حالة الانكشاف

سعادة مصطفى ارشيد

تمر العلاقات الدولية عالمياً في حال متغيّرة، تفرضها من جانب قوانين التغير والحركة والتطور دائمة الدوران، ومن جانب آخر عوامل مساعدة منها جائحة كورونا التي تجاوز عدد ضحاياها نصف المليون نفس بشرية، وعدد المصابين بالفيروس قد قفز عن حاجز الاثني عشر مليوناً، والأعداد في تزايد مستمر. ومع دخول الجائحة طوراً ثانياً اعتبرته منظمة الصحة العالمية أكثر ضراوة، نلاحظ أنها تجاوزت في عدوانها الإنسان وسلامته لتصيب وتعطل الدورة الاقتصادية من صناعة وتجارة وزراعة في طول العالم وعرضه؛ الأمر الذي قاد إلى معدلات بطالة مرتفعة حتى في المجتمعات الصناعية النشطة وكساد اقتصادي وانهيار في أسعار النفط ومعظم السلع وأثر بدوره على الرعاية الاجتماعيّة والنظم الصحيّة اللاهثة وراء الجائحة.

دفع كل ذلك دول العالم للانكفاء إلى دواخلها، وإلى البحث عن حلول لما تعانيه بشكل منفرد، والتفكير بأساليب الحماية والاكتفاء الداخلي (الذاتي) وإعادة التفكير باتفاقيات التجارة الحرة وضريبة القيمة المضافة، وظهر الوهن على المنظمات العابرة للقومية، كالاتحاد الأوروبي الذي فشل في معالجة الجائحة كاتحاد وترك إيطاليا وإسبانيا واليونان تعالج كل منها جراحها بشكل منفرد فيما رأت ألمانيا أن أولوياتها ألمانية بحتة، نتيجة لذلك أخذت دول الاتحاد تتلمس طرقها القومية القديمة بمعزل عن القوميات الشريكة لها في الاتحاد الأوروبي. فبدأت الدولة الإيطالية طريق العودة إلى إيطاليتها وإسبانيا إلى إسبانيتها وكذلك ألمانيا بمعزل عن المشروع الإقليمي.

وإذا كان العالم يمرّ في هذا المخاض المأزوم، فإن العالم العربي يمرّ بما هو أدهى وأمرّ. حاله غير مسبوقة من السيولة وأبواب أمن قومي مشرّعة لا حارس لها، في المشرق العربي استطالت الأزمة السورية، وإن كانت ملامح نهايتها بادية، إلا أن الأعداء لا زال لديهم من الأوراق ما يطيل في عمرها. ولبنان يترنّح تحت ضغط سعر صرف الليرة مقابل الدولار، والدولة تعاقب القاضي الفاضل الذي أنفذ القانون بالطلب من سفيرة الولايات المتحدة عدم التدخل في شؤونه الداخلية. العراق يعيش حالة تقسيم بادية للعيان، والأردن يعاني من التغول الإسرائيلي بالضفة الغربية. الأمر الذي يمثل تهديداً وجودياً له، فيما تكشف تصريحات رئيس وزراء أسبق عما يدور في العقل السياسي لبعض جماعة الحكم، ولمن رسم شكل الأردن في مرحلة ما بعد عام 1994 (اتفاقية وادي عربة)، وفلسطين التي تعارض رسمياً قرار نتنياهو بضمّ ثلث الضفة الغربية، إلا أنها لا تملك من الآليات وأدوات الضغط ما يحول دون ذلك، هذا وإن تفاءل البعض من المؤتمر الصحافي المشترك لقياديين من فتح وحماس، إلا أن المؤتمر الصحافي لم يتطرق للبحث في الآليات أو في إنهاء حالة الانقسام البشع أو الاتفاق على برنامج حد أدنى واقتصر على مجاملات متبادلة. وعملية الضمّ من شأنها تقطيع ما تبقى من الضفة الغربية إلى ثلاثة معازل منفصلة بالواقع الاستيطاني الذي سيتم ضمة ويحول دون قيام دولة أو شبه دولة في الضفة الغربية. اليمن يصمد ويقاوم بأكلاف عالية، فيما الكورونا والفساد يضربان كل هذه المجتمعات.

الأوضاع في غرب العالم العربي تفوق خطورة وتهافت الأوضاع في مشرقه على صعوبتها، فحالة السيولة وأبواب الأمن القومي المشرّعة، خاصة في ليبيا ومصر والسودان. ليبيا اليوم مسرح وساحة مفتوحة للفرنسيين والأتراك فيما تلعب مصر دوراً ملحقاً بالفرنسيين بدلاً من أن يكون العكس، وأصبحت ليبيا مصدر خطر على مصر من خاصرتها الغربية التي لم تكن عبر تاريخ مصر الطويل تمثل تهديداً لأمنها القومي، فلم يحدث أن غُزيت مصر من الغرب إلا مرة واحدة على يد المعز لدين الله الفاطمي.

طيلة عقود تحاشت مصر الاهتمام بمسائل الأمن القومي، وهي التي رسمت أولى ملامح نظريات الجغرافية السياسية والاستراتيجية وضرورات الأمن القومي بالاشتراك الصدامي مع اتحاد الدول الكنعانية وذلك في القرن الخامس عشر قبل الميلاد في معركة مجدو الشهيرة بقيادة مملكتي قادش ومجدو، حيث رأى الفرعون المصري أن أمن بلاده يبدأ من مرج إبن عامر، فيما رأى التحالف الكنعاني أن أمن اتحادهم يبدأ من غرب سيناء. تطوّرت نظرية الأمن القومي المصري لاحقاً لتضيف عنصراً ثانياً وهو نهر النيل وفيضانه ومنابعه. هذه الرؤية الاستراتيجية سكنت العقل السياسي المصري وعقل كل مَن توالى على حكم مصر منذ تحتمس الثالث حتى عهد الرئيس الأسبق أنور السادات.

منذ تسلم السادات حكم مصر بدأ العمل على إخراج مصر من عالمها العربي، وقد أخذت ملامح هذا الدور تتبدّى خلال حرب تشرين، بمحادثات فك الارتباط بمعزل عن دمشق، ثم ما لبث أن أخذ شكله الصريح عام 1977 في زيارة السادات المشؤومة للقدس وتوقيع اتفاقية كامب دافيد في العام التالي، ثم الترويج لذلك الانقلاب على الاستراتيجيا بالتنظير أن العالم العربي كان عبئاً على مصر التي تستطيع بالتخفف منه الانطلاق في عوالم السوق الرأسمالي والتطور والازدهار وتحقيق الرخاء، ولم تلتفت تلك التنظيرات إلى أن علاقة مصر مع العالم العربي تكاملية يحتاج فيها كل منهما أن يكون ظهيراً للآخر. هذه المدرسة أنتجت ورثة السادات، ومنهم مَن أيّد بحماس تدمير العراق واحتلاله، وتواطأ على الجناح الشرقي للأمن القومي في سورية، وافتعل معارك لا لزوم لها حول منطقة حلايب مع السودان، ولم يلتفت – ولا زال – لخطورة الاعتراف بدولة جنوب السودان التي يمرّ من أراضيها النيل الأبيض، واستمر بعلاقات عدائية مع إثيوبيا التي ينبع من هضبتها النيل الأزرق، ولم يستقبل من أمره ما استدبر لإيقاف مشروع سد النهضة أو للتفاهم مع إثيوبيا بالدبلوماسية أو بغيرها طيلة عقد من الزمن كانت الشركات الإسرائيلية والأميركية تنفذ خلاله مشروع بناء ذلك السد، ولم تستشعر أجهزة أمنه أن خمس مؤسسات مالية مصرية قد استثمرت في السندات الإثيوبية التي موّلت بناء السد الذي قد يحرم مصر من سرّ وجودها، وقد قيل قديماً أن مصر هبة النيل.

في شرق مصر تم إهمال الخاصرة الشرقية التي حددها تحتمس الثالث وسار على هديها كل من أتى من بعده، فلم يتم ايلاء شبه جزيرة سيناء أي اهتمام وتمّ استثناؤها من مشاريع التنمية والرعاية الحكومية، هذا الإهمال والتجاهل الذي هدف إلى إفراغها من كثير من سكانها إرضاء لتل أبيب عاد على مصر بنتائج عكسية إذ خلق بيئة رطبة ومناسبة لجراثيم الإرهاب والتطرف، في حين انصبّ اهتمام الدولة في مرحلة ما قبل الربيع الزائف على بناء حاجز تحت الأرض يحول دون إمداد غزة بحاجاتها الأساسية، وفي العهد الحالي تم إغراق الأنفاق الغزيّة بمياه البحر وإقامة جدار مكهرب فوق الأرض، وكأن المهم أمن «إسرائيل» لا أمن مصر القومي.

مصر التي نحبّ في خطر، وهذا الخطر لا يصيبها منفردة وإنما بالشراكة مع كامل المحيط العربي، مصر لم يهزمها الغرباء والأعداء ولا الجهات الخارجية أو المؤامرات الأجنبية، وإنما هزمها مَن قدّم أولوية البقاء في الحكم على حسابات الاستراتيجية والأمن القومي، ومن جعل الأمن القومي ضحيّة لأمن النظام.

لك الله يا مصر.

*سياسيّ فلسطينيّ مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

WHO’s Conflict of Interest?

By David Macailwain

Source

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Last week the French National Assembly convened an inquiry into the “genealogy and chronology”  of the Coronavirus crisis to examine the evident failures in its handling and will interview government ministers, experts and health advisors over the next six months. While we in the English-speaking world may have heard endless arguments over the failures of the UK or US governments to properly prepare for and cope with the health-care emergency, the crisis and problems in the French health system and bureaucracy have been similar and equally serious. Given the global cooperation and collaboration of health authorities and industry, the inquiry has global significance.

Judging by the attention paid by French media to the inquiry, which comes just as France is loosening the lock-downs and restarting normal government activities, it is set to be controversial and upsetting, exposing both incompetence and corruption.

Leading the criticism of the Macron government’s handling of the crisis are the most serious accusations that its prohibition of an effective drug treatment has cost many lives, a criticism put directly to the inquiry by Professor Didier Raoult, the most vocal proponent of the drug – Hydroxychloroquine. At his institute in Marseilles, early treatment with the drug of people infected with Sars-CoV-2 has been conclusively demonstrated to reduce hospitalization rates and shorten recovery times when given along with the antibiotic Azithromycin, and consequently to cut death rates by at least half.

Raoult has pointed to the low death rate in the Marseilles region of 140 per million inhabitants compared with that in Paris of 759 per million as at least partly due to the very different treatment of the epidemic in Marseilles under his instruction. The policies pursued by local health services there included early widespread testing for the virus and isolation and quarantining of cases, aimed both at protecting those in aged care and in keeping people from needing hospitalization with the help of drug treatments.

It incidentally seems quite bizarre that some countries – notably the US, UK and Australia, are only now embarking on large testing programs – and claiming a “second wave” in cases – which Raoult calls a “fantasme journalistique”. The consequent reimposition of severe lock-downs in some suburbs of Melbourne, and in Leicester in the UK is a very worrying development.

The efficacy of HCQ and Azithromycin is well illustrated – one should say proven – by this most recent review of its use on 3120 out of a total of 3700 patients treated at the Marseilles hospitals during March, April and the first half of May. Unlike the fraudulent study published and then retracted by the Lancet in May, the analysis in this review is exemplary, along with the battery of tests performed on patients to determine the exact nature of their infection and estimate the effectiveness of the drug treatment. The overall final mortality rate of 1.1% obscures the huge discrepancy in numbers between treated and untreated patients. Hospitalization, ICU, and death rates averaged five times greater in those receiving the “other” treatment – being normal care without HCQ-AZM treatment – equivalent to a placebo.

The IHU Marseilles study and its discussion points deserve close scrutiny, because they cannot be dismissed as unsubstantiated or biased, or somehow political, just because Professor Raoult is a “controversial figure”. There is a controversy, and it was well expressed by Raoult in his three hour presentation to the inquiry. His criticisms of health advisors to government include conflicts of interest and policy driven by politics rather than science. Raoult has been vindicated in his success, and can now say to those health authorities “if you had accepted my advice and approved this drug treatment, thousands of lives would have been saved.”

This is quite unlike similar statements in the UK and elsewhere, where claims an earlier imposition of lock-down would have cut the death toll in half are entirely hypothetical. As Prof. Raoult has also observed, the progress of this epidemic of a new and unknown virus was quite speculative, and its handling by authorities has failed to reflect that. In fact, one feels more and more that the “response” of governments all around the world has followed a strangely similar and inappropriately rigid scheme, of which certain aspects were de rigueur, particularly “social distancing”.

There seems little evidence that would justify this most damaging and extreme of measures to control an epidemic whose seriousness could be ameliorated by other measures – such as those advocated by Raoult’s Institute – which would have avoided the devastating “collateral damage” inflicted on the economy and society in the name of “staying safe”.

Prof. Raoult’s vocal and consistent criticism of the political manipulation of the Coronavirus crisis is hardly trivial however, to be finally excused as a “failure”- to impose lockdowns sooner, to have sufficient supplies of masks or ventilators, or to use more testing and effective contact tracing. What lies beneath appears to be, for want of a better word, a conspiracy.

As previously and famously noted by Pepe Escobar, French officials seemed to have foresight on the potential use of Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 infection, with its cheapness and availability being a likely hindrance to pharmaceutical companies looking to make big profits from new drug treatments or vaccines. Of even greater significance perhaps, was the possibility – or danger – that the vast bulk of the population might become infected with the virus and recover quickly with the help of this cheap drug treatment, while bypassing the need, and possibly interminable wait for a vaccine.

Now it can be seen that in Western countries the demand for a vaccine is acute, and the market cut-throat, despite assurances from many quarters that “vaccines must be available to all” and that “manufacturers won’t seek to profit” from their winning product. (the profit will naturally be included in what their governments choose to pay them) The clear conflicts of interest between health officials, public and private interests make such brave pronouncements particularly hollow. Just one case is sufficient to illustrate this, as despite its unconvincing performance in combatting the novel Coronavirus, the drug developed and promoted by Dr Anthony Fauci and company Gilead, Remdesevir, was rapidly approved for use following a research trial sponsored by the White House.

More concerning however is what appears to be a conflict of interest in the WHO itself, possibly related to the WHO’s largest source of funding in the Gates organization. While the WHO has not actively opposed the use of Hydroxychloroquine against the virus infection for most of the pandemic, neither has it voiced any support for its use, such as might be suggested by its obvious benefits, and particularly in countries with poor health facilities and resources.

Had the WHO taken at least a mildly supportive role, acknowledging that the drug was already in widespread use and there was little to lose from trying it against COVID-19, then it is hard to imagine that those behind the recent fabricated Lancet paper would have pursued such a project. Without claiming that the WHO had some hand in the alleged study that set out to debunk HCQ treatment, it should be noted that the WHO was very quick to jump on the non-peer-reviewed “results” and to declare a world-wide cancellation of its research projects on the drug. And while it had to rescind this direction shortly afterward when the fraud was exposed, the dog now has a bad name – as apparently intended.

This stands in sharp contrast to the WHO’s sudden enthusiasm for the steroidal drug Dexamethasone, recently discovered by a UK research team to have had a mildly positive benefit on seriously ill COVID19 patients:

“The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with coronavirus to reflect results of a clinical trial that showed a cheap, common steroid could help save critically ill patients.

The benefit was only seen in patients seriously ill with COVID-19 and was not observed in patients with milder disease, the WHO said in a statement late Tuesday.

British researchers estimated 5,000 lives could have been saved had the drug been used to treat patients in the United Kingdom at the start of the pandemic.

“This is great news and I congratulate the government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the press release.”

There is something more than ironic in the WHO’s interest in a different cheap and available drug that has also been widely used for decades, but which is no use in protecting those people in the target market for the vaccine. To me, and surely to Professor Raoult and his colleagues, this looks more like protecting ones business interests and investor profits, at the expense of public health and lives.

Postscript:

It has just been announced that GILEAD will start charging for its drug Remdesevir from next week at $US 2340 for a five-day course, or $US 4860 for private patients. Generic equivalents manufactured in poorer countries will sell for $US 934 per treatment course. Announcing the prices, chief executive Dan O’Day noted that the drug was priced “to ensure wide access rather than based solely on the value to patients”.

It seems hardly worth pointing out that six days treatment with Hydroxychloroquine costs around $US 7, so for the same cost as treating one patient with Remdesevir, roughly four hundred could be given Hydroxychloroquine. If this is compounded by the effective cure rate, Remdesevir treatment costs closer to one thousand times that of HCQ. The addition of Azithromycin and Zinc doubles the cost of HCQ treatment, but also increases its efficacy considerably.

Panic and the Pandemic ‘Down Under’: The Ultimate Unseen Enemy

By Jeremy Salt

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In the southeastern corner of Australia a State of Emergency has replaced what was known until recently only as the State of Victoria. The unseen enemy has been a fact of modern life since the 1950s but at least the red under the bed could be seen if found. COVID-19 is the ultimate unseen enemy, because it literally cannot be seen except through a microscope and noone knows where it is and when it will strike.

The panic generated by the spread of the virus is completely disproportionate to the risk of dying from it. Between late January and July 1, 2020, 2,505, 923 people were tested for COVID-19 in Australia. As updated by Worldometer on July 3, of the 8255 cases that tested positive, 7319 had recovered.  A further 832 cases were still active (99 percent in mild condition; of the 7423 ‘closed’ cases 99 percent of those infected had recovered and one percent (104) had died.

Figures issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that of the deaths associated with COVID-19, no-one below the age of 39 had died.  In the 40-49 age bracket, there had been one death; 50-59, two; 60-69, 13; 70-79, 31; 80-89, 35; over 90, 20. Thus, well over 80 of the 104 deaths were in the 70s-90s age bracket.

By comparison 3334 Australians died from influenza/pneumonia in 2016 (median age 88.8). In 2017 the figure was 4269 (median age 88.3): in 2018, 3102 (median age 89.3). In the same year, 2952 Australians died from accidental falls, their median age 87.3. A further 3046 Australians died from “intentional self-harm” and hundreds of others from traffic accidents or drowning.  This is not to underplay the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus but only to put it into perspective and the context of deaths from other causes.

The figures for influenza deaths in 2019 have not yet been published.  According to a report published on August 18, 2019, however, even before the influenza season (June-September) was over 430 people had already died (some deaths were attributed to other causes despite showing “flu-like symptoms).” Hospitals were said to be “overrun,” with nearly 217,000 people diagnosed with the illness and “experts” believing the final death toll could could be much higher. [1] The Queensland government’s Ministry of Health confirmed that 264 people in Queensland alone had died.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one billion people around the world get the flu every year, with a loose estimate of 290,000-650,000 deaths, compared to the number of people misleadingly listed by the WHO as dying ‘of’ the COVID-19 virus: 472, 541 by June 23, 2020, and more than half a million by the end of the month. Despite the comparatively high global death toll from influenza, only five pandemics have been declared in more than a century, the worst of them in 1918 and the most recent after the ‘swine flu’ outbreak of 2009.

While COVID-19 may be ‘a’ cause of the 104 deaths it is not generally ‘the’ cause.  Those who die are listed as having been infected with the virus and its significance in their deaths remains unknown. Most of those infected have other serious and possibly terminal diseases likely to end their lives anyway (only about four percent of those said to have been infected with the virus when they died had no preconditions) and statements that people have died ‘from’ the virus or ‘of’ the virus, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) on its website, are misleading.

Doctors in the UK are authorized to list the virus as a cause of death on the clinical “balance of probabilities.” In Australia doctors are instructed that COVID-19 should be recorded on the death certificate when the disease caused “or is assumed to have caused or contributed” to the death. The doctors might be right but probabilities and assumptions are hardly scientific as a means of assessing the causes of death. Bearing this in mind, the veracity of the statistics has to be regarded with some caution.

A further issue in COVID-19 control is the reliability of the basic WHO-approved test for the virus, which two investigators have concluded after detailed research is “scientifically meaningless.”[2]  Many deaths associated with COVID-19 have occurred in nursing or aged care homes, where the Swiss Policy Research Institute estimates that up to 30 percent may ultimately have been caused not by the virus but by the consequences of the lockdown, including isolation, panic and fear.[3]

Australian politicians will insist that without the lockdown the figures would have been much higher. This will forever remain a moot point but other countries have come through well without adopting such restrictive measures as Australian governments, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan among them.

Sweden, on the other hand, the bad boy of the pandemic, took minimal measures and suffered a comparatively high death toll of 5280, 51.85 deaths per 100,000 or a 8.1 fatality rate per 100,000. Of the deaths, 1151 were in the 70-79 age bracket and 2191 in their 80s to 90s, a total of 3342 deaths, more than two-thirds of the total, suggesting that while Sweden was correct in thinking that no more than minimal restrictions were necessary for the general population, it failed to provide sufficient protection for the most vulnerable, the aged and seriously ill.

In the state of Victoria 20 people infected with COVID-19 had died by the end of June, 2020 (compared to 68 deaths from influenza in 2016 and 297 in 2017).  The battle to contain the virus is being led by the Premier, Daniel Andrews, an aspiring or professional politician since he left university, and his Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos, a tax lawyer before she went into politics.  They have closed down schools and businesses.  Tens of thousands of people have been thrown out of work and the center of Melbourne turned into a dead zone.  In a city that is a magnet for young people, with hundreds of bars and other music ‘venues, the ‘hospitality’ sector has been severely affected.

While staff can claim unemployment benefits, restaurant and bar owners have been hung out to dry, with the government that closed their businesses offering nothing beyond small dollops of financial support and the suggestion that they take out bank loans. Many will go under (some already have) and others will be saddled with debt if/when they are able to reopen.  The easing of restrictions can mean little in practice, when owners of a ‘music venue’ have to apply a ‘density quotient’ of one person per four square meters.  This obviously rules out the numerous small bars where people like to meet because they ARE small and therefore cozy.

The politicians, the police, the health ‘experts’ and the media are all speaking with one voice.  There is no two-way conversation between the state and the people but a monologue, with the government and its ancillary forces telling the people what they have to do, what they have to understand, as the media frequently puts it.  In the name of suppressing the pandemic the dividing line between the authoritarian state and the liberal democracy is gradually being erased.

Expanded police powers include random home door-knocks to check that people are ‘self-isolating,’ with the police searching for anyone not at home.   A recent video showed police harassing a woman walking in the center of the city with a child in a pusher.  While one policeman wrestled her to the ground when she objected, another wheeled the child away. Groups of police are arriving unnannounced at restaurants to make sure social distancing guidelines are being observed and the names and contact phone numbers of all customers recorded on the official government form.  Police ‘enforcement patrols’ have been set up in viral ‘hot spots’, with traffic stopped across the city to check whether drivers have moved out of these suburbs.

