Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Masks, and the Deadly Falsehoods Surrounding Them

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

In a terse essay titled “Science and Dictatorship,” Albert Einstein warned that “Science can flourish only in an atmosphere of free speech.” And on his deathbed, Einstein cautioned, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.”

With reckless disregard for both of those principles, powerful government officials and big tech executives have corrupted or suppressed the central scientific facts about face masks. The impacts of this extend far beyond the issue of masks and have caused widespread harm and countless deaths.

Despite the fog of contradictory claims and changing government guidelines, dozens of scientific journals have published consistent data that establish these facts:

  • Covid-19 is mainly spread by microscopic aerosols generated by breathing, talking, sneezing, and coughing. The vast bulk of these infectious aerosols easily penetrate common masks because 90% of the aerosols are less than 1/17th the size of pores in the finest surgical masks, and less than 1/80th the size of pores in the finest cloth masks.
  • Aerosols are light enough to stay airborne for minutes or hours, and hence, they also travel freely through gaps around the edges of cloth and surgical masks.
  • Governments enacted mask mandates based on the false assumption that C-19 is mainly transmitted by large droplets generated by coughing, sneezing, and spittle. These droplets are bigger than the pore sizes of most masks and only remain airborne for a few seconds after they are emitted.
  • For more than a year, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention denied and downplayed the threat of aerosol transmission while issuing guidelines that don’t amply prevent it. This enabled C-19 to decimate the most vulnerable members of society, like those in hospitals and nursing homes.
  • The CDC and WHO quietly admitted in the spring of 2021 that aerosols pose a major threat of transmission but have still not adequately updated their guidelines to reflect this reality. This has allowed countless preventable deaths to continue.
  • The risk of aerosol transmission can be greatly reduced by disinfecting air with ultraviolent (UV) light, which is part of the energy spectrum emitted by the sun. This simple and safe technology neutralizes airborne microbes and has been successfully used to control the spread of contagious respiratory diseases for more than 80 years.
  • Randomized controlled trials—which are the “gold standard” for clinical research—have repeatedly measured the effects of masks on preventing the spread of contagious respiratory diseases. These trials have found inconsistent benefits from N95 masks in healthcare settings and no statistically significant benefits from any type of mask in community settings.
  • The only randomized controlled trial that evaluated cloth masks found that mandating them causes significant disease transmission in high-risk healthcare settings.
  • Observational studies—which are a weaker form of evidence than randomized controlled trials—find that masking schoolchildren provides negligible or no benefits.
  • Lab studies—which are the weakest form of clinical evidence—don’t support the notion that surgical or cloth masks reduce the transmission of Covid-19.
  • Masks of all types have negative impacts on some people, including headaches, difficulty breathing, increased cardio-pulmonary stress during exercise, marked discomfort, and weakened social bonds.
  • Because humans create carbon dioxide as they breathe, the CO2 concentration of the air they exhale is about 100 times higher than in fresh air. Masks restrict airflow and thus cause the wearers to rebreathe some of the air they exhale.
  • The average CO2 concentrations inhaled by people wearing N95 masks range from 2.6 to 7.0 times OSHA’s work shift limit for CO2. These levels cause headaches and chest pains in some people.
  • The average CO2 concentrations inhaled by people wearing cloth and surgical masks range from 2 to 3 times the government CO2 limits for classrooms in many countries. These levels may impair certain high-level brain functions like initiative, strategic thinking, and complex decision-making.

The leaders of big tech corporations like Facebook, Twitter, and Google/YouTube have empowered government officials who misled the public about every matter above and others. Together, they continue to do so by engaging in actions that resemble common disinformation tactics. These include but are not limited to cherry-picking, censorship, muddying the waterscitation bluffsnon-sequiturs, half-truths, and outright falsehoods.

Summary

With remarkable consistency, the comprehensive facts detailed above prove that:

  • governments enacted mask mandates based on the false assumption that Covid-19 is mainly transmitted by large droplets that are bigger than the pore sizes of most masks and only remain airborne for a few seconds.
  • Covid-19 is mainly spread by microscopic aerosols that remain airborne for minutes or hours, easily penetrate common masks, and travel freely through gaps around their edges.
  • the CDC and WHO minimized the threat of aerosol transmission for more than a year while issuing guidelines that left people vulnerable to this mortal danger.
  • the CDC and WHO finally admitted that aerosols pose a major threat of transmission but tried to cover their tracks and failed to adequately update their guidelines—thus allowing countless preventable deaths to continue to this day.
  • UV disinfection systems are highly effective at killing airborne viruses and have been successfully used to control the spread of contagious respiratory diseases for more than 80 years.
  • the strongest and most relevant studies have found inconsistent benefits from N95 masks in healthcare settings and no statistically significant benefits from any type of mask in community settings.
  • the CDC is scraping the bottom of the scientific barrel by cherry picking and distorting low-quality and unrealistic studies to support the claim that masks control the spread of C-19.
  • masks of all types, and especially N95s, cause headaches, difficulty breathing, increased cardio-pulmonary stress during exercise, marked discomfort, and weakened social bonds.
  • the average CO2 concentrations inhaled by people wearing masks are far above what many governments permit for indoor settings, and this may impair certain high-level brain functions like initiative, strategic thinking, and complex decision-making.
  • Google/YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are acting as a megaphone of the deadly falsehoods propagated by the CDC and WHO while silencing their critics.

