Ontario has had the longest lockdown in North America – which has been so successful it’s just gone into another one

moi

April 8, 2021, RT.com

by Eva K Bartlett

It’s April 2021 and we’re still being fed the same “stay home, save lives” line of 2020. But lockdowns are based on dodgy data and exaggerations, as well as causing more harm than they supposedly prevent.

As of today, Ontario is once again locked down. The last lockdown of two months was lifted only a month ago.

The province has endured the longest lockdowns in the country, thanks to politicians and medical officers pushing selective statistics.

The “Stay-at-Home” order (sounds so much nicer than lockdown!) requires people to imprison themselves again, except for “essential purposes” (exempt, of course, are Canadian politicians, who have repeatedly violated their own exhortations).

This latest draconian lockdown again impacts nearly every aspect of Ontarians’ ability to live their lives

It means: closed businesses; increasing poverty, loneliness, and depression; increased domestic abuse, a rise in suicides and self-harm; and utter media hysteria (actually, the media hysteria and fear mongering has not ceased since the announcement of a pandemic one year ago).

A petition to end Ontario’s lockdown of small businesses notes:

“There are over 440,000 small businesses in Ontario.

“Less than a week ago [state premier] Doug Ford told restaurants they would be allowed to operate outdoor dining even in grey zones; this caused restaurant owners to spend thousands of dollars on these spaces only to find out that this would not be the case in this current closure.

This level of carelessness and lack of foresight could be the demise of many locally owned restaurants.”

Alarmism and exaggerated ICU data

Premier Doug Ford, in his address yesterday, spoke of case rates, hospitalizations, and ICU occupancy “increasing rapidly, threatening to overwhelm the healthcare system.”

But, as I’ve written before, the whole concept of “cases rising” is meaningless: “Cases are determined by Covid-19 tests, which have proved to be unreliable and inaccurate, giving false positives and creating a false picture of reality. This faulty testing is exacerbating the media hype over ‘rising cases.’”

And according to a long-time employee at the Ottawa General hospital I corresponded with: “I work in a large hospital and I pass through the Covid-19 ICU unit every day. And it’s never been overflowing or too busy.”

Or, as a columnist for the Toronto Sun noted“Toronto’s top doc said that data was showing younger people in ICUs. Asked about the data, she changed her tweet to say she was ‘hearing’ of younger Toronto ICU patients. Big difference between data showing and you hearing anecdotally.”

Or, as an Ontario MPP noted“The @OntHospitalAssn keeps fear mongering about ICU capacity. But Critical Care Services Ontario ICU data for Apr 3 reveals: Toronto 375 of 496 beds taken (76%) Central: 398 of 513 (78%) Ontario: 1852 of 2418 (77%) The question to the OHA is why?”

In fact, every year in flu season, we’ve had reports of overcrowding in hospitals, hospitals bursting at seams. This never caused us to shut down our economy and lock down our citizens.

Finally, more and more journalists are asking for proof of the claims bandied about by the Fords and media.

Even Naomi Wolf, not your average “conspiracy theorist” or “right winger” (as those opposed to brutal lockdowns are often described by dinosaur media) tweeted“How are Canadians still being told such gigantic lies? The whole ‘lockdown equals public safety’ mythology is fully deceased.”

Vested interests in vaccines?

While ordinary Canadians suffer tremendously under lockdowns, Canada’s unelected medical tyrants, the Medical Officers of Health (MOH) are doing quite well, earning $200,000 – $300,000, and more.

In addition to pushing for this latest lockdown, Ontario MOHs went the extra mile and called for “fewer businesses to be deemed essential and more operations shut down.”

Because a year-plus of lockdowns destroying small businesses’ ability to survive just wasn’t enough….

Some of these MOHs may even have financial links to the rollout of vaccines.

In his press conference yesterday, much of Premier Ford’s focus was on pushing jabs.

Ford promised, “better days are ahead of us,” followed by more calls for Ontarians to get jabbed with vaccines made faster than ever before which,  technically, will not even be out of the clinical trials stage till next year at the earliest. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine is being suspended by countries around the world for causing blood clotting, which could lead to death.

In spite of this, Ontario continues to push it. As of April first, Canada has bought around 24 million doses. In addition to its AstraZeneca purchases, Canada agreed to purchase at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s hurried vaccine.

In March, the media reported that Toronto’s MOH, Eileen de Villa, is married to Dr Richard Choi, a cardiologist and lecturer at Unity Health Toronto, who lists Pfizer and AstraZeneca among his ‘Relationships with financial interests.’ Under de Villa’s leadership, “Toronto Public Health has been used as a tool to counter any ‘misinformation’ about vaccination,” and was allegedly “behind a call to ban vaccine exemptions because of religious or philosophical beliefs.”

Another article on the de Villa-Choi conflict of interest noted: “It’s not a good look when you lock down your city when you don’t have to and your husband has financial interests with AstraZeneca and Pfizer.”

In mid-March, Premier Ford said he isn’t making the decisions, the chief medical officers are. He also said it would essentially be political suicide to go against them.

“To be frank, there’s no politician in the country who’s going to disagree with their chief medical officer. They’re just not going to do it. They might as well throw a rope around their neck and jump off a bridge.” 

Last December, Toronto’s Associate MOH, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, and Chief MOH, Dr. David Williams, admitted they are just reading a script, “I just say what they write down for me.” And laughed about it.

So, we have unelected medical officers running the show, essentially forcing government decisions on lockdowns and related issues. And as a Toronto lawyer opposed to lockdowns noted, “local Councils are legally powerless to stop” these unaccountable MOHs. How wonderfully democratic.

There is definitely a will and momentum to resist the brutal lockdown measures affecting all but the fat cats flouting them. With a new round of bullying by unelected medical officers, I hope the resistance to tyranny grows.

RELATED:

Vive la lockdown révolution! Growing rebellion against draconian Covid restrictions by easygoing Canadians…

Millions Harmed by the Mother of All Con Games

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Since last year, countless millions in the US and elsewhere were conned to believe what shows up every year with no fear-mongering created mass hysteria became harmful to health and well-being like never before and required draconian policies to address.

According to Swedish health experts Professors Anna-Mia Ekstrom and Stefan Swartling Peterson, countless human suffering and deaths occurred unnecessarily because of  restrictions imposed on people in the West and elsewhere — unjustifiably justified by a high-intensity campaign of Big Lies and mass deception.

The imposed cure has been infinitely more harmful than the disease it pretends to address.

Ekstrom and Peterson aren’t alone in their analysis. Countless other medical and scientific experts agree with their conclusions.

What’s gone on since last year is madness.

Ekstrom and Peterson said evidence from their analysis shows that many, likely most, claimed deaths from covid were from something else – making official numbers meaningless.

One example is what Illinois Department of Public Health director Ngozi Exike said about alleged covid deaths from covid:

“If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have covid — even if fully recovered — that would be counted as a covid death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death.” 

“So everyone who is listed as a covid death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but” it’s counted this way.

It’s well known that countless numbers of reported deaths from causes unrelated to covid were falsely attributed to it — to artificially inflate numbers in the West.

It’s also known that the survival rate for seasonal flu-renamed covid for individuals under age-70 is 99.95% — 95% for people over age-70.

Lockdowns where imposed were most harmful of all.

According to Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD:

“Internationally, the lockdowns have placed 130 million people on the brink of starvation, 80 million children at risk for diphtheria, measles and polio, and 1.8 million patients at risk of death from tuberculosis.”

“The lockdowns in developed countries have devastated the poor in poor countries.” 

“The World Economic Forum estimates that the lockdowns will cause an additional 150 million people to fall into extreme poverty, 125 times as many people as have died from COVID.”

The above excludes immeasurable psychological pain, suffering, and economic loss for what dark forces in the US and West ordered.

Things mandated last year, along with remains in place, continue to cause infinitely more harm to countless millions of people than any number of the most serious diseases combined.

Worst of all, what’s devastated most people in the West elsewhere most likely is prelude for much worse ahead.

If dark forces achieve their aims, world community nations will be transformed into ruler/serf societies.

Remaining freedoms will be lost. Life as existed pre-2020 will be gone forever — replaced by dystopian harshness.

