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Lies, Damned Lies and Covid19

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Lies, Damned Lies and Covid19
Michael Lesher

Image source – Forbes/Getty

Growing up as I did in the Cold War, I still experience a special kind of shudder whenever I come across an anecdote like that of Katya Soldak, whose Soviet nursery school teacher once showed her class a photograph clipped from a Western newspaper, “depicting skinny [Russian] children in striped robes walking in a straight line.”

The capitalists who printed that picture wanted people to think Soviet children were “treated like prisoners,” the teacher declared angrily, “when in reality the kids were on their way to a swimming pool in their bathrobes.”

Which was a nice story (thought little Katya) — except that “I had never even seen a pool…. [T]hey existed in my mind as does an exotic animal or an unvisited city.”

A time capsule from a remote dystopia? Think again.

Staring at me right now from the latest quarterly newsletter of my alma mater, the University of Virginia, is an identical piece of bad-is-good fakery: a photograph of an involuntarily isolated graduate student named Kalea Obermeyer, accompanied by a caption blandly informing the reader that the woman seated alone on a trunk in the confines of a cramped dormitory room, clumsily swathed in a surgical mask, “shelters in place” in “her most secure housing during the pandemic.”

Welcome to Pravda, COVID19 style.

Being an honest sort, I have considered whether I ought to write to the editors of my old university’s magazine, accusing them of playing toady to democracy-destroying propagandists.

Should I remind these so-called educators of the young that the term “shelter in place” is properly applied to air raids, not to “pandemics,” and is a cruel hoax when pressed into service to describe what is actually an illegal quarantine?

That the young woman in the photograph is not “sheltered” but confined? That pandemics have occurred many times before, and that what’s new this time around is not the flu but the police state? That the governor’s order placing this student (and the rest of the citizenry) under virtual house arrest is probably unconstitutional?

And that while she’s stuck in her room — for no good reason I can discern — a whole host of local bus drivers, contract workers and university employees, including dining hall service workers who’ve labored there for decades, are all out of jobs?

I’d like to write all that, and more, to the purveyors of this bit of fake news. But I suspect I’d be wasting my time.

Mainstream media have recycled so many lies about COVID19 that by now every respectable editor with enough sense to come in out of the rain knows perfectly well what he or she is supposed to make the rest of us believe. And heaven help the dissenters!

Thus the once-respectable Atlantic, after months of promoting coronavirus hysteria, has published a kind of palinode that admits virtually every charge made by critics of lockdown policies — but still winds up gloomily insisting on the freedom-haters’ moral supremacy, facts or no facts.

The authors (Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer) grudgingly concede the growing evidence that going outdoors, instead of being cooped up for months at a time per lockdown fiats, actually reduces the risk of infection.

They also admit that those who enforce our confinement clearly don’t believe their own hype about “social distancing”: police are “crowding protesters together, blasting them with lung and eye irritants, and cramming them into paddy wagons and jails.”

They even point out that the police themselves rarely bother separating from one another. But ultimately none of that matters to the liberal Atlantic: it’s “obvious” — evidence be damned — that just “standing in a crowd for long periods raises the risk of increased transmission of SARS-CoV-2.” Who says so? Why, Anthony Fauci does.

And what about all the evidence that COVID19, never anywhere near as deadly as officials originally assured us it was, is on the way out?

Here, too, the Atlantic’s paladins admit the facts but refuse to draw the obvious conclusion. They note that “the outbreak has eased in the Northeast,” the hardest-hit section of the US; that new cases have leveled off or declined in the great majority of states; and that “hundreds of public-health professionals signed a letter this week declining to oppose the protests [against police brutality] ‘as risky for COVID19 transmission.'”

They even admit that in Georgia and Florida, two states that enforced lockdowns least and opened up earliest, the numbers of new infections have been “relatively flat.”

In the face of so much good news, what are right-thinking police-state enthusiasts to do?

“[T]he US is not going to beat the coronavirus,” Madrigal and Meyer groan in unison in the article’s key paragraph. “Collectively, we slowly seem to be giving up.” Now there’s a specimen of doublethink even Orwell missed: victory is surrender; lockdown is safety; hysteria is virtue.

So I’m not planning to write to the editors at my alma mater — at least, not about that propagandists’ playground known as COVID19. When rights-trampling, economy-busting general incarceration is the fashion in the Land of the Free, when lying is good sense and wrecking lives is “health care,” my old ideas of rational persuasion start to look like a parasol in a monsoon.

Instead, I am going to do a bit of ranting about words — the elements that lies are made of. I do this because I am sure the twisting of language to cloak political and economic skullduggery — which I take to be the worst evils of the coronavirus outbreak — will be glossed over in future mainstream accounts.

And I do it because the politicians who tore up the Bill of Rights and thrust the US and much of the world to the brink of another Great Depression are not likely to change their spots — and unless we insist on calling their actions by their right names, we will be defenseless against their future machinations. “Political language,” Orwell reminded us, “is designed to make lies sound truthful…and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

Well, here are some choice examples of “pure wind” that made “lies sound truthful” over the past three months:

Shelter in place. The fraudulent use of this term stands in synecdoche to all the rest. “Shelter in place” originated in US Civil Defense regulations in the context of a possible nuclear attack; over the following decades, the term evolved to mean any emergency order to “take cover until the coast is clear on order of officials.” But it has never had the slightest connection with disease control.

An order that restricts the movement of someone who is not ill, but who is suspected of contact with someone who is, is called a “quarantine.” But there are laws that regulate slapping quarantine orders on people — to say nothing of an entire population — and the governors and mayors who were bent on lockdowns clearly didn’t intend to be constrained by anything as pedestrian as the law.

