23 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-4-20

  1. “The coronavirus test that might exempt you from social distancing—if you pass”

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615436/the-coronavirus-test-that-might-exempt-you-from-social-distancingif-you-pass/

    “How does it work?
    When the body is introduced to a pathogen, the immune system develops tailor-made antibodies that act against the infection. Antibodies can last a long time—anywhere from a couple of years to a lifetime, depending on the disease. During the period that immunity lasts, your body is prepared to ramp up production of those antibodies to neutralize the threat should it ever appear again.

    An antibody test, also known as a serology test, analyzes a patient’s serum—the liquid portion of blood that excludes cells and clotting factors but includes antibodies. Many of these tests are simple and require only a small sample, like a finger prick. In this case, through a technique like ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), clinicians look for antibodies that were made in response to the large protein that sticks out of the coronavirus’s surface. A viral fragment is placed on a plate. If there’s an antibody in the patient sample, it will attach to this “spike” protein. Another antibody, engineered by the clinicians and capable of attaching to the first antibody, is introduced to the solution. When they bind, the new antibody will activate an enzyme that changes the color of the solution, indicating that the patient has the antibodies we’re looking for, and has therefore been exposed to the coronavirus.

    How is this different from the testing we already do?
    The way we’re testing infections right now is by looking for viral genetic material in patient samples. Using a method called polymerase chain reaction (PCR), clinicians can amplify any coronavirus RNA in a patient’s nasal swab so its presence can be confirmed. Viral DNA or RNA can be found in the body as soon as an infection begins, even if you’re asymptomatic. But it disappears soon after the immune system clears the infection out. So this type of test is useful to find out who is currently infected, but not who once was infected.

    Antibodies, on the other hand, aren’t developed until several days after infection has taken hold, so they aren’t a useful indicator of who is currently infected. But because they’re around in the blood in large numbers for many months after infection, they would be extremely useful to identify past cases long after the infection has been beaten.

    How much does it cost?
    A serological test for coronavirus antibodies is much less costly than a PCR test that looks for coronavirus genetic material. California-based Biomerica, for example, sells a serological test for less than $10. A PCR test for covid-19 can cost up to $51 under Medicare.

    How fast is it?
    You can get results from a serological test in just minutes. Many groups are working on versions that can be run at home, with no need to send samples to a lab. A PCR test takes hours to run, and because samples must typically be shipped back and forth from the testing site, patients usually don’t get results for at least several days (although the FDA is fast-tracking a portable point-of-care genetic test for coronavirus that’s supposed to take less than 15 minutes).

    Who’s working on this?
    Many, many groups. Singapore, China, and other countries have already conducted limited numbers of antibody testing. A group led by virologist Florian Krammer at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City recently developed an ELISA-based antibody test for covid-19. American companies like Biomerica and Chembio Diagnostics (from New York) are selling antibody tests outside the US, with aggressive plans to get these kits up to snuff for FDA approval. BioMedomics of North Carolina, in collaboration with medical tech company BD, just launched a point-of-care test that can be administered at the doctor’s office and give results in 15 minutes. The UK has its own test, developed by Public Health England, and recently ordered 3.5 million kits to be distributed by Amazon and pharmacies around the country in just a matter of days.”

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  2. This was suggested early on. Folks called it crazy, everyone insisted it was conspiracy talk, and yet now……

    Take the time to read the whole thread. Jim Geraghty lays out the case, and he’s got the facts to back it.

    “Jim Geraghty shares fact-filled thread showing COVID-19 likely did not come from Huanan Seafood Market”

    https://twitchy.com/samj-3930/2020/04/03/bombshell-jim-geraghty-shares-fact-filled-thread-showing-covid-19-likely-did-not-come-from-huanan-seafood-market/

    “This thread from Jim Geraghty on the evidence that COVID-19 likely came from either the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and not the Huanan Seafood Market is lengthy but absolutely worth your time.

    Some fascinating and disconcerting things here:”

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  3. Here’s The National Review piece….