Nonbelievers will be eliminated to silence dissent.

What new world order harshness dark forces in the US and West have in mind may make today’s unacceptable conditions seem like paradise by comparison.

Criminal Big-Pharma Put in Charge of Covid-19 “Vaccine”

Source

Big-Pharma – guilty of lying, cheating, stealing, bribery, and a history of exposing the public to dangerous and even deadly drugs – is being given billions to develop a Covid-19 “vaccine.” Would you trust your health to these criminals? 

May 1, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Coronavirus Disease 2019 or “Covid-19” hysteria is sweeping the globe – with mass media-induced public panic paralyzing entire nations, gutting economies of billions as workplaces are shutdown and the public shuttered indoors all while exposed to 24 hour news cycles deliberately fanning the flames of fear. 

The West’s healthcare industry is already profiting both monetarily and in terms of artificial credibility as a panicked public turn to it for answers and safety.

Waiting to cash in on offering “cures” and “vaccines” for a virus that is essentially a bad cold – is the immensely corrupt Western pharmaceutical industry in particular – notorious corporations like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Novartis, Bayer, Merck, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, Lilly, and Gilead.
All corporations – without exception – pursuing government-funded vaccines and therapies for Covid-19 are corporations guilty and repeatedly convicted in courts of law around the globe of crimes including falsifying research, safety, and efficacy studies, bribing researchers, doctors, regulators, and even law enforcement officials, and marketing drugs that were either entirely ineffective or even dangerous. 
Government funding from taxpayers across the Western World are being funneled into supposedly non-profit organizations like the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) which are in actuality fronts created and chaired by big-pharma to avoid investing their own money into costly research and development and simply profit from whatever emerges from state-funded research.

CEPI – for example – is receiving billions in government funds from various nations that will be used for R&D that results in products sold by and profited from big-pharma. 
Novartis – Plumbing the Depths of the Despicable 
A particularly shocking and appalling example comes from Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis – who is currently attempting to ram through approval of its drug Jakafi as a therapy for severe Covid-19 patients.
A University of Pennsylvania team headed by Dr. Carl June and funded entirely by charity had developed a gene therapy that fully and permanently cured leukemia patients who had otherwise failed to respond to more traditional treatments like bone marrow transplants. During early trials in 2010-2012, one patient – a 6 year old named Emily Whitehead – was literally on her death bed before receiving the revolutionary gene therapy.

Today she is alive and well, in permanent remission. 
What is more astounding about the therapy is that it is administered only one time. That is because after administration the patient’s cells are rewired permanently to fight off cancer. Old cells pass the cancer-fighting information off to new cells as they divide and multiply. 
The therapy developed by Dr. June’s team is not only a one-time therapy, it is also incredibly cost effective. Under experimental conditions the procedure cost under 20,000 USD. Dr. June at a 2013 talk at The Society for Translational Oncology would state

So the cost of goods, it’s interesting. The major cost here is gamma globulin. So the t-cells themselves, with us, for our in-house costs of an apheresis and so on is 15,000 dollars to manufacture the t-cells. 

The charity that funded Dr. June’s team – Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) – would see its work sold off to Novartis, approved by the FDA in 2017 and marketed as Kymriah. What was noted by Dr. June himself as costing 15,000 USD to produce under experimental conditions was marked up by Novartis to an astronomical half-million dollars. The New York Times article that reported the drug’s cost never mentions the actual cost of the drug and instead defers to Novartis’ own explanation as to why the drug was so expensive. 
The NYT had previously reported on the therapy’s progress before its acquisition by Novartis, yet NYT writers failed to hold Novartis accountable or inform readers of the actual cost of the therapy and expose price gouging by Novartis. This helps illustrate the mass media’s role in enabling and covering up for big-pharma’s corruption.  

Upon closer examination – and no thanks to publications like NYT – it turns out LLS was and still is in partnership with Novartis and while it denied Novartis had anything to do with the gene therapy funded by LLS and ultimately sold to Novartis – the glaring conflict of interest remains and fits in perfectly with the wider pharmaceutical industry’s track record of corruption, abuse, and placing profits before human life.
The Novartis example is a microcosm of how the entire industry operates and indeed – precisely how it already is exploiting and profiting from Covid-19 hysteria where hard-working researchers have their work funded by shady “charities” only to be bought up by big-pharma and dangled over the heads of the desperate for movie-villain ransoms – all in cooperation with a complicit government and mass media.        
GSK: A Bribery Racket that Rings the Globe
Another pharmaceutical corporation seeking to profit from Covid-19 is GlaxoSmithKline. What those who may be exposed to whatever products GSK markets in response to the virus should know is that GSK has been convicted on every inhabited continent of the planet for operating a global bribery racket aimed at doctors, researchers, regulators, politicians, and even law enforcement officials. 
GSK has been convicted in Asia. The New York Times in its article, “Drug Giant Faced a Reckoning as China Took Aim at Bribery,” would claim:

The Glaxo case, which resulted in record penalties of nearly $500 million and a string of guilty pleas by executives, upended the power dynamic in China, unveiling an increasingly assertive government determined to tighten its grip over multinationals. In the three years since the arrests, the Chinese government, under President Xi Jinping, has unleashed the full force of the country’s authoritarian system, as part of a broader agenda of economic nationalism.

GSK has also been convicted in North America. The London Guardian would report in its article GlaxoSmithKline fined $3bn after bribing doctors to increase drugs sales that:

The pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline has been fined $3bn (£1.9bn) after admitting bribing doctors and encouraging the prescription of unsuitable antidepressants to children. Glaxo is also expected to admit failing to report safety problems with the diabetes drug Avandia in a district court in Boston on Thursday. The company encouraged sales reps in the US to mis-sell three drugs to doctors and lavished hospitality and kickbacks on those who agreed to write extra prescriptions, including trips to resorts in Bermuda, Jamaica and California.

GSK corruption also takes place in Europe. In early 2014, the London Telegraph would report in its article, “GlaxoSmithKline ‘bribed’ doctors to promote drugs in Europe, former worker claims,” that:

GlaxoSmithKline, Britain’s largest drug company, has been accused of bribing doctors to prescribe their medicines in Europe. Doctors in Poland were allegedly paid to promote its asthma drug, Seretide, under the guise of funding for education programme, a former sales rep has claimed. Medics were also said to have been paid for lectures in the country which did not take place.

And this is only scratching the surface of GSK’s bribery racket and associated impropriety – saying nothing of the wider industry’s abuse and corruption. 
GSK is currently poised to develop and deploy a Covid-19 vaccine with Innovax. Will GSK’s history of bribery and corruption influence the development of a Covid-19 vaccine and its approval for public use?

There is already a convincing answer to that question. 
Big-Pharma Already Caught Faking Pandemics to Fill Their Coffers 
The last wave of hysteria regarding a pandemic came in the form of the 2009 H1N1 outbreak or the “swine flu.” 
If one vaguely remembers H1N1 and needs to look it up to refresh their memory – it’s probably because it was not the pandemic it was promoted as at the time by corrupt public health officials and a complicit mass media.

Among these corrupt public health officials were World Health Organization (WHO) “experts” who were in the pay of big-pharma and used their positions to declare the appearance of H1N1 as a “pandemic” justifying likewise paid-off governments to stockpile big-pharma medication for patients that never ended up needing them.  
The BBC in their article, “WHO swine flu experts ‘linked’ with drug companies,” would admit: 

Key scientists behind World Health Organization advice on stockpiling of pandemic flu drugs had financial ties with companies which stood to profit, an investigation has found.

The British Medical Journal says the scientists had openly declared these interests in other publications yet WHO made no mention of the links.

The BBC mentions GSK by name, noting (emphasis added):

…three scientists involved in putting together the 2004 guidance had previously been paid by Roche or GSK for lecturing and consultancy work as well as being involved in research for the companies. 