So they dug up this irrelevant phrase and plastered it over their arbitrary confinements of huge numbers of citizens — in violation of quarantine statutes, without a court order, and without even a semblance of public debate — hoping nobody would notice the compounding of official malfeasance with verbal fakery.

It’s worth taking a moment to imagine how this trick must have been hatched in the bowels of some executive mansion.

I can picture someone like New Jersey governor Phil Murphy (last seen claiming that the constraints of the Bill of Rights weren’t part of his job description) barking at his aides, “Damn it, there’s got to be something to justify locking up the whole state without going through those pesky quarantine procedures!”

And I can see a harried assistant, having rummaged for hours in the archives, jogging into an office with the term “shelter in place” and a rather sheepish explanation that, well, it’s not about infection control, and doesn’t really have anything to do with the present situation, but it does say “in place” and, um, “shelter” and, you know…and anyway, for God’s sake, there isn’t anything else!

And then it’s not hard to imagine the boss (who knows the media better than his subordinates do) triumphantly working the words “shelter in place” into his next public address, confident that few mainstream reporters will ask him where the phrase came from.

The imagined details are less important than the obvious fact that “shelter in place” could not have been sprung on us by way of an innocent error. The term had to be found, and the officials who found it would necessarily have known what it meant, and therefore that its use in the context of a viral epidemic would constitute a fraud.

Thus, anyone — and I mean anyone — who has employed the phrase “shelter in place” over the last three months has been repeating a lie. It’s as simple as that. Every public health care official who has used the phrase is a scoundrel; every “journalist” who has used it is a shameless propagandist; every politician who has used it is an imposter who, in my view, deserves to be impeached or voted out of office forthwith.

Social distancing. This one runs “shelter in place” a close second. The phrase was nonexistent, or at best obscure, until rather recently; when officials of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention used it in a 2007 advisory memorandum, they felt obliged to explain the term in a footnote:

Social distancing refers to methods for reducing frequency and closeness of contact between people in order to decrease the risk of transmission of disease. Examples of social distancing include cancellation of public events such as concerts, sports events, or movies, closure of office buildings, schools, and other public places, and restriction of access to public places such as shopping malls or other places where people gather.​
Note that this definition does not include keeping people six feet apart, stifling them with surgical masks, or barring them from inviting family members to their apartments. Evidently, not even the germophobes at the CDC were prepared to contemplate so brutal a disruption of human life just thirteen years ago.

In fact, the same memorandum stressed the importance of “[r]espect for individual autonomy” and “each individual’s general right to noninterference,” adding that even in the event the government did close office buildings or restrict access to shopping malls, “[a] process should be in place for objections to be heard, restrictions appealed, and for new procedures to be considered prior to implementation” — something never even remotely attempted during the last three months.

In other words, “social distancing” really means whatever the changing whims of our governors would like it to mean, as they continue to exercise “emergency” powers in what is clearly not an emergency. Meanwhile, the use of the term gives a false patina of scientific legitimacy to unprecedented government intrusions into the most basic interactions of human life.

The timing of the successive redefinitions of the phrase is itself instructive. In my own state of New Jersey, masks were not required as a component of “social distancing” until mid-April, by which time it was clear that the number of new cases in the region was already leveling off. (Masks remain mandatory in public as of this writing, even though the infection rate has fallen almost to pre-outbreak levels.)

Allow that point to sink in for a moment: “social distancing” took on a more extreme and divisive definition at just the moment that, by any rational calculation, restrictions should have been reduced, if not removed altogether! And the most recent fiats from the governor suggest that nothing like ordinary companionship is going to be permitted any time soon — regardless of the facts.

This implies that, at bottom, “social distancing” is not intended to serve any genuine medical purpose. It’s much better understood as an instrument of political repression — a way of keeping people apart and preventing any sort of public organizing.

I don’t consider it an accident that the “phased reopening plan” being peddled by nearly all media “experts,” and routinely attributed to Johns Hopkins University, was in fact produced under the leadership of Scott Gottlieb, a resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute — the right-wing think tank that served as a major cheerleader for the Iraq invasion of 2003 and whose recent initiatives include efforts to sharply reduce federal spending on health care.

(Dr. Gottlieb, who until recently was Trump’s Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, now sits on the boards of pharma heavyweights Pfizer, Illumina and Tempus — so it’s not hard to see where his interests lie.)

That AEI is in no hurry to help small businesses reopen or to keep working people from losing their jobs will come as no surprise. What needs emphasis is that if such an outfit couldn’t hide its agenda behind the medical-sounding phrase “social distancing,” it would stand little chance of slipping its initiatives past the general public and into practice. But while we’re all creeping around with our faces wrapped like mummies, turned away from each other whenever possible, staying at least six feet apart, and speaking only when spoken to, how are we supposed to mount effective political opposition as the high rollers play their favorite games?

Emergency. Though it’s not often reported this way, the United States largely suspended democratic government back in March, when some 40 state executives declared “health emergencies,” granting themselves quasi-dictatorial powers to act without legislative approval or legal process.

They did this by invoking each state’s version of the Emergency Health Powers Act, a controversial piece of legislation crafted in the nervous aftermath of the September 2001 attacks and supposedly designed for a coordinated response to a massive act of bioterrorism. The American Civil Liberties Union was not alone back then in condemning the bill as “replete with civil liberties problems” and “a throwback to a time before the legal system recognized basic protections for fairness.”

Nevertheless, liberal media didn’t utter a peep when governors across the nation effectively scuppered democracy in the face of what, however threatening, didn’t even arguably resemble a catastrophic bioterror attack.

If that strikes you as a flagrant abuse of the word “emergency” for questionable political purposes — and it should — you ain’t seen nothing yet.

On June 4, New Jersey’s Governor Murphy issued his third consecutive extension of what was supposed to be a thirty-day “state of emergency” he had originally declared — unilaterally — on March 9.