Both the Federal (national) and state police have an arm called Protective Service Officers. In Victoria, they were created for the express purpose of providing security at suburban railway stations but are now being redeployed at shopping centers and in residential areas.   In the words of Police Minister Lisa Neville, “What we hadn’t predicted was that we would be given the opportunity to test how using them in shopping centers and other areas would go and we’ve had that opportunity.”   Assistant Police Commissioner Shane Patton concurs, as it had been a “real advantage” for the Victoria Police to be able to use the PSOs elsewhere during the pandemic.

Hundreds of people have been calling the “police assistance line,” set up for reports of “non-urgent” crime, to report breaches of the pandemic regulations: 61,000 in February, before the pandemic was declared; 71,000 in March and 102,000 in April, an average of  3500-11,500 day, mostly about the virus.  ‘Dobbing in’ – snitching – has always been regarded with the greatest contempt in Australia, along with contempt for the ‘scab,’ the worker who breaks the union picket line, but now the police see the snitch as a virtue, as doing “the right thing and holding others to account,” says Assistant Police Commisssioner Patton. “It’s about saving lives.”

Fines of up to $1652 are being imposed for people not doing the right thing, by failing to wear a face mask or not observing the correct social distance.   Apart from police surveillance and intervention, the phone app millions of Australians have been persuaded into downloading enables the government to track them down wherever they happen to be, in the name of ‘tracing’ contacts of those who might have been infected.   The fact that anyone with a smartphone can be tracked down anyway, can even be heard and photographed without their knowledge is no argument for taking the surveillance possibilities of the virus app lightly when there is no verifiable protection against its use for other purposes.

With the number of new cases on the rise, Andrews called in the army to give logistical support. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, talking as though this was Afghanistan, said the army was already “on the ground” in Victoria.  Discussions were continuing with Mr Andrews and the Minister of Defence.   The army had already been summoned “to assist with compliance” at the hotels where nationals returning from overseas are being quarantined in their rooms for 14 days (at least at the government’s expense: in Queensland overseas arrivals have to pay $2800 per person).

The quarantine hotels have been placed under the overall control of Corrections Victoria, which runs the state’s prisons.  Media images show up to a dozen police and soldiers in uniform with slouch hats surrounding travelers bussed in from the airport as they wheel their luggage into a hotel foyer.  In South Australia police armed with assault rifles have been patrolling “at risk” areas.

As the number of infections continued to rise in Victoria, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian called on anyone offering accommodation – hotels, hostels and Airbnb –  to turn away people from Victoria.  The NSW government then took a further step, closing its borders to Victorians from ‘hot spots’ and threatening those who ‘slip across’ with an $11,000 fine and six months in jail.  Queensland has closed its borders to all visitors from Victoria.  Cars crossing from Victoria into South Australia have been vandalized and the drivers abused, such is the hysteria that has been generated.

While travelers arriving in Melbourne are quarantined in hotels for 14 days at the government’s expense, those arriving in Brisbane on a flight from overseas have to pay $2800 per person.   No arrangement seems to have been made for travelers who need to be in Queensland and don’t have $2800 to spare.

With dire reports of death, new ‘hot spots’ and ‘spikes’ filling the papers every day, people have been wondering when and how it will all end, “when will I be able to hug my grandchildren again?” as the headline over one article read but “do the right thing”,  “do the decent thing”, “play it safe and stay at home” are the messages repeatedly being hammered home by politicians, police, bureaucrats,  health experts and the media, in and out of uniform, but all speaking with the same voice of authority.

Around the world ‘lockdowns’ have had profound economic and social consequences, including mass unemployment (about half the British workforce is now unemployed or underemployed), depression, domestic violence, eviction from homes, impoverishment, the denial of regular medical service even to people with serious and possibly terminal illnesses and ‘distance education,’ with parents expected to hold down jobs and simultaneously supervise the education of their children at home.

Health practitioners writing for the British medical journal the Lancet say the closure of schools in 107 countries around the world has been based on evidence and “assumptions” from influenza outbreaks.  About 862 million children and young people – “roughly half of the global student population” [4] – have been affected, apart from the impact on the lives of parents and other relatives.

The other consequences include the loss to society of parental productivity, the possibility of vulnerable grandparents called on to provide child care transmitting the virus to children (or children transmitting it to them), the loss of education, harm to the welfare of the child especially among the most vulnerable childen and nutritional problems caused to children for whom free school meals are “an important source of nutrition.”  Social isolation is listed as another negative byproduct.

The Lancet study notes the “remarkable dearth of policy-relevant data” on school distancing, including closures.  The authors question whether the closures were necessary and draw attention to the adverse effects, which include the economic harm to working parents, health-care workers and other workers “forced” from work to provide child-care.

İt finds that “the evidence to support national closure of schools to combat COVID-19 is very weak and that data from influenza outbreaks suggest that school closures could have relatively small effects on a virus with COVID-19’s high transmissibility and apparent low clinical effect on school children.”

Writing in the New York Times, David Katz, President of the True Health Initiative and founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Centre, proposed more targeted ways of dealing with the pandemic, based on preferential protection for the medical and those over 60 years of age while allowing ‘herd immunity’ to develop among the population at large.  Infection would spread but only in a mild form for the vast bulk of the population, with adequate medical resources then available to treat those who become seriously ill. [5]

Although contact-tracing phone apps have been introduced in many countries, including Australia, the WHO has recommended against their use in any circumstance, whether epidemic or pandemic.   Issues of privacy, increased government surveillance at a time when it has already reached an all-time high and the possible ‘repurposing’ of the apps are immediately raised.

These questions only add to a long list that need answers, including where the virus first surfaced.  The media fed the first assumption that it was transferred to humans from a ‘wet market’ in China but numerous other countries, including the US, have since been identified as an earlier possible source (according to a Spanish report, the COVID-19 virus was discovered in waste water in Barcelona in March 2019).

The supposedly ‘natural’ origin of the virus has been challenged by some eminent epidemiologists who say it can only have been developed in a laboratory.  If so, was its release accidental or deliberate? Given the intense security measures observed in biological research laboratories, especially when a virus can threaten human life, how could such a release have been accidental?

On October 18, 2019, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation sponsored a pandemic exercise called ‘Event 201.’  According to the scenario as laid down, it would only be a matter of time before an epidemic turned into a pandemic with catastrophic global consequences, arising from the transmission of a virus to humans through bats and pigs.  The ‘matter of time’ turned out to be only two months later, when the first outbreak of COVID-19 was identified in China (subsequent reports had it appearing much earlier elsewhere).

Fortuitously, the virus surfaced at the precise point when US banks, trading houses and other financial institutions were about to plunge off the cliff, more disastrously than in 2007-09.  While the world was looking the other way, the Federal Reserve bailed Wall Sreet out to the tune of trillions of dollars: $6.6 trillion from September, 2019 – March, 2020, a total of $29 trillion since 2007.  When the root of the problem is systemic, however,  these trillions might end up as good money thrown away after bad.  Writing in the current issue of the Atlantic, Frank Partnoy warns that the US financial system could be on the cusp of calamity and “this time we might not be able to save it.” [6]

The enormity of this second bailout would surely have caused public fury if exposed to the light of day but the bigger story was what it represented, not just the collapse of financial houses but an epochal collapse of the global ‘free market’ capitalist order as it had operated since 1945.  Based on over-production and artificially-stimulated consumerism in a world of shrinking resources, the system had not been sustainable for a long time.  Astute observers had seen the end coming for years. Already in 2015 the UN Agenda 2030 had as its central theme “a sustainable world with income equality, gender equality and vaccines for all.”  But how was the changeover to be managed, how was the new world going to be built on the ruins of the old and how could the global capitalist order be preserved in these new circumstances?

At this point COVID-19 appeared like a genie out of the bottle. In the short term it provided cover for the trillions of dollars paid out in the US to faltering corporations and financial institutions.  Banks and corporations in the UK, Australia and other countries were also the prime beneficiaries of multiple billion dollar ‘stimulus’ packages.   Media-generated pandemic panic then enabled governments to lock down entire populations and prepare them for the post-COVID-19 world.

On June 3, 2020, the WEF announced ‘The Great Reset,’ the theme of its next global forum, in January 2021.  This ‘reset’ would be based on economic restructuring built around sustainable development. The ‘market’ would be steered towards new outcomes; investments would advance equality and sustainability; and a ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ would be launched to address health and social issues.

The ‘reset’ has been endorsed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the corporate world.  Goldman Sachs has developed “a framework for investing after Covid-19,’ which it regards as a “rule-changing” and an “existential event where capital needs to find new homes.”  Retooling, winners and losers, new learning, and filling empty spaces created by failed businesses are some of the key phrases in a research paper on how Goldman Sachs (which would have collapsed in 2007-9 but for the $12.9 billion it received in the ‘bailout’ of that time) plans to be part of ‘The Great Reset.’[7]

The ‘reset’ is top-down management by the same institutions and corporations that created and kept alive a failing economic order for as long as they could and only accepted change when the system was on the point of collapse. The First Industrial Revolution did not lead to social equity and balance but to children working in coal mines for ten hours a day or losing their fingers in the spinning jenny at the textile factory.

The notion now, that those who have exploited humanity in every age are about to become its benefactors, is amusing but not to be taken seriously. The promises of great health, social and environmental benefits made by the architects of the ‘great reset’ and the Fourth Industrial Revolution are no more than the sales pitch for the restructuring of the old economic order.

Just like the old order, the new one is destined to serve the money and power interests of governments, institutions and corporations stratospherically above the interests of the people. The economic and social debris of the old world, the collapsed businesses, the millions of jobs lost (almost half the working age population of the US is presently unemployed) and the countless lives destroyed will be cleared away, leaving the corporations, protected, refinanced, and coming through unscathed, to fill Goldman Sachs’ empty spaces.

There could not be a ‘great reset’ without the pandemic. With the consent of the people, fear bordering on hysteria has been used to turn ‘liberal democracies’ into working models of authoritarian states.  The world has been subjected to a training exercise for the balance between state and society once the world has been reset.  State intervention and micro- surveillance will be generally accepted as part of the ‘new normal.’ Consensual authoritarianism will prevail.  Rights and responsibilities will be reversed: even more than previously, it will be the right of the state to intervene and the responsibility of the individual to obey.

The leaders 

Finally, the background and personalities of the politicians who have locked down Australia raise questions of their own. Internationally, Scott Morrison, the prime minister, was last seen on holiday in Hawaii, a big smile on his face and frangipani wreathing his head, Nero-like, as large parts of Australia burnt down.  The folly of his behavior might have finished him off had not the virus given him the opportunity to renew himself as a national leader.

Politically, Morrison is an arch-conservative; religiously, he is a Christian fundamentalist, a Pentacostalist who regularly attends Sydney’s Horizon Church.  The Pentecostalists believe in the ‘inerrancy’ of the Bible and ‘prosperity theology,’ acording to which the rich are rich because they deserve to be rich.  They also believe in miracles, faith healing through the laying on of hands and the vocal gifts of ‘glossolalic’ utterances, otherwise known as speaking in tongues, and xenoglossia, which is speaking or writing in a language noone else can (yet) understand.

In Morrison’s political life there is little of the mercy, compassion and humility usually associated with Christianity.  As Minister for Immigration and Border Protection in 2014, he did his best to stop asylum seekers from reaching Australia and was accused by the Australian Human Rights Commission of falling down on his responsibilities under international law to protect children being kept in detention. He has denied that there was ever slavery in Australia, in complete ignorance of the 19th century ‘blackbirding’ of tens of thousands of Pacfic islanders, tricked into coming to Queensland to work on plantations as indentured laborers or the indigenous people exploited by church missions. He opposes gay marriage and has upheld the ‘right’ of religious schools under the Sex Discrimination Act to expel gay or lesbian students.

In foreign affairs he has further cemented Australia’s place as a camp follower of the US, whatever it decides to do. On Palestine, his government has recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and has tried to block the prosecution of Israelis for war crimes at the International Criminal Court.  In late June only the Marshall Islands and Australia voted against resolutions tabled by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) opposing Israel’s annexation of the West Bank.

Morrison has signaled that if the US decides to go to war against Iran he will “seriously consider” Australia joining it.  Australia hosts a number of US military/communications bases, is fully inside the current US military-economic ‘pivot’ against China and Morrison has just announced a $270 billion ‘defense’ program for a “dangerous and disorderly post-COVID19 world” policy fashioned around the ‘threat’ from China.  Here the virus is again used as cover, this time to justify massive (in Australian terms”) ‘defence’ spending.

Both Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne have made numerous public statements that could only antagonize China.  In late June the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Security Organization (ASIO) raided the home and office of an NSW Labor Party MP, Shaoquette Mosolmane, on the basis of an allegation that the office had been infiltrated by a Chinese government agent. Although no evidence was presented and no charges laid, Mosolmane was immediately suspended from the Labor Party.  The raid would have had to have been authorized by Morrison. These developments plus the accusation that Wuhan was the source of the COVID-19 virus have directly fed public and media anti-Chinese sentiments.

In the private sector, Morrison was hired as the director of New Zealand’s Office of Tourism and Sport in 1998 but ‘let go’ in 2000 with a year of his contract still to run, after criticism of the board’s conduct and performance by the Auditor-General. In 2004 he was taken on as managing director of Tourism Australia by the Howard government and, again, ‘let go’ in 2006   a year before his contract ended, after complaints of $184 million being awarded in contracts without proper assessment that the organization was getting value for money. The fact that a federal Liberal Party government let Morrison go is a fair enough indication that what he did wrong was serious. In 2007 he entered federal parliament after a dirty election campaign which saw him collaborating with a Labor Party figure, Sam Dastyari, to do in a rival within his own party.

While Morrison presents himself as a man of the people, as an open, good-hearted suburban dad, he has a tainted background in business, has engaged in underhand behavior in politics, has shown no empathy with the wretched of the earth in line with the tenets of the Christian faith he professes and has played on public biases and fears to advance his own political interests.

Daniel Andrews, the Victorian Premier, comes across as a far cleaner figure, if increasingly out of his depth in the handling of the pandemic.  He also has a religious background, as a Catholic, but a progressive one. He supports abortion on demand, has opened safe injection rooms for drug addicts and has legalized euthanasia for the terminally ill.   Nevertheless, his close daily control of the messages coming out of the government and increasingly authoritarian management style have earned him the nickname of “Chairman Dan.’

The consequences

So far the federal Australian government has spent $138 billion to support workers and businesses, but many – especially in the hospitality sector – have received little or no financial support and will either not be able to reopen their businesses or will reopen them saddled with years of debt.  In May unemployment had jumped in one month from 5.2 percent to 6.2 percent of the work force, with 600,000 people losing their jobs in April and a further 230,000 in May.   At 13.8 percent, youth unemployment was especially high.   The ABS statistics show that about 2.7 million workers – one in five of the work force – ‘left’ their employment in March-April or had their hours reduced.   According to current predictions, unemployment will reach 10 percent.

The financial costs incurred in the name of suppressing the virus are likely to set Australian economic development back for decades.  The social costs and medical costs are yet to come in.  These would cover the number of people whose medical needs have been disrupted by the single-minded focus on COVID-19, and those whose health has been worsened by isolation, loneliness and the inability to maintain businesses and provide for their families, leading in some cases, without any doubt, to suicide.

Victorians, and Australians more generally, need to do the right thing, the decent thing, and ask questions instead of docilely accepting what they are being told, much of it misleading and lacking context.  Overall, the question eventually to be asked may not be whether the cure was worse than the disease, but how much worse it was.

Trump Attacks China and Others Falsely, Puts More Bodies in Bags

Trump Attacks China and Others Falsely, Puts More Bodies in Bags

By Nour Rida

Amid the coronavirus chaos, US President Donald Trump has shown that he is probably the worst at tweeting, his political discourse standards reached a new level of unprecedented frenzy and panic in US history and the best he could is ask people to explore disinfectants as a possible treatment for COVID-19 virus — an extremely dangerous proposition that medical experts warn could kill people.

He has also succeeded in a few things; attacking friends and foes and making accusations such as the case of China, cutting funds for international organizations like the case is with WHO or the UN, setting a blind eye to US theft of coronavirus aid and equipment if not giving consent to the hijacking of the medical aid of other countries, and attacking the people of his own country and carrying out racist and violent actions against them. Of course we must not forget his contradicting statements throughout the crisis reported by mainstream media outlets.

Media reports suggest that the growing public distrust in Trump’s ability to lead the country in its fight against COVID-19 is why he attacked China in first place, accusing it of spreading the virus.

“Trump is trying to divert public outrage over China as he is increasingly accused of the unwillingness the US has encountered in the pandemic. Because of this, Trump also targeted the World Health Organization [WHO],” read a report in late April.

Sarcastically, the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a statement in late April debunking false claims about COVID-19 origins, saying that the virus was “not manmade or genetically modified.”

This came while China has extended a helping hand, sending out tens of millions of protective wards, masks, medical equipment, medicines as well as medical teams to the world, with Italy as a clear example.

Known now for his threads of racism, lies and imprecision, he used the term “China Virus” multiple times when referring to coronavirus, a phrase of racial discrimination which had drawn criticism for both domestically and internationally since it was coined in mid-March.

The World Health Organization has issued guidance against “stigmatizing certain communities” when naming illnesses. US lawmaker Judy Chu – a California Democrat and chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus – was not impressed by Trump’s remarks, according to NBC News.

According to Chu, Trump’s comments would not “be necessary if he and his supporters had not already endangered so many by spreading this toxic xenophobia”.

With the mainstream media of the US and some of its allies creating a collective media campaign attacking China, the same media which claims impartiality sets a blind eye to reports on how US deportation flights increase the spread of the virus, which remains to be a fact and not just rumors.

According to Michele Heisler, medical director at the US-based nonprofit Physicians for Human Rights and a professor of internal medicine and public health at the University of Michigan, “the flights do not only put people in deportation proceedings at risk, but also threaten to spread the coronavirus to countries ill-equipped to deal with the disease.”

Countries in the region have been forced to deal with deportees infected with the virus, including Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Haiti, many of which have fragile health-care systems.

As the US sinks in its own chaos amid the incompetence of its administration in facing the coronavirus, it has been accused of “modern piracy”. One instance of it is redirecting 200,000 Germany-bound masks for its own use. The local government in Berlin said the shipment of US-made masks was “confiscated” in Bangkok.

Countries including the US, France, and Turkey have been accused of confiscating shipments, holding on to supplies, and last minute outbidding each other in an escalating war for supply goods.

Following Trump’s furies and fits, media reports have harshly criticized Trump and his attitude towards the pandemic and his justifications. Commenting on Trump’s dealing with the coronavirus crisis, the Foreign Policy wrote in a report “Like Bush, who couldn’t grasp the fact that al Qaeda was not the tool of an adversarial state, Trump refused to believe—or professed not to believe—that the virus was not an instrument of a hostile Chinese state, invented in a laboratory, and unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Just as Bush shifted the nation’s focus to Iraq, Trump seized the coronavirus to justify his obsession with China.”

The US did not stop at pouring all the blame falsely on China, or deporting thousands regardless of health concern warnings. In mid-April, Trump decided to suspend funding to the World Health Organization. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was “not the time” to be reducing funds to the WHO or any other organization fighting the pandemic.

“Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences,” Guterres said in a statement.

Reacting to Trump’s action and threats, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week that it was not the time for such rhetoric.

“The focus of all political parties should be to save their people. Please don’t politicize this virus,” Tedros said at a press briefing in Geneva last week.

“If you want to have many more body bags, then you do it. If you don’t want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it … We will have many body bags in front of us if we don’t behave.”

Trump made his decisions; he keeps contributing in isolating America rather than making it great as he claims, and helps put more body in bags in the US as well as around the globe.

The implications of declining U.S. leadership

By Mahmood Monshipouri

June 5, 2020 – 20:14

The Trump administration’s ongoing policy of withdrawal from international institutions—including the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the 2016 Paris Climate Change Accord, the Open Skies Treaty, and now the World Health Organization (WHO) in the middle of the greatest global health crisis—demonstrates the declining U.S. leadership ever since the post-World War II order was created.  This latest move is made at a time when the world relies heavily on the WHO’s leadership to steer the COVID-19 pandemic response.  

While as recently as two months ago praising China in the hope of salvaging bilateral trade ties between the two countries, Trump has now turned against China and the WHO.  The latter has been instrumental in managing and treating the worldwide spread of malaria, tuberculosis, SARS, HIV-AIDS, and other infectious and non-communicable diseases.  Trump’s recent announcement (May 29, 2020) to permanently end the U.S. contribution to the WHO, and even to withdraw U.S. membership, is yet another attempt to distract the public from his mishandling of the current coronavirus crisis—a move that will lead to further global U.S. isolation, ironically putting China in a much stronger position to influence that organization’s  policies.
      “Trump’s policies have been consistently unsuccessful both at home and abroad.”     
Over its more than seventy-year life, since its inception in 1948 within the UN framework, the WHO has had major achievements, such as eradicating smallpox, and failures, such as its sluggish reaction to the Ebola outbreak in 2014.  On balance, however, the World Health Organization’s raison d’être has never been called into question.  The significance of the organization will be amplified when and if a second wave of the coronavirus returns, again posing an existential threat to all the countries around the world.   Second waves have a history of striking back even harder than the initial outbreak, as was the case for the 1918 Spanish flue pandemic.
What does the U.S. withdrawal from this organization mean?  It means, among other things, that the United States is retreating from its global leadership role—morally and from the standpoint of its soft power.  On both accounts, the Trump administration’s unilateral approach has dramatically undercut the ability of the United States to influence the behavior of other states through the attractiveness of its culture and the persuasiveness of its policies.  The U.S. withdrawal from the WHO will further accelerate the ongoing decline in the perceived competence of the United States to effectively address new global challenges.  Most ominously, however, this development is likely to fuel a great-power discord between China and the United States, dehumanizing the former while damaging the long-term relationship between the two countries.
To fully understand the implication of the U.S. withdrawal from the WHO, one needs to note that the WHO relies on assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states.  In 2019, according to one study, the United States provided the WHO an estimated $419 million, representing roughly 15 percent of the World Health Organization’s total revenue over its current two-year budget period.  This move will most likely delay the discovery phase as well as clinical trials necessary to develop a global vaccine.  Perhaps, more importantly, this decision will weaken the effectiveness of the organization and the broader cooperation among countries to stem the spread of COVID-19 pandemic around the word.
“Instead of healing the wounds of racial and systemic discrimination and police brutality, Trump’s rhetoric, tweets, and public gestures have deepened the divides in an already polarized nation, significantly diminishing trust in his leadership skills and damaging his populist image beyond repair. “
Trump has ceaselessly harkened back to his outdated notions of building walls and imposing travel bans in pursuit of his populist policies at a time when the stakes have never been higher.  All of this flies in the face of the clear lesson to be learned from the COVID-19 crisis that the virus knows no boundaries and that walls and borders cannot separate one nation’s public health and safety from those of others.  Needless to say that a virus anywhere is potentially a virus everywhere in a world that has become increasingly globalized, hence the need for collaborative, multilateral governance.  Trump’s claim that virus is “going away very soon” runs counter to the growing spike in confirmed cases around the world.
Furthermore, Trump’s disregard for the detrimental effects of climate change, as well as his policies reversing pollution standards, have exacerbated the deleterious effects not only on environmental sustainability but also, more subtly, on human sustainability.  Earth scientists remind us that humans are altering the environment at a much quicker pace than at any other time in history, a fact that has contributed to the evolution, the mutation, and the spread of all types of viruses.  Human encroachment into animal habitats—consider, for example, how deforestation and forest degradation have contributed to global warming—has created further contact between humans and animals, rendering disease transmission more likely than ever before.At home, Trump’s mishandling of nationwide and global protests over the death of George Floyd—an African-American man who died at the hands of a white police officer while still in custody—was on vivid display on the Internet, as captured on several bystanders’ smartphones.  The incident has dramatically weakened Trump’s presidency, is likely to defang his entourage, and could possibly demoralize the riot police in the face of widespread national and global protests.  The nationwide and racially diverse protests, dominated by youth and vibrant civil society movements, have captured the world’s imagination, while posing the most serious challenge to the Trump administration.  Instead of healing the wounds of racial and systemic discrimination and police brutality, Trump’s rhetoric, tweets, and public gestures have deepened the divides in an already polarized nation, significantly diminishing trust in his leadership skills and damaging his populist image beyond repair.  The result has been obvious: Trump’s policies have been consistently unsuccessful both at home and abroad.           