Roche – also mentioned – currently produces Covid-19 test kits and is obviously making massive profits by selling them amid sustained hysteria over the “pandemic.” It also profited when WHO officials it was paying off declared H1N1 a “pandemic” in 2009. It sold testing kits and anti-viral medication that made their way into entirely unnecessary government stockpiles. 
Reuters in a 2014 article titled, “Stockpiles of Roche Tamiflu drug are waste of money, review finds,” would note: 

Researchers who have fought for years to get full data on Roche’s flu medicine Tamiflu said on Thursday that governments who stockpile it are wasting billions of dollars on a drug whose effectiveness is in doubt. 

The article also noted:

Tamiflu sales hit almost $3 billion in 2009 – mostly due to its use in the H1N1 flu pandemic – but they have since declined. 

Are we really going to allow these same corporations and the corrupt officials they are in league with among national and international bodies take the reins again amid Covid-19?

Serial Offenders Drive Covid-19 Hysteria 
The same WHO – in partnership with the same serial offenders among the pharmaceutical industry – are now leading the response to Covid-19 – and the same complicit mass media that enabled the corruption and abuse of both in the past is helping fuel Covid-19 hysteria today to hand over unprecedented profits and power to these same interests that have repeatedly proven themselves in the past to not only be untrustworthy but also obstacles to – rather than the underwriters of – human health. 
Soon, syringes will be filled with “vaccines” produced by this conglomerate of corruption and abuse, and the public told to roll up their sleeves and have themselves injected by substances created by literal criminals or else. 
Under the illusion of legitimacy, science, and medicine, people will be pressured to submit to big-pharma and their co-conspirators within regulatory bodies, advisory organizations, the government, and the media, and whatever it is they actually fill these syringes with – whether it protects the public from Covid-19 or not – and whether such a vaccine is truly necessary or not. 
While Covid-19 might be an actual pathogen, evidence suggests it does not warrant the overreaction we have seen worldwide. “Covid-19 hysteria” is – by far – having a much more devastating impact on humanity than the actual virus itself.  Amid this hysteria, the biggest genuine threat to human health – a corrupt pharmaceutical industry and their partners in the government – are poised to expand both their profits at the expense of the public, and their power over the public. 
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’?

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’?

May 02, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

It’s an idea that is worth discussing because – much like how China does not want to discuss possible modern reverberations from their atrocious (mostly upper-class) practice of female foot-binding – the West does not want to deal with the cultural legacy of four centuries of segregation.

It’s so perplexing to listen to Western commentators demand in the same breath both massive Great Lockdowns and that everyone agree that they have the world’s purest and widest ideals of freedom. In The New York Times article France Weighs Its Love of Liberty in Fight Against Coronavirus a French government adviser said, “We gave up an absolutely fundamental freedom, that of movement, while most of the Asian countries chose instead to be much more coercive on the individuals.

But… freedom of movement is the MOST important freedom, and restricting it is the MOST coercion possible. What do you think prison is? More than anything else it is ending your freedom of movement.

The only thing more coercive than having your freedom of movement taken away is capital punishment and physical torture. (Well, maybe – how long do I have to be tortured to avoid being caged for decades?)

Thus, the “freedom” the West has given up is “freedom”; what they feared losing was actually mere “privacy”.

Instead of acknowledging global cultural equality during this pandemic, the West is instead having absurd, logic-twisting discussions about how Asia “is much more coercive” than the allegedly “freedom-loving West”. Just as Americans can easily be manipulated and distracted by data-driven fear, the French are – once again – obsessively thinking very deep philosophical thoughts (which are also very deeply jingoistic and self-flattering) about “liberté” while their heads are buried in the sand as to how very, very repressive their public polices actually are.

There are three primary reasons for a public debate and discourse which is so contradictory: 1) constant, self-flattering cultural chauvinism, which obviously runs on illogic, 2) stupidity and hysteria – the Western corona overreaction is something of a new peak, though 3) the West doesn’t understand that Asians see their own primary coercive techniques as less brutal than those of the West’s.

Perhaps there will never be a meeting of the minds on the last one, but I think it’s rather easy to explain.

The West has two types of social shaming/control, but Asians have a third… which is the worst?

The first type of social control which is dominant in Anglo-Saxon cultures is modern segregation: South African Apartheid, US Jim Crow, American Indian reservations, equally brutal aboriginal policies in Canada and Australia – Anglo-Saxons have a long history of wanting to be quarantined away from people.

In all these areas the non-Whites are imprisoned at much higher rates and for inhumanly long times and with an inhuman amount of solitary confinement – all are more quarantine. Their elderly are quarantined as well – into nursing homes. Sweden doesn’t have to go on lockdown because, stunningly, more than half of their homes contain just a single person (an unthinkable desire for self-segregation, to Iranian culture) – more quarantine.

The West’s Great Lockdown is so absurd because healthy people are hysterically quarantining themselves, as opposed to the normal practice of the quarantining of the unhealthy & vulnerable people. It’s like Westerners can’t comprehend the logic of quarantine, just as they apparently can’t understand the logic that taking away one’s freedom of movement is about as bad a punishment as there is?

Asian countries have proven that immediately quarantining the corona-infected, and often those they contacted, is the best way to keep total deaths down. China shut down Wuhan because Wuhan was sick – but they didn’t shut down the whole uninfected nation.

However, perhaps the Anglo-Saxon West rushed into the Great Lockdown with such ardour because they have such a very long practice and culture of separating themselves away from others? The Anglo-Saxon view is typified by the “separate but equal” segregationist ideal: equality is there, but only after separation first.

What the West has done in 2020 is to segregate themselves from people they assume to be somehow inferior – in this case, medically inferior. I am not saying that they did this consciously, as with their treatment of aboriginals and non-Whites, but sub-consciously. “Segregating others” can also be logically viewed as a way to achieve a desire for “self-segregation”. In some ways that expresses more Western individualism, but segregation is simply their preferred form of social control (surely we can agree that all societies use and need some form of social control.)

One sees the segregation idea in their child-rearing techniques: an unruly child is socially shunned by being given a “time out” – they are sent to stand alone in a corner. A non-conforming student is locked away in detention – he or she is segregated from the good students. Alternatives do actually exist – rapping their knuckles with a ruler or being forced to wear a dunce cap – but these techniques are now considered “coercive” and antiquated in the Anglo-Saxon West, which is certain that their methods are the world’s best.

I can partially see why they have that false idea: These segregationist ideas have the advantage of not leaving any physical marks, thus allowing the lawgiver to feel they have done nothing wrong. There are, however, unseen psychological marks.

In the Latin Western World – where Spain and France were the dominant imperialists – segregation was not employed anywhere on the scale of Jim Crow/bantustans/reservations. Intermarriage was even practiced. These Latin cultures instead chose forced assimilation backed by physical punishment – corporal punishment must be constantly menaced in a capitalist-imperialist society where segregation does not exist.

The French were a steamroller of brutality in Algeria, for example. Arabs were allowed in – allowed “to be French” – but only if they shamefully stripped themselves of any “Arab” characteristics. Their social shame was not created by segregation, but by being mocked and publicly rejected for not living up to “French” standards.

But what unites both cultures is their rampant economic segregation: from banlieues to favelas to trailer parks to gated suburbs to their “where’s the worst area we can put the most amount of poor people” government estates/projects – there is zero sincere effort at economically integrating residential areas via government policy and will. Just go to Havana to see the socialist-inspired difference: the waterfront property right downtown was handed over the poorest citizens in a total opposite tack from Western cities.

How Asian cultures create social control – quite different than in the West

What Asian cultures rely on is not no-contact isolation nor brutal, bitter, perpetual cultural combat – I guess we could call it “group-arguing to produce self-criticism”. It’s easier to illustrate it in action:

So somebody is asked in China, Vietnam or Iran about if they have coronavirus, where they have been, and if they will download a tracking app to their smart phone. That person responds, “I’m not going to submit to any of this – I always have the individual right to my total privacy!” This is, after all, what many Westerners would insist.

Here is a condensed version of the retort which has probably been used countless times in the past few months across Asia:

“Whaddya mean you won’t say where you’ve been – we got a pandemic going on. You been living under a rock recently? Whaddreya – selfish or something?! Who do you think you are – the emperor? Or are you a motherless dog or something? Well, WE are not motherless dogs – you WILL tell us where you’ve been and our mothers WILL be protected from your selfishness! Do you expect everyone here to somehow not be offended by this display of arrogance? Do you think we are doing this for fun? How can you not let us track you? I am being tracked, he is being tracked, she is being tracked – you are ruining everything! Why do you want to endanger everything?!”

