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.

Joe Biden Masks Up for Zoom Call with 16 Other World Leaders. He’s the Only One.

https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/joe-biden-mask-world-leader

Joe Biden Masks Up for Zoom Call with 16 Other World Leaders. He’s the Only One.

April 23, 2021

Please review the CDC mask guidelines at your convenience. It lays out when, where, and how we’re supposed to wear masks for totally unarguable sciencey reasons. At no point does it say you should mask up while on a conference call. Yet that’s what Joe Biden did on Thursday during a video conference with other world leaders, even after getting both his jabs. If you were wondering why Democrats are so uninformed about the ‘rona, wonder no more. It may very well be because this is their intellectual superior. Just a hunch.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. It has to be twice as many in the world leader group text they don’t let Biden on.

Let’s zoom in on the Zoom.

It’s unclear if he was masked up for the entire call, and that this was just a snapshot when he was. But you can see in this news report he’s masked up with only two other people sitting at a table with him, in what looks like a six-foot or so safety distance away.

I will give Joe Biden one thing. It takes a special brand of idiot to look like more of a virtue-signaling douche than Justin Trudeau. Yet Biden pulls it off with panache. And Trudeau is someone who views the pandemic as an excuse to reset greatly.

What’s hysterical to me is how the Biden administration keeps carrying on about vaccine hesitancy and how to address it. They want to blame Tucker Carlson being allowed a Facebook account. I’d suggest two more effective ideas. The first would be to send Anthony Fauci to his room and take away his cable news privileges. The other would be to take a look in the mirror. If this is what the White House considers leadership, no wonder so many Americans aren’t listening to him.

I have trouble imagining that there are people around Biden who think THIS is a good look. That someone thinks this shows leadership. All of the people in this call have been dealing with the same global pandemic. They’ve all been following the same science. Or at the very least, the same “science.” They’ve all gotten their shots. Yet every other world leader is on this call looking like a leader. Our leader is there looking like a buffoon.

The people around Biden CAN’T possibly think this doesn’t make Biden look like a dick. That the photo ops of him alone, outdoors, with no one around, yet still wearing a mask, are inspiring Americans to say “much leadership, very science.” I guess we’ll find out next week when we see how many masks he’s wearing to his joint session of Congress.

April 23, 2021. Tags: , , . COVID-19, Joe Biden. Leave a comment.

Study says masks make people sicker, and don’t protect them from COVID-19

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680614/

Conclusion

The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.

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

Twitter suspended someone’s account because they tweeted a link to a peer reviewed, Stanford study on face masks at nih.gov

This is the study:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680614/

This is an article about how Twitter suspended the person’s account for posting that link:

https://americanconservativemovement.com/2021/04/17/stanford-study-quietly-published-at-nih-gov-proves-face-masks-are-absolutely-worthless-against-covid/

This is Twitter’s reason for suspending the person’s account:

“We determined this Tweet violated the Twitter Rules, specifically for: Violating the policy on spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”

Here’s a screenshot of the tweet in question:

April 17, 2021. Tags: , , . COVID-19, Media bias. Leave a comment.

Maher praises DeSantis, knocks Cuomo, ‘liberal media’ for getting COVID wrong: ‘Those are just facts’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp3gy_CLXho

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/maher-praises-desantis-knocks-liberal-media-for-getting-covid-wrong

Maher praises DeSantis, knocks Cuomo, ‘liberal media’ for getting COVID wrong: ‘Those are just facts’

The HBO star slammed ‘blue states’ for keeping schools closed despite minimal health risks to children

By Joseph A. Wulfsohn

April 17, 2021

“Real Time” host Bill Maher had some tough words for liberals over their handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

In his closing monologue Friday night, Maher took aim at the media’s “panic porn” during the pandemic, citing a Dartmouth study showing that “nearly 90 percent” of U.S. national media coverage was negative in comparison to other countries even as conditions were getting better.

Maher also called out politicians who “lie” to “save their own asses.”

“When all of our sources for medical information have an agenda to spin us, yeah, you wind up with a badly misinformed population, including on the left,” Maher told viewers. “Liberals often mock the Republican misinformation bubble … but what about liberals? You know, the high-information, behind-the-science people?”

Maher then pointed to a Gallup survey that showed the vast majority of Democrats incorrectly overestimate the probability of being hospitalized from COVID, with 41 percent believing it’s at least 50 percent while only 10 percent of Democrats correctly said that the probability is only 1-to-5 percent while 26 percent of Republicans said the same, stressing that Democrats were “wildly off on this key question.”

“[Democrats] also have a greatly exaggerated view of the danger of COVID to and the mortality rate among children, all of which explains why today the states with the highest share of schools that are still closed are all blue states,” Maher lamented. “So if the right-wing media bubble has to own things like climate change denial, shouldn’t liberal media have to answer for ‘How did your audience wind up believing such bunch of crap about COVID?'”