*****

Read the entire article published September 13, 2021 at Just Facts. Seize The Data.

Bank of Japan Ends its Massive QE that Started When Abenomics Became Economic Religion of Japan

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

One of the largest central banks ends QE. End of an era for Japan: Large-scale money printing was one of the three official legs of Abenomics.

In terms of the absolute mountain of assets the Bank of Japan purchased over the years, it is one of the top three QE monsters, along with the Fed and the ECB. In relationship to GDP, the BoJ’s total assets are #2, behind the tiny Swiss National Bank, which runs the unique racket of using the overhyped strength of the Swiss franc to print large amounts of it and buy securities denominated in foreign currencies, including large amounts of US stocks; but it’s not buying securities denominated in Swiss francs.

Total assets on the BoJ’s balance sheet generally decline every third month as large amounts of long-term bonds mature and are redeemed, which is when the BoJ gets its money back, and the bonds come off the balance sheet. For this reason, we look at the three-month moving average of the increases in total assets.

As of its balance sheet through August 31, the three-month moving average of total assets increased by an average of only ¥690 billion ($6.3 billion) per month, the smallest increase since 2012, before Abenomics became the economic religion of the land. This marks the end of Abenomics QE:

The BoJ’s blistering QE binge started with “Abenomics,” the economic religion imposed on the land in 2013 under Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister from September 2012 to September 2020. One of the three official legs of Abenomics was massive amounts of money printing. It culminated with the huge burst in the spring of 2020. But all that is now history.

While the Fed has set the stage to begin tapering its asset purchases later this year, and while the ECB is ogling the Fed for inspiration, the Bank of Japan, without making a lot of hoopla, has already cut its asset purchases to the bone.

*****

Continue reading this article, published September 7, 2021 at Wolf Street.

Sweden Has Disappeared

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The entire nation of Sweden seems to have disappeared.

So far as we can tell, no scientific investigation into the disappearance of Sweden has been conducted. In fact, it is among scientists that Sweden seems to have pulled off an amazing vanishing act. Politicians around the world also have lost complete contact with the country. The media is not even aware of the countries existence. However, tourists and geographers have confirmed to us that the country still exists.

Frankly, we don’t know what to believe.

To our best knowledge, Sweden is still in the United Nations and we still have diplomatic relations with them. But being an ambassador to a country that has simply vanished, must be quite an unusual posting. Embassy parties must be quite subdued.

It is not certain how this disappearance act is performed, as Sweden is a rather large country that makes quite good automobiles, trucks, heavy earth moving equipment, arms, and jet airplanes. They produce a substantial amount of pop music ranging from vintage ABBA to First Aid Kit.

Quite a number of Swedes came to the US in the late 19th century and we are told they can be found in the Dakotas. We have met them, and they are nice people. But this only confirms that Sweden did exist at one time and is not proof it exists today.

Now personally, we have been able to completely disappear in front of clerks, bureaucrats, and people at airline ticket counters, but we don’t understand how an entire country can pull this off.

It really is one of the wonders of the world.

The reason we mention this is the chart shown above. The chart shows new cases of Covid in Sweden versus Israel.

Israel has is one of the most vaccinated and face-covered countries on earth while Sweden decided to deal with the Wuhan virus by doing very little if anything.

You would think this chart would be of interest to public officials in the US who are busily re-masking school children and requiring vaccination and revaccination through coercive mandates. But it would seem that evidence is not really required in their decision-making process.

While we make no pretense of being a medical doctor, we can read a chart, and likely so can you. It would seem to us that vaccination and mask-wearing have very little to do with the number of virus cases.  If so, destroying our economy, dividing our people into bitter camps, destroying personal liberty does not seem like a fair trade-off.

Strangely, it appears there may be an inverse relationship. That is to say, the more you do the worse the medical results, and the less you do, the better the results.

It really is a shame that Sweden has disappeared. We read the other day that ABBA was coming out of retirement and was going to cut a new album. We were looking forward to that.

