Towards A New World Order? The Global Debt Crisis and the Privatization of the State

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, April 17, 2020

There is a serious health crisis which must be duly resolved. And this is a number one priority.

But there is another important dimension which has to be addressed. 

Millions of people have lost their jobs, and their lifelong savings. In developing countries, poverty and despair prevail. 

While the lockdown is presented to public opinion as  the sole means to resolving a global public health crisis,  its devastating economic and social impacts are casually ignored.  

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

This is the true picture of what is happening.  Poverty is Worldwide. While famines are erupting in Third World countries, closer to home,  in the richest country on earth,

millions of desperate Americans wait in long crowded lines for handouts”

“Miles-long lines formed at food banks and unemployment offices across the US over the past week”   

In India:

food is disappearing, ….  in shanty towns, too scared to go out, walking home or trapped in the street crackdowns,

In India there have been 106 coronavirus deaths as of today, to put things in perspective 3,000 Indian children starve to death each day” 

From Mumbai to New York City. It’s the “Globalization of Poverty”.

Production is at a standstill. 

Starvation in Asia and Africa. Famine in the U.S. 

All countries are now Third World countries. It’s the “Thirdworldisation” of the so-called high income “developed countries”.  

And what is happening in Italy?

People are running out of food. Reports confirm that the Mafia rather than the government “is gaining local support by distributing free food to poor families in quarantine who have run out of cash”. (The Guardian)

This crisis combines fear and panic concerning the COVID-19 together with a sophisticated process of economic manipulation.

Let us first examine the impacts pertaining to the developing countries.

Developing Countries. The IMF’s “Economic Medicine” and the Globalization of Poverty

Is the coronavirus crisis part of a broader macro-economic agenda?

First some historical background.

I spent more than ten years undertaking field research on the impacts of IMF-World Bank economic reforms in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Since the early 1980s, “strong economic medicine” was imposed on indebted developing countries under what was called the “structural adjustment program” (SAP).

From 1992 to 1995, I undertook field research in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam and returned to Latin America to complete my study on Brazil. In all the countries I visited, including Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco and The Philippines, I observed the same pattern of economic manipulation and political interference by the Washington-based institutions. In India, directly resulting from the IMF reforms, millions of people had been driven into starvation. In Vietnam – which constitutes among the world’s most prosperous rice producing economies – local-level famines had erupted resulting directly from the lifting of price controls and the deregulation of the grain market. (Preface to the Second Edition of the Globalization of Poverty, 2003)

 The hegemony of the dollar was imposed. With mounting dollar denominated debt, eventually in most developing countries the entire national monetary system was “dollarized”.

Massive austerity measures were conducive to the collapse in real wages. Sweeping privatization programs were imposed. These deadly economic reforms -applied on behalf the creditors- invariably triggered economic collapse, poverty and mass unemployment.

In Nigeria starting in the 1980s, the entire public health system had been dismantled. Public hospitals were driven into bankruptcy. The medical doctors with whom I spoke described the infamous structural adjustment program (SAP) with a touch of humor:

“we’ve been sapped by the SAP”, they said, our hospitals have literally been destroyed courtesy of the IMF-World Bank.

From Structural Adjustment to Global Adjustment

Today, the mechanism for triggering poverty and economic collapse is fundamentally different and increasingly sophisticated.

The ongoing 2020 Economic Crisis is tied into the logic of the COVID-19 pandemic: No need for the IMF-World Bank to negotiate a structural adjustment loan with national governments.

What has occurred under the COVID-19 crisis is a “Global Adjustment” in the structure of the World economy. In one fell swoop this Global Adjustment (GA) triggers a Worldwide process of bankruptcy, unemployment, poverty and total despair.

How is it implemented? The lockdown is presented to national governments as the sole solution to resolve the COVID-19 pandemic. It becomes a political consensus, irrespective of the devastating economic and social consequences.A Global People’s Bailout for the Coming Financial Crash

No need to reflect or analyze the likely impacts. Corrupt national governments are pressured to comply.

The partial or complete closing down of a national economy is triggered through the enforcement of  so-called “WHO guidelines” pertaining to the lockdown, as well as to trade, immigration and transportation restrictions, etc.

Powerful financial institutions and lobby groups including Wall Street, Big Pharma, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were involved in shaping the actions of the WHO pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lockdown together with the curtailment of trade and air travel had set the stage. This closing down of national economies was undertaken Worldwide starting in the month of  March,  affecting simultaneously a large of number of countries in all major regions of the World.  It is unprecedented in World history.

Why did leaders in high office let it happen? The consequences were obvious.

This closing down operation affects production and supply lines of goods and services, investment activities, exports and imports, wholesale and retail trade, consumer spending, the closing down of schools, colleges and universities, research institutions, etc.

In turn it leads almost immediately to mass unemployment, bankruptcies of small and medium sized enterprises, a collapse in purchasing power, widespread poverty and famine.

What is the underlying objective of this restructuring of the global economy?  What are the consequences? Cui Bono? 

  • A massive concentration of wealth,
  • the destabilization of small and middle sized enterprises in all major areas of economic activity including the services economy, agriculture and manufacturing.
  • It derogates the rights of workers. It destabilizes labor markets.
  • It compresses wages (and labor costs) in the so-called high income “developed countries” as well as in the impoverished developing countries.

Needless to say this Global Adjustment (GA) operation is far more detrimental than the country-level IMF-WB structural adjustment program (SAP).

It is neoliberalism to the nth degree.

In one fell swoop (in the course of the last months) the COVID-19 crisis has contributed to impoverishing a large sector of the World population.

And Guess who comes to the rescue? The IMF and the World Bank:

The IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has casually acknowledged that the World economy has come to a standstill, without addressing the causes of economic collapse.

“The WHO is there to protect the Health of the People, The IMF is there to protect the health of the World economy” says Georgieva.

 How does she intend to “protect the World economy”?

At the expense of the national economy?

What’s her “magic solution”?

 “We rely on $1 trillion in overall lending capacity.” (IMF M-D Georgieva, Press Conference in early March)

At first sight this appears to be “generous”, a lot money. But ultimately it’s what we might call “fictitious money”, what it means is:

“We will lend you the money and with the money we lend you, you will pay us back”.(paraphrase).

The ultimate objective is to make the external (dollar denominated) debt go fly high.

The IMF is explicit. In one of its lending windows, the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, which applies to pandemics, generously,

“provides grants for debt relief to our poorest and most vulnerable members.”

Nonsensical statement: it is there to replenish the coffers of the creditors, the money is allocated to debt servicing.

“For low-income countries and for emerging middle-income countries we have … up to $50 billion that does not require a full-fledged IMF program.”

No conditions on how you spend the money. But this money increases the debt stock and requires reimbursement.

The countries are already in a straight-jacket. And the objective is that they comply with the demands of the creditors.

That’s the neoliberal solution applied at a global level: No real economic recovery, more poverty and unemployment Worldwide. The “solution” becomes the “cause”. It initiates a new process of indebtedness. It contributes to an escalation of the debt.

The more you lend, the more you squeeze the developing countries into political compliance. And ultimately that is the objective of the failing American Empire.

The unspoken truth is that this one trillion dollars ++ of the Bretton Woods institutions is intended to drive up the external debt.

In recent developments, the G20 Finance ministers decided to “put on hold”,  the repayment of debt servicing obligations of the World’s poorest countries.

The cancellation of debt has not been envisaged. Quite the opposite. The strategy consists in building up the debt.

It is important that the governments of developing countries take a firm stance against the IMF-World Bank “rescue operation”. 

The Global Debt Crisis in the Developed Countries

An unprecedented fiscal crisis is unfolding at all levels of government. With high levels of unemployment, incoming tax revenues in developed countries are almost at a standstill.  In the course of the last 2 months, national governments have become increasingly indebted.

In turn, Western governments as well as political parties are increasingly under the control of  the creditors, who ultimately call the shots.

All levels of governments have been precipitated into a debt stranglehold. The debt cannot be repaid. In the US, the federal deficit “has increased by 26% to $984 billion for fiscal 2019, highest in 7 years”.  And that is just the beginning.

In Western countries, a colossal expansion of the public debt has occurred. It is being used to finance the “bailouts”, the “handouts” to corporations as well as “the social safety nets” to the unemployed.

The logic of the bailouts is in some regards similar to that of the 2008 economic crisis, but on a much larger scale. Ironically, in 2008, US banks were both the creditors of the US federal government as well as the lucky recipients: the rescue operation was funded by the banks with a view to  “bailing out the banks”. Sounds contradictory?

The Privatization of the State

This crisis will  eventually precipitate the privatization of the state. Increasingly, national governments will be under the stranglehold of Big Money.

Crippled by mounting debts, what is at stake is the eventual de facto privatization of the entire state structure, in different countries, at all levels of government, under the surveillance of powerful financial interests. The fiction of  “sovereign governments” serving the interests of the electors will nonetheless be maintained.

The first level of government up for privatization will be the municipalities (many of which are already partially or fully privatized, e.g. Detroit in 2013). America’s billionaires will be enticed to buy up an entire city.

Several major cities are already on the verge of bankruptcy. (This is nothing new).

Is the city of Vancouver up for privatization?: “the mayor of Vancouver has already indicated that he feared the bankruptcy of his city.” (Le Devoir, April 15, 2020)

In America’s largest cities, people are simply unable to pay their taxes: The debt of New York City for fiscal 2019 is a staggering $91.56 billion (FY 2019) an increase of 132% since FY 2000. In turn personal debts across America have skyrocketed.

“U.S. households collectively carry about $1 trillion in credit card debt”. No measures are being taken in the US to reduce the interest rates on credit card debt.

The New World Order?

The lockdown impoverishes both the developed and developing countries and literally destroys national economies.

It destabilizes the entire economic landscape. It undermines social institutions including schools and universities. It spearheads small and medium sized enterprises into bankruptcy.

What kind of World awaits us?

A diabolical “New World Order” in the making as suggested by Henry Kissinger? (WSJ Opinion, April 3, 2020):

“The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order”

Recall Kissinger’s historic 1974 statement: “Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World.” (1974 National Security Council Memorandum)

The political implications are far-reaching.

 What kind of government will we have in the wake of the crisis?

Concluding Remarks

There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the nature of this crisis.

Several progressive intellectuals are now saying that this crisis constitutues a defeat of neoliberalism. “It opens up a new beginning”.

Some people see it as a “potential turning point”, which opens up an opportunity to “build socialism” or “restore social democracy” in the wake of the lockdown.

The evidence amply confirms that neoliberalism has not been defeated. Quite the opposite.

Global capitalism has consolidated its clutch. Fear and panic prevail. The State is being privatized. The tendency is towards authoritarian forms of government.

These are the issues which we must address.

That historical opportunity to confront the power structures of global capitalism, –including the US-NATO military apparatus– remains to be firmly established in wake of the lockdown.


The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order

In this expanded edition of Prof. Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller, the author outlines the contours of a New World Order which feeds on human poverty and the destruction of the environment, generates social apartheid, encourages racism and ethnic strife and undermines the rights of women. The result as his detailed examples from all parts of the world show so convincingly, is a globalization of poverty.

This book is a skillful combination of lucid explanation and cogently argued critique of the fundamental directions in which our world is moving financially and economically.

In this updated and enlarged edition – which includes ten additional chapters and a new introduction – the author reviews the causes and consequences of famine in Sub-Saharan Africa, the dramatic meltdown of financial markets, the demise of State social programs and the devastation resulting from corporate downsizing and trade liberalization.

“This concise, provocative book reveals the negative effects of imposed economic structural reform, privatization, deregulation and competition. It deserves to be read carefully and widely.”
– Choice, American Library Association (ALA)

“The current system, Chossudovsky argues, is one of capital creation through destruction. The author confronts head on the links between civil violence, social and environmental stress, with the modalities of market expansion.”
– Michele Stoddard, Covert Action Quarterly

Global Research Price: $19.00
CLICK TO BUY

PDF Version: $9.50
Sent directly to your email – cut on mailing expenses!
CLICK TO BUY
The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020


“Madam, How Can I Have Any Plans?”

By Barbara Nimri Aziz

Global Research, April 15, 2020

“I am searching for medicine for my mother; I’ve no money to repair my car; I have my sister asking me to help her son; I have come to the end of our food ration for this week.”

A reply Americans, Italians, Indians, Brazilians, or Iranians—everyone across the globe– might offer a curious (or naïve) journalist covering the crisis. (Not to exclude testimonies from exhausted healthcare and other service workers.)

However, the respondent I quote here lived his uncertainty in a different era:—a quarter of a century ago, in Iraq. He’s Ali Al-Amiri, erstwhile poultry inspector for Nineveh’s provincial department of agriculture. We met in 2001, in Mosul, at the height of an epidemic there, namely the 13-year embargo imposed on his nation.

I’d been covering the devastation created by that global blockade since 1990. So my question was indelicate, if not guileless.

I knew conditions there well.

During a decade of assignments to that besieged, forlorn place, I’d witnessed deaths resulting from a scarcity of medicines and stress-related diseases; I’d been recording burn victims scarred by fires from makeshift stoves, rising cancer infections, low-birth-weight newborns, unchecked spread of infectious diseases, the collapse of industry and the flight of desperate young people. (All well documented for anyone caring to investigate (including my account from Iraq  joined early field reports from the International Action Center and a belated Harvard Study based on secondary sources.)Advice for People Fearful and Under Duress

Yes, my question to this and other besieged Iraqis may have been misplaced. Nevertheless Al-Amiri’s reply was instructive to those with a limited perception of war. It pointed to a frightfully blank tomorrow.

If Americans (and others who complied with Washington’s policy to force Iraq to its knees) did not grasp the concept then, today we know it: “What are your plans for the weekend? Your graduation prom? Your annual colonoscopy? Your son’s wedding? Grandfather’s 80th birthday?” They’re all on hold; we’re just trying to keep the children entertained, get through another day with a testy partner, stock up on non-perishables, learn to connect by Zoom, gather papers for an insurance claim or patch a cracked windshield.

This blank calendar is as intimate for us as it was for Iraqis. Of course it’s not the same; Iraq was completely cut off through a media blackout, a ban on flights, and by diplomatic and economic blockades. By contrast, in the midst of COVID-19, we have teleconferences and phone networking apps; we have sympathizers around the country and across the world; we can learn from others’ experiences; we can share resources and expertise.

My point here is not to assign blame or compare sufferings. It’s to question the war model invoked by media commentators and politicians to interpret our dilemma; this hinders our understanding of what we’re experiencing. That embargo on Iraq was a fierce assault but it wasn’t interpreted by outsiders as war; embargo-deaths were largely unseen and uncounted by western historians. Just as 20 years of sanctions imposed on Vietnam after the U.S. defeat there, just as decades of embargo against Cuba, Iran and Syriacontinue, just as the crippling of Venezuela intensifies. Those sieges, like the current pandemic raise deeper moral questions.

It would help to drop our concept of war in this crisis where media commentators and politicians invoke ‘911’ and the 1941 Pearl Harbor attacks. The military model (including the commander-in-chief criterion for president) is the U.S. default solution to a problem, whether drugs or a pandemic or a perceived threat to national interests. ‘Smash it to bits. Hit them with all we have.’

Let’s see if Americans can emerge from today’s dilemma with a newly defined compassionate model of responsibility and leadership?

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Anthropologist and journalist BNimri Aziz covered Iraq during the 13-year sanction period. The author of Swimming up The Tigris, 2007, U. Press Florida, she also hosted a radio program on Pacifica- WBAI, NYC. See www.RadioTahrir.org

Featured image was produced by Oli AgramaThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Barbara Nimri Aziz, Global Research, 2020

Total system failure will give rise to new economy

Total system failure will give rise to new economy

April 11, 2020

by Pepe Escobar – posted with permission

Covid-19 driven collapse of global supply chains, demand and mobility will painfully spawn next great tech-led economic models

Is the world on a collision course with the financial and economic equivalent of a meteor impact with shock wave? Fractal illustration: AFP

Nobody, anywhere, could have predicted what we are now witnessing: in a matter of only a few weeks the accumulated collapse of global supply chains, aggregate demand, consumption, investment, exports, mobility.

Nobody is betting on an L-shaped recovery anymore – not to mention a V-shaped one. Any projection of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 gets into falling-off-a-cliff territory.

In industrialized economies, where roughly 70% of the workforce is in services, countless businesses in myriad industries will fail in a rolling financial collapse that will eclipse the Great Depression.

That spans the whole spectrum of possibly 47 million US workers soon to be laid off – with the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 32% – all the way to Oxfam’s warning that by the time the pandemic is over half of the world’s population of 7.8 billion people could be living in poverty.According to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) most optimistic 2020 scenario – certainly to become outdated before the end of Spring – global trade would shrink by 13%.  A more realistic and gloomier WTO scenario sees global trade plunging by 32%.

What we are witnessing is not only a massive globalization short circuit: it’s a cerebral shock extended to three billion hyperconnected, simultaneously confined people. Their bodies may be blocked, but they are electromagnetic beings and their brains keep working – with possible, unforeseen political and other consequences.

Soon we will be facing three major, interlocking debates: the management (in many cases appalling) of the crisis; the search for future models; and the reconfiguration of the world-system.

This is just a first approach in what should be seen as a do-or-die cognitive competition.

Particle accelerator

Sound analyses of what could be the next economic model are already popping up. As background, a really serious debunking of all (dying) neoliberalism development myths can be seen here.

Yes, a new economic model should be revolving around these axes: AI computing; automated manufacturing; solar and wind energy; high-speed 5G-driven data transfer; and nanotechnology.

China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are very well positioned for what’s ahead, as well as selected European latitudes.

Plamen Tonchev, head of the Asia unit at the Institute of International Economic Relations in Athens, Greece, points to the possible reorganization – short term – of Belt and Road Initiative projects, privileging investment in energy, export of solar panels, 5G networks and the Health Silk Road.

Covid-19 is like a particle accelerator, consolidating tendencies that were already developing. China had already demonstrated for the whole planet to see that economic development under a control system has nothing to do with Western liberal democracy.

On the pandemic, China demonstrated – also for the whole planet to see – that containment of Covid-19 can be accomplished by imposing controls the West derided as “draconian” and “authoritarian,” coupled with a strategic scientific approach characerized by a profusion of test kits, protection equipment, ventilators and experimental treatments.

This is already translating into incalculable soft power which will be exercised along the Health Silk Road. Trends seem to point to China as strategically reinforced all along the spectrum, especially in the Global South. China is playing go, weiqi. Stones will be taken from the geopolitical board.

System failure welcomed? 

In contrast, Western banking and finance scenarios could not be gloomier. As a Britain-centric analysis argues, “It is not just Europe. Banks may not be strong enough to fulfill their new role as saviors in any part of the world, including the US, China and Japan. None of the major lending systems were ever stress-tested for an economic deep freeze lasting months.”

So “the global financial system will crack under the strain,” with a by now quite possible “pandemic shutdown lasting more than three months” capable of causing  “economic and financial ‘system failure.’”

As system failures go, nothing remotely approaches the possibility of a quadrillion dollar derivative implosion, a real nuclear issue.

Capital One is number 11 on the list of the largest banks in the US by assets. They are already in deep trouble on their derivative exposures. New York sources say Capital One made a terrible trade, betting via derivatives that oil would not plunge to where it is now at 17-year lows.

Mega-pressure is on all those Wall Street outfits that gave oil companies the equivalent of puts on all their oil production at prices above $50 a barrel. These puts have now come due – and the strain on the Wall Street houses and US banks will become unbearable.

The anticipated Friday oil deal won’t alter anything: oil will stay around $20 per barrel, $25 max.

This is just the beginning and is bound to get much worse. Imagine most of US industry being shut down. Corporations – like Boeing, for instance – are going to go bankrupt. Bank loans to those corporations will be wiped out. As those loans are wiped out, the banks are going to get into major trouble.

Derivative to the max

Wall Street, totally linked to the derivative markets, will feel the pressure of the collapsing American economy. The Fed bailout of Wall Street will start coming apart. Talk about a nuclear chain reaction.

In a nutshell: The Fed has lost control of the money supply in the US. Banks can now create unlimited credit from their base and that sets up the US for potential hyperinflation if the money supply grows non-stop and production collapses, as it is collapsing right now because the economy is in shutdown mode.