The HBO star blasted The Atlantic magazine for shaming the media’s use of beach photos as a concern of furthering the spread of the virus “even though it’s increasingly looking like the beach is the best place to avoid it.”

“Sunshine is the best disinfectant and Vitamin D is the key to a robust immune system,” Maher exclaimed. “Texas lifted its COVID restrictions recently and their infection rates went down in part because of people getting outside to let the sun and wind do their thing. But to many liberals, ‘That can’t be right because Texas and beach-loving Florida have Republican governors,’ but life is complicated!”

Maher then praised Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for being “a voracious consumer of the scientific literature.”

“And maybe that’s why he protected his most vulnerable population, the elderly, way better than did the governor of New York,” Maher said, knocking Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Those are just facts, I know it’s irresponsible of me to say them.”

“Look, here’s what I’m saying: I don’t want politics mixed in with my medical decisions! And now that everything is politics, that’s all we do! If their side says ‘COVID is nothing,’ our side has to say it’s everything. Trump said it would ‘go away like a miracle,’ and we said it was World War Z,” Maher complained. “And now, of course, we find out that all that paranoia bout surfaces was bulls— anyway… If you lie to people, even for a very good cause, you lose their trust.”

“I think a lot of people died because of Trump’s incompetence and I think a lot of people died because talking about obesity became a third rail in America… it is the key piece of the puzzle, by far the most pertinent factor, but you dare not speak its name.

“Imagine how many lives could have been saved if there had been a national campaign ala Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ program with the urgency of the pandemic behind it,” Maher continued. “If the media and the doctors made the point to keep saying, ‘But there’s something you can do,’ but we’ll never know because they never did because the last thing you want to do is say something insensitive. We would literally rather die. Instead, we were told to lock down. Unfortunately, the killer was already inside the house. And her name is Little Debbie.”

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

YouTube bans video of experts from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford speaking out against masks for children

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4ijlbFzKcGoJ:https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/04/09/desantis-youtube-coronavirus/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

YouTube pulls video of DeSantis panel discussion urging no masks for children

By Meryl Kornfield

April 10, 2021

YouTube has pulled a video featuring Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) over allegations it contains misinformation about the coronavirus and mask-wearing.

The video is of a March 18 roundtable discussion in Tallahassee the governor hosted with panelists — radiologist and former White House adviser Scott Atlas, Harvard University biostatistician Martin Kulldorff, Oxford University epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford Medical School economist Jay Bhattacharya — who have publicly spoken against lockdowns and other measures enacted to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The video shared by news station WTSP Tampa Bay was taken down Wednesday because it violated a policy related to “COVID-19 medical misinformation,” according to platform spokeswoman Elena Hernandez.
 
“We removed this video because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Hernandez wrote in a statement shared with The Washington Post.

At one point during the nearly two-hour discussion, DeSantis asks panelists about enforcing mask-wearing for children, which the scientists dispute is effective to prevent the spread of the virus, despite recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization that children wear masks. The CDC advises mask-wearing for children age 2 and up, and the WHO recommends masks for children 12 and above.

“Children should not wear face masks,” Kulldorff said in response to DeSantis’s question. “They don’t need it for their own protection, and they don’t need it for protecting other people either.”

“I think it’s developmentally inappropriate and it just doesn’t help on the disease spread,” Bhattacharya added about mask-wearing for children. “I think it’s absolutely not the right thing to do.”

In a statement shared with The Post on Friday, DeSantis’s spokesman, Cody McCloud, called the video’s removal “another blatant example of Big Tech attempting to silence those who disagree with their woke corporate agenda,” arguing that the panelists’ academic affiliations qualify them to speak about the crisis.

“Good public health policy should include a variety of scientific and technical expertise, and YouTube’s decision to remove this video suppresses productive dialogue of these complex issues,” McCloud wrote.

After social media platforms were blamed for allowing misinformation to fester amid the 2016 election, the tech giants have cracked down on falsehoods about the coronavirus pandemic, fueling calls for stricter regulations of these companies from conservatives, including DeSantis, who view the scrutiny as overreaching. A video of Atlas was previously removed by the platform when he was an adviser to former president Donald Trump, prompting him to compare his plight to those who live in “Third World countries.”

Reactions from Florida politicians largely split along party lines. The state’s top elected Democrat, Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried, tweeted “we should find a governor who doesn’t get banned from @YouTube for endangering children with conspiracies.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) warned of “unelected gatekeepers of the public square.”

The removal of the video was first reported by the American Institute for Economic Research, the libertarian think tank behind the Great Barrington Declaration, a controversial letter co-signed by three of the panelists that endorses herd immunity. Although the online document claimed that thousands of doctors and scientists had signed it, Britain’s Sky News documented some transparently fake signatories, including “Dr. Person Fakename.”

Despite YouTube’s decision to yank the video, the discussion can still be viewed on the Florida Channel, a state-funded live-streaming service.

