Lockdown effects feared to be killing more people than Covid

https://web.archive.org/web/20220818203239/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/18/lockdown-effects-feared-killing-people-covid/

Lockdown effects feared to be killing more people than Covid

Unexplained excess deaths outstrip those from virus as medics call figures ‘terrifying’

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

18 August 2022

The effects of lockdown may now be killing more people than are dying of Covid, official data suggests.

Figures for excess deaths from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that around 1,000 more people than usual are dying each week from conditions other than the virus.

The Telegraph understands that the Department of Health has ordered an investigation into the figures amid concern that the deaths are linked to delays to and deferment of treatment for conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Over the past two months, the number of excess deaths not from Covid dwarfs the number linked to the virus. It comes amid renewed calls for Covid measures such as compulsory face masks in the winter.

But the figures suggest the country is facing a new silent health crisis linked to the pandemic response rather than to the virus itself.

The British Heart Foundation said it was “deeply concerned” by the findings, while the Stroke Association said it had been anticipating a rise in deaths for a while.

Dr Charles Levinson, the chief executive of Doctorcall, a private GP service, said his company was seeing “far too many” cases of undetected cancers and cardiac problems, as well as “disturbing” numbers of mental health conditions.

“Hundreds and hundreds of people dying every week – what is going on?” he said. “Delays in seeking and receiving healthcare are no doubt the driving force, in my view.

“Daily Covid statistics demanded the nation’s attention, yet these terrifying figures barely get a look in. A full and urgent government investigation is required immediately.”

Figures released by the ONS on Tuesday showed that excess deaths are currently 14.4 per cent higher than the five-year average, equating to 1,350 more deaths than usual in the week ending Aug 5.

Although 469 deaths were because of Covid, the remaining 881 have not been explained and the ONS does not break down the remaining deaths by cause.

Since the beginning of June, the ONS has recorded nearly 10,000 more deaths than the five-year average – around 1,089 a week – none of which is linked to Covid. The figure is more than three times the number of people who died because of the virus over the same period, which stood at 2,811.

Even analysis that takes into account ageing population changes has identified a substantial ongoing excess.

Questioned by The Telegraph, the Department of Health admitted it had asked the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities to look into the figures and had discovered that the majority were linked to largely preventable heart and stroke and diabetes-related conditions.

Many appointments and treatments were cancelled as the NHS battled the pandemic throughout 2020 and last year, leading to a huge backlog that the health service is still struggling to bring down.

This week, an internal memo from the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan, leaked to the Health Service Journal (HSJ), warned it was becoming “increasingly common” for patients to die in A&E as they waited for treatment.

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, the British Heart Foundation chief executive, said: “We’re deeply concerned by the initial findings that excess deaths in recent months seem to be being driven by cardiovascular disease.

“Without significant help for the NHS from the Government now, this situation can only get worse.”

Last week, official England-wide statistics showed emergency care standards had hit an all-time low.

Juliet Bouvier OBE, the Stroke Association chief executive, said: “We know people haven’t been having their routine appointments for the past few years now, so we’ve been anticipating a rise in strokes for quite a while now.

“This lack of opportunity to identify risk factors for stroke coupled with increasing ambulance delays is a recipe for increased stroke mortality and disability in those that survive.”

August 20, 2022. Tags: , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

Reuters: “A study of 301 teens in Thailand found mild and temporary heart rhythm changes after a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine among one in six teenagers”

https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-heart-teens-vaccine/fact-check-study-of-thai-teenagers-did-not-find-one-third-experienced-heart-effects-after-covid-vaccination-idUSL1N2ZT2B5

Fact Check-Study of Thai teenagers did not find one third experienced heart effects after COVID vaccination

August 18, 2022

A study of 301 teens in Thailand found mild and temporary heart rhythm changes after a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine among one in six teenagers, not one-third as social media posts claim. The study also saw possible signs of heart inflammation in just seven of those teens with rhythm changes and confirmed myocarditis in only one of the seven.

Social media users are circulating the study of post-vaccination heart effects in Thai teenagers with the claim that a third of participants experienced heart effects, and the suggestion that the results indicate a new danger level for children. These posts are missing context: the study’s authors concluded, “We found the risk of these symptoms to be not as low as reported elsewhere, but in all cases, symptoms were mild with full recovery within 14 days.”

A Twitter post shared more than 11,000 times (here) contains a link to the preprint study by Suyanee Mansanguan of Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital in Bangkok and colleagues, with the comment, “BREAKING: A new study has found cardiovascular adverse effects in around a third of teens following Pfizer vaccination, and heart inflammation in one in 43, raising fresh concerns about the risks of vaccination for young people. This is beyond concerning.”

Similar versions of the post on Facebook can be seen (here) (here) (here) (here).

The original tweet garnered responses that include comments suggesting the study is a new cause for concern, such as “I am so worried about my teen-aged-children finding a healthy life partner in the future. My understanding is that ~61% of kids ages 12-17y.o. are (sorry for putting it bluntly) damaged goods now” (here) and “Makes me so angry that my very healthy son, a college athlete, was required to get this vaccine, or not continue his collegiate career” (here).

Mansanguan and colleagues note in their draft study, released as a preprint on Aug. 8 (here), that they likely saw higher rates of heart rhythm disturbance and signs of inflammation than in other studies because they did tests that detected mild changes in participants with no symptoms who would not ordinarily have been screened.

The analysis included 301 people aged 13-18 recruited from two Bangkok schools before receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in November and December of 2021. The students were mostly male (67%) and none had “abnormal” symptoms after their first vaccine shot, the study notes.

Before receiving the second vaccine shot, each participant had a physical exam, a heart ultrasound called an echocardiogram, heart rhythm measurements by electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) and blood tests to look for heart-related biomarkers including Troponin-T and CK-MB, both markers of damage to heart muscle. The exam and the tests were repeated on days 3 and 7 following the second vaccine shot, and on day 14 for some of the teenagers. The participants also kept symptom diaries throughout the study period and were able to contact or visit the study team doctors at any time to ask questions or discuss unusual symptoms.

Overall, 50 of the 301 students reported fever after the second vaccine shot and 35 reported headache, both common general side effects following COVID-19 vaccination.

Among cardiovascular effects detected only by ECG, 54 participants (18%, so roughly one in six, not one in three as social media rates) had rapid heartrate or abnormal heart rhythm. Of these, 39 had reported symptoms such as palpitations or chest pain. Fifteen reported no symptoms at all.

Among the participants with abnormal ECG, seven – all males — also had elevated biomarkers of heart muscle injury or inflammation. Of these seven, four had reported chest discomfort or pain, but three had no symptoms other than the elevated biomarkers. All seven also had normal heart function and no sign of reduced pumping ability that can signal heart failure.

One young man was admitted to the hospital intensive care unit for observation of his arrhythmia over four days, treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, and his symptoms resolved within days, with no detectable damage to his heart, according to the report.

Of that patient — the only one formally diagnosed with myocarditis — the study authors write, “One patient with myopericarditis in our study follow-up with [cardiac MRI] at 5 months after vaccination showed complete recovery and no scar.”

Although the study authors note in their paper that many of the survey participants (44%) had other underlying diseases including asthma, allergies, blood or thyroid disorders and migraine, the study does not analyze whether these conditions were associated with differences in risk for side effects or cardiovascular effects after the vaccine. The authors also note that they were unable to do baseline testing of kids prior to the first vaccine shot, which is a limitation of the study. Reuters contacted the study’s senior author for comment.

The rates of heart effects or suspected heart effects detected by prospectively testing everyone in the Thai study are higher than seen in many studies that rely on voluntary reporting of possible adverse events to databases such as the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) (vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html), or studies that rely on retrospective analysis of medical records for people diagnosed with myocarditis.

The Thai team confirmed one case of myocarditis (heart inflammation) in the 301 students — not one in 43 as suggested in social media posts.

The 1 in 301 myocarditis rate in the Thai study would translate to roughly 332 per 100,000. In contrast, one retrospective study in Israel (here) found that the odds of myocarditis following vaccination were nearly twice as high after the second shot than after the first. The rates were also highest among young men aged 16-19, at 13.60 per 100,000.

A recent study by CDC researchers looking at data from 40 U.S. health systems found that myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination was diagnosed at a rate of 22.0–35.9 per 100,000 among males aged 12-17 (here).

However, a U.S. pediatric cardiologist who reviewed the Thai study at sciencebasedmedicine.org (here) questioned whether the heart readings that the study calls abnormal really were indicative of adverse effects on the heart, especially in teenagers with no other symptoms.

Abnormal ECG alone is not sufficient to diagnose myocarditis in someone without symptoms, writes Dr. Eric Han, who notes that the reader also cannot tell how abnormal any readings might have been because data from before vaccination isn’t provided for comparison.

Of the different types of heart rhythm described as abnormal in the study, all but one could be considered normal in a child depending on the circumstances, Han notes. “Elevated troponin has its own causes as well, not all of which are myocarditis,” he also writes.

“To the trained observer,” Han concludes, “there are no shocking findings in this study. Overall, it supports the current body of knowledge regarding COVID vaccination myocarditis.”

VERDICT

False. The study of teenagers in Thailand following a second COVID-19 vaccination found that 18% — not one third — experienced any detectable cardiac effect, and that 1 in 301, not 1 in 43, had confirmed myocarditis. A large proportion of purported abnormalities detected by testing were without symptoms, and 100% of the teens in the study fully recovered after 14 days, the authors reported.

August 20, 2022. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

The COVID-19 lockdowns continue to kill large numbers of people

https://www.yahoo.com/news/silent-crisis-soaring-excess-deaths-203000182.html

Silent crisis of soaring excess deaths gripping Britain is only tip of the iceberg

Sarah Knapton

August 18, 2022

Britain is in the grip of a new silent health crisis.

For 14 of the past 15 weeks, England and Wales have averaged around 1,000 extra deaths each week, none of which are due to Covid.

If the current trajectory continues, the number of non-Covid excess deaths will soon outstrip deaths from the virus this year – and be even more deadly than the omicron wave.

So what is going on? Experts believe decisions taken by the Government in the earliest stages of the pandemic may now be coming back to bite.

Policies that kept people indoors, scared them away from hospitals and deprived them of treatment and primary care are finally taking their toll.

