being created in a lab. Shockingly, the study itself came under intense online criticism by Social Media experts resulting in the scientists withdrawing the paper.



In retaliation India has launched a full-scale investigation against China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Indian government has ordered an inquiry into a study conducted in the Northeastern state of Nagaland (close to China) by researchers from the U.S., China and India on bats and humans carrying antibodies to deadly viruses like Ebola.


The study came under the scanner as two of the 12 researchers belonged to the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Department of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and it was funded by the United States Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

The study, conducted by scientists of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in the U.S. and the Duke-National University in Singapore, is now being investigated for how the scientists were allowed to access live samples of bats and bat hunters (humans) without due permissions.

The results of the study were published in October last year in the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases journal, originally established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

As the author J.R. Nyquist puts it:

We must have an investigation of the outbreak in Wuhan. The Chinese must grant the world total transparency. The truth must come out. If Chinese officials are innocent, they have nothing to hide. If they are guilty, they will refuse to cooperate.

The real concern here is whether the rest of the world has the courage to demand a real and thorough investigation. We need to be fearless in this demand and not allow “economic interests” to play a coy and dishonest game of denial. We need an honest inquiry. We need it now.

GreatGameIndia Coronavirus Coverage

For latest updates on the outbreak check out our Coronavirus Coverage.

We need your support to carry on our independent and investigative research based journalism on the external and internal threats facing India. Your contribution however small helps us keep afloat. Kindly consider donating to GreatGameIndia.

EXCLUSIVE: Coronavirus Bioweapon – How China Stole Coronavirus From Canada And Weaponized It
ASSASSINATION: Key Coronavirus Investigation Scientist Frank Plummer Assassinated


INTERVIEW: Dr. Francis Boyle Creator Of BioWeapons Act Says Coronavirus Is Biological Warfare Weapon
CENSORED: Were Coronavirus Samples Destroyed By China To Coverup The Outbreak?
Chinese Biological Warfare Agent: Dr. Xiangguo Qiu
Bio-Espionage: Chinese Researchers Caught Stealing Coronavirus From Canadian Lab
Bio-Espionage: Chinese Biowarfare Agents At Harvard University Caught Smuggling Viruses
GGI IMPACT: White House To Investigate If Coronavirus Was Weaponized
INVESTIGATION: India To Investigate Wuhan Institute Of Virology
BOOK: Wuhan-400 Coronavirus – 1981 Novel Predicts Virus Origin
Scientific Investigation On Mysterious Origin Of Coronavirus: COVID19 Files
TOP SECRET: China’s Secret Plan To Weaponize Viruses
Taiwan Intelligence: SARS – A Chinese Bioweapon
Bio-Warfare: Weaponizing Biotech – China’s War for Biological Dominance
Bio-Warfare: Rise Of China’s Biological Warfare Program
STUDY: Indian Scientists Discover Coronavirus Engineered With HIV Like Insertions
VACCINE: China Using HIV Drugs For Coronavirus Treatment
DIAGNOSIS: CT Scan – Best Diagnosis For Coronavirus
Bio-Espionage: Canada Investigates China’s Biological Espionage
Epicentre Of Coronavirus: Wuhan Institute Of Virology
BOMBSHELL REPORT: How Coronavirus Leaked From Wuhan Laboratory
China’s P4 Lab: How China France Alliance Created Wuhan’s Bioweapons Laboratory
Shincheonji Church: Secret Cult Linked To Coronavirus Outbreak In South Korea
Exclusive Interview Of Former Virologist: Coronavirus Coverup
Bioweapons Expert Dr. Francis Boyle On Coronavirus: TRANSCRIPT
Coronavirus Origin: US Senator Tom Cotton Questions Mainstream Media’s Narrative
Caixin Report: Tracking The Source Of New Coronavirus Gene Sequencing
STUDY: Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag
STUDY: A novel coronavirus capable of lethal human infections: an emerging picture


GreatGameIndia is a journal on Geopolitics and International Relations. Get to know the Geopolitical threats India is facing in our exclusive book India in Cognitive Dissonance. Past magazine issues can be accessed from the Archives section.

Read more on Chinese Biological and Chemical warfare activities against India in our exclusive History of Narco-Terrorism issue.

Send in your tips and submissions by filling out this form or write to us directly at the email provided. Join us on WhatsApp for more intel and updates.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ostrich-like panic measures to avert London stock market crash

BUSINESS NEWS
MARCH 22, 2020 / 12:15 PM / UPDATED 12 HOURS AGO
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-regulator-compani e/virus-hit-uk-companies-told-to-delay-financial-statements-idUKKBN218 12Z
Virus hit UK companies told to delay financial statements
Huw Jones


LONDON (Reuters) - Companies should not publish preliminary financial statements for at least two weeks to better assess how the coronavirus epidemic is affecting their business, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said on Saturday.

“The FCA will be writing tonight to companies it is aware were intending to publish preliminary financial statements in the next few days to delay their planned publications,” the watchdog said in a statement.

The watchdog said it wants them to announce delays to statements as soon as Monday and will come forward with further measures.

“The FCA strongly requests all listed companies observe a moratorium on the publication of preliminary financial statements for at least two weeks.”

The practice of issuing preliminary financial statements earlier than required is adding unnecessarily to the pressure on auditors and listed companies, it said.

The FCA, the Financial Reporting Council, which regulates auditors, and the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Bank of England arm that regulates banks, will soon announce details of a package to ensure that listed companies take time to prepare appropriate disclosures, the watchdog said.

ADVERTISEMENT


Stocks markets have already tumbled as investors dump shares in companies they expect to be badly hit by the virus after the government told shops, restaurants and other public places to shut, and advised people to avoid all non-essential travel.

Britain said on Friday it will pay a massive share of private sector wage bills to discourage bosses from firing staff as it resorts to war-time levels of borrowing to prop up the economy during its coronavirus shutdown. The FCA’s interim chief executive Christopher Woolard told companies in a letter on Saturday that they should look to announce delays in statements as soon as Monday.

“I would be grateful if you could give this request urgent consideration, discuss with your board if appropriate, and indicate today or tomorrow whether you will delay publication,” Woolard said in his letter.

“Please could you also indicate if you intend to announce delay on Monday morning,” Woolard wrote.

Markets rely on trustworthy information for trading shares in companies, but the basis on which companies are reporting and planning is changing rapidly as the epidemic evolves and more time was needed to make appropriate disclosures, the FCA said,

“Observing timetables set before this crisis arose may not give companies the necessary time to do this,” the FCA said.

Many companies opt to issue preliminary statements to update markets in advance of disclosures that have been checked by outside auditors. The main requirement is to publish full audited financial statements within four months of the end of their financial year.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Chris Reese and Daniel Wallis
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Coronavirus Is Not the Plague: The Plague Is US
https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/03/edward-curtin/the-coronavirus-is-n ot-the-plague-the-plague-is-us/

By Edward Curtin - March 21, 2020

“Two categories of propaganda must be distinguished. The first strives to create a permanent disposition in its objects and constantly needs to be reinforced. Its goal is to make the masses ‘available,’ by working spells upon them and exercising a kind of fascination. The second category involves the creation of a sort of temporary impulsiveness in its objects. It operates by simple pressure and is often contradictory (since contradictory mass movement are sometimes necessary).” – Jacques Ellul,

The French-Algerian writer Albert Camus’ great 1947 novel, , is a warning to us today, but a warning in disguise. When he died sixty years ago at the young age of forty-six, he had already written The Stranger, The Fall, and, and had won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The outward story of revolves around a malignant disease that breaks out in a town that is quarantined when the authorities issue a state of emergency. After first denying that they have a problem, the people gradually panic and feel painfully isolated. Death fear runs rampant, much like today with the coronavirus. The authorities declare martial law as they warn that the situation is dire, people must be careful of associating, especially in groups, and they better obey orders or very many will die. So the town is cordoned off.

Before this happens and the first signs that something is amiss emerge, the citizens of the town of Oran, Algeria remain oblivious, for they “work hard, but solely with the object of getting rich.” Bored by their habits, heavily drugging themselves with drink, and watching many movies to distract themselves, they failed to grasp the significance of “the squelchy roundness of a still-warm body” of the plague-bearing rats that emerge from their underworld to die in their streets. “It was as if the earth on which our houses stood were being purged of their secret humors; thrusting up to the surface the abscesses and pus-clots that had been forming in its entrails.” To them the plague is “unthinkable,” an abstraction, until all their denials are swept aside as the truth emerges from the sewers and their neighbors and families die from the disease.

“Stupidity has a way of getting its way;” the narrator, Dr. Rieux tells us, “as we should see if we were not always so wrapped up in ourselves …. plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.”

The American people are wrapped up in themselves. Nor do they recognize the true rats. They are easily surprised; fooled would be a better word.

Camus uses a physical plague to disguise his real subject, which is the way people react when they are physically trapped by human rats who demand they obey orders and stay physically and mentally compliant as their freedom is taken from them.

The Plague is an allegorical depiction of the German occupation of France during World War II. Camus had lived through that experience as a member of the French Resistance. He was a writer and editor of the underground Resistance newspaper Combat, and with his artist’s touch he later made The Plague a revelatory read for today, especially for citizens of the United States, the greatest purveyor of the plague of violence in the world.

We are all infected with the soul-destroying evil that our leaders have loosed upon the world, a plague of killing that is now hidden behind the coronavirus fear that is being used to institute tight government controls that many will come to rue in the months ahead, just as happened after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Coronavirus is a perfect cover-story for the occupation of the public’s mind by a propaganda apparatus that has grown even more devious over the past 19 years.

Ask yourself: Where is the news about U.S. military operations in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia, etc.? There is none in the corporate mainstream media, and little in the alternative media as well. Have those operations ceased? Of course not. It’s just that the news about them, little that it was, has disappeared.

Now it is all about us and the coronavirus panic. It is about how many of us might die. It is about stocking toilet paper. For the rich, it is about getting to their second or third houses where they can isolate themselves in splendor. As I write, 150 or so Americans are said to have died of Covid-19, and by the time you will read this the number will have climbed, but the number will be minuscule compared to the number of people in the U.S.A. and those numbers will be full of contradictions that few comprehend unless, rather than reacting in fear, they did some comprehensive research.

But arguments are quite useless in a time of panic when people are consumed with fear and just react.

For we live in plague time, and the plague lives in us. But to most Americans, Covid-19 is the plague, because the government and media have said it is. Like the inhabitants of Oran, the United States is “peopled with sleep walkers,” pseudo-innocents, who are “chiefly aware of what ruffled the normal tenor of their lives or affected their interests.” That their own government, no matter what political party is in power (both working for “deep-state,” elite interests led by the organized criminals of the CIA), is the disseminator of a world-wide plague of virulent violence, must be denied and divorced from consensus reality.

That these same forces would use the fear of disease to cow the population should be no surprise for those who have come to realize the truth of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the anthrax attacks that followed, both of which were used to justify the endless “wars on terror” that have killed so many around the world. It is a shock for so many people who can’t countenance the thought that their own government could possibly be implicated in the death of thousands of U.S. citizens and the release of the deadly anthrax, which we know came from a U.S. lab and was carried out by a group of inside government perpetrators.

When it comes to the plague-stricken deaths visited on millions around the world for decades by the American government, this must be denied by diverting attention to partisan presidential politics, and now the coronavirus that engenders fear, loathing, and a child-like tendency to believe Big Brother. The true plague, the bedrock of a nation continually waging wars through various means – i.e. bombs and economic and medical sanctions, etc. – against the world, disappears from consciousness. As U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albrecht said to 60 Minutes Lesley Stahl in 1996 when Stahl asked her if the U.S. sanctions on Iraq that had resulted in the death of 500,000 Iraqi children were worth it: “We think the price is worth it.”

For “decent folks must be allowed to sleep at night,” says the character Tarrou sarcastically; he is a man who has lost his ability to “sleep well” since he witnessed a man’s execution where the “bullets make a hole into which you could thrust your fist.” He awakens to the realization that he “had an indirect hand in the deaths of thousands of people.” He loses any peace he had and vows to resist the plague in every way he can. “For many years I’ve been ashamed,” he says, “mortally ashamed, of having been, even with the best intentions, even at many removes, a murderer in my turn.”

The rats are dying in the streets. They are our rats, diseased by us. They have emerged from the underworld of a nation plagued by its denial. Unconscious evil bubbles up. We are an infected people. Worry and irritation – “these are not feelings with which to confront plague.” But we don’t seem ashamed of our complicity in our government’s crimes around the world. For decades we have elected leaders who have killed millions, while business went on as usual. The killing didn’t touch us. As Camus said, “We fornicated and read the papers.” He knew better. He warned us:

It’s a wearying business being plague-stricken. But it’s still more wearying to refuse to be it. That’s why everybody in the world looks so tired; everyone is more or less sick of plague. But that is why some of us, those who want to get the plague out of their systems, feel such desperate weariness.

Yet the fight against the plague must go on. Tarrou puts it thus:

All I maintain is that on this earth there are pestilences and there are victims, and it’s up to us, as far possible, not to join forces with the pestilences. That may sound simple to the point of childishness; I can’t judge if it’s simple, but I know it’s true. You see, I’d heard such quantities of arguments, which very nearly turned my head, and turned other people’s heads enough to make them approve of murder; and I’d come to realize that all our troubles spring from our failure to use plain, clear-cut language. So I resolved always to speak – and to act – quite clearly, as this was the only way of setting myself on the right track.

These days, I keep thinking of an incident that occurred when I was a young investigator of sexually transmitted diseases, working for the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare through the Public Health Service as an epidemiologist. My job was to track down sexually transmitted diseases by finding links of sexual contacts. One day I went to interview and take a blood sample from a poor woman who had been named as a sexual contact. I knocked on her door on the third or fourth floor of a walkup apartment building. She looked through the peep hole and asked who it was and I told her my name and what government agency I represented. I could tell she was very wary, but she opened the door. She stood there naked, a very heavy woman of perhaps 300 pounds. She nonchalantly welcomed me in and I followed her as she padded down the hall where she took a housecoat off a hook and put it on.

There is, as you know, an old tale by Hans Christian Anderson called “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Although the emperor parades around naked, the adults make believe he is clothed. Only a child sees the obvious. I was a 23-years-old naďve young man at the time of this unforgettable incident, but it echoes in my mind as a reminder to myself that perhaps that woman was unconsciously teaching me a lesson in disguise. The year was 1967, and when I went out to get into my government car with federal license plates, a white man in a white shirt in a white car in a poor black neighborhood, a hail of bricks rained down toward me and the car from the roof opposite. I quickly jumped in and fled as the ghettos were exploding. Soon the National Guard would be called out to occupy them.

Intuition tells me that although the emperor has no clothes and a vast PSYOPS occupation is now underway, too many are too grown-up to see it.

It’s an old story continually updated. Like .

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www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMF Weighs the Pros and Cons of a Central Bank Digital Currency
https://cointelegraph.com/news/imf-weighs-the-pros-and-cons-of-a-centr al-bank-digital-currency

In a recent keynote speech to the London School of Economics, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director, Tao Zhang, briefed the positives and negatives of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Zhang pointed toward greater efficiency and lower costs associated with a CBDC. “In some countries, the cost of managing cash can be very high on account of geography, and access to the payments system may not be available to the unbanked, rural, or poorer population,” he said in the Feb. 28 speech, which hit the web on March 19.
Zhang hits on other positives

The IMF director touched on increased financial inclusion. “CBDC may provide a public digital means of payment without requiring individuals to hold a bank account,” he said.

Zhang also noted several other benefits of a CBDC, including stability and strengthened monetary policy.

In addition, Zhang said a CBDC could act as a combattant against other digital assets. He said:

“A domestically issued digital currency backed by a trusted government, denominated in the domestic unit of account, may help limit the adoption of privately issued currencies (e.g. stablecoins), which may be difficult to regulate and could pose risks to financial stability and monetary policy transmission.”

The IMF official mentioned the negative side of a CBDC as well

Zhang stressed the importance of a proposed-CBDC’s structure in limiting potential risks.

The director said such an asset could steer customers away from banks, as well as strain central bank balance sheets.

Zhang also included that the central bank could incur risks and expenses from the endeavor. “Offering CBDC could be very costly for central banks, and it could pose risks to their reputations,” he said, adding:

“Offering full-fledged CBDC requires central banks to be active along several steps of the payments value chain, potentially including interfacing with customers, building front-end wallets, picking and maintaining technology, monitoring transactions, and being responsible for AML/CFT issues.”

