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New CDC Director Defends Vaccine Mandates, School Closures

New CDC Director Defends Vaccine Mandates, School Closures Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The new director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Nov. 30 defended COVID-era policies like vaccine mandates in her first appearance before Congress. "I'm very proud of the work we did in North Carolina," Dr. Mandy Cohen, the new director, told Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) after he asked if she regretted any of the policies put into place in North Carolina, such as school closures, when she was the state's health secretary. "I feel like we did that in a way that was very inclusive," she added. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Mandy Cohen testifies in Washington on Nov. 30, 2023. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) When Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) noted that Dr. Cohen supported harsh measures as health secretary, including vaccine mandates, Dr. Cohen said it was time to "look forward" and start a "new chapter." "You have to remember, at different moments in time, we needed different solutions," she said in response to how Americans would know whether the new director will support the same measures at the federal level. "The good news is that we're in a different place than we were before. We both have different tools and have different mechanisms to respond," she said to another question, about whether she'd shut down schools if a pandemic happened again. "I can't really address a hypothetical but I think we've learned a lot about how to approach things." Did closing schools harm students? "We always knew in-person instruction was incredibly beneficial," Dr. Cohen said. "You'd be great in the sales department," Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) said, prompting a rare smile from the new director. Dr. Cohen replaced Dr. Rochelle Walensky, President Joe Biden's first CDC director, over the summer. Dr. Walensky was an advocate for COVID-19 vaccines, masks, and school closures. Dr. Cohen also indicated she supports mask mandates, saying all masks, including cloth masks, worked as a "barrier" and protected against COVID-19. The CDC recommends wearing "well-fitting" masks for protection. Dr. Cohen's answers sparked frustration from lawmakers of both parties. "My neighbor would say, should I wear a cloth mask? I don't know from your answer what I should tell them," Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) said. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said that Dr. Cohen was in the perfect place to help the CDC reestablish credibility. "If the CDC wants its credibility back, you've got to have a mea culpa moment. You're in the perfect position to do it, because you had nothing to do with their decisions at the time. So there's no reason to defend it," he said. "It's ok to say 'it didn't make any sense to shut down schools.' The data shows that now. 'It didn't make sense to do major lockdowns.' The data shows that now. 'It doesn't make sense to mask kids.' The data shows that now. It's okay to say it. And the public will reward you for it," he added later. But Dr. Cohen refused to say authorities in North Carolina or at the CDC did anything wrong, repeatedly steering the discussion back to the future, not the past. She did refer broadly several times to lessons learned during the pandemic, including being more transparent. Answers on Illness in China, Lab in California Dr. Cohen also answered questions about other topics, including a bout of illness in China. Dr. Cohen said that the CDC was in touch with counterparts in China, where the agency has an office, and that the surge in respiratory infections in China was not, based on current information, from "a new or novel pathogen." The World Health Organization and Chinese officials have also said the illnesses are from existing illnesses such as influenza. "The Chinese officials have shared with us that there are no novel pathogens, and we were able to corroborate that information across other sources from our European Union partners and others to make sure that we're getting a complete picture," Dr. Cohen said. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said the situation in China "brings us back, sadly, to the early days of COVID-19" when there was a "lack of reliable information coming out of China." “We are hoping that you can put some pressure in an attempt to try to get China to not mislead the world as they did with COVID-19,” Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) said. Some lawmakers pressed Dr. Cohen on a laboratory in China that was operating without permission, after a House report said the CDC refused to speak for months to local officials who raised the alarm. Dr. Cohen said the CDC investigated quickly and found no indications the lab was experimenting with Ebola or other select agents. She echoed an earlier CDC statement that said the report "includes numerous inaccuracies, including both the charge that CDC did not respond to local requests for aid and the false implication that CDC had the authority to unilaterally investigate or seize samples from" the lab. The agency said it was actively engaged in the investigation into the facility. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/02/2023 - 16:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 2nd, 2023

New CDC Director Defends Vaccine Mandates, School Closures

New CDC Director Defends Vaccine Mandates, School Closures Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The new director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Nov. 30 defended COVID-era policies like vaccine mandates in her first appearance before Congress. "I'm very proud of the work we did in North Carolina," Dr. Mandy Cohen, the new director, told Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) after he asked if she regretted any of the policies put into place in North Carolina, such as school closures, when she was the state's health secretary. "I feel like we did that in a way that was very inclusive," she added. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Mandy Cohen testifies in Washington on Nov. 30, 2023. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) When Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) noted that Dr. Cohen supported harsh measures as health secretary, including vaccine mandates, Dr. Cohen said it was time to "look forward" and start a "new chapter." "You have to remember, at different moments in time, we needed different solutions," she said in response to how Americans would know whether the new director will support the same measures at the federal level. "The good news is that we're in a different place than we were before. We both have different tools and have different mechanisms to respond," she said to another question, about whether she'd shut down schools if a pandemic happened again. "I can't really address a hypothetical but I think we've learned a lot about how to approach things." Did closing schools harm students? "We always knew in-person instruction was incredibly beneficial," Dr. Cohen said. "You'd be great in the sales department," Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) said, prompting a rare smile from the new director. Dr. Cohen replaced Dr. Rochelle Walensky, President Joe Biden's first CDC director, over the summer. Dr. Walensky was an advocate for COVID-19 vaccines, masks, and school closures. Dr. Cohen also indicated she supports mask mandates, saying all masks, including cloth masks, worked as a "barrier" and protected against COVID-19. The CDC recommends wearing "well-fitting" masks for protection. Dr. Cohen's answers sparked frustration from lawmakers of both parties. "My neighbor would say, should I wear a cloth mask? I don't know from your answer what I should tell them," Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) said. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said that Dr. Cohen was in the perfect place to help the CDC reestablish credibility. "If the CDC wants its credibility back, you've got to have a mea culpa moment. You're in the perfect position to do it, because you had nothing to do with their decisions at the time. So there's no reason to defend it," he said. "It's ok to say 'it didn't make any sense to shut down schools.' The data shows that now. 'It didn't make sense to do major lockdowns.' The data shows that now. 'It doesn't make sense to mask kids.' The data shows that now. It's okay to say it. And the public will reward you for it," he added later. But Dr. Cohen refused to say authorities in North Carolina or at the CDC did anything wrong, repeatedly steering the discussion back to the future, not the past. She did refer broadly several times to lessons learned during the pandemic, including being more transparent. Answers on Illness in China, Lab in California Dr. Cohen also answered questions about other topics, including a bout of illness in China. Dr. Cohen said that the CDC was in touch with counterparts in China, where the agency has an office, and that the surge in respiratory infections in China was not, based on current information, from "a new or novel pathogen." The World Health Organization and Chinese officials have also said the illnesses are from existing illnesses such as influenza. "The Chinese officials have shared with us that there are no novel pathogens, and we were able to corroborate that information across other sources from our European Union partners and others to make sure that we're getting a complete picture," Dr. Cohen said. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said the situation in China "brings us back, sadly, to the early days of COVID-19" when there was a "lack of reliable information coming out of China." “We are hoping that you can put some pressure in an attempt to try to get China to not mislead the world as they did with COVID-19,” Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) said. Some lawmakers pressed Dr. Cohen on a laboratory in China that was operating without permission, after a House report said the CDC refused to speak for months to local officials who raised the alarm. Dr. Cohen said the CDC investigated quickly and found no indications the lab was experimenting with Ebola or other select agents. She echoed an earlier CDC statement that said the report "includes numerous inaccuracies, including both the charge that CDC did not respond to local requests for aid and the false implication that CDC had the authority to unilaterally investigate or seize samples from" the lab. The agency said it was actively engaged in the investigation into the facility. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/02/2023 - 16:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 2nd, 2023

The Costs And Casualties Of Government"s Information Total War

The Costs And Casualties Of Government's Information Total War Authored by Emily Burns via The Brownstone Institute,  "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” This phrase, misattributed to Voltaire, has largely come to dominate—and confuse—our understanding of the importance of free speech in a free society. That misunderstanding seems to be at the heart of the very lukewarm response elicited by the exposure of “the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history” unearthed through discovery in Missouri v. Biden now before the Supreme Court.   The trouble with this framing of free speech is that it focuses on hateful speech, framing the imperative to defend the utterance of hateful speech as a form of polite, reciprocal tolerance, necessary for the smooth functioning of a liberal society. If ever there were a framing that caused one to miss the forest for the trees, this is it. The primacy free speech enjoys here in the US has nothing whatever to do with some dewy-eyed ideal of tolerance. Rather, it owes its primacy to pragmatism. Freedom of speech is the best tool we have to ascertain the truth of any given matter. Like a sculptor transforming a shapeless piece of marble into a work of art, free and open debate chisels away at the falsehoods and misapprehensions in which the truth lays embedded. Restrict debate, and the gradual emergence of that truth will be delayed or deformed, with the result imperfect at times to the point of monstrosity. The reason we must “defend to the death” the right to utter “intolerable speech,” is that failure to do so results in the swift and certain condemnation as “intolerable” all speech that diminishes the power or legitimacy of those in power. More succinctly, we must defend the pariah’s right to speak or everyone who crosses the regime, conveniently becomes a pariah. You either do as the ACLU did in 1978, defend the Nazi’s right to speak, or you have an explosion of government-designated “Nazis.” You may perhaps have noticed an exponential rise in the prevalence of “Nazis” and an ever-expanding panoply of -ists since our country’s commitment to free speech faltered? Yeah, me too. No matter the political leanings or the content of the criticism, all those who have dared to critique the diktats of those in power for the last several years have been swiftly moved outside the pale, designated often times literal Nazis. It is this that explains the awesome scope of the censorship exposed in Missouri v. Biden, now before the Supreme Court. We’re experiencing an information total war, resulting in blanket shutdown of any and all debate on each and every topic the government would prefer not to discuss. The cost to truth from this censorship carpet-bombing has been enormous. Lacking the refinement that comes from criticism and debate, the policies issuing from this informational hellscape are brutal and barbaric. This information total war has been largely successful. Regime critics have been swiftly censored, defamed, and marginalized. The result is that most of the population continues to believe that the criticisms of government policies and actions over the past several years were levied by a bunch of cranks whose objections were largely based on gut level assumptions, political affiliation, or knee-jerk reactions. That many of those criticisms and warnings ended up being accurate is attributed to dumb luck. Thus, the public has little sympathy for the targets of government censorship, precisely because of the success of the censorship, and its complement, the propaganda generated to fill the vacuum left by the disappearance of truth. However, the public itself is harmed in myriad ways by this censorship, and not in any abstract fashion. First and foremost, this censorship regime has harmed the public because the suppression of dissenting views resulted in the creation and deployment of a `whole` host of truly awful policies. Certain of its omniscience the government repeatedly censored, defamed and marginalized those who raised objections to its policies. Contrary to the propaganda narrative used to justify its censorship, the arguments against various strands of the government policies were based on sound reason, science, and data, the opponents often highly credentialed in the relevant field. How many people know that one of the first critics of our maximalist approach to COVID was one of the most well-respected, frequently-cited scientists in the world, Stanford’s John Ioannidis? Or that his criticisms mirrored the guidance of the US’s actual extant pandemic plans? How many people know that even from the very first, the opposition to masking was in fact based on its known futility, citing research from the CDC itself, published in May of 2020 (and recently vindicated by another systemic review by Cochrane)? Or that the most vocal opposition came from industrial hygienists (1, 2, 3) and others whose explicit job is to create specifications for safe work environments, including PPE?  Source: U.S. CDC, Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures. May 2020 How many people know that the opposition to the hysteria around hospital capacity was based on acknowledgement by hospital executives that 30 percent of COVID patients were in the hospital with COVID, versus for COVID? Or that this inflationary mis-characterization was incentivized by government payouts? Or that they were using HHS’s own data showing hospital capacity to have been no issue whatsoever in the US except in extremely localized areas and for extremely short periods—and hence easily remediable. Source: HHS Health Data Gov, visualization provided by Josh Stephenson, @Relevant Data. Dashboard available here.  How many people know that the opposition to vaccine mandates, beyond being based on the obvious, and perfectly reasonable objection that there was no long-term data on their safety, was also based on published research showing no relationship between vaccination rates and disease transmission?  Source: European Journal of Epidemiology, September, 2021 Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States Or the concern that “original antigenic sin” could lead to mass vaccination resulting in negative efficacy, and that early published researched was demonstrating exactly that trend? Or that one of those who opposed vaccine mandates on ethical grounds was the director of medical ethics at one of the largest UC campuses? Lancet Pre-prints, October, 2021 (subsequently published in the Lancet). Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccination Against Risk of Symptomatic Infection, Hospitalization, and Death Up to 9 Months: A Swedish Total-Population Cohort Study The answer to all of these questions is, far too few. The sole reason for this widespread ignorance is government censorship. We have censorship to thank for the creation and implementation of divisive, harmful, and unjust policies. Lockdowns, school closures, mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports all find their origins in the truth-starved, debate-deprived offices of our behemoth bureaucracies. Their continuance well after their futility was demonstrated empirically, and the harms they would cause already beginning to manifest can likewise be attributed to the same benighted bedfellows. In addition to being harmed by the content of these censorship-protected policies, the public was further harmed by the division they created. Because these policies were propped up by censoring dissent and defaming dissenters, the debate was no such thing. Instead, framing it in Manichean terms of good and evil, the censors cast large groups of the population as enemies of the people, effectively engaging in a government-executed hate crime targeting tens of millions of people. This censorship-fueled division didn’t just tear the country apart, it cut straight through the center of families, yielding countless divorces, and many millions of families estranging loved ones–all due to government-promoted lies. The polarization that has so demoralized us was a feature, not a bug, of the policies implemented by our politicians and bureaucrats. Through the pervasive action of this wide-ranging government censorship/propaganda effort, vast swathes of the American people have been and continue to be weaponized against their fellow Americans. The faith these people had in institutions has been perverted to serve the institutions, not the people. This credulity-weaponization encompasses not just Joe Schmoe on the street, but extends all the way to the Supreme Court, where in oral arguments last year, several justices made claims whose easily verifiable falseness would have made them blush, if they weren’t so wholly taken in by the censorship and propaganda operations of the broader US government. By acting as the witting or unwitting dupes of this vast censorship/propaganda operation, the credibility of virtually every civic institution in the US has been eroded possibly to the point of no return. Those whose credibility can be salvaged will be decades in the doing. Unfortunately, many, if not most, of our institutions and their denizens remain the censor’s reliable handmaidens, now seeming to hope the censors might somehow hide the gushing efflux of their credibility. Among the harms that have been visited upon the American people through this censorship operation, vaccine injuries must also be counted. Our government not only censored questions and concerns, it acted as the marketing department for the vaccine manufacturers. However, there was one very important difference—if the manufacturers had been doing their own marketing, each ad would have had the long list of potential side effects and counter-indications that is required of all other pharmaceuticals. These risks were simply not communicated, except at the time of injection in the form of a long list of contra-indicated conditions. However, if at that time one were to realize that one had one of the contra-indicated conditions, in many parts of the country, one would still have had no choice but to get the shot. Doctors who granted medical exemptions were threatened by the state to such a degree as to make exemptions virtually inaccessible, regardless of a doctor’s medical judgement. Vaccine mandates made getting the shot a requirement for engagement in public life and countenanced no exceptions. This coercion effectively nullified informed consent for the entire American public, and thus, any adverse reaction ought to be considered fair game for redress. But it is the young and those who had already had COVID who present a picture of unalloyed harm. For these groups, the vaccines provided no benefit—only risk. Thus, every single adverse event incurred in these groups must be viewed as direct, personal harms caused by a government-sponsored censorship operation. That this particular strain of censorship benefited private companies at the same time that it harmed the American people adds grievous injury to the ongoing insult. It is particularly demoralizing to realize that the polarization deliberately fomented by our government seems likely to protect its perpetrators from accountability. Everywhere, we see polls and articles about how fatigued people are by politics. And yet we have no other recourse to address this vast “censorship leviathan.” It is now the go-to tool with which our government effects policy. The only way to change it is to remove from power those people who support this censorship regime and to dismantle the regime’s complex apparatus. Ultimately, government censorship reduces our society to just two groups of people: the censors and the censored. While it remains in place, the ranks of the censored will be ever-expanding as the censors require ever more censorship to ensure people continue to disbelieve their lying eyes. Republished from the author’s Substack Tyler Durden Fri, 10/06/2023 - 06:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 6th, 2023

US Failure To Recognize Natural Immunity Negatively Affected Pandemic Response: NIH Scientist

US Failure To Recognize Natural Immunity Negatively Affected Pandemic Response: NIH Scientist Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The failure to recognize how post-infection immunity is similar or superior to that bestowed by vaccination led to prolonged school closures and other problems, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientist told Congress on May 11. Undated colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (blue) heavily infected with COVID-19 particles (red), isolated from a patient sample at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., on Oct. 31, 2020. (NIAID) U.S. health agencies “chose to disregard natural immunity,” leading to “lost jobs, staffing shortages, children kept out of school, and wasted vaccines,” said Margery Smelkinson, a research scientist at the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Smelkinson was one of three experts testifying to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic in Washington on Capitol Hill, in a hearing on immunity during the pandemic. Smelkinson, who said she was testifying in her personal capacity, is employed by the same agency headed for decades by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who repeatedly downplayed natural immunity along with other top public health officials. Fauci and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), were among the officials to meet secretly in 2021 to decide whether post-infection immunity should count as one or more vaccine doses in the recommended COVID-19 vaccination schedule, according to documents obtained by The Epoch Times. The meeting resulted in no changes to the recommendations, which advise virtually all Americans to get a vaccine even if they’ve recovered from COVID-19. The government’s position on natural immunity meant that COVID-19 vaccine mandates across the country featured no exceptions for the naturally immune, in contrast to some other countries. The CDC has said that there is post-infection protection but that it varies by person, that it’s unclear how long it lasts, and that recovered people should still get vaccinated. But evidence from before the vaccines were even available signaled natural immunity was robust, and later studies provided evidence that natural immunity was similar to or even better than vaccination, Smelkinson noted. One study in July 2020, for instance, found a strong immune response in people who had recovered from COVID-19. Another in October 2020 provided similar findings. And a paper in November 2020 found that mild infections also triggered strong responses. As early as April 2021, research suggested protection on par with that from vaccines. A CDC study found natural immunity was better than vaccination against the Delta variant, and a more recent CDC paper provided the same conclusions for the Omicron strain. An analysis of dozens of studies found that post-infection protection was similar to or better than vaccination, depending on the strain. Smelkinson said the government’s position resulted in staffing shortages, including in the health care sector, and “caused needless loss of life as vaccines were given to essential workers with natural immunity instead of being prioritized for the elderly.” “Additionally, the daily quarantine of thousands of students could have been significantly reduced if districts had, at least, made exceptions for students with natural immunity. At least,” she said. “Disregarding the wealth of evidence of natural immunity led to missed opportunities to implement policies that could have been more effective and efficient in controlling the pandemic and limiting collateral damage.” Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), chairman of the panel, said that the government should not have mandated vaccination for the naturally immune. Other Experts Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told the panel that the stance against natural immunity adopted by Fauci and others didn’t make sense, pointing in part to Fauci saying previously that people who recovered from influenza didn’t need vaccination “because the most potent vaccination is getting infected yourself.” Read more here... Tyler Durden Thu, 05/11/2023 - 20:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 12th, 2023