Prof Robert Dingwall, of Nottingham Trent University, a former government adviser during the pandemic, said: “The picture seems very consistent with what some of us were suggesting from the beginning.

“We are beginning to see the deaths that result from delay and deferment of treatment for other conditions, like cancer and heart disease, and from those associated with poverty and deprivation.

“These come through more slowly – if cancer is not treated promptly, patients don’t die immediately but do die in greater numbers more quickly than would otherwise be the case.”

The Government has admitted that the majority of the excess deaths appear to be from circulatory issues and diabetes – long-term, chronic conditions that can be fatal without adequate care.

Such conditions were also likely to have been exacerbated by lockdowns and work-from-home edicts that increased sedentary lifestyles and alcohol intake at a time when Britain was already facing historic levels of obesity and heart disease.

Dr Charles Levison, the chief executive of Doctorcall, a private GP service, said: “People really, really struggled and so many did not get the help they needed. That has caused lasting damage.

“It is time that we had a proper national debate about this, with a full government investigation.”

The latest fallout could not be hitting the NHS at a worse time, when it is struggling to bring down the pandemic treatment backlog and failing to meet targets across the board.

Figures released last week showed that a record 29,317 patients were forced to endure 12-hour waits in accident and emergency in July, a rise of a third in a month.

The number of 12-hour A&E waits rose 33 per cent in July, with a record spike of 7,283 – up from 22,034 the previous month. Before the pandemic, the figure for the same month was just 450.

Latest figures show that heart attack or stroke patients in England waited more than half an hour longer for an ambulance to arrive in July, compared with before the pandemic – crucial minutes that could prove fatal.

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, the chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Right now, too many people with heart conditions are facing dangerously long waits for potentially life saving cardiac care.

“Cardiovascular disease is one of the nation’s biggest killers but getting seen on time can be the difference between life and death.”

There is growing frustration among health professionals that little is being done to highlight the excess death problems. When a similar number of people were dying from Covid each week, there was a clamour for greater restrictions.

Prof Carl Heneghan, the director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University, said excess deaths began to increase noticeably from around the end of April. They have stayed high compared with the past seven years.

“The signals in the data suggest something is not quite right,” he said. “Sustained rises in deaths should trigger an investigation that may involve accessing the raw data on death certificates, a random sample of medical notes or analysing autopsies.

“I feel there is a lack of clear thinking at the moment and, when it comes to people’s health and wellbeing, you can’t wait – it’s unacceptable.”

Huge numbers of the excess deaths appear to be happening at home, with 681 recorded in the latest release by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday – 28.1 per cent above what would usually be expected.

Some experts think the excess deaths may still be people whose health was weakened by a Covid infection, which is known to increase the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Research has also shown that people who have recovered from a Covid infection are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dr Adam Jacobs, the senior director of biostatistics at Premier Research, said: “It’s certainly possible that just allowing millions of people to be infected could have increased deaths from cardiovascular disease as an indirect effect of Covid.”

However, others believe the excess deaths are likely to be a complex response to government policies and restrictions to tackle the virus.

Dr Tom Jefferson, also of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, added: “Clearly, Covid is not really an issue any more and instead there appears to be an increase in cardiovascular events and diabetes which fits in with a more sedentary lifestyles brought about by the pandemic restrictions.

“Increased alcohol and food intake, not exercising enough, stress, not getting treatment can all lead to strokes and heart attacks. Then you ring the ambulance and it doesn’t come.”

This week, the Department of Health and Social Care finally admitted that it is concerned about the figures. The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities has been analysing the excess deaths.

It is understood the Government is concerned that a combination of long delays for ambulances and emergency care, coupled with people missing out on routine checks and treatment due to the Covid response, is behind the increase.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Analysis is ongoing, however early investigation suggests circulatory diseases and diabetes may be partly responsible for the majority of excess deaths.

“The latest data highlight the importance of actively managing risks around heart issues as there is good evidence many of these deaths are potentially preventable.”

Getting to the bottom of what is behind the rise is likely to prove tricky, but it is imperative if we are to understand the true and lasting impact of policies to tackle Covid.

At the moment, the majority of excess deaths appear to be related to heart disease and diabetes, but it will only be a matter of time that people will start dying of longer-term conditions left untreated, such as cancer.

In July 2020, a government report warned that lockdowns could cause the deaths of 200,000 people because of delayed healthcare. At the time, those findings were largely ignored, as the Government was urged to press ahead with restrictions.

If that report holds true, the current excess deaths will be just the tip of the iceberg. Sadly, that iceberg was only too visible before we crashed into it.

August 19, 2022. Tags: , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

New York Times: The C.D.C. Isn’t Publishing Large Portions of the Covid Data It Collects – The agency has withheld critical data on boosters, hospitalizations and, until recently, wastewater analyses.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220220171541/https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/20/health/covid-cdc-data.html

The C.D.C. Isn’t Publishing Large Portions of the Covid Data It Collects –

The agency has withheld critical data on boosters, hospitalizations and, until recently, wastewater analyses.

By Apoorva Mandavilli

February 20, 2022

For more than a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has collected data on hospitalizations for Covid-19 in the United States and broken it down by age, race and vaccination status. But it has not made most of the information public.

When the C.D.C. published the first significant data on the effectiveness of boosters in adults younger than 65 two weeks ago, it left out the numbers for a huge portion of that population: 18- to 49-year-olds, the group the data showed was least likely to benefit from extra shots, because the first two doses already left them well-protected.

The agency recently debuted a dashboard of wastewater data on its website that will be updated daily and might provide early signals of an oncoming surge of Covid cases. Some states and localities had been sharing wastewater information with the agency since the start of the pandemic, but it had never before released those findings.

Two full years into the pandemic, the agency leading the country’s response to the public health emergency has published only a tiny fraction of the data it has collected, several people familiar with the data said.

Much of the withheld information could help state and local health officials better target their efforts to bring the virus under control. Detailed, timely data on hospitalizations by age and race would help health officials identify and help the populations at highest risk. Information on hospitalizations and death by age and vaccination status would have helped inform whether healthy adults needed booster shots. And wastewater surveillance across the nation would spot outbreaks and emerging variants early.

Without the booster data for 18- to 49-year-olds, the outside experts whom federal health agencies look to for advice had to rely on numbers from Israel to make their recommendations on the shots.

Kristen Nordlund, a spokeswoman for the C.D.C., said the agency has been slow to release the different streams of data “because basically, at the end of the day, it’s not yet ready for prime time.” She said the agency’s “priority when gathering any data is to ensure that it’s accurate and actionable.”

Another reason is fear that the information might be misinterpreted, Ms. Nordlund said.

Dr. Daniel Jernigan, the agency’s deputy director for public health science and surveillance said the pandemic exposed the fact that data systems at the C.D.C., and at the state levels, are outmoded and not up to handling large volumes of data. C.D.C. scientists are trying to modernize the systems, he said.

“We want better, faster data that can lead to decision making and actions at all levels of public health, that can help us eliminate the lag in data that has held us back,” he added.

The C.D.C. also has multiple bureaucratic divisions that must sign off on important publications, and its officials must alert the Department of Health and Human Services — which oversees the agency — and the White House of their plans. The agency often shares data with states and partners before making data public. Those steps can add delays.

“The C.D.C. is a political organization as much as it is a public health organization,” said Samuel Scarpino, managing director of pathogen surveillance at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Pandemic Prevention Institute. “The steps that it takes to get something like this released are often well outside of the control of many of the scientists that work at the C.D.C.”

The performance of vaccines and boosters, particularly in younger adults, is among the most glaring omissions in data the C.D.C. has made public.

Last year, the agency repeatedly came under fire for not tracking so-called breakthrough infections in vaccinated Americans, and focusing only on individuals who became ill enough to be hospitalized or die. The agency presented that information as risk comparisons with unvaccinated adults, rather than provide timely snapshots of hospitalized patients stratified by age, sex, race and vaccination status.

But the C.D.C. has been routinely collecting information since the Covid vaccines were first rolled out last year, according to a federal official familiar with the effort. The agency has been reluctant to make those figures public, the official said, because they might be misinterpreted as the vaccines being ineffective.

Ms. Nordlund confirmed that as one of the reasons. Another reason, she said, is that the data represents only 10 percent of the population of the United States. But the C.D.C. has relied on the same level of sampling to track influenza for years.

Some outside public health experts were stunned to hear that information exists.

“We have been begging for that sort of granularity of data for two years,” said Jessica Malaty Rivera, an epidemiologist and part of the team that ran Covid Tracking Project, an independent effort that compiled data on the pandemic till March 2021.

A detailed analysis, she said, “builds public trust, and it paints a much clearer picture of what’s actually going on.”

Concern about the misinterpretation of hospitalization data broken down by vaccination status is not unique to the C.D.C. On Thursday, public health officials in Scotland said they would stop releasing data on Covid hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status because of similar fears that the figures would be misrepresented by anti-vaccine groups.

But the experts dismissed the potential misuse or misinterpretation of data as an acceptable reason for not releasing it.

“We are at a much greater risk of misinterpreting the data with data vacuums, than sharing the data with proper science, communication and caveats,” Ms. Rivera said.

When the Delta variant caused an outbreak in Massachusetts last summer, the fact that three-quarters of those infected were vaccinated led people to mistakenly conclude that the vaccines were powerless against the virus — validating the C.D.C.’s concerns.

But that could have been avoided if the agency had educated the public from the start that as more people are vaccinated, the percentage of vaccinated people who are infected or hospitalized would also rise.

“Tell the truth, present the data,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert and adviser to the Food and Drug Administration. “I have to believe that there is a way to explain these things so people can understand it.”

Knowing which groups of people were being hospitalized in the United States, which other conditions those patients may have had and how vaccines changed the picture over time would have been invaluable, Dr. Offit said.

Relying on Israeli data to make booster recommendations for Americans was less than ideal, Dr. Offit noted. Israel defines severe disease differently than the United States, among other factors.

“There’s no reason that they should be better at collecting and putting forth data than we were,” Dr. Offit said of Israeli scientists. “The C.D.C. is the principal epidemiological agency in this country, and so you would like to think the data came from them.”