What was the “emergency” this time around? In the governor’s own words: “there has now been a decrease in the rate of reported new cases of COVID19 in New Jersey, in the total number of individuals being admitted to hospitals for COVID19, and in the rate of reproduction for COVID19 infections in New Jersey.”

Got that? New cases, hospitalizations, even the “rate of reproduction” for the virus are all on the wane throughout Murphy’s jurisdiction. (And have been for months.) Yet in today’s Newspeak, that’s an “emergency” — enough to justify another month of democracy-free rule by executive fiat.

And I’m the Maharaja of Mysore…

I won’t even bother writing about that most buffoonish of phrases, “flattening the curve.” If that ever meant anything (which I doubt), it means literally nothing, or more accurately less than nothing, when applied (as it is now) to an outbreak that is demonstrably almost over.

I’ll only note that if the lockdown enthusiasts had been able to specify an actual goal, in intelligible language, they would have done so from the start. They couldn’t — because their true objectives were political, not medical — so they offered us a magical-thinking cartoon image instead. They must be hoping we still haven’t noticed.

As always, fraudulent language goes hand in hand with fraudulent political posturing, of which the Atlantic article I’ve already mentioned — oozing crocodile tears over the excesses of the cops while oblivious to the Constitution-defying antics of Governors Cuomo, Murphy, Whitmer et al. — is a rather rank example.

In a similar vein, Ross Douthat’s recent op-ed in the New York Times is an interesting confession of liberal dishonesty in the service of a slightly different form of liberal dishonesty.

Douthat correctly complains about members of the “public health establishment” who condemned anti-lockdown protesters just weeks ago as a dangerous death cult, but are now bowing and scraping before the parallel behavior of Black Lives Matter, “tying themselves in ideological knots” in the process.

Douthat’s indictment of highbrow hypocrisy on this score is so accurate that it is worth quoting at length:

[T]he original theory behind a stern public health response — that the danger to life and health justified suspending even the most righteous pursuits, including not just normal economic life but the practices and institutions that protect children, comfort the dying, serve the poor — has been abandoned or subverted by every faction in our national debate…. There is no First Amendment warrant to break up Hasidic funerals while blessing Black Lives Matter protests, and there is no moral warrant to claim that only anti-racism, however pressing its goals, deserves a sweeping exception from rules that have forbidden so many morally important activities for the last few months.​

All this is perfectly true. But with a pinch more honesty, Douthat might have concluded that “the original theory” was a sham to begin with. If the Right Thinkers had been telling the truth when they herded us all into captivity back in March, they’d still be yelling “obey or die!” at every crowd that defies lockdown orders.

Douthat interprets their inconsistency as a surrender to the virus; he can’t admit that the Right Thinkers’ real battle was never against COVID19. It was against us.

The same conclusion stares us in the face from the Right Thinkers’ eulogizing of protests against police brutality — or, rather, from what their encomiums to those protests consistently omit.

The demonstrations spearheaded by Black Lives Matter focus on police-state tactics employed by uniformed enforcers of the will of the State; the much-maligned anti-lockdown protesters have been objecting to police-state tactics employed by political officials of the State itself.

The connection between the two sets of protests should be obvious. But have you heard any of the high-profile liberals who are paying homage to Black Lives Matter breathe a single word to the effect that these different groups of protesters ought to combine their efforts, or at least to coordinate their campaigns in order to increase their political effectiveness?

Of course not — and in my view, that’s the real reason behind the hypocritical nonsense being spouted in support of BLM by establishmentarians who merely sneered when the protesters were white working people.

As long as Black Lives Matter continues to observe the double limitation that has so far marked its demonstrations — protesting only along racial lines, and only against the police — the ruling class’s left-wing will go on blessing it, because it won’t constitute too large a threat to established order.

If the demonstrations start to talk about the rights of all people to be free of arbitrary confinement as well as violence, of all ordinary Americans to be able to work for a living as well as staying out of prison, the evils of all officials who stand in their way…well, that will be a horse of a different color.

Remember the snapshot of congressional Democrats kneeling in pious rows with those silly kente stoles around their necks?

That was styled as a “protest,” but don’t kid yourselves: if Pelosi & Co. were genuinely horrified about police racism, they would have done something about it years ago. I think those Democratic heavyweights knelt to pray that BLM doesn’t realize it’s confronting a broader issue than racist police violence.

As I write this, the US is teetering simultaneously on the edge of its worst financial collapse since the 1930s and on the brink of a descent into quasi-dictatorial rule. Sectarian protests, however justified, won’t halt that descent. General political resistance just might. And liberal pundits are scared to death that protesters, black and white, progressive and conservative, might figure out that they’re really fighting the same enemy.

Of course, nothing I can write is going to penetrate the minds of people who have drunk the lockdown Kool-Aid and will hear, in my dissection of the fraudulent language used by “public servants” to foment poverty and to shred the Bill of Rights, only some sort of “coronavirus denial.”

So let me say it clearly: the coronavirus epidemic is real. Okay? It exists — but saying it exists is a mere truism. Iraq exists too, and it was once ruled by a particularly vicious dictator — though the fact that his worst atrocities were committed with extensive US support is mentioned far less often than it should be.

But it is still true that the American and British publics were tricked into endorsing a criminal invasion of that country on the strength of false claims. And no assortment of after-the-fact apologetics can turn those lies into truths.

The same holds for COVID19 and its flagrantly deceitful handling by nearly everyone involved: politicians, reporters, pundits, public health “experts.” (The US leadership of my own Orthodox Jewish community has been just as bad.) Yes, this is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can have serious effects on unusually vulnerable people. But beyond that, just about everything we were told about COVID19 has turned out to be false.

We were told the virus would kill millions in the US alone, and that was false.