If derivatives start to implode, the only solution for all major banks in the world will be immediate nationalization, much to the ire of the Goddess of the Market. Deutsche Bank, also in major trouble, has a 7 trillion euro derivatives exposure, twice the annual GDP of Germany.

No wonder New York business circles are absolutely terrified. They insist that if the US does not immediately go back to work, and if these possibly quadrillions of dollars of derivatives start to rapidly implode, the economic crises that will unfold will create a collapse of the magnitude of which has not been witnessed in history, with incalculable consequences.

Or perhaps this will be just the larger-than-life spark to start a new economy.

Coronavirus Devastates Italy: Is It the Result of Globalism and Free Trade?

Philip Giraldi April 9, 2020

Coronavirus Devastates Italy: Is It the Result of Globalism and ...

The devastating impact of the coronavirus on Italy has sparked considerable speculation as to why the country appears to have suffered so disproportionately from the disease. Some initial theories suggested that the deaths might be due to lower standards and ill-advised practices in the Italian national health system, but the reality is that northern Italy, where the virus has struck hardest, has by most metrics better and more accessible health care than does the United States overall.

By one reckoning, the claimed number of dead is too high because anyone who tested positive and died had his or her death attributed to the virus even if it was actually due to other unrelated causes. And that argument has also been flipped on its head to demonstrate that the numbers are too low, using the fact that many Italians have not been tested for the virus to assert that many dead were actually caused by coronavirus. Since those dead were not medically confirmed positive for COVID-19, the deaths were erroneously attributed to other causes.

A third bit of somewhat more bizarre speculation centers on the fact that in September 2019 Italy made legal euthanasia for those with terminal illnesses seeking to end their suffering, a move strongly opposed by the Roman Catholic Church. Some of those weighing in on the number of deaths have claimed without evidence that a significant percentage of the dead were actually cases of euthanasia, i.e. implying that Italy has been deliberately killing off its elderly. Those seeking an explanation for such bizarre behavior by the national health service have suggested that it would be to ease pressure on the troubled Italian economy by eliminating old age pensions and medical costs.

Be that as it may, there is an interesting backstory developing in the Italian media about why Italy has been hit so hard by the “Chinese” virus in spite of the fact that it has been in lockdown for over one month. Italy’s ties with China, and with the city of Wuhan, where the virus may have originated, run deeper than with any other European country.

Last spring, when my wife and I were traveling in Northern Italy, we noticed the large numbers of Chinese, not only in tourism centers like Venice and Verona, but also in commercial and industrial areas. Italian shop holders we spoke with told us how the Chinese government and individual entrepreneurs were buying up businesses and properties at an alarming rate, penetrating the Italian economy at all levels. One gift shop proprietor in Venice described how even tourist items were increasingly being manufactured in China, a development which he described as “selling cheap junk.” He reached beneath his counter and produced a perfume bottle which looked like a local product but instead of being made in Murano it bore a tiny stamp “Made in China.”

A little less than a year ago Italy became the first G-7 country in Europe to sign a memorandum of understanding formalizing its membership in the Chinese Belt and Road project, part of the Silk Road scheme to create a vast linked commercial network across Asia and into Europe. Two of the main hubs being developed for the project are Genoa and Trieste. The Italian government, confronted with a struggling economy, based the move on “commercial reasons” and “economic advantages,” to include the investment being offered by Beijing, but Rome paid a price for the move with intense criticism coming from both Washington and Brussels. The Atlanticist crowd, which normally applauded a form of globalism and free trade, inevitably insisted that not only were the Chinese seeking to “destabilize” Europe, Beijing was also attempting to divide Europe politically and militarily from the United States.

One of the more interesting, and perhaps coincidental, aspects of the Chinese entry into Italy has been the particular connection between China and the northern Italian fashion houses, centered on Milan, that have shifted their production to Wuhan to take advantage of the cheap labor in China’s own textile industry, largely centered on the city. By all accounts, Chinese investors bought up factories in Northern Italy starting in the early 1990s. By 2016 many major brands had been completely acquired, to include Pinco Pallino, Miss Sixty, Sergio Tacchini, Roberta di Camerino and Mariella Burani while major shares of Salvatore Ferragamo and Caruso were also obtained.

The Chinese owners and investors replaced ageing machinery and brought in, often illegally, tens of thousands of skilled Chinese seamstresses as a labor force. By the end of last year when the virus first struck China, direct flights from Wuhan to Lombardy served the roughly 300,000 Chinese residents of Italy who mostly work in Chinese-owned factories producing Chinese inspired Made in Italy designs. It is widely believed, though not confirmed by the Rome government, that the first infections by coronavirus in Italy, attributed to visiting “tourists,” actually may have taken place in crowded dormitories where Chinese shift workers from Wuhan dined and slept.

In less than a year, however, Italians have come to realize that a tight economic embrace with Beijing also has a downside. Italy’s trade gap with China has gone up, not down and much promised investment in new enterprises has failed to materialize. But even as the dust cleared, the results derived from opening the door to China were not pretty. By 2016, Chinese acquisitions had exceeded 52 billion EUROS, giving them ownership of more than 300 companies representing 27% of major Italian corporations.

The Bank of China now owns five major banks in Italy as well as the major telecommunication corporation (Telecom) and the two top energy utilities (ENI and ENEL). China also has controlling interest in Fiat-Chrysler and Pirelli.

More recently, Italian government views on China’s human rights record in Hong Kong have hardened and the country’s legislature has rejected overtures by the Chinese telecommunications conglomerate Huawei to have a major role in developing the country’s new 5G technology. One might observe, however, that the barn door is being closed after the horse has already escaped.

To limit the damage, the Chinese have sweetened their economic expansion into Western Europe by carefully integrating trade with humanitarian initiatives to make the transformation palatable to the local populations. The Health Silk Road initiative is a major exercise of soft power which has, in the current crisis, provided various forms of emergency medical assistance to a number of European nations. In doing so, it has done more than the European Union or the United States. Italy currently has three Chinese medical teams assisting its doctors in and around Milan and has benefited from airlifted medical supplies to include millions of masks and testing kits.

China is not doing what it does for altruistic reasons. It sees itself as the major economic driver of a new globalism, displacing an increasingly foundering and incapable United States, which has dominated world finance and commerce since the Second World War. For China COVID-19 is seen as an opportunity to reconfigure the playing field in its favor.

The experience of Italy, which may have become an epicenter for the virus due to its close commercial and personal ties to China, is illustrative of how globalism and free trade being promoted by a number of engaged groups in many countries can be exploited to create a new reality. Beijing is shaping that reality while the U.S. and E.U. stand on the sideline and watch.

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

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

April 10, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

I found out today
We’re going wrong.
– Cream – We’re Going Wrong – 1967 album Disraeli Gears

Shortly after reading about the latest 7 million Americans who made unemployment claims this week that song shuffled on my iPod. It’s a haunting and even frightening song, and while that makes it sound like some lame emo band we must remember that it’s being played by the rock super-dupergroup of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce.

The song is a psychedelic ode to the terrifying realisations caused by a middle-class freak-out, which were occurring regularly across the West back in 1967. Somebody’s mind has just been opened to the fact that the path they were on is not right. Why was it not right? Because they had failed to ever look inward – they had accepted the prevailing nonsense without questioning it.

Today it’s hard not to have this same feeling that the Western trajectory is veering out of control… but only because that is entirely the case: capitalist – i.e. growth-demanding – economies are hysterically yanking out the single-most important pillar of their economic culture (competitive demand) as if their house won’t collapse immediately.

Because there is none of the dependability provided by central planning, Western capitalism is flying blind because it has wilfully broken its fundamentals – how can any investor, CEO or supply clerk accurately foresee the economic future for at least several months (at a minimum)?

Thus a good comparison is Gorbachev’s “fatal error” in 1987, so-called “self-financing”: that yanked out the single-most important pillar of their economic culture – central planning – for enterprises which controlled 60% of all Soviet output. The immediate, radical reordering sparked economic chaos, then bread lines, then the undemocratic, top-down implosion of the USSR.

In my previous article I condensed the economic data and gave the undeniable conclusion: Who now needs a bailout in the West as a result of the poverty-inducing corona response? Wall Street, Main Street, the County Seat, State Capitol Plaza and Corporate Circle. Everybody.

Of course “bailout” is a euphemism for “loan”, meaning that the “lucky” in these sectors will simply get more and more indebted to a 1% which actually only gets smaller, smaller, richer and richer (as Marx proved).

Want mediocrity? Turn to the middle-class

What was rather fascinating is that among all the articles I have read about our new corona-world I found only one single instance of a Mainstream Media relaying a complaint of how the corona response was a middling, “middle-class” solution.

The entire plan had the imagination of a middle-class person,” was the tough assessment of Harsh Mander, director of the New Delhi-based Centre for Equity Studies. “People were asked to maintain social distance, wash their hands and stay home assuming they have homes and salaries going into bank accounts.

It is interesting that open resentment towards the middle class seemingly surfaced only in India: It’s hard to imagine a middle-class with a more disagreeable sense of entitlement than the pudgy middle managers from the mighty continent of India. One need not be an untouchable Dalit to believe that while a college degree might be a marginally-impressive achievement, using it to work at a Western corporation’s call centre is really not proof of hot stuff; one need not question the reactionary caste system to point out that such a middling life is not sufficient justification for maintaining a system of alleged karmic supremacism. Thus, I would imagine that in India today the term “middle-class” carries as many condescending connotations as it did in the Anglophone world back in 1967.

“But the West is not India”, you will object. Indeed, nobody talks about class or caste in the former. But high-and-mighty Westerners must concede that it is also not 1967 for them, back when union membership was high and an 18-year old male could exit high school assured of not just a decent-paying job but even house and car loans from private banks. (LOL, Millennials think I am making this up, but ask your grandparents – this was actually the case!)

Let’s accept Harsh’s mild definition of “middle class”: somebody who has a nice home, savings and the resources to comfortably weather months of societal turmoil. Using that definition, how very few qualify as “middle class” in the West in 2020!

The 17 million Americans who have been added to unemployment ranks in the past 15 days now have not only no income but no health care and no pension (which had become nearly non-existent in their private sector, anyway). The number is not higher than 17 million in 15 days only because the USA’s antiquated 1980s computer infrastructure could not process more claims. These people are definitely not middle-class.

You could have a family of four and an income of $90,000 in the US but how can you call yourself “middle class” when you strain to afford middling versions of health insurance plans, college education, child care and elder care? And heaven forbid you have to pay for all four at once. These people lack the stability to be called middle-class.

What is middle-class in France? I rarely meet anybody taking home more than 2,000 euros per month. That sum was fine in 1980, but after a Lost Decade produced by austerity – with its increased taxes, steady price inflation and social services which are no longer paid for by the state – their middle-class now suffers from lower-class instability as well.

The reality is that “middle class” in the West in 2020 is actually what used to be called the “upper-middle class” – their entire society has been devalued by a standard deviation since 1980 due to neoliberal capitalism.

Across the West doctors are telling 64-year old Uber drivers to quit in order to avoid exposure to coronavirus, and their journalists are agreeing with this remedy, as if such a person is only Ubering because they have a passion for people-moving? Such advice is middling, middle-class nonsense.

Corona is forcing the West’s upper class to learn that the middle-class mentality has been blown apart, and not by Cream and loud bass but by inequality-provoking socioeconomic policies which fundamentally disregard the needs of the middle and lower classes. Contrarily, the needs of those classes are always and indisputably the primary policy focus of socialist-inspired nations, which is why the West declares Cold War on them.

The West’s upper-class is telling their lower classes to commit suicide

The US fake-left has practically deified Dr. Anthony Fauci mainly because he openly contradicts Trump, but also because middle-class Westerners slavishly worship at the altar of technocracy, which rests upon the false idol of their imaginary meritocracy.

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson made the correct observation that not only is this lockdown economic “national suicide” but that Fauci had “bulletproof job security”; this meant that, “He has the luxury of looking at the world through the narrow lens of his professionHe doesn’t seem to think much outside that lens.

For anyone who thinks Carlson pegged him wrong, Fauci recently said: ‘I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you.” That is the “cultural suicide” assessment and bizarre goal of the man who essentially has been given the power to guide US socio-economic policy.

Fauci is not middle-class, but his workaholic, narrow view certainly is stereotypically middle-class; his total disregard for life as it is lived by living, pulsating, hungry, unstable workers certainly is middle-class.

Instead of a vanguard party which is in touch with the lower classes, the US has promoted the singular view of this germ-obsessed technician (and I’m sure Fauci is considering the broader effects of a lockdown on the municipal bond market in his non-lab time/non-hand washing time).

In an interesting article by USA TodayThis is what China did to beat coronavirus. Experts say America couldn’t handle it, we can see a government which is invasive, or we can see a government which is actually touching and in-touch with the average person – which you see depends on your lens.

But have no doubt: testing, tracing, treating, quarantining – these are all things which require mass mobilisation of pulsating humans, and which were done under an unassailable Chinese government slogan of, “No one left behind”.

China demands the ill have “zero contact” with healthy people, and that is rigorous; Fauci seems to want everyone to have “zero contact”, period, permanently.

Fauci’s slogan is more like “I want to leave you behind”, and is that not the middle-class Western dream: To leave the sick, hungry and poor – including their White Trash – behind in their rear-view mirror?

Insist that socialist-inspired nations are totalitarian and unfeeling all you want, but nothing is more synonymous with “mediocrity” than the Western middle-class: “The approach we should be taking right now is one that most people would find to be too drastic because otherwise, it is not drastic enough,” Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health,” said to USA Today.

What a middling and mediocre statement. And what a middling and mediocre Western response to the corona crisis (which still could wind up as middling and mediocre, as far as pandemics go).

Expect many more freak-outs.

In a crisis mediocrity is not needed, but truly exceptional conduct and resolve. Unfortunately their most inspirational conceptual ideas – which could really help people through these tough times – go unreflected upon and not relayed by the Western corporate media.

***********************************

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

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’.

PEPE ESCOBAR: Who Profits from the Pandemic?

April 08, 2020

Pepe Escobar looks at a frightening future that might follow the already terrifying Covid-19 global outbreak. 

By Pepe Escobar
in Bangkok
Special to Consortium News

You don’t need to read Michel Foucault’s work on biopolitics to understand that neoliberalism – in deep crisis since at least 2008 – is a control/governing technique in which surveillance capitalism is deeply embedded.

But now, with the world-system collapsing at breathtaking speed, neoliberalism is at a loss to deal with the next stage of dystopia, ever present in our hyper-connected angst: global mass unemployment.

Henry Kissinger, anointed oracle/gatekeeper of the ruling class, is predictably scared. He claims that, “sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity.” He’s convinced the Hegemon should “safeguard the principles of the liberal world order.” Otherwise, “failure could set the world on fire.”

That’s so quaint. Public trust is dead across the spectrum. The liberal world “order” is now social Darwinist chaos. Just wait for the fire to rage.

The numbers are staggering. The Japan-based Asian Development Bank (ADB), in its annual economic report, may not have been exactly original. But it did note that the impact of the “worst pandemic in a century” will be as high as $4.1 trillion, or 4.8 percent of global GDP.

This an underestimation, as “supply disruptions, interrupted remittances, possible social and financial crises, and long-term effects on health care and education are excluded from the analysis.”

We cannot even start to imagine the cataclysmic social consequences of the crash. Entire sub-sectors of the global economy may not be recomposed at all.  

The International Labor Organization (ILO) forecasts global unemployment at a conservative, additonal 24.7 million people – especially in aviation, tourism and hospitality.

The global aviation industry is a humongous $2.7 trillion business. That’s 3.6 percent of global GDP. It employs 2.7 million people. When you add air transport and tourism —everything from hotels and restaurants to theme parks and museums — it accounts for a minimum of 65.5 million jobs around the world.

According to the ILO, income losses for workers may range from $860 billion to an astonishing $3.4 trillion. “Working poverty” will be the new normal – especially across the Global South.

“Working poor,” in ILO terminology, means employed people living in households with a per capita income below the poverty line of $2 a day. As many as an additional 35 million people worldwide will become working poor in 2020. 

Switching to feasible perspectives for global trade, it’s enlightening to examine that this report about how the economy may rebound is centered on the notorious hyperactive merchants and traders of Yiwu in eastern China – the world’s busiest small-commodity, business hub.

Their experience spells out a long and difficult recovery. As the rest of the world is in a coma, Lu Ting, chief China economist at Nomura in Hong Kong stresses that China faces a 30 percent decline in external demand at least until next Fall.

Neoliberalism in Reverse?

San Miguel, Bulacan, Philippines, 2016. (Judgefloro, CC0, Wikimedia Commons)

In the next stage, the strategic competition between the U.S. and China will be no-holds-barred, as emerging narratives of China’s new, multifaceted global role – on trade, technology, cyberspace, climate change – will set in, even more far-reaching than the New Silk Roads. That will also be the case in global public health policies. Get ready for an accelerated Hybrid War between the “Chinese virus” narrative and the Health Silk Road.

The latest report by the China Institute of International Studies would be quite helpful for the West — hubris permitting — to understand how Beijing adopted key measures putting the health and safety of the general population first. 

Now, as the Chinese economy slowly picks up, hordes of fund managers from across Asia are tracking everything from trips on the metro to noodle consumption to preview what kind of economy may emerge post-lockdown.

In contrast, across the West, the prevailing doom and gloom elicited a priceless editorial from The Financial Times. Like James Brown in the 1980s Blues Brothers pop epic, the City of London seems to have seen the light, or at least giving the impression it really means it. Neoliberalism in reverse. New social contract. “Secure” labor markets. Redistribution.

Cynics won’t be fooled. The cryogenic state of the global economy spells out a vicious Great Depression 2.0 and an unemployment tsunami. The plebs eventually reaching for the pitchforks and the AR-15s en masse is now a distinct possibility. Might as well start throwing a few breadcrumbs to the beggars’ banquet. 

That may apply to European latitudes. But the American story is in a class by itself.

Mural, Seattle, February 2017. (Mitchell Haindfield, Flickr)

For decades, we were led to believe that the world-system put in place after WWII provided the U.S. with unrivalled structural power. Now, all that’s left is structural fragility, grotesque inequalities, unpayable Himalayas of debt, and a rolling crisis.

No one is fooled anymore by the Fed’s magic quantitative easing powers, or the acronym salad – TALF, ESF, SPV – built into the Fed/U.S. Treasury exclusive obsession with big banks, corporations and the Goddess of the Market, to the detriment of the average American.   

It was only a few months ago that a serious discussion evolved around the $2.5 quadrillion derivatives market imploding and collapsing the global economy, based on the price of oil skyrocketing, in case the Strait of Hormuz – for whatever reason – was shut down. 

Now it’s about Great Depression 2.0: the whole system crashing as a result of the shutdown of the global economy. The questions are absolutely legitimate: is the political and social cataclysm of the global economic crisis arguably a larger catastrophe than Covid-19 itself?  And will it provide an opportunity to end neoliberalism and usher in a more equitable system, or something even worse?

 ‘Transparent’ BlackRock

Wall Street, of course, lives in an alternative universe. In a nutshell, Wall Street turned the Fed into a hedge fund. The Fed is going to own at least two thirds of all U.S. Treasury bills in the market before the end of 2020.

The U.S. Treasury will be buying every security and loan in sight while the Fed will be the banker – financing the whole scheme.

So essentially this is a Fed/Treasury merger. A behemoth dispensing loads of helicopter money.

And the winner is BlackRock—the biggest money manager on the planet, with tentacles everywhere, managing the assets of over 170 pension funds, banks, foundations, insurance companies, in fact a great deal of the money in private equity and hedge funds. BlackRock — promising to be fully  “transparent” — will buy these securities and manage those dodgy SPVs on behalf of the Treasury.

BlackRock, founded in 1988 by Larry Fink, may not be as big as Vanguard, but it’s the top investor in Goldman Sachs, along with Vanguard and State Street, and with $6.5 trillion in assets, bigger than Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank combined. 

Now, BlackRock is the new operating system (OS) of the Fed and the Treasury. The world’s biggest shadow bank – and no, it’s not Chinese.

