Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Yet enough already is known about the WIV to suggest this lacks credibility. In 2018 U.S. officials warned in diplomatic cables about safety and management issues at the WIV that could lead to a pandemic. This is especially troubling because the WIV conducted “gain of function” research on coronaviruses that theoretically can enable them to infect a new species.
The U.S. State Department warned in a January fact sheet that WIV researchers had developed “symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses” in autumn 2019. The WHO report nonetheless takes the Chinese government at its word when it says there was “no reporting of COVID-19 compatible respiratory illness during the weeks/months prior to December 2019.”
Shi Zhengli of the WIV said last week that the lab has no ties to the Chinese military. But the State Department said in January that “the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military” for years. The U.S. claims were based on extensive intelligence, and the Biden Administration hasn’t disputed the findings. Did the WHO team even examine U.S. evidence?
The WHO’s tissue-thin analysis isn’t surprising. Chinese government scientists provided most of the data and worked with the international team to craft the report. Beijing has limited independent access to information on Covid-19’s origin, much as it silenced scientists and journalists who raised doubts about the official story last year. The report’s publication was repeatedly delayed, as both sides negotiated a report that is more political than scientific.
The U.S. and more than a dozen other countries expressed concern about a World Health Organization-led mission to China to explore the origins of Covid-19, saying it came too late and wasn’t afforded full or timely access to pertinent data.
The statement, backed by Australia, Japan, Canada, the U.K. and other states, called for “transparent and independent analysis and evaluation, free from interference and undue influence.”
I'm going to need a bigger blog.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
The World Health Organization on Tuesday finally released its report on the origins of the coronavirus, and the result wasn’t worth the wait. The document is best understood as a whitewash heavily influenced by the Chinese Communist Party and Westerners with conflicts of interest.
(Reuters) -Arkansas lawmakers passed a measure on Monday that could make the state the first in the country to prevent doctors from providing certain types of care to transgender youth, part of a wave of U.S legislation that would restrict transgender rights.
aiwan and its surrounding airspace "is all ours," a Chinese fighter pilot reportedly remarked on Monday as the People's Liberation Army flew jets and spy planes toward the democratic island for more than half the days in March.
According to a recording carried by newspapers in Taipei and acquired by Newsweek, the exchange between pilots from the Republic of China Air Force and PLA Air Force took place at 10:04 a.m. local time after the Chinese warplane flew into Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
Taipei's interceptor aircraft, which was not identified in local reports, dispatched a standard radio warning to its Chinese counterpart: "This is the Republic of China Air Force. The Chinese military aircraft currently flying at 6,000 meters in Taiwan's southwestern airspace, you have entered our airspace and are affecting aviation safety. Turn around and leave immediately."
The reply which came a few seconds later was brief, with the response in Chinese saying: "This is all ours."
I call that rude.
The head of the World Health Organization called for further investigation into whether the novel coronavirus first leaked from a laboratory, in remarks to the press on Tuesday.
WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “all hypotheses remain on the table” regarding the origin of the coronavirus. Dr. Tedros made his remarks during the unveiling of a WHO report on the origin of the pandemic, which concludes that a lab leak is “highly unlikely.”
“Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy,” Dr. Tedros said.
The director-general also indicated that the team contracted by the WHO to investigate the pandemic’s origin was not given full access to Chinese data.
What is going on here? WHO seems to have delinked from the CCP.
The federal government is once again urging states and citizens to stand firm and abide by COVID-19 restrictions, even as successful efforts to vaccinate the most at-risk members of the population make the worst case scenario—another wave of mass death—not particularly likely.
"This is not a time to lessen our efforts," said President Biden on Monday. "If we let our guard down now, we could see the virus getting worse, not better."
Of course, this is a familiar refrain by now: It has never been the time for the public to let its guard down. And according to federal health bureaucrats, it probably never will be.
Sounding a similarly apocalyptic note, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky warned of "impending doom" if states reopen too quickly. "Right now, I'm scared," said a "visibly shaken" Walensky, according to POLITICO.
The CDC continues to recommend that people avoid unnecessary travel, and is urging states to pause their reopening efforts.
Writer Thomas Frank published a piece in The Guardian last week called, “Liberals want to blame rightwing 'misinformation' for our problems. Get real.” Its basic argument was that rather than look inward for reasons the Democratic Party message isn’t succeeding, and why political extremism is on the rise, Democrats have instead opted for a strategy of “shushing the world.”
Frank addressed the “clampdown mania” of the Internet era, expressing puzzlement over a change in how Democrats look at the speech issue now, versus how traditional liberals almost unanimously viewed the issue in the not-so-distant-past.
“Criticism, analysis, mockery, and protest: these were our weapons,” he wrote. “Censorship and blacklisting were, with important exceptions, the weapons of the puritanical right.”
To say the piece didn’t go over as he expected is an understatement. Although some liked it, he was stunned by the reaction from people he once considered political allies. “People were like, ‘Fuck you, Frank!’” he says, half-laughing.
Not a good sign.
Major Liability? Biden’s Dog Bites Another Employee After Returning From Delaware Seclusion – JONATHAN TURLEY
I previously wrote about the historical and legal perspectives of a biting incident involving one of the presidential pets, Major. Both Biden German Shepherds (Major and Champ) were previously whisked out of town. They were then quietly brought back. Now Major has bitten another person who reportedly required medical attention. In the prior column, I noted that under tort law a dog is afforded (at most) “one free bite” before strict liability applies. Major could now be treated as a known vicious animal for liability purposes.
Major was adopted in November 2018 from an animal shelter.
The latest incident involved a National Park Service employee who was bitten while on the White House South Lawn on Monday afternoon.
First lady Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael LaRosa told CNN: “Yes, Major nipped someone on a walk. Out of an abundance of caution, the individual was seen by WHMU and then returned to work.”
“Nipped” is not how bites are addressed under the common law.
I think its time for Major to get representation.
The World Health Organization released its long-awaited report on the origins of COVID-19 on Tuesday — but even the head of the agency cast doubt on its finding that the virus didn’t come from a leak at a lab in Wuhan, China.
Despite the report’s findings of likely animal-to-human transmission, WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the team didn’t investigate the labs extensively enough and vowed to probe the possibility further.
“As far as WHO is concerned, all hypotheses remain on the table,” Tedros said in an extraordinary statement posted on the organization’s website Tuesday.
“We have not yet found the source of the virus,’’ he said.
“The team … visited several laboratories in Wuhan and considered the possibility that the virus entered the human population as a result of a laboratory incident.
Hmmm. Well this is surprising and welcome news, if true.