Mahmood Monshipouri, Ph.D., is a professor of international relations at San Francisco State University and a lecturer at UC-Berkeley. He is the editor, most recently, of Why Human Rights Still Matter in Contemporary Global Affairs. (mmonship@sfsu.edu and mmonship@berkeley.edu) 

Global Capitalism, “World Government” and the Corona Crisis

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, June 03, 2020

Global Research 1 May 2020

When the Lie Becomes the Truth There is No Moving Backwards

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.

The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. (President Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 17, 1961)

***

The World is being misled concerning the causes and consequences of the corona crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis is marked by a public health “emergency” under WHO auspices which is being used as a pretext and a  justification to triggering a Worldwide process of economic, social and political restructuring. 

Social engineering is being applied. Governments are pressured into extending the lockdown, despite its devastating economic and social consequences.

What is happening is unprecedented in World history. 

Prominent scientists support the lockdown without batting an eyelid, as a “solution” to a global health emergency.

Amply documented, the estimates of the COVID-19 disease including mortality are grossly manipulated. 

In turn, people are obeying their governments. Why? Because they are afraid? 

Causes versus solutions?

The closing down of national economies applied Worldwide will inevitably result in poverty, mass unemployment and an increase in mortality. It’s an act of economic warfare. 

Stage One: Trade War against China

On January  30, 2020 the WHO Director General determined that the coronavirus outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The decision was taken on the basis of 150 confirmed cases outside China, First cases of person to person transmission: 6 cases in the US, 3 cases in Canada, 2 in the UK.

The WHO Director General had the backing of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Big Pharma and the World Economic Forum (WEF). The decision for the WHO to declare a Global Emergency was taken on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland  (January 21-24).

One day later (January 31) following the launch of the WHO Global Emergency, The Trump administration announced that it will deny entry to foreign nationals “who have traveled in China in the last 14 days”. This immediately triggered a crisis in air transportation, China-US trade as well as the tourism industry. Italy followed suit, cancelling all flights to China on January 31.

The first stage was accompanied by the disruption of trade relations with China as well as a partial closedown of export manufacturing sector.

A campaign was immediately launched against China as well ethnic Chinese. The Economist reported that

“The coronavirus spreads racism against and among ethnic Chinese”

“Britain’s Chinese community faces racism over coronavirus outbreak”

According to the SCMP:

“Chinese communities overseas are increasingly facing racist abuse and discrimination amid the coronavirus outbreak. Some ethnic Chinese people living in the UK say they experienced growing hostility because of the deadly virus that originated in China.”

And this phenomenon is happening all over the U.S.

Stage Two: The Financial Crash Spearheaded by Fear and Stock Market Manipulation

A global financial crisis unfolded in the course of the month of February culminating in a dramatic collapse of stock market values as well as a major decline in the value of crude oil.

This collapse was manipulated. It was the object of insider trading and foreknowledge. The fear campaign played a key role in the implementation of the stock market crash. In February, roughly $6 trillion have been wiped off the value of stock markets Worldwide. Massive losses of personal savings (e.g. of average Americans) have occurred not to mention corporate failures and bankruptcies. It was a bonanza for institutional speculators including corporate hedge funds. The financial meltdown has led to sizeable transfers of money wealth into the pockets of a handful of financial institutions.

Stage Three: Lockdown, Confinement, Closing Down of  the Global Economy

The financial crash in February was immediately followed by the lockdown in early March. The lockdown and confinement supported by social engineering was instrumental in the restructuring of the global economy. Applied almost simultaneously in a large number countries, the lockdown has triggered the closing down of the national economy, coupled with the destabilization of trade, transport and investment activities.

The pandemic constitutes an act of economic warfare against humanity which has resulted in global poverty and mass unemployment.

Politicians are lying. Neither the lockdown nor the closing down of national economies constitute a solution to the public health crisis.

Who Controls the Politicians?

Why are politicians lying?

They are the political instruments of the financial establishment including the “Ultra-rich philanthropists”. Their task is to carry out the global economic restructuring project which consists in freezing economic activity Worldwide.

In the case of the Democrats in the US, they are largely concerned in opposing the reopening of the US economy as part of the 2020 election campaign. This opposition to reopening the national and global economies is supported by “Big Money”.

Is it opportunism or stupidity. In all major regions of the World, politicians have been instructed by powerful financial interests to retain the lockdown and prevent the re-opening of the national economy.

The fear campaign prevails. Social distancing is enforced. The economy is closed down.  Totalitarian measures are being imposed. According to Dr. Pascal Sacré

… in some countries, patients can leave hospital by agreeing to wear an electronic bracelet. This is only a sample of all the totalitarian measures planned or even already decided by our governments in favor of the coronavirus crisis. It goes much further, it’s limitless and it affects a good part of the world, if not the whole world.
.

The “Herding Instincts” of Politicians

Are corrupt governments acting like “police dogs” with “herding instincts” going after their sheep.

Is “the herd” too scared to go after their “government”?

The analogy may be simplistic but nonetheless considered relevant by psychologists.

“Some breeds of dogs [corrupt politicians] have herding instincts that can be brought out with the right training and encouragement [bribes]. …. teach your dog [political proxy] basic obedience and see if it [he, she] displays herding tendencies. … Always look for a trainer who uses reward-based training methods [bribes, personal gain, political support, accession to high office]” (How to Teach Your Dog to Herd)

But there is another dimension. Politicians in high office responsible for “convincing their herd” actually believe the lies which are being imposed upon them by higher authority.

The lie becomes the truth. Politicians endorse the consensus, they enforce “social engineering”, they believe in their own lies.

It’s Not an Epidemic, It’s An Operation

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo  (slip of the tongue) tacitly admits in a somewhat contradictory statement that the COVID-19 is a “Live Exercise”, an “Operation”:

“This is not about retribution,… This matter is going forward — we are in a live exercise here to get this right.”

To which president Trump retorted “you should have told us”.

Those words will go down in history.

Geopolitics

Let us be under no illusions, this is a carefully planned operation. There is nothing spontaneous or accidental. Economic recession is engineered at national and global levels. In turn, this crisis is also integrated into US-NATO military and intelligence planning. It is intent not only upon weakening China, Russia and Iran, it also consists in destabilizing the economic fabric of the European Union (EU).

“Global Governance”

A new stage in the evolution of global capitalism is unfolding. A system of  “Global Governance” controlled by powerful financial interests including corporate foundations and Washington think tanks oversees decision-making at both the national and global levels. National governments become subordinate to “Global Governance”. The concept of World Government was raised by the late David Rockefeller at the Bilderberger Meeting, Baden Germany, June 1991: “We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years. … It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.” (quoted by Aspen Times, August 15, 2011, emphasis added) .In his Memoirs David Rockefeller states: .“Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure, one world if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” (Ibid) .The Global Governance scenario imposes a totalitarian agenda of social engineering and economic compliance. It constitutes an extension of the neoliberal policy framework imposed on both developing and developed countries. It consists in scrapping “national autodetermination” and constructing a Worldwide nexus of pro-US proxy regimes controlled by a “supranational sovereignty” (World Government) composed of leading financial institutions, billionaires and their philanthropic foundations. .The 2010 Rockefeller Foundation’s  “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development Area” produced together with Global Business Monitoring Network, GBN) had already outlined the features of  Global Governance and the actions to be taken in relation to a Worldwide Pandemic.  The Rockefeller Foundation proposes the use of scenario planning as a means to carry out “global governance”..

The Report envisages (p 18) a simulation of a Lock Step scenario including a global virulent influenza strain:

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“LOCK STEP: A world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership, with limited innovation and growing citizen pushback In 2012, the pandemic that the world had been anticipating for years finally hit. Unlike 2009’s H1N1, this new influenza strain—originating from wild geese—was extremely virulent and deadly. Even the most pandemic-prepared nations were quickly overwhelmed when the virus streaked around the world, infecting nearly 20 percent of the global population and killing. 8 million in just seven months”

It is worth noting that this simulation was envisaged in the year following the 2009 H1N1 Swine flu Pandemic, which was revealed to be a totally corrupt endeavor under the auspices of the WHO in liaison the Big Pharma which developed a multibillion dollar vaccine program.


Remember the “Fake” 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic: Manipulating the Data to Justify a Worldwide Public Health Emergency

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, May 02, 2020 


“World Government”

Instructions are transmitted to national governments worldwide.  The fear campaign plays a crucial role in building acceptance and social submission to this “supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and bankers”..Global governance establishes a consensus which is then imposed on “sovereign” national governments Worldwide, described by David Rockefeller as “national auto-determination practiced in past centuries”.  Essentially, this is an extended form of “regime change”..Thousands of politicians and officials must be convinced and/or bribed for this operation to succeed. It’s an unsubtle form of “political arm twisting” (while respecting “social distancing”)..The decision to close down the global economy with a view to “saving lives” has not only been accepted as a means to combating the virus, it has been sustained by media disinformation and the fear campaign.

People do not question the consensus, a consensus which borders on the absurd.

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Global Capitalism and “The Economic Landscape”

The crisis redefines the structure of the global economic landscape. It destabilizes small and medium sized enterprises Worldwide, it  precipitates entire sectors of the global economy including air travel, tourism, retail trade, manufacturing, etc. into bankruptcy.  The lockdown creates famine in developing countries. It has geopolitical implications.

The Pentagon and US intelligence are involved. The corona crisis affects to conduct of US-NATO led wars in the Middle East including Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and Yemen. It is also used to target specific countries including Iran and Venezuela.

This engineered crisis is unprecedented in world history. It is an act of war.

The lockdown triggers a process of disengagement of human and material resources from the productive process. The real economy is brought to a standstill. Curtailing economic activity undermines the “reproduction of real life”. This not only pertains to the actual production of the “necessities of life” (food, health, education, housing) it also pertains to the “reproduction” of  social relations, political institutions, culture, national identity. At the time of writing, the lockdown is not only triggering an economic crisis, it is also undermining and destroying the very fabric of civil society not to mention the nature of government and the institutions of the state (crippled by mounting debts), which will eventually be privatized under the supervision of Big Money creditors.

There are conflicts within the capitalist system which are rarely addressed by the mainstream media. Billionaires, powerful banking and financial institutions (which are creditors of both governments and corporations) are waging an undeclared war against the real economy. Whereas the Big Money financial and banking establishment are “creditors”, the  corporate entities of the real economy which are being destabilized and driven into bankruptcy are “debtors”.

Bankruptcies

This diabolical process is not limited to wiping out small and medium sized enterprises. Big Money is also the creditor of  large corporations (including airlines, hotel chains, hi tech labs, retailers, import-export firms, etc.) which are now on the verge of bankruptcy.

The global financial establishment is not monolithic. It is marked by divisions and rivalry. The dominant Big Money faction seeks to destabilize its competitors from within. The results of which would be a string of  bankruptcies of regional and national banking institutions as well as a process of global financial consolidation.

In the US, numerous retailers, airlines, restaurant and hotel chains filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February. But this is just the beginning. The big gush of bankruptcies will occur in the wake of the lockdown (“The New Normal”). And at the time of writing, the financial establishment is relentlessly pressuring (corrupt) national governments to postpone the lifting of the lockdown. And the governments are telling us that this is to “protect people against the virus”.

Canada’s province of Alberta which is largely dependent on oil revenues is bankrupt.

“Countries that represent over 50 per cent of the world’s global GDP are closed for business. Economists looking for historical comparisons mention the 1929 stock crash, the 1974 economic crisis or the 2008 recession. But they admit that these all fall short of the toll that this pandemic could have.” (Wired News UK, April 29, 2020

In Britain, recent reports state (It’s very British”) “we do not know how many have gone bankrupt”.

A chunk of Britain’s business landscape may have already been permanently erased, as some 21,000 more UK businesses collapsed in March alone than the same month a year ago, according to data gathered by the Enterprise Research Centre, a group of university researchers.

What these reports fail to mention are the unspoken causes: a fear campaign on behalf of the creditors, instructions by corrupt governments to close down the economy, allegedly to “save lives”, which is a big lie. Lives are not being saved, and they know it.

The coronavirus crisis “has ground U.S. business to a halt”. National economies are destabilized. The objective of Big Money is to weaken their competitors, “pick up the pieces” and eventually buy out or eliminate bankrupt corporations. And there are many to choose from.

Global Finance Capitalism

The interests of Big Money (global financial interests) overlap with those of Big Pharma, Big Oil, the Defense contractors, etc. Major banking institutions in the US including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, State Street Co. and Goldman Sachs, are investing in the war economy including the development of nuclear weapons under Trump’s 1.2 trillion dollar nuclear weapons program (first established under Obama). 

The ultimate objective of “Big Money” is to transform nation states (with their own institutions and a national economy) into “open economic territories”. That was the fate of Iraq and Afghanistan. But now you can do it without sending in troops, by simply ordering subservient proxy governments integrated by corrupt politicians to close down their economy on humanitarian grounds, the so-called “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) without the need for military intervention.

Impossible to estimate or evaluate. More than half the global economy is disrupted or at a standstill.

Let’s be clear. This is an imperial agenda. What do the global financial elites want? To privatize the State? To own and privatize the entire planet?

The tendency is towards the centralization and concentration of economic power. Heavily indebted national governments are instruments of Big Money. They are proxies. Key political appointments are controlled by lobby groups representing Wall Street, The Military Industrial Complex, Big Pharma, Big Oil, the Corporate Media and the Digital Communications Giants, etc.

Big Money in Europe and America (through Washington Lobby groups) seek to control national governments.

In what direction are we going? What is the future of humanity? The current corona crisis is a sophisticated imperial project, which consists in Worldwide domination by a handful of multibillion dollar conglomerates. Is this World War III? Global capitalism is destroying national capitalism.

The unspoken intent of global capitalism is the destruction of the nation state and its institutions leading to global poverty on an unprecedented scale.

The following citation by Lenin dated December 1915 at the height of the First World War pointed with foresight to some of the contradictions which we are presently facing. On the other hand, we should understand that there are no easy solutions and that this crisis is intended to reinforce imperialism and the clutch of global capitalism:

“There is no doubt that the development is going in the direction of a single World trust which will swallow up all enterprises and all states without exception. But the development in this direction is proceeding under such stress, with such a tempo, with such contradictions, conflicts and convulsions not only economical, but political national, etc. etc — that before a single world trust will be reached, before the respective financial national capitals will have formed a “World Union” of ultra imperialism, imperialism will explode and capitalism will turn into its opposite.

(V. I. Lenin, Introduction to Imperialism and World Economy by N, Bukharin, Martin Lawrence, London, printed in the US, Russian Edition, November 1917)

How to reverse the tide. The first priority is to repeal the lie.

In this regard, it is unfortunate that many people who are “progressive” (including prominent Left intellectuals) are –despite the lies–  supportive of the lockdown and closing down of the economy as a solution to the public health emergency. That’s the stance of the Democratic Party in the US, which goes against common sense.

Truth is a powerful weapon for repealing the lies of the corporate media and the governments.

When the Lie Becomes the Truth There is No Moving Backwards

Without the fear campaign and media propaganda, the actions taken by our governments would not have a leg to stand on.

“Social Distancing” does not prevent the financial elites from providing instructions to corrupt politicians.

On the other hand, “social distancing” combined with confinement is being used as a means of social subordination. It prevents people from meeting as well as protesting this so-called New World Order.

Organization, Truth and Solidarity are essential to reversing the tide. The first step of a worldwide movement is “counter-propaganda”.


Related articles

2009 H1N1 Vaccine Caused Brain Damage in Children. Dr. Anthony Fauci on “Vaccine Safety” Issues

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, May 03, 2020

After the Lockdown: A Global Coronavirus Vaccination Program…

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, April 25, 2020The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

China was, is, and will be peace builder and promoter in West Asia: envoy

Source

May 17, 2020 – 18:37

TEHRAN- Chinese ambassador to Tehran Chang Hua in an interview with the Mehr News Agency criticizes the U.S. baseless accusations over the outbreak of coronavirus. 

Ambassador Chang also said, “China was, is and will be peace and stability builder and promoter in the region.”

On Saturday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs published an article on COVID-19, rebutting claims from the U.S. on ties between COVID-19 and China. In the article, China rejected 24 claims.

Following the U.S. accusations against China, there have been some reports on the U.S. possible measures to punish China. 

According to CNN, the Trump administration is formulating a long-term plan to punish China on multiple fronts for the coronavirus pandemic, injecting a rancorous new element into a critical relationship already on a steep downward slide.

Multiple sources inside the U.S. administration said that there is an appetite to use various tools, including sanctions, canceling U.S. debt obligations, and drawing up new trade policies, to make clear to China, and to everyone else, where they feel the responsibility lies.

To shed more light on the issue Mehr reached out to Ambassador Chang to discuss the issue and some other issues with him.

Here is the full text of the interview:

Q: It seems that the U.S. is trying to create an international consensus against China by repeating accusations that China has not provided the international community with the right information about COVID-19. What is your take of this? What are the real motives behind this?

A: Certain people in the U.S., out of political calculations, went from bad to worse, stigmatizing and smearing China with all they’ve got in an attempt to shift the blame. China has been open, transparent and responsible in releasing information on the epidemic. It can stand the test of history. We hope the U.S. can also make sure that what they say and do and their data is responsible to the people and could stand the test of history.

When Wuhan was locked down on January 23, there was only one officially confirmed case in the U.S. When the U.S. closed its border to China on February 2, there were 11. When the U.S. announced a nationwide emergency state on March 13, there were 1264. When the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan on April 8, there were already 400,000. Today, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. tops 1.3 million with more than 80,000 deaths. It took less than 100 days for the number to jump from just one to over one million. What has the U.S. government been doing during these 100 days? The WHO head said that to all countries around the world, the warning from China is the same and the signal is clear. Why is it that some countries made adequate reactions and effective interventions, while the U.S. failed to do so? Blaming others won’t solve one’s own problems and bring back lost lives. We genuinely hope that those American politicians who are so bent on the blame game will change course and focus on fighting the epidemic inside the U.S. so that more lives will be saved and their people’s health and security be better protected.

Q: If the U.S. and its allies become able to create such a consensus against China, what can be the consequences for China?

A: The U.S. is exerting pressure on its Allies and on other countries as well. Actually the U.S. is asking them to be an accomplice in framing China. As we all know, the U.S., out of domestic political needs, has repeatedly ignored the facts so that it can dump the blame on others. It is true that a choice has to be made by Europe and others, not between China and the U.S., but between lies and facts, between unilateral bullying and multilateral cooperation. It is easy to make such a choice and in fact, many countries have done so with action. On strengthening solidarity and cooperation to combat the epidemic, China has always stood firmly with the UN, the WHO, and other countries and made every possible contribution, while the U.S. stands on the opposite side of the vast majority of the international community.

Q: Do you see any relation between these claims and the U.S. major strategy to contain Beijing as its main rival?

A: The development of China-U.S. relations over the past 40 years has proven that China and the United States stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. China-U.S. relations have far gone beyond the bilateral scope and assumed great significance to world peace, security, stability, and prosperity. While China-U.S. relations once again stand at a crossroads, China has always been on the side of cooperation and hopes the United States meet us halfway.

Q: How do you see the cooperation between Iran and China in the fight against COVID-19? How did you find Iran’s capabilities and medical infrastructures in this fight?

A: In this fight against the epidemic, the solidarity and mutual assistance between China and Iran fully demonstrate the profound friendship between the two countries and peoples.

Chinese and Iranian high-level officials maintain close communication. President Xi Jinping and President Rouhani have held telephone conversations and exchanged letters. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Zarif have also made several phone calls. At the critical moment of the Chinese people’s fight against the epidemic, Iran was the first country to extend sympathy and provide materials to China. We will always remember that. After the outbreak of the epidemic in Iran, the Chinese government and various institutions, enterprises, and the public of China also extended a helping hand to Iran. China sent its first medical expert team to Iran to assist its fight against the epidemic. The epidemic has caused temporary difficulties for bilateral cooperation but cannot cut off the strong ties between the two countries. The epidemic will end, and the mutual support during the epidemic will surely consolidate and further our comprehensive strategic partnership.

We are happy to see that under the leadership of the Iranian government and with solidarity and the rigorous response of the Iranian people, the measures taken by Iran are producing results as its epidemic curve is steadily leveling off. WHO officials also commended Iran’s response, saying that Iran ’s health officials and medical workers are working very hard to contain the epidemic and save lives. The government is also mobilizing the strong national health system and disaster management capabilities to tackle the epidemic. We are confident in the Iranian government and people’s last victory over the epidemic.

Q: Many believe there will be fundamental changes to the world order in post-corona era. What is your assessment?

A: The international order is always changing in the direction in favor of the common interest and homeland of mankind. The current international order was established after World War II and centered on the United Nations with multilateralism as its basic norm.  It lays the foundation for peace, stability, and common development of the world conforms to the trend of peace, development, win-win cooperation of our times, and should be cherished and upheld by the international community. The Covid-19 epidemic has made it clear to various countries that mankind rise and fall together and that only through building a community with a shared future can mankind find the right path to future, and only with solidarity and cooperation can countries remove prejudice and achieve synergy in epidemic response.

What will the world look like in the post-epidemic era? Some people argue that the world will never return to the past. I believe that the epidemic will not change the world theme of peace and development, nor will it stop the historical trend of multi-polarization and globalization and mankind’s yearning for civilization and progress.

Q: Do you see any relation between the U.S.’s recent decision to withdraw its patriot air-missile air-defense system from Saudi Arabia and the U.S. efforts to endanger the energy route in the Middle East (West Asia) that China’s economy is heavily dependent on the oil coming from the region?