And then more talk about how larger things exist than just yourself, the necessity of being humble, the sacrifices others have already made, etc.

“Oh, so you’ve finally come around eh? Funny principle you have – ‘I live while everyone else dies!’ Here, sign this admission of guilt for breaking the quarantine. No, there’s no fine – we are trying to help people, not make money – but sign it!

In China if you are involved in a transgression which required the involvement of authorities you will indeed sign an admission of guilt/self-criticism which boils down to, “I’m sorry and I will not do it again”. Public criticism was also part of Vietnam’s incredibly successful corona fight: only 300 cases despite 90 million people and a long border with China.

Whaddya mean you won’t sign it?! You just told us you finally understood that you were wrong! You’re not going to make us feel bad like we did something wrong when it is YOU in the wrong. And you aren’t going to be able to go around saying that the government is bad when YOU were the selfish one, putting us all at risk over corona. Sign here!”

Iran has had televised confessions, showing that public self-criticism does play a cultural role; unlike in the US, where the judge has total discretion and power, Iranian law guarantees a reduced sentence for the guilty who confess to their crimes, showing that public confession is valued and rewarded.

So you’ll finally sign, eh? Wasting our time like this… in the middle of a crisis no less! We got other people to help! Who do you think you are?!”

We should now understand why BBC reported that in South Korea a majority said they complied out of fear of “criticism” (i.e. public social shaming) even more than out of fear of the coronavirus. That must blow a Westerners mind: the virus is so very, very scary, we must get awayyyyyyy!

Is there scarring with Asia’s preferred method? Meh… they don’t abandon you or beat you, at least. Western methods often seem to Asians as bewilderingly cruel psychologically, physically brutal, incredibly isolating and – of course – incredibly arrogant and self-centered.

Just as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity proved that the laws of physics are the same across the entire universe (thus it’s not better or worse to be standing in any one spot… anywhere) “moral relativism” says that any society’s morals and culture are all valid if we can properly understand them. So I am not saying the Asian model of social control/shaming is the best, but you must at least concede that it works for society – simply look at how they prevented the spread of corona in such a superior fashion.

The widespread prevalence of this type of social shaming – the “yelling parent” form – shows why Confucius was such a radical genius within his cultural context: for him the only explanation which needed to be given was one’s personal example – Confucius was not a yeller.

But such “torture” – i.e. being yelled at by the group, and a group which is usually led by an elder – is simply not part of Western culture. In the US a gun is pulled out after just 30 seconds of public yelling; in France yelling is only for at your romantic partner (and preferably in public view) – otherwise you have “lost your sang froid (cold blood)” which means a major loss of face for the French.

For Europeans (especially Roman Catholics) confession is done only in private; you will be waiting a long time if you are expecting public displays of humble self-criticism.

But Asians often agree, sadly, that you just can’t tell many Westerners anything because they will so loudly insist they already know it all. Furthermore, there’s no need for any discussion because of TINA – There Is No Alternative (to Western neoliberalism & neo-imperialism).

When it comes to the concept of shame, Westerners today insist that this is always a terrible and unproductive thing, and only found in “coercive” Asian societies and Abrahamic religions. Their lockdown is not “totalitarian social control” nor “shame-based” because it’s the West which is doing it – but try going out without a mask now and see how many “Karens” rudely confront you with essentially, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself for doing that!”

I thought the pandemic was reminding us all of global and human equality? Let’s simply agree that Karens exist everywhere, and that the West is just as repressive and “coercive” as Asia.

Sign here.

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Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26, 2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

The city in a time of plague

April 22, 2020

The city in a time of plague

by Pepe Escobar for The Saker Blog (cross posted with the Asia Times)

History teaches us that epidemics are more like revelatory moments than social transformers

The plague-stricken town, traversed throughout with hierarchy, surveillance, observation, writing; the town immobilized by the functioning of an extensive power that bears in a distinct way over all individual bodies – this is the utopia of the perfectly governed city.

– Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish

Predictably eyeing the Decline and Fall of the American Empire, a serious academic debate is raging around the working hypothesis of historian Kyle Harper, according to whom viruses and pandemics – especially the Justinian plague in the 6th century – led to the end of the Roman Empire.

Well, history actually teaches us that epidemics are more like revelatory moments than social transformers.

Patrick Boucheron, a crack historian and a professor at the esteemed College de France, offers a very interesting perspective. Incidentally, before the onset of Covid-19, he was about to start a seminar on the Black Death medieval plague.

Boucheron’s view of Boccaccio’s Decameron, written in 1350 and about young Florentine aristocrats who fled to the Tuscan countryside to tell stories, focuses on the plague’s character as a “horrible beginning” that tears apart social liaisons, provokes a funerary panic and has everyone wallowing in anomie.

Then he draws a historical parallel with Thucydides writing about the Athens plague in the summer of 430 BC. Pushing it to the limit, we may venture that Western literature actually starts with a plague – described in Book 1 of the Iliad by Homer.

Thucydides’ description of the Great Plague – actually typhoid fever – is a literary tour de force as well. In our current setting, that’s more relevant than the “Thucydides trap” controversy – as it’s idle to compare the context in ancient Athens with the current US-China hybrid war.

Both Socrates and Thucydides, incidentally, survived the plague. They were tough, and acquired immunity from their earlier exposure to typhoid. Pericles, the leading citizen of Athens, was not so lucky: he died at 66, a victim of the plague.

The city in fear

Boucheron wrote an immensely interesting book, Conjurer la Peur (To Conjure Fear) telling the story of Siena a few years before the Black Death, in 1338. This is the Siena pictured by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the walls of the Palazzo Pubblico – one of most spectacular allegorical frescoes in history.

In his book, Boucheron writes about political fear before it is engulfed by biological fear. Nothing could be more contemporary.

In Lorenzetti’s Allegory of Bad Government, the court of bad justice is governed by a devil holding a poisoned chalice (today that would be the “crowned poison” – or coronavirus). The devil’s eyes are crossed and one of his feet is over a goat’s horns. Floating above his head we find Avarice, Pride and Vainglory (match them with contemporary political “leaders”). War, Treason, and Fury sit to his left (the US Deep State?) and Discord, Fraud and Cruelty on his right (casino capitalist financialization?). Justice is bound, and her scales have fallen. Talk about an allegory of the “international community.”

Boucheron pays special attention to the city as depicted by Lorenzetti. That’s the city at war – as opposed to the harmonious city in the Allegory of Good Government. The crucial point is that this is a depopulated city – much like our cities in quarantine now. Only men at arms are circulating and, as Boucheron tells it: “We guess that behind the walls, people are dying.” So this image has not changed today – deserted streets; quite a few elderly people dying in silence in their homes.

Boucheron then makes a startling connection with the frontispiece of Hobbes’s Leviathan, published in 1651: “Here again there is a city depopulated by an epidemic. We know because at the borders of the image we identify two silhouettes with birds’ beaks, which represent the doctors of the plague,” while the people in the city have been sucked upward, ballooning the figure of the Leviathan state monster who is very confident of the fear he inspires.

Boucheron’s conclusion is that the state is always capable of obtaining an absolutely unprecedented resignation and obedience from the population. “What’s complicated is that even if what everything we say about the society of surveillance is scary and true, the state obtains this obedience in the name of its most undisputed function, which is to protect the population from creeping death. That’s what plenty of serious studies define as ‘biolegitimacy’.”

And I would add, today, a biolegitimacy boosted by widespread voluntary servitude.

The Age of Haphophobia

Michel Foucault was arguably the premier modern cartographer of the Panopticon-derived surveillance society.

Then there’s Gilles Deleuze. In 1978, Foucault famously declared that, “perhaps, one day, this century will be called the Deleuzian century.”

Well, Deleuze is actually more 21st century than 20th. He went farther than anyone else studying societies of control – where control does not come from the center or from the top but flows through micro-vigilance, even activating the desire on everyone to be disciplined and monitored: once again, voluntary servitude.