We were told lockdowns would make it go away, and that was false.

We were told we would only be confined until the rate of new cases leveled off, and that was false.

We were told that while the outbreak lasted no state government would tolerate any sort of public gathering for any reason, and that was false.

We were told that anyone who questioned the wisdom of the draconian restrictions foisted on us by our governments was a crypto-Nazi whose real goal was to kill off the weak — and that was false, not to mention slanderous.

Most unforgivably of all, we were told — and told, and told — that morality was entirely on the side of the democracy-destroyers. That was a lie of breathtaking proportions.

Not only did the lockdowns violate state laws and make a mockery of the US Constitution; not only did they deprive at least tens of millions of Americans of their basic liberties; not only have they cost millions of people their jobs and thrust the country into its worst economic straits since the 1930s — on top of all that, they have sown untold misery around the world, as mushrooming numbers of poor people experience acute food shortages and millions of children face the interruption of vital medical supplies.

And even as mainstream media begin to admit these facts, they still subvert reality by pretending that all this suffering is a result “of the coronavirus.”

That’s simply another lie. It would be as true to say that millions died in Nazi gas chambers as a result of the rise of Soviet communism. (The putative threat of “the Bolsheviks” was a crucial theme in the anti-Semitism that underpinned the Nazi “Final Solution.”)

The truth, of course, is that the coronavirus didn’t cause these hardships, at least not by itself. Politicians chose to inflict them. And unless we keep that knowledge alive, we will never be able to hold those responsible to account — nor prevent a repetition of such behavior in the future.

“The beginning of wisdom,” said Confucius, “is to call things by their proper name.”

Katya Soldak and her nursery school classmates could not dismantle their country’s ruling Communist Party, but they could refuse to call a prison camp a health resort. Surely we can refuse to cooperate in the use of language whose sole purpose is to swindle us. At present our civil liberties are under serious assault, as is the very principle of democracy. Can’t we call those ugly things the names they deserve?

I know what I am proposing is more difficult than it sounds. The enemies of honesty in politics have vast resources at their disposal, and they are not shy about abusing them. Already the UN’s euphemistically-named Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye, has openly applauded censorship of lockdown critics, even acknowledging that social media “platforms are serving as stand-ins for government authorities” in an effort to curb unwanted political protest.

The dishonesty infects even small details: the Washington Post, like most US media outlets with paywalls, makes an exception for COVID19, “providing this important information about the coronavirus for free”; but the Post’s only story on the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s reversal of the governor’s mass-confinement order that contains the court’s explanation of its ruling is behind the same paywall as every ordinary article.

Evidently, stories that promote coronavirus hysteria constitute “important information,” while stories that lend support to dissenters do not — not even when they concern the reasoning of the highest court of a major state.

So yes, the COVID19 game is rigged — as games run by our rulers usually are. But false depictions of reality have power only to the extent honest people allow themselves to be deceived.

Powerful politicians, and their tame pundits, are plainly betting that the public can be manipulated by the fear of a novel virus. But the thing we should fear the most is irrational submissiveness, what Max Weber called “the cowardly will to impotence.”

The moral of the Emperor’s new clothes is as relevant as ever: a single honest voice can unravel the most elaborately designed fakery. People who demand the truth may be outnumbered. They cannot easily be overcome.
 
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SongSungAU

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Lies, Damned Lies and Covid19
Michael Lesher

On June 4, New Jersey’s Governor Murphy issued his third consecutive extension of what was supposed to be a thirty-day “state of emergency” he had originally declared — unilaterally — on March 9.

What was the “emergency” this time around? In the governor’s own words: “there has now been a decrease in the rate of reported new cases of COVID19 in New Jersey, in the total number of individuals being admitted to hospitals for COVID19, and in the rate of reproduction for COVID19 infections in New Jersey.”

Got that? New cases, hospitalizations, even the “rate of reproduction” for the virus are all on the wane throughout Murphy’s jurisdiction. (And have been for months.) Yet in today’s Newspeak, that’s an “emergency” — enough to justify another month of democracy-free rule by executive fiat.
BG200711.jpg
 

Goldhedge

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New York Undercover Nurse Confirms COVID-19 Criminal Hoax


 

Goldhedge

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COVID Deaths Plummet, But the So-Called News Remains Negative
Jul 7, 2020

RUSH: Now, let’s get into some COVID-19 news and, folks, are you asking yourself what of any of this is true and what isn’t? It’s almost like the tale of two viruses. We have an entire group of stories that are about how much worse the virus is. “Oh, my God. It’s worse than we thought. We haven’t even gotten to the second wave. Dr. Fauci says, Dr. Fauci says, Dr. Fauci says.” Whatever Dr. Fauci says, it gets amplified. We are told how so many more people are getting it. The number of cases is skyrocketing, but then deaths are down. We demonstrated this yesterday.

The number of deaths associated with COVID-19 are way down. It’s why they’re not being reported. The game here is to scare you into siding up with a new lockdown. They want you to hear all these brand-new numbers of cases as deaths. But deaths are down. The curve was flattened.



And then, you know, hydroxychloroquine. “Oh, no. That’s horrible. That can kill you.” Remember when Trump said he was taking it and Neil Cavuto on Fox said this is irresponsible, you can’t do that, you could kill yourself, you could die. I’m saying, “Wait a minute. Whoever said hydroxychloroquine is killing people?” There wasn’t any evidence hydroxychloroquine was killing people. In fact, we now find out that hydroxychloroquine works in staving off death.

How many fake news stories were there about this drug? It’s only been out there 50 years. It’s only been tested from every which way as Sunday. All of the side effects are known. It’s cheap. There’s your real answer. It’s not killing anybody. And yet that was the news. It was bad. It was not indicated. It was something that you shouldn’t be taking. And then they herald those stories.