Arizona Elementary School District Hit by Same Covid Vaccine Madness Afflicting the NFL

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Keeping kids safe is the number-one priority for any elementary school in America, right? But then there is the Cartwright School District in Phoenix, where selectively enforcing a Covid vaccination policy tops taking care of the kids.

How do we know this? Consider the case of one William Bishop, the now-former director for buildings and operations, who was recently demoted to substitute teacher by Cartwright Superintendent Dr. Lee-Ann Aguilar-Lawlor.

Why was Bishop demoted? Because his faith precludes his submitting to the Covid vaccination shot. The demotion came after he requested a religious accommodation, a request to which school officials never responded, except to bust him way down the pay chart.

Bishop is represented by the First Liberty Institute, the Plano, Texas-based public interest law firm that specializes in First Amendment litigation, especially when issues of religious freedom are involved.

Cartwright’s conduct is shot through with disrespect for constitutional liberties, to say nothing of common sense. Consider the description cited by First Liberty Counsel Rebecca Dummermuth in a September 9 letter to Aguilar-Lawlor:

“Cartwright’s actions are particularly indefensible because: (1) it already granted at least one nonreligious exemption from the mandate; (2) its demotion of Mr. Bishop will bring him into far more contact with students and other staff, thus contradicting the district’s presumed rationale for refusing to grant his accommodation request; (3) it chose not to impose its mandate on teachers, those most in contact with students and staff; (4) 21 percent of district employees remain unvaccinated; and (5) Mr. Bishop has natural immunity and his doctor advises against receiving the vaccine.

“These circumstances leave Cartwright with no tenable argument that a religious accommodation would impose undue hardship on it or that it has a compelling interest in imposing its mandate on Mr. Bishop but not many other employees (including those whose duties involve far more contact with students and staff).

“Therefore, the district is plainly in violation of the laws set forth above. To be clear, Mr. Bishop has no objection to a reasonable accommodation that could serve the District’s presumed health concerns. But he cannot accept the unlawful, second-class treatment to which the district has subjected him.”

Bishop’s objections are deeply rooted in his Christian faith, according to Dummermuth, who told Aquilar-Lawlor in the letter that:

“Mr. Bishop’s sincerely held religious beliefs prevent him from complying with the mandate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As a Christian, he believes that his body is a temple of God (I Corinthians. 3:16-17, 6:19), and therefore he has a God-given responsibility to protect the physical integrity of his body and not to defile it (I Corinthians. 8:7; II Corinthians. 7:1).

“Additionally, he believes that human life begins at conception, and he staunchly opposes abortion. Therefore, receiving a vaccine that has been developed using aborted fetal cell lines would violate his conscience.”

The district continues to pay Bishop his old salary, but the contract that specified the amount expires in the near future. Replacing it with a new contract based on a substitute teacher’s compensation will represent a 50 percent pay cut for Bishop.

*****

Continue reading this article, published September 10, 2021 at  PJ Media.

 

Marxist Nature of Black Lives Matter Exposed in New Book

Estimated Reading Time: 11 minutes

America has spent years fighting communism outside its borders, but now a Marxist threat is growing from within the country, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez says.

Gonzalez, author of “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution,” says the Black Lives Matter organization has encouraged Americans, especially young people, to embrace communist ideology.

In 2020, there “were 633 riots … according to the U.S. Crisis Monitor run out of Princeton [University], and 95% of those riots in which we know the identity of the perpetrator … Black Lives Matter members were included,” Gonzalez says.

Virginia Allen: I am so pleased to be joined by Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez. Mike is the author of the brand new book “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution.” Mike, the book is out today, congratulations.

Mike Gonzalez: Thank you, Virginia. Yes, I’m very happy.

Allen: You really didn’t mince words with the title of this book: “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution.” That’s pretty straightforward. But I do want to begin with defining some terms. What exactly do you mean by “new Marxist revolution”?

Gonzalez: When we talk about Marxists, we’re talking about communists. They have tried to take over America for many decades, for many centuries, really. They have always seen America as a rich country, the world leader, at least since World War I. They want to see us as a top target, but they failed miserably.

In all the years as a Soviet Union, they tried to infiltrate us or tried to influence Americans and they failed. This time through Black Lives Matter—and I can get into why—Marxism and Marxist communists have come very close, the closest they’ve ever come, to changing our way of life and that is what is happening right now.

Allen: I found it really fascinating that as you’re going through the book, you’re explaining that very thing, this changing culture and how the Black Lives Matter organization has an agenda. You actually started the book by talking about Frederick Douglass. That fascinated me. Why did you feel the need to give that historical perspective and talk about a figure like Frederick Douglass before diving into this larger conversation about Black Lives Matter?