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/04/coronavirus-china-trail-leading-back-to-wuhan-labs/

    “There’s no proof the coronavirus accidentally escaped from a laboratory, but we can’t take the Chinese government’s denials at face value.

    It is understandable that many would be wary of the notion that the origin of the coronavirus could be discovered by some documentary filmmaker who used to live in China. Matthew Tye, who creates YouTube videos, contends he has identified the source of the coronavirus — and a great deal of the information that he presents, obtained from public records posted on the Internet, checks out.

    The Wuhan Institute of Virology in China indeed posted a job opening on November 18, 2019, “asking for scientists to come research the relationship between the coronavirus and bats.”

    The Google translation of the job posting is: “Taking bats as the research object, I will answer the molecular mechanism that can coexist with Ebola and SARS- associated coronavirus for a long time without disease, and its relationship with flight and longevity. Virology, immunology, cell biology, and multiple omics are used to compare the differences between humans and other mammals.” (“Omics” is a term for a subfield within biology, such as genomics or glycomics.)”

    “On December 24, 2019, the Wuhan Institute of Virology posted a second job posting. The translation of that posting includes the declaration, “long-term research on the pathogenic biology of bats carrying important viruses has confirmed the origin of bats of major new human and livestock infectious diseases such as SARS and SADS, and a large number of new bat and rodent new viruses have been discovered and identified.””

    The Google translation of the job posting is: “Taking bats as the research object, I will answer the molecular mechanism that can coexist with Ebola and SARS- associated coronavirus for a long time without disease, and its relationship with flight and longevity. Virology, immunology, cell biology, and multiple omics are used to compare the differences between humans and other mammals.” (“Omics” is a term for a subfield within biology, such as genomics or glycomics.)

    On December 24, 2019, the Wuhan Institute of Virology posted a second job posting. The translation of that posting includes the declaration, “long-term research on the pathogenic biology of bats carrying important viruses has confirmed the origin of bats of major new human and livestock infectious diseases such as SARS and SADS, and a large number of new bat and rodent new viruses have been discovered and identified.”

    Tye contends that that posting meant, “we’ve discovered a new and terrible virus, and would like to recruit people to come deal with it.” He also contends that “news didn’t come out about coronavirus until ages after that.” Doctors in Wuhan knew that they were dealing with a cluster of pneumonia cases as December progressed, but it is accurate to say that a very limited number of people knew about this particular strain of coronavirus and its severity at the time of that job posting. By December 31, about three weeks after doctors first noticed the cases, the Chinese government notified the World Health Organization and the first media reports about a “mystery pneumonia” appeared outside China.

    Scientific American verifies much of the information Tye mentions about Shi Zhengli, the Chinese virologist nicknamed “Bat Woman” for her work with that species.”

    ————

    More…..

    https://dailycaller.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-leaked-wuhan-institute-virology-richard-ebright-shi-zhengli/

    “Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist who has been quoted as a coronavirus expert by The Washington Post and MSNBC, said Thursday that it’s possible that COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab.

    Shi Zhengli, China’s leading virologist on bat-borne viruses, said in March that she lost sleep worrying that the virus could have leaked from her lab in Wuhan after she first learned of the virus in December.

    Shi now tells those who share the concerns she once had to “shut their stinking mouths.”

    “A molecular biologist who has been quoted as a coronavirus expert by The Washington Post and MSNBC said Thursday in no uncertain terms that the novel coronavirus could have been unleashed due to a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    China’s top virologist on bat-borne viruses, Shi Zhengli, has sworn on her life that the virus did not leak from her Wuhan lab, saying that its spread was “nature punishing the human race for keeping uncivilized living habits.”

    But Richard H. Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday that there is a real possibility that the virus entered the human population due to a laboratory accident.

    When asked specifically if he believes the virus could have leaked from Shi’s lab in Wuhan, Ebright said: “Yes.””