It has also been difficult to find C.D.C. data on the proportion of children hospitalized for Covid who have other medical conditions, said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’s Committee on Infectious Diseases.

The academy’s staff asked their partners at the C.D.C. for that information on a call in December, according to a spokeswoman for the A.A.P., and were told it was unavailable.

Ms. Nordlund pointed to data on the agency’s website that includes this information, and to multiple published reports on pediatric hospitalizations with information on children who have other health conditions.

The pediatrics academy has repeatedly asked the C.D.C. for an estimate on the contagiousness of a person infected with the coronavirus five days after symptoms begin — but Dr. Maldonado finally got the answer from an article in The New York Times in December.

“They’ve known this for over a year and a half, right, and they haven’t told us,” she said. “I mean, you can’t find out anything from them.”

Experts in wastewater analysis were more understanding of the C.D.C.’s slow pace of making that data public. The C.D.C. has been building the wastewater system since September 2020, and the capacity to present the data over the past few months, Ms. Nordlund said. In the meantime, the C.D.C.’s state partners have had access to the data, she said.

Despite the cautious preparation, the C.D.C. released the wastewater data a week later than planned. The Covid Data Tracker is updated only on Thursdays, and the day before the original release date, the scientists who manage the tracker realized they needed more time to integrate the data.

“It wasn’t because the data wasn’t ready, it was because the systems and how it physically displayed on the page wasn’t working the way that they wanted it to,” Ms. Nordlund said.

The C.D.C. has received more than $11 billion to modernize its systems, which may help pick up the pace, Ms. Nordlund said. “We’re working on that,” she said.

The agency’s public dashboard now has data from 31 states. Eight of those states, including Utah, began sending their figures to the C.D.C. in the fall of 2020. Some relied on scientists volunteering their expertise; others paid private companies. But many others, such as Mississippi, New Mexico and North Dakota, have yet to begin tracking wastewater.

Utah’s fledgling program in April 2020 has now grown to cover 88 percent of the state’s population, with samples being collected twice a week, according to Nathan LaCross, who manages Utah’s wastewater surveillance program.

Wastewater data reflects the presence of the virus in an entire community, so it is not plagued by the privacy concerns attached to medical information that would normally complicate data release, experts said.

“There are a bunch of very important and substantive legal and ethical challenges that don’t exist for wastewater data,” Dr. Scarpino said. “That lowered bar should certainly mean that data could flow faster.”

Tracking wastewater can help identify areas experiencing a high burden of cases early, Dr. LaCross said. That allows officials to better allocate resources like mobile testing teams and testing sites.

Wastewater is also a much faster and more reliable barometer of the spread of the virus than the number of cases or positive tests. Well before the nation became aware of the Delta variant, for example, scientists who track wastewater had seen its rise and alerted the C.D.C., Dr. Scarpino said. They did so in early May, just before the agency famously said vaccinated people could take off their masks.

Even now, the agency is relying on a technique that captures the amount of virus, but not the different variants in the mix, said Mariana Matus, chief executive officer of BioBot Analytics, which specializes in wastewater analysis. That will make it difficult for the agency to spot and respond to outbreaks of new variants in a timely manner, she said.

“It gets really exhausting when you see the private sector working faster than the premier public health agency of the world,” Ms. Rivera said.

February 21, 2022. Tags: . COVID-19. 1 comment.

Truck Drivers Are the Atlas that Finally Shrugged

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/02/11/nolte-truck-drivers-are-the-atlas-that-finally-shrugged/

Truck Drivers Are the Atlas that Finally Shrugged

By John Nolte

February 11, 2022

Anyone familiar with my scribbling knows that I separate modern society into two categories: World Turners and The Useless.

Me? I’m no World Turner. I’m one of The Useless. What I mean is this: If everyone who does what I do for a living stopped doing it today, the world would keep right on turning. Society would roll along just fine without me and mine — maybe better. Sure, a few people might miss my musings, but only for a little while. And the same is true for anyone who makes a living spewing their half-assed opinions (especially Jonah Goldberg).

In fact, you could wipe society’s table clear of every writer, artist, actor, musician, professor, dancer, reporter, tastemaker, producer, influencer, teacher, lobbyist, politician, everyone on TV, everyone who doesn’t get their hands dirty, and our world would keep turning just fine. Would we miss things like the newest Marvel movie? Sure. Those things are the spice of a life as bountiful as ours. But that doesn’t change the fact that our world would keep right on turning.

Now try to live without the World Turners, those sneered at by America’s left-wing elite, by the CNNs and Morning Joes and NPR — the working class. Try to imagine your life without mechanics, farmers, coal miners, oil drillers,  plumbers, roofers, electricians, pest control, the people who stock the shelves, who make our steel, police our streets, put out our fires, pave our roads, dig our ditches, haul our garbage, and plow the snow. Within a month, our world stops turning. Within six months, welcome to dystopia. Within a year, we’re eating one another.

But if you really want to know who keeps our world turning, it’s the truck drivers. Nothing moves without truck drivers, and I do mean nothing. Without truck drivers, it all goes to shit in about a week. No gasoline, no heating oil, empty store shelves, empty pharmacies, no seeds to grow your own food. It all grinds to a halt.

And still, despite their necessity and the value they add to our lives, everything our useless elites despise can be found in the person of a truck driver, for they are the modern-day cowboy: the rugged and resourceful individualists doing the dangerous, difficult, skilled, and tedious work of keeping us fed and absurdly comfortable.

Thanks primarily to truck drivers, modern societies’ poor live a life of luxury no Pharaoh could have imagined: central heat, air conditioning, microwaves, plasma TVs, cheap food, clothes, and furniture, cheap everything…

You don’t have to thank these guys. In fact, they’re perfectly content living in a world where no one gives them a thought. That’s how they’re built. If one quality defines most truck drivers, it’s that they just want to be left alone. They’re loners comfortable in their own company and eager to escape into the cab of their rig where the world makes sense, where the complications and unnecessary dramas that define modern life don’t exist. All that exists is hot coffee, a loyal dog, the radio, the companionship of the like-minded at the next stop, and the road.

We need truck drivers a whole lot more than they need us, and they know it. The leverage they hold over our society has always been there, but because truck drivers are men and not babies, they don’t use it. Instead, they just go about the business of going about their business. But if you don’t allow them to go about their business…

Guys like this, guys who just want to be left alone, those are the last guys you want to push around to the point where they push back.

And now the world’s truck drivers, especially in fascist Canada, have had enough, and now they’re shrugging. Brother, are they shrugging.

And can you blame them?

You don’t need a vaccine passport to attend the Oscars, but you do need one to be a truck driver.

On what planet is that okay?

Only silver-spooned bullies like Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden live on that planet.

And never forget that unlike the Brownshirts in Black Lives Matter and Antifa, these men are laying something on the line, something real. These are working people, not professional activists, criminals, and students. These men have families, mortgages, a nut to crack every month. But they’re still out there without the burning and looting that define the modern left. The risks are also real — crippling fines, imprisonment, truck confiscation, a fascist state eager for violence — but their cause is the most righteous of causes in the history of man: the right to be left alone.

Who is John Galt?

Now we know.

February 11, 2022. Tags: , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

Speech Therapist: 364% Surge in Baby and Toddler Referrals Thanks to Mask Wearing

https://summit.news/2022/01/27/speech-therapist-364-surge-in-baby-and-toddler-referrals-thanks-to-mask-wearing/

Speech Therapist: 364% Surge in Baby and Toddler Referrals Thanks to Mask Wearing

Young children developing cognitive problems due to widespread use of face coverings.

By Paul Joseph Watson

January 27, 2022

A speech therapist says that mask wearing during the pandemic has caused a 364% increase in patient referrals of babies and toddlers.

Jaclyn Theek told WPBF News that before the pandemic, only 5 per cent of patients were babies and toddlers, but this has soared to 20 per cent.

Parents are describing their children’s speech problems as “COVID delayed,” with face coverings the primary cause of their speaking skills being seriously impaired.

As young as 8 months old, babies start learning how to speak by reading lips, a thankless task if parents and carers smother themselves with masks to comply with mandates.

“It’s very important kids do see your face to learn, so they’re watching your mouth,” said Theek.

The news report featured one such mother, Briana Gay, who is raising five children but having speech problems with her youngest.

“It definitely makes a difference when the world you’re growing up in you can’t interact with people and their face, that’s super important to babies,” said Gay.

According to Theek, since the pandemic, autism symptoms are also skyrocketing.

“They’re not making any word attempts and not communicating at all with their family,” she said.

As we previously highlighted, Forbes deleted an article written by an education expert who asserted that forcing schoolchildren to wear face masks was causing psychological trauma.

A study by researchers at Brown University found that mean IQ scores of young children born during the pandemic have tumbled by as much as 22 points while verbal, motor and cognitive performance have all suffered as a result of lockdown.

Michael Curzon noted that two of the primary causes for this are face masks and children being atomized as a result of being kept away from other children.

“Children born over the past year of lockdowns – at a time when the Government has prevented babies from seeing elderly relatives and other extended family members, from socialising at parks or with the children of their parent’s friends, and from studying the expressions on the faces behind the masks of locals in indoor public spaces – have significantly reduced verbal, motor and overall cognitive performance compared to children born before, according to a new U.S. study. Tests on early learning, verbal development and non-verbal development all produced results that were far behind those from the years preceding the lockdowns,” he wrote.

Perhaps all the virtue signalers who think of themselves as such morally upstanding people for wearing masks will change their behavior given they are literally contributing to causing major cognitive problems in children.

Or maybe they simply won’t care, given that the mask is now a political status symbol above anything else.

January 29, 2022. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Dumbing down, Education. Leave a comment.

Sotomayor’s false claim that ‘over 100,000’ children are in ‘serious condition’ with covid

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/08/sotomayors-false-claim-that-over-100000-children-are-serious-condition-with-covid/

Sotomayor’s false claim that ‘over 100,000’ children are in ‘serious condition’ with covid

By Glenn Kessler

January 8, 2022

“Those numbers show that omicron is as deadly and causes as much serious disease in the unvaccinated as delta did. … We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition and many on ventilators.”