A: As a major energy importer and consumer in the world, China hopes that the international energy market could be kept stable. The mutual trust between nations and close interaction of interest through cooperation is the reliable guarantee to security, while military deterrence is not. As to the regional security in the Middle East, China has made its own contribution to the security and stability of the Middle East in accordance with UN resolutions and the aspirations of regional countries. China was, is, and will remain a builder of peace, a promoter of stability, and a contributor to the development of the Middle East.
 

From Wuhan to Baghdad with Trump and Bush

Source

May 11, 2020  

by Lawrence Davidson

I have been writing these analyses for ten years. Really not a great amount of time, but enough that you see leaders ignorantly repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. You also notice that most of the media, and almost all of the citizenry, appear not to notice the repetitions. Just such a rerun is now playing itself out. 

Part I—Covid-19 and the Wuhan Lab Claim

According to a New York Times (NYT) article, President Trump and his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, have begun pressuring the U.S. government’s intelligence agencies to come up with evidence that the Covid-19 virus originated in a Chinese lab in Wuhan—specifically, that city’s Institute of Virology. 

Let’s state up front that there is no reliable evidence that this is the case. As the NYT puts it, “Most intelligence agencies remain skeptical that conclusive evidence of a link to a lab can be found, and scientists who have studied the genetics of the coronavirus say that the overwhelming probability is that it leapt from animal to human in a non-laboratory setting, as was the case with H.I.V., Ebola and SARS.” This is also the opinion of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s own top infectious disease expert. 

Alas, this is not what the Trump-Pompeo duet wants, or needs, to hear. What they want and need is something to support their already stated position that the Covid-19 virus is a “Chinese virus.” Thus, Trump told a reporter on 30 April that, while there were many theories about how the virus originated, he took the Wuhan lab contention seriously. He claimed that he had personally seen “intelligence that supported the idea” and that “we have people looking at it very, very strongly. Scientific people, intelligence people and others.” He then stated that he was “not allowed” to share the intelligence. Pompeo followed up in a 3 May ABC interview by describing the evidence as “enormous.”

It has also become apparent that Trump would like to tie the World Health Organization (WHO) into the Wuhan lab theory. “Administration officials had directed intelligence agencies to try to determine whether China and the World Health Organization hid information early on about the outbreak.” This seems to be the result of the president’s personal dislike of the WHO. He believes it has praised China’s fight against the pandemic more strongly than his own quasi-efforts. So annoyed has he become that he cut off U.S. aid to the organization in the midst of its fight against Covid-19—an almost universally condemned act. 

In the end Trump seems to think that nothing less than evidence supporting the Wuhan lab conspiracy theory will help shift popular attention away from his own abysmal failure to react to the pandemic in a timely fashion. So it doesn’t matter if the president is corrupting the intelligence agencies for personal political advantage, or that “the odds are astronomical against a lab release as opposed to an event in nature.” That is the state of our knowledge according to assessments based on science. What the president is demanding is a world that accords with his personal needs. It’s the latter he expects the intelligence agencies to serve. 

Part II— Nuclear Weapons in Iraq Claim

Where have we heard this sort of demand before? Well, how about during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq?

Back in late 2002 and early 2003, George W. Bush was planning an invasion of Iraq. His public reason for doing so was the assertion that the country’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, was on the verge of developing nuclear weapons. The real reason went beyond that charge and involved a long-range plan for “regime change” in the Middle East—a thoroughly implausible goal. However, Bush’s initial, obsessive need was a way to rally the American people behind his planned war. Why Iraq? Bush seems to have had a hate-filled preoccupation with Saddam Hussein and a desire to finish the job his father began with the First Gulf War. Or, maybe, as he claimed, it was because God told him to do it

At first he tried to connect Saddam Hussein to the 11 September 2001 attacks on the U.S. Though he never gave up on that stratagem, the lack of evidence made it difficult to shift popular attention, already fixated on Osama Bin Laden and Afghanistan, onto Saddam Hussein and Baghdad. However, the nuclear weapons gambit appeared to have more potential, not because there was any hard evidence for the charge, but because supposedly reliable witnesses, in the persons of mendacious exiled anti-Saddam Iraqis, kept whispering to Bush and others in the administration that the nuclear story was true.

So, what we had was (1) a U.S. leadership cadre who were itching to revolutionize the Middle East, (2) informants who, in order to precipitate the overthrow of Saddam, were willing to tell the tale of alleged atomic weapons, and (3) a president with enough of a personal grudge against Saddam to use anything in support of his desire to invade Iraq.

Bush proceeded to put pressure on the U.S. intelligence agencies to find evidence for the nuclear weapons claim. In essence, this pressure threatened to politicize and contaminate the White House’s normal source of intelligence. When the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defense Intelligence Agency, did not come through in this regard, Bush went so far as to create a shadow operation: the “Office of Special Plans (OSP),” staffed mainly by rightwing amateurs, to find him a nuclear “smoking gun” that would justify invasion.

Simultaneously, the U.S. insisted that the United Nations send in arms inspectors to scour Iraq for evidence of a nuclear weapons program. None of this resulted in the required evidence. This so frustrated President Bush that on 19 March 2003 he launched the invasion of Iraq without any proven reason to do so. This, by the way, constituted a war crime under international law. The president did have the expectation that, once in occupation of the country, American troops would surely find those nukes. They did not. 

Bush ended up blaming his appalling mistake, which led to the death and injury of tens of thousands, on “faulty intelligence.” He never admitted that the intelligence at fault was his own. 

Part III—Conclusion

What do Donald Trump and George W. Bush have in common? They are both know-nothing Republican leaders. (You can get Democrats like this too. They are just less common.) They are know-nothing in the sense that neither of them know the difference between their own desires and objective reality. If Trump needs a Wuhan lab to shift blame from his own failings, then there must be a lab out there and it is the job of the intelligence agencies to find it. If George W. Bush needs Iraqi nuclear weapons to justify his obsessive desire to invade that country and depose Saddam Hussein, then they must be out there and it is the job of the intelligence agencies to find them. Both Bush and Trump, and a whole lot of their staff, were/are caught up in delusions. And, tragically, they both had/have the power to spread their respective delusion, like a “virus,” to large segments of a historically ignorant American public. 

Now, if this writer can recognize the similarity between these two men and brand the connecting events described here for the delusional episodes they are, you would think that at least some of the media folks bringing us the “news” could do so as well. And maybe in the privacy of their offices and studies they do see the connection and its dire potential. But they are having a hard time translating that into public knowledge. One can only wonder why! As long as that is the case, most of the general public, focused on their local affairs, will not be able to recognize the danger such irresponsible behavior represents, and will once more be dragged along in whatever perilous direction their present muddled leaders take them. 

Lawrence DAVIDSON | West Chester University, Pennsylvania ...

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

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

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, May 12, 2020Global Research 5 April 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  a Worldwide fear campaign?

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 (annual) compared to those of  COVID-19. (from January through early April)

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 the 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 and the “Right to Life”. Entire national economies are in jeopardy. In some countries martial law has been declared.

Small and medium sized capital are slated to be eliminated. Big capital prevails. A massive concentration of corporate wealth is ongoing. 

Is 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)

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.

Is the global lockdown which engineers Worldwide economic destruction in any way related to America’s global military agenda? 

The coronavirus pandemic is magnifying the cruelty of US foreign policy”

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 Wodarg, 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 WHO Director General Dr. Margaret 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 an impending global public health crisis, the WHO nonetheless acknowledged that the H1N1 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, “reassuring public opinion” that  “the H1N1 pandemic is  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 Data 

In many regards, the H1N1 2009 pandemic reveals the problems of data collection and analysis which we are facing now 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 by Dr. Margaret Chan, 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. “Probable cases” was replaced by “Presumptive cases”.

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 is present“ (emphasis added). But it does not confirm the presence of 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. And among those “total cases” are “recovered cases”.

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 coronavirus 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-19 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 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? 

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

It’s No Accident Britain And America Are the World’s Biggest Coronavirus Losers

It’s No Accident Britain And America Are the World’s Biggest Coronavirus Losers

By Nesrine Malik – The Guardian

There’s something profound about the irony. The world’s highest coronavirus death tolls belong to two countries whose leaders came to power promising the restoration of greatness and control – the United States and Great Britain. Neither can claim to have been caught by surprise: both nations had the benefit of time, ample scientific warnings, and the cautionary examples of China and Italy.

The similarities are striking, the conclusions unavoidable. Here in the UK, we comforted ourselves with the belief that while our own buffoonish rightwing leader had his faults, at least he was no Donald Trump. But in the end, Boris Johnson has managed to stumble over even this lowest of hurdles. The UK government’s response to the crisis has turned out to be nearly as flippant and ill-prepared as the US’s.

Two nations that prided themselves on their extraordinary economic, historical and political status have been brought to their knees. Their fall from grace is the outcome of a damaged political culture and distinct form of Anglo-American capitalism.

Over the past four years, reckless political decisions were justified by subordinating reality to rhetoric. The cost of leaving the EU would be “virtually nil”, with a free trade agreement that would be one of the “easiest in human history”. Imaginary enemies were erected and fake fights confected as both countries pugnaciously went about severing their ties with other nations and international institutions.

Political discourse focused on grand abstract notions of rebirth and restoration, in a way that required few concrete deliverables. All the Tory government needed to do was Get Brexit Done, no matter how slapdash the job. In the US, all Trump needed to do to maintain his supporters’ loyalty was bark about a wall with Mexico every now and then, pass a racist travel ban, and savage various public figures for sport.

This is corrosive stuff – not only to the quality of public debate, but to the caliber of politicians. When the business of government becomes limited to populist set pieces, its ranks are purged of doers and populated instead with cheerleaders. This is how we ended up with the current cast of dazed-in-headlights Tory cabinet members. In the US, the very notion of an “administration” has been worn away. As the New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen puts it, “There is no White House. Not in the sense that journalists have always used that term. It’s just Trump – and people who work in the building.”

By the time Covid-19 hit their shores, the UK and US were lacking not just the politicians but the bureaucracies required to respond effectively. Prior to the crisis, Trump repeatedly attempted to defund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. In the UK, the pandemic inconvenienced a Tory cabinet embroiled in a feud with its own civil service. The intellectual and practical infrastructure to deal with facts had been vandalized.

But there is a longer, non-partisan history that rendered both nations incapable of an adequate response to the pandemic. The special relationship is not just one of linguistic and cultural proximity, but an ideological partnership forged in the post-second world war era. Anglo-American capitalism, pursued by both right and center-left parties, rooted in small government and powered by exceptionalism, had dismantled the state. No notice or warning could have refashioned the machinery of government quickly enough to save lives. An economic and political model that hinges on privatization, liberalization and the withdrawal of labor rights created a system prone to regular crises, despite such shocks being framed as one-offs.

The economic and regulatory kinship was strengthened by the transformation of Britain’s quaint and mercantile financial sector into a replica of the US’s aggressive markets. The City caught up with Wall Street.

An interventionist foreign policy – publicly moralistic but privately cynical – gave the model an expansionist edge, which helped both nations project power abroad and defend their own financial and political interests. But the wars led to quagmires, and the rapidly expanding financial sectors to economic near-death experiences. Neither triggered significant rethinking or reflection. After the 2008 financial crisis, when this system came within “48 hours” of the “apocalypse”, two center-left leaders, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, chose to shore up the infrastructure that had brought their economies to the brink, recapitalizing the banks and revitalizing the markets, opting for more regulation rather than fundamental reform.

Just as the financial crash was treated as the malfunctioning of a particular unsupervised bug in the system rather than as a feature of it, so is the failure to grapple with the pandemic being cast as an unforeseen, exogenous event, rather than a result of an ideology that enables the state to scramble unprecedented resources to save banks but not lives. A nurse will wear a bin liner as PPE in the US for longer than a failing bank can go unfinanced.

Hollow triumphalism about making America great again and Britain taking back control becomes more and more likely in such a system. Trump and the Tories alighted on this formula not entirely out of mendacity or ideology. Without radically challenging Anglo-American capitalism, they have nothing else to offer their voters. And so they must separate economic suffering from politics, and attempt to blame it on immigrants and outsiders. They must blame other countries and international institutions – the EU, WHO, NATO – for the feelings of helplessness experienced by their own citizens. The swagger is a facade. Behind it hides a rotting national landscape.

As the bodies pile up, the failure of the US and the UK will be somehow spun into victory. The triumphalism will intensify; that is certain. The only question now is how many will continue to believe it.

China refutes ‘two dozen lies’ by US politicians over COVID-19 pandemic

May 10, 2020 

Source

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo taken on February 23, 2017 shows Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan. (Photo by AFP)
China refutes 'two dozen lies' by US politicians over COVID-19 pandemic

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an article has strongly refuted two dozen “preposterous allegations” and “false claims” by some leading US politicians over its handling of the new coronavirus outbreak.

The 30-page article posted on the ministry’s website on Saturday night rebutted 24 untrue claims from the US, including calling the novel coronavirus “the Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” and claims that the Wuhan Institute of Virology created the virus.

The article said that all evidence shows the virus is not man-made and that the institute is not capable of synthesizing a new coronavirus.

Rejecting suggestions by US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the new coronavirus should be called the “Chinese virus”, the article cited documents from the World Health Organization (WHO) to say the name of a virus should not be country-specific.

It also roundly rejected accusations by US politicians, especially Pompeo, that China had withheld information about the new coronavirus.

The piece of writing cited media reports that said Americans had been infected with the virus before the first case was confirmed in Wuhan.

The article provided a timeline of how China had provided information to the international community in a “timely”, “open and transparent” manner to rebuke US suggestions that it had been slow to sound the alarm.

The article repeated and expanded on the refutations made during the press briefings, and began by invoking Abraham Lincoln, the 19th century US president.

“As Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all the time and fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” it said in the prologue.

It rejected Western criticism of Beijing’s handling of the case of Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor who had tried to raise the alarm over the outbreak of the new virus in Wuhan.

His death from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, prompted an outpouring of grief and was later named among “martyrs” mourned by China.

The ministry article said Li was not a “whistle-blower” and he was never arrested, contrary to many Western reports.

Trump has described the coronavirus pandemic as the worst attack ever on his country while pointing the finger at China, saying the outbreak has hit the United States harder than the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor during WW ll or the 9/11 attacks two decades ago, which led the country to wage two deadly wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.

China believes that the US president is trying to divert attention from his poor handling of the coronavirus outbreak in his country in order to back up his presidential bid.

Trump claimed last week that he had seen evidence linking the virus to a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan and threatened new trade tariffs on China. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said there is “enormous evidence” backing the coronavirus-leak scenario.

The World Health Organization, senior US scientists and even the US intelligence community have rejected the claim despite pressure from the White House.

Below are the 24 false claims and truths listed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

No.1

Lie: The novel coronavirus is the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus.”

Fact: The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines have advised against giving infectious diseases names that associate them with specific countries and regions.

No.2

Lie: Wuhan is the origin of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fact: Although the city first reported the outbreak, Wuhan is not necessarily the origin of the virus. The origin of COVID-19 is still unknown. Its source should remain a matter of science and should only be determined by scientists and medical experts based on scientific facts.

No.3

Lie: COVID-19 was created by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Fact: All of the evidence so far has shown that the virus evolved naturally. It is not man-made.

No.4

Lie: COVID-19 was accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Fact: The P4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a collaborative project with the French government. It is not capable of designing and producing COVID-19, and there is no evidence that any sort of virus leaked from the lab or that any staff got infected.

No.5

Lie: China could have contained the outbreak from spreading outside Wuhan, but it let the virus spread to the world by not limiting international flights.

Fact: China implemented the most restrictive prevention and control measures in the shortest possible time to prevent major outbreaks in places other than Wuhan. The statistics show that only a few imported cases are from China.

No.6

Lie: Chinese people contracted the coronavirus from eating bats.

Fact: Bats are never Chinese people’s cooking ingredients.

No.7

Lie: China reopened its wildlife market. It should close its “wet market” immediately.

Fact: China does have “wet markets.” China has completely banned the illegal hunting and trading of wild animals.

No.8

Lie: China’s initial cover-up of the outbreak has led to the virus spreading to the world.

Fact: The outbreak was caused by a new type of virus, which required time to fully understand it. China has published the related information in an open, transparent and responsible manner.

No.9

Lie: China arrested “whistleblower” Dr Li Wenliang.

Fact: Dr Li Wenliang is not a “whistleblower,” and he was not arrested.

No.10

Lie: China’s delayed report on human-to-human transmission mislead the United States and the world on how contagious and deadly the virus is, thus causing them to miss the opportunity to take early measures.

Fact: China has been updating the WHO on the severity of the virus. The US should have been crystal clear about how lethal the virus is.

No.11

Lie: China’s data on COVID-19 is not transparent. The real number of confirmed and deceased COVID-19 cases is at least 50 times more than reported.

Fact: China’s released data is completely transparent and can stand the test of time.

No.12

Lie: Wuhan’s revision of the number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities proves that China covered up the actual number of infected patients during the initial stage of the outbreak.

Fact: Data revision is a common international practice, which actually approves China is open, transparent and responsible in reporting the data.

No.13

Lie: China spreads disinformation about the outbreak.

Fact: China publishes COVID-19 data in an open and transparent way. But some US politicians and anti-China scholars have smeared China. China is a victim of disinformation.

No.14

Lie: China’s political system is the root of the problem.

Fact: The virus doesn’t distinguish ideology or social systems. The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have played a decisive and crucial role in leading the Chinese people to prevail against the epidemic. China’s political system has effectively organized and mobilized 1.4 billion people in China’s vast territory of 9.6 million square kilometers to overcome the difficulties faced by developing countries. It unites all forces, pools all resources and provides a strong political guarantee to overcome the epidemic. It has been proven that the social system and development path chosen by the Chinese people fit China’s domestic situation, and the Communist Party of China has won firm and broad support from Chinese people. China also has no intention of exporting its political system.

No.15

Lie: China expelled US journalists to cover up the outbreak.

Fact: China’s expulsion of the US journalists is a reciprocal countermeasure against the US for its long-term suppression of Chinese media agencies in the US, especially the recent expulsion of 60 Chinese journalists. China releases information in a timely manner in an open, transparent and responsible manner.

No.16

Lie: China controls the WHO and uses money to woo the organization.

Fact: China firmly supports multilateralism. China has maintained good communication and cooperation with the WHO, but China has never manipulated the WHO. Notably, it is the US, the largest source of funding for the WHO, that has suspended funding of the international body, a move that was unanimously opposed by the international community.

No.17

Lie: Taiwan issued a warning to the WHO about the human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus pneumonia from as early as December 31, 2019, but it was not taken seriously.

Fact: China’s Taiwan region was not issuing a warning to the WHO, but seeking additional information from the WHO after the Wuhan Health Commission filed a report on COVID-19.

No.18

Lie: China prevented Taiwan from joining the WHO and endangered the health of Taiwanese.

Fact: The truth is, Taiwan, as a part of China, has no right to participate in the WHO that only sovereign states can join. The channels of technical cooperation between China’s Taiwan and the WHO are always open.

No.19

Lie: China should be held responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. China should be investigated and sued for compensation.

Fact: There is no legal basis for holding China responsible for the pandemic and asking for compensation. Such claims are just tricks some American politicians use to shift blame for their own political gain.

No.20

Lie: China has hoarded protective medical resources, taking advantage of the pandemic to yield huge profits. It tightened the export of virus containment resources and equipment and limited exports, especially ventilators, which led to the US not having sufficient stocks.

Fact: Although China’s own virus containment is arduous, China is still doing its best to provide anti-COVID-19 medical supplies to other countries.

No.21

Lie: China’s assistance is “political generosity.”

Fact: China’s foreign aid for fighting against the pandemic is sent to countries that supported China during the early phase of the outbreak. It is also based on the concept of a community of shared human destiny.

No.22

Lie: China is interfering in the US election, trying to prevent US President Donald Trump from being re-elected.

Fact: China has always adhered to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. “Attacking China” is just a smear tactic that some US politicians are attempting to use as their campaign strategy.

No.23

Lie: China recently required that enterprises that export masks, test kits, ventilators and other materials must provide customs with declaration forms, which can be seen as an attempt to ban the export of anti-COVID-19 medical supplies.

Fact: The Chinese approach aims to strengthen quality control.

No.24

Lie: China’s Guangdong Province discriminated against African nationals.

Fact: China’s prevention and control measures never discriminate between Chinese and foreign nationals. It adopts a zero-tolerance attitude toward discriminatory words and deeds.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Could Taiwan Have Saved the World from the Coronavirus?

May 05, 2020

Could Taiwan Have Saved the World from the Coronavirus?

by Allen Yu for The Saker Blog

Many people in the West – apparently led on by the U.S. government – believe that the Chinese had covered up information regarding initial extent of the epidemic in China. Some had asserted that the death toll in China was actually magnitudes higher. When that could not be proven, some are taken to the notion that China kept data regarding human-to-human transmission from the world. The supposed evidence? An email Taiwanese authorities sent to the WHO on December 31.

This email has often been presented to constitute evidence that Taiwan had learned of and warned the WHO of human-to-human transmission in Wuhan, but that the WHO ignored. Turns out, the email did not make any such assertion. No one has been able to present an email from Taiwan to the WHO reporting any information about human-to-human transmission.

The Taiwan CDC has now put up a page indicating the “facts” about that email. As it turns out, Taiwan concedes now that when it sent out the email, it did not have any evidence about what was happening in Wuhan other than “online sources” and “rumors that were circulating.” Taiwan CDC insists however that because the mainland authorities used the term “atypical pneumonia,” which was used in SARS in 2003, Taiwan authorities had speculated that human-to-human transmission was a possibility.

Well … of course transmission was considered a possibility! However, epidemiology and public policy are not about speculations. No one wants a repeat of the H1n1 fiasco of a few years ago. (See, e.g., Sound the Alarm? A Swine Flu Bind, New York Times, 2009The elusive definition of pandemic influenza, Bulletin of the WHO, 2011Swine flu: is panic the key to successful modern health policy?, J. of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2010) What is needed is evidence to inform a commensurate response. This is what the Chinese experts and authorities worked so hard to figure out.

Evidence would soon come forth. Chinese researchers would determine a novel coronavirus to be the cause of these new pneumonia cases on January 8. On January 11, they would publish the sequence to the world. And On January 20, they would confirm human-to-human transmission. (For a detailed review of the Chinese early response, see, e.g., this report).

The allegation that Taiwan provided early warning of human-to-human transmission that China had covered up thus simply does not hold up to scrutiny. In the crucial early days of the outbreak, Taiwan did not do work relating to the virus and did not contribute any knowledge to the world regarding virus.

Below are some more details of Taiwan’s supposedly smoking gun email on China’s cover-up of Covid-19 (Chinese followed by English translation).