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  4. Never trust China.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/04/wuhan-cover-up-evidence-suggests-real-death-toll-16-times-the-official-number-reported-by-china/

    “Wuhan cover-up: Evidence suggests real death toll “16 times the official number” reported by China

    Remember, Dr. Deborah Birx said U.S. health officials didn’t anticipate this pandemic because of incomplete data from China. Now WaPo says evidence points to “a death toll in Wuhan of about 42,000 — or 16 times the official number””

    “Day by day, the extent of the Chinese government’s crime against the world grows.

    Whether the coronavirus ravaging the world started in a wet market or a Wuhan lab, the Chinese government early on deceived the world, silenced Chinese citizens who tried to warn the world, and have lied ever since.”

    “Remember, Dr. Deborah Birx explained that one of the reasons U.S. health experts did not expect this pandemic is that we were not given complete data by China:”

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  5. Just like the Obama bailout, Dems seek to use the money to help donors, and then fill their campaign coffers from the very same donors.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/03/nancy-pelosis-wuhan-virus-priority-is-to-give-money-to-her-rich-donors/

    “Nancy Pelosi’s Wuhan Virus Priority Is To Give Money To Her Rich Donors

    Behind the scenes, congressional Democrats’ main priority is bringing back a big tax loophole for rich people in high-tax blue states: their donors.”

    “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has political priorities. During negotiations over the three Wuhan coronavirus stimulus bills, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tried to include loans for abortion providers, as well as a bailout of the Obamacare exchanges that would end up funding abortion.

    That led to some bad PR for Pelosi, but the House speaker may be a glutton for punishment. If there’s one thing Democrats are beholden to more than the abortion lobby, it’s the rich people in blue states who fund their campaigns.

    How’s this? Pelosi just told reporters that one of her top priorities for a fourth stimulus bill — which may or may not be passed, since Congress has already passed three bills and spent more than $2 trillion — is a removal of the current cap on the state and local tax deduction, or SALT.

    The 2017 Cap on the SALT Loophole

    The 2017 Trump tax cuts capped the SALT deduction at $10,000 per year of state and local taxes paid. This was to end a loophole that went to rich people living in high-tax states, who were allowed to deduct their high state taxes from their federal tax bill. This allowed politicians in these states to run on high taxes for the rich, and to raise state taxes, but also to shield their donor class from the full consequences of those policies.

    The uncapped SALT deduction didn’t go mostly to rich people, it went only to rich people. This is because only rich people pay well more than $10,000 in state and local taxes, and this deduction was available only to those who didn’t take their standard deduction.

    The standard deduction is the amount of money a taxpayer is allowed to earn before being taxed. In 2019, it was more than $12,000 for a single person and double that for a married couple. Taxpayers can “itemize,” and not take their standard deduction, if enough tax breaks and loopholes add up to surpass the standard deduction. If the first $50,000 for a married couple can’t be taxed, for instance, that’s better than the $24,800 standard deduction, so this couple would itemize.

    Before 2017 tax reform, which capped both the mortgage interest deduction and the SALT deduction, the rich benefited greatly from being able to itemize. Especially in blue states, where rich people pay extremely high state and local taxes, those high state taxes ran up their itemized deduction amount and directly reduced their federal tax bill.

    According to an estimate by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, repealing the $10,000 limit to the SALT would reduce federal revenues by about $77 billion a year. Fifty percent of the money would go to those earning more than $1 million per year, with the rest going to those who earn more than $200,000 per year. Meanwhile, only 3 percent of middle-income households in the United States would benefit at all from getting rid of the SALT deduction cap.”

    —–

    And straight into Dem coffers, just like last time.

    Goldman Sachs got bailed out, Obama got paid. This is how Dems operate.

    https://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/20/obama.goldman.donations/index.html

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  6. This dude needs a nap.