One of the panelists, Bhattacharya, told The Post that he thought YouTube’s decision was “censorship” and “contrary to American democratic norms of free expression.”
 
In an email, Bhattacharya wrote that he viewed the discussion as a “policy forum” and raised objections to mask-wearing based on evidence that masks could hinder a child’s ability to learn and interact with others.

The other panelists did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday evening, but Kulldorff tweeted a link to a Wall Street Journal editorial, which decried the removal, saying it “should not matter” if the information panelists were presenting was false because the discussion “offers a window into the thinking of the Governor and people who influence him.”

April 13, 2021. Tags: , , . COVID-19, Media bias. Leave a comment.

’60 Minutes’ faces backlash from Democrats and Publix for critical story on Florida’s vaccine rollout

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/05/media/60-minutes-gov-ron-desantis-publix/index.html

’60 Minutes’ faces backlash from Democrats and Publix for critical story on Florida’s vaccine rollout

By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

April 6, 2021

New York (CNN Business)”60 Minutes” is facing backlash for a story it aired Sunday on Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis — including from the supermarket chain Publix and two prominent Democrats in the state.

As part of a larger story about Florida’s vaccine rollout, the renowned newsmagazine program spotlighted a recent $100,000 donation that Publix made to DeSantis’ re-election bid.

The story, by correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi, suggested there was a possible link between the donation and the state’s partnership with Publix stores for vaccine distribution — a serious issue of foul play, if true.

But, beyond spotlighting the public finance records, “60 Minutes” never offered any substantive evidence to support the significant assertion and link the donation with the partnership.

After the report aired, the Democratic director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management and Democratic county mayor of Palm Beach County both publicly responded, saying that partnering with Publix was not suggested by anyone from DeSantis’ office.

In a Sunday night tweet directed at “60 Minutes,” Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz wrote, “I said this before and I’ll say it again. [Publix] was recommended by [Florida Division of Emergency Management] and [Florida Department of Public Health]. Period! Full stop!”

“No one from the Governors office suggested Publix,” Moskowitz added. “It’s just absolute malarkey.”

Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner offered a similar sentiment in a Monday statement.

“I watched the 60 Minutes segment on Palm Beach County last night and feel compelled to issue this statement,” Kerner said.

Kerner accused “60 Minutes” of reporting “intentionally false” information, saying that the program knew DeSantis had met with him and that the county had been the entity to request “to expand the state’s partnership with Publix.”

Publix also issued a statement to criticize the assertion, but the supermarket chain did not mention “60 Minutes” by name.

“The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between campaign contributions made to Governor DeSantis and our willingness to join other pharmacies in support of the state’s vaccine distribution efforts is absolutely false and offensive,” Publix said Monday.

In a Monday afternoon statement, DeSantis’ office said, “Florida partnered with Publix because they were ready to administer the vaccine in their pharmacies in a matter of days, whereas other pharmacies were not ready.”

“Not utilizing this partnership with Publix as soon as possible would have been malpractice,” the governor’s office added, “especially as the state was racing to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”

A spokesperson for “60 Minutes” defended the story the newsmagazine aired.

In a brief statement, the spokesperson focused specifically on criticism “60 Minutes” received for not airing a portion of an encounter DeSantis had with Alfonsi at a press conference in which he pointed out to her that CVS and Walgreens — under a federal program — were the first pharmacies in the state to distribute vaccines.

“As we always do for clarity, 60 Minutes used the portion of the Governor’s over 2-minute response that directly addressed the question from the correspondent,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also said that the program asked for an actual interview with DeSantis twice, but that he declined.
In a lengthier statement Tuesday afternoon, a CBS spokesperson said it had “requested and conducted interviews with dozens of sources and authorities involved.”

“We requested an interview with Gov. Ron DeSantis, he declined; We spoke to State Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz twice, but he declined to be interviewed on camera for our story until well after our deadline,” the spokesperson explained.

“The idea we ignored their perspective is untrue,” the spokesperson added. “Counter to his statement yesterday, we also spoke on the record with Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner. For over 50 years, the facts reported by 60 Minutes have often stirred debate and prompted strong reactions. Our story Sunday night speaks for itself.”

April 8, 2021. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Media bias. Leave a comment.

‘No Gestapo Here!’: Polish Pastor Tosses Canadian Police Out of Good Friday Church Service

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bethbaumann/2021/04/04/no-gestapo-here-polish-pastor-tosses-canadian-police-out-of-good-friday-churc-n2587374

‘No Gestapo Here!’: Polish Pastor Tosses Canadian Police Out of Good Friday Church Service

By Beth Baumann

April 4, 2021

Calgary police were met with resistance when they attempted to shut down a Good Friday church service for violating COVID restrictions. Artur Pawlowski, the pastor at The Cave of Adullam, told police to leave and not return until they have a search warrant in hand.

“You come back with a warrant,” Pawlowski said. “Out! Out! Out!” 