— Justice Sonia Sotomayor, during oral argument at the Supreme Court, Jan. 7

Several readers questioned these remarks by Sotomayor, made during a hearing on whether the Biden administration’s nationwide rules ordering a vaccination-or-testing requirement on large employers were constitutional. Her remarks came during an exchange with Ben Flowers, Ohio’s solicitor general, as he referred to a brief filed by the American Commitment Foundation, which argued that the rise of the omicron variant had made the vaccine rules less relevant because vaccines do not appear especially effective against it.

The Facts

The brief in question sought to update the court on latest scientific and technical information on the omicron variant, as that had emerged with force after the mandate was proposed. Epidemiologists Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University and Andrew Bostom, who says he is affiliated with Brown University, helped advise on it.

Its key argument, citing data from countries such as South Africa and Denmark, was that omicron cases were 80 percent less likely to get hospitalized (South Africa) and three times less likely to end up with hospital admissions than the delta variant (Denmark). Moreover, the brief argued, the case fatality rate in South Africa plunged dramatically when omicron became dominant.

Flowers, who said he had been twice vaccinated and received a booster, participated remotely after testing positive for covid. His symptoms were said to be “exceptionally mild.”

“My presence here as a triple vaccinated individual by phone” suggested “vaccines do not appear to be very effective in stopping the spread or transmission,” he said, though he added that vaccines are effective at preventing “severe consequences.” That’s when Sotomayor interrupted him to assert “those numbers show that omicron is as deadly and causes as much serious disease in the unvaccinated as delta did.” She argued that “saying it’s a different variant just underscores the fact” a workplace rule was needed.

Actually, as we have shown, that’s not what the brief said. In fact, it even argued that vaccinated individuals might be more likely to catch covid rather than unvaccinated individuals. (The brief refers mainly to people with two vaccine doses as “vaccinated,” not people who also received a booster.) The brief suggests “this may be because unvaccinated, covid-recovered patients have better protection versus omicron than vaccinated patients who never previously had covid.”

Nevertheless, the spike in cases has led to increased hospitalizations, Sotomayor noted during the exchange. Almost 30 percent of intensive-care beds are filled with covid patients as of Jan. 8, according the Health and Human Services Department data.

But then Sotomayor went off the rails: “We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition and many on ventilators.”

That’s wildly incorrect, assuming she is referring to hospitalizations, given the reference to ventilators. According to HHS data, as of Jan. 8 there are about 5,000 children hospitalized in a pediatric bed, either with suspected covid or a confirmed laboratory test. This figure includes patients in observation beds. So Sotomayor’s number is at least 20 times higher than reality, even before you determine how many are in “serious condition.”

Moreover, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been less than 100,000 — 82,843 to be exact — hospital admissions of children confirmed with covid since Aug. 1, 2020.

Still, the current seven-day average (Dec. 30-Jan. 5) is 797, which is a sharp increase from the week before (441) and represents the peak seven-day average for children, the CDC said. So Sotomayor is not wrong to suggest the rate of pediatric admissions is cause for concern. On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported a sharp rise in pediatric cases, with many of the children unvaccinated. (Some children are hospitalized for other reasons and then test positive for covid through screenings at the hospital.)

The Supreme Court media office did not respond to a request for comment.

The Pinocchio Test

It’s important for Supreme Court justices to make rulings based on correct data. There has been a spike in pediatric cases with covid, even if the omicron variant appears less deadly. But Sotomayor during an oral argument offered a figure — 100,000 children in “serious condition … many on ventilators” — that is absurdly high. She earns Four Pinocchios.

Four Pinocchios

Four Pinocchios

January 19, 2022. Tags: , , , , . COVID-19, SCOTUS. 1 comment.

At least 69 athletes collapse in one month, many dead [far more than in previous years – is the COVID-19 vaccine to blame?]

https://freewestmedia.com/2021/11/26/at-least-69-athletes-collapse-in-one-month-many-dead/

At least 69 athletes collapse in one month, many dead

The reports of athletes who suddenly collapse have been increasing noticeably lately. Heart problems such as heart inflammation are often the cause – one of the known life-threatening side effects of Covid vaccines, which even the manufacturers themselves warn against.

November 26, 2021

The current phenomenon is also evident if you simply look on Wikipedia at the list of footballers who have collapsed and died. The year 2021 stands out with 13 entries so far. In no other year mentioned have more footballers died during a game. And this list goes back to the year 1889. So it really is a historical event.

The mainstream media is curiously uninterested in this major global story. The German online outlet Wochenblick compiled a referenced list of the cardiac incidents in October while another online outlet Granite Grok published a new list of sportsmen collapsing on the field. Other outlets also listed these incidents, with some cases overlapping.

But these do not include Filipino professional basketball star Roider Cabrera who on Wednesday collapsed during tournament play in Pasig City. The Tribune from the Philippines reported he had a cardiac arrest. Roider Cabrera later lost consciousness inside the locker room before he was immediately rushed to hospital where he was diagnosed with fatal arrhythmia according to a local news.

Many top athletes from both Europe and the US have reported serious side effects after a Covid jab. For French professional tennis player Jérémy Chardy, it has meant the end of his career. Chardy, formerly ranked 73 in the world, said he has been unable to train and play. “Since I got my vaccine [between the Olympics and the US Open], I have a problem, I have a series of problems. As a result, I can’t train, I can’t play.”

Icelandic professional footballer Emil Pálsson (28) collapsed in the game between his club Sogndal IL and Stjørdals/Blink. As reported by German daily Bild, Pálsson collapsed during the game, according to the Norwegian broadcaster NRK and the newspaper Verdens Gang. According to his club, he suffered cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated.

This week, on November 24, in the middle of the second half of the game between Reading FC and Sheffield United, Sheffield player John Fleck (30) suddenly collapsed on the field due to a cardiac incident and had to be rushed to hospital.

Soccer star from Sheriff Tiraspol Adama Traore went down while holding his chest during the Champions League game against Real Madrid on Wednesday night.

In Montana, a Park City High School football player Jedd Hoffman, passed away this month, almost one week after collapsing on the field during practice. These are cases not yet listed in the ongoing carnage that the jabs have unleashed.

In October cardiac and circulatory events on the sportsfield went through the roof.

Below is a shockingly long list of athletes who collapsed last month from heart problems or circulatory disorders such as strokes. Unfortunately, some of these incidents were fatal for the often very young athletes. The numbers are alarming, especially in view of mandatory Covid shots.

(1) At the encounter between PGS E Bosico and Romeo Menti (Allerona Scalo) in Umbria/Italy on October 2, 2021 , a “young player” from the visiting team collapses without any external influence and is transported to the hospital.

(2) Martin Lefèvre (16) from FC Agneaux collapses without any previous illnesses with a stroke during the game against FC Saint-Lô Manche on October 2, 2021. He is paralyzed on one side and has no ability to speak.

(3) Niels de Wolf, 27, from the Belgian football club White Star Sombeke, suffered a cardiac arrest immediately after the game against Verrebroek on October 3, 2021, was resuscitated with a defibrillator, but died in hospital on October 6, 2021.

(more…)

November 26, 2021. Tags: , . COVID-19, Sports. 1 comment.

NBC News: “Face masks can trap in bad bacteria, causing cavities and tooth decay”

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/coronavirus/avoid-mask-mouth-4-ways-to-reduce-oral-health-problems-during-pandemic/2802205/

Avoid ‘Mask Mouth’: 4 Ways to Reduce Oral Health Problems During Pandemic

By Doreen Gentzler

September 15, 2021

As part of our new normal, face masks are helping to keep us safe from catching and spreading COVID-19. But dentists say the coverings can also be doing damage to our teeth.

Dentists have dubbed the situation “mask mouth” as more cases of poor oral hygiene pop up, especially among young people who are wearing face masks at school for extended periods of time.

“Imagine an oven that is being basically framed by the mask, and the germs that are inside the mouth can’t get out, so they stay in,” said Dr. Jonelle Anamelechi, a pediatric dentist at Children’s Choice Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in D.C. and New Carrollton, Maryland.

Face masks can trap in bad bacteria, causing cavities and tooth decay, especially among young children who tend to breathe out of their mouths.

“And so by doing that, that increases the amount of bacteria, dries out the mouth and creates even more of an environment that could produce poor oral hygiene or poor oral health,” she said.

Mask mouth can also cause bad breath and gum disease.

And it’s not just kids who are affected. Dentists say they’re seeing the same thing in adults, too.

Dr. Anamelechi says there are four simple things you can do to prevent “mask mouth.”

First, she tells patients to brush their teeth twice a day and to drink plenty of water throughout the day, while they’re in school.

“That water bottle is now important to have and be full because then, they can take short sips, rehydrate the mouth, get some of that bacteria swishing around and out of the mouth as much as possible,” she said.

Second, Dr. Anamelechi tells parents to pack apples in their children’s lunches.

“Because [an] apple is nature’s toothbrush,” she said. “And so if we need to refresh the mouth during the day, what a better way to put a snack in the lunchbox or in the book bag? And they can have that during the day to continue to cleanse their mouth when they can’t get in there and physically brush.”

Third, change your masks frequently, and if they’re the reusable kind, remember to wash them often. Depending on the severity, “mask mouth” can also cause visible symptoms.

“You may even actually see bumps or lesions that come around the mouth … It’s a big reminder of [the need for] frequent changes of masks, having some of those backup or extra masks,” she said. “If you’re using a disposable mask, it really shouldn’t be used more than once or twice. And then, of course, laundering the ones that are the reusable masks.”

Lastly, don’t miss your regular dental cleanings to remove plaque and tartar that build up over time.

“You can’t brush that off,” Dr. Anamelechi said. “You have to come to the dentist and get that removed, which then makes it super important to keep up with those six-month appointments for cleanings.”

November 6, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . COVID-19. 1 comment.

Italian Institute of Health Drastically Reduces Its Official COVID Death Toll Number

https://summit.news/2021/11/04/italian-institute-of-health-drastically-reduces-its-official-covid-death-toll-number/

Italian Institute of Health Drastically Reduces Its Official COVID Death Toll Number

Changes defintiion of COVID death from ‘with COVID’ to ‘by COVID’.

By Paul Joseph Watson

November 4, 2021

The Italian Higher Institute of Health has drastically reduced the country’s official COVID death toll number by over 97 per cent after changing the definition of a fatality to someone who died from COVID rather than with COVID.