Compared to this high-stakes game, mini-scandals such as the one around Georgia Senator Kelly Loffler are peanuts. Loffler allegedly profited from inside information on Covid-19 by the CDC to make a stock market killing. Loffler is married to Jeffrey Sprecher – who happens to be the chairman of the NYSE, installed by Goldman Sachs. 

While corporate media followed this story like headless chickens, post-Covid-19 plans, in Pentagon parlance, “move forward” by stealth. 

The price? A meager $1,200 check per person for a month. Anyone knows that, based on median salary income, a typical American family would need $12,000 to survive for two months. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in an act of supreme effrontry, allows them a mere 10 percent of that. So American taxpayers will be left with a tsunami of debt while selected Wall Street players grab the whole loot, part of an unparalleled transfer of wealth upwards, complete with bankruptcies en masse of small and medium businesses.

Fink’s letter to his shareholders almost gives the game away: “I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

And right on cue, he forecasted that, “in the near future – and sooner than most anticipate – there will be a significant reallocation of capital.”

He was referring, then, to climate change. Now that refers to Covid-19.

Implant Our Nanochip, Or Else?

West Virginia National Guard members reporting to a Charleston nursing home to assist with Covid-19 testing. April 6, 2020. (U.S. Army National Guard, Edwin L. Wriston)

The game ahead for the elites, taking advantage of the crisis, might well contain these four elements: a social credit system, mandatory vaccination, a digital currency and a Universal Basic Income (UBI). This is what used to be called, according to the decades-old, time-tested CIA playbook, a “conspiracy theory.” Well, it might actually happen.

A social credit system is something that China set up already in 2014. Before the end of 2020, every Chinese citizen will be assigned his/her own credit score – a de facto “dynamic profile”, elaborated with extensive use of AI and the internet of things (IoT), including ubiquitous facial recognition technology. This implies, of course, 24/7 surveillance, complete with Blade Runner-style roving robotic birds.

The U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Russia and India may not be far behind. Germany, for instance, is tweaking its universal credit rating system, SCHUFA. France has an ID app very similar to the Chinese model, verified by facial recognition.

Mandatory vaccination is Bill Gates’s dream, working in conjunction with the WHO, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Big Pharma. He wants “billions of doses” to be enforced over the Global South. And it could be a cover to everyone getting a digital implant.

Here it is, in his own words. At 34:15: “Eventually what we’ll have to have is certificates of who’s a recovered person, who’s a vaccinated person…Because you don’t want people moving around the world where you’ll have some countries that won’t have it under control, sadly. You don’t want to completely block off the ability for people to go there and come back and move around.”

Then comes the last sentence which was erased from the official TED video. This was noted by Rosemary Frei, who has a master on molecular biology and is an independent investigative journalist in Canada. Gates says: “So eventually there will be this digital immunity proof that will help facilitate the global reopening up.”

This “digital immunity proof” is crucial to keep in mind, something that could be misused by the state for nefarious purposes.

The three top candidates to produce a coronavirus vaccine are American biotech firm Moderna, as well as Germans CureVac and BioNTech.

Digital cash might then become an offspring of blockchain. Not only the U.S., but China and Russia are also interested in a national crypto-currency. A global currency – of course controlled by central bankers – may soon be adopted in the form of a basket of currencies, and would circulate virtually. Endless permutations of the toxic cocktail of IoT, blockchain technology and the social credit system could loom ahead.

Already Spain has announced that it is introducing UBI, and wants it to be permanent. It’s a form insurance for the elite against social uprisings, especially if millions of jobs never come back.

So the key working hypothesis is that Covid-19 could be used as cover for the usual suspects to bring in a new digital financial system and a mandatory vaccine with a “digital identity” nanochip with dissent not tolerated: what Slavoj Zizek calls the “erotic dream” of every totalitarian government.

Yet underneath it all, amid so much anxiety, a pent-up rage seems to be gathering strength, to eventually explode in unforeseeable ways. As much as the system may be changing at breakneck speed, there’s no guarantee even the 0.1 percent will be safe. 

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times. His latest book is “2030.” Follow him on Facebook.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE AND THE HYBRID WAR ON TRUMP’S AMERICA

 A

The intense politicization over the topic of experimenting with the promising drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients strongly suggests that the “deep state” has intensified its Hybrid War on Trump’s America at its most vulnerable moment in modern history, all for the sake of ruining his re-election prospects even if this also results in the collapse of the economy and America’s attendant displacement abroad by its rivals.

Hydroxychloroquine Hope

Hydroxychloroquine is the strange-sounding drug that’s suddenly come to represent the planet’s hope for winning World War C upon the numerous reports that it might be the most promising treatment for COVID-19, which makes it all the more inexplicable that Dr. Fauci refuses to endorse large-scale testing despite hundreds of Americans dying from this disease each day. The country’s top infectious disease expert has butted heads with Trump over the President’s insistence that this treatment be made available to all who need it, which suggests that either the American leader is dangerously misinformed about the risks of this drug or that Dr. Fauci’s stance might be driven by ulterior motives.

Trump’s Dilemma

It’s enough to point out that the esteemed doctor is a self-described “admirer” of Trump’s former rival Hillary Clinton, whom he “loves” and is “very proud to know”, to set alarm bells ringing among those who are always suspicious of “deep state” plots to undermine the President, so there’s certainly a reason why those folks are concerned about their increasingly public spat over what’s literally a life-or-death issue for many. Furthermore, Dr. Fauci recently contradicted Trump’s plans to re-open the country in the coming future by urging a nationwide stay-at-home order instead, which has sparked speculation that the scientific expert is overstepping his professional authority to de-facto meddle in economic matters, hence why the Democrats adore him.

The President is already on the horns of a dilemma in being forced to choose between the economy and the people, whereby he either reopens the economy based on reports that COVID-19 isn’t really all that dangerous for anyone other than senior citizens and those with preexisting conditions or keeps it closed out of an overabundance of caution in order to protect the people. The first scenario could backfire if the virus is much more dangerous than he thinks, while the latter could easily have the consequence of crippling the economy in an irreversible way. This is the same dilemma he was forced into at the onset of the crisis whereby he was “damned” if he “overreacted” without any deaths and equally “damned” if he delayed his response till then.

“Deep State” Designs

Hydroxychloroquine represents the only foreseeable solution to this Catch-22 in that its promising potential as both a treatment and a prophylaxis could justify the reopening of the economy while mitigating the possible danger to people’s lives, though only so long as it’s mass-produced and disseminated to as many Americans as possible first. Therein lays the crux of the dilemma since Dr. Fauci is amplifying the Mainstream Media’s reports about the latent lethality of this virus while throwing cold water on Trump’s envisioned plan for returning America back to normal as soon as possible, whereas the President is strongly promoting this course of action together with reassuring his people that pretty much only at-risk populations have to seriously fear this virus.

It obviously can’t be known for sure, but there are serious grounds for speculating that the topic of Hydroxychloroquine has been politicized by Dr. Fauci and his “deep state” partners as part of their HybridWar on Trump’s America. This interpretation of events explains that the scientific expert’s fearmongering of this virus pairs perfectly with his dismissal of this drug in order to put ultimate pressure on Trump to continue his shutdown of the American economy, which could eventually create the domestic political conditions that capsize his re-election bid in parallel with boosting the geostrategic potential of his country’s rivals such as China by default.

In addition, this narrative sometimes goes a bit more in detail by pointing out how Trump has hitherto refrained from becoming the so-called “fascist dictator” that his political foes fearmongered that he’d be if he ever won the presidency, but that he might be pressured to unprecedentedly expand federal control over the states in response to this escalating crisis (or the perception — key qualifier! — thereof), which could in turn make their insincere “warnings” a reality. The combined effect of these three outcomes — the continued shutdown of the American economy, the unchallenged rise of China, and Trump turning into a “fascist dictator” — might be responsible for ruining Trump’s re-election prospects and are thus supposedly the goals of the “deep state”.

The Hybrid War On Trump’s America

The reason why this scenario is described as a Hybrid War against Trump’s America is because it uses non-kinetic (non-violent) means to undermine its targets — both Trump and the overall country that he represents — through a combination of media and economic factors, with the topic of hydroxychloroquine being intensely politicized simply because it represents the only way for the President to escape from this dilemma. Regardless of what he does, however, the Democrats are lying in wait to reframe his actions as irresponsible in order to advance their investigation into his administration’s response to this pandemic for the purpose of manufacturing yet another variation of the Russiagate scandal, this time, COVIDgate.

In this context, Dr. Fauci is presented to the American public as being the “nation’s apolitical conscience devoted to scientific truth and unquestionable facts”, so his refusal to endorse Trump’s plan to rely on hydroxychloroquine in order to gradually reopen the country’s economy acquires extra “moral” weight and thus gives this scientist disproportionate political influence as a “deep state” proxy whether he’s consciously aware of his de-facto function or not. In the event that this course of action fails to stem the outbreak and even more lives are lost if Americans return to work in the coming future at the President’s urging, then Dr. Fauci’s earlier words might be exploited by the Democrats to make the case that Trump is directly responsible for their deaths.

Concluding Thoughts

The above analysis is admittedly based on a lot of speculation which attempts to connect seemingly unrelated pieces together in order to form the bigger picture of what’s really going at the highest levels in America during World War C, but the intent is to present an intriguing explanation of events that will hopefully inspire further research into the question of whether or not the “deep state” is using Dr. Fauci as their latest weapon in waging their Hybrid War on Trump’s America. It doesn’t matter to them that they’d bring their compatriots untold hardship for decades to come through the economic collapse that they’re catalyzing, nor that their country’s rivals might then displace it, since all that they care about is that Trump loses in November regardless of the costs.


By Andrew Korybko
Source: One World

NWO, globalism and US “leadership” – RIP (UPDATED!)

THE SAKER • APRIL 7, 2020

NWO, globalism and US “leadership” – RIP (UPDATED!)

Source

And the unbelievers plotted and planned, and God too planned, and the best of planners is God
Quran, Sura Al-Imran (The Family of Imran) – 3:54

It has been pretty obvious for many years already that the AngloZionist Empire was not viable, that it had to tank sooner or later. There were two main scenarios which were typically considered for this collapse: an external crisis (typically a major military defeat) or an internal one (economic collapse). Personally, I always favored the first scenario (specifically, as described here). I even had a “favorite” location for such a catastrophic military defeat (for the US): Iran and the Middle-East. Irrespective of the scenario one preferred, this was obvious:

  1. The Empire was not viable
  2. The Empire was not reformable

The same is true of the US political system, by the way.

There was one huge problem, however. The quality and sheer size of the AngloZionist propaganda machine was very successful in keeping most of the people in the West in total ignorance of these realities. The faster the Empire was collapsing, the more Obama or Trump peppered their patriotic flag-waving ceremonies (aka “press conferences”) with references to an “indispensable nation” providing “vital leadership” thanks to its “the best economy in history”, the “best military in history” and even “unbelievable CEOs”, “incredible politicians” and even “incredible conversations”. The message was simple: we are the best, better than all the rest and we are invincible.

Then COVID19 happened.

The initial reaction in the US to the pandemic was to either dismiss this completely, or blame it on the Chinese. Another exceptionally dumb theory was that the virus only affected Asians. This one tanked pretty quickly. Other myths, and even outright lies, proved much more resilient, at least for a while.

Then “Italy” happened. Soon followed by Spain and France.

Some folks started to change their tune. Other still thought that the EU was not as “incredible” as the US.

Then “New York” happened and all hell broke loose for the “indispensable nation” and the “imperial parasite” this nation was hosting. Even the Idiot-in-Chief switched from “it will be over by Easter” to talk about saving “millions” of (US) “Americans” (the US does not care about non-Americans).

I predict that this process will now only accelerate.

Here are a few reasons for this conclusion:

First, the imperial propaganda machine is simply unable to conceal the magnitude of the disaster, even in countries like the US or the UK. Oh sure, initially doctors and even USN ship commanders were summarily fired for speaking the truth, but even those cases proved impossible to conceal and public opinion got even more suspicious of official assurances and statements. The truth is that most of the entire planet already realized that this is a huge crisis and that countries like Russia or China responded almost infinitely better than the US. The planet also knows that the US “health notcare” system is broke, corrupt, and mostly dysfunctional and that Trump’s initial optimism was based on nothing. BTW – Trump haters have immediately instrumentalized the crisis to bash Trump. The sad thing is that while they are no better (and most definitely not the braindead Uncle Joe), they are right about Trump being completely out of touch with reality. In the age of the Internet this is a reality which even the US propaganda machine is unable to conceal from the US public forever.

Second, and that is now quite obvious, it is becoming clear that the capitalist ideology of free markets, globalism, consumerism, extreme individualism and, above all, greed, is totally unable to cope with the crisis. Even more offensively to those who still believed in an ideology based on the assumption that the sum of our greeds will create an optimal society, countries with stronger collectivist traditions of solidarity (whether “enhanced” by Marxist or Socialist ideas or not) did much better. China for starters, but also Cuba and even Russia (which is neither Marxist nor Socialist, but which has very strong collectivist traditions) or South Korea or Singapore (both non-Marxists with strong collectivist traditions). Even tiny Venezuela, embattled and under siege by the Empire, managed to do much better than the US or the UK. Not only did these countries all fare much better than much richer, and putatively much “freer”, countries, they did so while under US sanctions. And, finally, just to add insult to injury, these supposedly “bad” countries proved much more generous than those incorporated into the Empire: they sent many tons of vitally needed equipment and hundred of specialized scientists and even military personnel to help those countries most in need (Italy, Spain, Serbia, etc.).

Eventually, even the US has to accept aid from Russia: the contents of two huge military AN-124 transporters:

The Russian military delivers aid to the “indispensable nation”

The Russian military delivers aid to the “indispensable nation”

Think of the irony! The country whose economy was supposed to be “in tatters” (Obama) delivers humanitarian aid to the “indispensable nation” (Obama again). Not only was this aid delivered from a country under US sanctions, the gear delivered was produced by a Russian company also under US sanctions. The “grateful” US media immediately declared that this was a Russian PR action, especially since 50% of the cargo was paid for by the US (the rest, including transportation costs, were paid by Russia).

At least in Italy questions began arising why the US, NATO or the EU did absolutely *nothing* to help them when they were in such dire need of help, and why countries which did generously help (Russia, China, Cuba) were all under sanctions, including Italian ones! Good questions indeed. It was answered by Serbian President Vucic who declared that European solidarity was a “fairy tale“. He is quite correct, of course.

Third, then we all saw the ugly sight of various western “democracies” literally stealing vital medical gear from each other, over and over again. In fact, under a purely capitalistic logic, this kind of “competition” was both inevitable (true) and even desirable (false): major Med & Pharma companies all have used this financial windfall to maximize their profits (which is, after all, what all corporations have to do in a capitalist system: get as much money as possible for their shareholders). Even states and countries are competing against each other for medical equipment now! As long as all was well and the West was free to plunder the rest of the planet, Capitalism could be seen as a promise of a better future (just like Communism was, by the way). But now that this big “propagandistic house of cards” is tumbling down and capitalism shows its true face (an ideology created by the rich to screw the poor), the comparison with (supposedly “backward”) collectivistic societies is most embarrassing yet inevitable.

Fourth, we also witness the raw nastiness of the imperial propaganda machine in articles about how “Russia sent useless gear to Italy”, that “Chinese equipment did not work” or about how all the countries which responded better and sooner were all lying about the real numbers (which is utter nonsense, the Chinese have been very open, as have the Russians: the truth is that in the early phases of a pandemic it is impossible to get real numbers, that can only be done much later). This is as false as the “Iraqi incubators”, “genocidal Serbs” or “Gaddafi’s Viagra” and time will prove it.

Fifth, then there is the issue of poverty. We see the first signs that this pandemic (like all pandemics) is affecting the poor much harder than the rich. Hardly a surprise… For example, in the US cities like New York, Chicago, Detroit, Miami or New Orleans have a lot of poor neighborhoods and that people there are getting hit very hard. But this is only the beginning, there are much bigger slums in other countries, including in Latin America and, even probably worse, Africa. Barring a miracle of some kind, the death-toll in the third world slums will be absolutely horrendous. And, you can be pretty sure that collectivistic poor countries will do much better than those in the grip of the delusions of the free market economy. Again, there will be major political consequences in all those countries: I predict that we will see some cases of regime change in the not too distant future.

Sixth, just like the Empire itself, NATO and the EU are also in free fall, both clueless as to what to do and in a panic about doing anything proactive. Besides the flag-waving Idiot-in-Chief, I also took the time to listen to both Macron and Merkel. They are both in a full-freak-out mode, Macron speaks over and over about a “war” while Merkel declared that the pandemic is the most serious challenge facing Germany since WWII! Still, the most amazing contrast to the US might well be Russia. Putin has made several special appeals to the Russian people, and his mood was both clearly determined and clearly somber. I took this screenshot of Putin’s latest message to the Russian people, and see his expression for yourself:

As for the main MD in charge of the COVID19 crisis in Moscow, he told Putin that Russia needs to prepare for what he called “the Italian scenario in order to avoid it”, even though at the time (March 30th) there were only 1,836 confirmed COVID19 cases in Russia, including 9 death and 66 recoveries. Let’s compare the three countries:

CountryCOVID cases detectedDeathsRecoveries
US161,8072,9785,644
Italy101,73911,59114,620
Russia1,836966

All the numbers above come from here: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html(as of March 30th!!)

Furthermore, the Russian special medical teams of the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Troops of the Russian Armed Forces are now on full alert and even though there is no shortage of specialized ABC/NBC medical gear in Russia, the Russian Armed Forces are now building 16 special hospitals in various locations in Russia. Russia is also almost completely shutting down internal air and rail traffic. A lot of that was predictable, since Moscow is much richer than any other Russian region, Moscow is doing fine, in spite of being a huge population (about 12 million in the city, plus another 7 or so in the Moscow Oblast’). Here are the official Russian numbers for the Moscow area: (also as of March 30th!!)

LocationInfectedDeathsRecovered% death
City of Moscow1’22611280.9%
Moscow Oblast1191140.85%

The source of these numbers is: https://coronavirus-monitor.ru/

Does it not strike you as very strange that a country like Russia, which clearly is faring much better than the US (even in per capita indicators) is preparing for the worst? What do the Russians know that the US leaders are not telling you?

Of course, the anti-Russian propaganda machine has an explanation. For example, it claims that the Russians are lying about everything. There is even a psyop going on with western agents of influence impersonating Russian MDs claiming that there are thousands of hidden deaths, that Russia has no equipment and that the Russians are clueless. One previously sober-minded analyst now even claims that “Putin is losing control“.

To be totally honest, I have never in my life seen such a tsunami of nonsense, false information, unfounded rumors, and, last but certainly not least, shameless clickbaiting. For some, this crisis is clearly a chance to regain some visibility. It is shameful, really, a total disgrace: just a new form of profiteering from a crisis.

I am not medical expert for sure. But I know the Russian government and its “body language” if you wish, and I can tell you that the Russians are preparing very, very seriously, for what might well become a huge crisis even for Russia(having the Ukraine and Belarus both sitting in deep denial will obviously not help!).

Seven, in the US, the contrast between the Federal government and the state authorities is quite startling. As much as the Federal government is terminally dysfunctional, state governors have often had to use a lot of out of the box thinking to get supplies and specialists. For example, the governor of FL, Ron DeSantis (R) had to call a friend of his in Israel to get the giant Israeli pharma company Teva Pharmaceuticals to send in desperately needed medical gear to Florida. Similar things are happening in other states I believe. This is one of the reasons why Americans are typically very suspicious of the Federal government but much more supportive of their local authorities (again, as a general rule, there are, of course, exceptions to this). There are many reasons for the contrast between the Federal and State authorities, including the fact that governors are much “closer” to their constituents on a local level than on the national one.

While not as dramatic as the contrast between societies based on pure greed and societies based on solidarity, this contrast between the local and national level will also contribute to the collapse of the imperial system, albeit more indirectly.

Conclusion: NWO, globalism and US “leadership”- RIP

The first (non-human) victim of this pandemic will be the so-called “New World Order” promised by several US presidents. The same goes for its underlying globalist ideology. If the putative “Illuminati world government” imagined by some really did trigger this pandemic, then it shot itself right in the foot and is now quickly bleeding out.