新华社北京4月17日电 国台办发言人朱凤莲17日应询向媒体表示,民进党当局声称,台防疫部门曾于去年12月31日向世卫组织发函“示警”新冠肺炎病毒“人传人”,世卫组织未向全球公开这项信息。这些说法完全不符合事实。

Xinhua News 4/17 PRC Taiwan Affairs Spokemans Mr. Zhu responding to journalist questions regarding Taiwan’s recently alleged that Taiwan had sent in an email on 12/31 to the WHO to warn of human-to-human transmissions and that the WHO has yet to disclose.

朱凤莲指出,新冠肺炎疫情发生以来,我们及时向世卫组织以及有关国家和地区通报疫情信息。去年12月31日,武汉市卫生健康委在官方网站首次对外发布《关于当前我市肺炎疫情的情况通报》,通报了27例病例,明确说明已采取隔离治疗措施。这既是向社会大众、也是向国际社会公布疫情信息,体现了我们对待疫情公开、透明、负责任的一贯态度。世卫组织当天也获悉有关情况。可以说,武汉卫健委公布的信息,为世卫组织立即决定自1月1日在该组织三个层级组建事故管理支持小组,并进入抗疫紧急状态发挥了关键作用。

Mr. Zhu has pointed that since the inception of Covid-19, we have notified the WHO as well as other relevant nations and authorities regarding the epidemic. On 12/31, Wuhan CDC announced on its website the up-to-date information, regarding 27 mysterious pneumonia cases and clearly detailing the quarantining measures being taken. The reports were presented to the public as well as to the international community and constituted our effort to a transparent and responsible. On the same day, we also sent a report to the WHO. WHO would soon set up IMST (Incident Management Support Team) across the three levels of the organization, putting the organization on an emergency footing for dealing with the outbreak.

朱凤莲说,台方所称12月31日邮件,仅是引述武汉卫健委公布的内容,并没有其他信息,也就是说武汉卫健委发布的信息是台方邮件内容的唯一信息来源。去年12月31日,台卫生部门还向国家卫健委发函了解武汉卫健委公布的信息,国家卫健委通过两岸医药卫生合作协议联系窗口书面回复台方,请其参考武汉卫健委公布的情况通报。事实很清楚,大陆方面首先公布信息,台卫生部门再进行转述,不存在所谓台方首先向世卫组织报告的情况。台方邮件也未提及“人传人”,主要是向世卫组织了解情况。台卫生部门1月4日、6日发新闻稿表示“并没有明显人传人现象及医护人员感染”。3月15日后台方却把去年12月31日转述邮件包装成首先“示警”信息。如果从“示警”角度看,这封邮件也不过是证明了武汉卫健委第一时间向社会公众和国际社会发布信息。可见,民进党当局的炒作是一个伪命题,目的就是作政治文章。一些外国政客跟风炒作,以讹传讹,借此攻击大陆和世卫组织,完全是别有用心的。

Mr. Zhu indicates, the so-called Taiwan email to the WHO on 12/31 merely quoted the contents of Wuhan CDC’s announcements and contained no other information. To stress, Wuhan’s CDC announcement on its website on 12/31 is the only source for Taiwan’s email to the WHO on 12/31. Taiwan CDC did contact Mr. Zhu seeking more information, and through Taiwan Affairs Department, Mr. Zhu did direct Taiwan CDC to public bulletins available on Wuhan CDC’s website. The timing is very clear. The Mainland side first announced information relating to unknown cases about pneumonia to the world. Taiwan side then sought more information. Taiwan DID NOT disclose information to the WHO before China had already provided the information to the WHO and the world. Taiwan’s email to the WHO was geared at soliciting information from the WHO and did not make any mention of “human-to-human” transmissions. In Taiwan CDC’s press briefings on 1/4 and 1/6, it is stated that there were “no obvious signs of human-to-human transmissions or transmissions to medical workers.” It is only after 3/15 that Taiwan side began promoting its 12/31 email to the WHO as an “early warning.” The email however was not an early warning and if anything supports the opposite proposition that the “early warning” came from Wuhan CDC. This whole recasting of Taiwan’s email to an early warning is but an attempt for political jockeying….

朱凤莲表示,台方称无法与世卫组织进行沟通,这封邮件却证明此言不实。台湾地区卫生机构通过世卫组织《国际卫生条例》架构下的联络窗口,可以及时获取世卫组织发布的信息并直接向世卫组织更新信息。台湾地区医疗卫生专家一直以适当身份参加世卫组织的会议。从2019年初到2020年3月,16批24人次台湾地区专家参加世卫组织举办的技术会议。大陆方面1月12日至14日即安排台湾专家到武汉实地考察,了解新冠肺炎确诊病人诊治和疫情处置情况。截至4月13日,大陆方面向台湾方面通报疫情信息127次。对这些情况,民进党当局一再回避,讳莫如深,始终不如实向岛内民众说明,不断炒作所谓“防疫缺口”,现在又大肆炒作“邮件示警”,可见其用心并不是公共卫生防疫。其实这些都不难理解,民进党当局这么做,不过是不断暴露“以疫谋独”的政治目的而已。

Mr. Zhu also pointed out that the idea that Taiwan authorities have no ability to community with the WHO is also utterly incorrect. Under the international framework provided under the WHO, Taiwan has the ability to communicate with and obtain most updated information with the WHO. Taiwan public health and medical workers have always had ability to join WHO meetings and conferences. From 2019 to March 2020, Taiwan has sent teams of 24 to WHO meetings and conferences some 16 times. From 1/12-1/14, the Mainland side has invited Taiwanese experts to Wuhan for visits and studies, to get the up to date information and to see measures we are taking on the ground. By 4/13, Mainland has already given Taiwan 127 official updates. We wish the Taiwan authorities would be clear and transparent about all this to the Taiwan public. It is unfortunate the Taiwan side has chosen to obfuscate truth and try to make political advantage out of this.

朱凤莲强调,世卫组织是由主权国家组成的联合国专门机构。台湾是中国的一部分,其参与世卫组织等国际活动,必须在一个中国原则下处理。民进党当局炒作世卫组织涉台问题、企图“以疫谋独”,是不可能得逞的。

Mr. Zhu stressed, WHO is an organization made up of sovereign nations. Taiwan is a part of China and not a sovereign nation. To join world activities, Taiwan must live up to the one-China principle.

Allen Yu is an IP attorney in Silicon Valley, a founding blogger at blog.hiddenharmonies.org, as well as an adjunct fellow at the Chunqiu Institute for Development and Strategic Studies. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a D. Engr., M.S., and B.S. from UCLA Samueli School of Engineering. 

Is Imperial College still Open for Business?

 BY GILAD ATZMON

Imperial College_edited-1.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon 

Back in the 1960s, the British academic establishment was rather excited about the work of Karl Popper, the philosopher who developed the concept of empirical falsification.  Popper was keen to define the demarcation between the scientific and that which only mimics empiricism and scientism. A theory, according to Popper, can be considered scientific if, and only if, it is potentially falsifiable by experiments or its predictions.  Popper attempted to create criteria that would deny psychoanalysis, Marxism and astrology any scientific status based on the fact that these theories are not falsifiable.

One may wonder what Popper would have to say about the ‘science’ of Neil Ferguson, the man who predicted up to 550.000 Coronavirus dead in the UK and 2.2 million dead in the USA.

On 29 April, Off-Guardian published what I believe to be the most insightful criticism of the lockdown policy so far. In the article Iain Davis digs into the work or shall we say, blunders, he attributes to Ferguson.   Davis writes, “both Public Health England (PHE) and the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) were satisfied that COVID-19 (C19) presented a ‘low risk’ of mortality and downgraded it from the status of a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) on March 19th. The ACDP board members include Professor Neil Ferguson from Imperial College. Presumably Prof. Ferguson was among the dissenting voices on the ACDP board as he completely ignored the majority opinion of his scientific colleagues.”

There is nothing wrong in holding a dissenting scientific view, however, this specific  ‘dissenting view’ and the way it was implemented by the UK and the USA governments appears to have led America, Britain and the rest of the world to respond in a way that created a catastrophe of a previously unknown scale.  

“In an interview on 13th February, widely reported by the mainstream media ,” Davis writes, “he (Ferguson) stated his predictive models were ‘not absurd.’ He said that infection rates of 60% of the population with a 1% mortality rate were possible. Standing by his prediction of 400,000 C19 deaths in the UK. The Imperial College computer model report was released to the public on 16th March, predicting huge numbers of deaths from C19. By the 19th March Prof. Ferguson must have known a majority of his peers disagreed with him.”

Davis points out that Ferguson failed to implement the most basic of scientific procedures, namely allowing a peer review of his ‘predictions,’ making sure that one or more people with similar competence in epidemiology evaluate what we now know to have been the grossly exaggerated Imperial College models and predictions.

Watch what  Swedish expert Prof. Johan Giesecke has to say about Britain’s favourite epidemiologist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfN2JWifLCY&feature=emb_title

Davis reveals that “when it comes to wildly inaccurate predictions Prof. Ferguson’s work at Imperial College has a long and distinguished history. In 2002, he said that (up to) 50,000 people in the UK would die from ‘mad cow disease’, to date less than 200 have passed away; he predicted 200 million global deaths from the H5N1 bird flu. Currently it is a suspected factor in the deaths of 455 people world wide; in 2009 he told the UK Government that 65,000 could die from swine flu in the UK and worked with the World Health Organisation to predict millions of deaths from the H1N1 global flu pandemic*.”

You may ask what kind of scientists are mistaken in their predictions by factors of  200 or more?  What kind of an academic institution would provide such a scientist with a platform, let alone having him lead a department? And the questions go far deeper. Davis writes, “while Prof. Ferguson and his Imperial College colleagues have been consistently wrong they have also been unquestioningly believed by governments and intergovernmental bodies on every occasion. Seemingly without reservation. Despite the clear evidence to the contrary, policy makers from all political parties have shown tremendous loyalty to Imperial College’s silly data models. In doing so, they have not only ignored the researchers’ woeful history of failed predictions but have also denied the scientific evidence which usually contradicts them.”

 Davis is not alone. On April 28th  F. William Engdahl expressed very similar concerns re Neil Ferguson, his reputation and his past ‘models.’ “In 2005,” Engdahl writes,  “Ferguson claimed that up to 200 million (!) people worldwide would be killed by bird-flu or H5N1. By early 2006, the WHO had only linked 78 deaths to the virus.”

I am not in any position to assess the true danger to us of C19 or our response to it. But simple common sense tells us that the only reliable scientific fact about our British leading epidemiologist team is the uncomfortable fact that it has often been wrong and by a huge margin.

In an unreserved manner Engdahl suggests that, “the same Ferguson group at Imperial College, with WHO endorsement, was behind the panic numbers that triggered a UK government lockdown. Ferguson was also the source of the wild ‘prediction’ that 2.2 million Americans would likely die if immediate lockdown of the US economy did not occur. Based on the Ferguson model, Dr Anthony Fauci of NIAID reportedly confronted President Trump and pressured him to declare a national health emergency. Much as in the UK, once the damage to the economy was begun, Ferguson’s model later drastically lowered the US fatality estimates to between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths. In both US and UK cases Neil Ferguson relied on data from the Chinese government, data which has been shown as unreliable.

 How would Neil Ferguson and his Imperial College group score on Popper’s falsifiability test? Not well.

 In Popperian terms, what Ferguson and his Imperial College team produce has little to do with science, as it does not even attempt to produce a clear criteria for falsification. ‘Predictions’ of ‘possible’ death that fluctuate widely from 50-200.000 in the case of Mad Cow Disease or from 20.000 -500.000 in the case of C19 cannot be considered ‘falsifiable’ scientifically as the range is too broad to validate one theoretical calculative model over another. The models at play, so it seems, include too many ‘if’ variables, possibly to cover their author’s reputation rather than to produce something that resembles a verifiable prediction.

The next question is why anyone in Britain or the USA  takes such ‘science’ seriously. One wonders what is it that has led Britain and its academia to lose touch with the core scientific ethos?   

As upsetting as it may be for some progressives, even Donald Trump/White House’s  Corona model is more reliable and scientific than the numerical exercise produced by Britain’s most prestigious academic institute.

Yet despite the fact that Imperial College and Ferguson have apparently  pulled Britain and the USA into total financial chaos and of a humongous magnitude, Imperial College is still open for business. In spite of the disaster it inflicted on the world it still describes itself as “a global top ten university with a world-class reputation in science, engineering, business and medicine.” I believe that not many academic institutes could compete with Imperial College in inflicting global scientific disasters. To the best of my knowledge, Imperial College’s epidemiology team has yet to be questioned by law enforcement about the theoretical grounds and the evidence at the core of its phantasmic predictions.

Engdahl reports that “Neil Ferguson and his modelling group at Imperial College, in addition to being backed by WHO, receive millions from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ferguson heads the Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium at Imperial College which lists as its funders the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Gates-backed GAVI-the vaccine alliance. From 2006 through 2018 the Gates Foundation has invested an impressive $184,872,226.99** into Ferguson’s Imperial College modelling operations.”

Let’s learn from Neil Ferguson about Imperial College’s partnership with the Gates Foundation and Governments around the world: https://youtu.be/e7Xwlv_wZwU?t=199

In 2002, Arnold S. Relman, then a professor of medicine at Harvard University suggested that  ‘’the medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country [USA]  are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.’’

Maybe, judging Ferguson, Imperial College or any other ‘scientific’ institution in Popperian terms  misses the point. What  matters to such academic institutions is the amount they can amass from oligarchs, industries, bankers and corporations.  This raises the question, what do they give in return? We are basically dealing with Western civilization prostituting its prime intellectual asset, namely its scientific ethos. 

If there is a lesson to be drawn from the C19 crisis at this stage, it is that universities, academia and science must be separated from all forms of mammon and mammonites. The word ‘university’ is derived from the Latin word universitas meaning: the whole, total, the universe, the world.  Universitas  were initially communities of teachers and scholars committed to knowledge and its seeking rather than an extended apparatus attached to pharmaceutical conglomerates, food chains, bankers  and other symptoms of the capitalist universe. 

For  Western civilization to survive it must reinstate its Athenian roots and its commitment to truth seeking.  We should, once again learn to differentiate and understand the crude tension between science and technology, between those who unveil the concealed and those who act to appropriate nature and turn every possible occurrence, including corona virus, into a money making machine.

 One great philosopher put a lot of work into the understanding of the tension between science and technology or shall we say, between truth and its instrumentalization. I am referring to Martin Heidegger, the philosopher the Guardians of Judea do not think you should pay any attention to.

 In my next article I will examine the role of Imperial College and its  C19 ‘epidemiology’ in light of the prophecy left to us by Heidegger’s legacy.

 *To read another detail account of Neil Ferguson’s prediction history read The Ferguson Effect by Scott Johnson

 ** GA: though I have seen references to this sum repeatedly mentioned on different outlets, I see the need to mention that I myself didn’t see any official reference that indicates that this number is actually genuine.

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Why I No Longer Read Facebook

 BY GILAD ATZMON

fb hitler_edited-1.jpg

Source

by Eve Mykytyn

In an effort to stem the torrent of ‘false’ cures and conspiracy theories about COVID-19, Facebook announced it would begin informing users globally who have liked, commented on, or shared “harmful” misinformation about the coronavirus, that the content they reacted to was incorrect and  pointing them in the direction of what Facebook considers to be a  ‘reliable’ source. The reliable source?  The World Health Organization. Here’s the distinctly noninformative WHO Covid 19 website . 


I don’t know what caused Covid 19 to become our disease du jour. Was it a bat? A natural or laboratory mutation? Not only do I not know, but I don’t believe that Facebook, or the WHO know either. Why not let theories abound? Perhaps free speech means that we trust the people to evaluate the source and sort out the facts for themselves. 

The general rule in the US is that no publisher has an obligation to print any particular view: that rule dates from  when ‘publisher’ meant print and print was inexpensive. The founders intentionally strove to open a ‘marketplace of ideas,’ a ‘public square’ with pamphleteers and speeches. Published content was restricted only  by the threat of litigation over libel or defamation which requires publishing material known (or should have known) to be false.

Exceptions to the general rule came about when publishing was through a limited medium regulated by the government. When television stations were a limited resource obtained through government licensing of the  few channels, the government imposed  free speech requirements including an equal time rule, requiring television stations to present both sides of an issue. The rule was dropped, considered unnecessary only when television began to offer a plethora of stations.

So now we get to Facebook( youtube, twitter, etc.). Which is it most like, television or freely available printing?

For many years, including the time that these major platforms became monopolies, the internet depended on cable service which due to the physical nature of cable was a limited resource for which the government issued licenses to certain cable companies. In 1965 , the FCC established rules for cable systems and the Supreme Court affirmed the FCC’s jurisdiction over cable. I believe that  Facebook is also subject to regulation as a monopoly as the government has authority to interfere with monopolies, particularly when they are successful (which is, admittedly another issue) ask AT&T. 

But Facebook wants it both ways.  They don’t admit liability for defamatory statements published on their site. They argue that they behave simply as a platform, a means of transmission. But they also reserve the right to censor content by restricting or deleting material they deem incorrect. So which is it? If they have the power to censor what we see why shouldn’t they be liable for the content?

This censoring of free speech applies broadly. Google favors some content over others in its search engine, Youtube has been on a tear not only deleting videos but replacing videos with others that express an alternative view.   See where they plan to ban holocaust  ‘denial’ (revisionist in any way)  videos and offer wikipedia instead.  Further they intend to offer the banned videos to researchers and NGOs “looking to understand hate in order to combat it,” thereby providing content only to a restricted class of their own choosing.  Twitter inserts a page when a ‘controversial’ link is clicked warning the user that the link has been identified as  malware although Twitter admits that malware warnings are posted based on content. 

What is it that compels these platforms to come down on both sides of the free speech issue?  After all, by editing content Facebook becomes more like a  publisher and less like a mere  platform. Facebook does so because it regularly gets brought before Congress to explain free speech congress doesn’t like. Facebook also defers to European countries that regulate speech.

Facebook argues that internet companies aren’t governments and they can restrict what they like. That’s why they don’t follow the First Amendment and instead enforce more restrictive rules in response to criticism of their content.  See, for ex., The New Yorker on the ‘free speech excuse.’  

I believe that major platforms have become the public square. Yet we allow Facebook to restrict our speech and they do so effectively. As owners of the public square they are uniquely positioned to and do silence  dissenters. Platforms take down posts that don’t fit their ‘standards, and they do so swiftly. Perhaps before we allow Facebook to be the arbitrator of free speech, we should rethink the present day meaning of a marketplace of ideas.

Coronavirus: How Are European Countries Treating Refugees Amid the Pandemic?

By Romana Rubeo & Ramzy Baroud

Source

Neglecting the refugees while fighting coronavirus is as foolish as it is inhumane. The last few months have taught us that self-centered strategies do not apply in the cases of global healthcare crises.

As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading its tentacles throughout China and eventually to the rest of the world, the World Health Organization (WHO), along with other international groups, sounded the alarm that refugees and migrants are particularly vulnerable to the deadly disease.

“We strongly emphasize the need for inclusive national public health measures to ensure migrants and refugees have the same access to services as the resident population, in a culturally sensitive way,” Dr. Santino Severoni, Special Adviser on Health and Migration at WHO/Europe implored governments throughout the continent.

More than 120,000 ‘irregular’ migrants and refugees have landed on European shores in 2019 alone, a large percentage from war-torn Syria.

Having hundreds of thousands of people navigate dangerous terrains or held under inhumane conditions in various camps and detention centers without proper medical care is already bad enough. It is far worse, however, that these vulnerable groups are now enduring the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic without much government attention, a centralized strategy or even safe shelters.

Euronews reported last month on the story of 56 people arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos, coming mostly from Afghanistan and various African countries.

Just as the coronavirus was peaking in Europe, these unfortunate escapees of war and poverty arrived to find that they have no protection, no assistance, and no prospect of any help arriving any time soon.

One Afghan refugee said that the group was left fending for itself, for fourteen days without any support, not even gloves or masks.

But not all European countries neglected the refugees, partially or entirely. Although one of the poorest European countries, Portugal has decided to legalize all of its undocumented refugees and migrants, therefore, providing them with the same medical attention and support as its own citizens.

Below, is a quick look at how European countries treated refugees and migrants since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spain

Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and other Council of Europe member states suspended the deportation of refugees to their own countries.

For its part, Spain has finally emptied its Centros de Enternamiento de Extranjeros (CIE), the notorious detention and deportation centers that have been criticized by various human rights groups in the past.

59% of all refugees and migrants to Spain were reportedly held in the CIE. By early April, however, that percentage had gone down to zero, according to the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

It remains unclear, however, if and when CIE will resume their activities or if Spain will review the status of refugees and migrants who have been slated for deportation prior to the outbreak of the virus.

Portugal

Spain’s precautionary measures are different from those of its neighbor, Portugal. The latter will treat all refugees and migrants, who have pending applications as permanent residents, starting July 1.

The government decision was meant to secure refugees’ and migrants’ access to public services during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Applicants including asylum seekers need only provide evidence of an ongoing request to qualify – granting them access to the national health service, welfare benefits, bank accounts, and work and rental contracts,” Reuters reported.

A spokesman for Portugal’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, Claudia Veloso, summed up the logic behind her government’s decision in a language that is, sadly, quite alien to the pervading European political discourse on refugees:

People should not be deprived of their rights to health and public service just because their application has not yet been processed. In these exceptional times, the rights of migrants must be guaranteed.”

Italy

One of the countries that has suffered most as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Italy has a significant population of refugees and asylum seekers, numbering 300,000 by the end of 2018.

On March 12, due to the closure of courts across the country, the Italian government suspended all hearings and appeals relevant to asylum seekers. It remains unclear when the pending status of refugees will be reviewed, considering the high death toll and the degree of economic devastation that has afflicted Italy in recent months.

Although, by law, all foreigners in Italy have access to the country’s healthcare system, “many asylum seekers fear going to hospitals if undocumented, or face discrimination or language barriers,” Refugees International said last March.

“All this will make it harder to detect the virus in a highly vulnerable population,” the refugee advocacy organization added.

France

The fate of France’s refugees and undocumented migrants has worsened, not only because of the spread of the coronavirus but also because of the government’s haphazard and uncaring response.

A sizable number of France’s refugee and migrant communities are minors who arrived to the country without being accompanied by adults. The French government has been criticized repeatedly in the past for failing to address the issue of child refugees and migrants. Shockingly, the government’s behavior was hardly altered by the spread of the coronavirus, leaving children in a legal limbo during the world’s worst healthcare crisis since the Spanish flu in 1918.

“The treatment of these children by the authorities was already unacceptable before the epidemic, and today it is not only intolerable but also dangerous,” Benedicte Jeannerod, France director at Human Rights Watch warned in March.

“The authorities should urgently address this and provide these children with shelter and access to essential services to stop the spread of coronavirus in this already vulnerable group,” he added.

Germany

In the Ellwangen camp in Southwest Germany, the EU Observer reported that “nearly half of the roughly 600 people at (the) refugee camp … have tested positive for Covid-19, but are being forced to share facilities with everyone else.”