Judith Butler, talking about South Africa-based critical theorist Achille Mbembe’s extraordinary Necropolitics, noted how he “continues where Foucault left off, tracking the lethal afterlife of sovereign power as it subjects whole populations to what Fanon called ‘the zone of non-being’.”

So a great deal of the intellectual debate ahead of us, borrowing from Fanon, Foucault, Deleuze, Mbembe and others, will necessarily have to focus on biopolitics and the widespread state of exception – which, as Giorgio Agamben has demonstrated, referring to Planet Lockdown, is now completely normalized.

We cannot even begin to imagine the consequences of the anthropological rupture caused by Covid-19. Sociologists for their part are already discussing how “social distancing” is an abstraction, defined and lived in quite unequal terms. They are discussing the reasons why the powers that be chose a martial vocabulary (“lockdown”) instead of forms of mobilization guided by a collective project.

And that will lead us to deeper studies of the Age of Haphophobia: our current condition of widespread fear of physical contact. Historians will be trying to analyze it in conjunction with how social phobias have evolved across centuries.

There’s no question that Foucault’s exhaustive mapping should be understood as a historical analysis of different techniques used by the powers that be to manage the life and death of populations. Between the crucial years 1975 and 1976, when he published Discipline and Punish (featured in this essay’s epigraph) and the first volume of History of Sexuality, Foucault, based on the notion of “biopolitics,” described the transition from a “sovereign society” to a “disciplinary society.”

His main conclusion is that techniques of biopolitical government spread out way beyond the legal and punitive spheres, and now are all over the spectrum, even lodged inside our individual bodies.

Covid-19 is presenting us with a huge biopolitical paradox. When the powers that be act like they are protecting us from a dangerous disease, they are imprinting their own immunity-based definition of the community. At the same time they have the power to decide to sacrifice part of the community (elderly people left to die; victims of the economic crisis) to the benefit of their own idea of sovereignty.

The state of exception to which many parts of the world are subjected now represents the normalization of this unbearable paradox.

House arrest

So how would Foucault see Covid-19? He would say that this epidemic radicalizes biopolitical techniques applied to a national territory, and inscribes them in a political anatomy applied to each individual body. That’s how an epidemic extends to the whole population political measures of “immunization” that previously only applied – violently – to those that were considered “aliens,” inside and outside the national, sovereign territory.

It’s irrelevant whether Sars-Covid-2 is organic; a bioweapon; or, CIA conspiracy theory-style, part of a world domination plan. What’s happening in real life is that the virus reproduces, materializes, extends and intensifies – for hundreds of millions of people – dominant forms of biopolitical and necropolitical management that were already in place. The virus is our mirror. We are what the epidemic says we are, and how we decide to face it.

And under such extreme turbulence, as noted by philosopher Paul Preciado, we end up reaching a new necropolitical frontier – especially in the West.

The new territory of the border politics the West has been testing for years over “The Other” – blacks, Muslims, the poor – now starts at home. It’s as if Lesbos, the key entrance island for refugees in the Eastern Mediterranean coming from Turkey, now started at the entrance of each Western apartment.

With pervasive social distancing in place, the new border is each and everyone’s skin. Migrants and refugees were previously considered viruses, and only merited confinement and immobilization. But now these policies apply to whole populations. Detention centers – perpetual waiting rooms that abolish human rights and citizenship – are now detention centers inside one’s own home.

No wonder the liberal West has been plunged into a state of shock and awe.

Fake Coronavirus Data, Fear Campaign. Spread of the COVID-19 Infection

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, April 05, 2020

Introduction

Do not let yourself be misled by the fear campaign, pointing to a Worldwide coronavirus calamity with repeated “predictions” that hundreds of thousands of people are going to die.

These are boldface lies. Scientific assessments of the health impacts of  the COVID-19 have been withheld, they do not make the headlines. 

While COVID-19 constitutes a serious health issue, why is it the object of  fear and panic?

According to the WHO, “The most commonly reported symptoms [COV-19] included fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and most patients (80%) experienced mild illness.”  

Examine the contradictory headlines:

Screenshot The Hill 

According to the WHO and John Hopkins Medicine (see below),  the risks of dying from influenza are higher than from COVID-19. 

Source; John Hopkins Medicine

Moreover, the media fails to acknowledge that there are simple and effective treatments for COVID-19. In fact, the reports on the treatment of COVID-19 are being suppressed. And the issue of “recovery” is barely mentioned. 

Persistent headlines and TV reports. Fear and panic. Neither the WHO nor our governments have taken the trouble to reassure us. 

According to latest media hype, citing and often distorting scientific opinion (CNBC)

Statistical Models by Washington think tanks predict a scenario of devastation suggesting that “more than a million Americans could die if the nation does not take swift action to stop its spread as quickly as possible”.

One model from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that between 160 million and 210 million Americans could contract the disease over as long as a year. Based on mortality data and current hospital capacity, the number of deaths under the CDC’s scenarios ranged from 200,000 to as many as 1.7 million. (The Hill, March 13, 2020)

The Unspoken Truth:  Unprecedented Global Crisis

The unspoken truth is that the novel coronavirus provides a pretext to powerful financial interests and corrupt politicians to trigger the entire World into a spiral of  mass unemployment, bankruptcy, extreme poverty and despair.

This is the true picture of what is happening. “Planet Lockdown” is an encroachment on civil liberties. Entire national economies are in jeopardy. In some countries martial law has been declared.  

 This crisis is unprecedented in World history. It is destabilizing and destroying people’s lives Worldwide. It’s a “War against Humanity”.

While it is presented to World public opinion as a WHO global health emergency, what is really at stake are the mechanisms of  “economic warfare” sustained by fear and intimidation, with devastating consequences.

The economic and social impacts far exceed those attributed to the coronavirus. Cited below are selected examples of  a global process: 

  • Massive job losses and layoffs in the US, with more than 10 million workers filing claims for unemployment benefits.
  • In India,  a 21 days lockdown has triggered a wave of famine and despair affecting millions of homeless migrant workers all over the country. No lockdown for the homeless: “too poor to afford a meal”.  
  • The impoverishment in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa is beyond description. For large sectors of the urban population, household income has literally been wiped out.
  • In Italy, the destabilization of the tourist industry has resulted in bankruptcies and rising unemployment. 
  • In many countries, citizens are the object of police violence. Five people involved in protests against the lockdown were killed by police in Kenya and South Africa.

The WHO’s global health emergency was declared on January 30th, when there were 150 confirmed cases outside China. From the outset it was based on a big lie. 

Moreover, the timing of the WHO emergency coincided with America’s ongoing wars as well simmering financial instability on the World’s stock markets.

This is an exceedingly complex process which we have examined in detail in the course of the last two months. Consult our archive on coronavirus. 

To reverse the tide, we must confront the lies.  And the lies are overwhelming. A counter propaganda initiative is required. 

When the Lie becomes the Truth, there is No Moving Backwards.

***

Part II

The Second Part of this article will largely focus on the following issues:

  • the definition of COVID-19 and the assessment of the number of “confirmed cases”, 
  • the risks to people’s health,
  • how the alleged epidemic is measured and identified. 

The Spread of the COVID-19 Infection

In many countries including the US, there is no precise lab test which will identify COVID-19 as the cause of a positive infection. Meanwhile the media will not only quote unreliable statistics, it will forecast a doomsday scenario. 

Let us put the discussion on COVID-19 in context.

What is a Human Coronavirus.  “Coronaviruses are everywhere”. They are categorized as “the second leading cause of the common cold (after rhinoviruses)”. Since the 2003 outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus), several (new) corona viruses were identified. COVID-19 is categorized as a novel or new corona virus initially named SARS-CoV-2.