The US is now showing to the world that the so-called “US leadership” is nothing but a crude lie to conceal what I would describe as a the rule of one, single, narcissistic world hegemon who will screw over even its closest “allies” (really colonies) to get any advantage.

Right now most of what we see are only warning signs, say like the EU members closing their borders. But irrespective of how this pandemic progresses, what will happen next is a huge economic crisis which will dwarf both the Great Depression, the crash after 9/11 and 2008.

Of course, the world will, sooner or later, recover from this pandemic and economic collapse. But the kind of world which we will then see will be dramatically different from the one we have lived in until now.

For the time being, there are still observable manifestations of the “US leadership”: the US tries hard to rob medicine and medical gear from other countries, the US imposes sanctions on countries like Iran and Venezuela who desperately need meds, and the US re-plays the Noriega scenario with Maduro. This foreign policy of “US leadership” can be summed up in terms like evil, immoral, hypocritical, dysfunctional, narcissistic. etc. Whatever label one chooses to apply to it, it is always a morally repugnant and practically self-defeating policy.

Right now, after blaming China, Trump is now pointing fingers at the WHO. Truly, a noble soul and a brilliant, 5D, chess player…

There is no more hiding it. The SARS-COV-2 achieved that which even RT or PressTV could not: it put a bright spotlight on the true nature of the AngloZionist Empire.

As the Quran says, God is the better planner.

UPDATE: I was wrong, I admit it. The US government does not only think about itself. It CAN be very generous, but only in one special case. In fact, it appears that the US has send ONE MILLION masks to… … Israel, of course!

See for yourself: https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/04/08/622584/US-masks-Israel-coronavirus-covid19

This makes sense, after all – Israel is far, far more important to Trump and his gang than the first responders, doctors or suffering people of the USA.

COVID-19 HYPE AND HORRORS OF DEEP STATE

COVID-19 Hype And Horrors Of Deep State

South Front

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the hysteria it carried with it is without precedent in modern history, with a massive share of the global population under lockdown, and specifically that of Europe and the United States.

It is customary, furthermore, that every crisis presents opportunities to speculate, and provide alternative narratives (or even conspiracy theories) of what specifically is going on, how and why it was initiated and where it would all lead.

A crisis without precedent, however, creates the opportunity for massive-scale speculation, especially when it’s as polarizing as the COVID-19, with the entire situation having no exact clarity of what the mortality rate is, how many people are and were, in fact, infected, how many are actually dying and so on.

Of course, every respectable conspiracy theory blames a “force” (or a group, individual) that has an interest at stake and there is much to gain from organizing it.

One of them is the following:

In a short summary, the “narrative is the following” and it is a popular QAnon conspiracy theory, that’s being shared by influencers (such as Rose Henges who spread “awareness” for “holistic living”, but she is one of many), on Instagram and other social media.

Supporters of the completely unfounded QAnon conspiracy theory believe that President Donald Trump and the American military are waging a secret war against the deep state, which they believe is a global cabal of pedophiles. They get their updates from off-shoots of the anonymous message board 8chan and a website called QAlerts, which they comb through for barely coherent secret messages from a person they believe has Q-level security clearance within the US government.

Starting from the week beginning on March 30th, thousands (and even hundreds of thousands) of hungry and terribly abused children have been found dead, or in captivity in an underground tunnel in New York.

This tunnel, allegedly, connects between the Clinton Foundation Building and the port of New York, with a length of approximately 4 kilometers.

It is through the end of the tunnel that comes out into the port of New York that children and corpses are loaded onto the USNS Comfort medical vessel.

It should be reminded that a man was arrested for attempting to derail a train and collide with the USNS Mercy, docked near Los Angeles, because he believed that the U.S. government was planning some sort of takeover.

Thus, according to the conspiracy theory, the USNS Mercy is docked near Los Angeles to provide the same service – care for kidnapped children and the victims of horrible abuses saved from the tunnels, because there’s also apparently tunnels under L.A.

These rescue activities are under the patronage of the “Pentagon Pedophile Task Force,” which is another quite popular conspiracy theory.

This conspiracy theory, however, goes one step further – some of the corpses had bitemarks on them, maybe by rats, but it even claimed that the starving children ate the corpses of the dead ones.

The makeshift field hospital in the middle of Central Park in New York, also, is there to treat the children, rather than to fight COVID-19.

And it is estimated that New York needs 100,000 body bags.

And it is expected that between 4 and 6% of these children would die, because they were too weak. They were tortured and sexually abused. Many of these children were raised for this specific purpose and have never seen the light of day, and so on.

Furthermore, there’s also an explanation of the urgent need of respirators – the air in the tunnels is stagnated, thus they need help breathing.

Finally, police officers who entered the tunnels were traumatized, and they were even given bags in which to throw up if it’s too much.

Furthermore, in addition to that, global celebrities began providing all sorts of entertainment, to presumably keep people away from seeing the truth.

These include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Antonio Banderas, Robbie Williams, and many more, who have began releasing videos, and what not, in order to entertain the quarantined masses.

Then, the conspiracy theory went even deeper – Madonna was quoted in Vogue magazine that she “would kill for pasta” and most would think its because panic buying left shelves empty and restaurants and bars are closed far and wide.

But no, “pasta” apparently is some sort of pedophile slang for the murder of a young boy.

And that’s also done for a purpose – apparently it all connects to also the, now deceased, Jeffrey Epstein who presumably killed himself used to take celebrities on a private island for that sort of entertainment.

It was to produce Adrenochrome was used by celebrities as a drug and an elixir of immortality. It is derived from a child’s body at the time of terrible fear and pain.

So, apparently, the synthetic adrenochrome produced in Wuhan, China, was intentionally infected with a special type of coronavirus.

Thus, a person who has taken some of this substance could easily be tracked.

And quarantine served as a cover for the largest ever secret U.S. intelligence operation, which will arrest 158,000 people and “remove all the villains” – politicians, celebrities and company heads, bankers such as George Soros, the heads of the United Nations, the founders of GRETA and more.

Indirectly, this wild theory, according to its followers, is proved by the US statistics, according to which in the USA annually, according to the official version alone, about 460,000 children disappear each year.

In short, people began to seriously discuss that Jeffrey Epstein on his island treated his influential friends not only to young girls, but also to children. And everyone who flew in private jets to his island will face arrest and a military tribunal.

The list of people who have visited Epstein’s island is long and is no secret and it includes many influential politicians, entertainers, film and music celebrities and what not.

And all sorts of stories such as this are being propagated by the entire quarantine that keeps everybody at home, generally alone with themselves or with likeminded individuals who can spiral their ideas out of control.

Gone are the times when the most illogical, weird and “disturbing” thing was the ending of Game of Thrones.

Now, there’s surely very little truth to the general idea of the conspiracy theory, but what’s interesting is who it’s aimed at and why it appears now, of all times.

More than likely, what’s described above is a well-planned (albeit hastily, since the timeline with the COVID-19 was a bit short) campaign to discredit the entire “neoliberal elite” group that’s quite popular in recent times.

It is no secret that many of the faces behind some of the major global capital, or some of the leaders of entertainment and media are associated with some very large-scale scandals (such as Harvey Weinstein, for example, or maybe George Soros’ heart transplants, there’s numerous other cases), and these are generally related to things that the “common folk” would find disturbing.

The general concept is to get some facts, such as the quarantine, the field hospital (as if out of M*A*S*H) and the UNSN Mercy and the USNS Comfort, and such, glue them together with a very questionable, horror-filled content and try to pass it as a possible version that sounds at least “slightly reasonable.”

Who could stand behind the propagation of such narratives, however?

There are several options.

  1. The pro-Trump lobby, and his team (not directly Donald Trump himself), are, at least partially, responsible for starting the “versions” since they discredit his direct opponents quite apparently, and it is not a bad timing for the diffusion of such information, after all his entire handling of the COVID-19 situation is turning into a fiasco.
  2. It could be China – and why not, these “neoliberal elites,” are, to a very large degree, in charge of global affairs – globalism is a narrative that they push forward, in a way. China isn’t interested in a US-oriented global order, or a West-oriented one, it has little interest in a group of people pushing the narrative. Beijing wants to be the sole super power, for its own reasons and to achieve its own goals. Discrediting its direct “competition” and also by maintaining that US soldiers brought the coronavirus to Mainland China is one way to do so.
  3. It could be Russia – but, it makes no sense, since some of these theories slam traditional Russian “allies” (in very broad terms) as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is willing to “look the other way” from the Western-propagated narrative for the greater (economic) wellbeing. Furthermore, the “Great Russian propaganda machine” is much more a myth than a reality, as it has been proven time and again. Finally, a large part of the current Russian elite is very much integrated with the Western elite, there’s little (if any) interest in undermining it, after all it works to their benefit.
  4. There’s always “rogue actors” those who are conditionally “patriotic” or conditionally “conservative” since the current climate doesn’t specifically play into their field, this could relate to capital, political interest, various lobbyist interests.

There’s other QAnon versions, as the “movement” has seen increased activity on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter since the outbreak of COVID-19. Some Q followers baselessly claim the virus is a human-made bioweapon, which they believe was created by either the Chinese government or Bill Gates, depending on which Twitter account you read.

One thing is certain, during a crisis, conspiracy theories are abound, and truth, sometimes, comes around, factual stories are few and far between.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

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

Italian Dr. Appeals to Lebanese People: ’Eat Bread and Olives, But Do Not Go Out’

Italian Dr. Appeals to Lebanese People: ’Eat Bread and Olives, But Do Not Go Out’

By Maysaa Mkaddem

Beirut – Italy currently has the highest death toll from COVID-19, registering more than 15,000 fatalities. As the world struggles to escape the corona disaster and its repercussions on all levels, doctors stand as brave officers in this battle armed with human values for which they are fighting.

Doctor Roberto Pitertiki is one of these doctors. Since the start of the crisis, he has been examining patients infected with the virus in northern Italy.

“The situation here is so tragic. It is indescribable,” Dr. Roberto tells Al-Ahed. One of the reasons that contributed to the severity of the crisis is that “the country was not prepared, and the people here did not take precautions.”

When it comes to prevention and the availability of protective equipment, he says “preventive measures were in place since the beginning of the crisis.”

“But today things are completely out of control due to the number of the cases. Therefore, prevention is not possible. There is also shortage in medical devices and equipment. In light of the very bad situation, I expect that Italy will continue to be gripped by this crisis for another 4 to 5 months.”

The doctor, born to a Lebanese mother, loves Lebanon. However, he refuses to return to Lebanon in the event that he is allowed to do so under these circumstances. He is after all on a “humanitarian mission.”

“I have patients to follow up on. I cannot abandon them during this ordeal. But after this crisis passes, I will be eager to visit Lebanon,” he adds.

A few days ago, Dr. Roberto was infected with the coronavirus. However, he continues to fully pursue his humanitarian and professional tasks while in his hospital clinic. He treats himself and follows up on his patients. The Italian doctor talks about six of his colleagues who died as a result of the virus with a lump in his throat.

From corona-hit Italy, Dr. Roberto uses al-Ahed website to appeal to the Lebanese people. “Stay home. Do not go out. It is not time for walks, socializing, or entertainment. The situation is dangerous, and it is not a game. Eat bread and olives but do not go out.”

Pitertiki praises the measures taken by the Lebanese government in terms of early preparations and the strict measures, which were not adopted by many developed countries in the world.

As for his loved ones and many of his Twitter followers, he sends his love, greetings, and thanks for their prayers, reassuring them that he is recovering from the malicious virus.

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:

Ground Control to Planet Lockdown: This Is Only a Test

Pepe Escobar

April 2, 2020

Ground Control to Planet Lockdown: This Is Only a Test - Global ...

As much as Covid-19 is a circuit breaker, a time bomb and an actual weapon of mass destruction (WMD), a fierce debate is raging worldwide on the wisdom of mass quarantine applied to entire cities, states and nations.

Those against it argue Planet Lockdown not only is not stopping the spread of Covid-19 but also has landed the global economy into a cryogenic state – with unforeseen, dire consequences. Thus quarantine should apply essentially to the population with the greatest risk of death: the elderly.

With Planet Lockdown transfixed by heart-breaking reports from the Covid-19 frontline, there’s no question this is an incendiary assertion.

In parallel, a total corporate media takeover is implying that if the numbers do not substantially go down, Planet Lockdown – an euphemism for house arrest – remains, indefinitely.

Michael Levitt, 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry and Stanford biophysicist, was spot on when he calculated that China would get through the worst of Covid-19 way before throngs of health experts believed, and that “What we need is to control the panic”.

Let’s cross this over with some facts and dissident opinion, in the interest of fostering an informed debate.

The report Covid-19 – Navigating the Uncharted was co-authored by Dr. Anthony Fauci – the White House face of the fight –, H. Clifford Lane, and CDC director Robert R. Redfield. So it comes from the heart of the U.S. healthcare establishment.

The report explicitly states, “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.”

On March 19, four days before Downing Street ordered the British lockdown, Covid-19 was downgraded from the status of “High Consequence Infectious Disease.”

John Lee, recently retired professor of pathology and former NHS consultant pathologist, has recently argued that, “the world’s 18,944 coronavirus deaths represent 0.14 per cent of the total. These figures might shoot up but they are, right now, lower than other infectious diseases that we live with (such as flu).”

He recommends, “a degree of social distancing should be maintained for a while, especially for the elderly and the immune-suppressed. But when drastic measures are introduced, they should be based on clear evidence. In the case of Covid-19, the evidence is not clear.”

That’s essentially the same point developed by a Russian military intel analyst.

No less than 22 scientists – see here and here – have expanded on their doubts about the Western strategy.

Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Professor Emeritus of Medical Microbiology at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, has provoked immense controversy with his open letter to Chancellor Merkel, stressing the “truly unforeseeable consequences of the drastic containment measures which are currently being applied in large parts of Europe.”

Even New York governor Andrew Cuomo admitted on the record about the error of quarantining elderly people with illnesses alongside the fit young population.

The absolutely key issue is how the West was caught completely unprepared for the spread of Covid-19 – even after being provided a head start of two months by China, and having the time to study different successful strategies applied across Asia.

There are no secrets for the success of the South Korean model.

South Korea was producing test kits already in early January, and by March was testing 100,000 people a day, after establishing strict control of the whole population – to Western cries of “no protection of private life”. That was before the West embarked on Planet Lockdown mode.

South Korea was all about testing early, often and safely – in tandem with quick, thorough contact tracing, isolation and surveillance.

Covid-19 carriers are monitored with the help of video-surveillance cameras, credit card purchases, smartphone records. Add to it SMS sent to everyone when a new case is detected near them or their place of work. Those in self-isolation need an app to be constantly monitored; non-compliance means a fine to the equivalent of $2,800.

Controlled demolition in effect

In early March, the Chinese Journal of Infectious Diseases, hosted by the Shanghai Medical Association, pre-published an Expert Consensus on Comprehensive Treatment of Coronavirus in Shanghai. Treatment recommendations included, “large doses of vitamin C…injected intravenously at a dose of 100 to 200 mg / kg per day. The duration of continuous use is to significantly improve the oxygenation index.”

That’s the reason why 50 tons of Vitamin C was shipped to Hubei province in early February. It’s a stark example of a simple “mitigation” solution capable of minimizing economic catastrophe.

In contrast, it’s as if the brutally fast Chinese “people’s war” counterpunch against Covid-19 had caught Washington totally unprepared. Steady intel rumbles on the Chinese net point to Beijing having already studied all plausible leads towards the origin of the Sars-Cov-2 virus – vital information that will be certainly weaponized, Sun Tzu style, at the right time.

As it stands, the sustainability of the complex Eurasian integration project has not been substantially compromised. As the EU has provided the whole planet with a graphic demonstration of its cluelessness and helplessness, everyday the Russia-China strategic partnership gets stronger – increasingly investing in soft power and advancing a pan-Eurasia dialogue which includes, crucially, medical help.

Facing this process, the EU’s top diplomat, Joseph Borrell, sounds indeed so helpless: “There is a global battle of narratives going on in which timing is a crucial factor. […] China has brought down local new infections to single figures – and it is now sending equipment and doctors to Europe, as others do as well. China is aggressively pushing the message that, unlike the U.S., it is a responsible and reliable partner. In the battle of narratives we have also seen attempts to discredit the EU (…) We must be aware there is a geo-political component including a struggle for influence through spinning and the ‘politics of generosity’. Armed with facts, we need to defend Europe against its detractors.”

That takes us to really explosive territory. A critique of the Planet Lockdown strategy inevitably raises serious questions pointing to a controlled demolition of the global economy. What is already in stark effect are myriad declinations of martial law, severe social media policing in Ministry of Truth mode, and the return of strict border controls.

These are unequivocal markings of a massive social re-engineering project, complete with inbuilt full monitoring, population control and social distancing promoted as the new normal.

That would be taking to the limit Secretary of State Mike “we lie, we cheat, we steal” Pompeo’s assertion, on the record, that Covid-19 is a live military exercise: “This matter is going forward — we are in a live exercise here to get this right.”

All hail BlackRock

So as we face a New Great Depression, steps leading to a Brave New World are already discernable. It goes way beyond a mere Bretton Woods 2.0, in the manner that Pam and Russ Martens superbly deconstruct the recent $2 trillion, Capitol Hill-approved stimulus to the U.S. economy.

Essentially, the Fed will “leverage the bill’s $454 million bailout slush fund into $4.5 trillion”. And no questions are allowed on who gets the money, because the bill simply cancels the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the Fed.

The privileged private contractor for the slush fund is none other than BlackRock. Here’s the extremely short version of the whole, astonishing scheme, masterfully detailed here.

Wall Street has turned the Fed into a hedge fund. The Fed is going to own at least two thirds of all U.S. Treasury bills wallowing in the market before the end of the year.

The U.S. Treasury will be buying every security and loan in sight while the Fed will be the banker – financing the whole scheme.

So essentially this is a Fed/ Treasury merger. A behemoth dispensing loads of helicopter money – with BlackRock as the undisputable winner.

BlackRock is widely known as the biggest money manager on the planet. Their tentacles are everywhere. They own 5% of Apple, 5% of Exxon Mobil, 6% of Google, second largest shareholder of AT&T (Turner, HBO, CNN, Warner Brothers) – these are just a few examples.

They will buy all these securities and manage those dodgy special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) on behalf of the Treasury.

BlackRock not only is the top investor in Goldman Sachs. Better yet: Blackrock is bigger than Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank combined. BlackRock is a serious Trump donor. Now, for all practical purposes, it will be the operating system – the Chrome, Firefox, Safari – of Fed/Treasury.

This represents the definitive Wall Street-ization of the Fed – with no evidence whatsoever it will lead to any improvement in the lives of the average American.

Western corporate media, en masse, have virtually ignored the myriad, devastating economic consequences of Planet Lockdown. Wall to wall coverage barely mentions the astonishing economic human wreckage already in effect – especially for the masses barely surviving, so far, in the informal economy.

For all practical purposes, the Global War on Terror (GWOT) has been replaced by the Global War on Virus (GWOV). But what is not being seriously analyzed is the Perfect Toxic Storm: a totally shattered economy; The Mother of All Financial Crashes – barely masked by the trillions in helicopter money from the Fed and the ECB; the tens of millions of unemployed engendered by the New Great Depression; the millions of small businesses that will simply disappear; a widespread, global mental health crisis. Not to mention the masses of elderly, especially in the U.S., that will be issued an unspoken “drop dead” notice.

Beyond any rhetoric about “decoupling”, the global economy is already, de facto, split in two. On one side, we have Eurasia, Africa and swathes of Latin America – what China will be painstakingly connecting and reconnecting via the New Silk Roads. On the other side, we have North America and selected Western vassals. A puzzled Europe lies in the middle.

A cryogenically induced global economy certainly facilitates a reboot. Trumpism is the New Exceptionalism – so that means an isolationist MAGA on steroids. In contrast, China will painstakingly reboot its market base along the New Silk Roads – Africa and Latin America included – to replace the 20% of trade/exports to be lost with the U.S.