Zhang added that hacks and other faults could impede such operations, leading to a black mark on the bank’s trustworthiness.

The official mentioned a potential hybrid solution called a synthetic CBDC, or sCBDC. Such an asset would involve collaboration between the central bank and the private sector. “The private sector would issue coins fully backed with central bank reserves, under the supervision of the central bank,” he explained.

CBDCs have been a hot topic for a while now. Sweden started testing a CBDC in February, and several other central banks have discussed the prospect, although not everyone is interested in CBDCs.

Cointelegraph reached out to the IMF for additional details, but received no response as of press time. This article will be updated accordingly should a response come in.

_________________
www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
www.rethink911.org
www.patriotsquestion911.com
www.actorsandartistsfor911truth.org
www.mediafor911truth.org
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.mp911truth.org
www.ae911truth.org
www.rl911truth.org
www.stj911.org
www.v911t.org
www.thisweek.org.uk
www.abolishwar.org.uk
www.elementary.org.uk
www.radio4all.net/index.php/contributor/2149
http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
https://37.220.108.147/members/www.bilderberg.org/phpBB2/
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

COVID-19 - Evidence Over Hysteria
Tyler Durden
Sat, 03/21/2020 - 19:40
https://www.zerohedge.com/health/covid-19-evidence-over-hysteria

Update (3/22/2020): After falling under much scrutiny, Medium has deleted Ginn's post. Of note, Ginn is a former 2012 Romney digital campaign staffer with no background in medicine or infectious disease.

We are leaving it up for anyone who wants to read, while also including a thread from a biologist who has refuted it. Click on the tweet below to read.

* * *

Authored by Aaron Ginn via Medium.com,

After watching the outbreak of COVID-19 for the past two months, I’ve followed the pace of the infection, its severity, and how our world is tackling the virus. While we should be concerned and diligent, the situation has dramatically elevated to a mob-like fear spreading faster than COVID-19 itself.

When 13% of Americans believe they are currently infected with COVID-19 (mathematically impossible), full-on panic is blocking our ability to think clearly and determine how to deploy our resources to stop this virus. Over three-fourths of Americans are scared of what we are doing to our society through law and hysteria, not of infection or spreading COVID-19 to those most vulnerable.

The following article is a systematic overview of COVID-19 driven by data from medical professionals and academic articles that will help you understand what is going on (sources include CDC, WHO, NIH, NHS, University of Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, NEJM, JAMA, and several others).

I’m quite experienced at understanding virality, how things grow, and data. In my vocation, I’m most known for popularizing the “growth hacking movement” in Silicon Valley that specializes in driving rapid and viral adoption of technology products. Data is data. Our focus here isn’t treatments but numbers. You don’t need a special degree to understand what the data says and doesn’t say. Numbers are universal.

I hope you walk away with a more informed perspective on how you can help and fight back against the hysteria that is driving our country into a dark place. You can help us focus our scarce resources on those who are most vulnerable, who need our help.

Note: The following graphs and numbers are as of mid-March 2020. Things are moving quickly, so I update this article twice a day. Most graphs are as of March 20th, 2020.

* * *
Total cases are the wrong metric

A critical question to ask yourself when you first look at a data set is, “What is our metric for success?”.

Let’s start at the top. How is it possible that more than 20% of Americans believe they will catch COVID-19? Here’s how. Vanity metrics — a single data point with no context. Wouldn’t this picture scare you?

Look at all of those large red scary circles!

These images come from the now infamous John Hopkins COVID-19 tracking map. What started as a data transparency effort has now molded into an unintentional tool for hysteria and panic.

An important question to ask yourself is what do these bubbles actually mean? Each bubble represents the total number of COVID-19 cases per country. The situation looks serious, yet we know that this virus is over four months old, so how many of these cases are active?

Immediately, we now see that just under half of those terrifying red bubbles aren’t relevant or actionable. The total number of cases isn’t illustrative of what we should do now. This is a single vanity data point with no context; it isn’t information or knowledge. To know how to respond, we need more numbers to tell a story and to paint the full picture. As a metaphor, the daily revenue of a business doesn’t tell you a whole lot about profitability, capital structure, or overhead. The same goes for the total number of cases. The data isn’t actionable. We need to look at ratios and percentages to tell us what to do next — conversion rate, growth rate, and severity.
Time lapsing new cases gives us perspective

Breaking down each country by the date of the first infection helps us track the growth and impact of the virus. We can see how total cases are growing against a consistent time scale.

Here are new cases time lapsed by country and date of first 100 total cases.

Here is a better picture of US confirmed case daily growth.

The United States is tracking with other European nations at doubling every three days or so. As we measure and test more Americans, this will continue to grow. Our time-lapse growth is lower than China, but not as good as South Korea, Japan, Singapore, or Taiwan. All are considered models of how to beat COVID-19. The United States is performing average, not great, compared to the other modern countries by this metric.

Still, there is a massive blindspot with this type of graph. None of these charts are weighted on a per-capita basis. It treats every country as a single entity, as we will see this fails to tell us what is going on in several aspects.
On a per-capita basis, we shouldn’t be panicking

Every country has a different population size which skews aggregate and cumulative case comparisons. By controlling for population, you can properly weigh the number of cases in the context of the local population size. Viruses don’t acknowledge our human borders. The US population is 5.5X greater than Italy, 6X larger than South Korea, and 25% the size of China. Comparing the US total number of cases in absolute terms is rather silly.

Rank ordering based on the total number of cases shows that the US on a per-capita basis is significantly lower than the top six nations by case volume. On a 1 million citizen per-capita basis, the US moves to above mid-pack of all countries and rising, with similar case volume as Singapore (385 cases), Cyprus (75 cases), and United Kingdom(3,983 cases). This is data as of March 20th, 2020.

But total cases even on a per-capita basis will always be a losing metric. The denominator (total population) is more or less fixed. We aren’t having babies at the pace of viral growth. Per-capita won’t explain how fast the virus is moving and if it is truly “exponential”.
COVID-19 is spreading, but probably not accelerating

Growth rates are tricky to track over time. Smaller numbers are easy to move than larger numbers. As an example, GDP growth of 3% for the US means billions of dollars while 3% for Bermuda means millions. Generally, growth rates decline over time, but the nominal increase may still be significant. This holds true of daily confirmed case increases. Daily growth rates declined over time across all countries regardless of particular policy solutions, such as shutting the borders or social distancing.

The daily growth data across the world is a little noisy.

Weighing daily growth of confirmed cases by a relative daily growth factor cleans up the picture, more than 1 is increasing and below 1 is declining. For all of March, the world has hovered around 1.1. This translates to an average daily growth rate of 10%, with ups and downs on a daily basis. This isn’t great, but it is good news as COVID-19 most likely isn’t increasing in virality. The growth rate of the growth rate is approximately 10%; however, the data is quite noisy. With inconsistent country-to-country reporting and what qualifies as a confirmed case, the more likely explanation is that we are increasing our measurement, but the virus hasn’t increased in viral capability. Recommended containment and prevention strategies are still quite effective at stopping the spread.

Cases globally are increasing (it is a virus after all!), but beware of believing metrics designed to intentionally scare like “cases doubling”. These are typically small numbers over small numbers and sliced on a per-country basis. Globally, COVID-19’s growth rate is rather steady. Remember, viruses ignore our national boundaries.

Viruses though don’t grow infinitely forever and forever. As with most things in nature, viruses follow a common pattern — a bell curve.
Watch the Bell Curve

As COVID-19 spreads and declines (which it will decline despite what the media tells you), every country will follow a similar pattern. The following is a more detailed graph of S. Korea’s successful defeat of COVID-19 compared also to China with thousands of more cases and deaths. It is a bell curve:

Here is a more detailed graph of S. Korea graphed against the total number of cases.

Here is a graph from Italy showing a bell curve in symptom onset and number of cases, which may point to the beginning of the end for Italy —

JAMA — https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/pages/coronavirus-alert

Bell curves is the dominant trait of outbreaks. A virus doesn’t grow linearly forever. It accelerates, plateaus, and then declines. Whether it is environmental or our own efforts, viruses accelerate and quickly decline. This fact of nature is represented in Farr’s law. CDC’s of “bend the curve” or “flatten the curve” reflects this natural reality.

It is important to note that in both scenarios, the total number of COVID-19 cases will be similar. “Flattening the curve”’s focus is a shock to the healthcare system which can increase fatalities due to capacity constraints. In the long-term, it isn’t infection prevention. Unfortunately, “flattening the curve” doesn’t include other downsides and costs of execution.

Both the CDC and WHO are optimizing virality and healthcare utilization, while ignoring the economic shock to our system. Both organizations assume you are going to get infected, eventually, and it won’t be that bad.
A low probability of catching COVID-19

The World Health Organization (“WHO”) released a study on how China responded to COVID-19. Currently, this study is one of the most exhaustive pieces published on how the virus spreads.

The results of their research show that COVID-19 doesn’t spread as easily as we first thought or the media had us believe (remember people abandoned their dogs out of fear of getting infected). According to their report if you come in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 you have a 1–5% chance of catching it as well. The variability is large because the infection is based on the type of contact and how long.

The majority of viral infections come from prolonged exposures in confined spaces with other infected individuals. Person-to-person and surface contact is by far the most common cause. From the WHO report, “When a cluster of several infected people occurred in China, it was most often (78–85%) caused by an infection within the family by droplets and other carriers of infection in close contact with an infected person.

From the CDC’s study on transmission in China and Princess Cruise outbreak -

A growing body of evidence indicates that COVID-19 transmission is facilitated in confined settings; for example, a large cluster (634 confirmed cases) of COVID-19 secondary infections occurred aboard a cruise ship in Japan, representing about one fifth of the persons aboard who were tested for the virus. This finding indicates the high transmissibility of COVID-19 in enclosed spaces

Dr. Paul Auwaerter, the Clinical Director for the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine echoes this finding,

“If you have a COVID-19 patient in your household, your risk of developing the infection is about 10%….If you were casually exposed to the virus in the workplace (e.g., you were not locked up in conference room for six hours with someone who was infected [like a hospital]), your chance of infection is about 0.5%”

According to Dr. Auwaerter, these transmission rates are very similar to the seasonal flu.

Air-based transmission or untraceable community spread is very unlikely. According to WHO’s COVID-19 lead Maria Van Kerkhove, true community based spreading is very rare. The data from China shows that community-based spread was only a very small handful of cases. “This virus is not circulating in the community, even in the highest incidence areas across China,” Van Kerkhove said.

“Transmission by fine aerosols in the air over long distances is not one of the main causes of spread. Most of the 2,055 infected hospital workers were either infected at home or in the early phase of the outbreak in Wuhan when hospital safeguards were not raised yet,” she said.

True community spread involves transmission where people get infected in public spaces and there is no way to trace back the source of infection. WHO believes that is not what the Chinese data shows. If community spread was super common, it wouldn’t be possible to reduce the new cases through “social distancing”.

“We have never seen before a respiratory pathogen that’s capable of community transmission but at the same time which can also be contained with the right measures. If this was an influenza epidemic, we would have expected to see widespread community transmission across the globe by now and efforts to slow it down or contain it would not be feasible,” said Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of WHO.

An author of a working paper from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University said, “The current scientific consensus is that most transmission via respiratory secretions happens in the form of large respiratory droplets … rather than small aerosols. Droplets, fortunately, are heavy enough that they don’t travel very far and instead fall from the air after traveling only a few feet.”

The media was put into a frenzy when the above authors released their study on COVID-19’s ability to survive in the air. The study did find the virus could survive in the air for a couple of hours; however, this study was designed as academic exercise rather than a real-world test. This study put COVID-19 into a spray bottle to “mist” it into the air. I don’t know anyone who coughs in mist form and it is unclear if the viral load was large enough to infect another individual As one doctor, who wants to remain anonymous, told me, “Corona doesn’t have wings”.

To summarize, China, Singapore, and South Korea’s containment efforts worked because community-based and airborne transmission aren’t common. The most common form of transmission is person-to-person or surface-based.
Common transmission surfaces

COVID-19’s ability to live for a long period of time is limited on most surfaces and it is quite easy to kill with typical household cleaners, just like the normal flu.

COVID-19 be detected on copper after 4 hours and 24 hours on cardboard.

COVID-19 survived best on plastic and stainless steel, remaining viable for up to 72 hours

COVID-19 is very vulnerable to UV light and heat.

Presence doesn’t mean infectious. The viral concentration falls significantly over time. The virus showed a half-life of about 0.8 hours on copper, 3.46 hours on cardboard, 5.6 hours on steel and 6.8 hours on plastic.

According to Dylan Morris, one of the authors, “We do not know how much virus is actually needed to infect a human being with high probability, nor how easily the virus is transferred from the cardboard to one’s hand when touching a package”

According to Dr. Auwaerter, “It’s thought that this virus can survive on surfaces such as hands, hard surfaces, and fabrics. Preliminary data indicates up to 72 hours on hard surfaces like steel and plastic, and up to 12 hours on fabric.”
COVID-19 will likely “burn off” in the summer

Due to COVID-19’s sensitivity to UV light and heat (just like the normal influenza virus), it is very likely that it will “burn off” as humidity increases and temperatures rise.

Released on March 10th, one study mapped COVID-19 virality capability by high temperature and high humidity. It found that both significantly reduced the ability of the virus to spread from person-to-person. From the study,

“This result is consistent with the fact that the high temperature and high humidity significantly reduce the transmission of influenza. It indicates that the arrival of summer and rainy season in the northern hemisphere can effectively reduce the transmission of the COVID-19.”

The University of Maryland mapped severe COVID-19 outbreaks with local weather patterns around the world, from the US to China. They found that the virus thrives in a certain temperature and humidity channel. “The researchers found that all cities experiencing significant outbreaks of COVID-19 have very similar winter climates with an average temperature of 41 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit, an average humidity level of 47% to 79% with a narrow east-west distribution along the same 30–50 N” latitude”, said the University of Maryland.

“Based on what we have documented so far, it appears that the virus has a harder time spreading between people in warmer, tropical climates,” said study leader Mohammad Sajadi, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in the UMSOM, physician-scientist at the Institute of Human Virology and a member of GVN.

In the image below, the zone at risk for a significant community spread in the near-term includes land areas within the green bands.

Children and Teens aren’t at risk

It’s already well established that the young aren’t particularly vulnerable. In fact, there isn’t a single death reported below the age of 10 in the world and most children who test positive don’t show symptoms. As well, infection rates are lower for individuals below the age of 19, which is similar to SARS and MERS (COVID-19’s sister viruses).

According to the WHO’s COVID-19 mission in China, only 8.1% of cases were 20-somethings, 1.2% were teens, and 0.9% were 9 or younger. As of the study date February 20th, 78% of the cases reported were ages 30 to 69. The WHO hypothesizes this is for a biological reason and isn’t related to lifestyle or exposure.

“Even when we looked at households, we did not find a single example of a child bringing the infection into the household and transmitting to the parents. It was the other way around. And the children tend to have a mild disease,” said Van Kerkhove.

According to a WSJ article, children have a near-zero chance of becoming ill. They are more likely to get normal flu than COVID-19.

A World Health Organization report on China concluded that cases of Covid-19 in children were “relatively rare and mild.” Among cases in people under age 19, only 2.5% developed severe disease while 0.2% developed critical disease. Among nearly 6,300 Covid-19 cases reported by the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on March 8, there were no reported deaths in anyone under 30. Only 0.7% of infections were in children under 9 and 4.6% of cases were in those ages 10 to 19 years old

Only 2% of the patients in a review of nearly 45,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in China were children, and there were no reported deaths in children under 10, according to a study published in JAMA last month. (In contrast, there have been 136 pediatric deaths from influenza in the U.S. this flu season.)

About 8% of cases were in people in their 20s. Those 10 to 19 years old accounted for 1% of cases and those under 10 also accounted for only 1%.