    ————

    Old Joe and the truth have never been that close…..

    https://freebeacon.com/2020-election/biden-has-earned-11-pinocchios-from-fact-checkers-during-coronavirus-crisis/

    “Biden Has Earned 11 Pinocchios From Fact-Checkers During Coronavirus Crisis”

    “Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has been dinged several times by fact-checkers over claims he has made during the coronavirus crisis, including a total of 11 “Pinocchios” from the Washington Post.

    Over the course of three weeks between March 13 and April 3, Biden was fact-checked five separate times for making false or misleading claims concerning the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic.

    A Washington Post fact check on March 13 awarded Biden four Pinocchios, the fact-checker’s most severe rating, for two manipulated videos the Biden campaign circulated.

    The first video claimed to show Trump at a Feb. 28 rally saying Democrats were turning the coronavirus into “their new hoax” after they failed to bring Trump down through impeachment. Biden’s video was edited to make it appear that Trump was calling the coronavirus a hoax. Trump, however, was referring to the Democrats’ attempts to blame him for the virus, not the virus itself.

    The second Biden campaign video showed Trump saying the phrase “the American Dream is dead,” which the Post found was taken out of context and missing the second part of Trump’s statement where he promised to “bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before.”

    Another Post fact check on March 24 gave the campaign four Pinocchios after adviser Ron Klain accused Trump of silencing Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

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  7. Not that we needed, but yet further proof that Mueller was a partisan hack uninterested in the truth. In fact, he covered up truth that was inconvenient to his witch hunt goals.

    And where’s the press with their retractions and corrections on yet another story they were completely wrong on?

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/report-mueller-hid-evidence-exonerating-don-jr-over-infamous-trump-tower-meeting/

    “Mueller Hid Evidence Exonerating Don Jr. Over Infamous Trump Tower Meeting”

    “Despite the fact that the Mueller report proved there was no collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians during the 2016 campaign, Democrats were convinced that there was more evidence out there, perhaps in the tiny fraction of the report that was redacted for national security reasons, that proved Trump actually did collude with the Russians.

    It turns out that the most interesting things about Mueller’s investigation were not what was redacted from the report, but what wasn’t included in the first place. According to investigative reporter John Solomon, Bob Mueller hid evidence exonerating Donald Trump Jr. over the infamous Trump Tower meeting, during which Democrats were convinced he had met with a Russian lawyer to discuss dirt on Hillary Clinton.

    The most scintillating information Mueller’s team ascribed to [Russian translator Anatoli] Samochornov in the report was a tidbit suggesting a hint of impropriety: The translator admitted he was offered $90,000 by the Russians to pay his legal bills, if he supported the story of Moscow attorney Natalia Veselnitskya. He declined.
    But recently released FBI memos show that Samochornov, a translator trusted by the State Department and other federal agencies, provided agents far more information than was quoted by Mueller, nearly all of it exculpatory to the president’s campaign and his eldest son.

    Despite learning the translator’s information on July 12, 2017, just a few days after the media reported on the Trump Tower meeting, the FBI would eventually suggest Donald Trump Jr. was lying and that the event could be seminal to Russian election collusion.

    Samochornov’s eyewitness account entirely debunks the media’s narrative, the FBI memos show.

    “Samochornov was not particularly fond of Donald Trump Jr., but stated Donald Trump Jr.’s account with Veselnitskya as portrayed in recent media report, was accurate,” according to the FBI 302 report on its interview of the translator. “Samachornov concurred with Donald Trump Jr.’s accounts of the meeting. He added ‘they’ were telling the truth.”

    ———–

    “Solomon notes that “the belated release of the FBI interview report under a Freedom of Information Act request is likely to raise serious questions among congressional oversight committees about why the information was suppressed in the Mueller report, why the FBI kept it quiet for two years while Trump Jr. was being politically pilloried, and why the news media has failed to correct its own record of misleading reporting.””

    ———–

    We already know the answer, because Orange Man Bad, the truth is irrelevant to these hacks.

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  8. More from Solomon…….