The meager $1,200 checks promised to Americans are a de facto precursor of the much touted Universal Basic Income (UBI). They may become permanent as tens of millions of people will be permanently unemployed. That will facilitate the transition towards a totally automated, 24/7 economy run by AI – thus the importance of 5G.

And that’s where ID2020 comes in.

AI and ID2020

The European Commission is involved in a crucial but virtually unknown project, CREMA (Cloud Based Rapid Elastic Manufacturing) which aims to facilitate the widest possible implementation of AI in conjunction to the advent of a cashless One-World system.

The end of cash necessarily implies a One-World government capable of dispensing – and controlling – UBI; a de facto full accomplishment of Foucault’s studies on biopolitics. Anyone is liable to be erased from the system if an algorithm equals this individual with dissent.

It gets even sexier when absolute social control is promoted as an innocent vaccine.

ID2020 is self-described as a benign alliance of “public-private partners”. Essentially, it is an electronic ID platform based on generalized vaccination. And its starts at birth; newborns will be provided with a “portable and persistent biometrically-linked digital identity.”

GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, pledges to “protect people’s health “ and provide “immunization for all”. Top partners and sponsors, apart from the WHO, include, predictably, Big Pharma.

At the ID2020 Alliance summit last September in New York, it was decided that the “Rising to the Good ID Challenge” program would be launched in 2020. That was confirmed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) this past January in Davos. The digital identity will be tested with the government of Bangladesh.

That poses a serious question: was ID2020 timed to coincide with what a crucial sponsor, the WHO, qualified as a pandemic? Or was a pandemic absolutely crucial to justify the launch of ID2020?

As game-changing trial runs go, nothing of course beats Event 201, which took place less than a month after ID2020.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with, once again, the WEF, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, described Event 201 as “a high-level pandemic exercise”. The exercise “illustrated areas where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences.”

With Covid-19 in effect as a pandemic, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was forced to issue a statement basically saying they just “modeled a fictional coronavirus pandemic, but we explicitly stated that it was not a prediction”.

There’s no question “a severe pandemic, which becomes ‘Event 201’ would require reliable cooperation among several industries, national governments, and key international institutions”, as spun by the sponsors. Covid-19 is eliciting exactly this kind of “cooperation”. Whether it’s “reliable” is open to endless debate.

The fact is that, all over Planet Lockdown, a groundswell of public opinion is leaning towards defining the current state of affairs as a global psyop: a deliberate global meltdown – the New Great Depression – imposed on unsuspecting citizens by design.

The powers that be, taking their cue from the tried and tested, decades-old CIA playbook, of course are breathlessly calling it a “conspiracy theory”. Yet what vast swathes of global public opinion observe is a – dangerous – virus being used as cover for the advent of a new, digital financial system, complete with a forced vaccine cum nanochip creating a full, individual, digital identity.

The most plausible scenario for our immediate future reads like clusters of smart cities linked by AI, with people monitored full time and duly micro-chipped doing what they need with a unified digital currency, in an atmosphere of Bentham’s and Foucault’s Panopticum on overdrive.

So if this is really our future, the existing world-system has to go. This is a test, this is only a test.

US Unemployment to Exceed 40% by End of April?

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, April 03, 2020

Official US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers have been rigged since the neoliberal 90s to conceal the dismal state of the US labor market.

New millennium low unemployment in the US is a myth.

Based on how unemployment was calculated in the 1980s, the real rate exceeded 20% before the dual economic/public health crisis.

The official pre-crisis BLS sub-4% U-3 number is state-sponsored deception. The data are corrupted as follows:

Millions of discouraged workers are excluded from monthly reports, treated as nonpersons, individuals wanting work, giving up after failing to find it — the numbers sure to skyrocket ahead.

The Labor Department’s so-called “birth-death model,” estimating net non-reported jobs from new businesses minus losses from others no longer operating, is deception to add jobs that may not exist.

The BLS assumes workers from non-operating companies are employed elsewhere. From 30 – 50,000 more jobs are added monthly, assuming new business creations whether or not they exist.

The BLS admits misreporting, saying “(t)he confidence level for the monthly change in total employment is on the order of plus or minus 430,000 jobs.”

In more normal times, headlined monthly unemployment numbers conceal the US job market’s deplorable state.

Since the neoliberal 90s, the state of America’s economy has been dismal for its working class, struggling to get by.

Most jobs created are low-or-poverty-wage, poor-or-no-benefit temporary or part-time ones. Most households need two or more to survive.

For growing millions today, it’s a life and death struggle. If unemployment benefits run out and no substantial federal relief comes to the rescue, millions of Americans won’t have income to feed their families, pay rent, service mortgages, cover medical bills, and obtain other essentials to life.

Until the current dual crisis erupted, America’s privileged class never had things better.

Throughout most of the new millennium, ordinary Americans have endured protracted Depression conditions — now deepening because of what’s going on.

Economist John Williams reengineers US government data, based on how it was calculated in the 1980s.

He estimated that US unemployment could reach 43% in April. At the height of the 1930s Great Depression, it was around 25%.

He believes another Great Depression is unfolding in real time, the worst to come as socio-economic turmoil is just beginning.

“Extraordinarily unstable circumstances continue in the global markets,” he stressed, adding:

“Economic, financial market, and political turmoil likely have just begun, despite ongoing, massive systemic manipulations and interventions.”

“Collapses loom for (the US) first and second quarter GDP.” The state of the nation for its ordinary people is coming apart at the seams in unprecedented fashion.

If looming US economic Depression looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it likely is one — the so-called duck test.

In the last two weeks, an unprecedented 10 million US workers filed new claims for unemployment benefits.

The previous single-week high was 695,000.

Layoffs continue, millions more US workers to be laid off or furloughed by employers.

Beleaguered Boeing offered buyouts to its entire 161,000 workforce, the once bellwether US company perhaps close to bankruptcy without far more federal aid than offered.

Before current crisis conditions end, Americans will understand what they’re all about far better than textbooks or expert talking heads can explain.

US Economic Relief Measure Enacted, Much More Needed

Living through them creates awareness more keenly than any other way.

With most Americans living from paycheck to paycheck in more normal times, public angst, misery, and desperation ahead may be unprecedented.

Economist Mark Zandi estimates that about 15 million US mortgage holders could stop servicing them if current conditions continue throughout the year.

Tens of millions of Americans are hunkered down. Shops along Chicago’s upscale Magnificent Mile are closed and boarded-up to prevent looting.

Where visible, merchandise was removed from windows. Round-the-clock lighting and alarm systems also protect them.

Security guards man empty/enclosed shopping malls. Some upscale retailers like Tiffany, Gucci, Dior, Versace, and others emptied their stores of merchandise to protect it. Police provide more protection.

Nearly 300 million Americans are under some form of lockdown in 38 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico — about 90% of the US population, perhaps heading for mandating it nationwide.

The order excludes going out for food, prescription drugs, medical appointments, and what else is essential like caring for elderly relatives.

With most people sheltering in place at home, farmers may be hard-pressed to find workers needed for planting and harvesting crops.

A similar scenario exists abroad, risking less food, possible rationing, and higher prices ahead — unless price controls are instituted as during WW II because of shortages, much of the output in the US and other countries going to the war effort.

If things play out this way in the months ahead, poor, low-income, and even middle-income households will be hard-pressed to make ends meet.

The worst of scenarios would mean unprecedented hard times.

During WW II I remember as a young boy in grammar school, I was well fed and clothed, deprived of nothing I recall at a time of rationing except my favorite bubble gum, nearly all of which went to US military personnel.

Things now are different with much of the economy shutting down or heading in this direction at a time when most households have little or no savings and consumer debt is at an all-time high.

There’s high risk of many thousands of mostly small, but some medium-and-large-size businesses as well, shutting down and not reopening when the coast is clear.

Before current crisis conditions erupted, millions of US households were and remain food insecure.

Feeding America calls itself “the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States including in disasters and national emergencies,” adding:

“The most vulnerable people in our communities need us now more than ever.”

The organization launched a COVID-19 Response Fund, “a national food-and fund-raising effort to support people facing hunger and the food banks who help them.”

It’s working with school districts and government agencies to supply “school meals (for children) outside of” classrooms.

It’s trying to build an inventory of food supplies. Along with likeminded efforts nationwide, Feeding America faces unprecedented challenges in the current environment.

A decade ago, around 50 million Americans were food insecure, according to the US Department of Agriculture, the number lowered to 37 million in 2018, the true number likely higher.

If dire economic conditions continue throughout year or longer, the number could increase two-or-threefold.

Feeding America explained that “(f)ood insecurity does not exist in isolation, as low-income families are affected by multiple, overlapping issues like lack of affordable housing, social isolation, chronic or acute health problems, high medical costs, and low wages” — and, of course, unemployment that already skyrocketed and heads higher.

A Final Comment

After the October 1929 stock market crash, prelude to the Great Depression, Herbert Hoover, in March 1930, said:

“We have passed the worst…(D)uring the next 60 days,” things will begin normalizing.

In his book titled Lords of Finance, Liaquat Ahamed said

“when the facts refused to obey Hoover’s forecasts, he started to make them up.”

Government agencies were pressed to issue false data. Some officials refused and resigned, including head of the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Judging him by his rhetoric and actions, Trump is a modern-day Herbert Hoover.

Weeks earlier claiming COVID-19 outbreaks would abate, not rise, he added that “(w)e’re going very substantially down, not up.”

With global outbreaks exceeding one million, the US is by far the most adversely affected country with around one-fourth of the world total.

It’s largely because of Trump regime indifference to growing national crisis conditions — states and local communities left mostly on their own to cope.

Limited federal aid is offered when mountains of it are needed, especially for hardest-hit areas like NY, especially NYC with around 93,000 reported cases.

A state of emergency exists in city hospitals overrun with infected patients.

ER Dr. Darien Sutton explained that “(i)t almost seems like it’s never stopping. People keep coming and coming and coming, and there’s just no space to put them.”

Medical staff are exhausted from trying to cope with an untenable situation. On the front lines of providing treatment, they’re highly vulnerable to infection.

Who’ll treat the sick if many medical professionals join their numbers?

One NY doctor expressed what countless others feel, saying: “It is terrifying. It is really terrifying.”

Instead of going all-out to help beleaguered states and cities, Donald (Herbert Hoover) Trump continues to ignore growing needs nationwide, instead saying:

The economy will “pop back like nobody’s ever seen before.” Echoing DJT, Mnuchin made similar comments.

Serving monied interests and themselves exclusively, they, other regime officials, and most congressional members are indifferent to the health, welfare, and fundamental rights of ordinary people everywhere.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2020

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.

***********************************

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’.

What Happens In the Wake of the COVID-19 Lockdown? Economic Destruction, Global Poverty, Bankruptcies, Mass Unemployment. Neoliberalism to the Rescue

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, March 28, 2020

In the wake of the lockdown: Bankruptcies and mass unemployment, the economic destabilization of entire countries. 

Millions of people have lost their jobs, and their lifelong savings. They are unable to pay their home mortgages.

In developing countries, poverty and despair prevail.

The political implications are far-reaching. The lockdown undermines real democracy. 

It would be naive to believe that the financial crisis was solely the result of spontaneous market forces. It was carefully engineered.

The coronavirus continues to provide a camouflage. Fear and panic (generated profusely by the corporate media) create “favorable conditions” for “institutional speculators”, many of whom had detailed foreknowledge of the WHO decision to launch a Global Public Health Emergency on January 30th, at a time when there were only 150 “confirmed cases” outside China.

The collapse of stock markets has resulted in one of the most important transfers in money wealth in modern history, yet to be firmly established.

The Coronavirus is not the cause of financial collapse. What prevails is an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty which enables powerful financial interests to manipulate the stock market and consolidate their financial positions. This crisis has led to an unprecedented concentration of money wealth.

In early February, roughly $6 trillion were wiped off the value of stock markets Worldwide. Massive losses of personal savings (e.g. of average Americans) are ongoing not to mention corporate failures and bankruptcies.

Each time Trump opens his mouth, or blames the Chinese on twitter, the stock markets respond. Those who have inside information or foreknowledge of US policy decisions will make a bundle of money.

Behind the global public health emergency, there are powerful economic interests: Wall Street, Big Pharma, the Washington Consensus, Corporate Charities and Foundations, the IMF, World Bank, et al. They met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on January 21-24, one week prior to the launching of the WHO global public health emergency.

The “international community” is calling for economic recovery. How will it be instrumented? So-called “corporate bailouts” i.e. “handouts” for banks, major corporations including airlines are contemplated.

One trillion promised by the US Federal Reserve, another trillion by the European Central Bank (ECB) now headed by Christine Lagarde.

“We have a responsibility to recover better” than after the financial crisis in 2008, said UN secretary general António Guterres:

“We have a framework for action – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We must keep our promises for people and planet.”

That so-called “promise” is meant to promote “Green Bonds”, a multibillion investment project sponsored by the Rockefellers among others, the objective of which is to “redirect pension plans and mutual funds towards green projects.”

For Big Money in America and Western Europe it’s “hand-outs”. For Big Pharma, the multibillion dollar global vaccination program will be funded by debt.

Impoverishment “Developing countries”

And what happens to the so-called “developing countries” most of which are indebted up to their ears.

The process of impoverishment in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa is beyond description. In large cities, informal urban sector workers are self-employed, paid on a daily basis, Others are paid on a weekly basis. What this means is that for large sectors of the urban population, household income has literally been wiped out.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a 21 days lockdown which has resulted in an immediate spiral of unemployment coupled with famine, despair and disease:

“The only way to save ourselves from coronavirus is if we don’t leave our homes, whatever happens, we stay at home…” said Modi.

This statement was accompanied with outright threats: “If we are not able to manage the next 21 days, then many families will be destroyed forever.” Diabolical statement by a “democratically elected” head of government.

At the time of Modi’s announcement (March 20), India had 482 cases of the coronavirus and 10 deaths (India’s total population: 1.37 billion). Forget COVID-19? In India, an estimated 37, 500 children under five die on a daily basis. And that figure will increase under the 21 days lockdown (2015 estimate, The Lancet)

My message to PM Modi, “You are killing India’s children”.

Third World Debt Overhang 

The debt overhang in developing countries is in the trillions.

It’s a debt driven agenda directed against developing countries which are already heavily indebted: new loans to pay back “bad debts”. It is a “safety net” for both the Western creditors and the Big Pharma conglomerates involved in the multibillion global vaccination project.

Real debt cancellation is not contemplated.

A rescue package for the heavily indebted developing countries has been announced. In early March, the IMF Managing Director together with the World Bank Group President held a joint press conference. A lot of humanitarian rhetoric.

The magic number: “We rely on $1 trillion in overall lending capacity.” (IMF M-D Georgieva)

At first sight this appears to be “generous”, a lot money. It encourages corruption at the highest levels of government. But ultimately it’s what we might call “fictitious money”, what it means is

“We will lend you the money and with the money we lend you, you will pay us back”.(paraphrase).

It is equivalent to usury.

The unspoken truth is that this one trillion dollars ++ is intended to drive up the external debt. And then the Western creditors will impose massive economic reforms including privatization of health and education, freeze on wages, etc. That’s the neoliberal solution applied at a global level: No real economic recovery, more poverty and unemployment Worldwide.

The IMF is explicit. In one of its lending windows, the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, which applies to pandemics, generously “provides grants for debt relief to our poorest and most vulnerable members.” Nonsensical statement, it is there to replenish the coffers of the creditors, the money is allocated to debt servicing.

“For low-income countries and for emerging middle-income countries we have … up to $50 billion that does not require a full-fledged IMF program.”

No conditions on how you spend the money. But this money increases the debt stock and requires  reimbursement. The countries are already in a straight-jacket. The more you lend, the more you squeeze the developing countries into political compliance. And ultimately that is the objective of the failing American Empire.

“the World Bank Group Board announced a $12-billion package … to provide a fast, flexible response, … to reduce the transmission of the pathogens. (supplies, equipment, medication, etc. vaccination?)”

The financing of the vaccination program is not explicitly mentioned. Most probably loans for the vaccination program will be announced at a later date.Global Economy Teeters on the Brink of a Recession That Will Transform Geo-Politics

Economically Advanced “Developed Countries”

For EU member countries, a debt driven recovery of bankrupt national economies is in the pipeline.

Without significant debt relief or cancellation, what can we expect in the wake of the lockdown?

A process of outright “Thirdworldisation” of the “advanced” European countries?

If this program is accepted by the EU member states: Real wages will plummet, the Welfare State which developed in the post war era will be scrapped. Social services will be privatized. Assets will be sold off to pay back the debt.

Millions of small and medium sized enterprises including family farms and urban services, tourism, etc are affected. The 2015 “Greek model” of brutal debt restructuring (or worse) could be applied to Italy and Spain…

We have provided a brief summary of a complex process. Negotiations with the creditors are ongoing in the course of the lockdown.

While panic and fear prevail with regard to COVID-19, these are the potential impacts of  what we might describe as “Dirty Economic Medicine”.

People across the land, nationally and internationally in solidarity must understand what is happening.

In the wake of the lockdown: what is the economic and social aftermath of this crisis?

It is crucial that this “Neoliberal Solution” to the crisis which consists in building up the debt be forcefully rejected.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

Western Media Focusses On Big Pharma’s Search for a Coronavirus Vaccine While Suppressing Coverage of High Dose Intravenus Vitamin C to Save Lives in China

By Dr. Leon Tressell

Global Research, March 27, 2020

Not a day passes without some hyped up media story of how big-pharma is racing to the rescue of humanity with its search for a coronavirus vaccine. There are over 40 companies now searching for a vaccine. Collectively they are spending huge sums of money supported by lavish amounts of tax payer cash. Estimates of how soon a vaccine can be produced vary wildly but most estimates agree that it is unlikely to happen this year. It goes without saying that the first to market with a usable vaccine stands to make billions of dollars.

The mainstream media, scientific and political establishments are completely under the spell of big pharma. Governments reassure the public that they’re doing everything in their power to protect them with a variety of measures. These range from mass lock downs and trillion dollar bailouts for big business to limited amounts of helicopter money for the citizens of wealthier countries.

Regardless of where you live if you have to go to hospital with symptoms of the coronavirus the key question facing you is: will you be able to leave walking out front door or will you end up being wheeled out the basement back door?

The mainstream media in cahoots with governments and the medical establishment are suppressing any news regarding the use of a cheap, safe and easy to produce treatment for coronavirus patients. Maybe its because this treatment is being used in Chinese hospitals to save lives. Let’s face it there has been no let up in Cold War 2.0 during the current pandemic.

Dr. Andrew W. Saul, Editor in chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service,sums up the Western big pharma approach nicely when he says:

“Medical orthodoxy obsessively focuses on searching for a vaccine and/or drug for coronavirus COVID-19). While they are looking for what would be fabulously profitable approaches, we have with vitamin C an existing, plausible, clinically demonstrated method to treat what coronavirus patients die from: severe acute respiratory syndrome, or pneumonia.’’

On 17 March a group of Chinese physicians held a video conference to discuss the use of high dose intravenous vitamin C for patients with moderate to severe cases of corona virus. The keynote speaker at this meeting was Dr. Enqian Mao, chief of the emergency medicine Department of Ruiijin hospital in Shanghai.

Dr Mao is also a senior member of the expert team at the Shanghai Public health Centre, where all coronavirus patients have been treated from the Shanghai area. Dr Mao was also a co-author of the medical protocol for the treatment of coronavirus that has been adopted by the Shanghai Medical Association and the government of Shanghai. This medical protocol also advocates the use of high-dose intravenous vitamin C for the treatment of mild, moderate and severe cases of the coronavirus.

China Treating Coronavirus COVID-19 with Intravenous Vitamin C

Over the last decade Dr Mao has been using high-dose intravenous vitamin C (IVC) to treat patients with a variety of acute medical conditions ranging from pancreatitis and sepsis to surgical wound healing. When the coronavirus epidemic first broke out he and several other colleagues thought that high-dose intravenous C could be a potential treatment for patients presenting with the coronavirus. Their recommendation for the use of high-dose intravenous vitamin C as a treatment was adopted by the Shanghai expert team.