Gonzalez: Yeah, Chapter 1 starts with Frederick Douglass, the introduction obviously starts with Jan. 6. I explain my understanding of Jan. 6, but I start the book proper on Frederick Douglass because Frederick Douglass really is the best known abolitionist in U.S. history. He was a man of noble character. He was a man of courage. I started with his fight with a sadistic master to whom he had been loaned and how he said he became a man by beating this man who owned them on loan.

I started with him because throughout his life, he was anti-socialist. I describe in the book a meeting in which he spoke and there was a socialist. One of the quirky, weird, odd things about communists and socialists, by the way, [Karl] Marx and [Friedrich] Engels never established a difference between socialism and communism, but they used the terms interchangeably. The socialist speaking with Frederick Douglass really was not putting an emphasis on the abolition of slavery. He was putting an emphasis on the abolition of wage labor.

Communists believed that wage labor—in other words, what we all do—is a continuation of slavery, which is crazy, just as communism is crazy. Frederick Douglass could not stand that this man was saying these things.

To Frederick Douglass, abolition was about one thing: It was about ending slavery, ending this blight upon our country. To communists, abolition is a completely separate thing. They want to abolish the family, the state, and all the institutions. In 1848, when this meeting takes place, Frederick Douglass understood that what we needed to abolish was slavery.

Allen: Yeah. That historical context is so critical for this broader conversation. I loved in the introduction, you really clearly lay out the mission for the book. You say, “This book exists to fill the void in public awareness.” You go on to say, “If journalists will not report on the real nature of the Black Lives Matter organizations and their leaders and if the federal government cannot gather information on First Amendment-protected activities, this book will attempt to correct the record and analyze all the aspects of what transpired in 2020, as well as the historical forces that led up to those events.”

So what then is that real nature of the Black Lives Matter organization and their leaders?

Gonzalez: First of all, I want to make it very clear that I agree with demand on the federal government not being able to collect information on First Amendment-protected activities. I’m saddened by the fact that journalists did not vet, in fact, refuse to vet and did not cover the Black Lives Matter movement.

They covered for them. They de-emphasize or deny the Marxism of their founders—Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and also Melina Abdullah—even though they themselves are quite open about it and make videos saying, “Yeah, I’m a Marxist and I’ve being trained as a Marxist.”

They say this all the time and journalists, when they report on it—which is very, very seldom—they say, I think I quote a PolitiFact fact check, in which he said, “Well, Marxism these days, it’s really considering life through an economic lens.”

No, it isn’t. Marxism is what it is, what it says it is. It’s communism. It is getting rid of the market economy, getting rid of capitalism, which Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors say they want to do. They want to get rid of free markets. They want to get rid of our ability to own property and sell that property or sell our labor for a wage. They don’t even like our system of representative democracy.

Opal Tometi has been very praiseful of the Chavismo in Venezuela. She was photographed with Nicolas Maduro. She believes in this type of direct democracy, which is not a democracy at all. It’s just a dictatorship of one party.

So this is what they want to do. They want to abolish the family. In fact, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation had it on their website that they wanted to really make deep changes to the family system.

I wrote about it with my colleague, Andrew Olivastro, in a piece that was read by over a million people. Within a month, they did what all Stalinists do: They airbrushed that out of their website. All of a sudden that was gone, except that it is in other parts of the literature. They cannot hide this. They want to abolish the American way of life. This is what they’re about.

They hide themselves behind a very good slogan: “Black lives matter.” Who could be against that? If you don’t think that black lives matter, I don’t even want to talk to you. They hide themselves. If they call themselves “Red Ideas Matter,” it would be much more representative of who they are, but of course, like all communists, they hide themselves behind these noble sentiments, like black lives matter.

Allen: That’s really helpful context, Mike. I know you talk about the fact that, for so long, and during the Cold War, America was fighting the Soviet Union and we were fighting communism from afar, but now what we see is that we’re fighting it within our own borders, we’re fighting it from within.

Talk a little bit about how the organization Black Lives Matter is responsible. Are they responsible? Should we blame them for what we see now in this new interest that we see young people having in socialism and in new fascination with communism? Is Black Lives Matter really to blame for that?

Gonzalez: Yeah, let me put it together. First of all, it’s a really sad irony that as we celebrate this year, the 30th anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, that we’re seeing communist ideas gain such currency in our system.

We spent all these resources, all this time and energy and lives fighting socialism, fighting communism, fighting what [former President Ronald] Reagan called the “evil empire,” the Soviet Union, which was finally dissolved on Christmas Day 1991. The significance of the day is underlining the noble and moral character of our crusade against communism.