    This is what prosecutorial misconduct looks like folks…..

    https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/muellers-hidden-evidence-translator-exonerated-don-jr

    “In Robert Mueller’s final report on the Russia investigation, a little-known translator named Anatoli Samochornov played a bit role, a witness sparsely quoted about the infamous Trump Tower meeting he attended in summer 2016 between Donald Trump Jr. and a mysterious Russian lawyer.

    The most scintillating information Mueller’s team ascribed to Samochornov in the report was a tidbit suggesting a hint of impropriety: The translator admitted he was offered $90,000 by the Russians to pay his legal bills, if he supported the story of Moscow attorney Natalia Veselnitskya. He declined.

    But recently released FBI memos show that Samochornov, a translator trusted by the State Department and other federal agencies, provided agents far more information than was quoted by Mueller, nearly all of it exculpatory to the president’s campaign and his eldest son.

    Despite learning the translator’s information on July 12, 2017, just a few days after the media reported on the Trump Tower meeting, the FBI would eventually suggest Donald Trump Jr. was lying and that the event could be seminal to Russian election collusion.

    Samochornov’s eyewitness account entirely debunks the media’s narrative, the FBI memos show.”

    “Samochornov was not particularly fond of Donald Trump Jr., but stated Donald Trump Jr.’s account with Veselnitskya as portrayed in recent media report, was accurate,” according to the FBI 302 report on its interview of the translator. “Samachornov concurred with Donald Trump Jr.’s accounts of the meeting. He added ‘they’ were telling the truth.”

    So what was that truth, and how did it compare to the media version of events that took root in summer 2017?

    The media narrative at the time was that the meeting might be a key piece of evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia: Trump Jr., brother-in-law Jared Kushner, and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort were all lured to a meeting by the Russian lawyer Veselnitskya supposedly to talk about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton.

    Trump Jr.’s account, ridiculed by the media and Democrats at the time, was that the short meeting ended up being about a Russian lobbying campaign to change adoption practices under a U.S. human rights law that punished Moscow and other foreign bad actors known as the Magnitsky Act.

    Here’s an example of the sort of accusations that were being lodged against Trump Jr.”

    ———–

    Retractions? Corrections? Anybody?

    Yeah, didn’t think so. Hacks.

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  9. The Chinese govt has continuously been lying about the epidemic but this shouldn’t take us down the rabbit hole of conspiracy. Scientist examining the virus and genome sequence have concluded it has a natural origin and was not created in a lab.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200317175442.htm

    The Chinese should also not be used as a convenient means to escape scrutiny for a gov’t’s response. They informed WHO on Dec 31(nice timing) they had detected a novel and lethal form of coronavirus. By late Feb it was in Europe, Iran and South Korea. In early March, North American politicians were still in denial — my premier told everyone not to worry and go on their March break holiday (leading to a spike in new cases when they returned) and Trump was playing golf. Don’t trust the Chinese and build that assumption into your response and own data but don’t use the Chinese as an excuse.

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  10. Both Democrats and Republicans pork barreled the relief bill that was passed. Sanders had a long speech where he listed all the companies being bailed out or subsidized — including a candy factory owned by the Mars family, apparently it was essential. The DNC has long found Sanders annoying but he still has a large base of support in the party. I was hoping we learned from 2008 but it seems similar mistakes are made again…. An interesting idea floating around the internet ironically suggests companies be bailed out by returning the taxes they paid in the last few years, ie nothing. And of course only bailing out travel companies registered in the US — which would mean not a single cruise company would be eligible.

    Biden is obviously not my preference. I liked him years ago but he does have a certain latitude with reality especially now. However, in the new Trumpian era of politics I don’t think its going to matter. Trump and Biden will crash fact checking websites any time they debate and it won’t matter — to paraphrase Stalin, one lie is a tragedy, a million is a statistic. Besides its the Washington Post who in the Trumpian universe has no credibility, ie fake news. After years attacking credibility of the press, it will be amusing to see Trump and the Republicans treat the Post as legitimate.

    In November it will be a close race — coming down to Wisconsin and Florida; the poor showing of the Republican governors in the current crisis should be of concern to the party.