COVID Emergency, Climate Emergency: Same Thing

COVID Emergency, Climate Emergency: Same Thing Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance I am always happy to welcome new content from The Brownstone Institute, one of the last few beacons of common sense left in the world. This week they published a new piece on how, as the Covid emergency fades away, the climate emergency is becoming prominent. After lamenting the rights that were taken from citizens during the Covid emergency, the article looks at exactly what superpowers the government would get in declaring a climate emergency. You guessed it: more power to ram through ways for government to micromanage your life, interfere with the economy and - best of all - further the Keynesian nightmare by printing and spend as many U.S. dollars as they want without consequences. I contacted them last year and requested permission to share their content when I enjoy it, in full, with my readers, which they kindly granted. If you’re interested in the topic - or simply just having a grasp on the objective truth - I believe it is a “must read”. The article is written by W. Aaron Vandiver, a writer, former litigator, and wildlife conservationist. He is the author of the novel, Under a Poacher’s Moon. Photographic annotations have been added by QTR. In February 2022, 1,140 organizations sent President Biden a letter urging him to declare a “climate emergency.” A group of US Senators did the same, in October 2022, and a House bill, introduced in 2021, also called on the president to “declare a national climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act.” Biden has considered declaring such an emergency, but so far he has declined, to the disappointment of many progressives. The United Nations (UN) has urged all countries to declare a climate emergency. The state of Hawaii and 170 local US jurisdictions have declared some version of one. So have 38 countries, including European Union members and the UK, and local jurisdictions around the world, together encompassing about 13 percent of the world’s population. Hillary Clinton was reportedly prepared to declare a “climate emergency” if she had won the 2016 election. A “climate emergency” is in the zeitgeist. Those words were surely uttered by the billionaires, technocrats and corporate CEOs attending the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos. But this would be a dangerous misuse of federal emergency powers, which were not intended to give the president an end-run around Congress, as senior director of Liberty & National Security at the Brennan Center for Justice Elizabeth Goitein warned. Nor were emergency powers designed to address a complex long-term challenge like climate change. Once emergency powers are invoked, the temptation will be to expand them. The only way President Biden or a future president could reach for any kind of significant, broad-based climate goals using his existing emergency powers, Goitein said, would be to “stretch them beyond all recognition, using them in legally dubious ways Congress never intended … the idea that emergency powers are infinitely malleable is both false and dangerous.” If you are not yet a subscriber to Fringe Finance, wish to support the blog and have the means, I can offer you 50% off an annual subscription for reading today’s piece. The discount never expires. You can use this coupon: Get 50% off forever How a ‘climate emergency’ could infringe on civil liberties and human rights How worried should we be that a “climate emergency” intended to “rapidly transform” our entire society by 2050 — which would be the 80th national emergency in US history — might gradually expand in scope to infringe on basic civil liberties and human rights? A 2018 article in the Atlantic, “The Alarming Scope of the President’s Emergency Powers,” warned of nightmarish scenarios that could ensue if President Trump abused his emergency powers. “The moment the president declares a ‘national emergency’ — a decision that is entirely within his discretion — he is able to set aside many of the legal limits on his authority,” the article warned. “The president can, with the flick of his pen, activate laws allowing him to shut down many kinds of electronic communications inside the United States or freeze Americans’ bank accounts,” and much more. We can certainly hope that a “climate emergency” would not morph into such a dangerous scenario. Historically, most national emergency declarations have been benign. Yet the “COVID-19 emergency” initiated on Trump’s watch and carried on by Biden has unfortunately set a new and troubling authoritarian precedent that cannot be ignored. Nowhere is that precedent more apparent than in the lingering notion of “locking down” the population. In October 2020, University College of London economics professor Mariana Mazzucato, who chairs an economics council for the WHO, published an article expressly raising the possibility of “climate lockdowns” to address a “climate emergency.” Mazzucato wrote: “In the near future, the world may need to resort to lockdowns again — this time to tackle a climate emergency. … Under a ‘climate lockdown,’ governments would limit private-vehicle use, ban consumption of red meat, and impose extreme energy-saving measures, while fossil-fuel companies would have to stop drilling.” What these “climate lockdowns” would amount to is various forms of “green austerity” — strict limits on consumption and personal behavior — imposed on the population. This is a real possibility — not a conspiracy theory (despite the protestations of biased fact-checkers). Far from being fringe, Mazzucato’s article about “climate lockdowns” as a response to a “climate emergency” was published by a website, Project Syndicate, that receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other influential organizations that vigorously supported COVID-19 lockdowns. The article also was endorsed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a “CEO-led organization” that represents 200 of the world’s largest corporations. Mazzucato is only one of many climate policymakers who want to harness the extraordinary technocratic/authoritarian powers that were used during COVID-19 “lockdowns” to fight climate change. For example, a paper published in the journal Nature Sustainability cited the “window of opportunity provided by the Covid-19 crisis,” arguing that “Covid vaccine passports could be succeeded by personal carbon passports.” “Carbon passports,” along with digital IDs, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), social-credit scores and other means of tracking and restricting consumption, travel, diet and personal behavior are routinely bandied about at the WEF and other elite technocratic organizations. Worries about “carbon passports” take on added urgency in light of the recent G20 conference, which resulted in an agreement in principle to establish a system of digital vaccine passports for international travel, to be administered by the WHO. How might such restrictions be incorporated into American law and life? There are various ways: legislation, agency rulemaking, international treaty, city ordinance. A “climate emergency” is a powerful legal tool that could conceivably be used to impose “green” restrictions on the public in circumvention of the normal democratic lawmaking process, particularly if a presidential administration comes under pressure to stretch its emergency powers beyond their intended purpose. Recall that it is not just presidents who can trigger a state of emergency. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), state governors and the WHO all have the power to declare a “public health emergency” within their respective areas of authority. This is exactly what happened in early 2020, illustrating how a future “climate public health emergency” might take shape. What happens if global, federal and state officials declare a ‘climate public health emergency’? It was not only President Trump’s national emergency declaration that led to lockdowns and so many other abuses of power and violations of basic rights during COVID-19. His order helped establish the framework for emergency governance, but other “public health emergency” orders were crucial. The WHO declared COVID-19 to be a “public health emergency of international concern” on Jan. 30, 2020. This move triggered a coordinated global response and had wide-ranging repercussions. The next day, Trump’s HHS secretary declared a COVID-19 “public health emergency,” an order that has been repeatedly renewed and is still in effect. Trump’s subsequent national emergency declaration on March 13, 2020, endorsed that order while authorizing HHS to exercise additional emergency powers. Three days after that, on March 16, Trump issued the “coronavirus guidelines” that advised Americans to “avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10,” which served as a basis for the lockdowns that swept the nation. Governors of each state issued their own public health emergency orders, too. State public health agencies operating under those emergency orders were instrumental in enacting lockdowns, school closures, mask mandates, vaccine mandates and other “emergency” policies in cooperation with federal agencies and the White House......»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 14th, 2023

CDC Director Defends Mask Mandates After New Study Shows Masking Has Little Effect

CDC Director Defends Mask Mandates After New Study Shows Masking Has Little Effect Authored by Zachary Steiber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in Washington on Feb. 8, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images) The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Feb. 8 defended her agency’s promotion of masking after a new study found that protective masks had little effect on the spread of respiratory viruses such as COVID-19. The Cochrane review analyzed randomized controlled studies, considered the gold standard by U.S. officials and others, but limitations undermined the conclusions, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “One of the limitations of that study, in addition to the fact that it included randomized trials from before COVID-19, is that it stated in the study that people actually had limited update of using masks,” Walensky said during a hearing in Washington. “Of course, randomized trials that look at mask use by people who aren’t wearing them are going to have limited utility.” The CDC imposed mask mandates on public transportation users, including plane passengers, and on children in Head Start programs as young as 2, contradicting policies from other countries that left younger children maskless, if mandates were imposed at all. The agency also repeatedly recommended that children, teachers, and others in schools wear masks, as well as people in common settings, such as grocery stores. Multiple members of Congress pressed Walensky on the Cochrane review, which concluded that the available evidence shows a lack of effect in mask wearing against the spread of influenza or flu-like illnesses. “While acknowledging the limited data pool, it found no clear sign of a reduction in transmission when using either medical or surgical masks,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said. “Yet today, CDC still recommends masks in schools for all ages, even though the emotional, mental, physical, and educational toll masking has had on our kids is widely recognized.” Walensky told Rodgers, “You actually have to wear a mask for it to work.” The CDC’s mandates and guidance on masks relied on cohort studies, Walensky said. That included a non-peer-reviewed study that the agency published in its quasi-journal that compared the incidence of COVID-19 case clusters in schools located in districts with mask mandates with schools in districts without forced masking. Only two Arizona counties were studied. A follow-up study that expanded on the number of districts involved and the time frame found that there was no link between school masking and COVID-19 cases. The CDC also cites other studies in a scientific brief on the subject, including a randomized controlled trial in Bangladesh that found that masking had little effect on COVID-19 spread and a Chinese study of just 124 households. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) brought up the Cochrane study and said doctors have informed him that masks aren’t effective. He asked Dr. Lawrence Tabak, acting director of the National Institutes of Health, whether that agency funded any trials examining mask efficacy in schools. Tabak said he wasn’t aware of any. Walensky defended the lack of research. “So many studies demonstrated … that masks were working,” during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said, “that I’m not sure anybody would have proposed a clinical trial because in fact there weren’t equipoise.” Apart from the Bangladesh trial, the two other randomized, clinical trials conducted in other countries provided little data to support masking against COVID-19. Walensky also said this week that “now is not the moment” to drop mask mandates in schools. Many states have already lifted their mandates and others have recently announced that they’ll rescind their mandates. Lockdowns During the hearing, Walensky also defended the lockdowns imposed in the United States during the pandemic. “I agree that we should do everything in our power not to have it happen [again],” she said, referring to school closures and other lockdown policies. But she recounted how being a clinician in 2020, there was a morgue outside her hospital. When hospitals are overwhelmed and unable to take care of brain tumors and car accident victims, “extraordinary measures are necessary,” Walensky said. “I do think when there are lockdowns, there’s decreased need for things like motor vehicle accident care,” she said, disagreeing with Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) on the issue. When members pointed out that the COVID-19 vaccines don’t stop transmission, undercutting the rationale for vaccine mandates imposed by the Biden administration, Walensky pushed back, claiming that the vaccines prevent severe disease and death. It “doesn’t prevent transmission as well as it did for prior variants, but it does still prevent some,” Walensky said, referring to all vaccines as one type. The CDC was consulted before the mandates were issued, she confirmed. “What we have though is a modest prevention, like a 50 percent prevention, of risk of getting infected if you’re up to date on your vaccination, and that’s very important for frontline workers of all types to stay healthy, for children not to infect their grandparents that may be at risk,” said Dr. Robert Califf, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. “If you’re up to date, your risk of dying is reduced by 80 percent.” Califf was referring to the updated bivalent vaccines, for which there’s no clinical data half a year after the administration authorized them. The U.S. government and outside researchers have said in observational studies that the bivalents provide a subpar boost against infection and a better boost against severe illness. Tyler Durden Thu, 02/09/2023 - 21:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytFeb 9th, 2023

That"s Science? Congress Must Probe The Rationale For COVID Mask Mandates

That's Science? Congress Must Probe The Rationale For COVID Mask Mandates Authored by Robert E. Moffit via RealClear Wire, The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives recently authorized formation of a new Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Peering into the murky Chinese origins of COVID-19, especially any connection to U.S. government funding, will be a top priority. And that’s as it should be.   Dr. Anthony Fauci will no doubt be a star witness. The former director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases at the NIH says he would welcome an invitation to testify on his role during the pandemic. Lawmakers should note, however, that in his recent deposition in the continuing case of The State of Missouri, et al. v Joseph Biden et al in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Fauci responded to questions by saying that he could not recall… 174 times. New congressional inquiries might refresh his memory.  However, the subcommittee must concentrate more on “The Science” than on Dr. Fauci. Throughout the pandemic, federal officials who claim to represent “The Science” gave mixed messages. This left citizens eager to follow “The Science” frightened and confused.   Take, for instance, the issue of masking and mask mandates. The mixed messages had a tremendous effect on all Americans, especially schoolchildren.    On this topic, Dr. Fauci’s recent deposition was revealing. In a February 2020 email, Sylvia Burwell, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked Fauci whether she should wear a mask at the airport in her travels. He replied:    Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected, rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection. The typical mask you buy in the drugstore is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep [sic] out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you. I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you’re going to a low-risk location.   So, Fauci expressed privately to a former colleague a strong conviction that cloth masks were ineffective. That view was broadly shared by other senior federal public health officials, including both Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Fauci’s colleague at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and former Surgeon General of the United States Jerome Adams. Indeed, in a March 2020 social media message to the public Dr. Adams warned: “Seriously, people, STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing the general public from catching Coronavirus.”   Fauci’s initial response to Burwell’s question was in accord with previous scientific research. Furthermore, in the following months, peer-reviewed literature on masking and viral infection confirmed Fauci’s initial advice. For example, a May 2020 review of the professional literature on the subject for the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, concluded “In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.” Also in May 2020, researchers writing in The New England Journal of Medicine observed: “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection.” In March 2022, a British Medical Journal study on the masking of Spanish school-aged children found that cloth face masks “…were not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 incidence or transmission, suggesting that this intervention was not effective.”    Yet, in April 2020, the federal government’s masking advice took a 180-degree turn. The CDC recommended that all Americans wear masks, and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield went as far as to declare in a congressional hearing that face masks would be even more effective than a (yet unavailable) Covid-19 vaccine.    The CDC recommendations were quickly translated into state and local mask mandates (sometimes, as in New York City, with stiff fines) throughout the nation. In January 2021, CDC imposed a mask mandate on persons taking public transportation, which was subsequently struck down in federal court because CDC had no statutory authority to impose such a mandate.     Here’s the mystery. Why exactly did CDC masking policy change so dramatically in that brief period between February and April 2020?  Did CDC conduct its own randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of either masking or the kinds of masks that would be most efficacious? The agency should have, of course, but it did not.   Did federal officials come into possession of some groundbreaking scientific research refuting previous peer-reviewed studies that had cast doubt on the efficacy of masking?   That question came during the Nov. 23, 2022, deposition:   Attorney: “How many studies were done between February of 2020, when you emailed Ms. Burwell and told her that ‘the typical mask you buy in the drugstore is not really effective in keeping out the virus, which is small enough to pass through the material” between when you said that and April 3rd of 2020, what studies were done of the efficacy of masks... in preventing the spread of- of- Covid-19?”   Dr. Fauci: “I could find those—and get them for you, but I don’t have them in my fingertips right now.”    Later during the deposition, Fauci said that he changed his mind about masking because by April of 2020 there was no feared shortage of masks for health care workers, and the public could get them without depriving these workers the much-needed protection that masks would provide.    Dr. Fauci also said that it had become clear that the virus spread from persons who did not have symptoms, and that masking would help stop asymptomatic transmission. Finally, he asserted, “Evidence began accumulating that masks actually work in preventing acquisition and transmission.”   Under further questioning, Dr. Fauci repeated that his view on masking changed due to “new” scientific evidence., Missouri’s attorney again, therefore, pressed the question about the science behind the masking policy.   Attorney: “Were there placebo-based, randomized, double-blind studies of the efficacy of masking that were done between February and April of 2020?”   Dr. Fauci: “I don’t recall. I’d have to go back and take a close look at the literature. I don’t recall.”   Attorney: “Have you seen any studies that contradict the efficacy of masking?”      Dr. Fauci: “There were some studies early on—I don’t know the dates of them—that made the statement that masks were not effective. When those studies were subject to statistical scrutinization, they were felt to be not definitive. Subsequent to that time, there have been studies to indicate that in situations where mask wearing was compared to not mask wearing, that masks clearly have an effect.”  While lawmakers may want to trust Dr. Fauci on this point, they must verify it.    Maybe Dr. Fauci can produce those studies he did not have “at his fingertips.” Perhaps at some point between February and April of 2020 there were novel studies on the effectiveness of masks, including the advantages of the mandatory masking of schoolchildren. Conceivably, new evidence was “accumulating” that, contrary to previous studies, masking was broadly effective in preventing viral infection and transmission. Perhaps the “statistical scrutinization” of previous studies on masking did indeed reveal flaws.   Lawmakers can resolve these questions by securing the more recent scholarship that Dr. Fauci alludes to as refuting previous masking studies. It would also be edifying to know who, in fact, did the “statistical scrutinization” and if—and where—it was published.   What matters is the science, not Dr. Fauci’s memory.   For lawmakers, Fauci’s role during the pandemic is just one item on the congressional oversight agenda. As outlined in a Heritage Foundation Special Report, a dozen other areas are ripe for congressional inquiry, ranging from the debacle of diagnostic testing and flawed vaccine policies to the impact of lockdowns and school closures. The federal government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic is, unfortunately, a target rich environment. Understandably, many members of Congress, like millions of their constituents, are angry.   But a word of caution. A scattershot, highly inflammatory process of congressional investigation will not serve the American people well. Lawmakers should not allow themselves to transform these necessary probes into tiresome “gotcha” political theater—a powerful temptation in our polarized political environment. Rather, House and Senate investigators need to target the specific rationale for each of the major federal policy recommendations over the past three years, with a view toward forging positive legislative changes that would enable the federal government to perform better when the next pandemic hits America’s shores.   Robert E. Moffit, PhD, is a Senior Fellow in Health and Welfare Studies at the Heritage Foundation. Tyler Durden Wed, 01/25/2023 - 21:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 25th, 2023

Fauci"s Finished

Fauci's Finished Authored by James Rickards via DailyReckoning.com, In a little under an hour, Joe Biden is expected to address the nation about the new Omicron variant of the virus. An aide claims the administration is “prepared for the rising case levels” and that Biden will explain how it “will respond to this challenge.” The Omicron variant is highly contagious. Some models, along with data from Europe, suggest the number of cases could potentially double every two days. Of course, you can’t really trust models, but this variant is spreading rapidly. The good news is that it doesn’t appear to be particularly dangerous. Symptoms are generally described as those of a mild cold. But you can expect Biden to dial up the fear tomorrow. He’s probably going to try to shame the unvaccinated and warn about a “dark winter” ahead because of their refusal to take the jabs. For the fully vaccinated, he’s going to tell them to get the booster. We’ll have to see what else he has in store, but you can be sure it won’t involve telling everyone to take hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin if they start showing symptoms. Changing Goalposts It’s all about vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate! And when you’re done vaccinating, get ready for another. The goalposts are constantly changing. It was always expected that the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID vaccines would be two-dose treatments. (That’s not true of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, which was always a one-dose regimen. Janssen’s is the only vaccine that relies on a more traditional adenovirus rather than mRNA technology to instruct your cells to create the toxic spike protein.) The vaccines were initially reported to be highly effective at reducing severe symptoms and deaths. This was despite some serious side effects that have not been fully reported and are still being evaluated. The likely number of vaccine-induced deaths exceeds 20,000, based on the VAERS reporting system. We don’t know the true number because there’s no definitive evidence that the vaccine caused the death, but the spike in reported deaths since the vaccines came out is off the charts. It’s not proof of a fire, but there’s lots of smoke. Meanwhile, all of the vaccines were falsely presented to the public as preventing infection. But that was untrue. The vaccines do not prevent infection or spread of the virus. Still, public health officials went on a full-court press to achieve 100% vaccination rates regardless of side effects, religious objections, medical objections based on asthma and other conditions and regardless of the natural immunity already acquired by over 50 million Americans who have had the disease and recovered. Besides, the vaccines do not appear to be effective at preventing infections from the Omicron variant. The fully vaccinated and the boosted can still get sick. Lepers Vaccine mandates were enforced through a large number of drastic outcomes for the unvaccinated. You could lose your job; lose a government contract; be denied international travel; be discharged from the military; and be denied access to restaurants, sports venues and concerts among other activities if you did not get vaccinated. The unvaccinated were treated like lepers with the result that many got vaccinated against their better judgment solely to avoid the harsh treatment otherwise reserved for them. The only consolation was that once you were vaccinated and had your paperwork in order (and ready to present to the vax enforcers), you could go about your business when it came to work, travel or leisure. But wait, not so fast. The petty government dictators who invented these rules in the first place are now moving the goalposts. Not only do the vaccines not stop infection, but they don’t even do their job of reducing symptoms after about six months. Naturally, Dr. Anthony Fauci is saying that it’s just a matter of time before the definition of “fully vaccinated” is changed to require three shots instead of two (or two for Janssen instead of one). Boosters Forever The implications of this are enormous. It means that those who thought they had put the vaccination issue behind them will have to get in line for another shot if they want to go about their business without discrimination. The supposedly vaccinated will find themselves back in the leper colony with the unvaccinated if they don’t get the new booster. Of course, the booster will wear off after six months also. (It’s called a “booster” but it’s the same vaccine as the first shot.) And that means you will have to get boosters for the rest of your life to comply with Dr. Fauci’s dictatorship. Vaccines should be allowed as a matter of choice but vaccine mandates are mostly illegal (per recent court rulings) and counterproductive in the sense that they encourage resistance, not compliance. Though it’s not proven, mass vaccination could also be causing new variants because it forces the virus to evolve. A better strategy would likely involve targeted vaccination for the most vulnerable, with therapeutics for everyone else. That would reduce the pressure on the virus to mutate while giving natural immunity to the people who were treated early and recovered. And studies indicate natural immunity is up to 27 times more powerful than vaccine-induced immunity. Back to the Same Failed Playbook In the meantime, expect more damage to the economy as resources are wasted in a vain attempt to achieve Zero COVID. Politicians and the bureaucrats who guide them keep reaching for the same playbook, even though the plays didn’t work the first time. Mask mandates, lockdowns, school closings, vaccine mandates and other dictates did nothing to help. The evidence is clear that masks don’t work. Lockdowns turned homes into COVID incubators. The better approach was to encourage people to be outside without masks, getting exercise and fresh air. School closures deprived children of a year of education and the socialization skills that come with it. Will this end anytime soon? In some free states like Florida and New Hampshire (where I live), most of the madness has ended already. But in neo-fascist states like Michigan, Oregon and Washington, the madness continues. “Permanent… Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Permanent” For example, the state of Oregon already had a mask mandate. However, it was issued under rules that make it temporary. This means that the deadline had to be extended from time to time, which requires public notice and possibly hearings. In order to avoid these requirements, Oregon began a process to make the mask mandate permanent. When asked to explain the new policy, the medical director for communicable diseases of the Oregon Health Authority, Dr. Paul Cieslak, defended the decision by saying, “Permanent … doesn’t necessarily mean permanent.” George Orwell must be smiling somewhere at that perfect illustration of Newspeak. It’s amazing how supposedly temporary measures can become permanent. Meanwhile, Fauci was asked on a weekend talk show if we’re ever going to reach a point where we won’t need to wear masks on airplanes. Fauci replied, “I don’t think so.” So you’re always going to need to wear a mask on a plane regardless of the circumstances if Fauci has his way. Here’s another bit of madness: Three months ago an FDA advisory committee voted overwhelmingly, 16–2, against booster shots for the general public. But three months later, colleges are actually mandating boosters for the upcoming spring semester. What happened to “the science”? Americans Are Fighting Back The American people are increasingly fed up with these contradictory, destructive and non-scientific mandates from the neo-fascist bureaucrats who are mainly pursuing their own agendas. The real solution to the pandemic consists of mutations that attenuate the virus, herd immunity, better treatments, fresh air and exercise. Fauci’s dream of making everyone a vax slave will not last. His failure will require resistance by the general population. That resistance is already taking place. Fauci is conflicted, incompetent and insecure. Moving the goalposts on vaccination is making that clear to the public. He will be deposed and vaccination will be made voluntary, but not yet. In the meantime, expect the madness to continue. Tyler Durden Tue, 12/21/2021 - 13:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 21st, 2021

Logically.AI Of Britain And The Expanding Global Reach Of Censorship

Logically.AI Of Britain And The Expanding Global Reach Of Censorship Authored by Lee Fang via RealClear Wire, Brian Murphy, a former FBI agent who once led the intelligence wing of the Department of Homeland Security, reflected last summer on the failures of the Disinformation Governance Board – the panel formed to actively police misinformation. The board, which was proposed in April 2022 after he left DHS, was quickly shelved by the Biden administration in a few short months in the face of criticism that it would be an Orwellian state-sponsored "Ministry of Truth." In a July podcast, Murphy said the threat of state-sponsored disinformation meant the executive branch has an “ethical responsibility” to rein in the social media companies. American citizens, he said, must give up "some of your freedoms that you need and deserve so that you get security back." The legal problems and public backlash to the Disinformation Governance Board also demonstrated to him that "the government has a major role to play, but they cannot be out in front.” Murphy, who made headlines late in the Trump administration for improperly building dossiers on journalists, has spent the last few years trying to help the government find ways to suppress and censor speech it doesn’t like without being so “out in front” that it runs afoul of the Constitution. He has proposed that law enforcement and intelligence agencies formalize the process of sharing tips with private sector actors – a “hybrid constellation” including the press, academia, researchers, non-partisan organizations, and social media companies – to dismantle “misinformation” campaigns before they take hold. More recently, Murphy has worked to make his vision of countering misinformation a reality by joining a United Kingdom-based tech firm, Logically.AI, whose eponymous product identifies and removes content from social media. Since joining the firm, Murphy has met with military and other government officials in the U.S., many of whom have gone on to contract or pilot Logically’s platform. Logically says it uses artificial intelligence to keep tabs on over one million conversations. It also maintains a public-facing editorial team that produces viral content and liaisons with the traditional news media. It differs from other players in this industry by actively deploying what they call “countermeasures” to dispute or remove problematic content from social media platforms.  The business is even experimenting with natural language models, according to one corporate disclosure, “to generate effective counter speech outputs that can be leveraged to deliver novel solutions for content moderation and fact-checking.” In other words, artificial intelligence-powered bots that produce, in real-time, original arguments to dispute content labeled as misinformation. In many respects, Logically is fulfilling the role Murphy has articulated for a vast public-private partnership to shape social media content decisions. Its technology has already become a key player in a much larger movement that seeks to clamp down on what the government and others deem misinformation or disinformation. A raft of developing evidence – including the Twitter Files, the Moderna Reports, the proposed Government Disinformation Panel, and other reports – has shown how governments and industry are determined to monitor, delegitimize, and sometimes censor protected speech. The story of Logically.AI illustrates how sophisticated this effort has become and its global reach. The use of its technology in Britain and Canada raises red flags as it seeks a stronger foothold in the United States. Logically was founded in 2017 by a then-22-year-old British entrepreneur named Lyric Jain, who was inspired to form the company to combat what he believed were the lies that pushed the U.K. into voting in favor of Brexit, or leaving the European Union. The once-minor startup now has broad contracts across Europe and India, and has worked closely with Microsoft, Google, PwC, TikTok, and other major firms. Meta contracts with Logically to help the company fact-check content on all of its platforms: WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook. The close ties to Silicon Valley provide unusual reach. “When Logically rates a piece of content as false, Facebook will significantly reduce its distribution so that fewer people see it, apply a warning label to let people know that the content has been rated false, and notify people who try to share it,” Meta and Logically announced in a 2021 press release on the partnership. Meta and Logically did not respond to repeated requests for comment.  During the 2021 local elections in the U.K., Logically monitored up to “one million pieces of harmful content,” some of which they relayed to government officials, according to a document reviewed by RealClearInvestigations. The firm claimed to spot coordinated activity to manipulate narratives around the election, information they reported to tech giants for takedowns. The following year, the state of Oregon negotiated with Logically for a wide-ranging effort to monitor campaign-related content during the 2022 midterm elections. In a redacted proposal for the project, Logically noted that it would check claims against its “single source of truth database,” which relied on government data, and would also crack down on “malinformation” – a term of art that refers to accurate information that fuels dangerous narratives. The firm similarly sold Oregon on its ability to pressure social media platforms for content removal. Oregon State Rep. Ed Diehl has a led push against the state from renewing its work with Logically for the election this year. The company, he said in an interview, violates "our constitutional rights to free speech and privacy" by "flagging true information as false, claiming legitimate dissent is a threat, and then promoting "counter-narratives" against valid forms of public debate. In response, the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, which initiated the contract with Logically, claimed “no authority, ability, or desire to censor speech.” Diehl disputes this. He pointed out that the original proposal with Logically clearly states that its service “enables the opportunity for unlimited takedown attempts” of alleged misinformation content and the ability for the Oregon Secretary of State’s office to “flag for removal” any “problematic narratives and content.” The contract document touts Logically as a “trusted entity within the social media community” that gives it “preferred status that enables us to support our client’s needs at a moment’s notice.” Diehl, who shared a copy of the Logically contract with RCI, called the issue a vital “civil rights” fight, and noted that in an ironic twist, the state’s anti-misinformation speech suppression work further inflames distrust in “election systems and government institutions in general.” Logically’s reach into the U.S. market is quickly growing. The company has piloted programs for the Chicago Police Department to use artificial intelligence to analyze local rap music and deploy predictions on violence in the community, according to a confidential proposal obtained by RCI. Pentagon records show that the firm is a subcontractor to a program run by the U.S. Army’s elite Special Operations Command for work conducted in 2022 and 2023. Via funding from DHS, Logically also conducts research on gamer culture and radicalization. The company has claimed in its ethics statements that it will not employ any person who holds “a salaried or prominent position” in government. But records show closely entrenched state influence. For instance, Kevin Gross, a director the U.S Navy NAVAIR division, was previously embedded within Logically's team during a 2022 fellowship program. The exchange program supported Logically’s efforts to assist NATO on the analysis of Russian social media. Other contracts in the U.S. may be shrouded in secrecy. Logically partners with ThunderCat Technologies, a contracting firm that assists tech companies when competing for government work. Such arrangements have helped tech giants conceal secretive work in the past. Google previously attempted to hide its artificial intelligence drone-targeting contracts with the Defense Department through a similar third party contracting vendor. But questions swirl over the methods and reach of the firm as it entrenches itself into American life, especially as Logically angles to play a prominent role in the 2024 presidential election.  Pandemic Policing In March 2020, as Britain confronted the spread of COVID-19, the government convened a new task force, the Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU). The secretive task force was created with little fanfare, but was advertised as a public health measure to protect against dangerous misinformation. Caroline Dinenage, the member of parliament overseeing media issues, later explained that the unit’s purpose was to provide authoritative sources of information and to “take action to remove misinformation” relating to “misleading narratives related to COVID-19.” The CDU, it later emerged, had largely outsourced its work to private contractors such as Logically. In January 2021, the company received its first contract from the agency overseeing the CDU, for £400,000, to monitor ”potentially harmful disinformation online.” The contracts later swelled, with the U.K. agency that pertains to media issues eventually providing contracts with a combined value of £1.2 million and the Department of Health providing another £1.3 million, for a total of roughly $3.2 million. That money went into far-reaching surveillance that monitored journalists, activists, and lawmakers who criticized pandemic policies. Logically, according to an investigation last year in the Telegraph, recorded comments from activist Silkie Carlo criticizing vaccine passports in its “Mis/Disinformation” reports. Logically’s reports similarly collected information on Dr. Alexandre de Figueiredo, a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Figueiredo had published reports on the negative ways in which vaccine passports could undermine vaccine confidence and had publicly criticized policies aimed at the mass vaccination of children. Despite his expertise, Logically filed his tweet in a disinformation report to the government. While some of the reports were categorized as evidence of terms of service violations, many were, in fact, routine forms of dissent aired by prominent voices in the U.K. on policies hotly contested by expert opinion. The documents showing Logically’s role were later uncovered by Carlo’s watchdog group, Big Brother Watch, which produced a detailed report on the surveillance effort. The CDU reports targeted a former judge who argued against coercive lockdowns as a violation of civil liberties and journalists criticizing government corruption. Some of the surveillance documents suggest a mission creep for the unit, as media monitoring emails show that the agency targeted anti-war groups that were vocal against NATO’s policies. Carlo was surprised to even find her name on posts closely monitored and flagged by Logically. “We found that the company exploits millions of online posts to monitor, record and flag online political dissent to the central government under the banner of countering ‘disinformation,’” she noted in a statement to RCI. Marketing materials published by Logically suggest its view of COVID-19 went well beyond fact-checking and veered into suppressing dissenting opinions. A case study published by the firm claimed that the #KBF hashtag, referring to Keep Britain Free, an activist group against school and business shutdowns, was a dangerous “anti-vax” narrative. The case study also claimed that the suggestion that “the virus was created in a Chinese laboratory” was one of the “conspiracy theories’’ that “have received government support” in the U.S. – despite the fact that a preponderance of evidence now points to a likely lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology as the origin of the pandemic. Logically was also involved in pandemic work that blurred the line with traditional fact-checking operations. In India, the firm helped actively persuade patients to take the vaccine. In 2021, Jain, the founder and CEO of the company, said in an interview with an Indian news outlet that his company worked “closely with communities that are today vaccine hesitant.” The company, he said, recruited “advocates and evangelists” to shape local opinion. Questionable Fact-Checking In 2022, Logically used its technology on behalf of Canadian law enforcement to target the trucker-led “Freedom Convoy” against COVID-19 mandates, according to government records. Logically’s team floated theories that the truckers were “likely influenced by foreign adversaries,” a widely repeated claim used to denigrate the protests as inauthentic. The push to discredit the Canadian protests showed the overlapping power of Logically’s multiple arms. While its social media surveillance wing fed reports to the Canadian government, its editorial team worked to influence opinion through the news media. When the Financial Times reported on the protest phenomenon, the outlet quoted Murphy, the former FBI man who now works for Logically, who asserted that the truckers were influenced by coordinated "conspiracy theorist groups" in the U.S. and Canada. Vice similarly quoted Joe Ondrak, Logically's head of investigations, to report that the "Freedom Convoy" had generated excitement among global conspiracy theorists. Neither outlet disclosed Logically's work for Canadian law enforcement at the time. Other targets of Logically are quick to point out that the firm has taken liberties with what it classifies as misinformation. Will Jones, the editor of the Daily Sceptic, a British news outlet with a libertarian bent, has detailed an unusual fact-check from Logically Facts, the company’s editorial site. Jones said the site targeted him for pointing out that data in 2022 showed 71% of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 were vaccinated. Logically’s fact-check acknowledged Jones had accurately used statistics from the U.K. Health Security Agency, but tried to undermine him by asserting that he was still misleading by suggesting that “vaccines are ineffective.” But Jones, in a reply, noted that he never made that argument and that, Logically was batting away at a straw man. In fact, his original piece plainly took issue with a Guardian article that incorrectly claimed that "COVID-19 has largely become a disease of the unvaccinated." Other Logically fact-checks have bizarrely targeted the Daily Sceptic for reporting on news in January 2022 that vaccine mandates might soon be lifted. The site dinged the Daily Sceptic for challenging the evidence behind the vaccine policy and declared, “COVID-19 vaccines have been proven effective in fighting the pandemic.” And yet, at the end of that month, the mandate was lifted for healthcare workers and the following month, all other pandemic restrictions were revoked, just as the Daily Sceptic had reported. “As far as I can work out, it’s a grift,” said Daily Sceptic founder Toby Young, of Logically. “A group of shysters offer to help the government censor any criticism of its policies under the pretense that they’re not silencing dissent – God forbid! – but merely ‘cleansing’ social media of misinformation, disinformation and hate speech.” Jones was similarly dismissive of the company, which he said disputes anything that runs contrary to popular consensus. “The consensus of course is that set by the people who pay Logically for their services,” Jones added. “The company claims to protect democratic debate by providing access to ‘reliable information, but in reality, it is paid to bark and savage on command whenever genuine free speech makes an inconvenient appearance.” In some cases, Logically has piled on to news stories to help discredit voices of dissent. Last September,  the anti-misinformation site leaped into action after British news outlets published reports about sexual misconduct allegations surrounding comedian and online broadcaster Russell Brand -- one of the outspoken critics of government policy in Britain, who has been compared to Joe Rogan for his heterodox views and large audience.  Brand, a vocal opponent of pandemic policies, had been targeted by Logically in the past for airing opinions critical of the U.S. and U.K. response to the virus outbreak, and in other moments for criticizing new laws in the European Union that compel social media platforms to take down content. But the site took dramatic action when the sexual allegations, none of which have been proved in court, were published in the media. Ondrak, Logically’s investigations head, provided different quotes to nearly half a dozen news outlets – including Vice, Wired, the BBC, and two separate articles in The Times – that depicted Brand as a dangerous purveyor of misinformation who had finally been held to account. “He follows a lot of the ostensibly health yoga retreat, kind of left-leaning, anti-capitalist figures, who got really suckered into Covid skepticism, Covid denialism, and anti-vax, and then spat out of the Great Reset at the other end,” Ondrak told Wired. In one of the articles published by The Times, Ondrak aired frustration on the obstacles of demonetizing Brand from the Rumble streaming network. In an interview with the BBC, Ondrak gave a curious condemnation, noting Brand stops short of airing any actual conspiracy theories or falsehoods, but is guilty of giving audiences "the ingredients to make the disinformation themselves.” Dinenage, the member of parliament who spearheaded the CDU anti-misinformation push with Logically during the pandemic, also leapt into action. In the immediate aftermath of the scandal, she sent nearly identical letters to Rumble, TikTok and Meta to demand that the platforms follow YouTube’s lead in demonetizing Brand. Dinenage couched her official request to censor Brand as a part of a public interest inquiry, to protect the "welfare of victims of inappropriate and potentially illegal behaviour." Logically's editorial team went a step further. In its report on the Brand allegations published on Logically Facts, it claimed that social media accounts "trotting out the 'innocent until proven guilty' refrain" for the comedian were among those perpetuating “common myths about sexual assault.” The site published a follow-up video reiterating the claim that those seeking the presumption of innocence for Brand, a principle dating back to the Magna Carta, were spreading a dangerous "myth." The unusual advocacy campaign against Brand represented a typical approach for a company that has long touted itself as a hammer against spreaders of misinformation. The opportunity to remove Brand from the media ecosystem meant throwing as much at him as possible, despite any clear misinformation or disinformation angle in the sexual assault allegations. Rather, he was a leading critic of government censorship and pandemic policy, so the scandal represented a weakness to be exploited. Such heavy-handed tactics may be on the horizon for American voters. The firm is now a member of the U.S. Election Infrastructure Information Sharing & Analysis Center, the group managed by the Center for Internet Security that helps facilitate misinformation reports on behalf of election officials across the country. Logically has been in talks with Oregon and other states, as well as DHS, to expand its social media surveillance role for the presidential election later this year. Previous targets of the company, though, are issuing a warning.  “It appears that Logically’s lucrative and frankly sinister business effectively produced multi-million pound misinformation for the government that may have played a role in the censorship of citizens’ lawful speech,” said Carlo of Big Brother Watch. “Politicians and senior officials happily pay these grifters millions of pounds to wield the red pen, telling themselves that they’re ‘protecting’ democracy rather than undermining it,” said Young of the Daily Sceptic. “It’s a boondoggle and it should be against the law.” Tyler Durden Mon, 01/29/2024 - 02:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 29th, 2024

Gay-Replacement Theory

Gay-Replacement Theory Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com, “When DEI is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, Fight Back!!! We stand for Claudine Gay.” - The Rev. Al Sharpton Wondering about who the Harvard Board of Trustees might consider for president of that august outfit once Claudine Gay moves to her new professorship in the graduate program for creative writing. The no-brainer, in more ways than one, has got to be Ibram X. Kendi, the founding director of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research, launched in 2020, then un-launched in September, 2023, after BU auditors disclosed that $43-million in donations, endowments, and grants to the center could not be accounted for. Mistakes were made, BU conceded, mostly by white people seeking to discredit the antiracism movement, proving the persistence of structural racism. Dr. Kendi explained to The New York Times that critics were using the situation “to settle old scores and demonstrate that I’m a problem or that antiracism is a problem,” because blaming the victim is one of the core techniques of those behind structural racism. “Unfortunately, we live in such a polarized, spiteful sort of reactionary moment,” he said. Surely, the firing of President Gray at Harvard was just such a case of spitefully settling old scores, and Dr. Kendi is the best-qualified candidate to root out the remaining reactionary racists on Harvard’s payroll, who pose the gravest threat to democracy, hate-speech elimination, and equity in academia. We could expect President Kendi to double-down on the institution’s commitment to advancing marginalized people at all costs. Also, consider: Boston U is less than a mile across the Charles River from Harvard, so at least no moving costs to get Dr. Kendi on-board — what with some of the school’s biggest donors (e.g., Wall Street’s Bill Ackman) threatening to withhold future giftings to Harvard’s hedge fund, a.k.a., its endowment. Perhaps a shrewder hire would be Admiral Rachel (née Richard) Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS, one of the chief overseers (whoops), I mean, administrators of America’s official Covid-19 policies, and chief promoter of mRNA vaccine mandates. Wikipedia tells us: “Levine was commissioned as a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, becoming the first openly transgender four-star officer in any of the United States uniformed services as well as the first female four-star admiral in the Commissioned Corps,” evading the fact that s/he is not actually a female, but rather a male pretending to be a female, with scrupulous attention to hair and costume. Readers can argue as to whether female is interchangeable with the word woman and whether imagining oneself to be a woman is the same as being a woman. But you see this would be exactly the advantage of putting Dr. (pediatrician) Levine in the president’s chair at Harvard: the nation’s attention would shift dramatically from the quandaries of racism and anti-racism to the even richer perplexities of gender identity, while exposing the baleful influence of men who remain on the Harvard faculty in promoting intransigent patriarchy, often tinged with toxic whiteness. As president of Harvard, Dr. Levine could elevate and emphasize the importance of pretending in higher education. Of course, pretending is already well-established in academic journals and publishing, and especially lately in the medical science surrounding one of Dr. Levine’s specialties, Covid-19 (and its remedies). One can only hope that the admiral will recruit Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, Chief of the Covid Task Force at the New England Complex Systems Institute, as her chief of staff. As recently as three days ago, Dr. Feigle-Ding tweeted (or X’ed): “Anti-vax campaigns are fueled by disinformation army. Your friends and family are pummeled with disinfo to the point they start to believe it — but don’t fall for it!” Meaning: for goodness sake, go out and get more mRNA booster shots! Especially because, as Dr. F-D also declares on X, “a raging inferno of Covid is surging nationwide.” One is tempted to ask: if Harvard renewed its Covid vaccine mandate, would Harvard students be intelligent enough to decline the injections? Granted, Harvard’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging policy (DEIB) has front-loaded matters beside intelligence in its admissions procedures. Parents might ask: in the case of a student’s death from myocarditis before the end of a semester, would Harvard refund any or all of the $55,000 tuition? These are some of the perplexities that Dr. (Admiral) Levine is well-equipped to resolve. Anyone else have some nominations? (hints: Nikole Hannah-Jones, Duane “The Rock” Johnson? Mika Brzezinski? Ilhan Omar, Megan Rapinoe. . .?) *  *  * Support his blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page or Substack Tyler Durden Sat, 01/06/2024 - 12:50.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 6th, 2024

What Some Call "Anti-Science" Is Just Anti-Authoritarianism

What Some Call "Anti-Science" Is Just Anti-Authoritarianism Authored by Alex Washburne via The Brownstone Institute, Sometimes it feels as if we’re living in a dizzying house of narrative mirrors and anyone sincerely interested in walking the true path through the world risks being unable to see the true path as they get trapped in our horrific hall of insincere reflections. The truth of any given matter, the objective facts and consilient theories, seems to matter less than the ability of an idea or narrative to reflect back to people what they wish to see. Our marketplace of ideas incentivizes manufacturing narrative mirrors that provide epistemological narcissists an opportunity to view themselves in a favorable light and secure a foothold in media outlets that have devolved from curators of our frontal lobe to antagonists of our amygdala. Speaking of epistemological narcissists and narrative mirrors, let’s talk about Peter Hotez and his narrative of a growing “Anti-Science” movement. Peter Hotez self-identifies as a scientist and appears to spend most of his time running around predominately liberal media outlets, using his stature as “The Scientist” to misrepresent, demean, and cry “disinformation” on information, worldviews, and even scientific theories that differ from his own. Any scientist who disagrees with Dr. Hotez and his outrageous, inhuman, insensitive, and irrational proclamations is blocked and ridiculed. While truth may bounce off Hotez like bullets off of Thanos, it appears our disagreements have successfully penetrated the armor of Dr. Hotez’s ego and a new ego-defense is materializing.  Now, Dr. Hotez claims that there is “an Anti-Science movement,” a cultural and political boogeyman that is out to undermine science and target scientists. I have little doubt he would love to snap his fingers and make what he views as “Anti-Science” people, beliefs, and institutions disappear in an act of anti-heroic benevolence for the world. The whole notion of “Anti-Science,” however, is a narrative. It is not a physical object like “anti-matter” or “antigen” nor is it a process like “antibody maturation” nor an objective and diagnosable clinical condition like “antisocial personality disorder.” “Anti-Science” is nothing but an attempt to name a thing that Hotez sees, but he views our political world from a far-off silo and lives in a hall of mirrors of his own design. As a consequence of Hotez’ distance from the people and patterns he’s labeling “Anti-Science,” the thing he sees is not a thing that exists in our shared, objective universe. To understand what Hotez sees, why he sees it, and why it’s not a thing in our universe, we have to provide, to the best of our ability, a minimal and objective set of historical facts that can reproduce what he sees. I hypothesize one can synthesize Hotez’ toxic worldview by following the 7-step recipe below: History of Scientists-Being-Right: Have serious scientific issues over which there is a legitimate consensus, like climate change or evolution, become politically divisive flashpoints. Socially and Politically Siloed Scientists: Slowly, imperceptibly, increase the political biases of the composition of scientists while having scientists spend more and more time in their social circle. A Scientific Emergency: Introduce an emergency that requires scientific interpretations to decide effective public policy (COVID-19 pandemic), resulting in an unprecedented surge in the political power and influence of scientists. Scientists with State Power: Have some scientists in unelected positions of power (e.g. Fauci and Collins) use the power of the State to silence critics and preferentially amplify the theories, papers, and implied policies they prefer. Uncritical Media: Have media with a long mutualistic history of using scientists to certify narratives and manufacture consent in exchange for providing scientists expanded narrative reach, and, through a mix of market forces and established social norms, have these media “trust the experts” and give them relatively uncritical coverage.  History of Disinformation: Record a true history of disinformation, especially concerning scientific issues like oil and gas companies sowing doubt about climate change (while privately acknowledging it’s true). Diversity of Belief and Freedom of Speech: Have all of the above occur in a society that safeguards civil liberties, allowing people to speak up, criticize those in power, and advocate for their own position in public fora. If these seven criteria are met, I believe someone like Peter Hotez will be a nearly inevitable social consequence. The simple explanation is that the criteria above polarized scientists (1) without them knowing they are polarized (2), gave them an opportunity (3) to exercise somewhat unchecked State power (4), and gave them media power (5) to suppress dissent by calling it “disinformation” (6). The first six steps of this recipe create an authoritarian ethos in scientists – Trust the Science, Follow the Science – and compel them to act on these politically ethnocentric and authoritarian impulses with few checks and balances except for popular discontent. Inevitably, the siloed and politically biased composition of scientists will result in policies that sow massive discontent (lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccine mandates). When we add the 7th ingredient of the recipe, people exposed to an authoritarian bunch of scientists brushing aside their humanity, their political rights, and their distinct value systems will express their discontent. The people expressing discontent will correctly identify the scientists as the people and groups of scientists as the syndicate that corrupted the public policy process through unfair, undemocratic, and intolerant tactics, and the people will speak their minds at these scientists – like Hotez – in public fora. Scientific authoritarianism is not many Americans’ cup of tea. The Hotez’s will need to be fermented in this social and media concoction of authoritarianism within grasp hindered by legitimate public criticism for some time. Eventually, they will need a narrative to brush away that public resistance so they will create an ego-defensive narrative that positions them as heroes, Scientists as Saviors (scientific saviorism). Hotez and others have somewhat of a manic pixie dream scientist view of themselves – the scientists who are apolitical heroes of infinite cultural latitude exist only in their imaginations to serve their fantasies of grandiosity and benevolence. They sincerely believe that if science says X is effective at reducing one disease then all of society ought to Follow the Science to adopt X, mandate X, do whatever it takes to make X ubiquitous and thank scientists for X. Of course, the tricky thing about society is that it is comprised of humans, a vast anthropological mosaic of beliefs and value systems, and there are other beliefs and value systems that believe we ought to do Y. Science has become a central pillar of the Saviors’ self-identity and so they don’t distinguish between science (the objective and often messy process of fairly evaluating many competing ideas) and the authoritarian actions of scientists. As the Toxic Hotez nears completion from cooking in a vat of legitimate public criticism for their scientific ethnocentrism, they will conceive a global conspiracy targeting science and scientists, a monstrous “Anti-Science” that demands even more power and legal protection of scientists, even stronger measures to police disinformation. As they look at the restored image of Scientists as Saviors in this narrative mirror, they will descend even further into madness. Indeed, it is madness because what Hotez views as “Anti-Science” does not exist, it is not a good reflection of reality but rather a story told from pride and ego-defense. Hotez, a set of scientists closely connected with the heads of the NIH, NIAID, and other global health science funders (none of them democratically elected), and even the funders themselves ate the forbidden fruit of authoritarianism. Many before Hotez have tasted authoritarianism, and the results are predictable. The Scientists who grabbed the reigns of society during the pandemic and steered it with insensitive ambition are experiencing not a novel monstrosity but an age-old and dignified human response called “Anti-Authoritarianism.” Some – not all – scientists acted like authoritarians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some – not all – scientists rallied around models from the most powerful and well-funded scientific groups at the start of the pandemic, even if their models were clearly wrong. When some scientists like John Ioannidis spoke up about the shortcomings of models that were guiding policy, the politically siloed scientists reacted with vitriol and social power that could crush careers in scientific institutions. The informal social control of scientists suppressed diverse views and resulted in science not shared. So some – not all – scientists became very vocal in advocating for lockdowns despite the policy being inhumane and a clear violation of civil liberties, such as when fellow scientists Jay Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorff, and Sunetra Gupta wrote the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) arguing that lockdowns were likely to cause harm and that all-cause mortality and morbidity could be reduced by focusing our protection and helping those with high risk of severe outcomes receive the best preventative support and treatment we could muster. The GBD was an alternative policy proposal that was also grounded in science and it differed in its moral calculus and focus on all-cause mortality. The GBD was assisted by a group whose beliefs aligned with the policies and ideas therein – the American Institute for Economic Research. That group was said to be a libertarian think tank. There was just two problems with the Great Barrington Declaration: it was supposedly aligned with a group whose political preferences are anathema to many liberal scientists and it conflicted with the policies preferred by major science funders. A difference of political opinion also grounded in science and reason shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but for some reason it was. Major science funders, most of all the head of NIAID Dr. Anthony Fauci and the head of NIH Francis Collins, strongly believed that a better policy was to contain the virus – not mitigate its impacts – and hold off infections until vaccines arrived. The cost-benefit analysis of Fauci et al. differed from the GBD in that it prioritized only COVID mortality; costs were ignored and benefits assumed. Science, however, can’t decide which policy is better. The choice of what we ought to do is a problem as old as humanity, it is ethics and politics, religion, and morality. Thankfully, that’s why our system of government has a constitution and system of laws that provide us procedures for choosing policies even when equally good people disagree. Constitutions and procedures be damned. Drs. Fauci and Collins, both unelected and consequently not able to be unseated in an election, demanded a “devastating take-down” of the Great Barrington Declaration. They used their positions of immense scientific power to prod and poke and goad scientists who depend on Fauci and Collins for funding into action, generating a flurry of articles and media appearances calling the Great Barrington Declaration “fringe” and thereby imposing even stronger informal social control on scientists than that displayed during Ioannidis’ chapter of this saga. If you agreed with the GBD, you too were considered “fringe,” you were considered a “far-right Trump-supporting Libertarian.” That shouldn’t be a dis-qualifier in a sane scientific society, but such an accusation carries significant career costs in our politically siloed body of scientists. The anti-GBD rhetoric among some scientists with close ties to Fauci and Collins has continued to this day. After lockdowns, there were mask mandates and vaccine mandates. If you spoke up against vaccine mandates, whether your reasoning was scientific, religious, or political-philosophical, many scientists believed your speech should be labelled “disinformation.” Scientists, with the immense narrative power granted to them during this emergency, succeeded in labelling a great deal of information as “disinformation,” including scientific information such as early findings that immunity to COVID – including vaccine-induced immunity – may wane. So some – not all – scientists did indeed fight too hard in our democratic society and their insensitive need to have everything their way risked tearing the delicate fabric of our society. They tried to force policies on people that conflicted with people’s beliefs, values, or even constitutional rights. Many people are predictably not happy about that. People spoke up and advocated for their beliefs as they are free to do in our society. Some scientists tried to push back harder by saying that masks, lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and school closures were what The Science demanded. People, including many scientists like myself, then focused their criticism at this small band of authoritarians calling themselves The Science and interfering with our country’s representative and more inclusive policy process. As people revolted to these Scientists’ undemocratic policies, our elected officials took note. Our democratic republic of states was a checkerboard of policies where not everyone Followed the Science, exactly as our laboratory of democracy was intended to be, but many scientists share the political belief that states’ departures from One Policy was immoral and unscientific (one and the same, in the ethical doctrine of The Science) and that the federal government should decide most things. Incidentally, the federal government is also a hub of scientific power with science-led agencies like the CDC, NIH/NIAID, and so concentrating power in the federal government would benefit scientists whereas letting states chose policies would put the decisions about public health closer to the people and their local elected representatives.. There was tension between the people, our local representatives, our federal representatives, and the Scientists. There was litigation challenging scientists’ suppression of speech, including Missouri v. Biden where plaintiffs include GBD authors were claiming Drs. Fauci and Collins infringed upon their freedom of speech by censoring these scientists and their sincerely held scientific and science-policy beliefs. There were court cases about masks on a plane that challenged the federal government’s deference of public health policy authority to unelected scientists. There were arguments aplenty, and scientists like Drs. Fauci or Hotez who felt they were lionized during the pandemic, who underwent an apotheosis to scientific authoritarianism in their pursuit of scientific saviorism, are now being bombarded by criticism from people, counties, states, elected representatives, and even scientists. To make matters worse, one of the most consequential conflicts of interest in human history lurked beneath the surface. The virus that triggered the emergency was most likely a laboratory accident from a laboratory that received funding from these same heads of health science funding, Drs. Fauci and Collins. In fact, Peter Hotez himself subcontracted work to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. It’s within the realm of possibility the NIAID money Hotez sent to Wuhan could’ve bought the exact pipette or restriction enzymes that caused the pandemic. That’s a conflict of interest when it comes to deciding policies to mitigate the harms of this likely research-related accident. Even without knowing the virus emerged from a lab, the mere fear they could be responsible for a global pandemic causing millions of deaths could reasonably be sufficient to cause scientists like Fauci and Hotez to exert undue influence on science and public health policy. Fears of a lab origin could explain why lab origin theories were branded as “conspiracy theories” with support from Drs. Hotez, Fauci and other health-science funders and the scientists close to them (Andersen, Holmes, Garry, etc). Fears of a lab origin could explain why this syndicate of scientists prioritized reducing COVID mortality through extreme measures like lockdowns instead of drawing on decades of public health science by acknowledging competing risks, encouraging participation from anthropologically diverse people whose policies are being decided, and managing the more conventional all-cause mortality and morbidity instead of implementing a myopic focus on COVID.  The latter policy, incidentally, was that proposed by the GBD, none of whose authors were engaged in risky virological work in Wuhan and all of which had clear heads and sound arguments. Fears of a lab origin could plausibly lead scientists, concerned of their moral failings in possibly causing a pandemic, to desperately need a scientific saviorism success story like vaccines to balance the scales saving as many millions of lives as the millions of deaths they may have caused, leading them to label scientists’ divergent views on costs and benefits of vaccines as “disinformation.” The Wuhan COI could easily affect the observed irrational need to censor opposing views. When we look at the pandemic history and our post-pandemic society from a more objective, less conflicted lens closer to the bodies of us innocent and diverse people Hotez labels “Anti-Science” from his siloed distance, we don’t see anything like “Anti-Science.” Instead, we see scientific authoritarianism and a predictable bipartisan anti-authoritarian response that even many scientists (including liberals like myself) support. Drs. Hotez and Fauci were authoritarians and now they are being challenged by the indomitable public that is reminding everyone who is in charge. As these authoritarians amongst us are being unseated from power, they create all manners of conspiracy theories and alternative narratives in a desperate effort to find purchase. If they can’t secure their newfound power, at least they may protect their reputations by casting their opponents as evil. “Anti-Science” is thus not a real thing, nor is it sufficiently widely observed to warrant the dignity of being called a social construct. Anti-Science is an ego-defensive figment of Dr. Hotez’s authoritarian imagination, it is an effort to recenter The Science – the syndicate of scientists who attempted to center their own scientific paradigms and their own policy perspectives as if they were universally true and not merely political beliefs or value statements, possibly heavily conflicted ones – as deserving of power, sympathy, defense, and trust. Dr. Hotez is staring at the narrative mirrors the public uses to show him the monster he’s become, he is seeing a horrific – and true – reflection of scientists like him during the pandemic, and he is desperately trying to restore the image of himself from the current fallen general of an epistemological banana republic, back to the lionized Science and the Scientific Saviors we Followed. Hotez uses Anti-Science as an armor and an excuse to bypass a critical self-examination of the possible insensitivity and undemocratic behavior of he and his scientific savior colleagues during the pandemic. The best way to assess whether a thing is objective or subjective is to ask different people if they see the same thing. That’s science. Of course, for things that hurt people like micro aggressions and the likes, it may help to ask the victims if it exists as they should experience the concentrated effects of the thing. I am a scientist, I was involved in both science and public policy during COVID, and yet I don’t see any horror of “Anti-Science” along my path in this narrative house of horrors. Sure, I’ve seen disagreements in the public melee. I remember the history of disinformation on climate science, tobacco, and even Russian disinformation on all things, but that is not the thing Hotez describes and there isn’t generality other than institutions protecting their self-interests not because they are “Anti” anything but because they are “Pro” self and sometimes science reveals information that hurts a business’s bottom line. I’ve also seen companies act the same way when competitors enter the market, so past conflicts have nothing to do with science specifically. I’ve even been attacked, and even attacked for my science, but mostly I’ve been attacked by other scientists (including Hotez) who disliked the political implications of my findings. The Scientists who attacked me all form a relatively small, insular network of people closely connected with NIAID, NIH, or EcoHealth Alliance. While I was a researcher in the same wildlife virology community as EcoHealth Alliance, I didn’t conduct gain-of-function research, I didn’t subcontract work to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and I have maintained objectivity by critically evaluating the facts of the matter even where they inconveniently point to scientists’ mismanagement of risks. I’ve found flaws in Science papers and used my expertise to uncover evidence consistent with SARS-CoV-2 being a research product of EcoHealth Alliance’s pre-COVID research proposals. I critically examined early case data, found evidence of large pools of unascertained cases consistent with a lower-severity pandemic and was told that my science risked “upsetting public health policy.” I argued otherwise, helped in part by my brilliant wife who has a PhD in public health policy. I argued that the only way sincere science and rigorous analyses could “upset public health policy” would be if public health policy were unscientific, if scientists were usurping the public’s seats in the policy process, centering Scientists, their belief systems, their value systems, and their institutions at the expense of decentering a larger, more diverse public. I found evidence that corroborated the Great Barrington Declaration’s cost-benefit analysis, and I shared that evidence privately with policymakers without grabbing the reigns and forcing them to choose any one policy. As a scientist who maintained independence, who presented evidence without invading the deliberative jury or the policy process, I see scientists who became intolerant, petulant authoritarians; I don’t see “Anti-Science” as anything other than a reflection of Hotez grappling with the legitimate criticisms of his and his colleagues’ improper authoritarian scientific conduct before, during, and after the pandemic. Far from being “anti-scientific,” the anti-authoritarianism unseating Hotez as one of the hallmarks of a true scientist and it is a hallmark of the people our republic. You don’t have to be an expert historian or anthropologist to recall that Americans went to war with the British because my ancestors despised authoritarians ruling without representation. Throughout the pandemic, many members of the public have been better scientists than many prominent scientists. Members of the public and independent scientists have resisted convenient explanations when the data did not support them, such as the claim that lockdowns are indisputably wise policies when the public knew that lockdowns carried costs that were not being considered by scientists like Hotez on MSNBC. Members of the public and independent scientists have rightfully questioned the efficacy of masks, and only years later are their hunches about the low efficacy or possible inefficacy of masks as a public health policy becoming known by scientists. Members of the public and independent scientists questioned the safety and efficacy of vaccines, especially at reducing the risk of infection in the long term, and slowly, only after being labelled as “disinformation,” we are obtaining evidence of myocarditis, vaccine evasion in Provincetown, and more. Our citizenry has proven brilliant and remarkably agile, and predictably anti-authoritarian. Hotez calls anyone – even scientists – assessing possible costs and estimating the true benefits of vaccines as “anti-vax.” It’s not “anti-vaccine” to err on the side of caution, to help doctors maintain their Hippocratic oath by ensuring benefits of a treatment or vaccine exceed the risks on a case-by-case basis (in science, we call this “individualized medicine”). On the contrary, supporting systems that shake down and test hypotheses of vaccine safety and efficacy is one of the most pro-vaccine things we can do as it will inspire trust in vaccines that survive the gauntlet of scientific cross-examination. It is both pro-vax and pro-science to question the safety and efficacy of treatments, even those that have passed clinical trials, because that process of shaking down the answers gives us more confidence in the treatments we use and the science we’ve settled on. How many treatments have passed clinical trials only to be later discovered to have intolerable side effects? Would Hotez prefer “science” not uncover such later-discoverable complications? Similarly, it is not “Anti-Science” to question the policies recommended by scientists or to investigate the possibility that scientists caused a pandemic. What Hotez calls “Anti-Science” is the core of science itself: an independence of mind, a diversity of perspectives, and an anti-authoritarian proclivity that conflicts with the interests of authoritarians masquerading as scientists. It is this independence and anti-authoritarianism that inspires confidence in science as well as democratic society, not the toxic ramblings of a scientific authoritarian as he’s unseated from power. Republished from the author’s Substack Alex Washburne is a mathematical biologist and the founder and chief scientist at Selva Analytics. He studies competition in ecological, epidemiological, and economic systems research, with research on covid epidemiology, the economic impacts of pandemic policy, and stock market response to epidemiological news. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/19/2023 - 17:40.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 19th, 2023

Science Journals Publish Pro-Lockdown Reports, Censor Anti-Lockdown Studies: Authors

Science Journals Publish Pro-Lockdown Reports, Censor Anti-Lockdown Studies: Authors Authored by Kevin Stocklin via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), COVID censorship appears to be making a comeback—if it ever left. A man crosses an empty street in downtown Montreal during nationwide lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic, on April 5, 2020. (The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes) Numerous physicians and academicians say they have been attempting to publish studies that show that lockdowns had enormous costs and marginal benefits, but they have found many doors were closed. “The whole scientific review process on anything related to COVID-19 has become highly politicized and contaminated,” Steve Hanke, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University and former member of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Reagan, told The Epoch Times. Mr. Hanke says he has been among those who have experienced censorship for criticizing lockdowns. While many people may look back on the pandemic shuttering of schools, businesses and churches as costly, intrusive and, in some cases, devastating failures of government, lockdowns are garnering increasingly favorable reviews within the medical community, as reports critical of lockdowns are being silenced. This is occurring at a time of revelations that the Biden administration leaned on tech and media companies to silence voices that dissented from the official COVID narratives. In September, a federal appeals court ruled that the White House, the U.S. surgeon general, the CDC and the FBI had “likely violated the First Amendment” in pressuring social media companies to censor the views of those critical to official government narratives on COVID. The court ordered agencies and individuals within the Biden administration not to “coerce or significantly encourage a platform’s content-moderation decisions,” or otherwise influence social media companies to block protected speech. “The issue is not whether the ideas are wrong or right,” Dr. Bhattacharya said following the ruling. “The question is who gets to control what ideas are expressed in the public square.” The Biden administration appealed the decision, which will likely ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. The central question is the extent to which private companies infringe on Americans’ First Amendment rights if they censor at the behest of government officials. 'Our Work Was Effectively Censored' The report by Mr. Hanke, Lars Jonung and Jonas Herby (HJH), titled “Did lockdowns work? The verdict on COVID restrictions,” concluded that lockdowns were “a global policy failure of gigantic proportions.” This study has faced rejection from mainstream medical publishers, while studies that praise lockdowns are being published, and amplified by the media. “The SSRN allowed the authors of the linked article to upload their work, while our work was effectively censored,” Mr. Hanke said. “Why? Our results went against the dogma of officialdom.” An article by Mr. Hanke and colleagues, responding to their critics, was also rejected by SSRN, Mr. Hanke said. In both cases, SSRN stated that the rejection was due to “the need to be cautious about posting medical content.” This appears to be a new criterion and inconsistent with SSRN guidelines, which preclude material that is “illegal, obscene, defamatory, threatening, infringing of intellectual property rights, invasive of privacy or otherwise injurious or objectionable.” By contrast, a report published by SSRN in September, titled “SARS-CoV-2 lineage importations and spread are reduced after nonpharmaceutical interventions,” gave a favorable evaluation of lockdowns. “Nonpharmaceutical interventions” (NPIs) is the new euphemism for lockdowns, mask mandates, travel bans and other suspensions of civil rights during pandemics. “Ultimately, SARS-CoV-2 was eliminated during the study period due to contact tracing and mandatory quarantine measures,” the report stated, referring to state restrictions in Hong Kong. In Switzerland, the authors wrote, “strict border closures alongside the 2020 partial lockdown were effective in controlling the entrance of new [COVID] lineages into the country.” A report published by SSRN in June, titled “Estimating the Population Effectiveness of Interventions Against COVID-19 in France,” stated that “our results highlight the substantial impact of NPIs, including lockdowns and curfews, in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic” and that “the first lockdown was the most effective, reducing transmission by 84%.” Laying Groundwork for Future Lockdowns Reports such as these appear to be laying the groundwork for legitimizing lockdowns and other NPI government mandates as a future policy response to pandemics. An August report titled “COVID-19: examining the effectiveness of nonpharmaceutical interventions,” published by the Royal Society, a “fellowship” of eminent scientists, states: “One of the most important lessons from this pandemic is that the effective application of NPIs ‘buys time’ to allow the development and manufacturing of drugs and vaccines. There is every reason to think that implementing packages of NPIs will be important in future pandemics.” A group called factcheck.org did their own analysis of Mr. Hanke’s work, citing other academicians who criticized him and emphasizing that the HJH study was not peer reviewed. “There have been a lot of studies assessing whether and to what extent so-called ‘lockdowns’ and various NPIs have been effective, and plenty of research that has concluded these measures can limit transmission, or reduce cases and deaths,” Factcheck stated. Inquiry, a medical journal, also refused to publish the HJH paper critical of lockdowns. According to correspondence between Inquiry and the authors, the journal initially requested a peer review by three relevant subject experts. As the next step in the publishing process, the HJH paper did receive three favorable reviews by Inquiry’s reviewers, Mr. Hanke said. However, shortly after receiving the reviews the executive editor of Inquiry retracted them. “In my long academic career of nearly 60 years, I have never encountered such a thing,” Mr. Hanke said. “Indeed, I’ve never even heard of such a thing. It’s truly unprecedented and outrageous.” In a joint op-ed in Econ Journal Watch, Dr. Bhattacharya and Mr. Hanke stated that “there is nothing that matches a looming pandemic to generate fear, and there is nothing like fear to grease the skids of censorship.” The authors suggested a pattern of government and media cooperation to silence dissent. “First come the ‘fact checkers’ who produce unfounded, irrelevant verbiage that lacks critical sense or analytical insight,” they wrote. “Next come [media] hit pieces that echo the claims of the so-called fact checkers.” The end result is an absence of alternative viewpoints from mainstream publications, they said. 'Too Sensitive' a Subject to Print Dr. Vinay Prasad, a physician, epidemiologist, professor at the University of California at San Francisco's medical school and author of over 350 academic articles and letters, also detailed “a startling pattern of censorship and inconsistent standards from preprint servers” that refused to publish his research criticizing COVID vaccines and mask mandates, while frequently publishing his research on cancer and oncology. Preprint servers are online repositories that post academic papers. “Specifically, MedRxiv and SSRN have been reluctant to post articles critical of the CDC, mask and vaccine mandates, and the Biden administration’s health care policies,” Dr. Prasad writes. “Preprint servers are not supposed to be journals— they are not supposed to reject articles merely because the people running them disagree with the arguments within.” When Dr. Prasad and his colleague Dr. Alyson Haslam wrote a report about their COVID work being censored, SSRN declined to publish that as well, he says. Dr. Bhattacharya claims that he has also been censored by MedRxiv regarding his analysis that criticized lockdowns. In 2020, he and colleagues Christopher Oh and John Ioannidis, led by Stanford University infectious disease professor Eran Bendavid, conducted a comparison of countries like Sweden and South Korea that did not have government lockdowns against countries that did, and found no statistically significant benefit from mandatory orders on COVID spread. According to Dr. Bhattacharya, “MedRxiv refused to post the piece, telling the authors that the topic was too sensitive to permit the publication of a preprint, even though the site teemed with modeling analyses purporting to demonstrate the efficacy of lockdowns in limiting the spread of COVID.” Having published an extended version of their findings in book form, Mr. Hanke and his co-authors are continuing their efforts to also share their study in mainstream medical journals, he said. “We anticipate that the paper will receive a fair and favorable review and will be published,” Mr. Hanke said. The Epoch Times reached out to SSRN and Inquiry for comment regarding this article but did not receive a response as of press time. While the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN), a premier publisher of medical and other scientific studies operated by Netherlands publisher Elsevier, rejected the final HJH report, it did publish articles that attacked the HJH report. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/07/2023 - 07:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 7th, 2023

American Pandemic "Samizdat": Bhattacharya

American Pandemic 'Samizdat': Bhattacharya Authored by Jay Bhattacharya via RealClear Wire, On May 15, 1970, the New York Times published an article by esteemed Russia scholar Albert Parry detailing how Soviet dissident intellectuals were covertly passing forbidden ideas around to each other on handcrafted, typewritten documents called samizdat. Here is the beginning of that seminal story: Censorship existed even before literature, say the Russians. And, we may add, censorship being older, literature has to be craftier. Hence, the new and remarkably viable underground press in the Soviet Union called samizdat. Samizdat – translates as: “We publish ourselves” – that is, not the state, but we, the people. Unlike the underground of Czarist times, today’s samizdat has no printing presses (with rare exceptions): The K.G.B., the secret police, is too efficient. It is the typewriter, each page produced with four to eight carbon copies, that does the job. By the thousands and tens of thousands of frail, smudged onionskin sheets, samizdat spreads across the land a mass of protests and petitions, secret court minutes, Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s banned novels, George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and “1984,” Nicholas Berdyayev’s philosophical essays, all sorts of sharp political discourses and angry poetry. Though it is hard to hear, the sad fact is that we are living in a time and in a society where there is once again a need for scientists to pass around their ideas secretly to one another so as to avoid censorship, smearing, and defamation by government authorities in the name of science. I say this from first-hand experience. During the pandemic, the U.S. government violated my free speech rights and those of my scientist colleagues for questioning the federal government’s COVID policies. American government officials, working in concert with big tech companies, defamed and suppressed me and my colleagues for criticizing official pandemic policies – criticism that has been proven prescient. While this may sound like a conspiracy theory, it is a documented fact, and one recently confirmed by a federal circuit court. In August 2022, the Missouri and Louisiana attorneys general asked me to join as a plaintiff in a lawsuit, represented by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, against the Biden administration. The suit aims to end the government’s role in this censorship and restore the free speech rights of all Americans in the digital town square. Lawyers in the Missouri v. Biden case took sworn depositions from many federal officials involved in the censorship efforts, including Anthony Fauci. During the hours-long deposition, Fauci showed a striking inability to answer basic questions about his pandemic management, replying “I don’t recall” over 170 times. Legal discovery unearthed email exchanges between the government and social media companies showing an administration willing to threaten the use of its regulatory power to harm social media companies that did not comply with censorship demands. The case revealed that a dozen federal agencies pressured social media companies Google, Facebook, and Twitter to censor and suppress speech contradicting federal pandemic priorities. In the name of slowing the spread of harmful misinformation, the administration forced the censorship of scientific facts that didn’t fit its narrative de jour. This included facts relating to the evidence for immunity after COVID recovery, the inefficacy of mask mandates, and the inability of the vaccine to stop disease transmission. True or false, if speech interfered with the government’s priorities, it had to go. On July 4, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Terry Doughty issued a preliminary injunction in the case, ordering the government to immediately stop coercing social media companies to censor protected free speech. In his decision, Doughty called the administration’s censorship infrastructure an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth.” In my November 2021 testimony in the House of Representatives, I used this exact phrase to describe the government’s censorship efforts. For this heresy, I faced slanderous accusations by Rep. Jamie Raskin, who accused me of wanting to let the virus “rip.” Raskin was joined by fellow Democrat Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, who tried to smear my reputation on the grounds that I spoke with a Chinese journalist in April 2020. Judge Doughty’s ruling decried the vast federal censorship enterprise dictating to social media companies who and what to censor, and ordered it to end. But the Biden administration immediately appealed the decision, claiming that they needed to be able to censor scientists or else public health would be endangered and people would die. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted them an administrative stay that lasted until mid-September, permitting the Biden administration to continue violating the First Amendment. After a long month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that that pandemic policy critics were not imagining these violations. The Biden administration did indeed strong-arm social media companies into doing its bidding. The court found that the Biden White House, the CDC, the U.S. surgeon general’s office, and the FBI have “engaged in a years-long pressure campaign [on social media outlets] designed to ensure that the censorship aligned with the government’s preferred viewpoints.” The appellate judges described a pattern of government officials making “threats of ‘fundamental reforms’ like regulatory changes and increased enforcement actions that would ensure the platforms were ‘held accountable.’” But, beyond express threats, there was always an “unspoken ‘or else.’” The implication was clear. If social media companies did not comply, the administration would work to harm the economic interests of the companies. Paraphrasing Al Capone, “Well that’s a nice company you have there. Shame if something were to happen to it,” the government insinuated. “The officials’ campaign succeeded. The platforms, in capitulation to state-sponsored pressure, changed their moderation policies,” the 5th Circuit judges wrote, and they renewed the injunction against the government’s violation of free speech rights. Here is the full order, filled with many glorious adverbs: Defendants, and their employees and agents, shall take no actions, formal or informal, directly or indirectly, to coerce or significantly encourage social-media companies to remove, delete, suppress, or reduce, including through altering their algorithms, posted social-media content containing protected free speech. That includes, but is not limited to, compelling the platforms to act, such as by intimating that some form of punishment will follow a failure to comply with any request, or supervising, directing, or otherwise meaningfully controlling the social media companies’ decision-making processes. The federal government can no longer threaten social media companies with destruction if they don’t censor scientists on behalf of the government. The ruling is a victory for every American since it is a victory for free speech rights. Although I am thrilled by it, the decision isn’t perfect. Some entities at the heart of the government’s censorship enterprise can still organize to suppress speech. For instance, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the Department of Homeland Security can still work with academics to develop a hit list for government censorship. And the National Institutes of Health, Tony Fauci’s old organization, can still coordinate devastating takedowns of outside scientists critical of government policy. So, what did the government want censored? The trouble began on Oct. 4, 2020, when my colleagues and I – Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard University, and Dr. Sunetra Gupta, an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford – published the Great Barrington Declaration. It called for an end to economic lockdowns, school shutdowns, and similar restrictive policies because they disproportionately harm the young and economically disadvantaged while conferring limited benefits. The Declaration endorsed a “focused protection” approach that called for strong measures to protect high-risk populations while allowing lower-risk individuals to return to normal life with reasonable precautions. Tens of thousands of doctors and public health scientists signed on to our statement. With hindsight, it is clear that this strategy was the right one. Sweden, which in large part eschewed lockdown and, after early problems, embraced focused protection of older populations, had among the lowest age-adjusted all-cause excess deaths of nearly every other country in Europe and suffered none of the learning loss for its elementary school children. Similarly, Florida has lower cumulative age-adjusted all-cause excess deaths than lockdown-crazy California since the start of the pandemic. In the poorest parts of the world, the lockdowns were an even greater disaster. By spring 2020, the United Nations was already warning that the economic disruptions caused by the lockdowns would lead to 130 million or more people starving. The World Bank warned the lockdowns would throw 100 million people into dire poverty. Some version of those predictions came true – millions of the world’s poorest suffered from the West’s lockdowns. Over the past 40 years, the world’s economies globalized, becoming more interdependent. At a stroke, the lockdowns broke the promise the world’s rich nations had implicitly made to poor nations. The rich nations had told the poor: Reorganize your economies, connect yourself to the world, and you will become more prosperous. This worked, with 1 billion people lifted out of dire poverty over the last half-century. But the lockdowns violated that promise. The supply chain disruptions that predictably followed them meant millions of poor people in sub-Saharan Africa, Bangladesh, and elsewhere lost their jobs and could no longer feed their families. In California, where I live, the government closed public schools and disrupted our children’s education for two straight academic years. The educational disruption was very unevenly distributed, with the poorest students and minority students suffering the greatest educational losses. By contrast, Sweden kept its schools open for students under 16 throughout the pandemic. The Swedes let their children live near-normal lives with no masks, no social distancing, and no forced isolation. As a result, Swedish kids suffered no educational loss. The lockdowns, then, were a form of trickle-down epidemiology. The idea seemed to be that we should protect the well-to-do from the virus and that protection would somehow trickle down to protect the poor and the vulnerable. The strategy failed, as a large fraction of the deaths attributable to COVID hit the vulnerable elderly. The government wanted to suppress the fact that there were prominent scientists who opposed the lockdowns and had alternate ideas – like the Great Barrington Declaration – that might have worked better. They wanted to maintain an illusion of total consensus in favor of Tony Fauci’s ideas, as if he were indeed the high pope of science. When he told an interviewer, “Everyone knows I represent science. If you criticize me, you are not simply criticizing a man, you are criticizing science itself,” he meant it unironically. Federal officials immediately targeted the Great Barrington Declaration for suppression. Four days after the declaration’s publication, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins emailed Fauci to organize a “devastating takedown” of the document. Almost immediately, social media companies such as Google/YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook censored mentions of the declaration. In 2021, Twitter blacklisted me for posting a link to the Great Barrington Declaration. YouTube censored a video of a public policy roundtable of me with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for the “crime” of telling him the scientific evidence for masking children is weak.  At the height of the pandemic, I found myself smeared for my supposed political views, and my views about COVID policy and epidemiology were removed from the public square on all manner of social networks. It is impossible for me not to speculate about what might have happened had our proposal been met with a more typical scientific spirit rather than censorship and vitriol. For anyone with an open mind, the GBD represented a return to the old pandemic management strategy that had served the world well for a century – identify and protect the vulnerable, develop treatments and countermeasures as rapidly as possible, and disrupt the lives of the rest of society as little as possible since such disruption is likely to cause more harm than good. Without censorship, we might have won that debate, and if so, the world could have moved along a different and better path in the last three and a half years, with less death and less suffering. Since I started with a story about how dissidents skirted the Soviet censorship regime, I will close with a story about Trofim Lysenko, the famous Russian biologist. Stalin’s favorite scientist was a biologist who did not believe in Mendelian genetics – one of the most important ideas in biology. He thought it was all hokum, inconsistent with communist ideology, which emphasized the importance of nurture over nature. Lysenko developed a theory that if you expose seeds to cold before you plant them, they will be more resistant to cold, and thereby, crop output could be increased dramatically. I hope it is not a surprise to readers to learn that Lysenko was wrong about the science. Nevertheless, Lysenko convinced Stalin that his ideas were right, and Stalin rewarded him by making him the director of the USSR’s Institute for Genetics for more than 20 years. Stalin gave him the Order of Lenin eight times. Lysenko used his power to destroy any biologist who disagreed with him. He smeared and demoted the reputations of rival scientists who thought Mendelian genetics was true. Stalin sent some of these disfavored scientists to Siberia, where they died. Lysenko censored the scientific discussion in the Soviet Union so no one dared question his theories. The result was mass starvation. Soviet agriculture stalled, and millions died in famines caused by Lysenko’s ideas put into practice. Some sources say that Ukraine and China under Mao Tse-tung also followed Lysenko’s ideas, causing millions more to starve there. Censorship is the death of science and inevitably leads to the death of people. America should be a bulwark against it, but it was not during the pandemic. Though the tide is turning with the Missouri v. Biden case, we must reform our scientific institutions so what happened during the pandemic never happens again. Dr. Bhattacharya is the inaugural recipient of RealClear’s Samizdat Prize. This article was adapted from the speech he delivered at the award ceremony on September 12 in Palo Alto, California. Tyler Durden Sat, 09/23/2023 - 10:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 23rd, 2023

A Comprehensive Timeline Of COVID-19 Vaccines And Myocarditis

A Comprehensive Timeline Of COVID-19 Vaccines And Myocarditis Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), 2020 Sept. 22, 2020: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies myocarditis as an adverse event of special interest, or a potential side effect. Oct. 30, 2020: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identifies myocarditis as an adverse event of special interest. December 2020: One case of pericarditis reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is co-managed by the CDC and FDA. Dec. 11, 2020: FDA authorizes the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Americans 16 and older. Dec. 13, 2020: CDC launches V-safe, a new vaccine safety monitoring system, without including myocarditis as an option in the adverse events list. Dec. 18, 2020: FDA authorizes the U.S. government-backed Moderna vaccine for Americans 18 and older. 2021 2021: Myocarditis cases spike in the U.S. military. January 2021: 28 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS. January 2021: First U.S. military member experiences postvaccination myocarditis, according to a study published months later. January 2021: First cases of postvaccination myocarditis recorded in Israel. January 2021: VAERS report processing is delayed due to unexpected spike in reports. February 2021: 64 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS, including two deaths. Feb. 1, 2021: Israeli teenager is hospitalized with myocarditis after Pfizer vaccination, doctors say. Feb. 18, 2021: Safety signal for myocarditis triggered in VAERS using CDC-endorsed method called Proportional Reporting Ratio. Feb. 19, 2021: Safety signal for myocarditis triggered in VAERS using another method called Fisher’s Exact Test. Feb. 24–25, 2021: CDC meets with its advisers but does not discuss COVID-19 vaccines. Feb. 27, 2021: FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine. Feb. 28, 2021: Israeli officials privately alert CDC to "a large number of reports of myocarditis, particularly in young people, following the administration of the Pfizer vaccine." Feb. 28, 2021: 57 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis within seven days of vaccination in Pfizer's database in document given to the FDA in April 2021 and not revealed to the public until November 2021. March 2021: 54 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS. March 1, 2021: CDC officials disclose (pdf) that two postvaccination cases were identified in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), another CDC-run system. March 2, 2021: CDC recommends Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine for adults. March 3, 2021: Israeli authorities meet with hospital officials to discuss postvaccination heart problems. March 4, 2021: Israeli officials confirm they're investigating postvaccination pericarditis. March 5, 2021: FDA holds meeting with its advisers. Myocarditis is not discussed. March 6, 2021: Rutgers University becomes first major US school to announce COVID-19 vaccine mandate. March 8, 2021: Australian health officials contact CDC about U.S. myocarditis cases. March 9, 2021: U.S. internal memorandum says Israel received around 40 reports of postvaccination myocarditis. U.S. officials say some postvaccination cases were reported in the United States and acknowledge issues with passive surveillance such as underreporting. "Thus, FDA has not made a final determination regarding the causality between myopericarditis and the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines," the memo stated. March 20, 2021: First postvaccination myocarditis case report is published in the literature. March 20, 2021: Pfizer contract with South Africa (pdf) says that "there may be adverse effects of the vaccine that are not currently known." March 31, 2021: Second postvaccination myocarditis case report published. March 31, 2021: First death from postvaccination myocarditis reported in Israel. The deceased was a 22-year-old previously healthy woman. April 2021: 158 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS. April 2021: CDC holds multiple public meetings with no discussion of myocarditis. April 1, 2021: Israel has received 84 reports of postvaccination myocarditis or pericarditis, news outlet reports. April 2, 2021: U.S. military officials, CDC meet on postvaccination myocarditis cases. April 5, 2021: Israeli officials brief the CDC on postvaccination myocarditis cases. April 5, 2021: Canada reports first case of postvaccination pericarditis. April 7, 2021: U.S. government call covers myocarditis cases recorded in military members after vaccination. April 10, 2021: CDC-funded Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment program reviewed postvaccination myocarditis cases, email shows. April 12, 2021: U.S. military officials brief CDC on postvaccination myocarditis cases. April 12, 2021: Canada reports first case of postvaccination myocarditis. April 13, 2021: U.S. military has submitted manuscripts on myocarditis cases to two journals, CDC official says. April 13, 2021: CDC, FDA advise pause in administration of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine due to six cases of blood clotting. April 15, 2021: Two otherwise healthy adults hospitalized with chest pain and diagnosed with myocarditis after Moderna vaccination, CDC adviser tells agency. April 17, 2021: CDC official tells adviser there have been reports of myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination "but we aren't observing any clear indication of a safety signal." April 20, 2021: Three cases of myocarditis after second Pfizer dose in Idaho, official tells CDC. April 23, 2021: United States lifts recommended pause on Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. April 23, 2021: Israeli Ministry of Health report on postvaccination myocarditis identifies two deaths, Israeli media report. The second deceased was a previously healthy 35-year-old man. Among men aged 18 to 30, there is a one in 20,000 probability of developing myocarditis, the report found. "It seems that these events can be a signal of a possible connection to the vaccine," the committee said. The findings were sent to the FDA. April 26, 2021: U.S. military officials are tracking 14 cases of myocarditis following messenger RNA vaccination, Military.com reports. April 26, 2021: CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says CDC "aware of" cases in the military. She says "we have not seen any reports of those" and that "we have not seen a signal" in CDC databases. April 27, 2021: CDC officials privately acknowledge that processing of VAERS reports is "taking longer than usual." April 27, 2021: CDC officials say 24 cases of myocarditis were identified in VSD. April 27, 2021: U.S. military official warns that pausing administration of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines "will have an adverse impact on US/CA vaccination rates." April 28, 2021: France detects safety signal for postvaccination myocarditis. April 28, 2021: CDC director receives notes from discussion with military on myocarditis cases. April 29, 2021: First cases of pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination reported in the literature. April 30, 2021: FDA receives Pfizer report noting myocarditis cases in Pfizer's database. May 2021: 487 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS, including four deaths. May 2021: CDC forms a team to review medical records for reported cases of postvaccination myocarditis. May 5, 2021: CDC meets with advisers but doesn't discuss COVID-19 vaccines. May 7, 2021: European Medicines Agency announces it has asked Pfizer for information on myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination. May 10, 2021: FDA authorizes Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15. It does not mention myocarditis. May 12, 2021: Myocarditis is not discussed during meeting on Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, a CDC official, gives a presentation on blood clotting after Johnson & Johnson vaccination. May 12, 2021: Dr. Walensky recommends Pfizer's vaccine for virtually all children aged 12 to 15, based on advice from advisers. May 13, 2021: CDC officials told to direct questions on potential myocarditis cases to two top vaccine safety officials, Drs. John Su and Shimabukuro. May 13, 2021: Same officials discuss analyzing VAERS data for myocarditis using the Proportional Reporting Ratio in heavily redacted emails. The agency says the analysis didn't actually start until 2022. May 13, 2021: CDC adviser says "multiple people texting and email[ing] me with concerns" about myocarditis. May 13, 2021: Children's National in Washington registers two suspected cases. May 14, 2021: Dr. Shimabukuro seeks "experts in myocarditis." May 16, 2021: CDC official says in email, "we are hearing quite a lot about this now, and I don't have a clear understanding of what is and has been being done." May 17, 2021: CDC workgroup says there are "relatively few" reports of myocarditis after vaccination and that rates "have not differed from expected baseline rates." May 17, 2021: Dr. Shimabukuro speaks with American Academy of Pediatrics officials to "centralize our coordination" with outside groups. May 17, 2021: Dr. Su says health care providers "aren't reporting these cases to VAERS." May 17, 2021: Dr. Su says the "myocarditis thing" is "exploding." May 18, 2021: States across the U.S. publicly report cases of myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination. May 18, 2021: First case report of an American person with postvaccination myocarditis published. May 19, 2021: CDC tells state officials it has been "closely monitoring" myocarditis and pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination and that cases "can be serious." May 20, 2021:  Three more cases of postvaccination myocarditis at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, official tells CDC. May 20, 2021: CDC officials hold meeting with doctors from pediatric hospitals on myocarditis cases. Slides from the meeting were provided to The Epoch Times fully redacted. May 23, 2021: The American Heart Association says the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for everyone eligible "enormously outweigh the rare, possible risk of heart-related complications, including inflammation of the heart muscle." May 24, 2021: CDC workgroup acknowledges for the first time that the number of reports of postvaccination myocarditis to VAERS was higher than expected in those 16 to 24. May 24, 2021: French Society of Cardiology calls for vaccinating heart failure patients without acknowledging possible vaccine-myocarditis connection. May 24, 2021: Massachusetts official asks CDC for "messaging" on postvaccination myocarditis. May 25, 2021: Dr. Paul Offit, an FDA adviser, says about myocarditis and COVID-19 vaccines, "there’s every reason to think this isn’t a problem." May 26, 2021: The New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority says there's a safety signal for myocarditis and COVID-19 vaccines. May 28, 2021: CDC says to keep vaccinating everyone eligible, or virtually all Americans 12 and older. May 28, 2021: Case series of young, previously healthy males hospitalized with postvaccination myocarditis discloses hospitalizations happened as early as Jan. 30, 2021. May 28, 2021: CDC says it is focusing on reported cases among those 30 and under. May 28, 2021: Nine postvaccination myocarditis cases from one state not reported to VAERS, according to CDC. May 30, 2021: Brighton Collaboration issues case definition for myocarditis. June 2021: 752 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS, including five deaths. June 2021: Some experts start calling on U.S. authorities to pause COVID-19 vaccination of young, healthy people. June 2, 2021: Israel says "there is some probability for a possible link between the second vaccine dose and the onset of myocarditis among young men aged 16 to 30" after researchers find incidence of one in 3,000 to one in 6,000 men aged 16 to 24. June 4, 2021: U.S. researchers report seven cases in healthy young males following Pfizer vaccination. June 10, 2021: 99 cases of myocarditis/pericarditis detected in FDA's Biologics Effectiveness and Safety Initiative database, and 1,260 cases reported in Medicare claims data, FDA official says (pdf). June 10, 2021: CDC working to rapidly follow up on reports of myocarditis following vaccination among people aged 30 and under, CDC official says (pdf). Most cases are in young adults after a second dose. June 10, 2021: "There’s a lack of alternative explanations" apart from vaccination given the consistency across postvaccination cases, Dr. Cody Meissner, an FDA adviser, says. June 10, 2021: "I think the myocarditis is something that needs to be looked at closely because we’re likely seeing the tip of the iceberg," says Dr. Michael Kurilla of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, another FDA adviser. June 10, 2021: Pfizer spokesperson tells news outlets that "the benefit-risk profile of our vaccine remains positive." June 11, 2021: European Medicines Agency announces investigation into reports of myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination. June 23, 2021: CDC’s safety committee says evidence now suggests a "likely association" of mRNA vaccination and myocarditis. June 23, 2021: Number of myocarditis cases recorded in VSD rise to 75. Based on VAERS reports, CDC says number of events higher than expected after dose two in males aged 12 to 49 and females aged 12 to 29. Among children 12 to 17, 188 cases were reported within 21 days of vaccination through June 11. CDC advisers say data suggest vaccines cause myocarditis. June 23, 2021: CDC estimates (pdf) Pfizer's vaccine will cause up to 69 myocarditis cases per million second doses but will prevent 215 hospitalizations and two deaths in males aged 12 to 17. June 25, 2021: FDA adds warnings about "the suggested increased risks" of myocarditis and pericarditis to labels for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. June 28, 2021: The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs says privately it detected more myocarditis cases than expected. June 29, 2021: Military researchers report 22 previously healthy members suffered myocarditis after receiving a messenger RNA vaccine. "The presentation pattern and clinical course suggest an association with an inflammatory response to vaccination," they say. The cases are among hundreds reported in the literature this month. June 29, 2021: CDC officials say of reported cases that "the striking clinical similarities in the presentations of these patients, their recent vaccination with an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, and the lack of any alternative etiologies for acute myocarditis suggest an association with immunization." June 30, 2021: Canada adds myocarditis and pericarditis risk information to labels of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. July 2021: 364 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS, including seven deaths. July 3, 2021: 13 young males with postvaccination myocarditis treated at a single hospital in Washington state between April 1, 2021, and June 21, 2021, researchers report. July 6, 2021: CDC estimates for every million doses of vaccination, dozens of cases of myocarditis can be expected, including 56 to 69 cases among 12- to 17-year-olds. The expected benefits outweigh the risks, though, according to the agency. July 9, 2021: European Medicines Agency recommends listing myocarditis and pericarditis as side effects for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines after identifying 221 cases after mRNA vaccination. Five of the patients died. July 10, 2021: South Korean researchers report a 22-year-old man was killed by vaccine-induced myocarditis, the first such death reported in the literature. July 22, 2021: CDC says it confirmed 282 postvaccination myocarditis cases in people aged 18 to 29. July 28, 2021: Pfizer tells FDA of "important identified risk" of myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination and discloses 17 deaths among the cases reported. July 30, 2021: Data mining does not show a signal for myocarditis among adolescents 12 to 17, CDC and FDA say. July 31, 2021: Australian experts recommend people be informed about possibility of myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination. August 2021: 311 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS, including seven deaths. Aug. 4, 2021: UK delays recommending second dose for 16- and 17-year-olds. Aug. 10, 2021: 15 children hospitalized at Boston Children's Hospital with postvaccination myocarditis between May 1 and July 15, 2021, researchers say. Aug. 13, 2021: Canada identifies a safety signal for postvaccination myocarditis. Aug. 17, 2021: Death of 27-year-old man following myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination reported by U.S. researchers. Family declined an autopsy. No non-vaccination causes identified. Aug. 18, 2021: U.S. researchers report death of 42-year-old man with myocarditis following Moderna vaccination. No other causes identified. Aug. 18, 2021: Dr. Walensky and other U.S. government officials call for COVID-19 vaccine boosters to be cleared due to waning effectiveness. Aug. 19, 2021: Two deaths from myocarditis following Pfizer vaccination, Pfizer reports to the EMA. Aug. 19, 2021: Dr. Walensky notified of UK preference for Pfizer over Moderna for adolescents. Aug. 23, 2021: FDA approves Pfizer's vaccine for people 16 and older. Approval theoretically has a higher bar than authorization. The agency says that analyses of reported events "will not be sufficient to assess known serious risks of myocarditis and pericarditis." Aug. 24, 2021: South Korean authorities determine a young man died from myocarditis after Pfizer vaccination. Aug. 30, 2021: One myocarditis case and one pericarditis case occurred among vaccinated trial participants, Pfizer reveals. Aug. 30, 2021: Of 742 reports in VAERS that met the CDC case definition of myocarditis or myopericarditis after vaccination, 701 patients required hospitalization and 18 are still hospitalized, CDC official reports (pdf). Twenty-three percent of patients whose cases were detailed in VAERS reports were not known to have recovered at the time of the report. Aug. 30, 2021: Highest rate of reported myopericarditis cases within seven days of a shot was 71.5 cases per million second Pfizer doses among boys aged 16 or 17, according to the CDC. Aug. 30, 2021: Myocarditis and pericarditis cases in VSD rise to 115, with some patients still experiencing symptoms, CDC official says (pdf). Aug. 30, 2021: Benefits of Pfizer's vaccine continue to outweigh the risks, CDC officials say. They estimate every million Pfizer shots among 16- to 17-year-olds will cause 73 cases of myocarditis but prevent more hospitalizations. Aug. 30, 2021: Woman who died in New Zealand after Pfizer vaccination perished from myocarditis, an independent safety panel said. September 2021: 377 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS, including 10 deaths. Sept. 2, 2021: 654 reports of myocarditis or pericarditis in Pfizer's safety database, company says. Seventy-seven reports of myocarditis or myocarditis and pericarditis in Moderna's safety database, company says. Some patients, including a young male, died or had not recovered. Sept. 2, 2021: Based on the reports and other data, a causal association between myocarditis/pericarditis and the mRNA vaccines is "considered of at least a reasonable possibility," the European Medicines Agency says. Sept. 3, 2021: 67 myocarditis/pericarditis cases recorded in VSD among people aged 12 to 39, CDC says. Sept. 8, 2021: Healthy, young boys face a higher risk of cardiac events from vaccines than from COVID-19, U.S. researchers find. Sept. 9, 2021: U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration announce COVID-19 vaccine mandates for tens of millions of Americans, including many young, healthy people. Sept. 15, 2021: Hong Kong changes recommendation from two doses of Pfizer to one dose after spike in myocarditis cases. Sept. 17, 2021: Excess myocarditis risk for vaccinated males aged 16 or 17 "approaching 200 cases per million," FDA discloses, based on data from Optum health care claims database. Sept. 21, 2021: "A clear signal for vaccine associated myocarditis has emerged," U.S. doctors say. Sept. 22, 2021: One case of myocarditis reported after Pfizer booster, CDC official says. Not possible to determine the risk of rare side effects like myocarditis after boosting, CDC safety committee says. Sept. 22, 2021: V-safe does not collect information on myocarditis, CDC official admits. Sept. 22, 2021: FDA authorizes a Pfizer booster for millions of Americans. Sept. 23, 2021: CDC officials say they don't know how many cases of myocarditis booster shots will cause. They project up to 26 cases per million boosters in 18- to 29-year-olds, but say more COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations would be prevented. Sept. 24, 2021: CDC recommends Pfizer's booster for certain populations. Sept. 27, 2021: New Zealand expert tells CDC it "seems to make huge sense to me" to delay second doses for young people. Sept. 28, 2021: Pfizer vaccine may have "played a role" in death of 15-year-old California boy who died after receiving shot, medical examiner tells CDC. Sept. 29, 2021: CDC meets on non-COVID vaccines. Sept. 30, 2021: CDC falsely tells California officials that reports of postvaccination myocarditis did not come until June 2021. October 2021: 321 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS, including five deaths. Oct. 4, 2021: Identification of postvaccination myocarditis cases "does not change clinical decision-making," JAMA Internal Medicine editors say. Oct. 7, 2021: Norway, Finland, and Sweden suspend use of Moderna's vaccine for younger people due to myocarditis risks. Oct. 8, 2021: Iceland suspends use of Moderna's vaccine due to the heart inflammation. Oct. 11, 2021: CDC director briefed on how Nordic countries are limiting vaccination due to myocarditis. Oct. 12, 2021: Secret U.S. government meeting considering counting post-infection immunity as one or more vaccine doses ends with no update. Oct. 14, 2021: FDA says more myocarditis/pericarditis cases have been reported to its Biologics Effectiveness and Safety Initiative system. Oct. 21, 2021: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has identified 7 post-vaccination myocarditis cases, CDC publicly discloses, but no signal was established and all cases resolved. Oct. 21, 2021: Highest rate of myocarditis following vaccination, based on VAERS data, is 69.1 cases per million second shots among males aged 16 or 17, Dr. Su says (pdf). Oct. 21, 2021: About a quarter of cases in people 29 or younger reviewed in VAERS were not known to have recovered, according to available data, with 19 still hospitalized. Oct. 21, 2021: Analyses of VSD data "indicate that both Pfizer and Moderna are associated with increased risk of myocarditis/pericarditis in 12–39-year-olds," Kaiser Permanente doctor says (pdf). Myocarditis/pericarditis cases in VSD rise to 138, with rates higher after Moderna vaccination compared to Pfizer vaccination. Oct. 21, 2021: CDC says tens of millions of Americans should get a Pfizer or Moderna booster. Oct. 22, 2021: Rates of reported cases among males aged 18 to 24 approximately 139 per million after Moderna second dose and 43 per million after Pfizer second dose, French researchers say. Oct. 22, 2021: Norway says adolescents can't get second doses of Pfizer's vaccine. Oct. 26, 2021: FDA says benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks. Projection of harm is highest for 16- and 17-year-old males, at 196 postvaccination myocarditis/pericarditis cases, and 171 myocarditis/pericarditis hospitalizations per million doses. Oct. 26, 2021: CDC cardiologist Dr. Matthew Oster says "we don't know a whole lot" about myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination. "We really need to see what the long-term outcomes for these kids will be," he added later. Oct. 26, 2021: Dr. Michael Nelson, an FDA vaccine adviser, says he's concerned that some cases of postvaccination myocarditis aren't being reported. Oct. 26, 2021: Dr. Eric Rubin, another FDA adviser, says "we’re never going to learn about how safe this vaccine is unless we start giving it." Oct. 27, 2021: World Health Organization says the mRNA vaccines likely cause myocarditis. Oct. 27, 2021: Prevalence of postvaccination myocarditis may be underestimated due to its reliance on symptoms for diagnosis, researchers say. Oct. 28, 2021: Dr. Su says myocarditis reported after COVID-19 vaccination "has been neither severe nor persistent ... however, we'll need to wait to see if longer-term complications arise." He also says CDC does not know what percent of cases became chronic. Oct. 29, 2021: FDA authorizes Pfizer's vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 despite dearth of efficacy data. Oct. 30, 2021: Seventeen myocarditis patients seen at a single facility in Switzerland between March and July 2021, researchers report (pdf). Oct. 31, 2021: FDA delays decision on approving Moderna's vaccine for children. November 2021: 267 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS, including six deaths. Nov. 1, 2021: Dr. Su says in email that "we're all doing our part to build confidence" in COVID-19 vaccines. Nov. 1, 2021: English researchers estimate vaccinating children aged 12 to 17 will prevent 230 to 4,590 COVID-19 hospitalizations while causing 160 cases of myocarditis requiring hospitalization. Nov. 1, 2021: Seven patients still had symptoms about a month after being diagnosed with myocarditis, U.S. researchers report. Nov. 2, 2021: Nine deaths with myocarditis reported among people 29 and younger in VAERS. Most deaths had at least one potential non-vaccination cause while evaluation of two was still ongoing, CDC official says (pdf). Nov. 2, 2021: Of postvaccination myocarditis patients who received cardiac MRIs, 72 percent had abnormal results, official says. Of patients who responded to CDC survey, 48 percent reported symptoms persisting after three months. Nov. 2, 2021: Rates of myocarditis after Pfizer vaccination in children aged 5 to 11, if cleared, is unknown, CDC says (pdf). Rates in those 12 to 15 are as high as 108.5 per million second doses among males. Nov. 2, 2021: CDC recommends virtually all children aged 5 to 11 receive a Pfizer series. Nov. 3, 2021: 18-year-old previously healthy woman dies after COVID-19 vaccination with fulminate myocarditis, Washington state officials tell CDC. They attribute the myocarditis to asymptomatic COVID-19. Family declined an autopsy at one facility and King County Medical Examiner's Office says it did not perform an autopsy due to "social and complex" reasons. Nov. 8, 2021: France halts Moderna's vaccine for people under 30. Nov. 16, 2021: UK recommends second dose for 16- and 17-year-olds. Nov. 18, 2021: Reported cases of myocarditis as high as 117 per million after doses of Moderna, and 47 per million doses of Pfizer, among males aged 18 to 29, German researchers say. Nov. 19, 2021: Lower rates of myocarditis reported to VAERS after booster doses, CDC official says (pdf). Fifty-four reports were lodged, with some people not known to have recovered. Nov. 19, 2021: CDC enables all adults to receive a booster of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Nov. 23, 2021: Between Dec. 27, 2020 and Sept. 3, 2021, 113 patients with suspected myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination presented to a single practice, German researchers report. Nov. 26, 2021: Six people were reported to have died with myocarditis or pericarditis after Pfizer vaccination, the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb reports. Other causes were found for two of the deaths. Nov. 28, 2021: Hong Kong researchers find rate of 212 myocarditis cases among 12- to 17-year-old males per million Pfizer second doses. Nov. 28, 2021: Three verified cases of post-booster myocarditis, CDC discloses in private emails. Nov. 29, 2021: UK recommends second dose for 12 to 15-year-olds. December 2021: 304 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reported to VAERS, including five deaths. Dec. 1, 2021: 22-year-old woman spent 74 days in hospital with myocarditis after AstraZeneca vaccination, South Korean researchers report. Dec. 2, 2021: European Medicines Agency says safety signal confirmed for postvaccination myocarditis. Dec. 2, 2021: Israeli researchers estimate 106.9 myocarditis cases per million vaccinated males aged 16 to 29. Dec. 9, 2021: FDA authorizes booster doses for 16- and 17-year-olds. Dec. 9, 2021: CDC says 16- and 17-year-olds should get a booster shot. It does not mention myocarditis. Dec. 14, 2021: 114 vaccinated people had myocarditis listed as a cause of death on their death certificate, English researchers report. Dec. 16, 2021: Eight cases of myocarditis among children aged 5 to 11 confirmed, including one in a 6-year-old male, CDC official says. Dec. 18, 2021: 26-year-old New Zealand man's death ruled as being caused by vaccine-induced myocarditis following an autopsy. Dec. 25, 2021: Males under 40 face an excess risk of 101 cases per million second doses, UK researchers find. Dec. 27, 2021: Incidence of myocarditis among males 12 to 39 is 195.4 per million second doses among males aged 12 to 39, U.S. researchers estimate. They identify cases missed by the CDC.Dec. 28, 2021: Risk of myocarditis much higher from Moderna's vaccine compared with Pfizer's shot, Canadian officials report. Dec. 30, 2021: 21 patients with myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination admitted to a single center between Dec. 15, 2020, and June 15, 2021, U.S. researchers report. Dec. 30, 2021: 14-year-old hospitalized with shock after Pfizer vaccination, Moroccan doctors say. 2022 Jan. 3, 2022: Non-vaccine causes of death ruled out in death of 57-year-old New Zealand woman who experienced myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination, researchers report. Read more here... Tyler Durden Thu, 09/21/2023 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2023

Kunstler: Party Of Chaos Is "Certainly Trying To Provoke Something Like Civil War"

Kunstler: Party Of Chaos Is "Certainly Trying To Provoke Something Like Civil War" Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com, Boldly Into The Chaos “When you give power over law to people who see law only as a weapon with which to get enemies, you destroy the rule of law. That’s what the dumbshit white liberals have done.” - Paul Craig Roberts Everybody I talk to feels a gnawing tingle of dread in their livers and lights as our world tilts into the season of darkness. The Party of Chaos rules solely on the basis of insults to its citizens. They are certainly trying to provoke something like civil war, something they can label “white supremacy,” as if that would justify declaring a state of siege — an emergency suspension of rights to speak, to move, to assemble, to resist the sticky pseudopods of the malevolent Blob that Washington has become. These insults are all obvious untruths, and behind them, you can be sure, lurk great crimes. Crimes, of course, call for adjudication and payment. That has been the American way. So, naturally, the Party of Chaos, stolidly based against the American way, has hijacked the law to prevent it from being applied to them. They have spoiled and dishonored every authority in this land and disgracing the law is their ultimate prize. It’s hard to say which of their insults is the worst, they are all so gross and arrant, but the untruths around the Covid-19 vaccine operation seem the most conspicuously sinister. CDC director Mandy K. Cohen is still pushing these shots for all Americans down to six-month-old babies, despite a freight train of evidence that they are useless for preventing the disease and blatantly harmful, especially for children. She is either very stupid, dangerously wicked, or insane. You decide: Last autumn, the “uptake” on Covid boosters was 17 percent. That number should not induce a whole lot of confidence this time around among the CDC officials and their masters from Pfizer Inc. Papers are now circulating that say all the Covid variants coming out of the woodwork are lab-made pathogens. The CDC and its sister public health agencies lied extravagantly about the original virus, of course, and now everybody knows it. Who is left to fool in our country? If they move to surreptitiously release something with a much higher fatality rate — to reignite fear in the population — they could easily put their own lives in jeopardy, since its unlikely their labs might as quickly develop a vaccine they could protect themselves with. Calling for more lockdowns and school closures won’t go over so well this time either, and federal enforcement efforts will be laughed at in the states where a majority is not insane. Working people know they’ll be ruined financially again if the schools are not available for babysitting. Even the states under the sway of mass formation psychosis, such as my New York, will be deeply divided. New Yorkers are sick of the vile automaton Kathy Hochul, even down in New Woke City. The Ukraine war caper has pretty clearly lost its appeal as a supposed crusade for “democracy.” The yellow and blue flags vanished from the front porches and car bumpers months ago. It was a lie from the get-go that we have any national interest in that sad sack country. Our own government engineered the fiasco, and from every angle it has been a dead loss for all parties on our side. Ukraine has been reduced to a failed state in-waiting; Euroland has sacrificed its industrial economy for nothing; and the USA has squandered its last bits of prestige among other nations in this ignominious game of Lets You and Him Fight. Also, Americans have begun to notice that the billions funneled into Mr. Zelensky’s cadre of neo-Nazis and kleptocrats is money that is not going to places like East Palestine, Ohio, Lahaina, Maui, and the towns along our tortured southern border from Matamoros to Tijuana. Even the people who supposedly elected “Joe Biden” are becoming a little concerned about blundering into World War Three over the mess created by Victoria Nuland & Company. How did we come to the point that it is now illegal to question the veracity of elections in America? And to charge a former president of the US for doing it? Much as the deck is stacked against Mr. Trump, his enemies have stupidly stuffed that deck full of jokers that are liable to shriek and giggle their way out of court when turned face-up. Judge Tanya Chutkan of the DC District Court is one of the jokers, having already branded Mr. Trump a seditious insurrectionist in the trails of many J-6 demonstrators she sent to jail on longer sentences than the prosecutors even asked for. DA Fani Willis of Fulton County, Ga, is another joker who constructed a career-ending booby-trap for herself, and DA Alvin Bragg of New York County (Manhattan) will not be the one laughing when he’s finally bum-rushed out of his law license. An interesting fate awaits “Joe Biden” in the months ahead as the revenue stream of the Biden family foreign consulting firm gets audited in a House impeachment Inquiry. And an interesting-er fate awaits the Party of Chaos when it finally has to admit that it doesn’t have a candidate for the 2024 presidential election — at least a candidate anyone has ever heard of. The “president” stands (shakily) bestride a dilemma. He can gracefully bow out of office and avoid the historic humiliation of being unmasked as the crookedest chief executive ever — but if he does that, he loses the ability to pardon the son he so loves in any upcoming indictments, or pardon himself as CEO of Biden Consulting Inc. Or, just maybe, the Blob will steal into the White House residence some gloomy pre-dawn morn, and settle its quivering, gelatinous endoplasm over “JB’s” face until his struggles with Congress and everything else on this plane of existence come mercifully (for us) to their end. *  *  * Support his blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page Tyler Durden Mon, 09/18/2023 - 16:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 18th, 2023

The Dirty Secret About How Masks Really "Work"

The Dirty Secret About How Masks Really "Work" Authored by Clayton Baker, MD, via The Brownstone Institute, It is difficult to believe that Public HealthTM is trying to force America to mask up again, but here we are. The question is, why? The dirty secret is this: Masks don’t work by controlling the virus. Masks work by controlling the people. If we’re talking about stopping the spread of the virus, masks simply don’t work. But if we’re talking about stoking fear, instilling blind obedience to state authorities, sowing discord between citizens, and publicly “outing” skeptics and dissidents – in other words, creating an authoritarian, even totalitarian system of public health – then masks work very well indeed. MASKS DON’T WORK AT CONTROLLING THE VIRUS By this late date, it has been established beyond honest scientific doubt that masking is ineffective at stopping the contraction and spread of COVID-19. This is true both at the microscopic level and at the population level. The early mask mandates regarding COVID-19 were largely “justified” on the assertion that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was not prone to airborne spread. However, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has since been proven to be an airborne virus (like influenza), meaning it can remain circulating in room air for extended periods of time, and spreads in this manner. SARS-CoV-2 viruses have also been proven to be much smaller in size than the holes in cloth and surgical masks. Therefore, at a microscopic level, Harvey Risch is correct: trying to block the SARS-CoV-2 virus with a surgical mask is quite literally like trying to keep mosquitos out of your yard by erecting a chain-link fence. At a population level, the latest Cochrane meta-analysis of the available randomized, controlled trials surrounding masking and respiratory viruses concluded that “Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of influenza‐like illness (ILI)/COVID‐19 like illness compared to not wearing masks. Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of laboratory‐confirmed influenza/SARS‐CoV‐2 compared to not wearing masks.” (It should be noted that as the mask debate has been resurrected, Cochrane has been under intense pressure by pro-mask entities to addend and modify their comments about this study, to which the organization has capitulated.) Furthermore, this study is only one in addition to the hundreds of other studies that clearly outline the epidemiologic ineffectiveness and real harms of masks, many of which have been known since at least 2021. To summarize: at the microscopic level, masks do not stop the exit or entry of the virus into human bodies, and at the population level, mask use has not been shown to provide any benefit, and has been shown to have numerous harms. MASKS DO WORK AT CONTROLLING PEOPLE The entire Public HealthTM enterprise in the West has a strong political and authoritarian impulse built into it from its very conception. While a detailed review of this is beyond the scope of this article, it harkens back at least to the figure of Rudolf Virchow, the preeminent 19th century German physician, opponent of Semmelweis and Darwin, and founder of so-called “social medicine,” who famously wrote that “Medicine is a social science, and politics nothing but medicine at a larger scale.” The attitude that Public HealthTM should possess the power to dictate national and local political policy for the “public good” (as they, the “experts,” unilaterally determine it to be) has increased over the past century, especially in the United States. Around it there have grown vast, lucrative industries, from which (since at least the Bayh-Dole Act), Public HealthTM officials often profit handsomely. The vaccine industry is only the most obvious of these. During the COVID era, the authoritarianism of Public HealthTM morphed into totalitarian mode, with the unprecedented lockdowns, school closures, travel restrictions, vaccine mandates, etc. that we all endured. The most visible and most easily enforceable symbol of this power grab were masks.  Masks, even the comically useless ones made of old handkerchiefs, or the filthy, week-old paper surgical ones seen on countless chins, signaled compliance and submission. For the very real Public HealthTM purpose of unquestioning obedience, masks work very well indeed. Masks are effective at instilling fear in people. Fearful people more readily submit to authority, particularly when that authority promises a solution to the cause of their fear. Masks are effective as virtue signals of compliance, bolstering the submissive person’s ego. Masks also impose a very strong peer-pressure effect, which pushes uncertain persons toward following the crowd. Masks are effective at humiliating people. They are uncomfortable, ugly, dirty, and unnatural. They truly are “face diapers.” In a word, masks are degrading. If the ways of the old Eastern bloc taught us anything, it is that the systematic degradation of individuals, especially for patently stupid reasons, is highly effective at promoting totalitarian ends. Masks are also extremely effective in exposing dissidents. Who dares to stand up against the state? There’s one, right over there. Shame on them. Shun them. Arrest them. That’s how masks really “work”, and that’s why the Public HealthTM types love them.  That’s why they’re trying to bring them back. Tyler Durden Mon, 09/11/2023 - 17:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 11th, 2023

Jim Quinn: Burning Books In A Brave New 1984 World, Part 2

Jim Quinn: Burning Books In A Brave New 1984 World, Part 2 Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, In Part 1 of this article, I explored how Huxley, Orwell, and Bradbury foretold the use of technology by totalitarians to subjugate and control the masses. Now we move on to a currently hot topic – censorship. “Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.” ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Censorship “There was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves” ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people run­ning about with lit matches.” – Ray Bradbury The primary theme of Fahrenheit 451 is censorship. In Bradbury’s dystopia, burning books was the principal method of censorship, directed by the government, but generally supported by the masses. A form of self-censorship developed, as the dullards, intellectually lazy, and willfully ignorant, preferred books to be burned so they felt that would put them on a level playing field with the critical thinkers and intellectually curious minded. It always comes back to the government doing everything in their power to keep the masses apathetic, ill-informed, entertained, and distracted, to ensure their continued control over society. Bradbury believed the masses would go along with censorship because they already had television, radio, and fast cars, with vacuous programming, loud music, and unceasing advertising creating over-stimulation and distraction for the populace. They were too distracted to read a book, learn, think critically, or question the authorities. Bradbury doesn’t have much faith in either government or the people they rule. His view of humanity in general was not positive in the early 1950s. Imagine what he would think of American society seventy years later. The hostility towards books in Fahrenheit 451 for many was based on envy. The lazy, willfully ignorant masses didn’t want to feel intellectually inferior to those who wanted to read books, learn, inquire, think, and question the government narrative. Seeing your neighbor’s books burned gave a warped sense of satisfaction to the intentionally ignorant. When your government wants to keep you ignorant to better control you and you choose ignorance because it’s easier to not think, you’ve achieved dystopian perfection. Thinking is hard. Watching a screen is easy. The 1930’s and 1940’s saw the height of book burnings, with Goebbels and the Nazis burning books contrary to their ideology in the early 1930s, and then the counter book burnings of Nazi literature after 1945. It spread to the U.S., with the Karens of their day burning textbooks and literature they didn’t agree with. There will always be an authoritarian-minded segment of the population who seek power to decide what you should read or see. They do not believe freedom of speech as defined in the Constitution should be available to those they disagree with. “I wasn’t worried about freedom, I was worried about people being turned into morons by TV…the moronic influence of popular culture through local TV news and the proliferation of giant screens and the bombardment of factoids.” – Ray Bradbury Censorship is the cudgel they utilize to keep you from making up your own mind about ideas, historical events, opinions, and facts. If you don’t want the masses to know the truth, don’t let them see both sides of issues, keep them distracted by technology, and overload their brains with meaningless drivel. Bradbury’s dystopian fears have come to fruition, seventy years later. We are now a nation of low IQ sheep who “feel” smart because their overlords have lowered the bar so low, every dullard believes themselves to be smarter than Einstein, even though they can’t subtract 57 cents from $1.00 in their head. Generations have been indoctrinated to feel rather than think. They don’t even know what thinking means. “If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.” ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 One of Bradbury’s real pet peeves was special interest groups and minorities censoring books that offended them because they felt their group was either portrayed unfairly or not portrayed at all. In particular he regularly received complaint letters regarding his portrayal of female or black characters in his novels. Essentially every special interest group wants to be portrayed in a positive manner and will use all means necessary to censor portrayals they don’t like, including book burning and invoking hostility towards the author. Rather than make a cogent argument counter to a portrayal in a book, they scream at the top of their lungs and throw a temper tantrum. And this was fifty years before the introduction of social media platforms, where censorship has become an art form, and online temper tantrums by the easily offended have been aided and abetted by your government and their social media co-conspirators. Cancel culture is a cancerous tumor on our society and must be eradicated before it kills us. The depth and breadth of censorship in our world today far surpasses any dystopian visions Bradbury could conceptualize in Fahrenheit 451. The book burning firemen couldn’t hold a candle to what Twitter, Facebook, Google, Youtube, and the legacy regime media have done since the start of this century. We are now in the Woke Age of Censorship, where the outrage of the day results in mass censorship by the masters of deception and deceit. Even though censorship was used extensively during WWI and WW2 by governments trying to cover-up military defeats, I believe the modern Age of Censorship began with the assassination of John F. Kennedy by elements within the U.S. Deep State. The CIA could not allow the truth to be told, so the feckless Warren Commission produced a fake report about the lone gunman and if anyone questioned the official narrative, the CIA created a derogatory term to silence them – conspiracy theorist. As we know, this term is screeched by the regime media and their brain-dead acolytes on a daily basis in order to shut the rest of us up. One problem for these mouthpieces for the Deep State – virtually every conspiracy theory has been validated and proven true over the last several years. As we saw during the Vietnam War, censorship wasn’t quite as efficient as today. They were successfully able to pull off the Gulf of Tonkin false flag without the press uncovering the truth and the media went along with the narrative we were winning in the early years. But there were still some journalists with integrity in the 1960s like Seymour Hersh who refused to be censored. Even the networks started showing videos of the death and devastation. The entire war, based on lies, unraveled, brought down a president, and created turmoil and violence in the streets of America. The Deep State got slightly more sophisticated with 9/11 and the Iraq wars. As with JFK’s assassination, the government entities who would be implicated used a commission to cover-up their failures and lies regarding the 9/11 attacks. The no longer independent legacy media mouthed the official narrative and called all the independent journalists who revealed uncomfortable truths, conspiracy theorists. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” ― George Orwell, 1984 The mainstream media was tightly censored during the Iraq wars and willingly censored themselves in order to have continued access to military command. The real turning point for censorship and surveillance occurred with the passage of the totalitarian manifesto – The Patriot Act. This despotic legislation, pre-written and waiting for the opportunity to be unleashed upon America by Cheney and his neo-con co-conspirators, created a surveillance/censorship state that has grown to such a Constitution crushing size, it has effectively stripped citizens of all their rights. The regime media is all in on enforcing the dictates of their censorship masters. With only six media conglomerates controlling 90% of the news dissemination, the corporate fascist censorship machine was easy to roll out. The masses are easily manipulated through propaganda, censorship of non-governmental approved narratives (aka the truth), and the exact same messaging by all six state approved narrative machines. With the legacy regime media no longer interested in the truth, journalist hacks acting as mouthpieces for the Deep State narrative, and profits as their sole motivation, it has fallen to independent journalists, bloggers, and insiders with a conscience and integrity to uncover the truth and act as the sunlight and disinfectant on this vile diseased pustule, disguised as our government. The government loves to declare war on something in order to implement censorship protocols regarding their invented enemy, whether it be drugs, terrorism, Iraq, Syria, covid, Russia, or climate change. The Iraq war, instigated based on fictional WMD and false narratives about 9/11 involvement, was a censorship dream until two patriotic servicemen – Joe Darby and Bradley Manning – along with a true martyr on the altar of truth – Julian Assange – who has been illegally imprisoned for the last four years after spending seven years in the Ecuador embassy for daring to reveal the atrocities committed by the U.S., pulled back the curtain on their crimes. Darby revealed the torture photos from Abu Ghraib. Manning provided Assange with damaging videos and files, revealing the truth about the disastrous Iraq War. Snowden’s revelations about the illegal mass surveillance program run by the NSA, under the cover of The Patriot Act, once again pulled back the curtain on the surveillance/censorship state, whose sole purpose is to maintain power and control by any means necessary. Assange, Manning, and Snowden did nothing more than reveal the criminality of the U.S. government and the Deep State actors pulling the strings behind the scenes. Other patriots, like Seth Rich, who gave Assange Hillary’s emails during the 2016 election campaign revealing her criminality, was murdered in cold blood for defying the surveillance/censorship state. Your government and the shadowy figures constituting the invisible hand behind the scenes, demand censorship regarding their un-Constitutional treasonous acts. When an unelected ruling elite make it a crime to expose their crimes, any semblance of a government of the people, by the people, for the people has been abolished. “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.” ― George Orwell, 1984 The censorship machine has entered hyper-speed overdrive since the election of Trump in 2016. You had Obama, Hillary, Comey, Brennan, Clapper, and dozens of other Deep State lackeys conspiring to bring down a duly elected president through the fake Russiagate conspiracy, concocted by them, propagandized by their state media organs, with all evidence of their treasonous conspiracy censored from the public because they controlled all the media outlets. The MO of these treacherous villains is to stay on the attack, accusing their victims of the very crimes they are committing, while suppressing and censoring anyone trying to reveal the truth. Two impeachments, based on nothing but lies, and a stolen election through mail-in ballot fraud and rigged voting machines, wasn’t enough for the psychopaths running the show. They took advantage of a naïve Trump on January 6, weaponizing a peaceful protest at the Capital by having agent provocateurs from the FBI create the “armed insurrection” in which no one was armed except the government plants. Pelosi, along with Wray and his FBI cohorts, planned and executed a fake insurrection, entrapping hundreds of honest citizens and imprisoning them for years on false charges. At the same time they suppressed and censored thousands of hours of videotape which would reveal the dozens of FBI plants instigating the entire “attack on democracy”. The censorship about Hunter Biden’s laptop, tens of millions in bribes paid to Hunter and “The Big Guy”, Hunter’s drug, gun and pedophilia crimes, and Biden crime family influence peddling across the globe, constituted real election interference in 2020. Other than the NY Post and Tucker Carlsson, the entire regime media complex censored the story, in particular the social media thought police – Twitter, Facebook and Google. Silence about the truth is the easiest form of censorship. Silence about the truth wasn’t going to cut it when it came to the greatest hoax in the history of mankind. As the initial test of whether their Great Reset plan could be sold to the masses through fear, threats, intimidation and narrative control, Schwab, Gates, Fauci, Tedros, and the rest of their Davos psychopath acolytes weaponized the annual flu by giving it a scary name, creating a multi-billion-dollar marketing campaign of fear, coercion, and peer pressure, and worked hand in hand with Big Pharma, Big Media, and the Silicon Valley social media tyrants to enrich themselves and censor anyone daring to question the approved narrative. This is when soft censorship devolved into proactive, destructive, deadly, demonetization censorship. The censorship conducted by Fauci, Biden, the regime media, the Sickcare complex, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Big Pharma bought off academics, resulted in the deaths of millions. They sacrificed the lives of millions on the altar of ungodly gene therapy profits, a life destroying lockdown to test the limits of what the ignorant masses would accept, and shredding the last vestiges of our rapidly perishing Constitution. They knew masks didn’t work. They knew social distancing didn’t work. They knew ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine were tremendously effective, safe, and cheap treatments for covid. They knew their emergency use authorization and hundreds of billions in profits were at risk if they did not censor doctors, studies, and truth telling journalists who dared to provide factual evidence of those treatments working tremendously well in combating the symptoms of covid (aka the flu). Instead, they sentenced victims to death with Fauci’s remdesivir and putting them on vents. Allowing these treatments, along with natural immunity, and no lockdowns would have seen the entire episode end within a year, with minimal long-term impact. They knew their experimental gene therapy, sold as a safe and effective vaccine, was dangerous and ineffective. Big Pharma censored their own clinical trial data, and the FDA used some Orwellian doublespeak to change the decades old definition of vaccine, because the covid “vaccines” didn’t keep you from catching it, spreading it, or dying from it. Ironically, Google still does their darndest to keep the graphic below hidden from view, while promoting the pro-vaccine narrative. Based on the number of jabbed who are joining the disabled rolls, coming down with myocarditis, contracting turbo cancers, and generally dropping like flies, the powers that be will soon be re-defining “Died Suddenly” to be only those dying from climate change and gas stoves. The censoring of Dr. Malone, Dr. McCullough, Dr. Korry, Alex Berenson, RFK Jr., Ed Dowd, and hundreds of other truth-telling medical experts and journalists by social media corporations, in conspiracy with the White House and Fauci, was and still is a crime, violating the First Amendment of the Constitution. But we all know Biden and his handlers care naught about the Constitution. They violate it on a daily basis. Ed Dowd has been a lonely strident voice in the wilderness during the entire plandemic and continues to present factual proof regarding the disastrous ongoing impact of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs. His only platforms have been the alt-media, his own website, and since Musk took over, Twitter. The regime media continues to create a veil of censorship around the six sigma increases in youth mortality, disability claims among working age adults, and the skyrocketing occurrence of cardiovascular disease, cancers, and fertility issues among normally healthy individuals. The façade continues to crumble as actuarial data cannot be fudged. Life insurance companies know exactly how many 25- to 44-year-olds will die within a given year. Covid killed very few 25- to 44-year-olds. It killed those over 80 and the morbidly obese. The vaxx was so safe and effective it resulted in 80% more deaths than expected among the young. You will never see this data presented in the mainstream press. If this data about vaccines killing and injuring people or proof ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine saved lives makes it into the mainstream, it is decried as conspiracy theories and “fact checkers” declare the data false. Just google any of these terms and the first 50 articles will claim they are falsehoods. Controlling search engines is a censor’s dream. The censorship clown show arrived in the swamp last week with hearings reminiscent of the McCarthy era in the 1950s. Instead of trying to root out communists, the brain dead, low IQ, virtue signaling doofuses in the Democrat party attempted to discredit an honest truth telling man who has already had his father and uncle murdered by his government. RFK Jr.’s intelligence, guile and combativeness made the weasels and whiners shriek in agony as he destroyed their attempts to discredit the First Amendment. The Democrats acted like shrill three-year-olds, attempting to smear and defame a good man. The American people saw who the totalitarian censorship police are and who defends their right to say and write anything they choose. The lines have been clearly drawn, with those supporting authoritarian measures to shut you up, lock you down, and censor information contrary to their narrative, versus those of us who believe there should be absolute freedom of speech with no restrictions or government control. In a perfectly ironic twist of cognitive dissonance, the Democrat leadership attempted to censor RFK Jr. at a censorship hearing and after failing to censor him, proceeded to make a mockery of the hearing by first saying no censorship took place and eventually arguing censorship was a good thing. The NYT did its patriotic duty as the mouthpiece for the censorship regime, saying it was appropriate for the federal government to seek to tamp down the spread of falsehoods. There are no journalists with integrity and impartiality left working in the legacy media domain. The only truthful reporting can be found on Substack and several blogs by the likes of Greenwald, Taibbi, Berenson, Hersh, Kirsch, Malone, and a few dozen others. “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Huxley essentially believed a totalitarian state had no need to act forcefully in censoring thought. All it needed to do was use technology, conditioning, and drugs to keep the masses distracted, entertained, thoughtless, and sedated. They would willingly forfeit their liberties and freedoms for government protection and stability. There would be no need for overt censorship when the docile sheep-like masses willingly censored themselves. Conditioning from birth and copious doses of Soma produced a population who would never consider rebelling. These methods are utilized by our current totalitarian state, as government schools act as indoctrination centers and most of the population is either taking government approved drugs or “illegal” pharmaceuticals with a wink-wink from the authorities, who encourage homeless tent cities of drugged out zombies in every urban setting in America. Ironically, Brave New World has been one of the most censored and banned novels in history. Published in 1931 when the suffragette Karens of the day were busy enforcing prohibition, school boards were aghast at the mention of drugs and casual sex, missing the point of the novel entirely. It was banned all across pious America. The soft censorship theme of this novel contrasts greatly with Orwell’s dark vision of a brutal authoritarian surveillance/censorship state. “So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern…Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.” ― George Orwell, 1984 Orwell actually had a pretty similar take on how the masses (aka Proles) were kept under control by bread and circuses, but the threat of being imprisoned and tortured for wrong thought was always front and center, with Big Brother monitoring their every word and action. Huxley’s soft censorship of loving your servitude devolved into working so hard you are too tired to do anything other than watch movies, drink, gamble, and root for your football team. The Proles would be too tired and distracted to rebel. The real censorship in Orwell’s 1984 involved controlling every piece of information, rewriting the content of newspapers and history books, and manipulating language to suit the needs of the Party. Enemies were created and adjusted as needed. The citizens were perfectly willing to believe whatever the Party told them. By controlling the present, the Party was able to engineer the past. By manipulating the past, the Party was able to justify its treacherous actions in the present. We’ve now reached a tipping point, where the majority thinks the minority should be censored and punished for thoughtcrime. The First Amendment is meaningless and inconvenient for those wielding the power in this country. The recent PEW poll about censoring “false” information produced truly disturbing results and opens the door to a dystopian future of the Deep State (aka Big Brother) censoring and manipulating all information we receive, while throwing dissenters and purveyors of contrary opinions into the gulag. This poll proves that government school indoctrination and endless propaganda messaging can sway the ignorant masses to believe provable falsities. The government, regime media, and social media did restrict people from seeing what the ruling elite decided was “false information”, about Russiagate, Wuhan lab leak, Hunter Biden’s laptop, election fraud, effectiveness of ivermectin & hydroxychloroquine, ineffectiveness of masks, useless & dangerous covid vaccines, and what really happened on January 6. The one problem with restricting access to this information was the “false information” was entirely true. Every conspiracy theory has proven to be right. There can be no restrictions on anyone’s speech for whatever reason. Censorship is a tool of totalitarians. The relentless march towards our own totalitarian dystopia is being built on a foundation of surveillance and censorship, enforced by unelected traitorous Deep State sycophants, unregulated rogue government agencies, and shadowy globalist billionaires. Whether this is part of the Great Reset plan to usher in a New World Order or just criminal degenerates raping and pillaging the last vestiges of a dying empire, the end result is we will own nothing, be happy (or else), live in our 15 minute gulag cities, eat lab grown meat with a side of crickets, fight off Gates’ GMO mosquitos, tool around in our solar powered scooters, while the government dims the sun, and their annual plandemic knocks off another few million. Bradbury, Huxley, and Orwell warned us, but we failed to heed their call. The consequences could be fatal to our once great republic. Everything the masses believe is false. They aren’t even conscious of the lies, so they will never rebel. The CIA and their cohorts have accomplished their goal. “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” ― George Orwell, 1984 “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” – William Casey, former director of the CIA, upon being asked what the goal of the agency was (in 1981). In Part 3 of this article I will try to wrap up how the totalitarian measures, state control, and how truth, happiness, and materialism in those dystopian novels will play into our dark future. Tyler Durden Thu, 07/27/2023 - 16:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJul 27th, 2023

Don"t Believe The Leftist Media Narrative About The State Of The 2024 Race

Don't Believe The Leftist Media Narrative About The State Of The 2024 Race Authored by 'Carpe Diem' via American Greatness, To the surprise of no one, the leftist corporate media’s coverage of the 2024 presidential race has been abysmal. Predictably, their reporting is full of omissions, half truths, and wishful thinking. Once again, they only report their preferred narratives, in a desperate attempt to persuade stupid people and gullible news outlets into believing them, including Conservative Inc. As usual the leftist coastal elites are attempting to shape their perceptions into reality. Here are the two mainstream narratives thus far. The first one says that Joe Biden, despite suffering from alarming rates of delirium and senility, while presiding over horrendous poll numbers will unequivocally be the Democratic nominee for President. The second narrative says that no matter how early it is, Donald J. Trump has an insurmountable lead in the ever-expanding GOP field, and thus will be the Republican nominee for President for a third consecutive time. This despite the fact that the Iowa Caucuses are not occurring for another six months. Let’s analyze the first leftist corporate media narrative - that Joe Biden is the de facto nominee. As much as the objective journalists at the New York Times and Washington Post would like the gaffe-ridden career politician to remain in the White House, there are many plausible reasons why Team Biden, to the extent he even has a political operation, should be concerned. Let’s put aside the fact that under Biden’s watch he has overseen the worst border crisis in U.S. history, the highest inflation in four decades, a historic crime wave in Democrat run cities, a disgraceful and embarrassing exit from Afghanistan, weakness towards China, indecision and mismanagement towards the war in Ukraine, appeasement towards Iran, betrayal against Israel, pathetic pandering in defense of “LGBTQ rights,” including supporting providing life altering puberty blockers to minors, attempting to jail his leading political opponent for the same supposed “crime” that he committed, and let’s not forget, a corrupt family that sold our country out, while raking in millions from China, Russia, Ukraine and Romania. Yes, the Biden crime family makes the Gambino’s look cleaner than the Huxtables. If that list wasn’t bad enough, now factor in that even the people who somehow still support Biden’s disastrous job killing, energy industry destroying, unconstitutional student debt canceling, equity agenda, don’t want him to run for re-election. The geniuses in the media still can’t seem to figure out why Biden is so unpopular. Hmm, let’s see, it may have something to do with the fact that he looks weaker and frailer by the hour, and often says things that make zero sense to anyone on planet earth. But whenever the question of Biden’s age comes up, the media does their best to prop him up. Case in point—the recent Axios piece that hilariously tries to make Biden seem like a tough and demanding boss who is fully with it. Yes, according to the legacy media, even though Biden often appears unable to read coherently from the teleprompter, or seems constantly confused about where he is, evidently, behind closed doors, he’s really Logan Roy in his prime. The Axios piece also tries to humanize Biden by informing us that he isn’t always so “folksy” around his staff, and is prone to fits of rage, as if we haven’t seen him randomly start screaming during one of his many divisive speeches about the supposed threats of MAGA Republicans. The corporate media has barely mentioned that Biden essentially has a non-existent campaign, with no serious operation in place. Instead, they would rather discredit the rising popularity of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., by calling him an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist who is not to be taken seriously, and poses no serious threat to the incumbent. Say what you will about some of Kennedy’s peculiar stances, but at least he comes across as articulate and coherent. And what about the other leftist mainstream media narrative that Trump has all but wrapped up the GOP nomination? Once again, they would like this to be true, for their own cynical reasons. One, Trump is good for their ratings, and two, because they’re hoping for the same outcome from the 2020 election. There’s no denying the former president is in a strong position as of this writing, but if past precedent means anything, it’s way too premature to declare the race a done deal—especially when the number two challenger just delivered a historic landslide victory in what was once a swing state. There is nothing the coastal media elites would like more than to write off Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, before the first GOP debate has even occurred, because they know he has beaten the left on virtually every issue. Whether it was protecting jobs and businesses from draconian COVID lockdowns and unconstitutional vaccine mandates, keeping schools open and athletic dreams alive, removing inappropriate lesson plans that distort America’s history and sexualize children, actually enforcing our immigration laws, fighting for the life of unborn children, eliminating woke ESG, or providing Floridians with a record $2.7 billion tax relief package, the leftist corporate media knows he poses a legitimate threat to the Democrats reign of mass destruction. Remember, the same people telling us that the DeSantis campaign is already over before it’s even two months old are the same people who have spent the past four years calling him a fascist. We’re supposed to believe these same partisan journalists who disagree with virtually every single one of DeSantis’s policies, are rooting for his downfall and would never vote for him in a million years will give it to us straight? I don’t think so. These are the same dishonest hacks who lied to us about the Russian Collusion hoax, the same people who said that the BLM riots that made Minneapolis look like Nagasaki, circa July 1945, were “mostly peaceful,” the same people who advocated for lockdowns and school closures during COVID, and the same people who cover for Biden’s senility and his family’s corruption. But somehow, we’re supposed to believe that they’re fair and impartial arbiters of the state of the 2024 GOP race? The bottom line is, it’s still way too early to make any predictions, but it’s not too late to stop falling for the corporate media’s propaganda. Tyler Durden Sat, 07/15/2023 - 22:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 15th, 2023

Georgetown Hires Anthony Fauci As "Distinguished Professor" Of Infectious Diseases

Georgetown Hires Anthony Fauci As "Distinguished Professor" Of Infectious Diseases Via The College Fix, Introducing Professor Anthony Fauci... The highly controversial infectious disease expert who many argued made disastrous mistakes regarding his recommended COVID-19 pandemic responses has been hired as a distinguished professor at Georgetown University. “Starting July 1, Fauci will serve as a Distinguished University Professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, an academic division that provides clinical care, conducts research and trains future physicians in infectious diseases,” the institution announced Monday. “He will also hold an additional appointment in the university’s McCourt School of Public Policy.” The 82-year-old Fauci, who has advised “seven presidents on crises from AIDS to Ebola to the coronavirus … stepped down after 38 years as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in December,” the Washington Post reported. Fauci has come under increasing scrutiny from lawmakers and the public at large over not only his handling of the COVID pandemic strategy but also his past work and research funding decisions, including his NIH role in approving controversial “gain of function” coronavirus research. Fauci also came under fire because an NIH division he oversaw funded various studies that exposed dogs to devocalization and euthanatized them to test various vaccines, Poynter reported. As for his handling of the pandemic, Steven Mosher, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Pandemics,” argued in a June 2022 op-ed for the New York Post that under Fauci’s influence, the country committed “every epidemiological sin in the book,” including instituting harmful school closures, requiring pointless contact tracing, failing to protect the most vulnerable, and ignoring and dismissing natural immunity. Mosher called Fauci the man who is “almost single handedly responsible for the failed COVID policies of the past two-plus years.” A May 2023 op-ed in Fox News pointed out that the experimental COVID vaccine has largely been a failure and yet “Fauci fostered an environment where doctors who deviated from the preferred party line were persecuted and even criminalized for offering a different point of view.” “Silencing free expression and thought is the antithesis of America, and dangerous for science, innovation, and medicine,” wrote Pierre Kory, president of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. The Washington Post article paints him as a victim: “He faced death threats and was assigned a security detail. His children were harassed. Donald Trump, the president Fauci was serving under when the virus first swept the planet, soon joined the chorus of misinformation and condemnation as Fauci and a handful of experts stressed public health principles that Trump believed were battering the economy during his unsuccessful fight for reelection.” But Georgetown is thrilled to have him, calling Fauci in its announcement “a dedicated public servant, humanitarian and visionary global health leader.” Georgetown President John DeGioia stated “Fauci has embodied the Jesuit value of being in service to others throughout his career, and we are grateful to have his expertise, strong leadership and commitment to guiding the next generation of leaders to meet the pressing issues of our time.” Tyler Durden Tue, 06/27/2023 - 11:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 27th, 2023

UK Government Denies Targeting COVID-19 Policy Critics On Social Medi

UK Government Denies Targeting COVID-19 Policy Critics On Social Medi Authored by Lily Zhou via The Epoch Times, The UK government is facing renewed pressure to shut its Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU) after the unit was accused of tracking the activities of vocal critics of COVID-19 policies when flagging so-called disinformation. The government has denied targeting individuals, saying the unit was banned from flagging journalists and MPs to social media platforms. The CDU, which was set up on March 5, 2020, monitors online narratives and trends, and has worked “closely with social media platforms to quickly identify and help them respond to potentially harmful content on their platforms,” including “removing harmful content in line with their terms and conditions, and promoting authoritative sources of information,” according to government ministers. The Telegraph on June 2 accused the unit of secretly monitoring the activities of critics of the government’s COVID-19 policies such as lockdowns, school closures, mask mandate, and the proposed vaccine passport. According to the report, documents released through Freedom of Information and data protection requests showed the CDU had flagged 24 social media comments by Molly Kingsley, who founded the children’s welfare campaign group UsForThem in response to school closures, and one post on Twitter by Dr. Alexandre De Figueiredo, a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who opposed the mass COVID-19 vaccination of children. The report said De Figueiredo’s tweet was first flagged by Logically, an artificial intelligence firm the CDU used to trawl the internet. Another government unit, the now-defunct Rapid Response Unit (RRU), was said to have “logged” articles written by Carl Heneghan, director of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. The report also said the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport, in which the CDU was embedded at the time, had a “trusted flagger” status on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, meaning the companies would fast-track their requests for content moderation. The RRU, which also was set up in March 2020, was closed last year, while the CDU operates now within the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology. A government spokesperson denied that individuals had been targeted. “The unit’s purpose is to track narratives and trends using publicly available information online to protect public health and national security,” the person said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times. “It has never tracked the activity of individuals and has a blanket ban on referring journalists and MPs to social media platforms. None of the people named in this report were ever referred to social media platforms by the government and any claim otherwise is objectively false,” they added. Meta, which owns Facebook, hasn’t responded to an Epoch Times request for comment. The same request emailed to Twitter was returned with an automated response consisting of a poop emoji. Elon Musk, CEO of Twitter, announced on the platform in March that the emoji would be sent automatically when journalists sent requests for comment. Civil Liberty group Big Brother Watch, which dubbed the government’s counter-disinformation units the “Ministry of Truth” after the propaganda department in George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984,” renewed its call for the CDU to be “suspended immediately [and] investigated.” Former minister Jacob Rees-Mogg called on the continuing COVID-19 Inquiry to investigate “the oppressive methods used to override dissent.” “It is clear from [Former Health Secretary Matt] Hancock’s messages that steps were taken to manipulate public opinion and now it appears underhand[ed] methods may have been employed to stop free speech,” he told The Telegraph. Rees-Mogg was referring to Hancock’s WhatsApp communications with officials during the COVID-19 pandemic, which were published in March. One of the messages on how to communicate with the public about the emergence of the Alpha variant of the virus reads, “We frighten the pants off everyone with the new strain.” The call to investigate the CDU comes after Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to hand over “all unredacted WhatsApp” messages to the COVID-19 inquiry. Lady Hallett, chair of the official inquiry, requested the messages last month, saying they were significant for their insight into core political and administrative decision-making by the UK government during the pandemic. The Cabinet Office has argued that the messages are unambiguously irrelevant to the inquiry, although Hallett dismissed the argument. Tyler Durden Mon, 06/05/2023 - 03:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 5th, 2023

Zero Young Healthy Individuals Died Of COVID-19, Israeli Data Show

Zero Young Healthy Individuals Died Of COVID-19, Israeli Data Show Authored by Lia Onely via The Epoch Times, Zero healthy individuals under the age of 50 have died of COVID-19 in Israel, according to newly released data. “Zero deceased of 18–49 years of age with no underlying morbidities,” the Israel Ministry of Health (MOH) said in response to a formal request from an attorney. Officials noted that the statement only applies to COVID-19 deaths where the MOH conducted an epidemiological investigation and had received information about the underlying diseases. “Zero is a very, very clear number, and cannot be subject to interpretation,”  Yoav Yehezkelli, a specialist in internal medicine and medical management, and former lecturer in the Department of Emergency and Disaster Management at Tel Aviv University in Israel, told The Epoch Times. “Why were all the extreme measures of school closures, vaccination of children, and lockdowns needed?” he added. The MOH did respond to a request for comment. Freedom of Information Request The information was sparked by a freedom of information request filed by attorney Ori Xabi, who has been filing several such requests as he seeks to obtain information from the MOH regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and COVID-19 policies. Xabi asked to know the average age of people who died of COVID-19, segmented by vaccination status at the time of death; how many COVID-19 patients with no underlying morbidities under the age of 50 died; and the annual number of cardiac arrest cases between 2018 to 2022. According to the MOH response, the average age of vaccinated COVID-19 patients who died was 80.2 years. The average for the unvaccinated was 77.4 years. The MOH emphasized that the data they have about the underlying diseases of patients is partial since it relies on information provided by the patients or their relatives, if they chose to do so. And then, only in cases in which the MOH conducted an epidemiological investigation. Therefore “the available information does not necessarily reflect the health status of the patient” the MOH wrote adding that they do not have access to the patients’ medical records. It is not clear why the MOH responded to Xabi’s request using only cases where the MOH had conducted an epidemiological investigation, and which was limited to deceased patients where the families had cooperated, since in 2020 the MOH told the Israeli Knesset—the Israeli parliament—that they use an intelligence system that provides the MOH with extensive information about deceased patients that included “underlying diseases.” A document (pdf) from the Knesset Research and Information Center, dated June 7, 2020, stated that the MOH provided data to the Special Committee for the New COVID Virus about COVID-19 deaths—298 by that day at 4:30 p.m.—at the request of Yifat Shasha-Biton, a member of the Knesset, and the chair of that committee. The ministry’s intelligence system has data on gender, age, district of residence, and the underlying diseases of the deceased, according to the document. The system showed that about 94 percent of the deceased were 60 years or older and that there were no deceased with zero underlying diseases. In addition, on May 4, 2020, the Medical Directorate of the MOH in a letter (pdf) issued instructions to the heads of the hospitals and the medical departments of the Health Maintenance Organizations—national health care organizations—on how to fill out COVID-19 death notices, directing them to include underlying diseases. In a December 22, 2020 letter (pdf) the Medical Directorate to the managers of the hospitals stated that for every COVID-19 patient who died during the acute phase or due to complications of the illness later, or people who were positive for COVID-19 who died, a death notice and a summary of the case “must be sent to the COVID war room of the MOH.” They said the purpose was “to improve surveillance.” “It’s a bit naive” for the MOH to say they do not have the full data and access to the death certificates said Yehezkelli, who was also a founder of a team that advises the MOH’s director general. Yet this response from the MOH is meaningful, said Yehezkelli as “it finally reveals the truth.” A health worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to a pregnant woman at Clalit Health Services, in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Jan. 23, 2021. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images) ‘False Presentation’ Studies and other data, including a study led by Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis, show that COVID-19 mortality, even with the original variant, was largely age-dependent. “It was definitely a disease that actually only endangered the elderly,” Yehezkelli said. Over the age of 60, mortality doubled every 5 years while under that age mortality was negligible, and “now we really see that it was zero under the age of 50, at least.” The MOH’s response showed that the average age of the COVID-19 deceased is about 80 years of age, which also indicates that “this is a disease of the elderly, almost exclusively,” said Yehezkelli. “That only means that what we were told for 3 years was not true,” he said. There may not have been many young people who got seriously ill, yet the MOH had emphasized cases of pregnant women hospitalized in critical condition and young healthy people who died because of COVID-19. It was not the true situation, he said. “They created a false presentation of a very severe epidemic that affects the entire population and therefore the entire population should also be vaccinated, regardless of age,” said Yehezkelli. If we are talking about people under the age of 50 that means that no pregnant women actually died of COVID-19, he said. The justification given for vaccinating pregnant women, young people, and children was that they too are affected by COVID-19. It was known back then that this was not the case “and we now see it clearly,” Yehezkelli said, asserting that the MOH has “lost the public’s trust” by making a “false presentation” of the dangers of COVID-19. Cardiac Arrest Data In response to Xabi’s recent FOI, the MOH provided the number of cardiac arrest cases from 2018 to 2020. They added, “The information for the years 2021–2022 does not exist in the office.” The MOH explained that “The registration of the causes of death of deceased persons is carried out, in accordance with the notification of death,” by the Central Bureau of Statistics, adding “the data for the years 2021–2022 have not yet been transferred to the Ministry of Health.” A study published in April 2022 that analyzed the dataset of the Israel National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) found a 25 percent increase in EMS calls due to cardiac arrests among 16- to 39-year-olds between January–May 2021. The COVID-19 vaccine rollout began in December 2020. Retsef Levi, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, was one of the researchers of the study. The MOH objected to the findings of the study in a post on Twitter where they said that “there is no connection between the EMS calls that were analyzed in the study and the COVID vaccines.” In a MOH webinar on Oct. 8, 2021, about the effectiveness and the safety of the COVID vaccines, Dr. Sharon Elroy-Pries, the head of Public Health Services at the Israel MOH said regarding Levi’s study: “This is one of the biggest fake news I have seen.” “The National Center for Disease Control did a very comprehensive analysis—including of the data of that study, [which were] EMS calls,” she said adding that “there was nothing. No more [cases of] heart attacks. No more calls to the ER.” She continued by saying that “in the mortality data from the beginning of 2021, you don’t see an increase in mortality except for COVID mortality. That is, if we look at excess mortality in the State of Israel we see it precisely at the peaks that were peaks of [COVID] morbidity in the State of Israel.” “When you remove the … morbidity from COVID at all ages, one sees either the same mortality rate as in previous years, or less,” she said, adding “there is no increase in heart attacks here.” Sharon Alroy-Preis, the head of Public Health Services at the Israel Ministry of Health at the Health Committee meeting to discuss special powers to deal with COVID-19 in Jerusalem on Feb. 6, 2023. (Dani Shem Tov / Knesset) In a February 2023 meeting of the Health Committee of the Knesset for extending the COVID special powers law, Elroy-Pries reiterated that the MOH does have access to COVID mortality data. “COVID has killed over 12,000 people in the State of Israel,” she said at the meeting, explaining further that this figure is known since “from the beginning of the epidemic, the Medical Directorate received people’s death certificates.” When asked about whether there is an increase in cardiac arrest cases in Israel among young people, Elroy-Pries said, “We do not see an increase in the death of young people,” adding “We’re checking it. We’re looking for it.” Levi said to The Epoch Times that the MOH attacked him personally and the EMS, and asked “If they don’t have data for 2021 and 2022 [according to the FOI], then how can they know that they don’t have an increase [in cardiac arrests]?” When the MOH says things that are contrary to science, said Levi, or are “contrary to the facts on a regular basis, you must ask yourself the question: are they doing it because they didn’t bother to read the science, or are they doing it even though they … read the science.” “Both scenarios are very serious,” he added. Vaccines Saved ‘Millions Around the World’: MOH The MOH did not reply to a request for comment from The Epoch Times. Yet about 2 hours after sending the request on May 25, the agency posted on its Twitter account a statement regarding Xabi’s FOI. “Following the manipulation that has been taking place in recent days regarding one of the Ministry of Health’s [reply to] Freedom of Information requests, we will clarify that the answers to the requests submitted under the Freedom of Information Law are, naturally, answered directly to the specific question that was asked. “In this case, the ministry was asked about mortality data and underlying diseases. The Ministry of Health ‘does not have’ access to the medical file [of patients], therefore information is only based on cases where an epidemiological investigation was carried out and the person or his family answered the question [regarding underlying morbidities]. Therefore, this is very limited information. This was of course clearly written in the answer [to the FOI]. “We will clarify: So far, 356 young people (18–49 years of age) have died of COVID. “Of these, only about half have documentation of an epidemiological investigation (184 deceased). “And only 7.5% (27 deceased) included an answer to the question regarding underlying diseases. The answer was provided based on this information. “The Ministry of Health is committed to maintaining the health of all citizens and making the information available in the Ministry transparently. This is how we acted [so far] and will continue to act. “We must not forget that the COVID epidemic has so far killed more than 12,500 people in Israel, caused severe and critical morbidity, and post-COVID symptoms that accompany some of those recovering to this day. “The vaccination campaign began in the midst of a third lockdown that resulted from an increase in morbidity and mortality and the opening of the economy was made possible thanks to the activation of the green passport, which its purpose was to reduce the risk of infection in mass events. “The vaccines have saved thousands of people in the state of Israel and millions around the world—the attempt to rewrite history is dangerous.” Following an administrative appeal filed by Xabi and colleagues, the MOH committed to publishing all-cause mortality segmented by vaccination status and age by the end of this month. This appeal is an ongoing case that followed a FOI request submitted to the MOH on Oct. 10, 2021, which was not answered within the time frame according to Israeli law, and the data provided by the agency during a number of hearings since has been incomplete. Tyler Durden Mon, 05/29/2023 - 06:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 29th, 2023