According to Dr. Wolfgang Wobag, pneumonia is “regularly caused or accompanied by corona viruses”. And that has been the case for many years prior to the identification of the COVID-19 in January 2020:

[It is a] well-known fact that in every “flu wave” 7-15% of acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) are coming along with coronaviruses” 

The COVID-19 belongs to the family of coronviruses which trigger colds and seasonal influenza. We will also address the lab tests required to estimate the data as well as the spread of the COVID-19.  The WHO defines the COVID-19 as follows:

“The most commonly reported symptoms [of COVID-19] included fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and most patients (80%) experienced mild illness. Approximately 14% experienced severe disease and 5% were critically ill. Early reports suggest that illness severity is associated with age (>60 years old) and co-morbid disease.” (largely basing on WHO’s assessment of COVID-19 in China)

The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in an article entitled Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted provides the following definition:

The overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.“

These assessments confirm that COVID-19 is akin to seasonal influenza and pneumonia, categorized as contagious respiratory infections.

If the above definitions had made the headlines, there would have been no fear and panic.

The COVID-19. Tests and Data Collection

The H1N1 Pandemic 2009. Déjà Vu

This is not the first time that a global health emergency has been called by the WHO in close liaison with Big Pharma.

In 2009,  the WHO launched the  H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic predicting that “as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world population.” (World Health Organization as reported by the Western media, July 2009).

One month later Dr Chan stated that  “Vaccine makers could produce 4.9 billion pandemic flu shots per year in the best-case scenario”,(Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), quoted by Reuters, 21 July 2009)

While creating an atmosphere of  fear and insecurity, pointing to am impending global public health crisis, the WHO acknowledged that the underlying symptoms were moderate and that “most people will recover from swine flu within a week, just as they would from seasonal forms of influenza” (WHO statement, quoted in the Independent, August 22, 2009).

And President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology stated with authority and determination that  “the H1N1 pandemic ‘a serious health threat; to the U.S. — not as serious as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic but worse than the swine flu outbreak of 1976.”Spinning Fear and Panic Across America. Analysis of COVID-19 Data

H1N1 Fake Date

In many regards, the H1N1 2009 pandemic reveals the problems of data collection and analysis in relation to COVID-19

Following the outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu in Mexico, the data collection was at the outset scanty and incomplete, as confirmed by official statements. The Atlanta based Center for Disease Control (CDC) acknowledged that what was being collected in the US were figures of  “confirmed and probable cases”. There was, however, no breakdown between “confirmed” and “probable”. In fact, only a small percentage of the reported cases were “confirmed” by a laboratory test.

There was no attempt to improve the process of data collection in terms of lab confirmation. In fact quite the opposite. Following the level 6 Pandemic announcement, both the WHO and the CDC decided that data collection of individual confirmed and probable cases was no longer necessary to ascertain the spread of swine fluOne month after the announcement of the level six pandemic, the WHO discontinued the collection of  “confirmed cases”. It did not require member countries to send in figures pertaining to confirmed or probable cases. WHO, Briefing note, 2009)

Based on incomplete, scanty and suppressed data, the WHO nonetheless predicted with authority that: “as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world population.” (World Health Organization as reported by the Western media, July 2009).

In 2010, Dr. Margaret Chan and the WHO were the object of an investigation by the European Parliament:

“Confirmed Cases”: The CDC Methodology

The CDC methodology in 2020 is broadly similar (with minor changes in terminology) to that applied to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009.

Presumptive vs. Confirmed Cases

According to the CDC the data presented for the United States “include both “confirmed” and “presumptive” positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020″.

The presumptive positive data does not confirm coronavirus infection: Presumptive testing involves “chemical analysis of a sample that establishes the possibility that a substance [COVID-19] is present“ (emphasis added). But it does not confirm the COVID-19. The presumptive test must then be sent for confirmation to an accredited government health lab. (For further details see: Michel Chossudovsky, Spinning Fear and Panic Across America. Analysis of COVID-19 DataMarch 20, 2020)

How is the COVID-19 Data Tabulated?

The presumptive (PC) and confirmed cases (CC) are lumped together.  And the total number (PC + CC ) constitutes the basis for establishing the data for COVID-19 infection. It’s like adding apples and oranges. The total figure (PC+CC) categorized as “Total cases” is meaningless. It does not measure positive COVID-19 Infection.

CDC Data for April 5, 2020

But there is another important consideration: the required CDC lab test pertaining to CC (confirmed cases) is intended to “confirm the infection”. But does it confirm that the infection was caused by COVID-19?

The COVID-19 is a coronvirus which is associated with the broad symptoms of  seasonal influenza and pneumonia. Are the lab exams pertaining to COVID-19 (confirmed cases) in a position to establish unequivocally the prevalence of COVID-19 positive infection?

Below are criteria and guidelines confirmed by the CDC pertaining to “The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel” (Read carefully):

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities. 

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

What this suggests is that a positive infection could be the result of other viruses as well as other corona viruses. (i.e. related to seasonal influenza or pneumonia).

Moreover, the second paragraph suggests that “Negative Results” of the lab test does not preclude a positive COVID-12 infection. But neither do the “combined clinical observations, etc … “.

These criteria and CDC guidelines are contradictory and inevitably subject to error. Since January, these “positive test results” of the RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel do not prove that COVID-19  is the cause of a positive infection for the COVID-19. (also referred to as 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV-2). (See annex below).

Where does the bias come in?

Various coronaviruses are there in the tested specimen. Does the test identify COVID-19?

Has the COVID-19 been singled out as the source of an active infection, when the infection could be the result of  other viruses and/or bacteria?

Important Question?

Are the tests conducted in the US since January 2020 (pertaining to upper and lower respiratory specimens) which confirm infection from one or more causes (without proof of COVID-19) entered in the CDC data banks as “confirmed cases” of COVID-19?

As outlined by the CDC: “The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease.”

Moreover, the presumptive cases” referred to earlier –which do not involve the test of a respiratory specimen– are casually lumped together with “confirmed cases” which are then categorized as “Total Cases”.

Another fundamental question: What is being tested?

Inasmuch as COVID-19 and Influenza have similar symptoms, to what extent are the data pertaining to COVID-19 “overlapping” with those pertaining to viral seasonal influenza and pneumonia?

The test pertaining to active infection could be attributed either to influenza or COVID-19, or both?

What is More Dangerous: Seasonal Influenza or COVID-19? 

Seasonal Influenza –which has never been the object of a lockdown– appears from the recorded data on mortality to be “more dangerous” than COVID-19?

Based on the figures below, the recorded annual death rate pertaining to Influenza is substantially higher than that pertaining to COVID-19. (This is a rough comparison, given the fact that the recorded data pertaining to COVID-19 is not on an annual basis).

The latest data WHO data pertaining to COVID-19 

(Globally, all countries and territories):  40,598 deaths  (recorded up until April 1, 2020).

The estimates of annual mortality pertaining to Influenza:

Historically of the order of 250 000 to 500 000 annually (globally). (WHO).

The most recent WHO estimates (2017):

290 000 – 650 000 deaths globally  (annual). 



ANNEX

https://www.fda.gov/media/134922/download

Note: Two important texts 

Text of CDC criteria For in Vitro Diagnostic Use

Intended Use

The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the 2019-nCoV in upper and lower respiratory specimens (such as nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage, and nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal aspirate) collected from individuals who meet 2019-nCoV clinical and/or epidemiological criteria (for example, clinical signs and symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV infection, contact with a probable or confirmed 2019-nCoV case, history of travel to geographic locations where 2019-nCoV cases were detected, or other epidemiologic links for which 2019-nCoV testing may be indicated as part of a public health investigation). Testing in the United States is limited to laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. § 263a, to perform high complexity tests.

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities.

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

Testing with the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is intended for use by trained laboratory personnel who are proficient in performing real-time RT-PCR assays. The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is only for use under a Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.

Summary and Explanation

An outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China was initially reported to WHO on December 31, 2019. Chinese authorities identified a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which has resulted in thousands of confirmed human infections in multiple provinces throughout China and many countries including the United States. Cases of asymptomatic infection, mild illness, severe illness, and some deaths have been reported.

The CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a molecular in vitro diagnostic test that aids in the detection and diagnosis 2019-nCoV and is based on widely used nucleic acid amplification technology. The product contains oligonucleotide primers and dual-labeled hydrolysis probes (TaqMan®) and control material used in rRT-PCR for the in vitro qualitative detection of 2019-nCoV RNA in respiratory specimens.

The term “qualified laboratories” refers to laboratories in which all users, analysts, and any person reporting results from use of this device should be trained to perform and interpret the results from this procedure by a competent instructor prior to use.