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  11. Political advocacy masquerading as journalism.

    THIS is CNN.

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnns-jim-acosta-accused-of-mansplaining-after-interrupting-dr-birx-to-attack-trump

    “CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta was widely blasted for interrupting Dr. Deborah Birx during Friday’s coronavirus briefing to attack President Trump.

    Birx took a moment at the podium to address the “who knew what when” concerns and said all the countries affected by the pandemic can “look back” to develop a timeline but not while “in the middle” of the crisis.

    “We can talk about why didn’t Italy do something or Spain do something or Germany do something, or we can really say right now — we all can do something,” Dr. Birx explained. “We can do the social distancing and all of the pieces that we know is starting to work around the globe in country after country. And then when we get through all of this, we can ask the questions about could we have done some piece of this better as a global community.”

    She then pivoted to the apparent errors the World Health Organization (WHO) made leading up to the outbreak in the U.S. as something that should be examined.

    “I will remind you that on February 3rd, the head of the WHO said there was no reason to ever do a travel ban,” Dr. Birx continued. “It wasn’t until January 14th that we knew that there was human-to-human transmission,”

    Acosta quickly derailed her observations about WHO to knock President Trump.

    “Dr. Birx, the president was saying this was going to go away,” Acosta said. “It’s April.”

    “It is going to go away,” President Trump fired back. “I said it was going away and it is going away.”

    Many took to social media to blast the reporter.”

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  12. “Democrats Using Crisis to Advance Progressive Agenda”

    How do we know this? Because they keep saying it out loud.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/04/democrats-using-crisis-to-advance-progressive-agenda/

    “It is increasingly obvious that Democrats see an upside to the Coronavirus crisis, and naturally it is all about politics and power. How do we know this? They keep saying it out loud.

    You may recall that old quote from Rahm Emanuel about not wasting a crisis. According to Brainy Quote, this is what he said in full:

    You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.

    Democrats have obviously taken that message to heart.

    Collin Anderson writes at the Washington Free Beacon:”

    “Rep. James Clyburn, Who Touted Coronavirus As ‘Tremendous’ Political Opportunity, to Take Helm of Pandemic Oversight Committee

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) announced the formation of a new coronavirus oversight committee led by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D., S.C.), who last month said the pandemic gives Democrats “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

    ——–

    “California’s Newsom says coronavirus provides ‘opportunity’ to push progressive agenda

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom sees an “opportunity” to use the coronavirus outbreak to usher in new progressive policies in his state and elsewhere in the country, he said Wednesday.

    “Absolutely, we see this as an opportunity reshape the way we do business and how we govern,” he said during a virtual press conference.

    The remark came near the end of a long, winding answer to a question about whether he saw “the potential” in the crisis for “a new progressive era” in state and national politics.

    See the video below:”

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  13. Strange, Dr. Birx says we can look back but not during a middle of a crisis but then she pivots to discuss errors made by WHO. Why start pointing fingers immediately after saying we shouldn’t do it mid-crisis? That created an opening for questions about timeline to be discussed. Not an opening Acosta should’ve taken — Brix is an expert, ask her science questions even if she wanders into other territory.

    AJ — conspiracies are created when you string together a series of facts in such a way that leads to a specific conclusion. The usual errors are mistaken causation, a false originating premise, or working from the conclusion. In this particular case the premise is false — the virus has been examined by countless scientist and all conclude it evolved naturally. Scientists can tell the difference between synthetic and natural genomes. In a similar manner, a South African runner was reinstated as a female runner after it was ruled her excessive testosterone was natural not synthetic. The runner and another female runner from India were both banned from track and field until it was determined they were not using synthetic testosterone. Similarly, scientist can determine the difference between natural and synthetic viruses and their genomes.

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  14. WHO?