Police were hesitant to leave but the pastor wasn’t backing down. “Out of this property, you Nazis!” Pawlowski shouted. “Gestapo is not allowed here!”

As police left the property, Pawlowski told them “not to come back, you Nazi psychopaths.” 

“Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don’t you dare come back here!” he shouted as they walked away.

The pastor turned the camera to face him. 

“Can you imagine those psychopaths? Passover, the holiest Christian festival in a year and they’re coming to intimidate Christians during the holiest festival? Unbelievable,” Pawlowski said. “What is wrong with those sick psychopaths? It’s beyond me. Wow. Wow. How dare they?”

“Unbelievable. We’re living in a total takeover of the government with their thugs, goons, the brown shirts, the Gestapo wannabe dictators,” an incredulous Pawlowski said. “Coming to the church armed with guns and tasers and handcuffs to intimidate during Passover celebration? Well, I guess that’s what it is, they want to enslave us all like the Egyptians did. They want to be the Pharaohs of today, that’s what they’re doing. Unbelievable. People, if you don’t stand up, wake up, wow. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”

The pastor warned about Germany, where “wannabe Hitlers are already ruling” and fascism is reigning once again. He took particular issue with the country’s lockdown.

He referenced the COVID passports that are being talked about and potentially implemented.

“If you will not be vaccinated like a dog or a cat, you will not be able to buy or sell. You will not be able to go to school or work. Is that the future you want?” Pawlowski asked. “Is that what you want for your children and your grandchildren?”

According to the pastor, the time to stand up and push back against the out-of-control government is now.

April 4, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19, Police state, Religion. Leave a comment.

My newest book has Gretchen Whitmer on the front cover, and Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom on the back cover. The book is called, “The COVID-19 lockdown is killing more people than it is saving.”

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091DWWWL6

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091DPTGF3

March 30, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Books, COVID-19. Leave a comment.

Keeping the public schools closed is mean, cruel, inhumane, and evil, and it has nothing to do with COVID-19

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 26, 2021

Please take a lot at all these things, and please note the date on each one.

All of these things, taken together in context, proves that keeping the public schools closed has nothing to do with COVID-19.

Keeping the public schools closed is mean, cruel, inhumane, and evil.

May 28, 2020

Reopening schools in Denmark did not worsen outbreak, data shows

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-05-28/opening-schools-in-denmark-did-not-worsen-outbreak-data-shows

May 29, 2020

Denmark, Finland say they saw no increase in coronavirus after schools re-opened

https://justthenews.com/world/europe/denmark-finland-say-they-saw-no-increase-coronavirus-after-schools-re-opened

July 13 , 2020

German study finds no evidence coronavirus spreads in schools

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/13/german-study-finds-no-evidence-coronavirus-spreads-schools/

July 21 2020

No known case of teacher catching coronavirus from pupils, says scientist

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/no-known-case-of-teacher-catching-coronavirus-from-pupils-says-scientist-3zk5g2x6z

September 18, 2020

Suicide among children during Covid-19 pandemic: An alarming social issue

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7500342/

January 8, 2021

Escalating suicide rates among school children during COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown period: An alarming psychosocial issue

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0253717620982514

February 10, 2021

Child suicides are rising during lockdown

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-02-child-suicides-lockdown.html

March 1, 2021

Matt Meyer, the president of the Berkeley teachers union, says it’s too dangerous to open the public schools. But Meyer was just filmed taking his own daughter to a private school. I never trust anyone who isn’t willing to live under the same rules that they expect everyone else to live under. Clearly, the real reason for keeping the public schools closed has nothing to do with safety.

https://www.kqed.org/news/11862469/after-leading-school-closures-berkeley-teachers-union-president-spotted-dropping-daughter-off-at-in-person-preschool

March 9, 2021

LA teachers warned to not share vacation pics as union seeks safe return to classrooms. UTLA members voted overwhelmingly to reject what the union called an ‘unsafe’ return to the classroom unless certain demands are met. I never trust anyone who isn’t willing to live under the same rules that they expect everyone else to live under. Clearly, the real reason for keeping the public schools closed has nothing to do with safety.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/la-teachers-warned-to-not-share-vacation-pics-as-union-seeks-safe-return-to-classrooms-report

March 19, 2021

Doctors indicate startling rise in child suicide, psychiatric admissions during lockdown

https://elizabethjohnston.org/doctors-indicate-startling-rise-in-child-suicide-psychiatric-admissions-amid-ongoing-pandemic-measures/

March 22, 2021

The lockdown made it harder for victims of domestic violence to seek help

https://www.city-journal.org/lockdowns-and-domestic-violence

March 26, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Education, Unions. Leave a comment.

I think the COVID-19 lockdown is killing more people than it is saving. Here are my many reasons for thinking such a thing. Updated for March 26, 2021.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 26, 2021

I think the COVIOD-19 lockdown is killing more people than it is saving.