It is because of what happened in 2020, the year of turmoil and the riots. There were 633 riots, by the way, at least according to the U.S. Crisis Monitor run out of Princeton. And 95% of those riots in which we know the identity of the perpetrator, Black Lives Matter members were included.

It is because of this that critical race theory all of a sudden jumps the university walls and enters K-12 in full force. We’re seeing as a result of last year, our classrooms completely change and teachers. It was happening before, but it really enters into full force.

We see also critical race theory entering the military, the houses of worship. And corporate America has completely surrendered to this ideology. Sports and every aspect of our lives is because of this. It is because of what happened last year.

The manipulation of the tragedy of George Floyd’s death, which is a tragedy, the manipulation of this into making people believe the leaders of all our key institutions that we are systemically racist and that our criminal justice system is systemically racist—they threw in the towel and accepted all of this.

And we’re telling our soldiers to read critical race theory texts, which say that the Constitution is illegitimate. These are people who volunteered to defend the Constitution from enemies, foreign and domestic, and yet, we’re telling them to read Kendi and all these other writers, Ibram X. Kendi, who say the Constitution is an illegitimate document.

This is happening because of the year of unrest that we had the riots and demonstrations, the upheaval, that people want to forget. Nobody wants to talk about it, but we cannot forget what we had after May 2020 for many, many, many months. I’ve written the book just to shine a light on this and say, “We cannot give in.”

In fact, you’ve seen resistance from the American people. I’ve crossed the country and speak to groups from coast to coast and I get hundreds of people, I’m not that electrifying a speaker, and people turn out because they demand information about critical race theory. They want to know what’s going on. They want to have it explained to them.

The resistance is now coming from the grassroots. The American people are standing up and saying, “No, I don’t want these things taught to my children. I don’t want to be trained and go through these reeducation camps at my place of work.” This is a form of workplace harassment, so they’re fighting against what Verizon is trying to do, what American Express is trying to do, and even The Salvation Army has these training programs.

Allen: Well, Mike, I really appreciate the research that you have done on critical race theory. You really are the expert at Heritage on that subject. I encourage all of our listeners, if you want to read Mike’s pieces on this, you can check him out on The Heritage Foundation website.

Mike, you mentioned the riots last year that obviously took the nation by storm and really changed so much in our country. I was fascinated that in the book, you mentioned how Antifa in some ways became a distraction from Black Lives Matter. I was really, really interested in that point. Talk a little bit about that.

Gonzalez: I say that in a way to castigate politicians. Politicians from both parties are not courageous or as courageous as they should be. They don’t want to talk about Black Lives Matter because black lives matter, because of the slogan. They are very shy to talk about these organizations, which are distinct from the concept.

Antifa, which is a much more white phenomenon, these are anarchists. They’re violent anarchists. As I see it, they don’t have a thought-out academic discipline, like Black Lives Matter has critical race theory behind it. They’re all practitioners of critical race theory. Antifa doesn’t have that. Antifa is anarchism and it’s just pure violence, almost for the sake of violence. I think they have goals like overthrowing the state, but they don’t have a well-thought-out program.

Black Lives Matter has bills in Congress. Black Lives Matter has a curriculum that is being taught in many of our children’s schools already. Black Lives Matter has a foreign policy. They came out and supported the communist government of Cuba. As the communist government was rounding up protesters, beating them up, and putting them into prison through kangaroo trials, BLM came out and supported them. BLM came out in support against Israel as Israel was fighting the terrorist group Hamas earlier this year.

So Black Lives Matter has a foreign policy and it has a gazillion dollars. They raised $10 million—well, no, sorry, they raised $100 million last year. It has all these assets that Antifa does not have.

Allen: You mentioned the money and you have a whole chapter in the book specifically titled “Following the Money,” what did you discover as you looked at the money coming into and out of the Black Lives Matter organization?

Gonzalez: There are all these corporations that have gone woke. There are many reasons being given why.

Vivek Ramaswamy, a colleague, he does a lot of [anti-critical race theory] work, has another book out in which he talks about how this is really easy for the CEOs to go woke. This is costless to them, but we’re seeing all these foundations raising money.

A lot of times, as I point out in the chapter devoted to this, these foundations have links, longstanding links, to Marxist groups, such as the Sandinistas. One of these groups is a [pro-People’s Republic of China], pro-Maoism group in San Francisco, the Chinese Progressive Association, which is the financial sponsor of two of the Black Lives Matter affiliates.

The Chinese Progressive Association in San Francisco was founded to support the People’s Republic of China against mainland China, against Taiwan. It was founded in the ’70s for that reason.

Allen: In your writing of this book, in the research that you’ve done on the Black Lives Matter organization and critical race theory, ultimately, in your assessment, what’s the end goal for Black Lives Matter? What are they aiming for? You say that they have public policy, they have bills in Congress. What’s their end-all, be-all?