And we found out that it was still being prescribed in places around the world. It’s being prescribed in Italy, being prescribed in France, where they were having success with it. And we had a story, the CDC said, “Ah, this is bad news, you can’t use it, very, very bad, hydroxychloroquine, not good for COVID-19.” Then we got the latest from the Henry Ford group, “Oh, no, we’re looking at this, we’ve been doing a bunch of studies, and it’s actually very helpful,” and that they’re doing a new study now.

You know the new study they’re doing on hydroxychloroquine, they got 3,000 people in a control group taking it as a prophylactic to see if it helps prevent getting COVID-19. Did you know that? (interruption) Well, it’s just like putting the condom on, you put the condom on there to prevent whatever, disease, pregnancy. (interruption) Yeah, so it’s a preventative.

See, if you take hydroxychloroquine when you’re healthy, does it help in preventing you from getting COVID-19? That is a study currently ongoing with 3,000 people at the Henry Ford research group, whatever the name of it is. So it turns out that hydroxychloroquine does have a role here, that it is effective in certain circumstances, and the research is ongoing.



But no matter where you go, you can’t be confident that you have found the truth when it comes to anything related to COVID-19. And I think that is also symptomatic of what’s happening to our country at large. Morality is gone, the concept of right and wrong are gone, the whole notion of morality now is something that’s up to individual choice.

We’ve seen the steady degradation of standards. Standards have been met with anger and opposition from a bunch of malcontents who claim you have no right to define morality for them or anybody else. You have no right to define what’s right and wrong. So there is no universal anything. There’s no universal truth. And so we’re not getting any. And it’s tough to wade through all of this. And the only thing you have to rely on is your own intelligence combined with whatever confidence your own intelligence gives you.

Like I have plenty of intelligence, more than I need, and that gives me all kinds of confidence to know that I’m making the right judgment when I watch a news story or read a news story. When I see something and knowing it’s BS or not, whether I trust it or not. But a lot of people haven’t had the time I’ve had to study the news and media and presentations and all of that. And so there is mass confusion out there.

Let me give you a couple of examples. I had a story about a Minnesota physician. He’s a lawmaker. He’s a doctor. He’s a Republican. He’s a state senator in Minnesota. His name is Scott Jensen, Doctor, Republican, state senator, Minnesota. He’s also now under investigation by the board of medical practices. You know why?

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GOLDBRIX

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What they fail to address is all that bacteria in the mask being re- breathed back into you lungs.
All those non-covered actions COULD be helping in creating Herd Immunity.
But the Left, AMA, and Big Pharma do not want that discussed.
 

the_shootist

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Masks protect others from you but what's protecting you from yourself when wearing one? They can stick their masks up their asses
 

FunnyMoney

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It was time (since about late 2019) for a deflationary shock.

Private central bank owners use cycles of deflation and inflation to extract all wealth and future prosperity from society.
Thomas Jefferson explained this and is recognized as one of the few leaders our nation had who gave it the importance it deserves.
 

Goldhedge

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Quercetin – a treatment for coronavirus?
MARCH 27, 2020
~ JKAYBAY

Hey readers. Hope you are well, physically and mentally.

You’ve probably heard by now of the drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) that has been under investigation for treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Recommendations from Chinese doctors to employ it (the initial recommendation, on Feb 18 was to employ chloroquine phosphate, a related drug) were followed by a small-scale study from French researchers, published on March 20, which was promising but not definitive. On March 25, a Chinese study reported that HCQ did not have a significant benefit to patients, but the validity of that 30-patient study has since been questioned as it turned out that both the HCQ and control groups were also receiving other antiviral treatments. The majority of patients in that study made good recoveries so it’s hard to say whether HCQ was useful or not, and overall the jury is still out on HCQ.

Let food be thy medicine
An awful lot of the debate over HCQ and other potential treatments for COVID-19 come down to a risk versus reward analysis. When it comes to health, I usually tend to follow Hippocrates’ advice: “Let food be thy medicine,” because eating a healthy diet offers a reward at virtually no risk. How big a reward would it offer in the face of COVID-19? Well, there has been a barrage of articles warning against coronavirus-related fads (such as drinking tonic water because it contains quinine) but most people agree that the best defenses against the virus (besides limiting its spread) are exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet. A NY Times article on March 23 warned against an over-zealous use of supplements but concluded that it’s important to get nutrients such as zinc from a healthy diet of whole foods. Two days later, an article on CNN highlighted foods that provide good sources of immunity-boosting nutrients such as vitamin C and zinc. But to be frank, this is all fairly lightweight reporting and there hasn’t been enough focus on the importance of a healthy diet.

The importance of zinc
Since 2010, we have known that zinc inhibits replication of coronavirus in vitro – it was tested on SARS-CoV, which was responsible for the SARS outbreak in 2002. Zinc has long been recognized as an important component of our viral defenses and we should make sure to get enough of it in our diets. As the above-mentioned NY Times article pointed out, you can sometimes do damage if you overdo it on nutritional supplements – your body can only absorb so much zinc – so if you do supplement, stay within the recommended range of around 10 mg per day. Many more people than previously thought are actually zinc-deficient; A 2017 review on zinc, summarized that nearly 30% of the elderly population is zinc-deficient and that:

“In developing countries, zinc deficiency is the 5th leading cause for the loss of healthy life years. In industrial countries, mainly the elderly population is affected by zinc deficiency.”​
Personally, I’ll be relying mainly on food sources for my zinc supply, such as seeds, legumes, mushrooms and spinach. But there’s one other important factor besides getting zinc into our bodies and that’s getting it into the cells that are threatened by coronavirus.