However even if children and teens are not suffering severe symptoms themselves, they may “shed” large amounts of virus and may do so for many days, says James Campbell, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Children had a virus in their secretions for six to 22 days or an average of 12 days. “Shedding virus doesn’t always mean you’re able to transmit the virus”, he notes. It is still important to consider that prolonged shedding of high viral loads from children is still a risky combination within the home since the majority of transmission occurs within a home-like confined environment.
A strong, but unknown viral effect

While the true viral capacity is unknown at this moment, it is theorized that COVID-19 is more than the seasonal flu but less than other viruses. The average number of people to which a single infected person will transmit the virus, or Ro, range from as low as 1.5 to a high of 3.0

Newer analysis suggests that this viral rate is declining. According to Nobel Laureate and biophysicist Michael Levitt, the infection rate is declining -

“Every coronavirus patient in China infected on average 2.2 people a day — spelling exponential growth that can only lead to disaster. But then it started dropping, and the number of new daily infections is now close to zero.” He compared it to interest rates again: “even if the interest rate keeps dropping, you still make money. The sum you invested does not lessen, it just grows more slowly. When discussing diseases, it frightens people a lot because they keep hearing about new cases every day. But the fact that the infection rate is slowing down means the end of the pandemic is near.”

What about asymptomatic spread?

The majority of cases see symptoms within a few days, not two weeks as originally believed.

On true asymptomatic spread, the data is still unclear but increasingly unlikely. Two studies point to a low infection rate from pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. One study said 10% of infections come from people who don’t show symptoms, yet. Another WHO study reported 1.2% of confirmed cases were truly asymptomatic. Several studies confirming asymptotic spread have ended up disproven. It is important to note there is a difference between “never showing symptoms” and “pre-symptomatic” and the media is promoting an unproven narrative. Almost all people end up in the latter camp within five days, almost never the former. It is very unlikely for individuals with COVID-19 to never show symptoms. WHO and CDC claim that asymptomatic spread isn’t a concern and quite rare.

Iceland is leading the global in testing its entire population of ~300,000 for asymptomatic spread, not just those that show symptoms. They randomly tested 1,800 citizens who don’t show symptoms and, as far as they knew, were not exposed to positive individuals. Of this sample, only 19 tested positive for COVID-19, or 1.1% of the sample.

Obviously, this type of viral spread is the most concerning; however based on the level of media attention and the global size of positive infections, it seems more probable we keep looking for a COVID-19 viral trait that doesn’t exist.

Another way of looking at virality and asymptotic spread is the number of flight attendants, airport staff, or pilots that have tested positive for COVID-19. Out of the thousands of flights since November 2019, only a handful of airport and airline staff have tested positive (such as AA pilot, some BA staff, and several TSA employees).

Outside of medical and hospital staff, these individuals are in greatest contact with infected persons in confined spaces. Despite having no protective gear and most likely these people were asymptomatic, airline and airport staff aren’t likely to catch COVID-19 compared to the rest of the population. Those employed in the travel sector are infected at a lower rate than the general population or healthcare workers.

“We still believe, looking at the data, that the force of infection here, the major driver, is people who are symptomatic, unwell, and transmitting to others along the human-to-human route,” Dr. Mike Ryan of WHO Emergencies Program.

If the symptoms are so close to other less fatal coronaviruses, what is the positivity rate of those tested?
93% of people who think they are positive aren’t

Looking at the success in S. Korea and Singapore, the important tool in our war chest is measurement. If we are concerned about the general non-infected population, what is the probability those who show symptoms actually test positive? What is the chance that the cough from your neighbor is COVID-19? This “conversion rate” will show whether or not you have a cold (another coronavirus) or heading to isolation for two weeks. Global data shows that ~95% of people who are tested aren’t positive. The positivity rate varies by country.

UK: 7,132 concluded tests, of which 13 positive (0.2% positivity rate).

UK: 48,492 tests, of which 1,950 (4.0% positivity rate)

Italy: 9,462 tests, of which 470 positive (at least 5.0% positivity rate).

Italy: 3,300 tests, of which 99 positive (3.0% positivity rate)

Iceland: 3,787 tests, of which 218 positive (5.7% positive rate)

France: 762 tests, of which 17 positive, 179 awaiting results (at least 2.2% positivity rate).

Austria: 321 tests, of which 2 positive, awaiting results: unknown (at least 0.6% positivity rate).

South Korea: 66,652 tests with 1766 positives 25,568 awaiting results (4.3% positivity rate).

United States: 445 concluded tests, of which 14 positive (3.1% positivity rate).

In the US, drive-thru testing facilities are being deployed around the nation. Gov. Cuomo of NY released initial data from their drive-thru testing. Out of the 600~ that was tested in a single day, ~7% were positive. Tested individuals actively show symptoms and present a doctor’s note. This result is similar to public tracking on US nationwide positivity rate.

University of Oxford’s Our World in Data attempts to track public reporting on individuals tested vs positive cases of COVID-19. For the US, it estimates 14.25% of those tested are positive.

Last week, the US was significantly behind in testing, near the bottom of all countries worldwide. As of March 20th, a week later, the US is much closer to other G8 and European countries, but there is a long way to go.

Based on the initial results and the results from other countries, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases will increase as testing increases, but the fatality rate will continue to fall and the severity case mix will fall.

In general, the size of the US population infected with COVID-19 will be much smaller than originally estimated as most symptomatic individuals aren’t positive. 93% — 99% have other conditions.

Globally, the US has a long way to go to catch up in testing. As testing expands, the total number of cases will increase, but the mild to severe case ratio will decline dramatically.
1% of cases will be severe

Looking at the whole funnel from top to bottom, ~1% of everyone who is tested for COVID-19 with the US will have a severe case that will require a hospital visit or long-term admission.

Globally, 80–85% of all cases are mild. These will not require a hospital visit and home-based treatment/ no treatment is effective.

As of mid-March, the US has a significantly lower case severity rate than other countries. Our current severe caseload is similar to South Korea. This data has been spotty in the past; however, lower severity is reflected in the US COVID-19 fatality rates (addressed later).

Early reports from CDC, suggest that 12% of COVID-19 cases need some form of hospitalization, which is lower than the projected severity rate of 20%, with 80% being mild cases.

For context, this year’s flu season has led to at least 17 million medical visits and 370,000 hospitalizations (0.1%) out of 30–50 million infections. Recalling that only comparing aggregate total cases isn’t helpful, breaking down active cases on a per-capita basis paints a different picture on severity. This is data as of March 20th, 2020.

Declining fatality rate

As the US continues to expand testing, the case fatality rate will decline over the next few weeks. There is little doubt that serious and fatal cases of COVID-19 are being properly recorded. What is unclear is the total size of mild cases. WHO originally estimated a case fatality rate of 4% at the beginning of the outbreak but revised estimates downward 2.3% — 3% for all age groups. CDC estimates 0.5% — 3%, however stresses that closer to 1% is more probable. Dr. Paul Auwaerter estimated 0.5% — 2%, leaning towards the lower end. A paper released on March 19th analyzed a wider data set from China and lowered the fatality rate to 1.4%. This won’t be clear for the US until we see the broader population that is positive but with mild cases. With little doubt, the fatality rate and severity rate will decline as more people are tested and more mild cases are counted.

Higher fatality rates in China, Iran, and Italy are more likely associated with a sudden shock to the healthcare system unable to address demands and doesn’t accurately reflect viral fatality rates. As COVID-19 spread throughout China, the fatality rate drastically fell outside of Hubei. This was attributed to the outbreak slowing spreading to several provinces with low infection rates.

John P.A. Ioannidis is professor of medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University and co-director of Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center recently wrote about fatality rates and how our current instrumentation is leading to faulty policy solutions:

“The one situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its quarantine passengers. The case fatality rate there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher.

Projecting the Diamond Princess mortality rate onto the age structure of the U.S. population, the death rate among people infected with Covid-19 would be 0.125%. But since this estimate is based on extremely thin data — there were just seven deaths among the 700 infected passengers and crew — the real death rate could stretch from five times lower (0.025%) to five times higher (0.625%). It is also possible that some of the passengers who were infected might die later, and that tourists may have different frequencies of chronic diseases — a risk factor for worse outcomes with SARS-CoV-2 infection — than the general population. Adding these extra sources of uncertainty…”

“Reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general U.S. population vary from 0.05% to 1%.”

Looking at the US fatality, the fatality rate is drastically declining as the number of cases increases, halving every four or five days. The fatality rate will eventually level off and plateau as the US case-mix becomes apparent.

4.06% March 8 (22 deaths of 541 cases)

3.69% March 9 (26 of 704)

3.01% March 10 (30 of 994)

2.95% March 11 (38 of 1,295)

2.52% March 12 (42 of 1,695)

2.27% March 13 (49 of 2,247)

1.93% March 14 (57 of 2,954)

1.84% March 15 (68 of 3,680)

1.90% March 16 (86 of 4,503)

1.76% March 17 (109 of 6,196)

1.66% March 18 (150 of 9,003)

1.51% March 19th (208 of 13,789)

1.32% March 20th (256 of 19,383)

Source: Worldometers.info

Mapped against other countries, our fatality rate and case-mix are following a similar pattern to South Korea which is a good sign, a supposed model of how to manage COVID-19.

Here are deaths weighted by the total number of cases as of March 20th, 2020. Ranked by the total number of cases, our death rate is closer to South Korea’s than Spain’s or Italy’s.

The initial higher fatality rate for the US is trending much lower than originally estimated.

A study of about half deaths within the US (154 of 264), almost all fit a similar demographic profile as the other global ~11,000 fatalities.

Another analysis by Nature, comparing the fatality rate (since revised down) and infectious rate of COVID-19 to other illnesses. COVID-19 is now within range of its other sisters of less potent coronaviruses.

As the global health community continues to gather and report data, the claim that “COVID-19 isn’t just like the flu” (though still severe) is looking less credible as fatality rates continue to decline and measuring of mild cases increases.

It is important to consider case-mix when looking at fatality rates. The fatality rate is significantly higher for patients with an underlying condition.

The fatality rates by underling condition mimics the rise in the average fatality rate with those with underlying conditions who get the seasonal flu.

Pneumonia and influenza: 1.53% — 1.93%

Chronic lower respiratory disease: 1.48% — 1.93%

All respiratory causes: 3.04% — 4.14%

Heart disease: 3.21% — 4.4%

Cancer: 0.68% — 1.05%

Diabetes: 0.26% — 0.39%

For all underlying conditions: 10.17% — 13.67%.

Comparing case-mix across countries with a wide range of fatality (China and Italy) and those with low fatality rates (S. Korea) reveals a stark difference in age; therefore, underlying conditions also vary significantly across countries. These two factors contribute the most to a country’s fatality rate.

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Divided by most at risk and low risk, Italy had significantly more cases of high at-risk patients than Germany or Korea

Source: https://medium.com/@andreasbackhausab/coronavirus-why-its-so-deadly-in -italy-c4200a15a7bf

Based on an initial CDC study of 2,449 COVID-19 cases (almost half of current US cases have missing demographic data), the United States case-mix looks more like S. Korea and Germany rather than China or Italy. Approximately 69% of COVID-19 cases are in the lower at-risk population of under 65, while 31% are older than 65 higher risk population.

This suggests the US will experience a declining fatality rate; however, the US has over 100 million adults with underlying and chronic illnesses that will negatively impact our fatality rate.

An older population skew within the infected population explains most of the disparity in fatality rates between high and low countries. According to a study of the fatalities of COVID-19 cases in Italy, 99% of all deaths had an underlying pathology. Only 0.8% had no underlying condition.

Most of those infected in Italy were over the age of 60, but the median age of a fatality was 80. All of Italy’s fatality under the age of 40 were males with serious pre-existing medical conditions.

This doesn’t factor in a wide variance in healthcare capacity, such as hospital beds per 1,000 citizens which could affect health outcomes; however, this doesn’t seem to be highly correlated with fatality rates at this moment.

S. Korea — 11.5

Germany — 8.3

China — 4.2

Italy — 3.4

United States — 2.9

Singapore — 2.4

So what should we do?

The first rule of medicine is to do no harm.

Local governments and politicians are inflicting massive harm and disruption with little evidence to support their draconian edicts. Every local government is in a mimetic race to one-up each other in authoritarian city ordinances to show us who has more “abundance of caution”. Politicians are competing, not on more evidence or more COVID-19 cures but more caution. As unemployment rises and families feel unbearably burdened already, they feel pressure to “fix” the situation they created with even more radical and “creative” policy solutions. This only creates more problems and an even larger snowball effect. The first place to start is to stop killing the patient and focus on what works.
Start with basic hygiene

The most effective means to reduce spread is basic hygiene. Most American’s don’t wash their hands enough and aren’t aware of how to actually wash your hands. Masks aren’t particularly effective if you touch your eyes with infected hands. Ask businesses and public places to freely distribute disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to the customers and patrons. If you get sick or feel sick, stay home. These are basic rules for preventing illness that doesn’t require trillions of dollars.
More data

The best examples of defeating COVID-19 requires lots of data. We are very behind in measuring our population and the impact of the virus but this has turned a corner the last few days. The swift change in direction should be applauded. Private companies are quickly developing and deploying tests, much faster than CDC could ever imagine. The inclusion of private businesses in developing solutions is creative and admirable. Data will calm nerves and allow us to utilize more evidence in our strategy. Once we have proper measurement implemented (the ability to test hundreds every day in a given metro), let’s add even more data into that funnel — reopen public life.
Open schools

Closing schools is counterproductive. The economic cost for closing schools in the U.S. for four weeks could cost between $10 and $47 billion dollars (0.1–0.3% of GDP) and lead to a reduction of 6% to 19% in key health care personnel.

CDC’s guidance on closing schools specifically for COVID-19 -

Available modeling data indicate that early, short to medium closures do not impact the epi curve of COVID-19 or available health care measures (e.g., hospitalizations). There may be some impact of much longer closures (8 weeks, 20 weeks) further into community spread, but that modeling also shows that other mitigation efforts (e.g., handwashing, home isolation) have more impact on both spread of disease and health care measures. In other countries, those places who closed school (e.g., Hong Kong) have not had more success in reducing spread than those that did not (e.g., Singapore).

Based on transmission evidence children are more likely to catch COVID-19 in the home than at school. As well, they are more likely to expose older vulnerable adults as multi-generational homes are more common. As well, the school provides a single point of testing a large population for a possible infection in the home to prevent community spread.
Open up public spaces

With such little evidence of prolific community spread and our guiding healthcare institutions reporting the same results, shuttering the local economy is a distraction and arbitrary with limited accretive gain outside of greatly annoying millions and bankrupting hundreds of businesses. The data is overwhelming at this point that community-based spread and airborne transmission is not a threat. We don’t have significant examples of spreading through restaurants or gyms. When you consider the environment COVID-19 prefers, isolating every family in their home is a perfect situation for infection and transmission among other family members. Evidence from South Korea and Singapore shows that it is completely possible and preferred to continue on with life while making accommodations that are data-driven, such as social distancing and regular temperature checks.
Support business and productivity

The data shows that the overwhelming majority of the working population will not be personally impacted, both individually or their children. This is an unnecessary burden that is distracting resources and energy away from those who need it the most. By preventing Americans from being productive and specializing at what they do best (their vocation), we are pulling resources towards unproductive tasks and damaging the economy. We will need money for this fight.

At this rate, we will spend more money on “shelter-in-place” than if we completely rebuilt our acute care and emergency capacity.

Source: https://www.macrobond.com/posts/blog-central-banks-go-big-covi-19-mark et-crash-crisis/

Americans won’t have the freedom to go help those who get sick, volunteer their time at a hospital, or give generously to a charity. Instead, big government came barrelling in like a bull in a china shop claiming they could solve COVID-19. The same government that continued to not test incoming passengers from Europe and who couldn’t manufacture enough test kits with two months' notice.

Let Americans be free to be a part of the solution, calling us to a higher civic duty to help those most in need and protect the vulnerable. Not sitting in isolation like losers.
People fear what the government will do, not an infection

Rampant hoarding and a volatile stock market aren’t being driven by COVID-19. An overwhelming majority of American’s don’t believe they will be infected. Rather hoarding behavior strongly demonstrates an irrational hysteria, from purchasing infective household masks to buying toilet paper in the troves. This fear is being driven by government action, fearing what the government will do next. In South Korea, most citizens didn’t fear infection but the government and public shaming. By presenting a consistent and clear plan that is targeted and specific to those who need the most help will reduce the volatility and hysteria. A sign the logic behind these government actions aren’t widely accepted, nor believed as rational by the American people is the existence itself of the volatility and hysteria. Over three-fourths of Americans are scared not of COVID-19 but what it is doing to our society.