Dr. Richard Cheng, an American-Chinese doctor currently based in Shanghai has given a report of this meeting. He notes that:

“Dr. Mao stated that his group treated ~50 cases of moderate to severe cases of Covid-19 infection with high dose IVC. The IVC dosing was in the range of 10,000 mg – 20,000 mg a day for 7-10 days, with 10,000 mg for moderate cases and 20,000 for more severe cases, determined by pulmonary status (mostly the oxygenation index) and coagulation status. All patients who received IVC improved and there was no mortality. Compared to the average of a 30-day hospital stay for all Covid-19 patients, those patients who received high dose IVC had a hospital stay about 3-5 days shorter than the overall patients. Dr. Mao discussed one severe case in particular who was deteriorating rapidly. He gave a bolus of 50,000 mg IVC over a period of 4 hours. The patient’s pulmonary (oxygenation index) status stabilized and improved as the critical care team watched in real time. There were no side effects reported from any of the cases treated with high dose IVC. ‘’

Dr Cheng also reported that he had a separate meeting with Dr. Sheng Wang, Professor of critical medicine of Shanghai’s 10th Hospital, Tongji University College of medicine. At this meeting Professor Weng said that there were several important lessons to be learned from Shanghai’s experience treating patients with the coronavirus. The most important lesson was:

Early and high-dose IVC is quite helpful in helping Covid-19 patients. The data is still being finalized and the formal papers will be submitted for publication as soon as they are complete.’’

Professor Wang also stated that coronavirus patients displayed a high rate of hyper-coagulability, i.e. an abnormally increased tendency toward blood clotting, which is best treated with heparin.

He also stated that it was vitally important for front line medical professionals to, ‘wear protective clothing at the earliest opportunity for intubation and other emergency rescue measures.’ The American health authorities shouldtake notice of this considering that pictures of nurses in New York wearing black plastic refuse sacks have been appearing on social media.

Richard Chang has also noted that Professors Mao and Weng have stated that high-dose intravenous vitamin C is being used as a treatment for coronavirus patients in other hospitals around China.

Not surprisingly, reports of this cheap, safe treatment, that has been pioneered in China, have been being completely ignored by Western governments and the medical establishments that are beholden to the big pharmaapproach to the current pandemic.

Thankfully, there are doctors in the West who are not blinded by the close minded approach pursued by their governments and so called medical experts. Apparently, doctors at several hospitals in New York, which is the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic in America, have started to use the pioneering treatments coming out of China.

Dr. Andrew G. Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist affiliated with two Northwell Health facilities on Long Island, has said that coronavirus patients admitted to intensive care immediately receive 1,500 mg of intravenous vitamin C. This dosage is then repeated 3-4 times a day.

According to Dr. Weber this treatment regime is based upon the experimental use of high-dose vitamin C in Shanghai’s hospitals. He told the New York Post:

“The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C. It helps a tremendous amount, but it is not highlighted because it’s not a sexy drug.”

Apparently, high-dose intravenous vitamin C is been used in hospitals across New York. Sadly, its use appears to be patchy and is dependent upon the whims of individual doctors rather than being part of any systematic medical protocol.

As the global death toll soars higher we can only hope that more and more doctors will follow in the footsteps of their Chinese colleagues and have the courage to use a safe and cheap treatment that is totally at odds with the big pharma approach currently followed by the World Health Organisation and most governments. The current approach used by many Western Governments has been slow, clumsy and ill informed putting the interests of big business above saving the lives of ordinary people.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Dr. Leon Tressell, Global Research, 2020

Why France is hiding a cheap and tested virus cure

March 26, 2020

By Pepe Escobar – Posted with permission

The French government is arguably helping Big Pharma profit from the Covid-19 pandemic

A mask-wearing French citizen in Paris. Photo: Facebook

What’s going on in the fifth largest economy in the world arguably points to a major collusion scandal in which the French government is helping Big Pharma to profit from the expansion of Covid-19. Informed French citizens are absolutely furious about it.

My initial question to a serious, unimpeachable Paris source, jurist Valerie Bugault, was about the liaisons dangereuses between Macronism and Big Pharma and especially about the mysterious “disappearance” – more likely outright theft – of all the stocks of chloroquine in possession of the French government.

Respected Professor Christian Perronne talked about the theft live in one of France’s 24/7 info channels: “The central pharmacy for the hospitals announced today that they were facing a total rupture of stocks, that they were pillaged.”

With input from another, anonymous source, it’s now possible to establish a timeline that puts in much-needed perspective the recent actions of the French government.

Let’s start with Yves Levy, who was the head of INSERM – the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research – from 2014 to 2018, when he was appointed as extraordinary state councilor for the Macron administration. Only 12 people in France have reached this status.

Levy is married to Agnes Buzy, who until recently was minister of health under Macron. Buzy was essentially presented with an “offer you can’t refuse” by Macron’s party to leave the ministry – in the middle of the coronavirus crisis – and run for Mayor of Paris, where she was mercilessly trounced in the first round on March 16.

Levy has a vicious running feud with Professor Didier Raoult – prolific and often-cited Marseille-based specialist in communicable diseases. Levy withheld the INSERM label from the world-renowned IHU (Hospital-University Institute) research center directed by Raoult.

In practice, in October 2019, Levy revoked the status of “foundation” of the different IHUs so he could take over their research.

French professor Didier Raoult, biologist and professor of microbiology, specializes in infectious diseases and director of IHU Mediterranee Infection Institute, poses in his office in Marseille, France. Photo: AFP/Gerard Julien

Raoult was part of a clinical trial that in which hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin healed 90% of Covid-19 cases if they were tested very early. (Early, massive testing is at the heart of the successful South Korean strategy.)

Raoult is opposed to the total lockdown of sane individuals and possible carriers – which he considers “medieval,” in an anachronistic sense. He’s in favor of massive testing (which, besides South Korea, was successful in Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam) and a fast treatment with hydroxychloroquine. Only contaminated individuals should be confined.

Chloroquine costs one euro for ten pills. And there’s the rub: Big Pharma – which, crucially, finances INSERM, and includes “national champion” Sanofi – would rather go for a way more profitable solution. Sanofi for the moment says it is “actively preparing” to produce chloroquine, but that may take “weeks,” and there’s no mention about pricing.

A minister fleeing a tsunami

Here’s the timeline:

On January 13, Agnes Buzyn, still France’s Health Minister, classifies chloroquine as a “poisonous substance,” from now on only available by prescription. An astonishing move, considering that it has been sold off the shelf in France for half a century.

On March 16, the Macron government orders a partial lockdown. There’s not a peep about chloroquine. Police initially are not required to wear masks; most have been stolen anyway, and there are not enough masks even for health workers. In 2011 France had nearly 1.5 billion masks: 800 million surgical masks and 600 million masks for health professionals generally.

But then, over the years, the strategic stocks were not renewed, to please the EU and to apply the Maastricht criteria, which limited membership in the Growth and Stability Pact to countries whose budget deficits did not exceed 3% of GDP. One of those in charge at the time was Jerome Salomon, now a scientific counselor to the Macron government.

On March 17, Agnes Buzyn says she has learned the spread of Covid-19 will be a major tsunami, for which the French health system has no solution. She also says it had been her understanding that the Paris mayoral election “would not take place” and that it was, ultimately, “a masquerade.”

What she does not say is that she didn’t go public at the time she was running because the whole political focus by the Macron political machine was on winning the “masquerade.” The first round of the election meant nothing, as Covid-19 was advancing. The second round was postponed indefinitely. She had to know about the impending healthcare disaster. But as a candidate of the Macron machine she did not go public in timely fashion.

In quick succession:

The Macron government refuses to apply mass testing, as practiced with success in South Korea and Germany.

Le Monde and the French state health agency characterize Raoult’s research as fake news, before issuing a retraction.

Professor Perrone reveals on the 24/7 LCI news channel that the stock of chloroquine at the French central pharmacy has been stolen.

Thanks to a tweet by Elon Musk, President Trump says chloroquine should be available to all Americans. Sufferers of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, who already have supply problems with the only drug that offers them relief, set social media afire with their panic.

US doctors and other medical professionals take to hoarding the medicine for the use of themselves and those close to them, faking prescriptions to indicate they are for patients with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Morocco buys the stock of chloroquine from Sanofi in Casablanca.

Pakistan decides to increase its production of chloroquine to be sent to China.

Switzerland discards the total lockdown of its population; goes for mass testing and fast treatment; and accuses France of practicing  “spectacle politics.”

Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice, having had himself treated with chloroquine, without any government input, directly calls Sanofi so they may deliver chloroquine to Nice hospitals.

Because of Raoult’s research, a large-scale chloroquine test finally starts in France, under the – predictable – direction of INSERM, which wants to “remake the experiments in other independent medical centers.” This will take at least an extra six weeks – as the Elysee Palace’s scientific council now mulls the extension of France’s total lockdown to … six weeks.

If joint use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin proves definitely effective among the most gravely ill, quarantines may be reduced in select clusters.

The only French company that still manufactures chloroquine is under judicial intervention. That puts the chloroquine hoarding and theft into full perspective. It will take time for these stocks to be replenished, thus allowing Big Pharma the leeway to have what it wants: a costly solution.

It appears the perpetrators of the chloroquine theft were very well informed.

Bagged nurses

This chain of events, astonishing for a highly developed G-7 nation proud of its health service, is part of a long, painful process embedded in neoliberal dogma. EU-driven austerity mixed with the profit motive resulted in a very lax attitude towards the health system.

As Bugault told me, “test kits – very few in number – were always available but mostly for a small group connected to the French government [ former officials of the Ministry of Finance, CEOs of large corporations, oligarchs, media and entertainment moguls].  Same for chloroquine, which this government did everything to make inaccessible for the population.

They did not make life easy for Professor Raoult – he received death threats and was intimidated by ‘journalists.’

And they did not protect vital stocks. Still under the Hollande government, there was a conscious liquidation of the stock of masks – which had existed in large quantities in all hospitals. Not to mention that the suppression of hospital beds and hospital means accelerated under Sarkozy.”

This ties in with anguished reports by French citizens of nurses now having to use trash bags due to the lack of proper medical gear.

At the same time, in another astonishing development, the French state refuses to requisition private hospitals and clinics – which are practically empty at this stage – even as the president of their own association, Lamine Garbi, has pleaded for such a public service initiative: “I solemnly demand that we are requisitioned to help public hospitals. Our facilities are prepared. The wave that surprised the east of France must teach us a lesson.”

Bugault reconfirms the health situation in France “is very serious and will become even worse due to these political decisions – absence of masks, political refusal to massively test people, refusal of free access to chloroquine – in a context of supreme distress at the hospitals. This will last and destitution will be the norm.”

Professor vs president

In an explosive development on Tuesday, Raoult said he’s not participating in Macron’s scientific council anymore, even though he’s not quitting it altogether. Raoult once again insists on massive testing on a national scale to detect suspected cases, and then isolate and treat patients who tested positive. In a nutshell: the South Korean model.

That’s exactly what is expected from the IHU in Marseille, where hundreds of residents continue to queue up for testing. And that ties in with the conclusions by a top Chinese expert on Covid-19, Zhang Nanshan, who says that treatment with chloroquine phospate had a “positive impact,” with patients testing negative after around four days.

The key point has been stressed by Raoult: Use chloroquine in very special circumstances, for people tested very early, when the disease is not advanced yet, and only in these cases. He’s not advocating chloroquine for everyone. It’s exactly what the Chinese did, along with their use of Interferon.

For years, Raoult has been pleading for a drastic revision of health economic models, so the treatments, cure and therapies created mostly during the 20th century, are considered a patrimony in the service of all humanity.“That’s not the case”, he says, “because we abandon medicine that is not profitable, even if it’s effective. That’s why almost no antibiotics are manufactured in the West.”

On Tuesday, the French Health Ministry officially prohibited the utilization of treatment based on chloroquine recommended by Raoult.  In fact the treatment is only allowed for terminal Covid-19 patients, with no other possibility of healing. This cannot but expose the Macron government to more accusations of at least inefficiency – added to the absence of masks, tests, contact tracing and ventilators.

On Wednesday, commenting on the new government guidelines, Raoult said, “When damage to the lungs is too important, and patients arrive for reanimation, they practically do not harbor viruses in their bodies any more. It’s too late to treat them with chloroquine. Are these the only cases – the very serious cases – that will be treated with chloroquine under the new directive by [French Health Minister] Veran?” If so, he added ironically, “then they will be able to say with scientific certainty that chloroquine does not work.”

Raoult was unavailable for comment on Western news media articles citing Chinese test results that would suggest he is wrong about the efficacy of chloroquine in dealing with mild cases of Covid-19.

Staffers pointed instead to his comments in the IHU bulletin. There Raoult says it’s “insulting” to ask if we can trust the Chinese on the use of chloroquine. “If this was an American disease, and the president of the United States said, ‘We need to treat patients with that,’ nobody would discuss it.”

In China, he adds, there were “enough elements so the Chinese government and all Chinese experts who know coronaviruses took an official position that ‘we must treat with chloroquine.’ Between the moment when we have the first results and an accepted international publication, there is no credible alternative among people who are the most knowledgeable in the world. They took this measure in the interest of public health.”

Crucially: if he had coronavirus, Raoult says he would take chloroquine. Since Raoult is rated by his peers as the number one world expert  in communicable diseases, way above Dr. Anthony Fauci in the US, I would say the new reports represent Big Pharma talking.

Raoult has been mercilessly savaged and demonized by French corporate media that are controlled by a few oligarchs closely linked to Macronism. Not by accident the demonization has reached gilets jaunes (yellow vest) levels, especially because of the extremely popular hashtag  #IlsSavaient (“They knew”), with which the yellow vests stress that French elites have “managed” the Covid-19 crisis by protecting themselves while leaving the population defenseless against the virus.

That ties in with the controversial analysis by crack philosopher Giorgio Agamben in a column published a month ago, where he was already arguing that Covid-19 clearly shows that the state of exception – similar to a state of emergency but with differences important to philosophers – has become fully normalized in the West.

Agamben was speaking not as a doctor or a virologist but as a master thinker, following in the steps of Foucault, Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt. Noting how a latent state of fear has metastasized into a state of collective panic, for which Covid-19 “offers once again the ideal pretext,” he described how, “in a perverse vicious circle, the limitation of freedom imposed by governments is accepted in the name of a desire for security that was induced by the same governments that now intervene to satisfy it.”

There was no state of collective panic in South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam – to mention four Asian examples outside of China. A dogged combination of mass testing and contact tracing was applied with immense professionalism. It worked. In the Chinese case, with the help of chloroquine. And in all Asian cases, without a murky profit motive to the benefit of Big Pharma.

There hasn’t yet appeared the smoking gun that proves the Macron system not only is incompetent to deal with Covid-19 but also is dragging the process so Big Pharma can come up with a miracle vaccine, fast. But the pattern to discourage chloroquine is more than laid out above – in parallel to the demonization of Raoult.

رسالة يمنيّة إلى العالم

معن بشور

قد يكون اليمنيون، وهم يحيون الذكرى الخامسة للعدوان على بلدهم، هم أكثر الشعوب تحسّساً بما تواجهه الإنسانية من شرور بفعل فيروس كورونا منذ أسابيع…

فأوجه الشبه بين فيروس كورونا وفيروس العدوان متعدّدة.

ففيروس كورونا يحصد أرواح المئات كلّ يوم من بني البشر على امتداد المعمورة، وفيروس العدوان حصد ويحصد كلّ يوم عشرات الأرواح اليمنية منذ 5 سنوات…

فيروس كورونا لا يميّز بين إنسان وإنسان بسبب الدين أو اللون أو العرق أو الجنس، وفيروس العدوان لا يميّز بن يمني ويمني، شيخاً كان أم طفلاً، رجلاً كان أم امرأة، شمالياً كان أم جنوبياً، مدنياً كان أم عسكرياً.

فيروس كورونا قد ضاقت باستقبال مُصابيه المستشفيات وشحّت التجهيزات والإمكانيات، وفيروس العدوان على اليمن قد عطل المستشفيات وأضاف إلى شرور العدوان شرور الحصار فاختفى الدواء والغذاء والعلاجات واللقاحات.

فيروس كورونا قد أغلق، بإرادة الناس، المطارات والموانئ والحدود البرية منعاً لانتشار الوباء، اما فيروس العدوان على اليمن فقد أغلق المرافق كلها ضدّ إرادة الناس وإمعاناً في النيل منهم… والضغط عليهم…

فيروس كورونا قد استهدف الناس في احتفالاتهم وأعراسهم ومستشفياتهم ومدارسهم ومزارعهم ومعاملهم وأرزاقهم… وفيروس العدوان قد استهدفها جميعاً في اليمن بغاراته ومدافعه وقذائفه…

لكن هناك أكثر من فرق بين الفيروسين…

ففيروس كورونا ما زال العالم كله يبحث له عن علاج… لكن فيروس العدوان وجد له اليمنيون الأبطال العلاج بالمقاومة التي يحققون عبرها إنجازات نوعية ملحوظة…

وفيروس كورونا ما زال العالم منقسماً في تحديد مصدره واذا كان وباء كغيره أو جزءاً من حرب جرثومية محدّدة الأهداف ثم خرجت عن السيطرة، فيما فيروس العدوان معروف المصدر والأهداف والمرامي منذ يومه الأول قبل 5 سنوات.

فيروس كورونا نجح في حبس البشر جميعاً في منازلهم… لكن فيروس العدوان فشل في منع اليمنيين من الخروج بالملايين انتصاراً لفلسطين ولقضايا أمتهم العادلة..

قد يكون كاتب هذه الرسالة يمنياً في الذكرى الخامسة للعدوان على بلاده، لكن يمكن أن يكتبها فلسطيني في الذكرى 72 للنكبة، وان يكتبها لبناني في الذكرى الـ 45 للحرب في بلاده وعليها والتي ما زالت مستمرة بأشكال متعدّدة حتى اليوم، وان يكتبها عراقي في الذكرى الـ 17 للحرب عليه واحتلال بلاده والتي ما زالت آثارها ومفاعيلها مستمرة حتى اليوم، وان يكتبها سوري في الذكرى التاسعة للحرب الكونية التي استهدفت تدمير بلاده وتمزيقها كدولة ومجتمع، وكموقع وكدور، بل أن يكتبها ليبي في الذكرى التاسعة لحرب الناتو عليه والتي تتحوّل إلى وبال مستمرّ عليه… بل يمكن أن يكتبها كلّ عربي من المحيط الى الخليج وهو يعاني، ولو بدرجات متفاوتة، من فيروسات التبعية والفساد والاستبداد…

قد يشفى العالم غداً أو بعد غد من وباء كورونا، ولكن مَن سيشفينا كعرب من الأوبئة المعششة في ثنايا حياتنا… ومتى؟!

فيديوات متصلة

مقالات متصلة

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech On The Latest Developments / 13-3-2020

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech On The Latest Developments / 13-3-2020

Translated by Staff

Sayyed Nasrallah’s full speech on the latest developments delivered via satellite on 13-3-2020

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.

Tonight, I would like to talk about several topics if time permits.

Among the urgent topics that concern everyone at this stage is the new coronavirus outbreak. This topic has become the number one concern not just for Lebanon or the people in our region but the whole world. It has become the primary concern in China, where this pandemic first broke out, in Europe, the U.S. and in countries of our region in west Asia.

I am going to talk about this topic, but I will not delve into the details. This is the task of the competent authorities such as the ministry of health, the doctors and the World Health Organization (WHO). So, I will not be repeating what they said in the past few days and weeks.

Rather, I want to set a framework for dealing with this tremendous development and define our responsibilities. First, we have to acknowledge that we in the midst of battle. Whether we are talking about Lebanon or the whole region, this is no longer a battle fought by one country. It is in fact a global war. It is a global war that is being fought by the countries and peoples of the world. It has become a priority for governments and people all over the world.

First, we must feel like we are fighting a battle. Thinking in this way is important in order for us to approach the matter and address it. There is an enemy and there are targets in this battle. The targets must confront the enemy. The experiences of the resistance, all the resistance movements and all the wars in the world, teach us that the enemy should be clearly identified. However, the problem in this battle is that the enemy is the new coronavirus. This virus is still unknown to the world. They are still researching about it, analyzing it and trying to decipher its secrets to find a cure in the form of medication, or a vaccine. This enemy is still unknow. Its dangers have become mostly clear in the past few weeks. It poses great danger. Hence, this enemy poses a great threat. How?