“We stayed in the same building and flat as people who had been tested positive for two days. We used the same kitchens and had meals with them. Because of this neglect, we will also get corona,” a refugee at the camp told The Guardian.

The refugees’ biggest concern in Germany is not pertaining to their legal status and potential deportation, but to medical neglect as well, as detention camps are overcrowded and refugees are getting infected with the virus in droves.

While some European governments speak of human solidarity, and, as in the case of Portugal, back their words with actions, others remain as unbenevolent and as unkind as ever.

That said, neglecting the refugees while fighting to halt the spread of the coronavirus is as foolish as it is inhumane. The last few months have taught us that provisional and self-centered strategies do not apply in the cases of global healthcare crises.

The mistreatment of refugees by some European countries, however, should not come as a complete surprise, for vulnerable refugees have suffered immense hardship while seeking a safe haven on the continent for many years.

In fact, Europe seems to have run out of solidarity for its own so-called ‘European community’, leaving poor EU members, such as Italy and Spain battling the deadly virus alone, without extending a helping hand or, at times, even mere words of sympathy.

 

Corona, Progressives and the Agora

 BY GILAD ATZMON

agora corona.jpg

 By Gilad Atzmon

I was planning to write a long article comparing the accountability of the various possible Covid-19 culprits. I thought I would delve into a hypothetical question: who is more guilty of a mass murder – a young scientist who forgot to seal the safety latch of a laboratory coronavirus refrigerator and by failing to do so, exposed humanity to the risk of a viral pandemic, or an epidemiologist and professor who distributes a phantasmic unsubstantiated study that is not fact-based and proved to be grossly incorrect and by so doing, inflicted financial chaos leading to the destruction of the Western economy, contributed to world famine and the possible deaths of millions?

But as soon as I started to delve into it, I gathered that the topic was not as interesting as I hoped. The young scientist was negligent, a relatively minor offence in comparison with the epidemiologist who committed a conscious, wilful act following a process of so-called methodical ‘deliberation.’ The young scientist is guilty of negligence that led to many deaths, the epidemiology professor is, basically, complicit in a crime against humanity.

I realized a more interesting question is why most Western countries failed to take the right decision. Britain is particularly interesting as it initially took what seems now to be the right policy, then made a 180 after it was subject to a media blitz fuelled by the embarrassingly exaggerated ‘predictions’ from a ‘scientific study’ delivered by London Imperial College.

If we want to live in a better world, we may have to delve into the systematic failure of our media, government, dysfunctional political class, and the scientific political technocrats. Considering the crimes that are now committed by our so-called elite, a criminal investigation is likely the only way forward and may be our only hope to survive.

Other intriguing questions have surfaced amidst the Corona crisis.  While it is clear why many people supported severe lockdown measures back in February and March, it is far from clear why liberals and progressives are still supporting the ludicrous surrender of our most essential rights to operate freely and make a living? Why do the tech companies stick with a narrative that is becoming increasingly shaky? Why does Facebook deploy its robots to silence anyone who doesn’t agree with the World Health Organization? Why, in the most blatant violation of freedom of speech, has Youtube been removing  content and alternative views presented by frontline scientists and medical doctors  such as Dr. Erickson’s Covid19 Briefing? For those who don’t remember, just two months ago the same American press, that is now rallying against dissenting American doctors, was criticizing China for silencing its own medical professionals who insisted upon telling the truth.  What is it about David Icke’s message that brings to light the true authoritarian nature of Google, Facebook and Twitter? Why are the tech corporations united against those who see 5G as a global menace? Whether the 5G dissenters are right or wrong, there is no health risk to any of us from people who express their thoughts and are upset by radiation.

It may be too depressing to admit that in the West, it is the tech companies, rather than the state, that display the most authoritarian tactics. But they are not alone in this battle. What we see is a broad alliance among the so-called progressives, the liberals and the bitterest Orwellian enemies of freedom and speech rights.

The division we see in contemporary society is not of a socio-economic nature, it is not rich vs. poor, it is not political, it has nothing to do with Left or Right, it is not even cognitive, it is all about Athens and Jerusalem. Athens teaches us how to think for ourselves, while Jerusalem dictates what to think, what to say and who not to listen to. Athens pushes for an Agora: an open marketplace of ideas dominated by tolerance and pluralism while Jerusalem adheres to a set of beliefs, and as is typical with beliefs, the more they are removed from factuality and rationality the stronger the belief happens to be.  

It does not come as a surprise to many of us that some progressives and liberals are still very pessimistic, as if they try to save the ridiculously farfetched predictions made by our state ‘scientists’ two months ago. They cling to predictions that have proven to be grossly wrong and by unheard of proportions. I guess that the progressive worldview is not a political position, it is a mental state and it is actually of a very problematic supremacist nature. Progressives are those who believe that those who do not agree with them are somehow inferior: ‘reactionaries’ so to say. To be a progressive is to believe that your view isn’t just right, it is actually superior, scientifically and analytically even if the facts and the rules of logic suggest the opposite. 

In my latest book, ‘Being in Time,’ I reached the conclusion that the progressive worldview is probably choseness’ final stage. I guess that my old insight has now materialized into a public awareness. I can only thank Covid-19 for that. 

AMERICAN PRAVDA: OUR CORONAVIRUS CATASTROPHE AS BIOWARFARE BLOWBACK?

A

Opinion

Nearly 30,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus during the last two weeks, and by some estimates this is a substantial under-count, while the death-toll continues to rapidly mount. Meanwhile, measures to control the spread of this deadly infection have already cost 22 million Americans their jobs, an unprecedented economic collapse that has pushed our unemployment rates to Great Depression levels. Our country is facing a crisis as grave as almost any in our national history.

For many weeks President Trump and his political allies had regularly dismissed or minimized this terrible health threat, and suddenly now faced with such a manifest disaster, they have naturally begun seeking other culprits to blame.

The obvious choice is China, where the global outbreak first began in late 2019. Over the last week or two our media has been increasingly filled with accusations that the dishonesty and incompetence of the Chinese government played a major role in producing our own health catastrophe.

Even more serious charges are also being raised, with senior government officials informing the media that they suspect that the Covid-19 virus was developed in a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan and then carelessly released upon a vulnerable world. Such “conspiracy theories” were once confined to the extreme political fringe of the Internet, but they are now found in the respectable pages of my morning New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Whether plausible or not, such accusations carry the gravest international implications, and there are growing demands that China financially compensate our country for its trillions of dollars in economic losses. A new global Cold War along both political and economic lines may rapidly be approaching.

I have no personal expertise in biowarfare technology, nor access to the secret American intelligence reports that seem to have been taken seriously by our most elite national newspapers. But I do think that a careful exploration of previous Sino-American clashes over the last couple of decades may provide some useful insight into the relative credibility of those two governments as well as that of our own media.

During the late 1990s, America seemed to reach the peak of its global power and prosperity, basking in the aftermath of its historic victory in the long Cold War, while ordinary Americans greatly benefited from the record-long economic expansion of that decade. A huge Tech Boom was at its height, and Islamic terrorism seemed a vague and distant thing, almost entirely confined to Hollywood movies. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the possibility of large scale war seemed to have dissipated so political leaders boasted of the “peace dividend” that citizens were starting to enjoy as our huge military forces, built up over nearly a half-century, were downsized amid sweeping cuts in the bloated defense budget. America was finally returning to a regular peacetime economy, with the benefits apparent to the everyone.

At the time, I was overwhelmingly focused on domestic political issues, so I only paid slight attention to our one small military operation of those years, the 1999 NATO air war against Serbia, intended to safeguard the Kosovar Muslims from ethnic cleansing and massacre, a Clinton Administration project that I fully endorsed.

Although our limited bombing campaign seemed quite successful and soon forced the Serbs to the bargaining table, the short war did include one very embarrassing episode. The use of old maps had led to a targeting error that caused one of our smart bombs to accidentally strike the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, killing three members of its delegation and wounding dozens more. The Chinese were outraged by this incident, and their propaganda organs began claiming that the attack had been deliberate, a reckless accusation that obviously made no logical sense.

In those days I watched the PBS Newshour every night, and was I shocked to see their U.S. Ambassador raise those absurd charges with host Jim Lehrer, whose disbelief matched my own. But when I considered that the Chinese government was still stubbornly denying the reality of its massacre of the protesting students in Tiananmen Square a decade earlier, I concluded that unreasonable behavior by PRC officials was only to be expected. Indeed, there was even some speculation that China was cynically milking the unfortunate accident for domestic reasons, hoping to ignite the sort of jingoist anti-Americanism among the Chinese people that would finally help bind the social wounds of that 1989 outrage.

Such at least were my thoughts on that matter more than two decades ago. But in the years that followed, my understanding of the world and of many pivotal events of modern history underwent the sweeping transformations that I have described in my American Pravda series. And some of my 1990s assumptions were among them.

Consider, for example, the Tiananmen Square Massacre, which every June 6th still evokes an annual wave of harsh condemnations in the news and opinion pages of our leading national newspapers. I had never originally doubted those facts, but a year or two ago I happened to come across a short article by journalist Jay Matthews entitled “The Myth of Tiananmen” that completely upended that apparent reality.

According to Matthews the infamous massacre had likely never happened, but was merely a media artifact produced by confused Western reporters and dishonest propaganda, a mistaken belief that had quickly become embedded in our standard media storyline, endlessly repeated by so many ignorant journalists that they all eventually believed it to be true. Instead, as near as could be determined, the protesting students had all left Tiananmen Square peacefully, just as the Chinese government had always maintained. Indeed, leading newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post had occasionally acknowledged these facts over the years, but usually buried those scanty admissions so deep in their stories that few ever noticed. Meanwhile, the bulk of the mainstream media had fallen for an apparent hoax.

Matthews himself had been the Beijing Bureau Chief of the Washington Post, personally covering the protests at the time, and his article appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, our most prestigious venue for media criticism. This authoritative analysis containing such explosive conclusions was first published in 1998, and I find it difficult to believe that many reporters or editors covering China have remained ignorant of the truth, yet the impact has been absolutely nil. For over twenty years virtually every mainstream media account I have read has continued to promote the Tiananmen Square Massacre Hoax, usually implicitly but sometimes explicitly.

Even more remarkable were the discoveries I made regarding our supposedly accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in 1999. Not long after launching this website, I added former Asia Times contributor Peter Lee as a columnist, incorporating his China Matters blogsite archives that stretched back for a decade. He soon published a 7,000 word article on the Belgrade Embassy bombing, representing a compilation of material already contained in a half-dozen previous pieces he’d written on that subject from 2007 onward. To my considerable surprise, he provided a great deal of persuasive evidence that the American attack on the Chinese embassy had indeed been deliberate, just as China had always claimed.

According to Lee, Beijing had allowed its embassy to be used as a site for secure radio transmission facilities by the Serbian military, whose own communications network was a primary target of NATO airstrikes. Meanwhile, Serbian air defenses had shot down an advanced American F-117A fighter, whose top-secret stealth technology was a crucial U.S. military secret. Portions of that enormously valuable wreckage were carefully gathered by the grateful Serbs, who delivered it to the Chinese for temporary storage at their embassy prior to transport back home. This vital technological acquisition later allowed China to deploy its own J20 stealth fighter in early 2011, many years sooner than American military analysts had believed possible.

Based upon this analysis, Lee argued that the Chinese embassy was attacked in order to destroy the Serbian retransmission facilities located there, while punishing the Chinese for allowing such use. There were also widespread rumors in China that another motive had been an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the stealth debris contained there. Later Congressional testimony revealed that the among all the hundreds of NATO airstrikes, the attack on the Chinese embassy was the only one directly ordered by the CIA, a highly-suspicious detail.

I was only slightly familiar with Lee’s work, and under normal circumstances I would have been very cautious in accepting his remarkable claims against the contrary position universally held by all our own elite media outlets. But other sources he cited completely shifted that balance.

Although the American media dominates the English-language world, many British publications also possess a strong global reputation, and since they are often much less in thrall to our own national security state, they have sometimes covered important stories that were ignored here. And in this case, the Sunday Observer published a remarkable expose in October 1999, citing several NATO military and intelligence sources who fully confirmed the deliberate nature of the American bombing of the Chinese embassy, with a US colonel even reportedly boasting that their smartbomb had hit the exact room intended.

This important story was immediately summarized in the Guardian, a sister publication, and also covered by the rival Times of London and many of the world’s other most prestigious publications, but encountered an absolute wall of silence in our own country. Such a bizarre divergence on a story of global strategic importance—a deliberate and deadly US attack against Chinese diplomatic territory—drew the attention of FAIR, a leading American media watchdog group, which published an initial critique and a subsequent follow-up. These two pieces totaled some 3,000 words, and effectively summarized both the overwhelming evidence of the facts and also the heavy international coverage, while reporting the weak excuses made by top American editors to explain their continuing silence. Based upon these articles, I consider the matter settled.

Few Americans remember our 1999 attack upon the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and if not for the annual waving of a bloody June 6th flag by our ignorant and disingenuous media, the “Tiananmen Square Massacre” would also have long since faded from memory. Neither of these events has much direct importance today, at least for our own citizens. But the broader media implications of these examples do seem quite significant.

These incidents represented two of the most serious flashpoints between the Chinese and American governments during the last thirty-odd years. In both cases the claims of the Chinese government were entirely correct, although they were denied by our own top political leaders and dismissed or ridiculed by virtually our entire mainstream media. Moreover, within a few months or a year the true facts became known to many journalists, even being reported in fully respectable venues. But that reality was still completely ignored and suppressed for decades, so that today almost no American whose information comes from our regular media would even be aware of it. Indeed, since many younger journalists draw their knowledge of the world from these same elite media sources, I suspect that many of them have never learned what their predecessors knew but dared not mention.

Most leading Chinese media outlets are owned or controlled by the Chinese government, and they tend to broadly follow the government line. Leading American media outlets have a corporate ownership structure and often boast of their fierce independence; but on many crucial matters, I think the actual reality is not so very different from that in China.

I tend to doubt that the Chinese leadership has any overwhelming commitment to the truth, and the reasons for their greater veracity are probably practical ones. American news and entertainment completely dominate the global media landscape and they face no significant domestic rival. So China recognizes that it is vastly outmatched in any propaganda conflict, and so as the far weaker party must necessarily try to stick closer to the truth, lest its lies be immediately exposed. Meanwhile, America’s overwhelming control over information may lead to considerable hubris, with the government sometimes promoting the most outrageous and ridiculous falsehoods in the confident belief that a supportive American media will cover for any mistakes.

These considerations should be kept in mind as we attempt to sift the accounts of our often unreliable and dishonest media to extract the true circumstances of the current global coronavirus epidemic. Unlike careful historical analysis, we are working in real-time with our analysis greatly hindered by the ongoing fog of war, so that any conclusions are necessarily very preliminary ones. But given the high stakes, the attempt should be made.

When my morning newspapers first began mentioning the appearance of a mysterious new illness in China during mid-January, I paid little attention, absorbed as I was in the aftermath of our sudden assassination of Iran’s top military leader and the dangerous possibility of a yet another Middle Eastern war. But the reports persisted and grew, with deaths occurring and evidence growing that the viral disease could be transmitted between humans. China seemed unsuccessful in its initial efforts to halt the spread of the disease using convention methods.

Then on Jan. 23rd and after only 17 deaths, the Chinese government took the astonishing step of locking down and quarantining the entire 11 million inhabitants of the city of Wuhan, a story that drew worldwide attention. They soon extended this policy to the 60 million Chinese of Hubei province, and not longer afterward shut down their entire national economy and confined 700 million Chinese to their homes, a public health measure probably a thousand times larger than anything previously undertaken in human history. So either China’s leadership had suddenly gone insane, or they regarded this new virus as an absolutely deadly national threat, which they must take all possible steps to control.

Given these dramatic Chinese actions and the international headlines that they generated, the current accusations by Trump Administration officials that China had attempted to minimize or conceal the serious nature of the disease outbreak is so ludicrous as to defy rationality. In any event, the record shows that on December 31st, the Chinese had already alerted the World Health Organization about the strange new illness, and Chinese scientists published the entire genome of the virus on Jan. 12th, allowing diagnostic tests to be produced worldwide.

Unlike other nations, China had had no advance warning of the nature or existence of the deadly new disease, and therefore faced unique obstacles. But their government implemented public health control measures unprecedented in the history of the world and managed to almost completely eradicate the disease with merely the loss of a few thousand lives.

Meanwhile, many other Western countries such as the US, Italy, Spain, France, and Britain dawdled for months and ignored the potential threat, consequently now suffering well over 100,000 dead, with the numbers still rapidly mounting. For any of these nations or their media to criticize China for its ineffectiveness or slow response represents an absolute inversion of reality.

Some governments took full advantage of the early warning and scientific information provided by China. Although nearby East Asian nations such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore had been at greatest risk and were among the first infected, their competent and energetic responses allowed them to almost completely avoid any major outbreak, and they have suffered minimal fatalities. But America and several European countries largely ignored adopting these same early measures such as widespread testing, quarantine, and contact-tracing, and have paid a terrible price for their insouciance.

A few weeks ago British Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that his own coronavirus plan for Britain was based upon rapidly achieving “herd immunity”—essentially encouraging the bulk of his citizens to become infected—then quickly backed away after his desperate advisors recognized that the result might entail a million or more British deaths.

By any reasonable measure, the response to this global health crisis by China and most East Asian countries has been absolutely exemplary, while that of many Western countries has been equally disastrous. Maintaining reasonable public health has been a basic requirement of functional governments since the days of the city-states of Sumeria, and the sheer and total incompetence of our own government and those of many of its European vassals has been breathtaking. If the Western media attempts to pretend otherwise, it will permanently forfeit whatever remaining international credibility it still possesses.

I do not think these particular facts are much disputed except among the most blinkered partisans, and the Trump Administration probably recognizes the hopelessness of arguing otherwise. This probably explains their recent shift towards a far more explosive and controversial narrative, namely claiming Covid-19 may have been the product of Chinese research into deadly viruses at a Wuhan laboratory, thereby suggesting that the blood of hundreds of thousands or millions of victims around the world will be on Chinese hands. Dramatic accusations backed by overwhelming international media power may deeply resonate across the globe.

News reports appearing in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are reasonably consistent, and cite senior Trump Administration officials pointing to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a leading Chinese biolab, as the possible source of the infection, with the deadly virus having been accidentally released and then spreading first throughout China and later worldwide. Trump himself has publicly voiced similar suspicions, as did Secretary of State and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo in a FoxNews interview. Private lawsuits against China in the multi-trillion-dollar range have already been filed by rightwing activists and Republican senators Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham have raised similar governmental demands.

I obviously have no personal access to the classified intelligence reports that have been the basis of these charges by Trump, Pompeo, and other top administration officials. But in reading these recent news accounts, I noticed something rather odd.

Back in January, few Americans were paying much attention to the early reports of a disease outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which was hardly a household name. Instead, overwhelming political attention was focused upon the battle over Trump’s impeachment and on the aftermath of our dangerous military confrontation with Iran. But towards the end of that month, I discovered that the fringes of the Internet were awash with claims that the disease was caused by a Chinese bioweapon accidentally released from that same Wuhan laboratory, with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon and ZeroHedge, a popular right-wing conspiracy-website, playing leading roles in backing the theory. Indeed, the stories became so widespread in those ideological circles that Sen. Tom Cotton, a leading Neocon, began promoting them on Twitter and FoxNews, thereby provoking an article in the NYT on those “fringe conspiracy theories.”

I suspect that it may be more than purely coincidental that the biowarfare theories which erupted in such concerted fashion on political websites and Social Media accounts back in January so closely match those now publicly advocated by top Trump Administration officials and supposedly based upon our most secure intelligence sources. Perhaps a few intrepid citizen-activists managed to replicate the findings of our multi-billion-dollar intelligence apparatus, and did so in days while the latter required weeks or months. But a more likely scenario is that the wave of January speculation was driven by private leaks and “guidance” provided by exactly the same elements that today are very publicly leveling similar charges in the elite media. Initially promoting controversial theories in less mainstream sources is supposedly a fairly standard intelligence practice.

Regardless of the origins of the idea, does it seem plausible that the coronavirus outbreak might have originated as an accidental leak from that Chinese laboratory? I am not privy to the security procedures of Chinese government facilities, but applying a little common sense may shed some light on that question.

Although the coronavirus is only moderately lethal, apparently having a fatality rate of 1% or less, it is extremely contagious, including during an extended pre-symptomatic period and also among asymptomatic carriers. Thus, portions of the US and Europe are now suffering heavy casualties, while the means taken to control the spread has devastated their national economies. Although the virus is not likely to kill more than a small sliver of the population, we have seen to our dismay how a major outbreak can easily wreck our entire economic life.

During January, the journalists reporting on China’s mushrooming health crisis regularly emphasized that the mysterious new viral outbreak had occurred at the worst possible place and time, in the major transport hub of Wuhan just prior to the Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of Chinese usually travel to their homes for the celebration, thereby potentially spreading the disease to all parts of the country and producing a permanent, uncontrollable epidemic. The Chinese government avoided that grim fate by the unprecedented decision to shut down the entire national economy and confine 700 million Chinese to their homes for many weeks. But the outcome seems to have been a very near thing, and if Wuhan had remained open for just a few days longer, China might easily have suffered long-term economic and social devastation.

The timing of an accidental laboratory release would obviously be entirely random. Yet the outbreak seems to have begun during the precise period of time most likely to damage China, the worst possible ten-day or perhaps thirty-day window. As I noted in January, there seemed no solid evidence that the coronavirus was a bioweapon, but if it were, the timing of the release seemed very unlikely to have been accidental.

If the virus was released intentionally, the context and motive for such a biowarfare attack against China could not be more obvious. Although our disingenuous media continues to pretend otherwise, China’s economy surpassed our own in size several years ago, and has continued to grow much more rapidly. Chinese companies have also taken the lead in several crucial technologies, with Huawei becoming the world’s leading telecommunications equipment manufacturer and dominating the important 5G market. And China’s sweeping Belt and Road Initiative has threatened to reorient global trade around an interconnected Eurasian landmass, greatly diminishing the leverage of America’s own control over the seas. I have closely followed China for over forty years, and these trend-lines had never been more apparent. Back in 2012, I published an article bearing the provocative title “China’s Rise, America’s Fall?” and I have seen no reason to reassess my verdict.

For three generations following the end of World War II, America had stood as the world’s supreme economic and technological power, while the collapse of the Soviet Union thirty years ago left us as the world’s sole remaining superpower, with no conceivable military challenger. A growing sense that we were rapidly losing that unchallenged position had certainly inspired the anti-China rhetoric of many senior figures in the Trump Administration, and sparking the major trade war that they launched soon after coming into office. The increasing misery and growing impoverishment of large sections of the American population naturally left these voters searching for a convenient scapegoat, and the prosperous, rising Chinese made a perfect target.