Principles of the Procedure

The oligonucleotide primers and probes for detection of 2019-nCoV were selected from regions of the virus nucleocapsid (N) gene. The panel is designed for specific detection of the 2019-nCoV (two primer/probe sets). An additional primer/probe set to detect the human RNase P gene (RP) in control samples and clinical specimens is also included in the panel.

RNA isolated and purified from upper and lower respiratory specimens is reverse transcribed to cDNA and subsequently amplified in the Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR Instrument with SDS version 1.4 software. In the process, the probe anneals to a specific target sequence located between the forward and reverse primers. During the extension phase of the PCR cycle, the 5’ nuclease activity of Taq polymerase degrades the probe, causing the reporter dye to separate from the quencher dye, generating a fluorescent signal. With each cycle, additional reporter dye molecules are cleaved from their respective probes, increasing the fluorescence intensity. Fluorescence intensity is monitored at each PCR cycle by Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR System with SDS version 1.4 software.

Detection of viral RNA not only aids in the diagnosis of illness but also provides epidemiological and surveillance information.

The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the 2019-nCoV in upper and lower respiratory specimens (such as nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage, and nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal aspirate) collected from individuals who meet 2019-nCoV clinical and/or epidemiological criteria (for example, clinical signs and symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV infection, contact with a probable or confirmed 2019-nCoV case, history of travel to geographic locations where 2019-nCoV cases were detected, or other epidemiologic links for which 2019-nCoV testing may be indicated as part of a public health investigation). Testing in the United States is limited to laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. § 263a, to perform high complexity tests.

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities.

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

Testing with the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is intended for use by trained laboratory personnel who are proficient in performing real-time RT-PCR assays. The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is only for use under a Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.

 Serology Test for COVID-19

CDC is working to develop a new laboratory test to assist with efforts to determine how much of the U.S. population has been exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.

The serology test will look for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections.  Antibodies can be found in the blood and in other tissues of those who are tested after infection.  The antibodies detected by this test indicate that a person had an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, whether symptoms developed from infection or the infection was asymptomatic.  Antibody test results are important in detecting infections with few or no symptoms.

Initial work to develop a serology test for SARS-CoV-2 is underway at CDC.  In order to develop the test, CDC needs blood samples from people who had COVID-19 at least 21 days after their symptoms first started. Researchers are currently working to develop the basic parameters for the test, which will be refined as more samples become available. Once the test is developed, CDC will need additional samples to evaluate whether the test works as intended.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

REAL NUMBER OF CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN ITALY COULD BE 5,000,0000

South Front

The real number of COVID-19 cases in Intaly could be 5,000,0000, according to a study which polled people with symptoms who have not been tested, and up to 10,000,000 or even 20,0000,000 after taking into account asymptomatic cases, according to Carlo La Vecchia, a Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the Statale di Milano University.

This data confirms earlier reports that the real number of COVID-19 cases in the country as much higher than 119,827 confirmed COVID-19 cases (as of April 4). At the same the real death rate % is much lower.

Real Number Of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Italy Could Be 5,000,0000
Click to see the full-size image

According to reports, the real number of deaths in Italy could be around 60,000Thus, the mortality rate from COVID-19  would be much lower (around 25 times less) than the case fatality rate based solely on confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Pandemic Of Fear (28.03.2020):

The world is in panic over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Most of the states have imposed unprecedented measures, including locking down big cities and halting international flights, to contain the pandemic.

On March 28, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 ceases globaly reached 629,467. 28,963 people died from the desease, while 138,085 others recovered. These numbers show that about 4.6% of people with confirmed COVID-19 cases died, but the real death rate from the new coronavirus remains unclear. In many cases, people go through COVID-19 deasease without a real threat to their health and life like in the case of an acute respiratory viral infection. So, they are not tested for the COVID-19.

According to the study published on February 18 in the China CDC Weekly, the  death rate from COVID-19 is around 2.3% in mainland China. The New England Journal of Medicine published another study of about 1,100 hospitalized patients in China. It found that the overall death rate was slightly lower, around 1.4%.

Furthermore, the death rate for COVID-19 appears to vary by location and an individual’s age. For example, as of March 28 in Italy there were 86,498 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 9,134 people died. Therefore, the death rate there stands at about 10.55%. Such a high number is a result of the fact that many of COVID-19-infected people in Italy is older people (65yo+) that already have health issues and thus remain in the group of risk in the event of any new deasease.

For example, the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report study says that 45% of hospitalizations, 53% of admissions to the intensive care unit (ICU), and 80% of deaths associated with COVID-19 were among adults aged 65 years and older.

Real Number Of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Italy Could Be 5,000,0000
IMAGE: worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Igor Alekseevich Gundarov, a Doctor of Medicine, professor, member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, candidate of philosophical sciences, a specialist in the field of epidemiology and medical statistics, notes that the new coronavirus expansion may be linked with the previous successes in the field of combating the flue. The new virus just filled the created vacuum. According to him, the current crisis (and the panic) is a result of the specific media coverage and political-motivated decisions of particular actors.

As an example he provides the following numbers. In the 1990s, there were 4-7 million season flue in Russia every year. In the 2000s, the yearly number reuced to 400,000-50,000 cases. Gundarov added that 30,000-35,000 people die from the pneumonitis every year. However, nobody announced a national-wide emergency and locked down then country in the previous years.

The death toll from the COVID-19 is also a result of the pneumonitis, which it causes. Gundarov, says the death toll from the pneumonitis did not grow in 2020 despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthemore, 30,000-35,000 people dead in Russia from the pneumonitis every yar is higher than the total current global COVID-19 death toll.

Another Russian expert, Aleksand Evsinin notes that the chaos and administrative collapse because of the COVID-19 outbreak in some European countries and even the US is a result of the wrong organizational decisions (like attempts to move all ptients to a single hospital in the entire country) and the lack of propper anti-pandemic measures. For example, he claims that the concentration of all patients in a very few hospitals led to the expected lack of medical supplies and equipment in this particular area.

President Donald Trump signed an order allowing the Pentagon to call National Guard members and former troops back to active duty to fight the COVID-19 pandemic:

Real Number Of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Italy Could Be 5,000,0000
Click to see the full-size image
Real Number Of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Italy Could Be 5,000,0000
Click to see the full-size image
Real Number Of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Italy Could Be 5,000,0000
Click to see the full-size image

The COVID-19 outbreak is an apparent threat, which cannot be ignored. However, another threat, which could be even higher than the one from the COVID-19 desease, is the current pandemic of fear fueled and instigated by mainstream media and some governments. 

The modern informational society already evolved to the stage when our world turned into a kind of supernational neuronet. The topology of this is close to the human’s brain. If we build a rough model, it would look this way: neurons – personalities, signals – flows of information that pierce through the modern world, lipoid metabolism – the monetary system. And this supernational neuronet is currently paralyzed by the fear of the death because of the COVID-19 outbreak and the public hysteria over it. If the panic is not overcome and the situation develops in the current direction, it may lead to the irreparable harm to this globa neuronet and instigate the already existing negative tendencies (like the deterioration of the global security, the collapse of the system of international relations, the economic crisis, the threat of new wars). However, if some powers find resources and the political will to overcome the current crisis, they will find themselves on the leading position in the ‘post-COVID-19’ period.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions

April 01, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions

By Ramin Mazaheri – for The Saker Blog

Looking back, why was there such a huge, swift economic collapse after 9/11? Doesn’t it seem to have been totally unjustified?

After all, there was no drastic global reordering, no Armageddon, no World War III. The biggest consequence was the legalisation of the 21st century Western security state, which dwarfs anything the KGB could have waged, but from an economic point of view there was absolutely nothing which justified the enormous economic downturn and its accompanying pessimism.

So what were we worried about? The economic threat caused by Islamic radicalism?

There is not (and has never been) any major threat to the global order/economy from Islamic radicals – there is no such widespread movement, period. Iranian Islamic Socialism is indeed a threat to Western capitalism-imperialism, but only an idiot, racist, Islamophobe and/or general nutcase would equate the two; Iranian Islamic Socialism only asks to be allowed to democratically experiment inside Iran in peace.