Hydroxychloroquine is a zinc ionophore
In the 2010 study that looked at inhibition of coronavirus replication by zinc, the researchers found that zinc ionophores block replication of the virus when administered to cell cultures. Ionophores are chemicals that can help transport ions, such as zinc, across cell membranes (because metals like zinc can’t move freely in and out of cells). Now, it turns out that in 2014 it was discovered that HCQ is a zinc ionophore, i.e., it can deliver zinc across cell membranes. On March 10, Dr. Roger Seheult, reporting for MedCram, looked at a hypothesis that the mode of action of hydroxychloroquine could be by delivering zinc to our cells. Here’s that video, which references the papers mentioned above.


Now, it must be pointed out that this is all pretty hypothetical. The facts are that zinc was shown in vitro to inhibit coronavirus replication and that HCQ is a zinc ionophore. But it’s still uncertain that HCQ will be effective against coronavirus and even if it is, the mechanism may not even be zinc-related. Medicine is complex and a drug can have many different impacts on the body. The authors of the 2014 paper that established that HCQ can act as a zinc ionophore point out that:

“Chloroquine exerts a pleiotropic effect in eukaryotic cells, including an elevation of vacuolar pH when trapped in acidic organelles, such as lysosomes.”​
Raising the pH of lysosomes is one of the main hypotheses for the mechanism of action of HCQ. The action of raising the pH may be somewhat related to HCQs property as an ionophore as they both involve the movement of ions across membranes.

In the next video, following up on the theory that the mechanism of HCQ could be zinc-related, Dr. Seheult raises the question: Are there other zinc ionophores that could work?


And that’s where quercetin comes in.

Two zinc ionophores: the synthetic antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine (left) and the naturally occurring flavonoid, quercetin.

Quercetin – a naturally occurring zinc ionophore.
Quercetin is a flavonoid (a type of polyphenol) that’s present in a variety of edible plants – from herbs like cilantro and dill, to veggies and fruit such as onion, kale and cranberries, with the highest concentration found in capers. Quercetin was demonstrated to be a zinc ionophore in 2014.

“Dietary plant polyphenols such as the flavonoids quercetin (QCT) and epigallocatechin-gallate act as antioxidants and as signaling molecules. Remarkably, the activities of numerous enzymes that are targeted by polyphenols are dependent on zinc. We have previously shown that these polyphenols chelate zinc cations and hypothesized that these flavonoids might be also acting as zinc ionophores, transporting zinc cations through the plasma membrane.”​
If HCQ proves to be effective in treating COVID-19 then it’s possible that quercetin in our diet may also be protective (while avoiding the side effects of HCQ). But that’s also predicated on quercetin having a similar effect to HCQ in patients and again, medicine is complex.

Quercetin – other chances that it may be helpful in treating COVID-19
Quercetin and plants that contain it have a certain following for treatment of various conditions – for example, capers are used in Iranian Traditional Medicine. Taking a look at the scientific studies carried out specifically on quercetin, here are some highlights:
  • In 2015 it was reported that quercetin inhibits entry of the influenza A and the H5N1 virus to cells in vitro.
  • Quercetin was also found to inhibit adhesion of the human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV).
  • Researchers from Oak Ridge National Lab used the world’s most powerful supercomputer, SUMMIT, to look for small molecules that might inhibit the COVID-19 spike protein from interacting with human cells and interestingly, quercetin is fifth on that list.
  • This is not a peer-reviewed scientific publication but Leo Galland also recommends quercetin, but via a different mechanism (mTOR modulation). Incidentally, his other recommendations can also be obtained from food sources: curcumin (turmeric), rosmarinic acid (rosemary, sage, oregano), resveratrol (red wine and grapes), and elderberry.
So it boils down to two possible benefits from quercetin: modulation of zinc transport into cells (and possibly altering the pH in lysosomes) and blocking viral docking to host cells.

Bottom line: should you eat quercetin-rich foods?
I feel comfortable with the idea of eating zinc-rich foods that also qualify as healthy foods (e.g., seeds, legumes, mushrooms, and spinach). I’m somewhat comfortable with doing the same for foods that are moderately rich in quercetin (e.g., kale, onions, peppers, and elderberry juice). The one thing that gives me pause is that consumption of the most quercetin-rich food, capers, is high in the countries where COVID-19 has a strong mortality rate: Italy, Spain, France and Iran. I know – there are myriad reasons why these countries are more strongly impacted. I also know that some of the above is merely armchair science. But I figure that it’s useful to share thoughts in case they spark an idea or study that can take us a little closer to a treatment.

The post was originally published (by me) on Medium.
 

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#10
Florida Man who Used COVID-Relief Funds to Purchase Lamborghini Sports Car Charged in Miami Federal Court
A Florida man was arrested and charged with fraudulently obtaining $3.9 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and using those funds, in part, to purchase a sports car for himself. Authorities seized a $318,000 sports car and $3.4 million from bank accounts at the time of arrest.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Kyle A. Myles of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of Investigation’s Atlanta Regional Office, Inspector in Charge Antonio Gomez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s (USPIS) Miami Division, Special Agent in Charge Kevin A. Kupperbusch of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)-OIG, Investigations Division, Eastern Regional Office, Special Agent in Charge Michael J. De Palma of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (CI) Miami Office, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Stephen Donnelly of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection-OIG, Eastern Region, made the announcement.

David T. Hines, 29, of Miami, Florida, was charged by criminal complaint, unsealed today upon his initial appearance before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge John J. O’Sullivan in the Southern District of Florida, with one count of bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a financial institution and one count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds.

The complaint alleges that Hines sought approximately $13.5 million in PPP loans through applications to an insured financial institution on behalf of different companies. The complaint alleges that Hines caused to be submitted fraudulent loan applications that made numerous false and misleading statements about the companies’ respective payroll expenses. The financial institution approved and funded approximately $3.9 million in loans.