Gonzalez: Their goal is what Alicia Garza said … in 2019, when she was visiting a group of Maine leftists. She said, “What we want to do is dismantle the organizing principle of society.” She said that, and that’s what they want. They want to dismantle the way we’re organized. They want to dismantle the American system.

They say that we’re systemically, structurally, institutionally racist, because they want to pull out all the institutions and want to change all the institutions, all the structures in the very system of America. That is their goal and they hide behind this good slogan that black lives do matter in order to pursue the complete overhaul of the United States.

Look, we have problems, problems that we need to solve, obviously, but we’re still the fairest, most prosperous country in the world where real human flourishing can take place. That’s the reason why people fall from airplanes out of the sky to come to this country, and there’s no line of people leaving to get out.

There’s a very, very long line of people coming to get in because they see, they understand that America is the land of hope for the working man and woman of the world, of any race. These are people coming of all races. If we were a racist country, systemically racist country, we wouldn’t have so many people of all races wanting to come in here and succeeding here and thank God for that.

Allen: This might be a naive question, but why? You’re saying that they want to fundamentally change America, they want to unravel the traditional structure of the family, of capitalism. Why?

Gonzalez: Well, on the family itself, it was Marx and Engels who put that in “The Communist Manifesto” of 1848 that they wanted to “abolish the family.”

I don’t think anyone embraces evil qua evil. I think that they do believe that this is an oppressive system. Critical race theorists, just like critical legal theorists, just like critical theorists in the 1930s and ’20s, believe that the West has a superstructure that is oppressive. They admit that capitalism produces the goods, but they say that’s what’s bad about capitalism, because it produces material well-being and that it perpetuates a very oppressive system.

They are crazy, and I’m not a psychologist, but you have to believe that Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Melina Abdullah believe that we live in an oppressive society. Obviously, they haven’t traveled, or they haven’t traveled extensively outside of the U.S.

I have lived in at least seven countries, at least a year, as a foreign correspondent. I lived in Kabul for a month. And I can tell you that compared to the rest of the world, not only are we not oppressive, but we’re pretty, pretty good.

Allen: Where do we go from here then and what is really your hope as readers read the book, what do you want them to take from it?

Gonzalez: I want to open people’s eyes. I want to convince people who are either ambivalent about Black Lives Matter or actually believe that this is a noble endeavor and noble organizations, as a concept, of course it’s noble, but as organizations, no they’re not. And I want to convince people of that.

I also want to stiffen up the resolve of the American people that, no, we shouldn’t allow this here. The American people are exceptionally attached to liberty. We have always been. This is something that has been remarked upon by social scientists and foreign visitors for centuries—G. K. Chesterton and before him, Alexis de Tocqueville and Herbert Marcuse, who hated it.

I want the people who already are suspicious of the BLM organizations to stiffen their spine against this and make sure that this does not take hold. I also want to reach out to people who do believe that these are good organizations, who have been misinformed, who have been manipulated into believing that we live in an oppressive system with systemic racism.

Allen: So critical. Well, the book is “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution.” You can get it on Amazon. Mike, final words, anything you’d like to add before I let you go?

Gonzalez: Yes. As I said, America, I don’t want to pretend that we do not have our faults. No system ever is going to be perfect on earth because it’s dealing with flawed individuals, right? Man is flawed, but this is a good country. I traveled the country, I go everywhere. Americans are good people. We have a good system. So before we think about completely overhauling and pulling out the foundations, we should really think hard: Is this really what we want to do?

Allen: Critical. “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution,” get it on Amazon. Mike, thank you so much for being here.

Gonzalez: Thank you, Virginia.

*****

This interview was published on September 7, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

Covid Deaths In The U.S. Are Higher Than Last Year At Same Time

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Editors’ Note:  There are likely multiple reasons why Trump lost the election (if indeed he actually did). Chief among them was the public concern about Covid and the pledge by Democrats that “they have a plan”, even though the plan is mostly mass vaccination, which began well before under Trump. But perception of the crisis is different, largely because of the press and how its slants things to the advantage of Democrats. However, as the following shows, reality is usually different than that painted by the media.

 

At this time last year, the Wuhan coronavirus was claiming around 1,000 American lives per day. It seemed to me that, absent a sudden and sharp decline in that number, Joe Biden would be our next president.

It must have seemed that way to Biden and his top advisers, as well. During presidential debates that occurred a little less than a year ago, Biden ripped Trump for his handling of the pandemic. The death count was the centerpiece of this attack.

So what’s the daily death count now, more than seven months into the Biden administration and with a majority of Americans vaccinated? It’s higher than a year ago at the same time.