So what were we worried about? Quite justifiably, was it the economic fallout to be caused by how terribly neo-imperial Rome (the US) would react?

The US did not launch thermonuclear war in revenge. The response was – by the Pentagon’s satanic standards – only earth-shattering in two spots of the globe: The US occupied a totally poor country with very little tapped oil (but a lot of opium-production potential) – Afghanistan – and they occupied an oil-rich former client which had been decimated by two decades of Western-ordered war and inhuman Western sanctions – Iraq. Bad for Muslims? Of course. Bad for “Capitalism with Western characteristics”? Not hardly. (After all, capitalist-imperialist war is always profitable for the aggressors’ elite.) The subsequent phony “War on Terror” was ultimately bad for the US taxpayer, sure, but who in the US 1% cares about them?

So what were we worried about? The economic threat posed by the entrenchment of an existential fear which would cause people to refuse to get out of bed in the morning? Clearly, I am reaching… because I just can’t think of anything else.

The horrible thing that was supposed to happen simply never happened.

Yet the economy did crater, and everyone is now reading stuff like, “(this latest economic statistic) is the worst since 9/11.” But while the economic downturn was sharp it wasn’t prolonged.

High finance is always ahead of everyone else in understanding macro-economic trends and truths: the rich unlocked their gates in the Hamptons and it took only two months for the Dow Jones to regain its pre-9/11 levels. However, it took crude oil prices a year to regain pre-9/11 levels ($40/barrel) because people were slow to realise that the huge economic depression (sparked by the reduced economic activity which many said 9/11 was certain to provoke) did not materialise.

The only industry which was correctly hurt by 9/11 was insurance (but to hell with them). The downturns in the two other most affected industries – airlines and tourism – were provoked by the false, hysterical idea that the (nonexistent) Islamic radical movement were going to kamikaze more planes/bloody flag-waving Americans would be dropping bombs on beaches and hotels.

Yes, economic sentiment was justifiably a bit pessimistic back then because 9/11 exacerbated the already-in-progress 2001 recession, which had been caused by the totally unjustified Y2K hysteria.

Is anybody identifying a Western trend here yet?

(I mean, besides the West’s comedians? From “America’s Finest News Source”, The Onion: Historians Politely Remind Nation To Check What’s Happened In Past Before Making Any Big Decisions)

But the coronavirus… this time it’s different Ramin

Indeed, in the sense that the entire world has gone hysterical and not just the evangelist, paranoid Americans.

I feel totally justified to call it “corona hysteria” because nobody can convince me that corona is as very terrible as it seems. The data is simply not there. It might be, but as of the writing of this article nobody can claim for certain that it is there.

In this very good article from The Spectator – How deadly is the coronavirus? It’s still far from clear: There is room for different interpretations of the data – which was penned by a recently-retired Professor of Pathology and NHS (UK) consultant pathologist. He notes some very basic logic concepts are being ignored even though the ultimate policy question is, “How truly lethal is this virus?”

  • Health care and science are fields fundamentally characterised by doubt rather than certainty, contrary to what doctors on TV are insisting.
  • Testing regimes based in hospitals will always overestimate virulence: they are dealing only with the worst cases, not with the masses of asymptomatic cases of infection.
  • Most crucially, many are inflating the death tolls because the vast majority of respiratory deaths in the UK were not historically recorded as being caused by the flu, but recorded as bronchopneumonia, pneumonia, old age or a similar designation… but now the deaths are being being listed as due to Covid-19.
  • The obvious proof that we lack solid data, on which we must base policy decisions, is evidenced by the wide range of reported national mortality rates: 7% for Spain, 4% for France, 1% for the US. The author says the best example nation we could look at is Iceland: mortality is 0.3%, which is slightly above the normal 0.1% for flu but definitely not a repeat of the Spanish Flu of 1918.
  • Rushed science is bad science. However, the MSM is demanding “science now”.
  • The average age of death in Italy is 79, compared with an average Italian life expectancy of 83. Am I heartless to report this? No, because I am not advocating ending self-responsibility measures for the vulnerable and the possibly infected.

The most interesting country to watch is Sweden (and Mexico and Brazil), who alone in Europe have not locked down. They haven’t done absolutely nothing, but their corona policy is relying on self-responsibility. Compare the treatment of Sweden from the non-MSM financial website ZeroHedge with the panic-inducing, hysterical treatment by fake-leftist UK media The Guardian. Sadly, the latter gets exponentially more eyeballs than an indispensable site like ZeroHedge.

So I just won’t be browbeaten into agreeing that corona is so exceptionally deadly – that might be proven one day, but anybody who says it has already been proven is pushing bad, unproven science. Corona sceptics are falsely attacked by those rushing to judgement, but the ex-doc/prof defends our scepticism quite capably:

‘The moral debate is not lives vs money. It is lives vs lives.’

Yes, because bad economics kills. Austerity kills. Neoliberalism kills. So I’ll stick with my analysis: there is an economic overreaction going on with corona similar to what happened after Y2K and the attacks on 9/11. However, the corona overreaction is way, way, WAY more shocking:

“The immediate impact of the 9/11 attack was to reduce (in the US) real GDP growth in 2001 by 0.5%, and to increase the unemployment rate by 0.11% (reduce employment by 598,000 jobs.)” (found here)

Goldman Sachs, which is more concerned about a high finance recovery than a real economy recovery, just optimistically estimated (but pessimistically when compared with their previous estimate) a jobless rate topping out at 15% and GDP sagging by a record 34% in the second quarter, followed by only a 19% rebound in the third quarter.

Such projections are… incomprehensibly bad. But especially so because we don’t even know how deadly corona truly is. The idea that such a self-induced downturn isn’t going to cause huge amounts of death, poverty and even more sickness is not just wilfully naive but dangerously wrong.

Have you never heard the expression: We’re all just 9 meals from murder? Surely, LOL, this cynical saying is especially true for people who don’t do Ramadan (which begins April 23!).

Again, socialist-inspired countries like China, Iran and Cuba control the levers of their economies for the benefit of their masses and will pull those levers – but India? The perma-stagnant Eurozone? The dog-eat-dog US? Think Iran isn’t used to war, a command economy, and unnatural impositions imposed by ruthless stifling (sanctioning) forces? I raise my scepticism because because bad economics kills, and the West especially is full of terrible economics which attack their lower classes.

“But Ramin, you are the only open Islamic Socialist I have ever heard of and, what’s worse, you work for the Iranian government. Nobody was listening to you before – because you espouse these undoubtedly nutty ideologies – and certainly nobody is listening to you now. ”

Tell me something I don’t know!

Doesn’t make me wrong, though. Doesn’t mean I should be writing human interest reports about how to cope with corona-boredom instead of writing this article.

I am drawing attention to the fact that the West – despite all their wealth, and despite their constant proclamations of being the self-appointed defenders of human rights – does not have the socialist-inspired, lower class-protecting economic safeguards to take these drastic shutdown measures. Furthermore, while The Washington Post is now running horse-is-out-of-the-barn articles such as The coronavirus crisis is exposing how the economy is not as strong as it seemed, for years I have repeatedly been among the relatively few journalists reporting about how the Western economy is even more over-leveraged in 2020 than during the 2008 crisis, which was caused by over-leveraging, so… there’s that to deal with, too.

I don’t mean to stoke economic hysteria – all the West and their client state admirers have to do is implement socialist-style measure after socialist-style measure over the next few months, and then my worries here will have proven to be unfounded.

A radical 180 from TINA – There Is No Alternative (to neoliberalism)? It’s not an impossibility… technically.

The next few months will certainly demand it.

If we could add the West’s false Y2K hysteria to their false 9/11 hysteria and then multiply it by the 2008 economic crisis, then we can get start to imagine what the West is stampeding themselves towards economically.

Socialist-inspired countries like Iran, China and Cuba should do what they have always done – hold on tight. The West’s corona hysteria will only push them more in favor of the big-government, socialist-inspired policies they have already (thankfully) adopted, anyway. That process may take years, when it needs to take mere months.

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Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience?

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for?

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire)

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s?

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

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