Italian newspaper Il Tempo reports that the Institute has revised downward the number of people who have died from COVID rather than with COVID from 130,000 to under 4,000.

“Yes, you read that right. Turns out 97.1% of deaths hitherto attributed to Covid were not due directly to Covid,” writes Toby Young.

Of the of the 130,468 deaths registered as official COVID deaths since the start of the pandemic, only 3,783 are directly attributable to the virus alone.

“All the other Italians who lost their lives had from between one and five pre-existing diseases. Of those aged over 67 who died, 7% had more than three co-morbidities, and 18% at least two,” writes Young.

“According to the Institute, 65.8% of Italians who died after being infected with Covid were ill with arterial hypertension (high blood pressure), 23.5% had dementia, 29.3% had diabetes, and 24.8% atrial fibrillation. Add to that, 17.4% had lung problems, 16.3% had had cancer in the last five years and 15.7% suffered from previous heart failures.”

The Institute’s new definition of a COVID death means that COVID has killed fewer people in Italy than (whisper it) the average bout of seasonal flu.

If a similar change were made by other national governments, the official COVID death toll would be cut by a margin of greater than 90 per cent.

Don’t expect many others to follow suit though, given that governments have invested so much of their authority in hyping the the threat posed by the virus.

For example, behavioral psychologists in the UK worked with the state to deliberately “exaggerate” the threat of COVID via “unethical” and “totalitarian” methods of propaganda in order to terrify the public into mass compliance.

And it worked.

A survey conducted after the first lockdown found that the average Brit thought 100 times more people had died from COVID than the official death toll.

Now we come to understand that the official killed ‘by COVID’ and not ‘with COVID’ figure is less than one tenth what is officially reported as the total COVID death toll.

Despite the change, Italy may yet take the decision to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, although how such a scheme would be imposed remains unspecified.

November 4, 2021. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

In-N-Out Burger tells San Francisco ‘we refuse to become the vaccination police’ after city closes restaurant

https://www.theblaze.com/news/in-n-out-burger-san-francisco-vaccination-police

In-N-Out Burger tells San Francisco ‘we refuse to become the vaccination police’ after city closes restaurant

By Chris Pandolfo

October 19, 2021

In-N-Out Burger blasted the city of San Francisco’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirements after the San Francisco Department of Health closed one of the popular California burger joint’s locations for serving customers who were not carrying the proper papers.

“On Thursday, October 14, the San Francisco Department of Public Health closed our restaurant at 333 Jefferson Street because In-N-Out Burger Associates (employees) were not preventing the entry of Customers who were not carrying proper vaccination documentation,” In-N-Out Burger’s chief legal and business officer, Arnie Wensinger, said in a statement.

“Our store properly and clearly posted signage to communicate local vaccination requirements,” Wensinger said. “After closing our restaurant, local regulators informed us that our restaurant Associates must actively intervene by demanding proof of vaccination and photo identification from every Customer, then act as enforcement personnel by barring entry for any Customers without the proper documentation.”

“We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government,” Wensinger declared, slamming the San Francisco Department of Health’s requirements as “unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe” and accusing the city of asking restaurants to “segregate Customers” based on vaccine documentation.

In August, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced that the city would require businesses in “high-contact indoor sectors,” including bars, restaurants, clubs, and gyms to obtain proof of COVID-19 vaccination from patrons and employees before servicing them. The health order was implemented to “protect against the continued spread of COVID-19, particularly among the unvaccinated,” according to a statement from the mayor’s office.

“Many San Francisco businesses are already leading the way by requiring proof of vaccination for their customers because they care about the health of their employees, their customers, and this City. This order builds on their leadership and will help us weather the challenges ahead and keep our businesses open. Vaccines are our way out of the pandemic, and our way back to a life where we can be together safely,” Breed said at the time.

San Francisco was among the first major U.S. cities to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter indoor restaurants and other businesses. The city also implemented a vaccine mandate for workers at these places of business, which went into effect on Oct. 13.

In his statement, Wensinger accused San Francisco of forcing businesses “to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business.”

“This is clear governmental overreach and is intrusive, improper, and offensive.”

The San Francisco Department of Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

October 19, 2021. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Police state. 1 comment.

Video: Dr. Rand Paul vs lawyer Xavier Becerra, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, who does not have a degree in medicine or science, and is a complete idiot when it comes to the subject of natural immunity for people who have been infected with COVID-19

Rand Paul is a medical doctor.

Xavier Becerra is a lawyer who has no degree in medicine or science. Despite this, he is the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

In this video, Dr. Paul explains why Becerra is a complete idiot when it comes to the subject of natural immunity for people who have been infected with COVID-19.

Dr. Paul also explains why Becerra is a totalitarian control freak who has no respect for individual freedom.

Video at https://www.bitchute.com/video/ycvexzjfEVsq/

October 1, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care. 1 comment.

“Equity” is being cited as a reason to ban white people from getting the vaccine for COVID-19

https://www.yahoo.com/news/white-hampshire-resident-files-discrimination-175506783.html

White New Hampshire Resident Files Discrimination Suit after Being Denied COVID Shot over Race

By Brittany Bernstein

September 28, 2021

A white New Hampshire resident who was refused a COVID-19 vaccine by the state earlier this year because he is not a person of color and thus did not meet its “equity” requirements has filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) and Boyden Gray & Associates filed the complaint on Tuesday on behalf of the unnamed 28-year-old man, who was unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in April despite having diabetes and therefore being at “elevated medical risk to COVID-19,” according to the complaint.

When the man called the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley in Lebanon, N.H. to schedule a shot, he was informed that they were “only serving people of color” at that time, in line with the state’s equitable vaccine distribution policies.

Meanwhile, the complaint says appointments at a vaccination clinic held by the Public Health Council were reserved for people who identify as “Black, Indigenous or people of color,” regardless of whether those individuals were at an elevated risk for severe COVID-19. The Dartmouth college newspaper reported that the clinic provided vaccinations to young Asian college students despite denying vaccination to those at high risk.

“No one seeking medical care should ever be sent to the back of the line because of their race, but that is exactly what the state of New Hampshire did with COVID-19 vaccinations. HHS must investigate and hold New Hampshire accountable for its blatantly illegal discrimination,” said Rachel Morrison, an attorney and policy analyst for EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project.

The complaint notes that the state has received “substantial funds” from the federal government, including over $500 million from HHS to administer its health programs and $43 million to support vaccination specifically.

“Using these funds in a discriminatory manner is a violation of federal law, as New Hampshire is well aware,” the complaint reads. “The state’s official COVID-19 resource website linked to HHS’s March 2020 Bulletin which states that civil rights laws are not suspended during the pandemic and that ‘our civil rights laws protect the equal dignity of every human life.’”

It notes that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibit racial discrimination in HHS-funded programs and argues that HHS’s Office for Civil Rights has a responsibility to investigate the complaint.

The complaint asks the Office of Civil Rights to “seek a binding voluntary resolution agreement with all the guilty parties.”

“This agreement should include appropriate remedial action, training, and ongoing monitoring of respondents by your office,” the complaint adds.

It demands that HHS stop funding the state and the public health council until it receives a written guarantee that they won’t discriminate on the basis of race.

“Although it is unclear if the state continues to discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin, at least as late as June 27, 2021, the state’s main COVID vaccine website continued to state that ‘appointments are limited’ and ‘dependent on [vaccine] supply,’ which left open the door to state discriminating against whites,” the complaint adds.

Attorney Michael Buschbacher said the state’s “racially discriminatory vaccination program is a disaster.”

“The health officials responsible have done grave harm both to the vulnerable people forced to wait for a life-saving vaccine because of their skin color and to the practice of medicine,” he said. “New Hampshire’s guilt is gin clear, and HHS needs to take prompt and aggressive action to ensure that such illegal discrimination never happens again.”

September 28, 2021. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Equity, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Wuhan scientists planned to release coronaviruses into cave bats 18 months before outbreak

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/09/21/wuhan-scientists-planned-releaseskin-penetrating-nanoparticles/

Wuhan scientists planned to release coronaviruses into cave bats 18 months before outbreak

Leaked documents reveal researchers applied for $14m to fund controversial project in 2018

By Sarah Knapton

21 September 2021

Wuhan scientists were planning to release enhanced airborne coronaviruses into Chinese bat populations to inoculate them against diseases that could jump to humans, leaked grant proposals dating from 2018 show.

New documents show that just 18 months before the first Covid-19 cases appeared, researchers had submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.

They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work.

Papers, confirmed as genuine by a former member of the Trump administration, show they were hoping to introduce “human-specific cleavage sites” to bat coronaviruses which would make it easier for the virus to enter human cells

When Covid-19 was first genetically sequenced, scientists were puzzled about how the virus had evolved such a human-specific adaptation at the cleavage site on the spike protein, which is the reason it is so infectious.

The documents were released by Drastic, the web-based investigations team set up by scientists from across the world to look into the origins of Covid-19.

In a statement, Drastic said: “Given that we find in this proposal a discussion of the planned introduction of human-specific cleavage sites, a review by the wider scientific community of the plausibility of artificial insertion is warranted.”

The proposal also included plans to mix high-risk natural coronavirus strains with more infectious but less dangerous varieties.

The bid was submitted by British zoologist Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance, the US-based organisation, which has worked closely with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) researching bat coronaviruses. 

Team members included Dr Shi Zhengli, the WIV researcher dubbed “bat woman”, pictured below, as well as US researchers from the University of North Carolina and the United States Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Centre.

Darpa refused to fund the work, saying: “It is clear that the proposed project led by Peter Daszak could have put local communities at risk”, and warned that the team had not properly considered the dangers of enhancing the virus (gain of function research) or releasing a vaccine by air.

Grant documents show that the team also had some concerns about the vaccine programme and said they would “conduct educational outreach … so that there is a public understanding of what we are doing and why we are doing it, particularly because of the practice of bat-consumption in the region”.

Angus Dalgleish, Professor of Oncology at St Georges, University of London, who struggled to get work published showing that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) had been carrying out “gain of function” work for years before the pandemic, said the research may have gone ahead even without the funding.

This is clearly a gain of function, engineering the cleavage site and polishing the new viruses to enhance human cell infectibility in more than one cell line,” he said. 