In the past few days, between 1,300 and 1,700 American deaths have been attributed to the virus and its variants. A year ago, the number was between 1,000 and 1,100.

And, as noted, this is after the widespread vaccination of Americans. To be sure, it’s also with considerably more economic activity than was taking place a year ago at this time. Thus, the vaccines, developed during the Trump presidency, with a big assist from his administration, have improved our overall situation, but not the bottom line in terms of covid deaths.

*****

Continue reading this article, published September 4, 2021 at POWERLINE.

Key FBI Agent in Whitmer Kidnapping Plot Posted Anti-Trump Rants Online During investigation

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Editors’ Note: What has happened to the FBI in the past 10 years? It appears totally corrupted not only in issues of domestic crime but also in catching spies. To fulfill the mission expected of the FBI, the agency must operate with integrity and efficiency. It needs a complete overhaul.

 

Federal prosecutors dropped the testimony of an FBI special agent involved in the investigation of an alleged plot to kidnap Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer after findings he called former President Donald Trump a “piece of s***” on social media during the investigation’s course, according to a defense attorney.

Michael Hills — who represents defendant Brandon Caserta, who is among the six people charged in the case — said during a court hearing Thursday that prosecutors decided not to use Agent Richard Trask’s testimony during a pending October trial. Prosecutors gave defense teams access to Trask’s social media posts this week, with at least one taking aim at Trump and his supporters, Hills said , according to the Detroit News.

“If you still support our piece of s*** president you can f*** off,” read the March 28, 2020, post. “As someone whose wife works in the hospital I hope you burn in hell along with your douchebag f****** reality tv star. His ego is going to kill a lot of people and anyone who supports that is a dumbass. This is what you get when you elect an egotistica/narcissistic (sic) maniac to the top office. He needs people to be nice to him or he won’t help. F*** you douche.”

FBI AGENT TOLD INFORMANT AMONG ALLEGED WHITMER KIDNAPPING PLOTTERS TO LIE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY SAYS

It was not immediately clear why prosecutors dropped Trask’s comments. However, the defendants’ “Wolverine Watchmen” militia group had connections to another group, the Three Percenters, whose members were among the group of Trump supporters charged in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The Washington Examiner contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan for comment.

Trask’s involvement in the case had already been complicated after he was arrested in July for allegedly beating his wife during a dispute over a swingers’ party.

Before his arrest, he gave testimony in court about his findings during the conspiracy investigation, and in an Oct. 6 affidavit, Trask swore to an account detailing what agents discovered.

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Continue reading this story, published September 2, 2021 at Washington Examiner.

Judicial Watch: New Fauci Agency COVID Emails Detail Discussions about Wuhan Institute; Describe Gates Foundation Placement of Chinese Representatives on ‘Important International Counsels’

Estimated Reading Time: 12 minutes

Judicial Watch announced today that it received 129 pages of records from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which include “urgent for Dr. Fauci ” email chain which cites ties between the Wuhan lab and the taxpayer-funded EcoHealth Alliance. The government emails also report that the foundation of U.S. billionaire Bill Gates worked closely with the Chinese government to pave the way for Chinese-produced medications to be sold outside China and help “raise China’s voice of governance by placing representatives from China on important international counsels as high level commitment from China.”

The new production of records also includes a January 6, 2020, “Wuhan Pneumonia Update” report which details how Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, was tied to the Wuhan lab and was “funded for work to understand how coronaviruses evolve and jump to human populations.”

The documents were obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for records of communications, contracts and agreements with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-00696)). The lawsuit specifically seeks records about NIH grants that benefitted the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The agency is only processing 300 pages of records per month, which means it will take until the end of November for the records to be fully reviewed and released under FOIA.

The new emails include a report from Dr. Ping Chen, who had been the top Fauci agency official working in China:

You can ask [NIAID Human Coronavirus, Rhinovirus Research Program Officer] Erik Stemmy for the grant awarded to the Ecohealth in NYC who collaborates with Dr. Shi, Zhengli in Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), who has been doing coronavirus research in cave bats in China. Erik would know what exactly NIH funding supports.

I visited her and others at the Wuhan Ins Viro in 2018 and visited its BSL4 1ab. [Redacted]

Also in 1983 NIH and CAS [Chinese Academy of Sciences] (WIV is one of the research institutes under CAS) signed a MOU and it included sharing research materials. I know [sic] this a long time ago.