It threatens people’s lives. One type of enemy is the one that destroys homes, burns farms, disrupts security, and annoys your peace of mind. This enemy launches a war against you and can hurt you emotionally or psychologically. There is another type of enemy that wants to kill you and kill people. Its target range is not limited to villages, cities, countries, or even continents. It has global reach. It does not stop at a certain number of casualties – hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, or millions.

Some media outlets in the U.S. are talking about very pessimistic estimates. They are talking about tens of millions, between 160 million to 225 million infected cases. These are just estimates made by some American media outlets expecting the number of infected cases in the U.S. alone to reach these figures.

Therefore, we are facing an enemy that poses a great and clear danger. We are not saying this for us to surrender, panic, or feel scared and frightened. But because we must know our enemy and the threat it poses, so we can assume our responsibilities and fight it.

In any case, it does not only threaten the economy, the academic year, or the different aspects of life. As I said, it also threatens lives.   The most important thing is to preserve people’s lives, to stay alive and healthy. People’s health is the priority. It must be the priority – as I will explain in the objectives. We can compensate for losing a school year. We can compensate for an economic downturn. We can compensate for anything else. But those who pass away, the loved ones that we lose and leave this world, they are gone. That’s it. We’ve lost them. Therefore, this is the enemy, and this is the threat.

What should be the response against this enemy and threat? What should the decision be? It should be to fight it. This is obvious. There are certain debatable axioms in our country and in many places around the world. For example, when “Israel” invaded Lebanon and occupied its lands, waters, airspace, and sovereignty, the axiom was to resist – which was controversial and debatable.

Hence, the choice should be to resist this occupying and invading enemy that has become a global pandemic. The choice should not be to surrender, despair, feel defeated or helpless, or to feel unable to do anything or make it easier. Rather, the decision must be confrontation and resistance. It should be fighting this battle with a resolute spirit and by assuming our responsibilities.

Third, when we talk about this confrontation or this responsibility, it must be general and inclusive. Let us take Lebanon for example. The responsibility in Lebanon today lies with everyone in the state, including the leaders, the government and all its ministries. It is not just the health ministry which is concerned with a certain aspect of the battle. It is the judiciary, the parliament, the army, the security forces, the municipalities, all state sectors and institutions, and everyone working for the state. The Lebanese people – young or old and in all the regions – must also shoulder their responsibilities. The non-Lebanese nationals who are residing in Lebanon including the Palestinian refugees, the displaced Syrians, and other Arab and non-Arab nationals residing in Lebanon should be a partner in this confrontation and must assume their responsibilities during this battle. 

Of course, each person should assume their own responsibility and do what is required of him. Everyone in this confrontation is required to do certain tasks. This battle is more comprehensive and requires everyone’s efforts and for every individual to shoulder his responsibility. This battle may differ from political or military battles. During a military battle, some people might fight, and thus, the onus falls from the rest. Some might fight the political battle, taking the responsibility from the rest. But in this battle, everyone is responsible. Everyone should do their part.

In a military battle, the army and the security forces are the ones fighting on the frontlines. Similarly, in the resistance’s battles, the fighters, the mujahideen, or the resistance fighters are the ones fighting on the frontlines. On the political front, political leaders and politicians are at the forefront of the confrontation. In this type of battle, the ministry of health and other similar ministries, their staff, the state-run hospitals, private hospitals, the doctors, the nurses, the first responders, and anyone working in the health sector in the country are the ones fighting on the frontlines. We must see them as officers, soldiers, and resistance fighters fighting along the frontlines. We must appreciate their efforts. I will return to this point later.

Hence, everyone must assume their responsibilities in this battle.

The next point is the objective of the battle. What will it be? Let us say we are at the heart of the battle. What is the objective of this battle that we are fighting? What are we hoping to achieve? Knowing the objective helps us know the course of action. Defining the objective helps in setting up plans and programs, knowing the manner of cooperation, and evaluating the right and wrong moves – are we heading towards achieving the objective, are we falling behind, or are we succeeding?

What should the objective be? To await medication or treatment for this pandemic. It would be excellent if Lebanese scientists and Lebanese scientific institutions were partners in this process. Until then, the objective is to contain and prevent the pandemic from spreading and to limit the loss of life. That is if we can limit the loss of life from 100 to 20. Losing 20 is better than losing 100. Reducing human losses is the priority because, as I said, we can compensate for other things like education, the academic year, the economy, trade, and industry even they are not functioning properly in Lebanon. But in any case, we can compensate for everything that has value apart from human life. The priority is to preserve people’s lives, safety, and survival. This is the objective.

This objective is divided into two parts. The first part involves preventing the spread of the virus as much as possible. The second part is the treatment of the infected cases. It is true that there is no medicine yet, but there is a possibility to treat the infected cases. Is the objective achievable? Yes, it is an achievable objective. It is neither a theoretical objective nor an impossible one. It can be achieved.

With regards to preventing the spread of the virus, theoretically, all the competent health and medical authorities, starting from WHO to everyone else say that if individuals, families, and governments, follow the prescribed measures, which you have heard about a lot – there is no need for me to repeat because I am no expert – they can limit the spread of the virus to a great extent. Hence, theoretically, it is possible. Practically, it has been done in China, and we have seen the results that were announced so far. God willing, the results maintain this trajectory. So, it is possible theoretically. And the Chinese experience says it is possible and can be done.

Regarding the second part, which is treatment and recovery of the infected cases, WHO and other health experts say recovery is possible and the percentage is high. Practically, reports show that tens of thousands of people recovered from the virus in China, thousands recovered in Iran, hundreds recovered in other places in the world. Recoveries are being announced. So, the recovery of the infected cases is possible scientifically, theoretically, realistically, and practically. Preventing the spread of the virus is also possible practically and theoretically. And as an experience, it is a fact.

Thus, the objective that we are setting for this national battle is a realistic, practical, and an achievable goal. Yes, it needs action, decisiveness, will, endurance, patience, implementation, measures, accuracy in follow-up, and assuming responsibilities.

Now, we have set the framework. We said that we are fighting a battle, and this battle is part of a global war. Today, we as Lebanese are not alone in this war. We also spoke about the enemy, its nature, and the threats and dangers it poses. We also spoke about the degree of responsibility, the objective, and the required measures that the competent authorities outlined. In the context of this battle, I must recommend and stress on several things.

The first thing we need in this battle is cooperation and solidarity. We must fight it with a human, moral, and patriotic spirit. This should be the case in all other countries. This is not only for Lebanon. The people of every country must cooperate with each other, with the state, with the government, with the security forces, with the media, and with various institutions. Everyone without exception must cooperate in this battle. The prevailing spirit must be a positive one. This battle is not the time to settle scores, target someone politically, or take revenge. I do not want to go into arguments. There have been debates over certain matters and choices in the country since the very beginning. There is no problem in having disagreements over options, but the language used was inappropriate and wrong.

I do not want to argue with anyone. I want to overcome this matter. But I would like to say that those who have political aspirations and continue to argue will not achieve any of their political objectives. It will only lead to more hatred, more grudges, more psychological fragmentation among the people in Lebanon.

What is required is positive engagement. This does not mean that we should not criticize. On the contrary, let people criticize, advise, and express their opinions in the media, to the relevant ministries, to the relevant government committees, and officials. This is normal. No one is talking about silencing voices. But approaching and addressing these cases requires a spirit of morality and humanity. Gloating should have no place here. It only expresses moral decadence. It is the negativity that leads to more losses. It also expresses moral and national decadence.

What is required is the spirit of cooperation. We should act with full responsibility. Arguments are a waste of time and pointless. We all know that there has been an ongoing debate over resistance since 1982, and we are in 2020 now. A few days ago, when a number of resistance fighters were martyred in battle, the same question arose – what are you doing in Syria? From 2011 until today, there have been letters, articles, and dialogue regarding this choice. Still, we have not reached common ground.

Hence, I don’t want to get into arguments over everything that takes place. There is no problem for anyone to criticize or give one’s opinion. But we must stay away from any language that might cause grudges, enmities, and divisions. Let us not designate the coronavirus according to ethnicity, continent, region, religion, sect, area, or political party. It is a pandemic that does not discriminate. It knows no race, border, or sect. We are fighting a battle to preserve humanity. Thus, it must be fought with a humane spirit.

The second point is to emphasize the human, moral, national, and legal responsibility when fighting this battle. Since I am a scholar of the religious sciences, my position here is different from government officials. I would like to add the religious responsibility.

Generally in Lebanon, Muslims or Christians – whether religious or not – we believe in God, the Day of Resurrection, and Judgement Day. We believe that we will be asked [about our actions]. Muslims and Christians, according to their religions, know that God Almighty commanded us in his heavenly teachings to preserve the human soul. He considered it the most valuable thing. Even in the provisions of Islamic law and jurisprudence when scholars issue precautions, they say precaution with wealth and with honor. But the highest precaution is that of the blood and soul. He asks to preserve the human soul. Preserving people’s lives and safety is at top of the top duty conclusively and decisively.

If we believe in Judgment Day … What I wanted to add today concerning this battle is that we must fear God Almighty while we are fighting it. How can this be translated into practice? Through adhering to your duty to protect yourself, your life, your safety as well as the safety of your family and the people around you. This is your religious duty, your divine duty. This is the duty of every man and woman. You will be asked about this on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever ignores this duty is committing a sin, not an ordinary sin, but one of the major sins, the kabair.

Hence, this matter does not fall in the circle of favored or recommended actions. Rather, we must absolutely abide by the instructions and measures.

All religious references and our well-known and senior references issued statements and fatwas stating that everyone must adhere and commit to the measures. They did not say it is a favored action or that you have the choice to commit or not to commit. We must commit to the recommendations issued by the concerned responsible and official health and medical authorities that are spearheading this battle, especially the authorities in the medical field. Here, we are no longer talking about the law. That is if a person did not abide by the law, the army, the security forces, or the judiciary will arrest and prosecute him. This is the court of this world.

I would like to familiarize you with the court of the Hereafter. This is everyone’s responsibility and not just the religious people. I am addressing all the people now. On Judgement Day, you will have to answer God the following: did you preserve yourselves, your lives, and the people around you? Or did you ignore and forsake yourselves and did not commit to the recommendations? Answering these questions and being judged accordingly are is going to be difficult.

Of course, we should fight this battle with this spirit of religious and divine spirit and have a sense of religious responsibility and that we will be tried in the court of God on the Day of Judgement. In this world, you can escape the prosecution of the judiciary or the security forces. There might be someone providing covering for him and protecting him.

But on Judgment Day you cannot hide or flee. There is no escape from God’s judgement and God Almighty’s government. According to our view and knowledge, I believe that this religious restraint and responsibility is one of the most powerful factors contributing to victory in this battle as it was in the resistance’s battle.

The miracle the resistance created was not due to its equipment, the number of its fighters, or its experiences. These are important and fundamental factors, but the most important factor is its knowledgeable, loving, pious, and responsible spirit that extends from this world to the Hereafter. The resistance is mindful of the time when it will have to stand before God and be asked about our occupied land, our sanctities, our honor, our riches, our waters, our dignity, and our sovereignty. This is the spirit the resistance had during battles. We should have the same spirit when we fight this battle.

What is also important is for people, especially the religious ones, not to allow themselves to be dragged into arguments. The senior religious authorities suspended Friday and communal prayers. Why? Because there is a more pressing matter at hand. We should set aside everything that opposes this important matter without any reservations and hesitation. There must not be any arguments regarding this matter.

Christian religious scholars and authorities also suspended services in churches because of this most important matter. All heavenly religions call for preserving lives. So, this is the second point.

In the third point, I will delve into some details concerning this battle. We need transparency and honesty. This should be applied in Lebanon and in other countries. I am talking about Lebanon because we are part of the battle. Any person who feels that he has been infected with this virus or shows symptoms must be transparent and honest. He should tell the truth to the concerned authorities. He must go to the hospital and get tested to know whether he has been infected or not. He also has to self-isolate at home. This is not a favored action, O people. This is a must. Reason, morals, and religion stipulate this. We should not overlook this matter or be ashamed to report that I am showing symptoms or have been infected with the virus. We should not think that being infected will affect your dignity or your political status. What is this talk?

You are committing one of the biggest sins if you conceal this because it can kill you or kill others. One of the senior religious references in the holy city of Qom even said that – of course, based on certain data and conditions – whoever infects another person and leads to his death must pay blood money of the person whose death he caused. This is how big the matter is. No one should underestimate it at the religious level.

Thus, there should be honesty and transparency. If the infected person is ashamed of coming forward. His family, mother or father, his relatives, the people he works with, or his friends should reveal his condition. In other words, the infected person should reveal his condition, and it is not permissible for those who know about his condition to cover up on him. Concealment or providing cover is not permissible. There should be absolute transparency. You should tell the infected person to head to the hospital or the laboratory or to the concerned authorities and to be tested. This should not be taken lightly.

I would like to point out something since I am following up on the situation very closely. The ministry of health has been transparent since the beginning. All that has been said about corna cases in Lebanon being withheld by the ministry of health or by Hezbollah – there are those who are accusing Hezbollah. This claim is absolutely not true. It is a lie.

The first case was uncovered by the ministry of health and the its working group. Some people revealed the identity of the victim to the media and was dealt in an inappropriate manner. The dear sister’s identity and picture were circulated. Transparency was to this extent. Whenever a case was discovered through testing or through information, it was announced on a daily basis.

And if announcing cases were delayed, it was because they were not discovered or the infected people did not declare their condition or people close to the infected did not report them. The health ministry is working in a very clear manner, and it should continue in this way. I tell them that they should continue in this manner regardless of the difficult facts. Until now, the number of infected cases is still bearable. But even if we reached a high number of infected cases or deaths – God forbid – truth should not be concealed from people. People should be told the whole truth because this helps raise the responsibility, the level of mobilization, and the level of seriousness in dealing with the situation. It is the right of the people to know. Also, by doing so, the ministry of health and other ministries would remove themselves from the blame game.

Of course, the issue of transparency and honesty today is a major problem in the world. Let us take, for example, countries that are classified as the First World and democratic countries or superpowers with their media and freedom of speech. Didn’t Britain hide the numbers? It was not transparent and honest. Every day, the British government would say that there are 5, 10, 15, and 20 cases. But yesterday, British officials announced that the number of cases is between 7000 and 10,000. There was no transparency. But in Lebanon there was. 

In America, Trump even tweeted a few days ago, “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life and the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”

Why would you get upset, if we just have this number of infected cases? Trump mention the number of the infected in the hundreds and the number of deaths in the tens. And in the end of the tweet, he wrote: “Think about that!”

He is downplaying the matter to this extent. He says despite last year’s flu and the deaths of 37000 people, he said life and the economy went on.

Now, of course, Trump is facing a catastrophe in the US. His speech yesterday had negative repercussions, and today he is forced to make a second speech. While he downplayed the topic, Ohio governor and the state’s health director said the opposite. Of course, the govern backs her statement on CNN. I read this. You know nowadays anything that is printed or in social media might be fake. All need to be checked thoroughly. But the fact is that I watched the man on television say it. The governor said that in our state of 11 and half million people, we estimate that we have 100,000 infected cases. And in the future, we will not be able to test everybody because our medical apparatus is not prepared.

Who is the biggest liar? He is the biggest liar. The battle against the coronavirus revealed that Trump is the biggest liar on earth so is the US administration, the US vice president, and the team following up on the matter. Today, the US secretary of state cruelly and vulgarly accuses the Iranian officials of lying to their people when the fact is that since the very beginning Iranian officials transparently announced the numbers of deaths, infected, and cases in recovery. This is a point of pride for the Iranian officials.

Unfortunately, there are people gloating on the Gulf media. Shame on you. The deputy health minister, for example, or brother Dr. Velayati was infected because he was the chief of Tehran Hospital combating the virus and not because he was the chief advisor of His Eminence the Leader. It is a source of pride when officials, doctors, and concerned ministers as well as other figures stay in the country with their people and not pack up their bags and leave to safe places with their families.

In any case, Pompeo accuses the Iranian officials of lying. Echoing his accusations are Pompeo’s people in Lebanon who are accusing the ministry of health and Hezbollah of concealing the truth and lying. This is not true. Pompeo is the liar. Forget about Pompeo’s people. We said we do not want to engage in arguments.

In any case, this biggest liar, the president of the Great Satan, at the same time, says we are ready to help Iran. First of all, go and help yourself. Solve your own problem and the catastrophe you are heading towards because of your administration, intransigence, arrogance, pride, ignoring the facts, and disregard for people. You only care about the dollar, the barrel of oil, and gas.

Second, if you want to help Iran, lift the sanctions. Iran does not need your help. Just lift the sanctions even in a way that will allow it to import medicine and medical equipment.

In any case, this is one form of American hypocrisy.

The fourth point is complete commitment, O people, complete commitment to governmental procedures and measures not just those issued by the ministry of health. When the ministry of education says that schools are suspended, it means schools are closed. It does not mean that if I own a private school, I open it. When it says universities are suspended, it means universities are closed. Everyone should abide by the measures issued by the government as well as all the ministries, including the ministry of labor. When restaurants are asked to be closed within certain limits, they should be closes within those limits. All these measures must be respected and followed.

Fifth, the most important point regarding the measures related to preventing or containing the spread of the virus is halting gatherings and meetings, quarantine, and self-isolation that is staying home with one’s wife and kids. One can stay home and not go anywhere.

O brother pray home. There is no need for you to pray in the mosque or go to church. I will speak on behalf of the Muslims and the Christians. Except for those who have to go out because if they didn’t work, they will not be able to secure their daily bread, or those who have to go to work or else they will be fired. They can go out until the Lebanese government takes measures that must be followed. In any case, even though this disease is dangers, yet it is easy to combat. Despite its dangers, the way to fight it is simple and easy. You have to do the following measures: washing, disinfecting, eating, going, coming, self-isolation, and stopping the gatherings. What do you need? You need to make some decisions. What should we do?

We are bored! This is a war. You have to consider that you are living in a state of war. During the time of war, do you go on a tour? Do you go skiing? Do you go on a picnic to the river? During the war, people follow war measures. If you please, consider these as measures taken during a war. Therefore, these gatherings in mosques as well as religious, social, and political activities should be suspended. As for the martyrs’ families, there will be annual martyrdom anniversaries in the coming days. We all understand each other here. Please, do not host celebrations, meetings, gatherings in the husayniyah, even in the cases of death. God willing, there will be no martyrs falling in the line of duty. 

But assuming that a martyr fell, let us commemorate their martyrdom with the least number of mourners. The dead person is gone, may Allah have mercy on his soul. God will welcome the martyr. Let the mourning ceremony include a few people, the family members of the martyr. We have to get over the issue that the resident of a village feel that they have to show their respects to the family of the deceased and take part in the funeral procession as is the custom in our villages and countries. These are beautiful customs.

But for now, set aside this beautiful custom. It is no longer beautiful during this battle. What is beautiful is a fewer number of mourners possible. I am not telling you what is wajib [duty] or not. I am just hoping so that we can overcome this stage. With regard to this matter, I hope that people do not put pressure on other people, on themselves, and on the family of the deceased. A few days ago, I saw on social media a family of a deceased, who had earlier invited people for a mourning ceremony, announced the cancellation of the consolations. Many thanks to them and God bless them. That is excellent. In other words, the family of the deceased or the martyr’s family should do the initiative and tell people not to attend. The family should tell the people to recite the Fatiha to the deceased and pray for him, and that’s it. Thank you, and we do not need anything else from you.

Hence, these things should not be subject of compliments, customs, or traditions. All these activities should be frozen. These are details. So, the main topic is there should be no gatherings. People should self-isolate and stay away from each other. They should only go out when necessary. In some cities, people have gone to their villages. This is a good thing. But this does not mean that we went to the villages to socialize and go on tours there. No, we go to the village and stay home. The virus spreads in the villages as it does in the cities. But the spread is more dangerous in the cities because they are more populated.