The complaint further alleges that within days of receiving the PPP funds, Hines purchased a 2020 Lamborghini Huracan sports car for approximately $318,000, which he registered jointly in his name and the name of one of his companies. In the days and weeks following the disbursement of PPP funds, the complaint alleges that Hines did not make payroll payments that he claimed on his loan applications. He did, however, make purchases at luxury retailers and resorts in Miami Beach.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law enacted March 29. It is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP. In April 2020, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding.

The PPP allows qualifying small businesses and other organizations to receive loans with a maturity of two years and an interest rate of one percent. Businesses must use PPP loan proceeds for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities. The PPP allows the interest and principal to be forgiven if businesses spend the proceeds on these expenses within a set time period and use at least a certain percentage of the loan towards payroll expenses.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the FDIC-OIG, USPIS, IRS-CI, the SBA-OIG, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection-OIG. Trial Attorney Emily Scruggs of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Berger of the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the case.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at:
https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.
 

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#11
f Hydroxychloroquine as Postexposure Prophylaxis for Covid-19
List of authors.
  • David R. Boulware, M.D., M.P.H.,
  • Matthew F. Pullen, M.D.,
  • Ananta S. Bangdiwala, M.S.,
  • Katelyn A. Pastick, B.Sc.,
  • Sarah M. Lofgren, M.D.,
  • Elizabeth C. Okafor, B.Sc.,
  • Caleb P. Skipper, M.D.,
  • Alanna A. Nascene, B.A.,
  • Melanie R. Nicol, Pharm.D., Ph.D.,
  • Mahsa Abassi, D.O., M.P.H.,
  • Nicole W. Engen, M.S.,
  • Matthew P. Cheng, M.D.,
  • et al.
Metrics
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) occurs after exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). For persons who are exposed, the standard of care is observation and quarantine. Whether hydroxychloroquine can prevent symptomatic infection after SARS-CoV-2 exposure is unknown.

METHODS
We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial across the United States and parts of Canada testing hydroxychloroquine as postexposure prophylaxis. We enrolled adults who had household or occupational exposure to someone with confirmed Covid-19 at a distance of less than 6 ft for more than 10 minutes while wearing neither a face mask nor an eye shield (high-risk exposure) or while wearing a face mask but no eye shield (moderate-risk exposure). Within 4 days after exposure, we randomly assigned participants to receive either placebo or hydroxychloroquine (800 mg once, followed by 600 mg in 6 to 8 hours, then 600 mg daily for 4 additional days). The primary outcome was the incidence of either laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 or illness compatible with Covid-19 within 14 days.

RESULTS
We enrolled 821 asymptomatic participants. Overall, 87.6% of the participants (719 of 821) reported a high-risk exposure to a confirmed Covid-19 contact. The incidence of new illness compatible with Covid-19 did not differ significantly between participants receiving hydroxychloroquine (49 of 414 [11.8%]) and those receiving placebo (58 of 407 [14.3%]); the absolute difference was −2.4 percentage points (95% confidence interval, −7.0 to 2.2; P=0.35). Side effects were more common with hydroxychloroquine than with placebo (40.1% vs. 16.8%), but no serious adverse reactions were reported.

CONCLUSIONS
After high-risk or moderate-risk exposure to Covid-19, hydroxychloroquine did not prevent illness compatible with Covid-19 or confirmed infection when used as postexposure prophylaxis within 4 days after exposure. (Funded by David Baszucki and Jan Ellison Baszucki and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04308668. opens in new tab.)
 

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#12
History of media lies from the beginning...

COVID-19 Not a Conspiracy, But a COUP! This Heavy Hitting Timeline Reveals ALL They Want Kept Quiet!

Lisa Haven
 
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arminius

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#13
Masks Are "A sign of the willingness to comply. A modern version of the Gessler hat."

World renowned epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski: Masks Are "A sign of the willingness to comply. A modern version of the Gessler hat."
July 27, 2020

World renowned epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski: Masks Are "A sign of the willingness to comply. A modern version of the Gessler hat."

You can Listen to the full interview here. The audio quality is not that great, so the transcript is here.

These are excerpts, about the doctor's credentials and his thoughts on wearing a mask. Basically the doctor explains that obeying the face mask order is only a sign of compliance:

Knut: I have been an epidemiologist for 35 years, serving in Germany, and then at the Rockefeller University.
Lee: Okay, and is there anything else you would like to add in your background there?

Knut: I worked with the Eberhard Karls University in Germany in Tübingen with one of the leading European epidemiologists Klaus Dietz. And then about 25 years ago, I moved to the United States and spent about 20 years at the Rockefeller University as the Head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research.

Lee: I’ve seen in news media the protests against lockdown and also Black Lives Matter, but to a much lesser extent I might add, being criticized as irresponsible because they will spread the virus. But according to what you’re saying, they would actually be helping us get past the virus quicker. And in doing so protect the vulnerable, correct?

Knut: No respiratory disease virus could spread in the open. So, if you are protesting on the street, there is no risk for virus…

Lee: Surely some of these people… Are you saying that masks are pointless? Because the whole narrative there is, we don’t want droplets and droplets can go up to 25 feet and that’s what’s infecting us at the main root.

Knut: Okay. Anthony Fauci said masks are there as a sign to show that we’re willing to do what he wants us to do. So, it’s a sign of the willingness to comply. It is a modern version of the Gessler hat. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with-

Lee: No, please explain.

Knut: William Tell was this national hero who did not want to bow in front of the governor’s Gessler’s hat that was put on a pole. And then he was arrested for that and had to shoot or split an apple sitting on his son’s head."