I’m going to start out by posting the CDC’s estimated survival rates, by age, for people who contract COVID-19:

(more…)

March 26, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care, Math, Science. Leave a comment.

Why isn’t everyone in Florida dead or in the hospital?

https://townhall.com/columnists/wayneallynroot/2021/03/21/why-isnt-everyone-in-florida-dead-or-in-the-hospital-n2586578

Why Isn’t Everyone in Florida Dead or in the Hospital?

By Wayne Allyn Root

March 21, 2021

I hate to say I told you so. But I told you so.

I’m one of the few brave souls in the American media who warned and advised from day one (back in early March 2020) not to lock down the American people or the economy.

I argued the following:

— That lockdowns wouldn’t stop COVID-19, because you can’t stop a virus.

— That there was never a reason to lock down everyone. Anyone relatively young or healthy never had a reason to fear death from COVID. The survival rate has been reported at 99%, especially for anyone relatively healthy under the age of 65.

— That over time, lockdowns would cause more deaths from suicide, depression, loneliness, drug and alcohol addiction, joblessness, poverty and stress (from people being unsure how to feed their families) than from COVID.

— And, worst of all, that lockdowns would destroy the economy. If Grandma or Grandpa is sick and dying from COVID, how does it help them if their kids and grandkids lose their businesses, jobs or homes? It only makes things much worse. Grandma and Grandpa would not want their kids and grandkids to be jobless, hopeless or homeless. They want them to live life and prosper. That’s how you honor Grandpa and Grandma.

I warned that the only way to fight COVID and pay for COVID was to keep the economy open and healthy. And to keep Americans employed.

Don’t look now, but I was 100% right.

Florida is exhibit A. Everyone needs to know the Florida story.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis should be America’s Hero Governor. He stood strong in the face of massive pressure to close the state, close the economy, lock down the people and order mask mandates. He refused. He kept Florida open for business.

Now look at the amazing results. Florida’s economy is booming. People are happy. Quality of life is high. And very few are sick. It worked!

Even though Florida has been wide open (without masks) for almost a year now, even though the state has millions of retired senior citizens, it still has less deaths and hospitalizations right now than most of the know-it-all liberal states that are locked down and run by authoritarian Democratic governors. Florida’s numbers are better than those of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois.

All this and the people of Florida kept their businesses open, kept their jobs, kept their kids in school and kept living normal lives.

My friends own restaurants in Florida. Restaurants and bars are jammed. No one is wearing masks. They tell me that not only are the customers healthy; all their employees are healthy.

How is this possible? How can Florida be thriving and prospering and healthier while California and New York have been shut down the entire time, with businesses dead, jobs gone, schools closed and kids not leaning a thing?

The answer is simple. Democratic governors blew it. They made all the wrong decisions. No lockdowns were ever needed. Nor were they ever constitutional. No jobs should have been lost.

This was all a travesty, a tragedy, a farse. With lockdowns, people still get sick; you can’t stop a germ. But they do succeed at three things: destroying the economy, destroying quality of life and, ironically, making more people sick and die due to the stress, loneliness, depression and poverty the lockdowns produced.

Lockdowns prove the solution is often worse than the virus.

The only answer is freedom and individual choice. Let Americans choose whether to keep their businesses open, go to work or wear masks.

As usual, government was wrong. Government made things much worse. As usual, liberal Democratic ideas failed miserably. Lockdowns are perhaps the worst mistake in America’s history. Case closed.

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

A year into the pandemic, Florida is booming and Republican Gov. DeSantis is taking credit

https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/17/politics/ron-desantis-covid-florida/index.html

A year into the pandemic, Florida is booming and Republican Gov. DeSantis is taking credit

March 17, 2021

St. Petersburg, Florida (CNN) After a year of criticism by health experts, mockery from comedians and blistering critiques from political rivals, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is standing unabashedly tall among the nation’s governors on the front lines of the coronavirus fight.

“Everyone told me I was wrong,” DeSantis, a Republican, said in a fundraising appeal on Tuesday, drawing attention to his defiance against the pandemic. “I faced continued pressure from radical Democrats and the liberal media, but I refused to back down. It’s clear: Florida got it right.”

As many parts of the country embark on an uneasy march toward normalcy, Florida is not only back in business — it’s been in business for the better part of the past year. DeSantis’ gamble to take a laissez faire approach appears to be paying off — at least politically, at least for now, as other governors capturing attention in the opening phase of the pandemic now face steeper challenges.

Despite far fewer rules and restrictions, Florida lands nearly in the middle of all states on a variety of coronavirus metrics. The state has had about 3% more Covid-19 cases per capita than the US overall, but about 8% fewer deaths per capita. More than 32,000 Floridians have died of Covid-19, and the state’s per capita death rate ranks 24th in the nation.

“Those lockdowns have not worked. They’ve done great damage to our country,” DeSantis said Tuesday at a news conference in Tallahassee. “We can never let something like this happen again. Florida took a different path. We’ve had more success as a result.”