Despite America’s growing economic conflict with China over the last couple of years, I had never considered the possibility that matters might take a military turn. The Chinese had long ago deployed advanced intermediate range missiles that many believed could easily sink our carriers in the region, and they had also generally improved their conventional military deterrent. Moreover, China was on quite good terms with Russia, which itself had been the target of intense American hostility for several years; and Russia’s new suite of revolutionary hypersonic missiles had drastically reduced any American strategic advantage. Thus, a conventional war against China seemed an absolutely hopeless undertaking, while China’s outstanding businessmen and engineers were steadily gaining ground against America’s decaying and heavily-financialized economic system.

Under these difficult circumstances, an American biowarfare attack against China might have seemed the only remaining card to play in hopes of maintaining American supremacy. Plausible deniability would minimize the risk of any direct Chinese retaliation, and if successful, the terrible blow to China’s economy would set it back for many years, perhaps even destabilizing the social and political system. Using alternative media to immediately promote theories that the coronavirus outbreak was the result of a leak from a Chinese biowarfare lab was a natural means of preempting any later Chinese accusations along similar lines, thereby winning the international propaganda war for America before China had even begun to play.

A decision by elements of our national security establishment to wage biological warfare in hopes of maintaining American world power would certainly have been an extremely reckless act, but extreme recklessness had become a consistent American pattern since 2001, especially under the Trump Administration. Just a year earlier we had kidnapped the daughter of Huawei’s founder and chairman, who also served as CFO and ranked as one of China’s most top executives, while at the beginning of January we suddenly assassinated Iran’s top military leader.

These were the thoughts that came to mind during the last week of January once I discovered the widely circulating theories suggesting that China’s massive disease epidemic had been the self-inflicted consequence of its own biowarfare research. I saw no solid evidence that the coronavirus was a bioweapon, but if it were, there seemed an overwhelming likelihood that China was the innocent victim of the attack, presumably carried out by elements of the American national security establishment.

At that point, someone brought to my attention a very long article by an American ex-pat living in China who called himself “Metallicman” and held a wide range of eccentric and implausible beliefs. I have long recognized that flawed individuals can often serve as the vessels of important information otherwise unavailable, and this case constituted a perfect example of that. His piece denounced the outbreak as a likely American biowarfare attack, and provided a great wealth of factual material I had not previously considered. Since he authorized republication elsewhere I did so, and by the end of January his 15,000 word analysis, although somewhat raw and unpolished, was attracting an enormous amount of readership on our website, probably being one of the very first English-language pieces to suggest that the mysterious new disease was an American bioweapon. Many of his arguments appeared doubtful to me or have been obviated by later developments, but several seemed quite telling.

He pointed out that during the previous two years, the Chinese economy had already suffered serious blows from other mysterious new diseases, although these had targeted farm animals rather than people. During 2018 a new Avian Flu virus had swept the country, destroying large portions of China’s poultry industry, and during 2019 the Swine Flu viral epidemic had devastated China’s pig farms, destroying 40% of the nation’s primary domestic source of meat, with widespread claims that the latter disease was being spread by small drones. My morning newspapers had hardly ignored these important business stories, noting that the sudden destruction of China’s domestic food sources might constitute a huge boon to American farm exports at the height of our trade conflict, but I had never considered the obvious implications. So for three years in a row, China had been severely impacted by strange new viral diseases, though only the most recent had been deadly to humans. Although this evidence was merely circumstantial, the pattern seemed highly suspicious.

The writer also noted that shortly before the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, that city had hosted 300 visiting American military officers, there to participate in the 2019 Military World Games, an absolutely remarkable coincidence of timing. As I pointed out at the time, how would Americans react if 300 Chinese military officers had paid an extended visit to Chicago, and soon afterward a mysterious and deadly epidemic had suddenly broken out in that city? Once again, the evidence was merely circumstantial but certainly raised dark suspicions.

Scientific investigation of the coronavirus had already pointed to its origins in a bat virus, leading to widespread media speculation that bats sold as food in the Wuhan open markets had been the original disease vector. Meanwhile, the orchestrated waves of anti-China accusations had emphasized Chinese laboratory research on that same viral source. But we soon published a lengthy article by investigative journalist Whitney Webb providing copious evidence of America’s own enormous biowarfare research efforts, which had similarly focused for years on bat viruses. Webb was then associated with MintPress News, but that publication had strangely declined to publish her important piece, perhaps skittish about the grave suspicions it directed towards the US government on so momentous an issue. So without the benefit of our platform, her major contribution to the public debate might have attracted relatively little readership.

Around the same time, I noted another extremely strange coincidence that seemed to attract no interest from our somnolent national media. Although his name had meant nothing to me, in late January my morning newspapers carried major stories on the sudden arrest of Prof. Charles Lieber, one of Harvard University’s top scientists and Chairman of its Chemistry Department, sometimes characterized as a potential future Nobel Laureate.

The circumstances of that case seemed utterly bizarre to me. Like numerous other prominent American academics, Lieber had had decades of close research ties with China, holding joint appointments and receiving substantial funding for his work. But now he was accused of financial reporting violations in the disclosure portions of his government grant applications—the most obscure sort of offense—and on the basis of those accusations, he was seized by the FBI in an early-morning raid on his Cambridge home and dragged off in shackles, potentially facing decades of federal imprisonment.

Such government action against an academic seemed almost without precedent. During the height of the Cold War, numerous American scientists and technicians were rightfully accused of having stolen our nuclear weapons secrets for delivery to Stalin, yet I had never heard of any of them treated in such a manner, let alone a scholar of Prof. Lieber’s stature, who was merely charged with technical disclosure violations. Indeed, his treatment recalled accounts of NKVD raids during the Soviet purges of the 1930s.

Although Lieber was described as a chemistry professor, a few seconds of Googling revealed that some of his most important work had been in virology, including technology for the detection of viruses. So a massive and deadly new viral epidemic had broken out in China and almost simultaneously, a top American scholar with close Chinese ties and expertise in viruses was suddenly arrested by the federal government, yet no one in the media expresses any curiosity at a possible connection between these two events.

I think we can safely assume that Lieber’s arrest by the FBI had been prompted by the coronavirus epidemic, but anything more is mere speculation. Those now accusing China of having created the coronavirus might surely suggest that our intelligence agencies discovered that the Harvard professor had been personally involved with that deadly research. But I think a far more likely possibility is that Lieber began to wonder whether the epidemic in China might not be the result of an American biowarfare attack, and was perhaps a little too free in voicing his suspicions, thereby drawing the wrath of our national security establishment. Inflicting such extremely harsh treatment upon a top Harvard scientist would greatly intimidate all of his lesser colleagues elsewhere, who would surely now think twice before broaching certain possible theories to any journalists.

By the end of January, our webzine had published seven articles and columns on the coronavirus outbreak, totaling tens of thousands of words, and probably established itself as the primary English-language source for a particular perspective on the deadly epidemic, with our coverage eventually attracting many hundreds of thousands of pageviews. A few weeks later, the Chinese government began gingerly raising the possibility that the coronavirus may have been brought to Wuhan by the 300 American military officers visiting that city, and was fiercely attacked by the Trump Administration for spreading anti-American propaganda. But I strongly suspect that the Chinese had gotten that idea from our own publication.

As the coronavirus gradually began to spread outside China’s own borders, another development occurred that greatly multiplied my suspicions. Most of these early cases had occurred exactly where one might expect, among the East Asian countries bordering China. But by late February Iran had become the second epicenter of the global outbreak. Even more surprisingly, its political elites had been especially hard-hit, with a full 10% of the entire Iranian parliament soon infected and at least a dozen of its officials and politicians, some of them quite senior, soon dying of the disease. Indeed, Neocon activists on Twitter began boasting that their hatred Iranian enemies were now dropping like flies.

Let us consider the implications of this. Across the entire world the only political elites that have yet suffered any significant human losses have been the Iranians, and they died at a very early stage, before significant outbreaks had even occurred almost anywhere else in the world outside China. Thus, we have America assassinating Iran’s top military commander on Jan. 2nd and then just a few weeks later large portions of the Iran’s ruling elites became infected by a mysterious and deadly new virus, with many of them soon dying as a consequence. Could any rational individual possibly regard this as a mere coincidence?

Biological warfare is a highly technical subject, and those possessing such expertise are unlikely to candidly report their classified research activities in the pages of our major newspapers, perhaps even less so after Prof. Lieber was dragged off to prison in chains. My own knowledge is nil. But in mid-March I came across several extremely long and detailed comments on the coronavirus outbreak that had been posted on a small website by an individual calling himself “OldMicrobiologist” and who claimed to be a retired forty-year veteran of American biodefense. The style and details of his material struck me as quite credible, and after a little further investigation I concluded that there was a high likelihood that his background was exactly as he had described. I made arrangements to republish his comments in the form of a 3,400 word article, which soon attracted a great deal of traffic and 80,000 words of further comments.

Although the writer said that he had absolutely no proof, he said that his experience led him to strongly suspect that the coronavirus outbreak was indeed an American biowarfare attack against China, probably carried out by agents brought into that country under cover of the Military Games held at Wuhan in late October, the sort of sabotage operation our intelligence agencies had sometimes undertaken elsewhere. One important point he emphasized was that high lethality was often counter-productive in a bioweapon since debilitating or hospitalizing large numbers of individuals may impose far greater economic costs on a country than a biological agent which simply inflicts an equal number of deaths. In his words “a high communicability, low lethality disease is perfect for ruining an economy,” suggesting that the apparent characteristics of the coronavirus were close to optimal in this regard. Those so interested should read his analysis and assess for themselves his credibility and persuasiveness.

One intriguing aspect of the situation was that almost from the first moment that reports of the strange new epidemic in China reached the international media, a large and orchestrated campaign had been launched on numerous websites and Social Media to identify the cause as a Chinese bioweapon carelessly released in its own country. Meanwhile, the far more plausible hypothesis that China was the victim rather than the perpetrator had received virtually no organized support anywhere, and only began to take shape as I gradually located and republished relevant material usually drawn from very obscure sources and often anonymously authored. So it seemed that only one side was waging an active information war, and that side was not China’s. The nearly simultaneous launch of such a major propaganda campaign may not necessarily demonstrate that an actual biowarfare attack had occurred, but I think it tends to support such a notion.

When considering the hypothesis of an American biowarfare attack, certain natural objections come to mind. The major drawback to biological warfare has always been the obvious fact that the self-replicating agents employed are not prone to respect national borders, raising the serious risk that the disease might eventually return to the land of its origin and inflict substantial casualties. For this reason, it seems quite doubtful that any rational and half-competent American leadership would have unleashed the coronavirus against China.

But as we absolutely see demonstrated in our daily news headlines, America’s current government is grotesquely and manifestly incompetent, more incompetent than one could almost possibly imagine, with tens of thousands of Americans having now already paid with their lives for such extreme incompetence. Rationality and competence are obviously nowhere to be found among the Deep State Neocons that President Donald Trump has appointed to so many crucial positions throughout our national security apparatus.

Moreover, the extremely lackadaisical notion that a massive coronavirus outbreak in China would never spread back to America might have seemed plausible to individuals who carelessly assumed that past historical analogies would exactly apply. As I wrote a few weeks ago:

Reasonable people have suggested that if the coronavirus was a bioweapon deployed by elements of the American national security apparatus against China (and Iran), it’s difficult to imagine why they didn’t assume it would naturally leak back in the US and start a huge pandemic here, as is currently happening.

The most obvious answer is that they were stupid and incompetent, but here’s another point to consider…

In late 2002 there was the outbreak of SARS in China, a related virus but that was far more deadly and somewhat different in other characteristics. The virus killed hundreds of Chinese and spread into a few other countries before it was controlled and stamped out. The impact on the US and Europe was negligible, with just a small scattering of cases and only a death or two.

So if American biowarfare analysts were considering a coronavirus attack against China, isn’t it quite possible they would have said to themselves that since SARS never significantly leaked back into the US or Europe, we’d similarly remain insulated from the coronavirus? Obviously, such an analysis was foolish and mistaken, but would it have seemed so implausible at the time?

As some must have surely noticed, I have deliberately avoided investigating any of the scientific details of the coronavirus. In principle, an objective and accurate analysis of the characteristics and structure of the virus might help suggest whether it was entirely natural or rather the product of a research laboratory, and in the latter case, possibly indicating whether the source was China, America, or some third country.

But we are dealing with a cataclysmic world event and those questions obviously have enormous political ramifications, so the entire subject is shrouded by a thick fog of complex propaganda, with numerous conflicting claims being advanced by interested parties. I have no background in microbiology let alone biological warfare, so I would be hopelessly adrift in evaluating such conflicting scientific and technical claims. I suspect that this is equally true of the overwhelming majority of other observers as well, though committed partisans are loathe to admit that fact, and will eagerly seize upon any scientific argument that supports their preferred position while rejecting those that contradict it.

Therefore, by necessity, my own focus is on evidence that can at least be understood by every layman, if not necessarily always accepted. And I believe that the simple juxtaposition of several recent disclosures in the mainstream media leads to a rather telling conclusion.

For obvious reasons, the Trump Administration has become very eager to emphasize the early missteps and delays in the Chinese reaction to the viral outbreak in Wuhan, and has presumably encouraged our media outlets to focus on this topic.

As an example of this, the Associated Press Investigative Unit recently published a rather detailed analysis of those early events purportedly based upon confidential Chinese documents. Provocatively entitled “China Didn’t Warn Public of Likely Pandemic for 6 Key Days”, the piece was widely distributed, running in abridged form in the NYT and elsewhere. According to this reconstruction, the Chinese government first became aware of the seriousness of this public health crisis on Jan. 14th, but delayed taking any major action until Jan. 20th, a period of time during which the number of infections greatly multiplied.

Last month, a team of five WSJ reporters produced a very detailed and thorough 4,400 word analysis of the same period, and the NYT has published a helpful timeline of those early events as well. Although there may be some differences of emphasis or minor disagreements, all these American media sources agree that Chinese officials first became aware of the serious viral outbreak in Wuhan in early to mid-January, with the first known death occurring on Jan. 11th, and finally implemented major new public health measures later that same month. No one seems to have disputed these basic facts.

But with the horrific consequences of our own later governmental inaction being obvious, sources within our intelligence agencies have sought to demonstrate that they were not the ones asleep at the switch. Earlier this month, an ABC News story cited four separate government sources to reveal that as far back as late November, a special medical intelligence unit within our Defense Intelligence Agency had produced a report revealing than an out-of-control disease epidemic was occurring in the Wuhan area of China, and widely distributed that document throughout the top ranks of our government, warning that steps should be taken to protect US forces based in Asia. After the story aired, a Pentagon spokesman officially denied the existence of that November report, while various other top level government and intelligence officials refused to comment. But a few days later, Israeli television revealed that in November American intelligence had indeed shared such a report on the Wuhan disease outbreak with its NATO and Israeli allies, thus seeming to independently confirm the complete accuracy of the original ABC story and its several government sources.

It therefore appears that elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency were aware of the deadly viral outbreak in Wuhan more than a month before any officials in the Chinese government itself. Unless our intelligence agencies have pioneered the technology of precognition, I think this may have happened for the same reason that arsonists have the earliest knowledge of future fires.

Back in February, before a single American had died from the disease, I wrote my own overview of the possible course of events, and I would still stand by it today:

Consider a particularly ironic outcome of this situation, not particularly likely but certainly possible…

Everyone knows that America’s ruling elites are criminal, crazy, and also extremely incompetent.

So perhaps the coronavirus outbreak was indeed a deliberate biowarfare attack against China, hitting that nation just before Lunar New Year, the worst possible time to produce a permanent nationwide pandemic. However, the PRC responded with remarkable speed and efficiency, implementing by far the largest quarantine in human history, and the deadly disease now seems to be in decline there.

Meanwhile, the disease naturally leaks back into the US, and despite all the advance warning, our totally incompetent government mismanages the situation, producing a huge national health disaster, and the collapse of our economy and decrepit political system.

As I said, not particularly likely, but certainly a very fitting end to the American Empire…


By Ron Unz
Source: Unz Review

Who controls the British Government response to Covid–19? (Part 1)

By Vanessa Beeley

Source

“The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants” — Albert Camus

As Britain hurtles headlong towards neo-feudalist governance with heightened surveillance, micro-management of society and an uptick in fascistic policing of the draconian measures imposed to combat the “threat” of Covid–19, it is perhaps time to analyse the real forces behind this “new normal”.

There is now serious doubt over the correlation between lockdown and saving lives. Reality is creeping into the Covid–19 dialogue. It is becoming apparent that people are getting sick because they are being isolated and effectively living under house arrest, condemned as “murderers” if they so much as think about breaking curfew, being snitched on by neighbours for “gathering” more than two people together in their back gardens.

The following graph was produced by UK Column and demonstrates the lack of correlation between lockdown and “saving lives”:

Updated 21/4/20

The numbers game is acting in many instances as a smokescreen. It is impossible to rely upon “official” statistics, that vary wildly from one website to another: statistics that rely upon unreliable and sporadic testing procedures. and based upon death certificates that misrepresent the actual cause of death as Covid–19, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions. Statistics, too, that were set in stone very early on in the development stages, when the perspective was limited and compressed, before a true picture could be seen. The newly emerging statistics are now increasingly undermining initial conclusions and pointing to the futility and negative consequences of lockdown.

It is now accepted that there is a high mortality rate among the elderly in care homes in the UK and globally — among the same elderly civilians who are being “asked” to sign DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate) forms. This amounts to signing their own death warrant, should they present any of the Covid–19 symptoms. They will be neglected, isolated from their families when at their most vulnerable and left alone to die, even though it is possible that they have not contracted the virus.

Instead of offering proactive and positive suggestions that will enable our immune systems to combat the disease, the British Government is ensuring conditions that will suppress immune systems to dangerous levels and create the perfect environment for Covid–19 to flourish.

Britain has now received an estimated 1.4 million new benefit claims for welfare payments, “about seven times the normal level”. The government has pledged to bail out “80% of pay of workers who are temporarily laid off” but I have personally spoken to self-employed individuals who find themselves falling between the cracks that qualify them for financial support and now face an indefinite period of time without income.

These measures are being imposed in a country that, since 2012, has seen an exponential growth in child poverty to potentially sub-Victorian levels. In March 2019, the number of children living in “absolute poverty” grew by a staggering 200,000 in a twelve-month period, to a total of 3.7 million. How will this number be further impacted by lockdown?

How did we arrive at this point? Who steered the UK Government towards this questionable and alarmist lockdown policy? The unexamined assumption is that conclusions were formed on the basis of sound epidemiological analysis and research by doctors and scientists who care about our welfare.

The reality is what we will examine in this article. Neil Ferguson, a professor at Imperial College, was responsible for the modelling of a response to Covid–19. His virtual model was recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and it passed through into policy with virtually no scrutiny. Ferguson’s dramatic prediction of 500,000 deaths in the UK became the foundation of Boris Johnson’s U-turn from herd immunity to collective quarantine.

While some understood that Ferguson later reduced his mortality calculations, he actually doubled down on his projections on Twitter, insisting that without drastic lockdown measures being taken, the numbers would be even higher.

Who is Neil Ferguson?

Ferguson is acting director of the Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium (VIMC), which is based at Imperial College in London. According to Ferguson’s biography on the website, “much of [his] work is applied, informing disease control policy-making by public and global health institutions.”

The professor who derailed Johnson’s semblance of “herd immunity” strategy is no stranger to controversy and is described as having a “patchy” record of modelling pandemics by one of his academic peers, Professor Michael Thrusfield of Edinburgh University, an expert in animal diseases.

Ferguson was instrumental in the modelling of the British Government’s response to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in 2001, which Thrusfield describes as “not fit for purpose” (2006) and “seriously flawed” (2012). Thrusfield has highlighted the limitations of Ferguson’s mathematical modelling methods, and applied the doubts he expressed over FMD to the current Covid–19 “crisis” response.

An estimated twelve million animals were slaughtered as a result of Ferguson’s 2001 initiative. The farming community was devastated by suicides and bankruptcies that irretrievably altered the landscape of British agriculture — forcing healthy smallholdings into agri-corporate mergers and empowering the EU central governance in the agricultural sector.

Image copyright: Nick Green

Insight: Slaughtered on Suspicion, a documentary made by UK Column in 2015, provides a shocking insight into the suffering precipitated by Ferguson’s model and the “new normal” imposed upon Britain’s farming community. The following is a statement made by one of the contributors to the programme:

12,000,000 animals [Meat & Livestock Commission statistic] were slaughtered but that did not include lambs at foot, aborted lambs, calves or piglets. Further, tens of thousands of chickens were slaughtered in the early months — on welfare grounds, apparently. 88% of all animals slaughtered had not contracted FMD [source: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs].

Great Orton airfield was used to slaughter sheep under the “voluntary” cull: that was anything but voluntary, and farmers not participating were ruthlessly threatened. There was only one mild case of FMD recorded from the thousands of blood tests done at Great Orton [source: DEFRA].

There was a travelator that ran from the slaughter tent at Great Orton to the graves. This ran 16 hours a day, transporting “dead” young lambs. Slaughtermen working there told me that many of the lambs were buried alive.

The man that advised Blair during this fiasco was, as many will know, Prof. Ferguson of Imperial College. He was [reportedly] sacked by DEFRA late on during the epidemic, but the damage had been done! Prof Ferguson was awarded an OBE in 2002 for his work during FMD 2001.” [Emphasis added]

In 2002, Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people would die from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, better known as “mad cow disease”, increasing to 150,000 if the epidemic expanded to include sheep. The reality is: “Since 1990, 178 people in the United Kingdom have died from vCJD, according to the National CJD Research & Surveillance Unit at the University of Edinburgh.” (2017)

In 2005, Ferguson claimed that up to 200 million people would be killed by bird-flu or H5N1. By early 2006, the WHO had only linked 78 deaths to the virus, out of 147 reported cases.

In 2009, Ferguson and his team at Imperial College advised the government that swine flu or H1N1 would probably kill 65,000 people in the UK. In the end, swine flu claimed the lives of 457 people in the UK.

Now, in 2020, Ferguson and Imperial College have released a report which claims that half a million Britons and 2.2 million Americans may be killed by Covid–19. The report has still not been peer-reviewed; despite this and Ferguson’s glaring record of mathematical sensationalism, the British Government has adopted the devastating socio-economic lockdown that Ferguson has proposed.

Why is the British Government so quick to follow Ferguson’s plan?

1. GAVI and Imperial College

The VIMC is hosted by the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College. VIMC is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and by “GAVI, the vaccine alliance” (GAVI’s own title for itself). Bill and Melinda Gates began funding Imperial College in 2006, four years before the Gates Foundation launched the Global Health Leaders Launch Decade of Vaccines Collaboration (GHLLDVC) and one year after Ferguson had demonstrated his penchant for overblown projections on mortality numbers from H5N1.

Up to the end of 2018, the Gates Foundation has sponsored Imperial College with a whopping $185 million. That makes Gates the second largest sponsor, beaten to the top spot on the podium by the Wellcome Trust, a British research charity which began funding Imperial College prior to Ferguson’s FMD débâcle and which, by the end of 2018, had already provided Imperial with over $400 million in funding. I will examine the Wellcome Trust’s connections in part two of this series.