Daszak was also behind a letter published in The Lancet last year which effectively shut down scientific debate into the origins of Covid-19.

Viscount Ridley, who has co-authored a book on the origin of Covid-19, due for release in November, and who has frequently called for a further investigation into what caused the pandemic in the House of Lords, said: “For more than a year I tried repeatedly to ask questions of Peter Daszak with no response.

“Now it turns out he had authored this vital piece of information about virus work in Wuhan but refused to share it with the world. I am furious. So should the world be. 

“Peter Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) proposed injecting deadly chimeric bat coronaviruses collected by the Wuhan Institute of Virology into humanised and ‘batified’ mice, and much, much more.”

A Covid-19 researcher from the World Health Organisation (WHO), who wished to remain anonymous, said it was alarming that the grant proposal included plans to enhance the more deadly disease of Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers).

“The scary part is they were making infectious chimeric Mers viruses,” the source said. 

“These viruses have a fatality rate over 30 per cent, which is at least an order of magnitude more deadly than Sars-CoV-2.

“If one of their receptor replacements made Mers spread similarly, while maintaining its lethality, this pandemic would be nearly apocalyptic.”

EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology have been approached for comment.

September 21, 2021. Tags: , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

This is Racism: Blacks Are Four Times More Likely than Whites to Be Oppressed by Vaccine Mandates

https://noqreport.com/2021/08/13/this-is-racism-blacks-are-four-times-more-likely-than-whites-to-be-oppressed-by-vaccine-mandates/

This is Racism: Blacks Are Four Times More Likely than Whites to Be Oppressed by Vaccine Mandates

Critical Race Theory has finally been demonstrated in America, but those who promote CRT wouldn’t dare use this ironclad example.

By JD Rucker

August 13, 2021

Proponents of Critical Race Theory are often caught torturing the numbers to present statistics that match their premises. It’s challenging to demonstrate the effects of so-called “systemic racism” in America because the hard numbers simply do not match the rhetoric. But there is one issue in particular where the numbers do not lie, supporting their CRT claims. Systemic racism does exist in vaccine mandates and the numbers are undeniable.

According to a preprint study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), minorities are far more likely to be “vaccine hesitant” than White Americans. Comically, the study claims that lack of vaccine access is part of the reason for this, a claim that defies logic at every conceivable level. Someone does not become “vaccine hesitant” because they have less access. If anything, lack of access may make them desire the jabs more.

Illogical conclusions of the study aside, the raw data is telling. Whites are the least hesitant Americans at 7.3%, followed by Asians at 10.0. Both Hispanics (15.6%) and mixed race or other (16.6%) were more than twice as likely to be concerned about the vaccines than their White counterparts. Black Americans are by far the most hesitant with over a quarter, 28.0%, claiming some degree of hesitancy in getting vaccinated for Covid-19.

Across the nation, private businesses are requiring both employees and patrons to show proof of vaccinations. Cities like New York and San Francisco have already initiated vaccine passport requirements for entry into just about any building. Travel is being curtailed for those who have not been vaccinated. Teachers and their unions are demanding vaccine mandates for both staff and students despite the unambiguous fact that children are not at risk from Covid-19 with a nearly 100% of those infected recovering from it.

There is no way to deny that these vaccine mandates will disproportionately affect minorities more than Caucasians. In short, vaccine mandates are blatantly racist.

Why Are Radical Leftists Not Speaking Out Against Vaccine Mandates?

This is it. This is the example of Critical Race Theory in action that radical progressives have been seeking in vain for years. They finally have a case study that is ironclad proof the system is working against minorities, particularly Black Americans, and they’re conspicuously ignoring it. Why? Because CRT may be near the top of their list of concepts to promote, but nothing in 2021 trumps vaccine mandates. Universal injections of experimental drugs is their top priority.

What we are seeing is demonstrable proof that the tenets of Critical Race Theory are driven by White radical progressives. If minorities were driving the narrative, they would latch onto the vaccine mandate statistics in a heartbeat. Why? Because nothing will oppress Black Americans more than vaccine mandates. Not cops. Not the judicial system. Not banks nor schools nor any of the other Critical Race Theory boogeymen. Vaccine mandates are demonstrably racist, but the White radical progressives driving the Critical Race Theory agenda dare not speak out against it as it suits them to punish those who choose medical freedom over tyranny.

It’s ironic that the first real example of systemic racism in modern America is the one topic the radical left dare not bring to light.

August 17, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19, Racism. Leave a comment.

Door-to-door vaccines launch in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

This video is from the official YouTube channel of WCNC-TV, which is the affiliate TV station of NBC in Charlotte, North Carolina.

I got vaccinated several months ago. I’m very pro-vaccination. But there’s no way I would trust a total stranger who knocked at my door and offered me the vaccine.

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

July 14, 2021. COVID-19. Leave a comment.

Liberal media FINALLY admit they made a mistake dismissing Wuhan Lab leak theory just because Trump backed it: Washington Post, New York Times and ABC pundits say some ‘have egg on their face’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9635337/Liberal-media-FINALLY-admits-mistake-dismissing-Wuhan-Lab-leak-theory.html

Liberal media FINALLY admit they made a mistake dismissing Wuhan Lab leak theory just because Trump backed it: Washington Post, New York Times and ABC pundits say some ‘have egg on their face’

Reporters and pundits for ABC and The New York Times admitted on television news that journalists were wrong to dismiss the lab leak theory

They claimed the journalists refused to consider the theory because it was being espoused by former President Donald Trump and Senator Tom Cotton

A columnist for the Washington Post, meanwhile, slammed the mainstream media for not ‘owning up’ to the fact they made an error in dismissing the theory

The lab leak theory has gained traction in recent weeks as more scientists and political officials question the origins of COVID-19

By Melissa Koenig

May 30, 2021

Liberal media reporters and pundits admitted over the weekend they were wrong to dismiss the Wuhan lab leak theory just because it was espoused by former President Donald Trump.

Mainstream reporters had pushed back at the idea that COVID-19 may have originated in a virology lab in Wuhan, China, and openly ridiculed the idea as Trump spoke openly about it in the early days of the pandemic.

But now, those same reporters have admitted that it is possible that the virus came from a lab leak — as more scientists and political officials openly question the virus’ origins.

‘I think a lot of people have egg on their face,’ ABC News’ Jon Karl told Martha Raddatz Sunday morning.

‘This was an idea that was first put out by Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, [and] President Donald Trump,’ he continued on ABC’s This Week, ‘and some things may be true even if Donald Trump has said them.’

He noted that the idea was widely dismissed at the time, but now ‘serious people are saying it needs a serious inquiry.’

New York Times reporter David Leonhardt also said on CNN that he thinks people ‘leapt to dismiss’ the theory too quickly because it was being espoused by then-President Trump and Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who has also said that the 2020 election was stolen.

‘I think a lot of people on the political left and people in the media made this mistake and said ‘Wow, if Tom Cotton is saying something it can’t be true,’ Leonhardt said. ‘Or they assumed that. And that’s not right.

‘Tom Cotton does deal in misinformation about things like election fraud, he’s said some things that are just wrong,’ Leonhardt continued.

‘But that doesn’t mean that everything he says is wrong, and it seems like a lot of people, including a lot in the media, leaped to dismiss the lab leak theory because of where it was coming from, and the reality is we don’t yet know how COVID started.’

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin slammed journalists for making a sudden U-Turn on their coverage of the lab leak theory.

‘Most MSM reporters didn’t ‘ignore’ the lab leak theory, they actively c****** all over it for over a year while pretending to be objective out of a toxic mix of confirmation bias, source bias (their scientist sources lied to them), group think, TDS [Trump Derangement Syndrome] and general incompetence,’ Rogin wrote in his first tweet Saturday morning.

He added that the lab leak theory has not changed and ‘suddenly become credible.’

‘The theory has always been the same,’ Rogin wrote. ‘The people who got it wrong changed their minds. They are writing about themselves, with zero self awareness.

‘All these reporters scrambling to defend their own records on the lab leak theory are exposing their own hypocrisy and ignoring their basic error,’ he continued. ‘Just report the facts. Don’t act like its your job to tell us what’s OK to think or talk about.

‘Own up to it when you fail your readers,’ he wrote.

The Twitter thread was re-tweeted more than 1,000 times, garnering several thousand likes.

The lab leak theory has gained traction over the past few weeks, as more and more politicians and scientists start to question the origins of the virus and how it mutated to infect humans.

The Huanan wet market, where scientists say the first cluster of infections were officially reported, is just a few hundred yards from the Wuhan Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and only a few miles from the the Wuhan Institute of Virology Lab, where scientists were reportedly conducting experiments on bats before the pandemic began.

The lab is one of only a handful in the world that is cleared to handle Class 4 pathogens — dangerous viruses that pose a high risk of person-to-person transmission.

Three researchers from the institute sought medical care in November 2019, before the virus began to spread, according to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper said the report – which provides fresh details on the number of researchers affected, the timing of their illnesses, and their hospital visits – may add weight to calls for a broader probe of whether the COVID-19 virus could have escaped from the laboratory.

It reported that current and former officials familiar with the intelligence about the lab researchers expressed a range of views about the strength of the report’s supporting evidence, with one unnamed person saying it needed ‘further investigation and additional corroboration.’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has since said he was ‘not convinced’ that COVID-19 developed naturally and called for an open investigation.

‘I think we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we continue to find out to the best of our ability what happened,’ he said at a PolitiFact event on May 11 entitled: United Facts of America: A Festival of Fact-Checking.

President Joe Biden has also called for an investigation into the origins of the virus.

The former head of the Food and Drug Administration said on Sunday that the likelihood COVID-19 originated in a lab is growing while the odds that the coronavirus was transmitted from animals to humans grow longer.

‘The challenge is that the side of the ledger that suggests that this could have come out of a lab has continued to expand,’ Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who served as then-President Trump’s FDA commission from 2017 until 2019, told CBS News.

‘And a side of the ledger that suggests that this could have come from a zoonotic source, come out of nature, really hasn’t budged.’

Gottlieb said that there is enough evidence to rule out the earlier theory that coronavirus originated from a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan.

Gottlieb added: ‘And if anything, you can argue that that side of the ledger has contracted because we’ve done an exhaustive search for the so-called intermediate host, the animal that could have been exposed to this virus before it spread to humans.

President Joe Biden has ordered the government’s leading research laboratories to join the search for the true origins of the COVID-19 pandemic by sifting through a massive trove of previously unexamined data, according to new reports.

Biden on Wednesday ordered the 17 National Labs run by the Department of Energy to assist the intelligence community in a 90-day sprint to examine whether the virus leaked from a lab in China.

The labs have been tapped ‘because of their ability to crunch massive amounts of data’ with their advanced supercomputers, a White House official told CNN.

The government is not revealing exactly what kind of data is being submitted for analysis, but experts say it is likely previously gathered intelligence such as signal intercepts or biological evidence.

Intelligence agencies regularly collect more raw data than their analysts are able to effectively pore through, and the application of advanced algorithms to seek patterns in the massive data set could offer new breakthroughs.

‘We want the science to be a big part of this,’ the White House official told CNN. ‘We are going to use the full resources of our intelligence and scientific community to try to get to the bottom of this.’

Biden is also urging U.S. intelligence agencies and those of allies to hunt for new information that could shed light on whether China covered up a lab leak.

Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, said the Biden administration’s response was ‘better late than never, but far from adequate.’

‘Our intelligence community has been looking at this now for 15 months. They’ve done good work on it, but in the end the answer lies in the hands of Chinese communists, not people working for American intelligence agencies,’ he told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Cotton said that officials in Beijing have not been forthcoming about how the pandemic began. ‘We should be insisting that they come clean, that they provide us a clear and unvarnished look at what was happening in the Wuhan labs,’ he said.

Circumstantial evidence has long raised questions about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers were known to be conducting experiments on bat coronavirus strains similar to the one responsible for COVID-19.

China insisted early and often that the virus did not leak from the lab, claiming that crossover to humans must have occurred at a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan that sold live animals.

Perhaps driven by animosity for Donald Trump, who embraced the lab leak theory early on, the mainstream U.S. media and academics heaped scorn on the possibility, calling it an unhinged conspiracy theory.

But new evidence, including reports of three workers at the Wuhan lab who fell seriously ill with COVID-like symptoms in November 2019, has forced a sober reassessment among doubters.

Frustration with China increased this week after Beijing said that it would not participate in any further investigations by the World Health Organization.

Biden rebuked China in his announcement of the new intelligence review, calling on allies to help ‘press China to participate in a full, transparent, evidence-based international investigation and to provide access to all relevant data and evidence.’

UK intelligence agencies are assisting in Biden’s new 90-day intelligence review, a senior Whitehall security source told The Telegraph.

The source told the publication: ‘We are contributing what intelligence we have on Wuhan, as well as offering to help the American to corroborate and analyze any intelligence they have that we can assist with.’

British intelligence agencies have generally been skeptical of the lab leak theory, while Australia’s spies have been more open to it.

While Britain and Australia already share intelligence with the U.S. as part of the Five Eyes partnership, Biden’s new probe could prod them to redouble their focus on sharing evidence related to a possible lab leak.

Meanwhile, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise and more than 200 of his GOP colleagues have also called for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to direct her Democrat-led committees to investigate China’s complicity in causing the COVID pandemic.

In a letter to the Democratic House Speaker, the Republicans said there is ‘mounting evidence the pandemic started in a Chinese lab’ and the Chinese Communist Party ‘covered it up’.

‘If that is the case, the CCP is responsible for the deaths of almost 600,000 Americans and millions more worldwide. These questions about the CCP’s liability are not a diversion, as you falsely claimed,’ the letter reads.

June 2, 2021. Tags: , , , , . COVID-19, Media bias. Leave a comment.

Facebook will no longer remove claims that Covid-19 was man-made

https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/27/tech/facebook-covid-19-origin-claims-removal/index.html

Facebook will no longer remove claims that Covid-19 was man-made

May 27, 2011

Facebook said it’s no longer removing from its platforms claims that coronavirus was man-made.

That announcement comes shortly after President Joe Biden announced he had directed the US intelligence community to redouble its efforts into the origin of Covid-19.

In a statement to CNN Business, a Facebook spokesperson said late Wednesday that, “In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of Covid-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that Covid-19 is man-made from our apps.”

“We’re continuing to work with health experts to keep pace with the evolving nature of the pandemic and regularly update our policies as new facts and trends emerge,” the spokesperson added.

Biden announced Wednesday he has given the US officials 90 days to investigate the virus’ origins. The announcement came after a US intelligence report found several researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019 and had to be hospitalized — a new detail that fueled fresh public pressure on Biden to delve deeper into the origin of the virus.

“As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China. I have also asked that this effort include work by our National Labs and other agencies of our government to augment the Intelligence Community’s efforts. And I have asked the Intelligence Community to keep Congress fully apprised of its work,” Biden said in a statement.

Facebook (FB) announced in February it would remove claims that the virus was man-made following “consultations with leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO).” The social network has also been pulling posts that spread vaccine misinformation and other false claims that have been debunked by public health officials.

Politico was first to report the new policy change.

June 2, 2021. Tags: , , . COVID-19, Media bias. Leave a comment.

PolitiFact removes its previous claim that the COVID-19 virus could not possibly be manmade

https://www.politifact.com/li-meng-yan-fact-check/

Archived fact-check: Tucker Carlson guest airs debunked conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was created in a lab

Editor’s note, May 17, 2021: When this fact-check was first published in September 2020, PolitiFact’s sources included researchers who asserted the SARS-CoV-2 virus could not have been manipulated. That assertion is now more widely disputed. For that reason, we are removing this fact-check from our database pending a more thorough review. Currently, we consider the claim to be unsupported by evidence and in dispute. The original fact-check in its entirety is preserved below for transparency and archival purposes. Read our May 2021 report for more on the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19.

June 2, 2021. Tags: , , . COVID-19, Media bias. Leave a comment.

COVER-UP: WaPo Edits Fauci Op/Ed to Obscure His Support of Making Viruses More Dangerous in Lab Experiments

https://bigleaguepolitics.com/cover-up-wapo-edits-fauci-op-ed-to-obscure-his-support-of-making-viruses-more-dangerous-in-lab-experiments/

COVER-UP: WaPo Edits Fauci Op/Ed to Obscure His Support of Making Viruses More Dangerous in Lab Experiments

May 22, 2021

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci once gave a full-throated endorsement of gain-of-function research in a 2011 Washington Post op/ed that was later edited to obscure Fauci’s role in promoting this psychotic mad science.

In his original op/ed pushing gain-of-function research, Dr. Fauci stated that “much good can come from generating a potentially dangerous virus in the laboratory.” It was later changed to “insights can come” by fake news editors at Jeff Bezos’ lobbying rag, but reprints of the op/ed in other outlets kept the original language.

“Safeguarding against the potential accidental release or deliberate misuse of laboratory pathogens is imperative,” Fauci wrote in the op/ed.

However, Fauci did not implement these safeguards when he was working with the communist Chinese and funding our foreign adversaries’ performance of this dangerous research.

Big League Politics reported on Fauci’s tremendous dishonesty with regards to his support of gain-of-function research in a recent Senate hearing:

“Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blasted National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Anthony Fauci at a Senate hearing on Tuesday for funding controversial and dangerous research at a virology lab in Wuhan, China.

Fauci continues to defend the controversial research, which involves strengthening viruses in mad science experiments, even after the COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the world.

“Gain-of-function research, as you know, is juicing up naturally-occurring animal viruses to infect humans. To arrive at the truth, the U.S. government should admit that the Wuhan virology institute was experimenting to enhance the coronavirus’ ability to infect humans,” Paul said.

Predictably, Fauci does not want the feds to engage in such transparency. He wants to keep pushing lies so his Big Pharma-approved bureaucrats can skirt culpability.

“You are entirely and completely incorrect that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan institute,” he said.

Paul correctly noted that the NIH was funding gain-of-function research through a partnership with the Wuhan virology institute and a North Carolina facility. Fauci also attempted to deny that the feds were funding research at the Wuhan institute, and Paul would not take Fauci’s fibbing lying down.

“Do you support sending money? We did, under your tutelage, we were sending it through ECO Health. It was a sub-agency and a sub-grant,” he said.

“It would have been irresponsible for us if we did not investigate the bat viruses and the serology to see who might have been infected in China,” Fauci responded.

This is when the exchange became combative, and Fauci tried talking over Paul in his great frustration over being exposed on a national stage.

“Government defenders of gain of function, such as yourself, say that COVID-19 mutations were random and not designed by man. But interestingly, the technique that [Dr. Ralph Baric] developed forces mutations by serial passage through cell culture that the mutations appear to be natural,” Paul explained, adding many other expert sources who have stated that COVID-19 was likely created in a lab.

“Will you in front of this group categorically say that COVID-19 could not have occurred through serial passage in a laboratory?” Paul asked Fauci.

“I do not have any accounting for what the Chinese may have done, and I am fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China,” Fauci responded before once again denying that the feds have funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan.

“You’re fooling with mother nature here. You’re allowing superviruses to be created. With a 15 percent mortality, it’s very dangerous, and it was a huge mistake to share this with China, and it’s a huge mistake to allow this to continue in the United States, and we should be very careful to investigate where this virus came from,” Paul said.”

The public is finally realizing Fauci’s role as the American Mengele, likely causing the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and pushing mass hysteria to cover his tracks. Fauci deserves to be behind bars.

June 2, 2021. Tags: , , . COVID-19, Media bias. Leave a comment.

Newsweek: How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media

https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-how-amateur-sleuths-broke-wuhan-lab-story-embarrassed-media-1596958

How Amateur Sleuths Broke the Wuhan Lab Story and Embarrassed the Media

By Rowan Jacobsen

June 2, 2021

For most of last year, the idea that the coronavirus pandemic could have been triggered by a laboratory accident in Wuhan, China, was largely dismissed as a racist conspiracy theory of the alt-right. The Washington Post in early 2020 accused Senator Tom Cotton of “fanning the embers of a conspiracy theory that has been repeatedly debunked by experts.” CNN jumped in with “How to debunk coronavirus conspiracy theories and misinformation from friends and family.” Most other mainstream outlets, from The New York Times (“fringe theory”) to NPR (“Scientists debunk lab accident theory”), were equally dismissive. (Newsweek was an exception, reporting in April 2020 that the WIV was involved in gain-of-function research and might have been the site of a lab leak; Mother Jones, Business Insider, the NY Post and FOX News were also exceptions.) But in the last week or so, the story has burst into the public discourse. President Joe Biden has demanded an investigation by U.S. intelligence. And the mainstream media, in an astonishing about-face, is treating the possibility with deadly seriousness.

The reason for the sudden shift in attitudes is clear: over the weeks and months of the pandemic, the pileup of circumstantial evidence pointing to the Wuhan lab kept growing—until it became too substantial to ignore.

The people responsible for uncovering this evidence are not journalists or spies or scientists. They are a group of amateur sleuths, with few resources except curiosity and a willingness to spend days combing the internet for clues. Throughout the pandemic, about two dozen or so correspondents, many anonymous, working independently from many different countries, have uncovered obscure documents, pieced together the information, and explained it all in long threads on Twitter—in a kind of open-source, collective brainstorming session that was part forensic science, part citizen journalism, and entirely new. They call themselves DRASTIC, for Decentralized Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating COVID-19.

For a long time, DRASTIC’s discoveries stayed confined to the strange world of Twitter, known only to a few nerdy followers. The sleuths ran into a fair number of dead ends, got into the occasional spat with scientists who disagreed with their interpretations, and produced a firehose of reporting. Gradually, the quality of their research and the rigor of their thinking drew a larger following, including many professional scientists and journalists.

(more…)

June 2, 2021. Tags: , . COVID-19, Media bias. Leave a comment.

In April 2020, the Washington Post said the COVID-19 virus may have been released from a lab in Wuhan, China

The Chinese “wet market” didn’t sell bats.

But a nearby lab was doing research on bats and coronavirus.

But anyone from the Chinese lab who talks about it ends up “disappearing.”

Before the outbreak, the U.S. had said the lab wasn’t following proper safety procedures.

And I got all of that info from this Washington Post article.

It’s behind a paywall, but you can read it for free at this link to a google cache. I’m only posting what I think are the most important parts. You can read the entire thing for free at this link:

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WZpahDlFCnkJ:https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/14/state-department-cables-warned-safety-issues-wuhan-lab-studying-bat-coronaviruses/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses

April 14, 2020

Two years before the novel coronavirus pandemic upended the world, U.S. Embassy officials visited a Chinese research facility in the city of Wuhan several times and sent two official warnings back to Washington about inadequate safety at the lab, which was conducting risky studies on coronaviruses from bats. The cables have fueled discussions inside the U.S. government about whether this or another Wuhan lab was the source of the virus — even though conclusive proof has yet to emerge.

In January 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing took the unusual step of repeatedly sending U.S. science diplomats to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)…

What the U.S. officials learned during their visits concerned them so much that they dispatched two diplomatic cables categorized as Sensitive But Unclassified back to Washington. The cables warned about safety and management weaknesses at the WIV lab and proposed more attention and help. The first cable, which I obtained, also warns that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.

“During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory,” states the Jan. 19, 2018, cable…

… its research on bat coronaviruses was important but also dangerous…

… there is no evidence that the virus now plaguing the world was engineered; scientists largely agree it came from animals. But that is not the same as saying it didn’t come from the lab, which spent years testing bat coronaviruses in animals…

… the market didn’t sell bats…

Several of the doctors and journalists who reported on the spread early on have disappeared…

We don’t know whether the novel coronavirus originated in the Wuhan lab, but the cable pointed to the danger there and increases the impetus to find out, he said.

“I don’t think it’s a conspiracy theory. I think it’s a legitimate question that needs to be investigated and answered,” he said. “To understand exactly how this originated is critical knowledge for preventing this from happening in the future.”

May 26, 2021. Tags: . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

Video: Dr. Rand Paul accuses Dr. Anthony Fauci of perjury

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRXRFZ640MM

May 26, 2021. Tags: , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

While Florida suspends all COVID-19 restrictions, Washington D.C. bans dancing at indoor and outdoor weddings

Florida Gov. DeSantis suspends all remaining Covid restrictions:

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/03/florida-governor-desantis-suspends-all-remaining-covid-restrictions.html

DC has banned dancing at indoor and outdoor wedding receptions:

https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/local/dc/dc-bans-dancing-at-wedding-receptions/65-bf89fd3f-9011-4d43-b356-9a836c832904

May 3, 2021. Tags: , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

MIT researchers say you’re no safer from Covid indoors at 6 feet or 60 feet in new study challenging social distancing policies

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/23/mit-researchers-say-youre-no-safer-from-covid-indoors-at-6-feet-or-60-feet-in-new-study.html

MIT researchers say you’re no safer from Covid indoors at 6 feet or 60 feet in new study challenging social distancing policies

By Rich Mendez

April 23, 2021

An MIT study showed that people who maintain 60 feet of distance from others indoors are no more protected than if they socially distanced by just 6 feet.

According to the researchers, other calculations of the risk of indoor transmission have omitted too many factors to accurately quantify that risk.

“We need scientific information conveyed to the public in a way that is not just fear mongering but is actually based in analysis,” the author of the study said.

The risk of being exposed to Covid-19 indoors is as great at 60 feet as it is at 6 feet — even when wearing a mask, according to a new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers who challenge social distancing guidelines adopted across the world.

MIT professors Martin Z. Bazant, who teaches chemical engineering and applied mathematics, and John W.M. Bush, who teaches applied mathematics, developed a method of calculating exposure risk to Covid-19 in an indoor setting that factors in a variety of issues that could affect transmission, including the amount of time spent inside, air filtration and circulation, immunization, variant strains, mask use, and even respiratory activity such as breathing, eating, speaking or singing.

Bazant and Bush question long-held Covid-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization in a peer-reviewed study published earlier this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America.

“We argue there really isn’t much of a benefit to the 6-foot rule, especially when people are wearing masks,” Bazant said in an interview. “It really has no physical basis because the air a person is breathing while wearing a mask tends to rise and comes down elsewhere in the room so you’re more exposed to the average background than you are to a person at a distance.”

The important variable the CDC and the WHO have overlooked is the amount of time spent indoors, Bazant said. The longer someone is inside with an infected person, the greater the chance of transmission, he said.

Opening windows or installing new fans to keep the air moving could also be just as effective or more effective than spending large amounts of money on a new filtration system, he said.

Bazant also says that guidelines enforcing indoor occupancy caps are flawed. He said 20 people gathered inside for 1 minute is probably fine, but not over the course of several hours, he said.

“What our analysis continues to show is that many spaces that have been shut down in fact don’t need to be. Often times the space is large enough, the ventilation is good enough, the amount of time people spend together is such that those spaces can be safely operated even at full capacity and the scientific support for reduced capacity in those spaces is really not very good,” Bazant said. “I think if you run the numbers, even right now for many types of spaces you’d find that there is not a need for occupancy restrictions.”

Six-feet social distancing rules that inadvertently result in closed businesses and schools are “just not reasonable,” according to Bazant.

“This emphasis on distancing has been really misplaced from the very beginning. The CDC or WHO have never really provided justification for it, they’ve just said this is what you must do and the only justification I’m aware of, is based on studies of coughs and sneezes, where they look at the largest particles that might sediment onto the floor and even then it’s very approximate, you can certainly have longer or shorter range, large droplets,” Bazant said.

“The distancing isn’t helping you that much and it’s also giving you a false sense of security because you’re as safe at 6 feet as you are at 60 feet if you’re indoors. Everyone in that space is at roughly the same risk, actually,” he noted.

Pathogen-laced droplets travel through the air indoors when people talk, breathe or eat. It is now known that airborne transmission plays a huge role in the spread of Covid-19, compared with the earlier months of the pandemic where hand-washing was considered the leading recommendation to avoid transmission.

Those droplets from one’s warm exhalation mix with body heat and air currents in the area to rise and travel throughout the entire room, no matter how socially distanced a person is. People seem to be more exposed to that “background” air than they are by droplets from a distance, according to the study.

For example, if someone infected with Covid-19 is wearing a mask and singing loudly in an enclosed room, a person who is sitting at the other side of the room is not more protected than someone who is sitting just six feet away from the infected person. This is why time spent in the enclosed area is more important than how far you are from the infected person.

Masks work in general to prevent transmission by blocking larger droplets, therefore larger droplets aren’t making up the majority of Covid infections because most people are wearing masks. The majority of people who are transmitting Covid aren’t coughing and sneezing, they’re asymptomatic.

Masks also work to prevent indoor transmission by blocking direct plumes of air, best visualized by imagining someone exhaling smoke. Constant exposure to direct plumes of infectious air would result in a higher risk of transmission, though exposure to direct plumes of exhaled air doesn’t usually last long.

Even with masks on, as with smoking, those who are in the vicinity are heavily affected by the secondhand smoke that makes its way around the enclosed area and lingers. The same logic applies to infectious airborne droplets, according to the study. When indoors and masked, factors besides distance can be more important to consider to avoid transmission.

As for social distancing outdoors, Bazant says it makes almost no sense and that doing so with masks on is “kind of crazy.”

“If you look at the air flow outside, the infected air would be swept away and very unlikely to cause transmission. There are very few recorded instances of outdoor transmission.” he said. “Crowded spaces outdoor could be an issue, but if people are keeping a reasonable distance of like 3 feet outside, I feel pretty comfortable with that even without masks frankly.”

Bazant says this could possibly explain why there haven’t been spikes in transmission in states like Texas or Florida that have reopened businesses without capacity limits.

As for variant strains that are 60% more transmissible, increasing ventilation by 60%, reducing the amount of time spent inside or limiting the number of people indoors could offset that risk.

Bazant also said that a big question that is coming will be when masks can be removed, and that the study’s guidelines can help quantify the risks involved. He also noted that measuring carbon dioxide in a room can also help quantify how much infected air is present and hence risk of transmission.

“We need scientific information conveyed to the public in a way that is not just fearmongering but is actually based in analysis,” Bazant said. After three rounds of heavy peer review, he said it’s the most review he’s ever been through, and that now that it’s published he hopes it will influence policy.

April 24, 2021. Tags: . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

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