Wikipedia notes:
Albrecht Gessler, also known as Hermann,[1] was a legendary 14th-century Habsburg bailiff (German: Landvogt) at Altdorf, whose brutal rule led to the William Tell rebellion and the eventual independence of the Old Swiss Confederacy.

According to the Chronicon Helveticum by Aegidius Tschudi (1505–1572), in 1307 Gessler raised a pole in the market square of Altdorf, placed his hat atop it, and ordered all the townsfolk to bow before it. Tell, whose marksmanship and pride were legendary, publicly refused. Gessler's cruel wrath was tempered by his curiosity to test Tell's skill, so he gave Tell the option of either being executed or shooting an apple off his son's head in one try. Tell succeeded in splitting the apple with his arrow, saving his own life. When Gessler asked why he had readied two arrows, he lied and replied that it was out of habit. After being assured that he wouldn't be killed, Tell finally admitted that the second was intended for the tyrant if his son was harmed.

Gessler, enraged, had Tell arrested and taken by boat across Lake Lucerne to Küssnacht to spend the life he had saved in a dungeon. A sudden fierce storm made the crew terrified and, since William Tell was a better sailor, they handed the wheel to him but, instead of heading towards the dungeon, he escaped to shore. There he ambushed and killed Gessler with an arrow, launching the young Confederacy's rebellion against Austrian rule."
 

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#14

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#15
The Science: Masks Are Neither Effective Nor Safe

Published on July 25, 2020

Written by Dr. Colleen Huber, NMD

At this writing, there is a recent surge in widespread use by the public of facemasks when in public places, including for extended periods of time, in the United States as well as in other countries.

The public has been instructed by media and their governments that one’s use of masks, even if not sick, may prevent others from being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the infectious agent of COVID-19.

A review of the peer-reviewed medical literature examines impacts on human health, both immunological, as well as physiological. The purpose of this paper is to examine data regarding the effectiveness of facemasks, as well as safety data. The reason that both are examined in one paper is that for the general public as a whole, as well as for every individual, a risk-benefit analysis is necessary to guide decisions on if and when to wear a mask.

Are Masks Effective At Preventing Transmission Of Respiratory Pathogens?

In this meta-analysis, face masks were found to have no detectable effect against transmission of viral infections. (1) It found: “Compared to no masks, there was no reduction of influenza-like illness cases or influenza for masks in the general population, nor in healthcare workers.”

This 2020 meta-analysis found that evidence from randomized controlled trials of face masks did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility. (2)

More: https://principia-scientific.com/th...xmrWt41dtgJjyToXd7ZFGU3DPoN9zXwa9MiDuHM-zvTVw
 

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#16
State's constitutions are similar in construction. Have to read yours...


FACEMASK LAWS ARE PRETENDED LEGISLATION

(*Maryland is highlighted in this post, but this applies to every state. There are no states where the legislative process was followed.)

There is no law that requires you to wear a facemask.

Likewise, there is no law that requires a place of business to require you to wear a facemask while visiting their property.

If there was such a law in Maryland, it would be the result of a constitutional legislative process whereby both houses of the Maryland General Assembly voted on it favorably. 1

If it then received the Governor’s signature it would become law provided it did not violate the United States Constitution or the Maryland Constitution. 2

Larry Hogan has issued an executive order regarding the wearing of face masks. Hogan claims that he has authority to do so pursuant to Emergency Powers legislation passed by the general assembly. He further claims that his orders are “law” or have the “force of law” 3.

This is not accurate for at least three reasons:

Firstly, neither the statute on which the Governor relies, nor any other statute which pretends to give him the authority to make law, are valid. Law making authority is vested in the legislative branch and cannot be “delegated” nor transferred in any way to the Executive Branch. 4

Secondly, the legislature cannot, by means of “pretended” legislation, confer upon the Governor “pretended” authority which supersedes the limits on his authority established under the Maryland Constitution. 5

Thirdly, executive orders which are otherwise valid, apply only to those in the executive branch of government, not to the general public.

For these reasons, there exists no “law” requiring the wearing of facemasks. Statements made by government officials or media or businesses to the contrary are inaccurate and misleading. Similar statements made by businesses or their agents are also false and may be actionable civilly or criminally.

This is Attorney Michael Peroutka from Institute on the Constitution, bringing you the "American View" of law and government.

1 Maryland Constitution, Article III, Sec. 29, 30.
2 Maryland Constitution, Article III, Sec. 31
3 Order of the Governor of Maryland, Number 20-04-15-01
4 Maryland Constitution, Declaration of Rights, Article 8
5 Maryland Declaration of Rights, Article 44
 

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#18
The potential of cannabidiol in the COVID‐19 pandemic

Giuseppe Esposito Marcella Pesce Luisa Seguella Walter Sanseverino Jie Lu Chiara Corpetti Giovanni Sarnelli
First published: 10 June 2020 https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.15157

Abstract

Identifying drugs effective in the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) is crucial, pending a vaccine against SARS‐CoV2. We suggest the hypothesis that cannabidiol (CBD), a non‐psychotropic phytocannabinoid, has the potential to limit the severity and progression of the disease for several reasons:‐ (a) High‐cannabidiol Cannabis sativa extracts are able to down‐regulate the expression of the two key receptors for SARS‐CoV2 in several models of human epithelia, (b) cannabidiol exerts a wide range of immunomodulatory and anti‐inflammatory effects and it can mitigate the uncontrolled cytokine production responsible for acute lung injury, (c) being a PPARγ agonist, it can display a direct antiviral activity and (d) PPARγ agonists are regulators of fibroblast/myofibroblast activation and can inhibit the development of pulmonary fibrosis, thus ameliorating lung function in recovered patients. We hope our hypothesis, corroborated by preclinical evidence, will inspire further targeted studies to test cannabidiol as a support drug against the COVID‐19 pandemic.







https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bph.15157