In CDC’s worst-case scenario, CDC expects more than 150–200 million infections within the US. This estimate is hundreds of times bigger than China’s infection rate (30% of our population compared to 0.006% in China). Does that really sound plausible to you? China has a sub-par healthcare system, attempted to suppress the news about COVID-19 early on, a lack of transparency, an authoritarian government, and millions of Chinese traveling for the Lunar Festival at the height of the outbreak. In the US, we have a significant lead time, several therapies proving successful, transparency, a top tier healthcare system, a democratic government, and media providing ample accountability.

Infection isn’t our primary risk at this point.

Expand medical capacity

COVID-19 is a significant medical threat that needs to be tackled, both finding a cure and limiting spread; however, some would argue that a country’s authoritarian response to COVID-19 helped stop the spread. Probably not. In South Korea and Taiwan, I can go to the gym and eat at a restaurant which is more than I can say about San Francisco and New York, despite a significantly lower caseload on a per-capita basis.

None of the countries the global health authorities admire for their approach issued “shelter-in-place” orders, rather they used data, measurement,and promoted common sense self-hygiene.

Does stopping air travel have a greater impact than closing all restaurants? Does closing schools reduce the infection rate by 10%? Not one policymaker has offered evidence of any of these approaches. Typically, the argument given is “out of an abundance of caution”. I didn’t know there was such a law. Let’s be frank, these acts are emotionally driven by fear, not evidence-based thinking in the process of destroying people’s lives overnight. While all of these decisions are made by elites isolated in their castles of power and ego, the shock is utterly devastating Main Street.

A friend who runs a guy will run out of cash in a few weeks. A friend who is a pastor let go of half of his staff as donations fell by 60%. A waitress at my favorite breakfast place told me her family will have no income in a few days as they force the closure of restaurants. While political elites twiddle their thumbs with models and projections based on faulty assumptions, people’s lives are being destroyed with Marxian vigor. The best compromise elites can come up with is $2,000.

Does it make more sense for us to pay a tax to expand medical capacity quickly or pay the cost to our whole nation of a recession? Take the example of closing schools which will easily cost our economy $50 billion. For that single unanimous totalitarian act, we could have built 50 hospitals with 500+ beds per hospital.

Eliminate arcane certificate of need and expand acute medical capacity to support possible higher healthcare utilization this season.
Don’t let them forget it and vote

These days are precarious as Governors float the idea of martial law for not following “social distancing”, as well as they liked while they violate those same rules on national TV. Remember this tone is for a virus that has impacted 0.004% of our population. Imagine if this was a truly existential threat to our Republic.

The COVID-19 hysteria is pushing aside our protections as individual citizens and permanently harming our free, tolerant, open civil society. Data is data. Facts are facts. We should be focused on resolving COVID-19 with continued testing, measuring, and be vigilant about protecting those with underlying conditions and the elderly from exposure. We are blessed in one way, there is an election in November. Never forget what happened and vote.

You may ask yourself. Who is this guy? Who is this author? I’m a nobody. That is also the point. The average American feels utterly powerless right now. I’m an individual American who sees his community and loved ones being decimated without given a choice, without empathy, and while the media cheers on with high ratings.

When this is all over, look for massive confirmation bias and pyrrhic celebration by elites. There will be vain cheering in the halls of power as Main Street sits in pieces. Expect no apology, that would be political suicide. Rather, expect to be given a Jedi mind trick of “I’m the government and I helped.”

The health of the State will be even stronger with more Americans dependent on welfare, another trillion stimulus filled with pork for powerful friends, and a bailout for companies that charged us $200 change fees for nearly a decade. Washington DC will be fine. New York will still have all of the money in the world. Our communities will be left with nothing but a shadow of the longest bull market in the history of our country.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Germany bans gatherings of more than 2 people in desperate attempt to stop Covid-19

The German government has resorted to some drastic measures to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. It ordered all gatherings of more than two people be banned for at least two weeks.

Federal and regional authorities have agreed on what they call a “contact ban,” which basically prohibits all meetings between people in which more than two persons are involved. Exceptions will be made only for families and people living together in the same households, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

All restaurants that continue to open should be closed immediately. From now on, they will only be allowed to serve take-away meals. The same measure applies to service industry businesses, such as hairdressers or beauty-care studios.

https://www.rt.com/news/483783-germany-gatherings-banned-coronavirus/

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Katharine Gun
Patient Zero in the US allegedly is Maatja Benassi, a armed diplomatic security officer and cyclist who attended the Oct '19 Military Games in Wuhan.

EUCOM
NATO Supreme Command SHAPE
March 20th, 2020 Meet Wuhan CoronaVirus Patient One - Maatje Benassi, distinguished driver for high ranking staff
67,000 views
Streamed live on 20 Mar 2020

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moT5qxeC6Fk


George Webb is an investigative journalist in the Washington, DC area that discovered the DNC blackberries and hard drives used by DNC Chairwoman's IT assistant, Biden Awan. Webb produced a fact witness, a Marine named Andre Taggart, and Taggart confirmed the government marked blackberries and drives stashed by Awan in his home. Webb also interviewed a Capitol Hill staffer with a three decade relationship with Joe Biden that provided insider information about Biden Awan that was later confirmed in a House hearing. The House insider also left the phone with Webb which had Congressional markings, and the blackberry mapped to a DIA staffer on Capitol Hill in the Human Intelligence Services.

A summary of his three years of reporting has been summarize in a five video playlist called The Webb Report and can be found here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9sjb...
Investigative Reporter George Webb Has Prepared A Five Chapter Video Storyboard To Get You Up To Speed Quickly On His Spy Ring In Congress Series. Addition Chapters Available At Patreon.

The Webb Report - Chapter One Summary - Awans, Biden Blackberries, Covert Action Server, Evergreen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9sjb...

The Webb Report - Chapter Two - The Biden Blackwater Blackberries

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFioO...

The Webb Report - Chapter Three - Crowdstrike Strikes Back With Fiona Hill Gang

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6trMh...

The Webb Report - Chapter Four - Blackwater Blackberries Between The Senate And the DNC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FZXJ...

The Webb Report - Chapter Five - E Is For Energy And Epstein

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8xv4...
To get up to speed quickly on investigative journalist George Webb's investigation of the DNC and their covert communications with encrypted Blackwater Blackberries and Crowdstrike DNC Server, start with the Webb Report. Five videos later, you will be completely up to speed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9sjb...
George Webb is a Washington DC based journalist who discovered the stashed hard drives and Blackwater Blackberries of the famed DNC and DCCC servers, dampening the Trump Russia narrative of the DNC. George Webb produced a fact witness named Andre Taggart that testified that Imran Awan, the key consultant to DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, stored Congressional marked hard drives and Blackwater Blackberries at his Lorton, Virginia home. In addition, George Webb also produced a Congressional blackberry from an informant from the office of Senator Joe Biden coded named Deep Blackberry that may have been Trump Takedown leader, William Taylor. Webb has researched all the Imran Awan safe houses and has researched occupants and businesses associated with over a dozen Awan properties. For quick summary of the three year video series, we recommend watching the YouTube video playlist "Awan 911 - The Webb Report - What The Mueller Report Left Out" available here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5A2l...

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http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Tories just revealed the most terrifying part of their coronavirus plan
Steve Topple 18th March 2020
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2020/03/18/the-tories-just-reveal ed-the-most-terrifying-part-of-their-coronavirus-plan/

The government has just released possibly the most worrying part of its new coronavirus plan. Because it’s planning to change the way we all have to live our lives. It’s doing this by altering the law. But perhaps most terrifying is the possibility that, if the Tories have their way, much of this will permanently erode our most basic of rights.


Coronavirus: updating the law

On Tuesday 17 March, the government published the content of its emergency coronavirus legislation. It had previously announced on 8 March that it would be doing this. Previously, the government introduced extra laws for the NHS. As a House of Lords report said, the new laws:

give health professionals the power to detain patients with Covid-19 for the specific purposes of screening and assessment, or to isolate them for a period of time. The regulations also empower police constables to detain people suspected of having the virus. The Government has stated that the regulations are intended to apply to people who attempt to ‘leave supported isolation before the current quarantine period of 14 days is complete’.

The latest piece of regulation goes even further. The emergency coronavirus bill will be put to parliament on Thursday 19 March. It breaks down into five areas:

Getting more staff into the health and social care sector.
Making these people’s jobs easier.
“Containing and slowing” the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
Dealing with deaths.

“Supporting” the public.

Coronavirus is impacting us all… just in different ways


The coronavirus crisis is revealing some stark truths about our privatised rail system
But the devil is in the detail. And it’s also in the intricacies of the legislation.

“Wartime stuff”

The bill will introduce sweeping measures. As ITV‘s political editor Robert Peston put it:

There has never in my lifetime been a law that so encroached on our civil liberties and basic rights as the Coronavirus Bill, scheduled to become law by end of month. It is all aimed at keeping us safe. But the transfer of unchallengeable power to the state for two years is… huge. It covers everything from burials, to holding those who threaten national security for longer, to closing borders, to detaining those with mental health issues, to empowering the police to quarantine those with the virus, and much more. This is… wartime stuff.

Much of the bill is about freeing up people and resources to either deal with the outbreak or support the public through it. For example, it will:

Allow retired medical professionals and social workers who have recently left their jobs to return to frontline work.
Give home secretary Priti Patel the power to close ports and airports “if Border Force staff shortages result in a real and significant threat to the UK’s border security”.
But it’s the government’s plans for other areas of life which are exceptionally drastic.


Mental health

The bill will change the following around mental health care and support:

It will now only take one doctor’s approval to have a person sectioned (detained) under the Mental Health Act. Previously two doctors had to agree to this course of action. This protected people from biased, incorrect, negligent, or unfair decisions.
Time limits on detaining people in a mental health setting will be removed. Currently, medical professionals can detain people for up to 6 months at first, depending on circumstance. This will now be open-ended, meaning if you’re in psychological distress you can be locked up indefinitely.
Social care

Under the bill, the following will now happen:

The NHS will no longer have to provide care and treatment plans for people leaving hospital. This will effectively dump patients back into society with no after-care.
The rules and standards for social care for older, learning disabled, and other people will be relaxed. This means councils can reduce the service and support they provide to vulnerable people. It could leave countless people, reliant on support, without it.
Councils will not have to do new care plans for older, learning disabled, and other people who need new care. This includes “looked after” and vulnerable children. It means countless vulnerable people could get no support at all.
Education

The bill allows the following for education:

Increasing class sizes.
Ignoring standards (including quality and nutritional value) of school meals.
Reducing the standard of support teachers give to children with special education needs (SEN).
The legal system

The bill will let:

Judges reduce adjournments in trials. In practice, this may mean defendants do not have the chance to present their case fully (for example, if a witness for them does not show up at court). It could turn the legal system into “kangaroo courts“, where judges push through trials without using all the evidence.
Courts and other authorities detain people considered a national security threat for longer.
The virus itself

Under the bill, the government can:

restrict or prohibit events and gatherings during the pandemic in any place, vehicle, train, vessel or aircraft, any movable structure and any offshore installation and, where necessary, to close premises

Deaths

The bill will allow:

A death certificate to be signed by people other than a coroner. Also, a coroner will not have to be involved in an unexplained, suspicious or other unusual death unless a medical professional expressly thinks it’s necessary.
Any deaths due to coronavirus will not need to have a jury-led inquest. This goes against the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, as coronavirus would be classed as a ‘notifiable disease’.
‘Severe measures’

All these changes are unprecedented. As civil liberties group Big Brother Watch said on Twitter:


The law will last 2 years.

It’s right that Government takes rapid & robust action, but good laws are rarely made in haste & rights are too often the casualty of crisis.

The Opposition & civil society have important roles to play in scrutinising emergency powers to protect both public health & human rights

But what Big Brother Watch fails to address is whether the powers in the bill will actually last two years; or whether the Tories will merely keep these existing power in law permanently. Because the way the legislation is being passed, they have the power to do this.

Legal loopholes?

The Canary has assessed the proposed legislation. The government has made no announcement on the technicalities of how it will pass the new laws. But the emergency coronavirus bill seems to be, in part, what’s known as “secondary legislation“. This is because the government has said:

The development of an effective response to the epidemic requires a number of actions. Some of these involve the use of tools and powers that are set out in statute.

In other words, the government will use pre-existing laws to introduce the new ones. It also said:


The governments of the UK therefore resolved to review and where necessary amend the legislation, to ensure that the UK’s response is consistent and effective.

This means the government will change the pre-existing laws to make them fit with their plans. And if correct, it’s this approach which is most worrying.

Changing the law with no oversight

To change existing laws, the government uses “statutory instruments“. These are where ministers can make changes to the law without parliament agreeing to them. It is probable that these statutory instruments will be passed in the “made affirmative” way. As the House of Lords noted, this means the new laws enter into force immediately. But they also have a set time for parliament to approve them; otherwise, they expire.

The length of time parliament has to approve these emergency law changes depends on what main piece of law the government is changing. It’s usually 28 or 40 days. The likelihood is that the government will push the emergency coronavirus bill through via the Health and Social Care Act. This is because it is designed to allow legislation for public health emergencies.

Emergency legislation can have what’s known as a “sunset clause“. This is where the government writes a timescale into a law, after which it can stop. But as parliament stands now, there is nothing to stop these laws being made permanent. This is because, at the end of a sunset clause, parliament can debate whether to keep the new laws. Given the Tories’ huge majority, if they wanted to keep the emergency coronavirus bill and everything in it as law, nothing and no one could stand in their way.

‘A dangerous precedent’?

According to Big Brother Watch, Labour has said it will not seek a vote on the emergency coronavirus bill. But the party has not released its official position or response to the bill, yet. Meanwhile, Liberty said in a statement for The Canary:

We’re facing a public health crisis like never before and in times of national upheaval, it’s essential we remain vigilant to any watering down of rights or overbearing restrictions on civil liberties. Not only would such an approach negatively impact those of us who are most at risk, it sets a dangerous precedent. We must not allow the hollowing out of human rights to become the go-to for the Government when it’s in a crisis.


Substantial changes must come with a solid commitment that these measures will be regularly scrutinised, that there is a clear and guaranteed time limit and that they will be used proportionately.

Creeping authoritarianism?

Until the government publishes the full details of how it will pass the emergency laws, we will not know the full potential consequences. But given the Tories’ eagerness to withdraw the UK from EU human rights legislation, anything is possible. Furthermore, these proposed powers could have far-reaching implications beyond coronavirus. For example, the speeding up of Magistrates’ trials would undoubtedly save the government money in the long-run, as would increasing school class sizes. The banning of public gatherings could well be used in the future to stop protests and meetings the government doesn’t approve of. But it’s the additional powers given to the police and the changes to mental health law which are of most concern.

Much of the emergency coronavirus bill is civil rights infringing in the extreme. Johnson’s authoritarian approach to this may be indicative of a wider plan to clamp down on all our rights. None of this is beyond the realms of possibility. Therefore, while we need to do everything we can to stop coronavirus, we also need to think about what the world after the pandemic looks like. And currently, it’s seeming increasingly Orwellian in nature.

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Troops in Europe Face Limbo Following Canceled Exercise, Travel Ban
https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/12/troops-europe-face-limb o-following-canceled-exercise-travel-ban.html


12 Mar 2020
Military.com | By Richard Sisk and Oriana Pawlyk

The U.S. military in Europe is weighing how best to get what may be thousands of troops stateside following the release of a Defense Department policy memo Wednesday ordering a 60-day suspension of military travel to and from countries, including those in Europe.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joe Hontz, a spokesman for U.S. European Command, told Military.com on Thursday that command officials are working with individual bases and major commands within the continent to evaluate which troops will be sent home following their temporary duty assignment, and which will move on to their next duty station, which could be within Europe.

Hontz stressed the options are in line with Defense Secretary Mark Esper's latest guidance, which was distributed to personnel just hours after President Donald Trump announced a separate travel suspension. The Defense Department guidance imposes a 60-day ban on travel for service members, military families and DoD civilians to all countries designated as "Level 3 locations" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to the widespread and ongoing transmission of the novel coronavirus.

Those locations now include China, Iran, South Korea and all of Europe.

Related: Defense Department Orders 60-Day Troop Travel Ban for Virus-Afflicted Countries

Military personnel stationed within countries that have had an abundance of cases are adhering to installation commander and host nation instructions, as well as CDC guidelines, Hontz said.

The military has already canceled or scaled back multiple exercises in an effort to protect troops from exposure to the disease, known as COVID-19.

On Wednesday, U.S. European Command announced that the number of U.S. troops participating in DEFENDER-Europe 20 was being cut back, although several U.S. units have already arrived and moved into position in NATO alliance states.

DEFENDER-Europe 20 was set to be the biggest deployment for an exercise in 25 years, with 20,000 soldiers deploying from the U.S. and training with 17,000 allies.

"In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, we will modify the exercise by reducing the number of U.S. participants," the EUCOM statement said. "Activities associated with the exercise will be adjusted accordingly, and we'll work closely with allies and partners to meet our highest priority training objectives."

Reducing military exercises is an obvious step to stop the spread of the virus, said Mark Cancian, a retired colonel and senior security adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said he does not believe the command will cancel the exercise completely.

"This is just the beginning of widespread curtailment of military exercises overseas," he said. "[Europe] is not more dangerous than the United States. It would be different if the United States was unaffected [by the virus] and [troops] were going to a place that was severely affected, but that's not the case."

But as the virus continues spreading, he said the U.S. will most likely have to "eliminate virtually all future military exercises overseas" and quarantine the troops and equipment deployed to participate in exercises like DEFENDER-Europe 20.

The announcement followed on EUCOM's cancellation of two other joint training exercises within a week that were already underway -- one in Norway and a second in Israel.

A statement Wednesday from EUCOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, said that Norwegian authorities had called off the remainder of Exercise Cold Response.

The cancellation, two days after the cold-weather exercise officially began, followed the precautionary isolation of about two dozen soldiers and Marines who may have come in contact with a Norwegian service member who tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement Wednesday, Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway, spokesman for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe-Africa, said that no troops who had taken part in Exercise Cold Response had exhibited any symptoms.

Last week, EUCOM and Israel called off a military exercise in Israel that had already begun in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

A missile defense exercise with the Israeli Defense Forces, called Juniper Cobra 20, began March 3, but EUCOM said the remainder, which had been scheduled to run through March 13, was being canceled as a precaution.

About 2,500 U.S. service members had been scheduled to support the exercise, and about 600 were already on the ground in Israel. A EUCOM spokesman said that the 600 were being pulled back, either by military or commercial air.

Hontz said future exercises are still in the planning stages.

"We're always assessing what the threat of COVID is to [the area of responsibility]," he said. "Other [exercises] that are still in the planning phases will be planned accordingly."

Annual spring and summer exercises in the region, which typically involve thousands of troops, include Saber Strike, led by the U.S. Army in Europe, and United States Naval Forces Europe's Baltic Operations, or BALTOPS.

"Right now, we're following SecDef's guidance," Hontz said. "Anything we're planning to do in the future, we will let our [communities] know."

The virus had already spread to NATO headquarters in Brussels from Italy ahead of an address to the nation Wednesday by Trump announcing restrictions on travel from Europe, but the alliance echoed the Pentagon in stressing that readiness to defend member states would not be affected.

In a statement Monday, NATO said that a staff member returning from a holiday in northern Italy had come down with a fever and tested positive for COVID-19. The staffer is in isolation at home, and other staff members who had come in contact with the infected individual are working from home, NATO said.

Also Monday, Army Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, commander of U.S. Army Europe, and several members of his staff reported that they were working remotely as a precaution after they may have been exposed to the coronavirus at a recent conference, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said.

"Out of an abundance of caution," Cavoli and his staff are "self-monitoring" while continuing to carry out their duties, McCarthy said in a statement.

Trump's announcement Wednesday night of a 30-day ban on travel to the U.S. from Europe and a ban on cargo coming from Europe sowed confusion.

The president quickly went on Twitter after the address to clarify that cargo from Europe is not banned and the travel ban does not apply to Americans and U.S. permanent residents.

The direct effects of the coronavirus on U.S. service members, dependents, Defense Department civilians and defense contractors thus far has been minimal compared to civilian populations, but the epidemic has forced limitations on travel by the military and the cancellation of several joint military exercises.

On Tuesday, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state announced that a service member assigned to base and the service member's spouse had tested positive for coronavirus and are isolating at their home off-base.

At a Pentagon briefing later Tuesday, Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Friedrichs, the Joint Staff surgeon, said the cases at JBLM brought the total number of confirmed cases among DoD personnel, dependents and defense contractors to at least 11.

Friedrichs said that all infected personnel are doing well but cautioned that COVID-19 could be more widespread in the ranks among individuals who have not yet shown symptoms.

"We're still learning how easy it is to spread this," he said. "Yes, absolutely, it could be more [cases]."

-- Chiara Vercellone of Medill News Service contributed to this report.

-- Matthew Cox contributed to this report.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @oriana0214.



Coronavirus in the UK: Local elections cancelled because of Covid-19 risk and rescheduled to take place in 2021
More than a dozen MPs are self-isolating over concerns they may have contracted Covid-19
By Hugo Gye
Friday, 13th March 2020, 6:59 pm
https://inews.co.uk/news/coronavirus-in-the-uk-local-elections-cancell ed-covid-19-rescheduled-2450481

The local elections due to take place in May have been delayed by a year because of the impact of coronavirus.

The Government will shortly introduce laws in Parliament to postpone the polls for English councils, city region mayors and police and prime commissioners.

Coronavirus need to know: All the crucial information, in one place
Travel advice, if you've booked a trip, or are planning one
Coronavirus latest: Follow our live blog here
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The i newsletter cut through the noise

They were due to take place on 7 May but will now be held in 2021 instead. That means mayors including Sadiq Khan, Andy Burnham and Andy Street will all have their terms extended by another year.

More than a dozen MPs are currently self-isolating after either suffering symptoms of Covid-19 or coming into contact with a patient. They include the International Development Secretary Anne Marie-Trevelyan, who has tested negative for coronavirus but is still in quarantine as a precaution.
Ballot delay
Sadiq Khan, pictured at an event where he launched his re-election campaign, will have his term extended (Photo: Peter Summers/Getty)
Sadiq Khan, pictured at an event where he launched his re-election campaign, will have his term extended (Photo: Peter Summers/Getty)

Boris Johnson had initially resisted delaying the elections, as part of the Government's strategy of avoiding excessive disruption.

But the Electoral Commission wrote to the Cabinet Office, warning that local authorities may not have the resources to hold elections in May. The elections watchdog also said that turnout could be unusually low because many people would be reluctant to go out to vote.

A Government spokesman said on Friday: "We will bring forward legislation to postpone local, mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections until May next year. We will also work with the devolved administrations to ensure that they have the necessary powers to do the same."

The Local Government Association responded: "The swift decision is very helpful. Councils will now continue to put all of their efforts into supporting their local communities as the nation tackles Covid-19."
Read More
We are going to have to pull together while living apart - and we could use a dose of the Queen's wartime stoicism

There were 118 English councils which were due to hold elections in May. All 40 police and crime commissioners across England were also up for re-election.

The mayors of London, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Merseyside, Tees Valley, Bristol Salford and Liverpool will all be up for re-election. Sadiq Khan said: "I will continue to work with the Government and experts to help London manage coronavirus over the weeks and months ahead."

Independent candidate Rory Stewart has been calling for a more aggressive response from the Government to the outbreak of coronavirus. He welcomed the cancellation and said: "We should now move more rapidly to close gatherings, and schools; extend the isolation period; and restrict non-essential visits to care homes."
Covid-19IweekendLocal Elections

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

COVID-19 dampens European exercise, but US Army chief says all is not lost

https://www.armytimes.com/smr/army-modernization/2020/03/18/covid-19-d ampens-european-exercise-but-army-chief-says-all-is-not-lost/

WASHINGTON — The new coronavirus pandemic may have dampened the U.S. Army’s major division-level exercise in Europe, but the service’s chief told Defense News in a March 18 interview that important lessons have already been learned.

Defender Europe was slated to be the third-largest military exercise on the continent since the Cold War and was meant to test the Army’s ability to deliver a force from forts to ports in the United States and onward to ports in Europe, and from there to operational areas throughout Europe from Germany to Poland to the Baltic states and other Eastern European nations, Nordic countries and even Georgia.

The Army began to move troops and equipment into Europe beginning in January, with the meat of the exercise occurring in April and May this year.

But as COVID-19 has spread across the globe, with Europe designated as the newest epicenter of the virus, the Army decided last week that it would scale back Defender Europe, according to a statement from U.S. Army Europe.

“We have modified exercise Defender Europe 20 in size and scope,” a March 16 statement read. “As of March 13, all movement of personnel and equipment from the United States to Europe has ceased. The health, safety and readiness of our military, civilians and family members is our primary concern.”

The Army decided to cancel linked exercises that would have been a part of Defender Europe, which already happen on a regular basis in Europe, to include Dynamic Front, the Army Joint Warfighting Assessment, Saber Strike and Swift Response.

The service said it anticipates the armored brigade combat team already deployed to Europe will conduct gunnery and other combined training events with allies and partners as part of a modified exercise, and that forces already deployed to Europe for other “linked exercises” would come back to the U.S.

Also last week, U.S. Army Europe announced that its commander, Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, and his staff were exposed to COVID-19 at a land force commanders conference in Wiesbaden, Germany, on March 6. Out of an abundance of caution, the service decided to quarantine those exposed. According to an Army spokesperson, the quarantine has no effect on operations, and the general and his staff continue to carry out duties from an isolated location.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iran's supreme leader to pardon 10,000 prisoners, including political ones
Parisa Hafezi

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-prisoners-idUSKBN2153RN

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will pardon 10,000 prisoners including political ones in honor of the Iranian new year on Friday, state TV reported.
FILE PHOTO: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

“Those who will be pardoned will not return to jail ... almost half of those security-related prisoners will be pardoned as well,” judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told state TV on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Esmaili said Iran had temporarily freed about 85,000 people from jail, including political prisoners, in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

“A large number of prisoners who have been temporarily freed do not need to return to jail after the leader’s pardon,” Esmaili said.

“The unprecedented point is that the pardon also includes the security-related prisoners with less than five-year jail sentences,” Esmaili said.

Esmaili did not say whether it would include British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was released on Tuesday for two weeks.

Iran said it had 189,500 people in prison, according to a report that the U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, submitted to the Human Rights Council in January. They are believed to include hundreds arrested during or after anti-government protests in November.

The coronavirus outbreak has prompted calls from the United Nations and the United States for political prisoners, including dozens of dual nationals and foreigners, to be released from Iran’s overcrowded and disease-ridden jails.

Washington has warned Iran that it would hold the Tehran government directly responsible for any American deaths in jail.

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual nationals and foreigners over recent years, including citizens of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, Austria, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and Lebanon.

Tehran denies it holds people on political grounds, and has mainly accused foreign prisoners of espionage.

In June 2019, Iran released Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese businessman with U.S. permanent residency, after four years in prison. Last year, Iran also released Xiyue Wang, a U.S. citizen who had been held for three years on spying charges.

Rights activists have accused Iran of arresting a number of dual nationals to try to win concessions from other countries - a charge the Islamic Republic has regularly dismissed.

Tehran has called for the release of about several dozen Iranians held in U.S. prisons, mostly for violating sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program.

Frictions have risen between longtime foes Iran and the United States since 2018, when Washington quit Iran’s nuclear deal with six world powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Tehran’s economy.

Tehran has since gradually scaled back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, under which most sanctions on the country were lifted in exchange for Tehran curbing its sensitive nuclear work.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coronavirus Crackdown – Beware “the new normal” Martial Law in Lombardy, all of France under house arrest & UK passes sweeping “Coronavirus Bill”…our world is being reshaped. But only if we let it.
Kit Knightly
https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/21/coronavirus-crackdown-beware-the-n ew-normal/

So this is how Liberty dies…with thunderous applause.

A few days ago James Corbett posted a video titled “Is this THE big event?” the answer to that increasingly looks to be “yes”.

Not the virus itself, you understand, which official statistics still show to be minor compared to annual flu outbreaks. But rather, what it’s being used for. The West’s vestigial democratic forms, and slowly atrophying civil liberties are facing a final assault from draconian authoritarians sensing (or creating) their big moment.

Spain is enjoying “martial law in all but name”, while Italy is likewise bringing in the army.

In France, Macron has “declared war” on the coronavirus, essentially locking the entire country up inside their homes unless they have “a good reason” to leave. A reason which must be submitted in writing to the police.

Public gatherings are of course strictly forbidden. Elections are halted.

No word yet on what the Gilets Jaunes plan to do. There is a march – Act 71 – planned for today. Will it go head? If so, will they be met with more violence? Maybe. Only now instead of being ignored by the media they will be branded “selfish” for putting “members of the public at risk”.

War metaphors are prevalent in the UK too, the “spirit of Blitz” lives on. Apparently. We’re going to start making ventilators like we used to make Spitfires, (presumably we’ll be asked to send in our pots and pans to help in that regard). The Daily Mail actually interviewed the 103 year old Vera Lynn, who thinks we should all “pull together”.

This encouragement of ersatz community spirit is all a prelude to the passing of the Coronavirus Bill, a truly terrifying piece of legislation.

The proposed measures span everything from the predictably totalitarian to the worryingly bizarre.

First, the police can detain a person they suspect of being infectious:

Therefore, the bill will enable the police and immigration officers to detain a person, for a limited period, who is, or may be, infectious and to take them to a suitable place to enable screening and assessment.

But don’t worry, it’s only for a “limited period” (which is legally meaningless. A “limited period” can be defined as any time less than forever.)

They will also remove “restrictions” on vaccination:

removing a current restriction in how Scottish territorial Health Boards can deliver vaccination programmes would mean that, when a vaccine becomes available, it can reach as many people as possible.

…and postpone elections:

postpone the local, mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections that were due to take place in England in May this year until May 2021. Provision will also be made to postpone other electoral events over the course of the year (such as by-elections)

…and grant legal immunity to people involved in treating the disease (of special relevance given the likelihood of untested vaccines be rushed into mass use):

provide indemnity for clinical negligence liabilities arising from NHS activities carried out for the purposes of dealing with, or because of, the coronavirus outbreak,

It’s a grab-bag of vaguely worded powers, wide open to “interpretation”. It is highly dangerous. There’s even hints that London could be put under total lockdown.

Most bizarre are the relaxed legal regulations for registering deaths (which we discuss in more detail here).

All told, it’s a terrifying prospect for the future of the country.

It’s not hard to envision a world where a person can be “detained” on “suspicion of having the virus” when they are perfectly healthy, and their family has all their social media posts about it taken down for spreading “misinformation”.

Hell, the new rules would then make it easier to cover up any deaths in custody by having private funeral directors register deaths that require no secondary confirmation. A claim this person died “whilst being treated for Covid19” would also render all those involved legally immune.

That is an extreme example, but there lies the danger of vaguely worded “powers”. They are wide open to abuse.

Yesterday Britain saw its first arrest under these new rules, a young man (not reported to be sick at all) was arrested on the Isle of Man for refusing to self-isolate. He now faces up to 3 months in prison, or a fine of Ł10,000.

Also announced yesterday, Boris is shutting all service businesses down. Clubs, bars, cafes, gyms, leisure centres, restaurants, cinemas. All gone. Putting potentially millions of people out of work, but introducing a new benefit (one you have to attend a Job Centre to claim, where it’s well known you can’t catch viruses).

The Danish compulsory vaccine/treatment law is looking comparatively tame at this point.

China is tagging people with electronic bracelets, and scanning crowds with special helmets to monitor anyone with a slight temperature.

Israel, having suspended Netanyahu’s corruption trial, is now busying itself eradicating some civil liberties. Their proposed use of harvested mobile phone data to track and surveil those possibly infected is the most heartwarming use of illegally gathered private information I can recall.

Never to be outdone, the US is putting entire cities and states under total lockdown. Dystopian “shelter in place” orders have been issued for the whole of California. Meetings of more than 10 people are banned, with some regions setting helplines for mean little volunteer Kapos to report any illegal congregations.

“Secret emergency plans” for a military government in the event DC is “devastated” were recently “leaked” to Newsweek. You can feel the General’s eagerness through the prose.

Sean Penn is all for the idea.

The private sector is getting in on the act too, with YouTube announcing their automated system is going to be taking down a lot more videos (they blame working from home, but the idea Google doesn’t already have a facility for working remotely is frankly absurd). The five major Tech Giants released a joint statement on “combatting misinformation” and “boosting authoritative sources”.

Well-known medical expert Bill Gates did an AMA on Reddit (transcribed here), in which he casually drops some chilling ideas into the conversation:

Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it.

All in all, our freedoms are being swamped. Big corporations and states alike are setting boundaries on individual rights on a flimsy pretext.

Is anyone in the media reporting that? Of course not. Instead we’re getting fawning celebrity-based drivel like this in the Independent, trying to convince us “we’re all in this together”, or weasel-worded nonsense like this from Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian where he mourns Johnson’s “libertarian” spirit and reluctance to impose social control. That would be the mass-surveilling, drone executing, war-supporting type of libertarian. A crass and obvious example of narrative management.

Even members of the alt-media are falling for this, with prominent voices hailing the measures as necessary or demanding “further action” (one usually sane analyst is advocating locking all of those “probably infected” inside empty sports stadiums to be “medically monitored”). Somehow former Goldman Sachs banker and Hedge Fund manager Rishi Sunak is being praised as some kind of Nye Bevan figure. It’s almost literally insane.

We’ve gone over the numbers countless times. They don’t add up. The agenda is outstripping the statistics. The coronavirus, in pure numbers terms, is a rounding error on the annual flu season. The Swine Flu “pandemic” of 2009 was 10x more widespread and 100s of times more fatal…did any of this panic porn appear? Did it “change what normal meant”?

No, it was just a new type of flu. It passed, there was media hype, of course, but the world remained the same.

The time for arguing over whether the CFR is 2% or 3% is done, because even if the disease is as bad as they are reporting, none of it can justify the Orwellian nightmare that Britain (and much of the rest of the developed world) is turning into.

People with platforms need to focus on this, without falling for rhetorical traps or emotionally manipulative sob-stories. Human-interest anecdotes are meaningless, and feel good articles about “pulling together” or “not taking any risks” are negative panic at best or enabling emergent fascism at worst.

That would be actual fascism. Not the pretend type that the anti-Trump “resistance” has been rabbiting on about for three years.

Consider that: This is the EXACT SITUATION everybody from the NYT to CNN was hysterically warning Trump would introduce since he was first elected, and where are those people now? Cheering him on. Because of “public health”.

The same people ranting about Boris Johnson being an alt-right neo-Nazi racist and unfit for public office before Christmas, now want to give the man legal authority to arrest anyone with a cough and nail pensioners inside their homes.

“Social distancing” is just another word for mass quarantine, and as Dr Joel Kettner said on the radio last week, there’s no evidence to suggest it actually works to control diseases. Control people though? Well, that it does like a charm.

But maybe I’m over-reacting, right? After all, this is only for a short time. We’ll go back to normal soon enough. Those two years will just fly by.

Perhaps a quick history lesson in “special powers” and “temporary measures”?

Well, let’s look at the Patriot Act – sweeping, authoritarian changes to the US legal system which were enacted after 9/11 on a “temporary” basis and have been extended and expanded by every President since. It is still very much in place today.

Or France’s “state of emergency”, granting “special powers” to the police after 2015 shootings in Paris. Those were extended by Hollande for years, until Macron “ended” the State of Emergency by essentially signing those powers into law permanently. They became the “new normal” too.

Or, the golden oldie, the Reichstag Fire Decree. Passed after the eponymous fire, it “temporarily” suspended German civil liberties in name of rooting out communist insurgents. You probably already know how that turned out.

“Special powers” don’t go away. They are not temporary, they won’t be surrendered. Everything we give the government our permission to do, they will do. For the foreseeable. And you know why?

Because they become the Bear Patrol. The rock that keeps tigers away. Once they are there, and everything calms down, they can be hailed as the reason everything is calm.

In two years, when the bill is set to expire, there will be no more “pandemic”…but the powers will stay. Because they “kept us safe during the pandemic”. Because they cut knife crime, or boosted public health, or they are good for the environment (that will be the big one). There’ll be some scary stories in the media in the last couple of weeks before the expiry date, and the bill will be extended.

Pandemic or no pandemic, you can’t just shut your eyes to the world being re-shaped. That’s what world governments are doing, ALL world governments. We can’t fall back on increasingly obsolete notions of US/UK/EU = “bad” and China/Iran = “good”. Rulers are rulers, they want authority and need power.

And they are re-forging society to a shape that better suits their purposes, attempting to change what people consider “normal”.

How do we know that? Because they are telling us.

The Guardian alone has had three opinion pieces discussing the “new normal” in less than a week, two of them on the same day. The technocrats and eugenicists are all over it too, barely containing their glee that the “world will never be the same”.

Perhaps the only good news is, en masse, the public don’t seem to be totally convinced. In fact, oddly enough, the alternate media crowd seem a lot more caught up in the hysteria than those who only vaguely follow the news. An NPR poll showed that 56% of Americans think the virus is being overblown. Hence everyone from Taylor Swift to Kylie Jenner insisting it “is a real thing”.

In one key area, the Coronavirus Bill tells the absolute truth: “Public support and compliance is crucial”. They need our permission to do this. Do we really want to grant it?

It’s really important that we all wake up to what is happening here. Because the police state they want to birth is a disease with a much higher death-rate than 2%, and it won’t be cured with two-weeks bed-rest.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

World / Countries / United Kingdom
Last updated: March 24, 2020, 11:59 GMT
United Kingdom
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/uk/

Coronavirus Cases:
6,650

Deaths:
335

Recovered:
135

Active Cases
6,180

Currently Infected Patients
6,160 (100%)

in Mild Condition

20 (0%)
Serious or Critical

Show Graph
Feb 15Feb 27Mar 10Mar 22Feb 19Feb 23Mar 02Mar 06Mar 14Mar 1805k10k
Show Statistics
Closed Cases
470
Cases which had an outcome:
135 (29%)
Recovered / Discharged

335 (71%)
Deaths

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iran Backs China, Calls to Investigate U.S. 'Creation and Spread' of Coronavirus
By Tom O'Connor On 3/18/20 at 12:56 PM EDT
https://www.newsweek.com/iran-back-china-calls-us-coronavirus-1493041


Iran has backed China's calls to investigate yet unfounded claims of the United States being the origin of the new coronavirus as an international blame game worsened over a pandemic that has infected more than 200,000 people across the globe.

Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani lashed out on Twitter Wednesday against what he called the "typical way" in which some U.S. officials have emphasized China and its central Hubei province city of Wuhan as the likely place where the COVID-19 disease began and have blamed both Beijing and Tehran's governments for failing to stop its spread. Shamkhani argued this was being done by U.S. officials done in order to "evade responsibility" themselves.

"Instead of leveling false accusations against China and Iran, U.S. officials should respond to international demands regarding its role in creating and spreading the coronavirus and the continuation of its crimes against the Iranian people by keeping in place the economic sanctions," the senior Iranian official wrote.

Shamkhani's rhetoric echoed that of Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, who alleged in a tweet Thursday that it "might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan."

The tweet accompanied a clip in which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield acknowledged during a House Oversight Committee session that there was a possibility that people in the U.S. who died of diagnosed influenza may actually have been killed by COVID-19 prior to widespread knowledge of the disease. Neither the CDC nor the World Health Organization has reported any COVID-19 infections in the U.S. prior to the outbreak in Wuhan.
iran, china, red, cross, crescent, coronavirus, covid-19
Chinese and Iranian officials pose for a picture published February 29 by Tehran's embassy in Beijing after the Red Cross Society of China donated COVID-19 testing kits and other medical supplies to the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the People's Republic of China

WHO recommends that new infectious diseases not be associated with geographic locations; people's names, a species/class of animal or food; cultural, population, industry or occupational references or terms that incite undue fear. Its 2015 guideline cites the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus as a good example of such naming practices and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus as a poor one.

Still, President Donald Trump has actively sought to portray the COVID-19 as a "foreign" disease and has recently adopted the term "Chinese Virus" in his social media messaging. He told reporters Tuesday that he instituted the latest term because he "didn't appreciate the fact that China was saying that our military gave it to them."

Trump dismissed reports that such terminology might offend Asian-Americans or put them at risk at another conference the following day, saying "they probably would agree with it 100 percent, it comes from China."

Other Republican lawmakers such as Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Senator Rick Scott of Florida have adopted similar, controversial terms to describe COVID-19. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used the term "Wuhan virus" in countering what he called a "disinformation campaign" by the Iranian government regarding the origin of the disease.

"Instead of focusing on the needs of the Iranian people and accepting genuine offers of support, senior Iranian officials lied about the Wuhan virus outbreak for weeks," Pompeo said during a press conference Tuesday. "The Iranian leadership is trying to avoid responsibility for their grossly incompetent and deadly governance. Sadly, the Iranian people have been suffering these kinds of lies for 41 years."

"They know the truth: The Wuhan virus is a killer, and the Iranian regime is an accomplice," he added.

The Trump administration has also accused China of attempting to initially cover up the extent of the epidemic, which soon produced new outbreaks in South Korea and Iran. While Italy today has the most reported active cases and deaths outside of China, Iran still has still struggled to contain a coronavirus that managed to infect and kill even elite government officials.
U.S. Sanctions Hamper Iran's Battle to Contain Coronavirus
Read more

Iran has appealed to the International Monetary Fund for $5 billion in emergency funding to help handle its crisis as the country contends with U.S.-imposed economic restrictions laid out since the U.S. left a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal. The agreement saw Tehran agree to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. Still, the Trump administration left in May 2018, arguing the accord did not go far enough to prevent Iran's support for foreign militias and its ballistic missile development in a move that deeply escalated tensions between the two foes.

"Unlawful US sanctions drained Iran's economic resources, impairing [the] ability to fight #COVID19," Iranian Foreign Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted Tuesday. "They literally kill innocents. It is immoral to observe them: doing so has never saved anyone from future US wrath. Join the growing global campaign to disregard US sanctions on Iran."

The following day, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi criticized Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Morocco and the exiled government of Yemen for blocking a Non-Aligned Movement joint statement opposing the ongoing U.S. measures against Iran as it faced mounting COVID-19 infections. China, a party to the nuclear deal, has frequently criticized U.S. sanctions against Iran and has stepped up humanitarian assistance to the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Iranian government and people are at a crucial juncture in their fight against the epidemic," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told a press briefing Monday. "Continued unilateral sanctions at this particular time will only make things worse, which apparently breach international law, basic norms governing international relations and humanitarianism."

"They also severely impact Iran's epidemic response and the delivery of humanitarian aid by the U.N. and other organizations," Geng added. "We urge the relevant country to immediately lift such sanctions on Iran, stop getting in the way of Iran's efforts against the epidemic, and avoid further harm to Iran's economy and people's livelihood."
coronavirus, map, covid-19, countries, world
A graphic provided by Statista shows the global spread of the new coronavirus as of March 18. More than 210,000 have been afflicted, 83,000 of whom have recovered and 8,700 have died. Statista

The above map was provided by Statista

Robert Destro, the State Department's assistant secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, said last week that the administration would "try to be useful and to provide assistance" to countries like Iran, North Korea and China. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has argued, however, that any country looking to support the Islamic Republic should first consider demanding the release of political prisoners.

"We made a commitment to do everything we can to provide them with all that America can deliver for Iran. I hope they'll accept that offer," Pompeo Tuesday's press conference. "That alone will contribute to Iran being able to manage this problem set for the Iranian people. I hope they'll take us up on these humanitarian efforts, not only us but countries all around the world who want to come help the Iranian people stay healthy and mitigate the risk that's there."

On Tuesday, however, the top U.S. diplomat announced new sanctions against those "who have engaged in activity that could enable the Iranian regime's violent behavior." The designations were listed Wednesday by the State Department and included nine entities and three individuals from Iran, China and South Africa.

The move also came as violence continues to rock Iraq, where a U.S.-led coalition formed to battle the hardline Sunni Islamic State militant group (ISIS) have increasingly faced off with Shiite Muslim militias, some of whom had close ties with Iran.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

24 March 2020
For immediate release

Avon and Somerset Chief Constable and PCC issue statements urging the public to stay at home

Statement from the Chief Constable Andy Marsh:

“Following last night’s announcement from the Prime Minister, I know many of you want to know how it will affect you and your police force. These are unprecedented times and a fast-moving situation. I know many people will be anxious and worried so I want to reassure you at this time.

“The most important message I can give is please follow the Government’s advice and stay home to save lives. This is a health emergency and I can’t say it any more starkly as that. I know our resilient communities in Avon and Somerset will respond and do the right thing, but the message is clear – we must act now to keep our loved ones safe and to protect our NHS.

“The Prime Minister’s new measures for police forces are designed to help ensure the public remains safe. I’ll be speaking to fellow Chief Constables today as a matter of urgency to see how these can best be enforced and seek further clarity from the Government around new legislation that is expected to be enacted.

“I want to make it clear, we will be enforcing these new measures when new legislation comes in, which will allow us to disperse groups of more than two people. If they don’t disperse, they could face a fine. Initially we will be seeking to persuade those not listening to the advice to do the right thing – this will be through talking to people and reasoning with them. I am confident people will listen. This is for all our safety.

“Non-essential businesses have been told to close and we will work with local authorities to make sure this is respected. I want to thank all those businesses which have already followed the advice and shut – you will have saved lives.

“Needless to say this will not be an easy time for police officers on the frontline who I am very proud to see are rising to this challenge and we are doing our best to protect them.

“Officers and staff are working around-the-clock and I want to thank them all for their extraordinary effort. We have tried and tested plans in place should we face reduced staffing levels as a result of people falling ill, including having more of our Special Constabulary giving their time to frontline policing.

“With that in mind though, I would ask the public, please only call 999 in a genuine emergency and only call 101 if you have to. We can take reports of non-urgent incidents online through our website. We are getting a high volume of calls from people asking questions about the restrictions and giving us information about people in groups. The majority of these queries can be answered by visiting the Government website gov.uk – which is being constantly updated.

“So I am asking you again, please adhere to the Prime Minister’s message and make sure our officers’ time is not unnecessarily taken up enforcing measures we all know we must follow. Help us, to help you. Stay at home, save lives.”

Statement from Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens:

“Advice given so far, to ensure social distancing, has not had the desired effect on changing people’s social habits and behaviours. I would urge people to stop wasting time thinking of any reason to believe that the rules don’t apply to you. The starting point should be that these rules apply to you and you must follow them.

“These new, more stringent, measures announced by the Prime Minister are a clear message to everybody on exactly what we must do to stop the rapid transmission of this virus.

“The Chief Constable and his frontline officers and staff have the full support of me and my team in the Office of the PCC, to ensure they have everything they need to keep communities safe and support our NHS colleagues in the fight against Covid19.

“It is incumbent upon us to do the right thing to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and lessen the impact of this crisis on our frontline NHS colleagues and police men and women by following these tougher restrictions on our everyday lives until further notice.

“Please stay home, save lives.”

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Link


I don't know why the youtube link above doesn't work but it should link to Peter Hitchens questioning the madness of closing down the whole economy. He does not believe that Coronovirus is any worse than seasonal flu.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/03/an-expert-says-the-cur rent-response-to-the-coronavirus-is-grotesque-absurd-and-very-dangerou s.html

Quote:
24 March 2020 3:25 PM
An Expert says the Current response to the Coronavirus is 'Grotesque, Absurd and Very Dangerous.'
A recent interview with Professor Dr Sucharit Bhakdi, an infectious medicine specialist. The Professor is one of the most highly cited medical research scientists in Germany. He was head of the Institute for Medical Microbiology at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, one of Germany's most distinguished seats of learning.

The transcript is below .

Those who wish to watch the German original with English subtitles may do so here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBB9bA-gXL4

(NB Interview dates form 18th March so please note one of the figures he gives for deaths in Germany is now out of date. It is not mistaken).





Q: Today we will talk about the Corona Virus. This virus spreads fear over the whole world. Also in Germany, a state of emergency imposes extreme restrictions. What are Corona viruses?

Prof Bhakdi : “These viruses coexist with humans and animals around the globe. They are the cause of very common minor diseases of the respiratory tract. Very often, infections remain subclinical without symptoms. Severe courses occur almost exclusively in elderly patients with other underlying illnesses, in particular of lung and heart.

“Now however a new member is on stage spreading fear around the world.

Why?

“The new COVID-19 originated in China and spread rapidly. It appeared to be accompanied by an unexpectedly high number of deaths. Alarming reports

followed from Northern Italy that concurred with the Chinese experience.

It must however be pointed out that the large majority of other outbreaks in other parts of the world appeared to display lower apparent mortality rates, and such high numbers of 4%, 5% or 6% were not reached. For example in South Korea the apparent mortality rate was 1%.”

Q: Why do you say “apparent” mortality rate?

Prof Bhakdi : “When patients concurrently have other illnesses, an infectious agent must not be held solely responsible for a lethal outcome. This happens for COVID- 19 but such a conclusion is false and gives rise to the danger that other important factors are overlooked. Different mortality rates may well be due to

different local situations. For example, what does Northern Italy have in common with China? Answer:

Horrific air pollution, the highest in the world. Northern Italy is the China of Europe. The lungs of inhabitants there have been chronically injured over decades. And for this simple reason the situation may not be comparable to elsewhere.”

Q: What about Germany?

Prof Bhakdi : “The virus has also spread to us. It is spreading in Germany. One most important consequence being that we now have sufficient data to gauge the true

nature of the virus in our country.The highest alert level has been proclaimed and extreme preventive measures

have been installed in the desperate attempt to retard spread of the virus.

“Yes and this is the incredible tragedy. Because all these adopted measures are

actually senseless.

“Namely, the pressing questions are answered.

“The first one: Does the virus generally cause more serious illness in young people and kill patients who have no concurring illness? This would make

them different from other everyday Corona viruses of the world. The answer is clearly: NO.

“We have 10,000 infections reported (18th March 2020). 99.5% have no or only mild symptoms. Here we already see that it is false and dangerous to talk about 10,000 “patients”. They are not seriously ill. ‘Infection’ is not identical with ‘disease’ Of the 10,000 infected people, only 50-60 were severely ill. And 30 died to the

present day. “So we have an apparent mortality rate of 1 COVID-19 positive case per day. Up to now.

“The looming worst case scenario that must be prevented according to the authorities is that we would have 1 million cases and maybe 3,000 deaths in 100

days. This would mean 30 deaths a day.”

Q: The aim is to prevent this “worst case scenario” ? All current emergency measures aim to slow down virus spread to save lives.

Prof Bhakdi: “Yes. But we are looking already at the worst case scenario – with 30 deaths a day. 30 deaths a day may sound like very much. Keep in mind that

every day, 2,200 over 65 year olds depart from us, here in Germany. How many are not known, so let us just assume 1% (which is surely too low). “This would translate to 22 a day. And these die every day. The only difference is that we do not talk about “Corona-deaths” Because we know that these viruses are normally not the major cause of death.

So what we are doing in the moment is to prevent these these 22 being replaced by 30 COVID-19 positive

patients. This is what is happening.

We are afraid that 1,000,000 infections with the new virus will lead to 30 deaths a day over the next 100 days.

But we do not realise that 20, 30 or 40 or 100 patients positive for normal Corona viruses are already dying every day.

“To avoid CO|VID-19 entering the scene instead of the other Corona viruses, extreme measures are installed.’

Q: So what do you think about them?

Prof Bhakdi :: “They are grotesque, absurd and very dangerous.

“Our elderly citizens have every right to make efforts not to belong to the 2200 who daily embark on their last journey. Social contacts and social events, theatre and music, travel and holiday recreation, sports and hobbies , etc, etc, all help to prolong their stay on earth.

The life expectancy of millions is being shortened.

The horrifying impact on world economy threatens the existence of countless people. The consequences on medical care are profound. Already services to

patients who are in need are reduced, operations cancelled, practices empty, hospital personnel dwindling.

All this will impact profoundly on our whole society.

I can only say that all these measures are leading to self-destruction and collective suicide because of nothing but a spook.”

(A note on the YouTube translation: No comments have been altered in either the spirit or meaning of the language.

Where sentences have been altered in the translation, this is a common requirement for German to English translations. This is due to German having a far larger and wider vocabulary than English, so these minor alterations are normal so as to be able to simplify sentences to make them comfortably understandable in the English language.

The only fault in the translation is that the following important point (for the UK) has been left out (probably due to closed captions timing in the subtitling - a common problem with YouTube subtitles). This point is that the apparent mortality rate in England is 0.3% (at 1:39 to 1:43 in the video).
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:46 pm    Post subject: Why Are We On Lockdown Reply with quote

Why are we in Lockdown?

The Status of Covid 19 - As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.

https://thebridgelifeinthemix.info/british-politics/lockdown-as-19-mar ch-2020-covid-19-longer-considered-high-consequence-infectious-disease s-hcid-uk/

https://thebridgelifeinthemix.info/british-politics/lockdown-news-life inthemix/
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lockdown News

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZfya1W4r_o

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Status of COVID-19
As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid# status-of-covid-19

The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.

The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.

The need to have a national, coordinated response remains, but this is being met by the government’s COVID-19 response.

Cases of COVID-19 are no longer managed by HCID treatment centres only. All healthcare workers managing possible and confirmed cases should follow the updated national infection and prevention (IPC) guidance for COVID-19, which supersedes all previous IPC guidance for COVID-19. This guidance includes instructions about different personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles that are appropriate for different clinical scenarios.
Definition of HCID

In the UK, a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) is defined according to the following criteria:

acute infectious disease
typically has a high case-fatality rate
may not have effective prophylaxis or treatment
often difficult to recognise and detect rapidly
ability to spread in the community and within healthcare settings
requires an enhanced individual, population and system response to ensure it is managed effectively, efficiently and safely

Classification of HCIDs

HCIDs are further divided into contact and airborne groups:

contact HCIDs are usually spread by direct contact with an infected patient or infected fluids, tissues and other materials, or by indirect contact with contaminated materials and fomites

airborne HCIDs are spread by respiratory droplets or aerosol transmission, in addition to contact routes of transmission

List of high consequence infectious diseases

A list of HCIDs has been agreed by a joint Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England HCID Programme:
Contact HCID Airborne HCID
Argentine haemorrhagic fever (Junin virus) Andes virus infection (hantavirus)
Bolivian haemorrhagic fever (Machupo virus) Avian influenza A H7N9 and H5N1
Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) Avian influenza A H5N6 and H7N7
Ebola virus disease (EVD) Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
Lassa fever Monkeypox
Lujo virus disease Nipah virus infection
Marburg virus disease (MVD) Pneumonic plague (Yersinia pestis)

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid# status-of-covid-19

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An early story, too easily forgotten

https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2664020787174931&id=2356 964154547264

Harvard’s Chemistry Department Chair Arrested for Lying About Ties to China’s Thousand Talents Program
Charles Lieber’s case ties into broader efforts by the U.S. government to force disclosures of ties with China-sponsored research programs.
Bonnie Girard January 29, 2020
https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/harvards-chemistry-department-chair-ar rested-for-lying-about-ties-to-chinas-thousand-talents-program/

Harvard’s Chemistry Department Chair Arrested for Lying About Ties to China’s Thousand Talents Program

The Chinese government told Dr. Charles Lieber, chairman of Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, that he was one of only 40 “famous foreign experts from the world” chosen by the Chinese government to receive research funding and a fantastic salary. He took the bait.

Signing a Chinese “Thousand Talents Plan” contract in 2012 worth $50,000 a month, and another 1,000,000 Chinese renminbi a year in living expenses, Lieber agreed to work with Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) to establish a research lab, work with teachers and graduate students, organize international conferences, write papers under the WUT name, and apply for patents that would be attributed to WUT, all while working for Harvard, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

In addition, he would receive $1.5 million from WUT and the Chinese government to set up a research laboratory at WUT.

When questioned in April 2018 by U.S. Department of Defense officials, and again in January 2019 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about his ties to the Chinese university, however, he lied, according to Justice Department and FBI documents available on the case.

Lieber was arrested on Tuesday, January 28, at his Harvard office. He was charged “with one count of making a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement.” He faces up to five years in prison, and up to $250,000 in fines, according to reports.

Reports also say that he was brought into court in handcuffs, and that he is being held in custody until his next court appearance later this week.

The FBI special agent in charge of the case says in his “Affidavit in Support of Application for Criminal Complaint” that “at all times relevant to this complaint, Lieber served as the Principal Investigator of the Lieber Research Group at Harvard University,” which has “received more than $15,000,000 in grant funding from the NIH [National Institutes of Health] and DoD [Department of Defense] since 2008.”

According to the affidavit, the Lieber Group website lists the DoD Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), as its principal sponsors, along with the NIH.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) responded quickly to the developments.

Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, director of OSTP, in his statement on the case said that “failures to disclose the receipt of substantial resources, participation in certain types of programs, and dual employment distort decisions about the appropriate use of taxpayer funds.”

The result is “hidden transfers of information, know-how and time.”

He went on to say that “this is exactly why OSTP launched the Joint Committee on the Research Environment,” known as JCORE.

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Droegemeier emphasized that JCORE has a “coordinated approach that includes the research community as a whole.” That means working with the full spectrum of federal agencies, along with the private, academic, professional society, and nonprofit research worlds.

It’s important to continue “successful international collaborations,” Droegemeier said, but “protecting the integrity of our research system” has to be done at the same time.

“The challenges posed by foreign-government sponsored talent recruitment programs” are met by “behavior-based” approaches, he explained, echoing comments made by Assistant Attorney General John Demers at a Homeland Security Experts Group event held at the Wilson Center earlier this month.

According to Lieber’s biography on the Harvard research lab that bears his name,

Lieber has been a pioneer in nanoscience and nanotechnology where he has originated new paradigms that have defined the rational growth, characterization, and original applications of functional nanometer diameter wires and heterostructures. Lieber has provided seminal concepts central to the bottom-up paradigm of nanoscience, and has been a leader in defining directions and demonstrating applications of nanomaterials in areas ranging from electronics, computing, and photonics, as well as pioneering the interface between electronics with biology and medicine, including his current focus in brain science.
Lieber was a major prize for the Chinese government. The Chinese government’s Tenth Five-Year Plan (2001-2005) included the development of nanotechnology, in which Lieber is a recognized world leader, under its new materials and advanced manufacturing category, a report written for the U.S.-China Security Commission (USCC) in 2015 noted.

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Lieber’s academic and professional awards run into the dozens, according to his CV. Chief among them is the 2012 Wolf Prize in Chemistry, an award considered second only to the Nobel Prize in prestige and honor in the field of chemistry.

“Based on his citation impact scores, Lieber was ranked #1 in Chemistry for the decade 2000-2010 by Thomson Reuters,” his CV adds.

China’s National Medium to Long-Term Plan for the Development of Science and Technology, (2005-2020), known as the MLP, includes the concept of development by “leapfrogging.”

“Leapfrogging in this context means to jump ahead to current levels of technology without having to pass through the intervening stages,” the report for the USCC said.

Chinese scientists and engineers, with wholehearted support from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), have long pursued the adoption of modern technology by creating and leveraging relationships with foreign actors who have access to or are key leaders in their fields.

A typical tactic of the approach is to flatter the target with recognition and praise, often obsequiously. Used among Chinese themselves, it’s an accepted cultural custom in which most participate but few take seriously.

Foreigners sometimes fall for it, however. In Lieber’s case, clues are in plain sight.

Lieber’s CV, still uploaded on Harvard’s website despite reports that he has been put on administrative leave and is not allowed on campus, lists the more than 400 professional papers to which Lieber has contributed, and the more than 50 patents that bear his name. In the vast majority of both papers and patents, Lieber appears to have collaborated with and credited a variety of Chinese scientists, going back as far back as 1998.

In addition, Lieber lists honorary professorships at seven Chinese universities, and one institute belonging to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China’s pre-eminent body guiding the development of the sciences and scientific policy in China. There are no other honorary professorships listed by Lieber anywhere else in the world.

Aside from the accolades and recognition given by China, however, Lieber seems to also have placed interest in the more material rewards for his time and talents, according to the FBI affidavit, which includes copies of the contract that Lieber signed, as well as emails with his Chinese handlers. In one email, the Chinese WUT employee says, “I want to know the way you prefer to be paid…Option one. I help you open a new bank account in the Chinese bank…Option Two. I can prepare the payment in cash.”

Apparently, that proposed arrangement did not ring any alarm bells for Lieber. In February 2014, the FBI affidavit shows that for one trip to China, Lieber requested “~˝ of salary (for the current period) in US dollars, with the remainder deposited into the bank account that was set-up.”

AUTHORS
Bonnie Girard
CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR
Bonnie Girard
Bonnie Girard is President of China Channel Ltd. She has lived and worked in China for half of her adult life, beginning in 1987 when she studied at the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Ł166 trillion timebomb: Former Bank governor King warns debt will trigger the next financial meltdown By James Burton For The Daily Mail08:50 AEDT 08 Feb 2018 
https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-5364469/Ex-Bank-go vernor-warns-debt-trigger-financial-crash.html

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://technocodex.com/coronavirus-monitoring-poses-dangers-for-civil -liberties/

Coronavirus monitoring poses dangers for civil liberties

0

The monitoring bracelets the Hong Kong authorities hand out to everyone arriving from abroad to ensure they observe a 14-day quarantine highlight the inventive measures some governments are adopting to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The lightweight bracelets carry a QR code that must be paired with a smartphone app. The strength of surrounding communications signals — such as WiFi and Bluetooth — can help determine whether or not the wearer observes self-isolation. The move is a sensible precaution to counter the coronavirus pandemic and protect the public. But it is not hard to imagine how that same technology could be used for very different purposes.

Suppose, for sake of argument, the Hong Kong authorities forced all residents to wear such bracelets. That might help the medical authorities trace those who had been in contact with an infected person, as they have successfully been doing in South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. But it may also allow them to identify all those who join anti-government protests that have been roiling Hong Kong in the past few months.

Technological tools can be of immense use in helping to combat this pandemic, but only if they are not abused. In democratic societies, at least, the prime goal of government should be to persuade rather than coerce its citizens. The further erosion of societal trust should not be an unintended casualty of this healthcare crisis.

That lesson applies more broadly to emergency legislation, too. Take the coronavirus bill being considered by the British parliament. Although the government has been criticised for not being interventionist enough, this bill will give it extraordinary new powers to combat the pandemic, from banning public meetings to shutting down airports.

International law includes access to healthcare as a core human right and accepts that temporary restrictions of other rights can be justified in emergencies. Few would disagree, but it is a question of degree.

In Britain, the joint parliamentary committee on human rights has highlighted several areas in which the draft bill threatens to suspend or curtail fundamental rights, including the right to meet, travel, go to school or work, and visit sick relatives in hospital or prison. Even the Police Federation has questioned the wisdom of new powers to detain anyone suspected of being infectious. That risks turning patients into prisoners.

There are two other main concerns about the British legislation. First, the sunset clause in the bill is too loose. When it comes to security legislation, few laws have proved as permanent as the temporary. For example, temporary measures to deal with the threat of the IRA in 1939 remained on the statute book for decades.

Parliament must insist on fully restoring the hard-won rights of citizens once this particular crisis has passed. “We need an absolute, brick-wall stop on this legislation at 12 months,” David Davis, the Tory former Brexit minister, has said.

The second concern is the danger of mission creep. Measures passed for one purpose often end up being used for others, as we saw in the aftermath of 9/11. In 2008, the British government used antiterrorism powers to help recover money owed to UK depositors from failing Icelandic banks.

Such concerns are becoming more acute as we enter a world of pervasive biometric data. In an open letter, some of Britain’s leading data scientists have already warned of the dangers of the National Health Service rushing to introduce data-tracking apps that infringe users’ rights. “These are testing times, but they do not call for untested new technologies,” they wrote.

Sylvie Delacroix, a law professor at the University of Birmingham, says there is a clear risk that the healthcare crisis extends the use of intrusive surveillance technologies. But perhaps the greater risk is that public trust will be so eroded by rash measures taken today that it will make it harder to deploy safe and beneficial technologies tomorrow.

“My main worry is that we are going into this blind,” Prof Delacroix says. “We do not know how such data is going to be used or who is going to safeguard it. It demands a huge amount of trust that we have no reason to give.”

She argues that more trustworthy data governance regimes are needed to preserve public trust and enable us to maximise the benefits of technology. “It is one thing to highlight the dangers, another to highlight the missed opportunities,” she says.

In emergencies, it is always tempting for security officials to argue that the ends justify the means, but such logic is often self-defeating. As the writer Aldous Huxley once said: “The end cannot justify the means, for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.”

Of course, we want democratic governments to take every necessary measure to counter the coronavirus crisis. And we should recognise the dangers of inaction, as well as of action. But ultimately we will all lose if governments push their mandate too far and undermine the consent of the governed.

john.thornhill@ft.com


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12 Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic
Below is our list of twelve medical experts whose opinions on the Coronavirus outbreak contradict the official narratives of the MSM, and the memes so prevalent on social media.
https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/24/12-experts-questioning-the-coronav irus-panic/

* * *

Dr Sucharit Bhakdi is a specialist in microbiology. He was a professor at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and head of the Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene and one of the most cited research scientists in German history.

What he says:

We are afraid that 1 million infections with the new virus will lead to 30 deaths per day over the next 100 days. But we do not realise that 20, 30, 40 or 100 patients positive for normal coronaviruses are already dying every day.

[The government’s anti-COVID19 measures] are grotesque, absurd and very dangerous […] The life expectancy of millions is being shortened. The horrifying impact on the world economy threatens the existence of countless people. The consequences on medical care are profound. Already services to patients in need are reduced, operations cancelled, practices empty, hospital personnel dwindling. All this will impact profoundly on our whole society.

All these measures are leading to self-destruction and collective suicide based on nothing but a spook.

*

Dr Wolfgang Wodarg is a German physician specialising in Pulmonology, politician and former chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In 2009 he called for an inquiry into alleged conflicts of interest surrounding the EU response to the Swine Flu pandemic.

What he says:

Politicians are being courted by scientists…scientists who want to be important to get money for their institutions. Scientists who just swim along in the mainstream and want their part of it […] And what is missing right now is a rational way of looking at things.

We should be asking questions like “How did you find out this virus was dangerous?”, “How was it before?”, “Didn’t we have the same thing last year?”, “Is it even something new?”

That’s missing.

*

Dr Joel Kettner s professor of Community Health Sciences and Surgery at Manitoba University, former Chief Public Health Officer for Manitoba province and Medical Director of the International Centre for Infectious Diseases.

What he says:

I have never seen anything like this, anything anywhere near like this. I’m not talking about the pandemic, because I’ve seen 30 of them, one every year. It is called influenza. And other respiratory illness viruses, we don’t always know what they are. But I’ve never seen this reaction, and I’m trying to understand why.

[…]

I worry about the message to the public, about the fear of coming into contact with people, being in the same space as people, shaking their hands, having meetings with people. I worry about many, many consequences related to that.

[…]

In Hubei, in the province of Hubei, where there has been the most cases and deaths by far, the actual number of cases reported is 1 per 1000 people and the actual rate of deaths reported is 1 per 20,000. So maybe that would help to put things into perspective.
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*

Dr John Ioannidis Professor of Medicine, of Health Research and Policy and of Biomedical Data Science, at Stanford University School of Medicine and a Professor of Statistics at Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences. He is director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS).

He is also the editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation. He was chairman at the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine as well as adjunct professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.

As a physician, scientist and author he has made contributions to evidence-based medicine, epidemiology, data science and clinical research. In addition, he pioneered the field of meta-research. He has shown that much of the published research does not meet good scientific standards of evidence.

What he says:

Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.

The one situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its quarantine passengers. The case fatality rate there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher.

[…]

Could the Covid-19 case fatality rate be that low? No, some say, pointing to the high rate in elderly people. However, even some so-called mild or common-cold-type coronaviruses that have been known for decades can have case fatality rates as high as 8% when they infect elderly people in nursing homes.

[…]

If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the number of total deaths due to “influenza-like illness” would not seem unusual this year. At most, we might have casually noted that flu this season seems to be a bit worse than average.

– “A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data”, Stat News, 17th March 2020

*

Dr Yoram Lass is an Israeli physician, politician and former Director General of the Health Ministry. He also worked as Associate Dean of the Tel Aviv University Medical School and during the 1980s presented the science-based television show Tatzpit.

What he says:

Italy is known for its enormous morbidity in respiratory problems, more than three times any other European country. In the US about 40,000 people die in a regular flu season and so far 40-50 people have died of the coronavirus, most of them in a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington.

[…]

In every country, more people die from regular flu compared with those who die from the coronavirus.

[…]

…there is a very good example that we all forget: the swine flu in 2009. That was a virus that reached the world from Mexico and until today there is no vaccination against it. But what? At that time there was no Facebook or there maybe was but it was still in its infancy. The coronavirus, in contrast, is a virus with public relations.

Whoever thinks that governments end viruses is wrong.

– Interview in Globes, March 22nd 2020

*

Dr Pietro Vernazza is a Swiss physician specialising Infectious Diseases at the Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen and Professor of Health Policy.

What he says:

We have reliable figures from Italy and a work by epidemiologists, which has been published in the renowned science journal ‹Science›, which examined the spread in China. This makes it clear that around 85 percent of all infections have occurred without anyone noticing the infection. 90 percent of the deceased patients are verifiably over 70 years old, 50 percent over 80 years.

[…]

In Italy, one in ten people diagnosed die, according to the findings of the Science publication, that is statistically one of every 1,000 people infected. Each individual case is tragic, but often – similar to the flu season – it affects people who are at the end of their lives.

[…]

If we close the schools, we will prevent the children from quickly becoming immune.

[…]

We should better integrate the scientific facts into the political decisions.

– Interview in St. Galler Tagblatt, 22nd March 2020

*

Frank Ulrich Montgomery is German radiologist, former President of the German Medical Association and Deputy Chairman of the World Medical Association.

What he says:

I’m not a fan of lockdown. Anyone who imposes something like this must also say when and how to pick it up again. Since we have to assume that the virus will be with us for a long time, I wonder when we will return to normal? You can’t keep schools and daycare centers closed until the end of the year. Because it will take at least that long until we have a vaccine. Italy has imposed a lockdown and has the opposite effect. They quickly reached their capacity limits, but did not slow down the virus spread within the lockdown.

– Interview in General Anzeiger, 18th March 2020

*

Prof. Hendrik Streeck is a German HIV researcher, epidemiologist and clinical trialist. He is professor of virology, and the director of the Institute of Virology and HIV Research, at Bonn University.

What he says:

The new pathogen is not that dangerous, it is even less dangerous than Sars-1. The special thing is that Sars-CoV-2 replicates in the upper throat area and is therefore much more infectious because the virus jumps from throat to throat, so to speak. But that is also an advantage: Because Sars-1 replicates in the deep lungs, it is not so infectious, but it definitely gets on the lungs, which makes it more dangerous.

[…]

You also have to take into account that the Sars-CoV-2 deaths in Germany were exclusively old people. In Heinsberg, for example, a 78-year-old man with previous illnesses died of heart failure, and that without Sars-2 lung involvement. Since he was infected, he naturally appears in the Covid 19 statistics. But the question is whether he would not have died anyway, even without Sars-2.

– Interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine, 16th March 2020

*

Dr Yanis Roussel et. al. – A team of researchers from the Institut Hospitalo-universitaire Méditerranée Infection, Marseille and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, conducting a peer-reviewed study on Coronavirus mortality for the government of France under the ‘Investments for the Future’ programme.

What they say:

The problem of SARS-CoV-2 is probably overestimated, as 2.6 million people die of respiratory infections each year compared with less than 4000 deaths for SARS-CoV-2 at the time of writing.

[…]

This study compared the mortality rate of SARS-CoV-2 in OECD countries (1.3%) with the mortality rate of common coronaviruses identified in AP-HM patients (0.8%) from 1 January 2013 to 2 March 2020. Chi-squared test was performed, and the P-value was 0.11 (not significant).

[…]

…it should be noted that systematic studies of other coronaviruses (but not yet for SARS-CoV-2) have found that the percentage of asymptomatic carriers is equal to or even higher than the percentage of symptomatic patients. The same data for SARS-CoV-2 may soon be available, which will further reduce the relative risk associated with this specific pathology.

– “SARS-CoV-2: fear versus data”, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 19th March 2020

*

Dr. David Katz is an American physician and founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center

What he says:

I am deeply concerned that the social, economic and public health consequences of this near-total meltdown of normal life — schools and businesses closed, gatherings banned — will be long-lasting and calamitous, possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself. The stock market will bounce back in time, but many businesses never will. The unemployment, impoverishment and despair likely to result will be public health scourges of the first order.

– “Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease?”, New York Times 20th March 2020

*

Michael T. Osterholm is regents professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

What he says:

Consider the effect of shutting down offices, schools, transportation systems, restaurants, hotels, stores, theaters, concert halls, sporting events and other venues indefinitely and leaving all of their workers unemployed and on the public dole. The likely result would be not just a depression but a complete economic breakdown, with countless permanently lost jobs, long before a vaccine is ready or natural immunity takes hold.

[…]

[T]he best alternative will probably entail letting those at low risk for serious disease continue to work, keep business and manufacturing operating, and “run” society, while at the same time advising higher-risk individuals to protect themselves through physical distancing and ramping up our health-care capacity as aggressively as possible. With this battle plan, we could gradually build up immunity without destroying the financial structure on which our lives are based.

– “Facing covid-19 reality: A national lockdown is no cure”, Washington Post 21st March 2020

*

Dr Peter Goetzsche is Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis at the University of Copenhagen and founder of the Cochrane Medical Collaboration. He has written several books on corruption in the field of medicine and the power of big pharmaceutical companies.

What he says:

Our main problem is that no one will ever get in trouble for measures that are too draconian. They will only get in trouble if they do too little. So, our politicians and those working with public health do much more than they should do.

No such draconian measures were applied during the 2009 influenza pandemic, and they obviously cannot be applied every winter, which is all year round, as it is always winter somewhere. We cannot close down the whole world permanently.

Should it turn out that the epidemic wanes before long, there will be a queue of people wanting to take credit for this. And we can be damned sure draconian measures will be applied again next time. But remember the joke about tigers. “Why do you blow the horn?” “To keep the tigers away.” “But there are no tigers here.” “There you see!”

– “Corona: an epidemic of mass panic”, blog post on Deadly Medicines 21st March 2020

*
If you can find any other examples of noteworthy experts deviating from the mainstream narrative, please post them below. As always, this list have been impossible to build without Swiss Propaganda Research. Follow their work and share widely. An indispensable resource.

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coronavirus Could Infect Privacy And Civil Liberties Forever
Simon Chandler
https://www.forbes.com/sites/unicefusa/2020/03/10/step-up-and-be-count ed-in-the-2020-us-census/
I'm a journalist covering emerging tech and its effects on society.

Coronavirus has infected more than just individuals and their bodies. It’s also infected society, which is adapting drastically in order to reduce the number of lives the COVID-19 pandemic claims. Not only are governments adopting new economic and public health measures to fight the coronavirus and its impact, but they're harnessing big data in ways that, while potentially saving lives, will also reduce our privacy and civil liberties.

From a technological perspective, the coronavirus pandemic is one massive testbed for surveillance capitalism. More specifically, it's a testbed for new, much more large-scale forms of surveillance. Already, governments in Italy, Germany, Austria, China, South Korea and Taiwan have begun analysing smartphone data so as to determine to what extent populations are really locking themselves down at home. Meanwhile, governments in the UK and the US are very close to rolling out similar surveillance measures, all in the effort to ensure that policies of mass behaviour modification are successful.

Given the severe threat the coronavirus poses, such measures are arguably justifiable. When a government advises people to stay at home, it wants to know whether such advice is being heeded. If it learns that too many people are still roaming around outside, it may be necessary to move from informal guidelines to legal stipulations. And so on.
Today In: AI

Essentially, big data on personal behaviour is an extremely effective way of determining the effects and consequences (or lack thereof) of policies. And because pandemics are likely to become more common in the future, the world's governments may contend that it's necessary to keep such surveillance procedures and infrastructure in place.

Perhaps health is more important than privacy and civil liberties. Obviously, you'd have absolutely no civil liberties, freedoms, or powers if you were deceased. However, the surveillance measures now being imposed on national populations risk permanently altering how much privacy and freedom we have as individuals. And at this early stage in the life of the coronavirus, it's not clear or transparent that the health benefits they provide (as opposed to isolation and testing policies on their own) outweigh the price we'd have to pay in terms of civil liberties.

"We could so easily end up in a situation where we empower local, state or federal government to take measures in response to this pandemic that fundamentally change the scope of American civil rights," said Albert Fox Cahn of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, speaking to The New York Times.

In the UK, where the British government is reportedly planning to use anonymised mobile data to track movements, privacy groups are concerned about the possibility of such measures decreasing personal freedom and enabling authoritarianism.

“The public needs to trust phone networks at this time, especially to seek health advice and social support. It can be very hard to anonymise location data and so the government should be radically transparent about any tracking if it is to maintain public trust," Big Brother Watch's Silkie Carlo told The Guardian, amid reports that the UK government was negotiating in secret with mobile operators.

Such government activity may have set in motion a paradigm shift in how nations prioritise and conceptualise personal freedom. Because there are already prominent researchers and experts speaking in favour of the use of mobile data, at least when employed at an 'anonymised' level.

"There’s always a tendency to think about the tracking of individuals but actually, in practice, that’s not what people are interested in doing,” said UCL’s James Cheshire, a geographic information professor also speaking to The Guardian. “They want to look at the general activity levels."

But even the surveillance of general activity levels is harmful to privacy and civil liberties. Firstly, data on general activities and activity levels will still enhance the ability of governments to manipulate and control populations, and this may not always be desirable (at the very least, a government telling you how to act usually reduces your input into your own behaviour). Secondly, it may enable mission creep, providing one slippery step towards even more invasive forms of data gathering and surveillance.

More generally, the coronavirus pandemic brings another trend that could potentially impact privacy and civil liberties long term. Namely, surveillance capitalist corporations such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft have assumed a much greater 'public service' role in the wake of COVID-19's dissemination throughout the globe. And by increasingly acting like public services (that operate for private profit), they'll potentially increase not only their reach, but their respective abilities to extract and exploit personal data.

For example, Facebook today announced two initiatives related to using its Messenger app in order to communicate public health information. The first involves the social media giant connecting "government health organizations and UN health agencies with [Facebook's] developer partners," who will help said agencies use Messenger to share COVID-19 info with the public. Likewise, the second initiative will see Facebook organise a hackathon aimed at developing solutions "to issues related to the coronavirus such as social distancing and access to accurate information." Once again, these solutions revolve around the use of Messenger.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with offering genuine help to those confronting a serious public health crisis. The thing is, Facebook is also capitalising on the coronavirus pandemic by pushing to increase the use of its Messenger app. If it can get UN health agencies and other health bodies to use Messenger, it will–by extension–get more members of the public to use Messenger. In turn, this means more data to mine and more people to target with ads.

More broadly, acting like a public service also means greater legitimacy, prominence and priority for what Facebook and other big tech companies do normally, when there isn't a life-threatening pandemic sweeping the globe. And increasingly, what such companies have been doing is harvesting more and more of our data in a way that ultimately erodes our personal autonomy and agency, all for the purposes of nudging us towards buying more products (or towards voting for this or that political candidate).

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Facebook as well as other Big Tech companies were at the centre of an important political debate. Congress had already been discussing how to regulate the FAANGs of this world for several years now, while certain Democratic presidential candidates have debating how they'd regulate or even break up the likes of Facebook. But now, Facebook and its surveillance capitalist rivals can increasingly point to the 'important' work they've been doing to protect the world's population.

"Don't over-regulate us or break us up," they might say, "because only we have the scale to mitigate the dangers inherent to globalization and large-scale connectivity." In fact, Mark Zuckerberg has made this argument before: last year, he told French TV that Facebook's size helps it to monitor and police content better than any smaller rival.

Back in February, Facebook sent the European Commission proposals for how it might be regulated. Unsurprisingly, these were denounced at the time for being regulations the social network already meets. Still, by cooperating and helping so readily with the fight against the coronavirus, Facebook and other big tech companies may be rewarded with a regulatory regime that's more favourable to them than it might have otherwise been.

And in conjunction with the move towards mass data surveillance by the state, the rising prominence and power of the FAANGs could end up by squeezing individual privacy and autonomy even further. So if the coronavirus weren't already scary enough, its potential ramifications for privacy and civil liberties make it even scarier.
Simon Chandler
Simon Chandler

I'm a London-based tech journalist with numerous years of experience covering emerging technologies and how they're changing the global economy and society more…

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http://utangente.free.fr/2003/media2003.pdf
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