    China’s handmaid.

    https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/chinas-deadly-coronavirus-lie-co-conspirator-the-world-health-organization/

    “The fog of war obscures much about the novel coronavirus pandemic. But two facts seem absolutely certain. First, China’s Communist authorities have lied, concealed and misled about the origins of the epidemic and the toll of the virus in China. Second, the World Health Organization has acted as Beijing’s handmaid.

    The result: The global toll of the tragedy will be much greater than it need have been.

    We shouldn’t be surprised that the Beijing regime lies about the epidemic: It lies about, well, ­everything. From economic data to air pollution figures, the Communist Party doctors information to protect and promote itself.”

    ——–

    “One widely circulating guess is that the true figure is closer to 40,000. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s scientific advisers have concluded that paramount leader Xi Jinping’s regime has downplayed the true number of cases in China “by 15 to 40 times.” As Bloomberg reported this week, the US intelligence community has likewise informed the White House that China’s reported ­infection and death totals are implausibly low.

    Then there is the Communist Party’s active disinformation campaign abroad. This month, for example, in a tweet that garnered 160 million views, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson suggested that the coronavirus might actually be American in origin — brought to Wuhan by the US military!

    Which brings us to the WHO’s malfeasance in this affair. The WHO should have known at the outset that it was dealing with a bad-faith actor in Beijing. Yet ­instead of immediately insisting upon access, openness and transparency from China, WHO leadership followed the Chinese lead and at times even took the Chinese line.

    The very fact that truth-seekers are left counting urns is an indictment not only of the Beijing ­regime, but also of the WHO. To help stem the pandemic, the WHO should have been tirelessly pressing China to tell the truth.

    Far from sounding an alarm, however, the UN outfit was ­impassive while Beijing stonewalled international health ­authorities for weeks. Indeed, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the Chinese regime for its “transparency” in the crisis. Tedros, ­recall, was Beijing’s candidate for WHO chief and owes his job to China’s campaign for him at the United Nations.

    At the end of January, when President Trump ordered a travel ban against entry to the United States from China and other coronavirus “hot spots,” Tedros, echoing Chinese authorities, roundly criticized the decision, insisting it would “have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.” By March 12, when the WHO finally declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, misbegotten deference to the Chinese government had ­incalculably impeded the effort to contain the contagion.

    When the full history of this episode is eventually written, the Chinese Communist Party will bear massive responsibility for this plague that has swept the earth. So will a World Health Organization that seemed too interested in the health of the Chinese regime at the moment of truth.”

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  15. International organizations like WHO are at the mercy of their host countries. Local employees of WHO rely on the organization to be discrete and polite so they don’t suffer adverse effects working for an international organization. This goes for every country but is far more important to consider when dealing with totalitarian regimes. Thus WHO will bend the truth and will accept data they know to be off. However, other countries are well aware of this and will often rely on their intelligence community to gather their own data. The US does this all the time in China even for regular economic data like GDP, productivity, wages, etc. The US intelligence community would have reported back to the President and Congress that the numbers were off in January and February. Its why certain Senators sold stock. The American gov’t knew as did other gov’t the true extent of the disaster before it was made public.

    WHO and other organizations like it have a necessary role to play, but if anyone thinks WHO actually believes the Chinese, they are naive. Its the extreme version of being political — when a governor says Trump is doing a good job, he may be honest or he may know bending the truth will expedite the necessary aid. WHO is acting in a similar but more extreme version here.

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  16. Using a crisis to advance isn’t a new idea nor is it necessary wrong. And both sides of the political spectrum have been doing it for decades. Naomi Klein in her book the Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism chronicles the use of a crisis to further neo-con economics — Friedman pioneered the idea in Chile but its been used elsewhere in the world. And even in the US after natural disasters — Hurricane Katrina allowed them to change the school system, break unions, etc. Currently, the US keeps trying to create and increase a crisis in Venezuela to topple the regime. In the post Soviet era, the shock doctrine was employed to privatize everything — the backlash gave us Putin so it doesn’t always work. Even 9/11 and security concerns that followed was used to target leftist organizations (and probably right wing ones too).