Wellcome trust also has a focus on global immunization programmes.

The Gates Foundation established the GHLLDVC in collaboration with the WHO, UNICEF and the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The following is taken from the Gates Foundation website:

The Global Vaccine Action Plan will enable greater coordination across all stakeholder groups – national governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, the private sector and philanthropic organizations — and will identify critical policy, resource, and other gaps that must be addressed to realize the life-saving potential of vaccines.

The Collaboration’s leadership council at the time included the Director-General of the WHO, the Director of NIAID, the Director of UNICEF, the President of Gates Foundation Global Health, and the Chair of the African Malaria Alliance. The steering committee included the Director of Immunisation, the UK Department of Health, and many other representatives from the WHO, UNICEF and associated organisations. It is a cluster of immunisation-focused individuals controlling the policy of world health governing bodies, who claim to be neutral.

The WHO was nominated as the “directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system” and was set up to be responsible for “shaping the health research agenda”, among other tasks linked to the policy of global immunisation.

UNICEF, the “world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries” has on-the-ground access to children in over 150 territories and countries (2010).

We are already seeing the potential for some serious conflict of interest behind the Ferguson model on Covid–19, and this will become even more apparent as the connections are now made to an entire pharmaceutical complex potentially protecting its own interests over any genuine concerns for the health and welfare of global populations.

Gavi, the vaccine alliance

“Gavi is the Vaccine Alliance, which brings together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to vaccines for children, wherever they live.”

GAVI is funded and partnered by the same network that forms the GHLLDVC, with some noticeable additions: the World Bank and donor/implementing country governments. The Gates Foundation is a primary sponsor, but is topped by the British Government, which was instrumental in creating GAVI and is its largest donor.

While many sectors of British society have seen their living standards plummet, with the elderly severely neglected, a National Health Service in decline and homelessness on the increase, the British Government, via UKAID, has pledged £1.44 billion to GAVI for 2016–2020 and will be hosting the 2020 GAVI pledging conference, which is due to take place in June 2020 to “mobilise at least US$ 7.4 billion in additional resources to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world.” (Emphasis added)

The conference promises to bring together political leaders, civil society, public and private donors, vaccine manufacturers and governments to support GAVI, the vaccine alliance — which boasts that it has “helped vaccinate almost half the world’s children against deadly and debilitating infectious diseases”. This claim will be met with praise from the pro-vaccine lobby but concerns over the efficacy and safety of these mass vaccination programmes must be taken into account, particularly when being tested in poorer, developing countries.

Global vaccination market revenue worldwide is projected to reach $59.2 billion by 2020; this number may well increase with the arrival of Covid–19. The British Government’s investment in GAVI alongside vaccine promoter Bill Gates must, again, raise the issue of conflicts of interest. To what extent is the British Government protecting its own assets in forcing the lockdown upon its population? Vaccines are set to be a major source of income for the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations, and the British Government is invested in that lucrative future.

The GAVI replenishment conference is to be hosted by a British Government whose lockdown policy is effectively shattering the domestic economy and is collectively punishing the most vulnerable in British society.

When Bill Gates partnered with GAVI twenty years ago, he had been considering where next to focus his philanthropy and was “increasingly focusing on the power and potential of vaccines”. It was Gates’ substantial sponsorship that launched GAVI, and ten years later Gates launched his own “vaccine decade” plan for the 2010s.

The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) 2012–2020, endorsed by the 194 member states participating in the World Health Assembly (2012), is led by the same members of the Gates “vaccine decade” consortium, promoted by the WHO, and brings together governments, elected officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, global agencies, research and development, civil society, media and the private sector — to promote global immunisation. This is a profit-driven corporate complex harnessing the “humanitarian” sector to lend credence to the claims of philanthropy, or more realistically, philanthrocapitalism.

2. GAVI and ID2020

A glance at the partner page of the GAVI website reveals that not only is GAVI heavily invested in immunisation campaigns, it is also closely connected to the Gates, Microsoft and Rockefeller Foundation seed-funded ID2020 project (Digital Identity Alliance), which incorporates Accenture, Microsoft (Gates), Ideo-Org and Rockefeller Foundation into the GAVI alliance, all with ties to the ID2020 initiative.

ID2020 is promoting the concept that there is a need for universal biometric verification, because “to prove who you are is a fundamental and universal human right,” as asserted on the ID2020 website. An article by journalist Kurt Nimmo for Global Research dismantles the “humanitarian” alibi for tyranny.

OffGrid Healthcare explains:

What they really want is a fully standardized data collection and retrieval format, and cross-border sharing of identities of the entire population of the planet, in order for the stand-alone AI-powered command center to work without a hitch, and for purposes of calculating everyone’s potential contribution, and threat to the system.

Nimmo describes the potential for Covid–19 to be used as cover for mandatory biometric ID. An April article carried by Reuters confirms the suspicion that biometric ID might soon be introduced, ostensibly to “help verify those who already had the infection and ensure the vulnerable get the vaccine when it is launched”. This may sound perfectly sensible to those who are buying the government strap-lines on Covid–19 but — as Nimmo warns us — “COVID–19 is the perfect Trojan horse for a control freak state itching to not only micromanage the lives of ordinary citizens but also ferret out critics and potential adversaries and punish them as enemies of the state.”

Prashant Yadav, senior fellow at the US-based Center for Global Development, has said:

Biometric IDs can be a gamechanger. They can help governments target population segments e.g healthcare professionals or the elderly population, verify people who have received vaccination, and have a clear record[Emphasis added]

Such statements can easily be interpreted as the harbingers of mandatory vaccination and the inclusion of biometric ID in the “humanitarian” package.

Martin Armstrong of Armstrong Technologies introduces an even more sinister projection into the mix. Armstrong talks about a digital certificate that verifies you have been vaccinated, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Microsoft, which will merge with ID2020. Covid–19 will be exploited to encourage us to accept digital implants and tracking devices that will enable authorities to keep an eye on us. Armstrong argues that just as 9/11 conditioned us to accept X-ray booths at airports, now we will be chipped alongside our dogs and cats.

The road to 2020 – the future for digital identity in the UK. (Title of Innovate Identity article June 2019)

At this point, it is worth remembering that UKAID is heavily involved in GAVI, and one presumes they are on board with the digital ID2020 project. Rob Laurence, director at UK-based Innovate Identity, presented proposals for the future of digital identity back in June 2019. The UK Government Verify scheme was identified as a fledgling version of the future of digital ID.

Laurence describes the digital ID “ecosystem” that is emerging: Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation at the Cabinet Office (the British Government’s co-ordinating department), will form a new Digital ID Unit to “pave the way for the government to consume digital identities from the private sector”. Laurence describes 2020 as the “now-or-never year for government and industry to collaborate” in the creation of an “interoperable digital identity market”.

Covid19 provides the opportunity that might just fulfil these predictions.

It is no coincidence that a British start-up — Microsoft-funded Onfido — has recently raised $100 million to “boost its ID technology” to enable the creation of “immunity passports” for governments “battling coronavirus”.

In December 2019, researchers at MIT created a “microneedle platform using fluorescent microparticles called quantum dots (QD) which can deliver vaccines and at the same time, invisibly encode vaccination history in the skin”: the QDs can be detected by specially adapted smartphones. The “new normal” will mean we are tracked and monitored by our own communication systems to an even greater and more intrusive extent.

The future is being modelled — but not for our benefit

In part one of this two=part series, my intention has been to raise questions over who is driving the British Government response to Covid–19. Those who have influenced the lockdown policy have very clear conflict of interest question marks over their agenda.

The scientific clique influencing government decisions is one that is incorporated into a for-profit Big Pharma industrial network which will, undeniably, benefit from the measures being taken by the British Government — a government that is financially embedded in the same complex.

Why are the views of epidemiologists, doctors, scientists, analysts and health advisors who challenge the lockdown being ignored or censored by the media and by government? Why is the government not widening the circle of advisors to take into account these opposing perspectives that might bring an end to the misery that is a consequence of enforced quarantine? Off-Guardian has recorded these views herehere and here. It is also worth following Swiss Propaganda Research for regular updates on emerging analysis and statistics that you will not always find in the mainstream media.

World Economic Forum report on the psychological experiment that is the Covid19 lockdown.

Instead, the British Government is effectively endorsing the breeding of distrust in society, the erosion of public assembly, the isolation and state-sanctioned euthanasia of the elderly, the emerging police state, snitch lines, loss of dignity and livelihoods, greater dependency upon the state for survival, depression, suicide and voluntary incarceration.

An article in New York Times reports on the death toll in care homes which “reflect a global phenomenon” in a world under lockdown.

The UN has issued a warning that the economic downturn could “kill hundreds of thousands of children in 2020”. Gates, the WHO, the British Government and UNICEF are focused on global immunisation for a “pandemic” that is not living up to the alarmist virtual projections sponsored by Gates and the Big Pharma complex, while children really will start to die from malnutrition, neglect and a myriad of consequence of extreme poverty generated by the “steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s” (IMF).

In part two, I will delve deeper into the interlocking interests of state and private corporate sectors that should not be interfering in policies which affect the welfare of British citizens. I will reveal how the same players are influencing the media response and ensuring that their interests are given the most powerful platforms to promote their agenda.

The questions must be asked: Who is really in charge of the Covid–19 response? Who benefits most? Who will suffer most from the long term consequences? And who will provide respite from those consequences when the “pandemic” has disappeared from view?

WHO Representative in Lebanon: Gov’t Measures Progressive, Physical Distancing Necessary Even after Lockdown

WHO Representative in Lebanon: Gov’t Measures Progressive, Physical Distancing Necessary Even after Lockdown
https://www.english.alahednews.com.lb/52731/269

By Yassmine Moustafa

Dr. Iman Shankiti, the World Health Organization [WHO] representative in Lebanon, elaborated to al-Ahed, in an exclusive interview, on the country’s current situation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.

Up until the 23rd of April, Lebanon reported 688 cases and 22 deaths. To date, Lebanon remains in a Level-3 of COVID-19 transmission, experiencing case clusters in specified geographic locations.

“We cannot predict how the events will unfold, however we are working on public health emergency response plans for the different scenarios that Lebanon might face in order to mitigate the possible challenges,” Dr. Shankiti said, adding that the world body will continue its support to the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health [MOPH], “and in the case of an outbreak we will try our best to respond to the health system’s needs in order to cope with any increase in the number of patients.”

Commenting on the response of the Lebanese government and the health ministry, she stressed that the Lebanese Government is taking the necessary measures that will help in containing the spread of the disease.

“UN agencies are working around the clock to support the government on all fronts. Support from the international community is being solicited by UN agencies to enhance the health system’s capacity for a surge in number of cases. The MOPH, with support from WHO, has been taking the necessary measures to enhance the country’s preparedness and response capacity before the first case was detected, and even before WHO declared COVID-19 outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” she explained.

The WHO representative further noted that preparedness and response activities are ongoing as per WHO advice and guidance. Concerned stakeholders are collaborating to coordinate with the MOPH at all time and to respond to requests for advice or support when need arises.

“WHO is supporting the Ministry to ensure good response through numerous activities that include; awareness raising, risk communication, screening at points of entry, detection, testing at RHUH, case management in hospitals, and contact tracing.”

Regarding the lockdown, Dr. Shankiti described the measures taken by the Lebanese government as progressive, adding that one of the main achievements of these measures is the decrease in the number of COVID19 cases registered.

“For the time being we still have COVID-19 cases being detected and the lockdown remains pertinent. The decision to progressively relax the lockdown measures is a government decision and will depend on many factors related to epidemiological data that the MOPH will take into consideration.”

When lockdown measures are stopped, she advised that: “It is important to maintain the physical distancing recommendations. Until now we do not have a specific date in mind to recommend stopping lockdown, the timing will depend on how events will unfold in the coming weeks. WHO is closely monitoring the situation and supporting the MOPH with evidence-based recommendations.”

Back to school?

With respect to the reopening of educational institutions, Dr. Shankiti noted that the WHO regularly attends the inter-ministerial committee meetings that take place at the Prime Minister Office and provides technical advice to the different concerned ministries based on the available evidence.

The decision of reopening educational institutions is a decision to be taken the Lebanese Government based on their assessment of the situation and on the recommendations of the inter-ministerial committee, she stressed, noting that the “WHO advises that even when education institutions will re-open it is critical to abide by the physical distancing recommendations and practices by maintaining at least a meter and a half between a person and another.”

The second wave of COVID-19

Dr. Shankiti concluded that there is a global concern that a second wave might take place since some countries are experiencing another surge in cases after they thought that the virus wasn’t circulating in their population.

Due to the unknown nature of the virus, she said, we cannot be certain that this will happen for sure in Lebanon.

“Our monitoring of the situation, in addition to research currently being conducted by WHO, CDC, scientific, research, and academic institutions will allow us to know more about the virus and its pathogenesis in order to formulate a better idea about possible future scenarios.”

Coronavirus Color-Revolution: California Declares Nation Statehood as Trump Moves to Quell ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’

Coronavirus Color-Revolution: California Declares Nation Statehood ...

Joaquin Flores April 24, 2020

Bloomberg published a stunning piece on April 9th promoting the secession of California from the U.S., in an op-ed by Francis Wilkinson titled Gavin Newsom Declares California a ‘Nation-State’, which resurrected John C. Calhoun in a neo-confederate argument favoring nullification.

Bloomberg is part a strategy to prevent Trump from a second term by way of legal means (election), and has now brought to the fore the spectre of secession or nullification. This does not mean we should normally expect some announcement by Governor Newsom that ‘The California Republic is an independent nation-state ’. Yet amazingly, it has been almost verbatim said in this way.

The Bloomberg article details how California Governor Newsom has begun using that term and also related legal constructions in discussing how California will manage the coronavirus response on its own.

Imagine an alternate timeline where Trump denied there was a significant threat posed by the coronavirus and adjusted policy to reflect that. After all, the mortality rate appeared very low compared to the infection rate. Then imagine that governors Cuomo and Newsom behaved similarly to how we’ve seen them perform over the past month or so. In fact, their behavior makes even more sense in our hypothetical, alternate reality. But imagine if their punches could land because there was some semblance of a reality that could support the barrage.

As we have made the point to communicate numerous times, 25% of Americans would like their state to secede from the United States peacefully.

In the Event 201 exercise which appears to have been made public on YouTube, the situation of Arab Springs being a result of political blow-back from coronavirus measures, is discussed briefly using the precise phrase ‘Arab Spring’. Dealing with destabilization and messaging in that context, consumes most of the last several stages of the simulation conducted in October 2019.

Those already familiar with the Arab Spring phenomenon as intentionally created ‘Color Revolutions’, will understand the connection between what appear as ‘bottom-up’ or grass-roots activism being coordinated covertly with dual-power structures within a country which is being targeted for regime-change. Given that the original Arab Spring was not only a Color Revolution, but used the ‘too-big-to-fail’ bailout money in 2008 to corner a market on perishable goods – prices affecting targeted countries were jacked-up, causing bread-riots and public protests. Regime-change was rarely a demand of protests, rather these related to the price of food. Foreign media like CNN and Al-Jazeera appeared to put words in the mouths of protestors and talked of revolution.

The take-away point here is that the ‘original’ Arab Spring was a concocted development, and so references to these in what many see in Event 201 as a descriptor of allegedly ‘concocted’ events now underway, as Mike Pompeo quipped is a ‘live exercise’, are quite apt. Because these are not simply matters of what we might read into the Event 201 proceedings, but how those involved in the event understood themselves and each other.

Having seen the repeated attempts to nullify the outcome of the 2016 election raises serious questions about the scope of the aims of the current presidency. The current president seems to provoke a highly unusual, extra-partisan and extra-political conflict that occurs no more than two or three times in a century, where it seems that sacrosanct geopolitical allegiances and long-reaching security policies risk being overturned. In our alternate time-line, we may see California moving further on the secession road and Joe Biden ‘talking sense and unity’ to California ‘President’ Newsom.

Bloomberg Hails Calhoun’s Nullification Argument

Here are some of the key fragments from the article which are particularly revealing:

<<The implications for the brewing civil war … .>>

<<…California “as a nation-state”>>

<<“Nation-state.” “Export”.>>

<<At some point this civil war by other means >>

<<Federalism has always had rough spots, but conflict is rising and resolutions are not>>

<<From Fort Sumter […], the blueprint for states opposing federal control has a recurring theme.>>

<<John C. Calhoun, who used the theory of states’ rights to defend the institution of slavery, […] Calhoun’s theory of nullification, which posited that states have the power to defy federal law, could be ripe for a comeback on the left coast. With the heirs of the Confederacy now reigning in Washington, turnabout might be very fair play.>>

We could also point to either the daily coronavirus press conferences headed by New York Governor Cuomo which have been broadcast nationally – positioning Cuomo as a sort of ‘anti-Trump’ or ‘alternate president’ – or we could point to the Atlantic’s fair treatment of the Texas secession movement in December of 2019. That piece deserves our attention, because it pins both the Texas and California secession movements as having had some Russian attention. The leader of the Texas movement makes an apology for having gone to Russia and attended a conference relating to Texas secession.

That part is critical in terms of a broader strategy being used now against the American president. This is one where ostensibly foreign tactics used in fourth-generation warfare (4GW) to destabilize power in the U.S., or alternatively, 4GW tactics used by the U.S. to destabilize a foreign power – can be used also by a power-structure from within the U.S. to destabilize a particular and opposing other vector in the same country – in this case, the presidency.

In a piece I authored at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace when such a tactic was tried and failed in Armenia, in what was called the ‘Electric Yerevan’, we explain how 4GW uses thousands of years-old hybrid warfare tactics combined with Baudrillardian hyper-reality simulation, and Freudian psychoanalysis to manipulate mass psychology. These are adapted to Gene Sharp and his student Srdjan Popovic’s developments on some of the ideas of Saul Alinksy on Color Revolution. With a federal government unresponsive to a public which is increasingly panicked over life and death questions, such as for example Covid-19, then a combination of conscious and subconscious themes are visible, leading towards destabilization and, in this case, secession.

But how could such a potentially foreign-backed project like California (or Texas) seceding from the United States operate under the radar screen of the NSA?

In short: insulating a country from foreign destabilization campaigns would reasonably involve taking over leadership of those campaigns. This means that intelligence would involve more than observation and intel gathering, but would also involve leading the organization – assumedly to frustration. But such an endeavor would equally well serve as a cover for actually operating the secession campaign towards success, if the aim was for the operating power-structure to leverage it against an opposing other vector such as the Trump presidency.

This is how the U.S. intel was able to explain-away organizing, recruiting, and administering aspects of the Al Qaeda/ISIS project when journalists or intel officers without a need to know, would encounter evidence that this was indeed occurring.

What we can understand from this Bloomberg piece in the broader context to be discussed in brief, is that this secessionist article is a fragment or artifact of another possible reality that appears to have been planned.

Trump’s Counter-Strategy

Trump showed signs as late as the end of February that he would continue to deny the reality of Covid-19 by calling some aspect of the public hype around it a DNC hoax, as we already h ad. In so doing, his political line was apparently predicted by the Deep State actors whom we may call team nullification. It seemed that Prime Minister Johnson’s ‘herd immunity’ approach and Brazil’s Bolsonaro’s  ‘hands-off’ attitude would soon be mirrored by Russia. Given that Russia now has just 47,000 cases and just three-hundred and sixty related deaths, and this is following a variation of the ‘internationally accepted’, symptoms-only method of determining Covid-19 (without an anti-bodies test), it would have made sense back then that Russia would down-play coronavirus following more realistic projections, if it would have the adverse effect of compounding economic woes and create problems for Putin.

Just as the tanking of the economy would work against Trump, the coronavirus pandemic appeared a ‘lose-lose’ scenario for him provided that the public had a restored confidence in mainstream media reporting, stemming from its handling of the epidemic, which could be weaponized against Trump. In other words, Americans would listen to the media and what the WHO said, as orchestrated by team nullification, and lay serious blame on the ‘science-denying right-wing’ of Trump, Bolsonaro, Johnson, and Putin.

That’s why the pre-coronavirus attacks on Trump as a ‘science-denier’ had much farther reaching designs than simply a manufactured public debate with Greta Thunberg over global warming. Remember that in the film Contagion it is deforestation that causes a bat to take residence at a pig-farm, where the novel coronavirus is born.

What happened as things played out? Bolsonaro stayed with his version, and was ultimately removed from actual power by the military. This serves as a critical reminder by itself of what our ‘alternate timeline’ may have had in store for Trump, if we consider the ramifications of California making bolder moves to secede. Boris Johnson apparently became so ill that he ‘saw the light’ and changed UK policy towards a strict quarantine.

Putin, however, never went for the predicted script and instead used the very low numbers relating to covid-19 to nevertheless issue a quarantine. This was a policy that somehow dovetailed with Trump’s, and was interestingly reinforced in the aftermath of their widely discussed phone call.

History as told through FOIA may someday reveal what team nullification, pairing up with never-Trumper Bill Gates, may have tried to pull off. It really brings us back to Pompeo’s statement.  More to the point what he knew – when he knew it was a live exercise, and under what conditions it was discovered, planned, or allowed to play out – and to what degree. ‘Deep State’ Department Mike is an interesting being who can appear to act as a diplomat and consensus builder on policy between the Deep State and Trump.

Trump bucked the probable response model that team nullification planned around. Instead he was very available to the needs of New York and California, and he approached his media strategy with three precise attacks.

One, he made a commercial showing various state leaders including Cuomo and Newsom thanking the president for his availability and the scope of his response. This is shown in contrast with recent attacks disputing that the president has the authority to ‘open the country’.

Two, he made a press-conference video showing how it was the WHO themselves who initially down-played the threat. This particular part shines in brilliance because leading up to and after Easter weekend, the vast majority of Trump supporters are what the mainstream media will no doubt soon be calling ‘covid-deniers’. This seemed to be leading up to some big announcement right after Easter from Trump that Covid-19 was a hoax, and attack WHO and defund it. But instead he was able to justify defunding WHO and bucking their predictive model, by showing how they underestimated the impact of the novel coronavirus.

Three, he took to twitter and openly called out the Newsom/Cuomo ‘mutiny’.Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

Tell the Democrat Governors that “Mutiny On The Bounty” was one of my all time favorite movies. A good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch, especially when the mutineers need so much from the Captain. Too easy!162KTwitter Ads info and privacy110K people are talking about this

None of these three moves happened randomly the week after Easter, but rather were aimed at countering moves on team nullification and on the part of Newsom and Cuomo, to declare that the president did not have authority over the states. This all happened immediately during the week of April 13th, and so the timing of the April 9th Bloomberg piece preparing the public for pro-secessionist talking points, was not random. Almost nothing is random.

While we enter May with an in-tact government, future transpiring events will no doubt become ‘interestinger and interestinger’ as we venture further down the rabbit hole.

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