DeSantis — who, at 42, is the nation’s youngest governor — is standing out among his peers and seizing upon what he and his supporters believe is a vindication for their policies.

Lockdowns and school openings are suddenly a new measure for voters to hold governors and other elected officials accountable, a sign that the politics of the pandemic could open an uncertain chapter for many holding public office. He will be among the governors putting his record to the test when he runs for re-election next year.

“We still have millions of kids across this country who are denied access to in-person education,” DeSantis said at the news conference. “We still have businesses closed in many parts of this country. We have millions and millions of lives destroyed.”

‘It would not be booming if it was shut down’

With spring on the horizon, DeSantis suddenly appears to be in a position of strength compared to some of his fellow governors, including many of whom took far more restrictive approaches to the fight against coronavirus that caused a trickle-down effect on the economy.

He is not facing a potential recall like California Gov. Gavin Newsom, under investigation like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or being second-guessed for lifting a statewide mask mandate like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

DeSantis refused to implement a mask mandate in the first place, making him an outlier a year ago. At the time, he was hewing closely to President Donald Trump’s playbook, which he argued at the time was good for business.

The unemployment rate in Florida is 4.8 %, according to the latest figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to 6.8% in Texas, 8.8% in New York and 9% in California.

“If you look at what’s happening in South Florida right now, I mean this place is booming. It would not be booming if it was shut down,” DeSantis said last month as a crush of tourists began arriving. “Los Angeles isn’t booming. New York City’s not booming. It’s booming here because you can live like a human being.”

Florida has recorded about 9,204 cases per 100,000 people and about 150 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. Across the country overall, there have been about 8,969 cases per 100,000 people and 163 deaths per 100,000 people.

Despite far more stringent restrictions, California only ranks one spot better than Florida in both measures. Its death rate is about 5% lower than Florida’s, which means about 1,500 lives could have been saved in Florida if the state’s death rate matched that of California.

Still, comparing one state to another is complicated and often counterproductive, said Jason Salemi, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida College of Public Health who maintains his own Covid dashboard. For example, he said, the humidity of Florida and the density of New York City offer entirely different scenarios for fighting coronavirus.

“What I’d love to ask about Florida is, if we had done things differently in Florida, what would it have looked like?” Salemi told CNN. “If you use those metrics of where Florida is relative to a lot of other states, we’re looking middle of the pack. So no, it hasn’t been a disaster in that we’re leading in mortality per capita in cases per capita.”

He added: “It’s not always about doing well relative to your peers. It’s how can we prevent as much morbidity and mortality from the virus while keeping an eye on what’s happening with our economy.”

He said Florida has also benefitted from local ordinances requiring masks and restricting the sizes of gatherings. DeSantis has prohibited cities and counties from fining people for refusing to wear masks and is stirring outrage among local officials by pushing to strip their authority to put such rules in place at all.

Throughout the pandemic, it’s that defiant and often combative DeSantis who has increasingly become the darling of Republicans. He declines most interview requests, including from CNN, even as he frequently appears on Fox News and other propaganda platforms. He has been locked in one fight after another with the state’s media over transparency on Covid statistics and other issues.

Yet his policies have boosted his standing inside his party, all but certainly closing the door to any Republican challenges. Potential Democratic contenders are already circling.

Rep. Charlie Crist — who served as Republican governor of the state from 2007 to 2011 and switched parties in 2012 — is among the Democrats thinking about challenging DeSantis for re-election next year. He said he intended to make up his mind before summer.

Asked how he thought Florida had withstood the pandemic, Crist said: “It’s a mixed bag, to be candid.”

“We have a light at the end of the tunnel feeling and that really is a godsend,” Crist told CNN in an interview in his office here. “On the other hand, there’s about 33,000 of my fellow Floridians that are dead now. And that’s incredibly sad, tragic and beyond unfortunate. So how are we doing? Well, we’re slugging through it like the rest of the country is and just doing the best we can.”

Crist and other Florida Democrats are calling for a US Justice Department investigation into whether DeSantis gave preference to donors after invitation-only vaccines clinics were set up in at least two upscale communities. The exclusive Covid-19 clinics allowed about 6,000 people to jump ahead of tens of thousands of seniors on waitlists in Manatee and Charlotte counties, where the drives happened.

“Was there preference given to certain Caucasian wealthy, Republican communities?” Crist said. “Because it certainly looks like it.”

A spokeswoman for the governor has dismissed the accusation, saying: “The insinuation that politics play into vaccine distribution in Florida is baseless and ridiculous.”

‘I think he took a gamble and it worked out’

Here in Florida, where beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and on Gulf of Mexico are crowded this week in ways not seen for more than a year, the complete story of the pandemic has yet to be written, as President Joe Biden inherits the challenge and has accelerated vaccines here and across the country. Yet health experts and local officials worry that a parade of spring break vacationers could contribute to a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Tom Golden, who owns a restaurant and bar along the busy stretch of Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg, said he didn’t have much of an opinion on DeSantis a year ago. But with his business not only surviving, but thriving, he offers a measure of credit to the governor.