The sixth point is related to the state and the people. Caring for the medical and first aid staff. We said that these are at the front line these days. Hence, it is our duty to thank all the officials who have assumed their responsibilities during this period. We extend our thanks to the minister of health, the working group of the ministry of health, the public hospitals, especially Rafic Hariri Governmental Hospital in Beirut as well as the hospital management, its doctors, and nurses. All the thanks and greetings to them because they are at the front line. We must support them morally. We pray for their safety and for everything that can help these staff.

In addition to the above, we thank the responders in all the institutions including the Red Cross, the different health committees, and the scouts. Also, I recommend, suggest, and wish that the Lebanese government consider exceptionally supporting them. For example, a few days ago there was a problem related to their budget, their salaries. It should not be delayed. Today, other expenses should be postponed. Everything should be spent for this battle. They should be given their full rights.

They should even be given something called an additional gift, an extra effort, an additional burden. The risk they are facing, the burden they are carrying, and the stress they are facing is more than that of the regular circumstances. Therefore, thanks to all of them. These staff should be supported morally, psychologically, and financially. People should make them feel appreciated. They should be thanked. People should know about the sacrifices they are making.  

I hope they follow Iran’s footsteps. I don’t know if other countries did the same. There are some people in Lebanon as soon as you mention Iran, they get repulsed. In Iran, they implemented His Eminence the Leader’s suggestion as proposed by the ministry of health. A doctor, a nurse, a paramedic, or anyone whose job entails fighting the coronavirus, would be considered a martyr if they got infected by the virus and died. This, of course, comes with moral and financial support for the martyr’s family.

I hope in Lebanon, these medical teams receive this honor since we are talking about a battle. When Lebanese army soldiers, security forces, or state employees are martyred, their families are given financial and moral compensation. Like them, these teams should also be treated in the same way.

Seven, preparing from now for the worst-case scenario:

We must now cooperate to prevent the spread. But let us suppose for some reason, the spread occurred. The ministry of health, the rest of the ministries, the institutions, and the people, should prepare for the worst-case scenario. We should prepare places. There are countries in the world, some considered developed and capable medical wise, used hotels, schools, and universities. There is no problem, even at the level of planning, to prepare places, equipment, and staff for worse situations, God forbid we headed to worse situations.

Here, I must also thank the students at the Lebanese University in the Faculty of Health as well as other colleges and universities who volunteered and donated. University students who study medicine, health, or nursing should serve as a backup for the medical staff in case we headed to a more difficult situation. The important thing is to prepare places, equipment, and medical staff for the worst-case scenarios. We should not sit and wait. I just wanted to emphasize this idea and take it to the widest extent possible.

In this context, I must say that Hezbollah has put – and already announced that – all our capabilities as well as our health and medical staff, our resistance fighters, our men and women, our human capacity, our institutions, and our material capabilities at the disposal of the government and the ministry of health to fight this battle. The Lebanese government is the leader of this battle. We are not claiming anything at all because this is a different kind of battle. We do not possess all its complete tools. The state has them. We and others can be helpful factors.

Eight, to learn lessons from the experiences of other countries – China, Italy, Korea, Japan, Iran, France, Germany, Belgium, even the Americans. What is the problem in this? We should learn from the experiences of other countries to save time and effort and not to repeat the same mistakes because time is valuable and precious. Time is of the essence in this battle. The hour, the day, two days, and three days all count.

Nine, this battle should be the absolute priority for the government, the state, the Lebanese people, the residents of Lebanon, the media, all influencers, and everyone who can make an effort. This battle must be given the highest priority.

Tenth, social solidarity. (I am running through these points quickly because they are clear.) When the government enforces measures such as closing restaurants or halting tourism, this means a lot of people will not receive salaries. This will pose another problem – we might be avoiding the coronavirus but might be facing hunger. This might disrupt the social security. Before we ask the army, the security forces, and the judiciary to shoulder their responsibilities in preventing disruption to the social security – this as the state’s capabilities are known – we should focus on the people’s responsibility of social solidarity.

In every village, in cities, in neighborhoods, families, and everywhere there are people who are well-off, wealthy people, people with money. We should help each other. There are already families, people in the villages and neighborhood who have started to offer their help a few months ago. But we urgently need this now.

I would like to address my speech to Hezbollah officials in the villages and the cities because I can ask them to commit. Officials and religious scholars in villages, towns, and cities must consider that part of their responsibilities is take care of families around them that might not have food or the most basic needs. We have to cooperate, show solidarity, and donate as much as we can. This should be part of our responsibility.

The Lebanese government should also include this matter in its agenda. It is not enough for it to ask people not to go to work or schools. There are also some people who are in a hurry for the state of emergency. I tell you from now, the Lebanese government is the one that announces the state of emergency when it sees fit. Do not put it on Hezbollah. You are free. You are the ones leading this battle. The Lebanese government, the prime minister, and the ministers are the ones leading this battle, of course, under the supervision of His Excellency the President along with the Speaker of Parliament and all state institutions.

Whenever you see that the time has come to declare a state of emergency in Lebanon, this is your responsibility, go ahead. Do not pay attention to anyone. But until that moment, when you are asking people not to go their work, you should look for an alternative or else people will be without salaries and livelihoods.

We know that a lot of people in Lebanon work on a daily basis. when they do not work, they do not have money to pay for food and bread. This issue is part of the battle. It is not just about the hospitals and the medicine. This is a complementing part of the battle. If we addressed the first part and ignored the second part, we will lose social security as well as the first part which is combating the spread.

In this context, while following up with the events in the past few days, I have seen banks in many countries declaring its readiness to help their governments. These banks have large sums of money and deposits. So, they declared their readiness to provide support and not to ask high interest rates. They offered support for governments and the health sector to enable them to face this unbridled pandemic.

I call on Lebanese banks to act responsibly. We all know that the state’s budget is in a bad state. You, the banks, have lots of money. You have been profiting and making tens of billions of dollars since 1993. Now, you must shoulder the responsibility, and of course optionally. Legally, it is the job of the government and parliament to oblige the banks. As a Lebanese citizen, I ask the Lebanese banks and tell them that you should be among the first to extend a helping hand and offer financial support for the Lebanese government and the health sector. You should also show social solidarity to people so they can endure, and eventually the country wins the battle.

I do not have many topics left. I still have to talk about the second topic and then conclude. I will talk briefly about the second topic.

The last point regarding the coronavirus, in my opinion, is the most important point. When fighting this battle, O people, O dear ones, we must be armed with faith, faith in God, glory be to Him, in Allah the Merciful, the most Gracious, the Almighty, in whoes hand is the realm of the heavens and the earth, in Allah who is competent over all things.

This faith must be strongly present in our minds, hearts, and souls as we fight this battle and all battles. We must seek refuge in God Almighty. We must pray for His help and guidance.

This battle requires patience, persistence, endurance, hope, firmness, determination, and will. We must not despair. God will give us everything. In this battle, we need guidance. We need the guidance of the scientists, the doctors, the laboratories, and the research institutions in the world. There is a possibility that we might not see any results in the coming months, or a year or two. God will guide them. He will show them. Allah is the one who will open the doors for them, the closed doors. Seeking refuge in God and having faith in him must be stronger than ever while fighting this battle. Look my brothers and sisters. The most dangerous thing in any battle, be it political or military and now medical, is when one of the warring sides becomes frightened, feels helpless, weak, and despair. Even a great army that possesses a nuclear weapon or great capabilities, when overwhelmed with the spirit of defeat, will be defeated. What is important is the core – the heart. We have to overcome everything that is causing people to be scared and frightened. Spreading fear or despair – and that we cannot do anything because this pandemic has not cure and we cannot survive it – is real disaster. It is a crime. It amounts to wrecking havoc on earth. One should pay attention to how he speaks and what he writes on social media. Terrorizing people, intimidating them, spreading lies and the spirit of defeat, despair, and weakness means that we will be defeated. We must overcome all of this.

Let us suppose we are at war or even in the face of death. Let us assume that a certain infected person was isolated and remained in the hospital for a period of time. The doctors said that age and other factors caused his death. All is good, God willing. Indeed, you are to die, and indeed, they are to die. Every soul will taste death. We will all die. His time has come. So, we do our jobs. We should not give up just because our time has come. Our religious obligation is to do all we can to preserve our lives. But let us assume that death has come, we accept God’s will and continue our lives. It is the same as the war. During the war, our homes and livelihoods were destroyed, our loved ones killed and wounded. People were displaced. Others became homeless. But we persisted. When we persist, we overcome and triumph. But if the killing, the wounds, and the destruction resulted in defeat, then we will lose everything. It is the same in this battle. Faith, here, gives us strength. Prayers, pleading to God and seeking refuge in Him – every person in his own way because the relationship with God is open. It can be in any language and style you see fit. Talk to him as if you are talking to anyone. He hears you. He knows what you are saying and what is in your mind and heart. He knows when you are honest. Thus, we need this faith, prayers, and this strong spirit.

Our resolve must not be shaken. We must be strong in facing this challenge even if the facts are difficult. In wars, they used to inform us that there were a hundred martyrs, two hundred martyrs, a thousand martyrs, five thousand martyrs, ten thousand wounded, and a hundred thousand homes destroyed. And we were not shaken. That is why we achieved victory. Today is no different. Whatever the losses that this pandemic will inflict, we must face it with strength and toughness. The strong are the ones who will stay and will achieve victory. I ask God Almighty for good health and safety for all and victory in this battle, God willing.

I will talk briefly about the last topic before the conclusion. In the past few weeks, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding it, not because it is controversial but because it is one of the most important and biggest challenges facing the Lebanese government.

Now a press conference: Trump officially declares a national emergency and asks all sectors to join efforts – bring his tweet three or four days ago, look what he said then, and what he is saying now –and work to obtain $50 billion to fight COVID-19. He directly runs towards money!

Regarding the financial and economic issue in the country, the government Prime Minister [Hassan] Diab is thanked for accepting to take the responsibility. It held extensive meetings to develop a reform plan regarding the financial and economic situation. It announced that its priority is financial and economic rescue in the first place. It is working on this matter. Of course, the coronavirus has taken a big portion from this responsibility. The government still needs time to complete its plan because this is a difficult, complex, and not an easy matter.

Regarding Hezbollah’s position, I would like to say a couple of words and conclude.

First of all, we did not present a plan to the Lebanese government. Some writers, some politicians, and some media outlets said that the government is implementing Hezbollah’s plan or adopting Hezbollah’s plan. I am negating the issue. We did not present a plan to the Lebanese government. We have a plan. We have a vision. We have main ideas, and we have discussed during the years, especially during the past few months. But in all honesty, I tell you we did not present a plan. The Lebanese government is the one that should present a plan. It mandates a ministerial committee that meets and presents its plan. We have our opinion and ideas.  We are the same as any other political party in this country. All the political blocs in the country discuss, comment, and advice. But we are not responsible to present a plan. It is also not right for us to shoulder this kind of responsibility. There should be a plan where everyone takes part in setting, making, approving, and shouldering its responsibility. This is the first point.

And I previously called on every party, every parliamentary bloc, and every institution that has ideas to present them to the concerned ministers or the relevant ministerial committee. The prime minister’s door is open. The president’s door is open. The parliament speaker is closely following up. They can go and present their ideas. What is important to us is that the current Lebanese government take reform steps. The more these steps garner national consensus or broad national support, the more likely and the greater it is to succeed.

The second point regarding the financial and economic issue that I wanted to refer to is the issue of seeking help from international institutions, the International Monetary Fund, any country in the world, any international framework, the European Union, the Islamic Action Organization, or the Arab League, even if they were not concern about anyone. But in general, our position is very clear. There is no confusion. Unfortunately, some in Lebanon are working on it. What is the problem if the Lebanese government asked for an advice or a counseling from anyone in the world? We have no problem with it, and we did not even have any reservations about it although some say that we are reluctant about that. This is not true. This is first.

Second, we do not object to any party that wants to provide unconditional assistance to Lebanon, a soft loan, or any kind of assistance – of course within the political regulations adopted by the state. Because the headlines now read that Hezbollah is refusing foreign aid to Lebanon – it is part of the lies and the misinformation that is spread in all fields. We have no problem with any assistance, support, or loan that is unconditionally given within the approved legal constraints.

Third, we do not have a problem if the loan, aid, or plan was provided under conditions. But what are the conditions? Conditions that do not violate the Lebanese constitution. Let us assume, for example, someone said we are ready to lend you a soft loan of 50 billion dollars provided that the Palestinian refugees are resettled. This condition is against the constitution. Let any brave and strong person in Lebanon stand up and say I agree with this condition. I am just mentioning an example. I do not see a problem if the condition did not violate the constitution and the law, does not affect the Lebanese sovereignty, and achieves or at the very least does not violate the national Lebanese interest? We do not have a problem even if it was from the International Monetary Fund, any international institution, or any other place as long as the conditions do not violate the constitution, the national interests, or the government’s reform plan.

Let me give you a clearer example. It is quite a big example and they might say O Sayyed this is out of question. One of the simplest examples is that I loan you but as you to increase the value added tax or VAT on everything to 15% or 20%. I tell you from now, we in Hezbollah are against this. You can say whatever you want. Who in Lebanon can take the decision to raise the VAT to 15% or 20%, who?

We had a national unity government where most if not all the political parties were represented, and still this government could not save a couple of cents on WhatsApp. People, then, took to the streets. What government in Lebanon can take such a decision? And is it in Lebanon’s interest? Is it in the interest of the Lebanese people?

There are many other options that we have not resorted to, and this is always being discussed in the media, in the advisory committees, and in the government. There are many options that we have not tried. To reach there, we just need to make a decision. From now, we are against any assistance whether from the IMF or anyone in the world that would condition Lebanon to increase taxes on the poor and people with low income. Say whatever you want. People who agree with this option and have the courage to say it should not hide. Let them say on TV that they agree with increasing the VAT because this is the way we address the situation in the country. But we are against this option. Hence, it depends on the condition.

But if someone offered helped and demanded conditions. What are the conditions? For example, if they asked us to shut down unproductive and inactive institutions and find an alternative for the people working there, we have no problem with this. This is a demand. Or if they asked us to enact anti-corruption laws. This is a national demand. This is one of our demands, Hezbollah’s demand. If they asked to enact laws of transparency, financial accountability, and financial expenditure, if they wanted tenders and not contracts by mutual agreement, or if they wanted a real and independent judiciary, we welcome them. These are excellent conditions.

So, the situation here is not about the position alone. It is position that depends on the nature of the conditions and commitments. Our brothers said that we do not accept Lebanon to be put under IMF tutelage. This made a lot of controversy. Who in Lebanon accepts to place Lebanon under the sponsorship of the IMF?! Who accepts to place Lebanon under anyone’s sponsorship and not just the IMF’s?!

It is unacceptable that Lebanon be placed under anyone’s tutelage. It is forbidden for Lebanon to hand over its financial and economic management to anyone and for anyone to dictate policy. The Lebanese government or the Lebanese state is the one responsible for the financial and economic management. It is the decision-maker. It accepts and rejects what it wants. It implements what it wants. No one is to dictate conditions or force it on to something. This is our position. But if the IMF wanted to provide assistance and funds to Lebanon and sets conditions that do not contradict neither the constitution nor our national interests, then we have no problem with this issue.

Even yesterday, for example, because the brothers in Iran asked for assistance for a $ 5 billion assistance from the IMF to fight the coronavirus. Almost all of the news in Lebanon was arguing with Hezbollah. How come Iran asks assistance from the IMF, and you are preventing the Lebanese government from cooperating with the it? When did we stop it? Who said we are preventing that? Who said we refuse Lebanon asking help from the IMF? Our brothers said we do not accept guardianship or dictating conditions. Who accepts Lebanon to be under guardianship? Who accepts Lebanon to be dictated?

The CEDRE conference is a project that is mostly based on loans, a couple of billions of dollars. The donors conditioned reforms. We were in the government, and we did not mind it. It is a normal condition, and we agree to this condition. But if CEDRE or anyone else dictated conditions on Lebanon in return for assistance, it might cause the country to explode. Several months ago and not so long ago – we are not talking about years – the Lebanese national unity government took a decision to increase a couple of cents on WhatsApp, you saw what happened in the country. So, should we accept dictating terms of this kind?! No. As for any assistance even with logical, reasonable, and possible conditions, there is absolutely no problem with it. So, people can rest assured and this issue cease to be a point of contention.

Of course, there are other options other than the social solidarity that I mentioned earlier. Several days ago while I was following the news, banks in some Western countries offered those governments financial support to help them save commercial, industrial, and agricultural companies – that is the economic situation – from collapsing. Great! Banks in Lebanon are one of the options. Now, these banks have protectors, it’s fine. You are telling us to present our ideas. Well, one of the options is the Lebanese banks. I don’t want to mention a precise number to avoid discussions. I asked and checked. They told me that banks in Lebanon made at least tens of billions of dollars from getting loans, debts, treasury bonds, etc. Tens of billions of dollars. You increased your capital, took money abroad, and helped other people get money out. This money was coming out of the Lebanese people’s pocket.

Now, you took this illegally or legally, halal or haram, is another discussion. But this is the reality, today. I am not forcing you. I am merely advising you. A few months ago, when I spoke about this matter, media outlets backed by the banks, accused me of threatening the banks. I did not threaten the banks. I said something different. I will repeat and say. When Lebanon came under occupation, Lebanese families sent their children to fight. Some were martyred and others wounded. Some of the wounded are now disabled. People’s homes were destroyed. Some people made sacrifices to bring back Lebanon’s freedom, sovereignty, dignity, and security. Some people sacrificed their most precious possessions.

Today the challenge is not occupation. The challenge is an economic collapse. And you have billions of dollars. So, go ahead. Help and sacrifice the way those families sacrificed their most valuable possessions. What is more valuable than money? What is money? The human life, the children, the beloved, the husband, the wife and family are more precious than money.

In order to preserve this country’s freedom, sovereignty, dignity, security, survival, resources including the oil and gas that will be extracted, which you, the banks, as well as others will benefit from, the Lebanese people sacrificed their blood. Now, the real challenge facing Lebanon is not the occupation because it is an existing threat and it has a solution. But the real challenge is the financial and economic situation.

What does Trump tell them? You are going to pay. To the banks, you have to do the initiative. You have to shoulder your responsibilities. But first and foremost, you have to have a sense humanity and shoulder national responsibility. You have to make the initiative and not argue. You have to tell the offer assistance to the prime minister like the rest of the banks in the world did. These are respectable banks. Gather yourselves and head to the prime minister and tell him we, the banks, in light of the current situation, will make a contribution to the Lebanese state in this amount – whether to prevent financial collapse or in the fight against COVID-19.

You should take this step. This is your humane, moral, patriotic and religious responsibility – if you are people of religion and you care about religious legitimacy and reason. You must shoulder this responsibility.

I would like to conclude with the regional situation – the events taking place in Syria and Yemen. There is no time left because the coronavirus topic took up all the time. But I will say a few words regarding the event that took place in Iraq because we cannot overlook it. The US aggression last night against the military camps, sites, and civilian installations for the Iraqi army, the Iraqi police, and the Popular Mobilization Units, which is an official body, as well as civilian facilities such as the airport being built in Karbala, which is a civilian facility and not a military base.

What the Americans did last night was violation of Iraq’s sovereignty of Iraq regardless of any agreements, even if they relied on agreements. Who told them that they can bomb and destroy? If they wanted to use Iraq’s airspace, they need permission from the Iraqi government. The Americans crossed all lines. They acted arrogantly, insolently, angrily, foolishly, and blindly. Usually foolishness and blindness lead to the abyss.

The crime committed by the American occupation forces yesterday in Iraq, certainly began to receive the appropriate responses and will receive more appropriate responses from the Iraqis, the Iraqi government, the Iraqi parliament, the Iraqi people, the Iraqi parties, and the Iraqi resistance – this dear and honorable people who refuses to live under the humiliation and arrogance of these tyrants, oppressors, and demons.

We ask God for mercy for all their martyrs. God willing, Iraq and the people of Iraq, with their faith, steadfastness, and resistance will be able overcome this serious and new challenge.

God willing, everyone remains healthy and safe. Through prayers, effort, work, honesty, sincerity, and togetherness, we will overcome this difficult stage, and we will emerge from this war triumphant and our heads up with the help and grace of God Almighty.

Peace and the mercy of God be upon you.

%d bloggers like this: