Wednesday, April 29, 2020
White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that research finding the drug remdesivir reduces coronavirus recovery times is a “highly significant” breakthrough that will improve COVID-19 treatment.
Fauci told reporters in the Oval Office that a study finding that the drug reduced hospitalization times was akin to an early breakthrough in treating HIV.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
China has built an even more massive AI surveillance network to deal with the coronavirus pandemic outbreak that began in Wuhan. But it's part of a much more authoritarian push— one that could come to the US. Joining me is Greg Barbaccia, an expert in counterintelligence and corporate espionage. He’s also a former Intelligence Sergeant in the US Army.
Western Spy Agencies Investigating Wuhan Scientist Highlighted By Zero Hedge In January | Zero Hedge
In a stunning expose, the Australian newspaper reports that "the Five Eyes intelligence agencies of Australia, Canada, NZ, UK and US, are understood to be looking closely at the work of a senior scientist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Peng Zhou, as they examine whether COVID-19 originated from a wet market or whether the naturally-occurring virus may have been released from the level four laboratory in Wuhan that was studying deadly coronavirus pathogens from bats."
Of course, the name of Peng has been long familiar to our readers, and would have been familiar to far more people had Twitter not decided to arbitrarily suspend the Zero Hedge account over a report exposing Mr. Zhou.
As we reported in January - posting publicly available professional contact information and suggesting people ask him about the outbreak near his lab - Peng, head of the Bat Virus Infection and Immunization Group, sought to hire two post-doc fellows last November, who would be tasked with using bats "to research the molecular mechanism that allows Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses to lie dormant for a long time without causing diseases."
Secret 'COVID-19 Manhattan Project' Led By Billionaires Seeking To Influence Trump Admin | Zero Hedge
The until now secretive group is led by a 33-year-old physician-turned-venture capitalist, Tom Cahill, and is described as an elite go-between the pharmaceutical industry and Trump administration decision-makers, or an "ad hoc review board" of sorts pursuing cutting edge outside the box ideas.
The scientists include a dozen world renowned researchers, pathology experts and inventors closely networked at institutions ranging from The Scripps Research Lab in La Jolla, California, to Yale University School of Medicine to Harvard to MIT's Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy to private companies and labs like Merck and others.
Recommendations and ideas floated by Scientists to Stop Covid-19 have already reportedly had far-reaching influence, including affecting policy inside FDA and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the group is reportedly advising close Pence aide Nick Ayers.
Among other billionaire influencers and backers to the private initiative include Peter Thiel, Jim Palotta, Michael Milken, Brian Sheth, and Steve Pagliuca, among others.
Two authors at The Atlantic have sided with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the United States government on free speech. The only question, given that one of them is a professor at Harvard, is whether they're colluding directly with China like Charles Lieber, or whether it's merely convergent evolution. The title of the article is, "Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal. In the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong." That should offend American sensibilities enough never to read The Atlantic again. Digging in, however, leaves the reader with the impression that communist infiltration on campus is far more prevalent than anyone wants to believe.
The two professors, Jack Goldsmith of Harvard Law, and Andrew Keane Woods of Arizona Law, begin their article with this bold pronouncement:
COVID-19 has emboldened American tech platforms to emerge from their defensive crouch. Before the pandemic, they were targets of public outrage over life under their dominion. Today, the platforms are proudly collaborating with one another, and following government guidance, to censor harmful information related to the coronavirus. And they are using their prodigious data-collection capacities, in coordination with federal and state governments, to improve contact tracing, quarantine enforcement, and other health measures.
After years of being on the defensive over data breaches, privacy invasion, censorship and monopoly concerns, social media platforms are leveraging the current public health crisis to vastly expand and entrench their power in an ostensibly free society. Last week Facebook announced it was banning the use of its platform to organize many kinds of anti-lockdown protests, expanding its reach from the digital to the physical world. For its part, Twitter took the opportunity to sweepingly expand its censorship policy, heightening its role in deciding what constitutes “truth.”
On Wednesday, Twitter announced that it was “broadening our guidance on unverified claims” and that, with respect to COVID-19-related posts, “unverified claims that have the potential to incite people to action … or cause widespread panic/social unrest may be considered a violation of our policies.” It cited this as an example of such now-banned posts: “the National Guard just announced that no more shipments of food will be arriving for two months — run to the grocery store ASAP and buy everything.”
To cancel most of the country’s economy for a problem, however tragic, that is highly localized was a devastating policy blunder that must be immediately corrected. The lockdowns are taking a scythe to everything that makes human existence both possible and meaningful. Lives are being lost to the overreaction. Heart attack and stroke victims shrink from calling 911 lest they burden hospitals now dedicated exclusively to COVID-19 cases. Cancer victims have had their stem cell transplants put on hold; heart surgeries are being postponed indefinitely. The cancellation of ‘nonessential’ procedures has prevented the diagnosis of life-threatening diseases, writes a former chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford University Medical Center. Tumors and potentially deadly brain aneurysms are going undetected. Drug abuse deaths from economic despair and isolation may already be rising, as data out of Ohio suggests. The United Nations predicts tens of millions more lives globally stunted by extreme poverty and hundreds of thousands of childhood deaths.
I was one of the early warners about the Wuhan virus. I didn't expect everyone to go crazy.
Monday, April 27, 2020
Yes, it may well be time to be worried, or at least concerned, about the U.S. food supply chain. But, don’t take my word for it — look at what Tyson Foods’ Chairman of the Board said Sunday. He said the food supply chain is breaking due to the coronavirus pandemic. He sounded the alarm in a full-page advertisement in three newspapers.
At Albertson's today, many shelves were bare. There were practically no vegetables, pasta, rice, beans, and fruit was low. Toilet paper, paper towels, wipes? Faggettaboutit. Also, the workers were ruder than usual. The man who sold me shrimp, which I returned when LWJ told me, via the marvel of what young folks call their phones, that I was using last week's list, was unusually rude. I had to coerce myself not to enquire what he'd done his time for. Criminally rude. The check out person was nice, however. She was obviously new on the job. But she told me the delivery trucks were not coming as usual. The supply chains, they be breaking. Plenty of chicken though.
The risk from this technique is obvious. By hurrying along the mutation process, scientists are breeding pathogens right there in the lab that may prove lethal *and* infectious. If there’s a lab accident and someone gets infected before knocking off work for the day…
You see where I’m going with this.
Newsweek reports that the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s version of the CIA, concluded on March 27 that it couldn’t rule out a lab accident as the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s because, based on the evidence, fully a third of the first 41 people known to be infected by the coronavirus had no direct exposure to the wet market in Wuhan, the place where transmission supposedly began. Meanwhile, as chance would have it, the nearby virology lab in Wuhan just so happens to perform “gain of function” research on coronaviruses, probably involving animal passage. Some scientists have ardently opposed that type of research for years because of the risk that a virus rendered contagious through extensive gain of function might escape the lab and wreak havoc on the world.
Maybe these experiments are not such a great idea. Just sayin', as they say.