“When he went into office, I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Golden said in an interview just before lunch on a sunny morning this week. “But he didn’t do anything to hurt me as a business owner or me as a Floridian. So fine with me.”
After businesses were allowed to open after being shuttered for several weeks late last spring, Golden said he recalls having mixed feelings about the balancing act of keeping the economy alive and protecting the public’s health.

“Well, of course, as a business owner I supported it, but as a human being, I kept thinking that it’s a horrible position to be in,” Golden said. “It’s a hard one to measure. I think he made a good decision.”

Conversations with more than a dozen Floridians offered a wide assessment of views about DeSantis’ handling of the coronavirus crisis. Several people suggested they were not initially supportive him, but in hindsight found themselves approving of his decision to reopen the economy and schools.
A woman strolling down the St. Petersburg Pier spoke about her grandchildren in California, who have attended school virtually for the last year. She said she believes the Florida approach was better, given the temperate weather and ability to be outside. She declined to be identified by name, but praised DeSantis’ decisions that have allowed the orchestra to resume playing here and the economy to thrive.

Molly Minton, who works as a laboratory supervisor, said she recalls being dispirited as she drove home from work and saw crowded bars and restaurants. Looking back, she said, she is glad many small businesses were able to stay open and believes Florida was simply lucky in many respects.

“I think he took a gamble and it worked out,” Minton said of the governor.
In a sprawling state of more than 21 million people, where some estimates say about 1,000 new residents arrive every day, many people said they had no opinion of DeSantis at all and didn’t know much about him.

He was born in Jacksonville and raised on the Gulf Coast just north of here in Dunedin, and he had a love for baseball that sent his team to the Little League World Series. Later, he played outfield while studying at Yale. He graduated from Harvard Law School and worked as a Naval prosecutor, including a stint in Iraq as a Navy JAG lawyer advising a SEAL team.

In 2012, he won a seat in Congress and was elected governor in 2018 two months after he turned 40. He was largely unknown during the primary campaign until he won the endorsement of Trump, who became aware of him through frequent appearances on Fox News.

Now, DeSantis is seen by many grassroots conservatives as a potential 2024 presidential candidate. That path depends on his gubernatorial reelection next year.

His long-range future, of course, also depends on the outcome of the rest of the pandemic. Yet it’s clear he hopes to make that his new calling card, which he telegraphed in a fundraising appeal for Republican governors that he sent to supporters on Tuesday.

“Right now,” DeSantis wrote, “my state of Florida is one of the only states that said no to oppressive lockdowns and has become an oasis of freedom for Americans.”

March 18, 2021. Tags: , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

Video: Woman arguing for masks almost passes out from wearing a mask. When someone asked her how one school district without masks was doing well, she answered, “I don’t care.”

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

March 14, 2021. Tags: , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

CDC: “After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds”

 

Original: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20210308164227/https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

How to Protect Yourself and Others

March 8, 2021
 
COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more.

March 8, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . COVID-19. 2 comments.

Ted Cruz proposes a $10,000 scholarship for students in districts where the public schools are still closed

https://twitter.com/SenTedCruz/status/1368188283264581636

March 7, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Education, Unions. Leave a comment.

Cuomo Aides Rewrote Nursing Home Report to Hide Higher Death Toll

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/04/nyregion/cuomo-nursing-home-deaths.html

Cuomo Aides Rewrote Nursing Home Report to Hide Higher Death Toll

The intervention was the earliest action yet known in an effort by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that concealed how many nursing home residents died in the pandemic.

By J. David Goodman and Danny Hakim

March 4, 2021

Top aides to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo were alarmed: A report written by state health officials had just landed, and it included a count of how many nursing home residents in New York had died in the pandemic.

The number — more than 9,000 by that point in June — was not public, and the governor’s most senior aides wanted to keep it that way. They rewrote the report to take it out, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times.

The extraordinary intervention, which came just as Mr. Cuomo was starting to write a book on his pandemic achievements, was the earliest act yet known in what critics have called a monthslong effort by the governor and his aides to obscure the full scope of nursing home deaths.

After the state attorney general revealed earlier this year that thousands of deaths of nursing home residents had been undercounted, Mr. Cuomo finally released the complete data, saying he had withheld it out of concern that the Trump administration might pursue a politically motivated inquiry into the state’s handling of the outbreak in nursing homes.

But Mr. Cuomo and his aides actually began concealing the numbers months earlier, as his aides were battling their own top health officials, and well before requests for data arrived from federal authorities, according to documents and interviews with six people with direct knowledge of the discussions, who requested anonymity to describe the closed-door debates.

The central role played by the governor’s top aides reflected the lengths to which Mr. Cuomo has gone in the middle of a deadly pandemic to control data, brush aside public health expertise and bolster his position as a national leader in the fight against the coronavirus.

As the nursing home report was being written, the New York State Health Department’s data — contained in a chart reviewed by The Times that was included in a draft — put the death toll roughly 50 percent higher than the figure then being cited publicly by the Cuomo administration.

The Health Department worked on the report with McKinsey, a consulting firm hired by Mr. Cuomo to help with the pandemic response. The chart they created compared nursing home deaths in New York with other states. New York’s total of 9,250 deaths far exceeded that of the next-highest state, New Jersey, which had 6,150 at the time.

The changes sought by the governor’s aides fueled bitter exchanges with health officials working on the report. The conflict punctuated an already tense and devolving relationship between Mr. Cuomo and his Health Department, one that would fuel an exodus of the state’s top public health officials.

In the past week, Mr. Cuomo’s once seemingly unshakable grip on power has been buffeted by a wave of scandal. Three women have accused the governor of inappropriate conduct, including workplace sexual harassment. On Wednesday, he publicly apologized for his actions, which are soon to be subjected to an independent investigation overseen by the state attorney general.

The crisis over Mr. Cuomo’s behavior with women came just as his administration had been dealing with political turmoil over nursing homes. Lawmakers moved to strip him of the emergency powers he had been granted during the pandemic, and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have opened a separate investigation.

A lawyer hired to represent Mr. Cuomo and his aides, Elkan Abramowitz, has begun interviewing senior staff members in the governor’s office about the nursing home report, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.

The aides who were involved in changing the report included Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s top aide; Linda Lacewell, the head of the state’s Department of Financial Services; and Jim Malatras, a former top adviser to Mr. Cuomo brought back to work on the pandemic. None had public health expertise.

In response to a detailed list of questions from The Times sent on Tuesday, the governor’s office responded with a statement Thursday night from Beth Garvey, a special counsel, who said “the out-of-facility data was omitted after D.O.H. could not confirm it had been adequately verified.” She added that the additional data did not change the conclusion of the report.

The tension over the death count dated to the early weeks of the pandemic when Mr. Cuomo issued an order preventing nursing homes from turning away people discharged from the hospital after being treated for Covid-19. The order was similar to ones issued in other states aimed at preventing hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

But by late spring, Republicans were suggesting that the order had caused a deadly spread of the virus in nursing homes. Mr. Cuomo disputed that it had. Still, critics and others seized on the way the state was publicly reporting deaths: Unlike other states, New York excluded residents who had been transferred to hospitals and died there, effectively cloaking how many nursing home residents had died of Covid-19.

The 33-page report, which was issued in July by the state Health Department, found Mr. Cuomo’s policies were not to blame, but it became a turning point in the Albany debate over the governor’s policies.

The day after the report was published, legislators began calling for hearings and requesting complete data. Public health officials criticized its approach. A think tank began seeking the data the next month, as did the Justice Department.

Health officials, nursing home operators and even some of Mr. Cuomo’s aides expressed bafflement at the governor’s apparent insistence on delaying the release of the data for so long, as none of the information released so far has changed the overall number of Covid-19 deaths in New York — now more than 47,000, including more than 15,000 nursing home residents.

But the July report allowed Mr. Cuomo to treat the nursing home issue as resolved last year, paving the way for him to focus on touting New York’s success in controlling the virus.

“I am now thinking about writing a book about what we went through,” Mr. Cuomo said four days after the report’s release, his first public comments about a possible book.

By that point, he was already seeking formal approval from a state ethics agency to earn outside income from book sales, according to a person with knowledge of his planning at the time.

The governor’s policy to direct nursing homes to accept and readmit patients who had tested positive for the coronavirus remains a subject of intense debate. An investigation by the attorney general’s office, released in January, said that Mr. Cuomo’s memo to nursing homes was consistent with federal guidance, but it “may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities.”

Ms. Garvey said in her statement that the governor’s order did not drive nursing home deaths, a conclusion that was also reached in the Health Department report.

At the time when the report was being debated, Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, still enjoyed broad popularity for his televised news briefings.

Dr. Eleanor Adams was the Health Department’s lead on the report, but her draft was substantially rewritten by Mr. Malatras, now the chancellor of the State University of New York system. He was among a number of officials and former advisers temporarily recruited by Mr. Cuomo to assist with the pandemic response.

The back-and-forth went well beyond the usual process of the governor’s office suggesting edits to an agency report, and became “intense” at times, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.

Health officials felt the governor’s office, whose opinion was conveyed by Mr. Malatras, wanted to simplify too much. They worried it was no longer a true scientific report, but feared for their jobs if they did not go along.

Even so, an edited version prepared by Mr. Malatras did not remove the higher death toll.

That occurred later, after Ms. DeRosa and Ms. Lacewell became aware of its inclusion. It was taken out soon after.

March 5, 2021. Tags: , , , , . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

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