    Currently we can use the corona virus crisis to change things quickly. We’ve know recognized minimum wage workers in retail stores as essential — perhaps in recognition we can pay these workers a minimum wage that is a living wage. We can also see that vast swaths of middle and upper management are overpaid and non-essential. Perhaps we can tie top corporate wages to workers pay. (I believe, Germany limits corporate pay to 500 times the average employee wage). As modern corporate capitalism collapse a week into a crisis and was first in line for a govt welfare cheque perhaps we can force corporations to maintain a savings account for a rainy day (an escrow account). We can see right now that public health measures are important — perhaps Occupational Health and Safety measures and rules could be given more enforcement power. Job safety can be mandated and guaranteed. We can also see the value of universal medicare in convincing people to get tested and treated early before they infect others. A progressive agenda that can be demanded now while the lessons are fresh in people’s minds and they will accept it.

    Speaking of restructuring and changing things during a crisis, Jared Kushner has set up a parallel group to Pence’s task force and often interferes in the chain of command or in procurement procedures. A governor will get a hold of Trump who will promise him supplies, he then tells Kushner who gets it down by bypassing normal channels and Pence. Hence some governors praise Trump because he got things down for their state and others are fuming because they don’t have access to Trump and are reliant on regular channels. Here is an indication where change and restructure don’t work. It also creates division between states and accusation of political bias. The California governor may appreciate Trump’s help but Michigan, NY and Mass are now furious because the Florida governor appears to be getting more supplies due to his relationship to Trump and Florida’s role in his reelection. Appointing Pence was a good move (even if the left hated), it removed Trump for the day to day operational concerns and gave him time to simply lead but with the round around by Kushner its become a mess.

    The 3M debacle continues — 3M is adamant it wants to export the masks according to the orders received from Canada and other countries. Turns out the raw materials, a specific pulp product, needed to make the mask can only come from one mill located in Canada. Don’t worry Canada won’t hold it back, 3M knows it needs to keep the international supply chains open to continue to manufacture uninterrupted.

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  17. Disgusting.

    “Italy gave China PPE to help with coronavirus — then China made them buy it back”

    https://spectator.us/italy-china-ppe-sold-coronavirus/

    “China has tried to restore its image after lying to the world about the seriousness of its coronavirus outbreak, but its attempts at humanitarianism have turned out to be as slippery as its wet markets.

    After COVID-19 made its way to Italy, decimating the country’s significant elderly population, China told the world it would donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help Italy stop its spread. Reports later indicated that China had actually sold, not donated, the PPE to Italy. A senior Trump administration official tells The Spectator that it is much worse than that: China forced Italy to buy back the PPE supply that it gave to China during the initial coronavirus outbreak.

    ‘Before the virus hit Europe, Italy sent tons of PPE to China to help China protect its own population,’ the administration official explained. ‘China then has sent Italian PPE back to Italy — some of it, not even all of it … and charged them for it.’”

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  18. Jake is a hack.

    ———

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  19. Honestly AJ, it could be due to viewer complaints. Many viewers simply want to hear the experiments and don’t want to hear from Trump. As some others here have stated, sometimes he should just step back and let the experts answer the questions. Trump is still a polarizing figure maybe even more so. If they want to hear Trump — he has his own news channel.

    Read more articles on Jared Kushner and friends evading normal procedures –using private email, phones and servers to conduct meetings. Some of his friends involved in his group are business people not gov’t, I thought the articles stretched the truth to be too accusatory but it is something that needs to be curbed — keep everything above board, use normal channels, go through the official Pence task force . Transparency is important now,

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  20. That’s the stupidest excuse yet. You can’t cry you aren’t getting the answers from him you want when your network ignores when he talks.

    And he does step back multiple times a day and allow the experts to answer. He frequently refers stuff to Pence as well. I’m not uninformed on this stuff, because I actually watch and listen. Maybe CNN and it’s viewers should try it. Then they won’t look like clueless hacks.

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