This email chain is part of a previously released January 23, 2020, exchange with the subject line “Urgent for Dr. Fauci: China’s lab for studying SARS and Ebola is in Wuhan.” It begins with Melinda Haskins, chief of legislative affairs for NIAID, writing to senior NIAID officials, and includes a link to a Daily Mail article, titled “China built a lab to study SARS and Ebola in Wuhan – and US biosafety experts warned in 2017 that a virus could ‘escape’ the facility that’s become key in fighting the outbreak.” She writes: “Dr. Fauci will be brief [sic] multiple Senators tomorrow on our novel coronavirus response … Would you please confirm the exact nature of our support to the Wuhan Institute of Virology/Biosafety Lab. You’ll want to read the Daily Mail article above.”

A January 6, 2020, email exchange on “coronavirus countermeasures,” initiated by NIAID Chief Medical Officer Hilary Marston, includes a “Wuhan Pneumonia Update” report prepared by NIH/DMID.

The report was updated on January 8, 2020, and lists in its background information on “Wuhan Pneumonia:”

  • In December 2019 the Wuhan Municipal Health Committee identified an outbreak of viral pneumonia cases of unknown cause.
  • On December 31st the WHO China Country Office was notified of 44 patients with pneumonia of unknown etiology, 11 of which were severely ill.
  • As of January 5th, 2020 there are 59 patients with a diagnosis of unknown viral pneumonia is Wuhan, 7 of which are severely ill. At least one patient is on ECMO … The earliest case was reported December 12th, and the latest onset was December 29th. All patients are isolated and receiving treatment in Wuhan medical institutions. 163 close contacts have been identified for ongoing medical observation.
  • Case-patients in the outbreak are reported to have fever, difficulty breathing, and bilateral lung infiltrates on chest radiography (CDC, http://bit.ly/36GxY3y).
  • Hong Kong has added Wuhan Pneumonia to the list of notifiable diseases. As of January 7th, 2020 the Hong Kong Center for Health Protection has reports of 30 cases under enhanced surveillance with recent travel history to Wuhan….
  • Epidemiological investigation showed that some patients operated businesses in the Wuhan South China Seafood City. As of January 1st, 2020 the market has been closed for environmental sanitation and disinfection.
  • There is currently no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission, however one family cluster has been identified. No nosocomial transmission has been seen …
  • Fragments of coronavirus RNA with an 86% homology to SARS has been found in one patient…
  • News reports on 1/8/2020 the virus is a novel coronavirus, sequenced in one patient and identified in others.

The report also details a NIH coronavirus grant “portfolio” that funded 13 basic science research grants, two treatment research grants and five vaccination research grants related to coronavirus:

Peter Daszak (R01A|110964-06) is funded for work to understand how coronaviruses evolve and jump to human populations, with an emphasis on bat CoVs and high-risk populations at the human-animal interface. Main foreign sites are in China (including co-investigators at the Wuhan Institute of Virology).

The report notes that one of the grants, made to Fang Li, “is funded to investigate the receptor recognition and cell entry in coronaviruses using structural approaches using spike proteins in complex with receptors. This award found the first evidence of a MERS-related CoV that uses the human receptor and provides evidence of a natural recombination event between bat CoVs.” Another grant involves “a team of investigators using mouse models of SARS and MERS to investigate CoV pathogenesis and develop vaccines and therapeutics.”

A section of the report on “Vaccines” details:

“The VRC [Vaccine Research Center] and collaborators have stabilized the MERS-CoV spike protein in its prefusion conformation. The stabilized spike protein is potently immunogenic and elicits protective antibodies to the receptor binding domain, n-terminal domain and other surfaces of the spike protein. The stabilized coronavirus spike protein, and mRNA expressing the spike protein through collaboration with Moderna Therapeutics, is currently being evaluated in the humanized DPP4 mouse model at UNC.

Another grant description indicates that NIH was funding research at Jefferson University using the rabies virus as a vector to deliver a potential vaccine. In an accompanying spreadsheet detailing the grants, one grant is listed as having gone to Dr. Ralph Baric of UNC-Chapel Hill to study “Mechanisms of MERV-CoV Entry, Cross Species Transmission and Pathogenesis.” That grant had been funded from 2015-2020.

In a January 7, 2020, email exchange with the subject line “Wuhan Pneumonia” Stemmy asks Chen if she has any information about the “viral pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan.” Chen replies: “Yes, I have been following the news. Here is what I know so far [redacted]. Chen also revealed that her tour in Beijing had ended three weeks earlier.

Stemmy asks, “Do you know if there is a replacement for you in embassy in Beijing? If so I’d love to connect with them.” Chen replies, “No replacement for now <smiley face emoji>.”

In a January 22, 2020, email exchange titled “Collecting info on N CoV [novel coronavirus]”, NIAID “Senior Volunteer”, Dr. Karl Western, informs Chen and other NIAID officials:

Two recent examples involving CAS Institute of Virology and BSL-4 facility include:

  • University of Minnesota and CAS Institute of Virology review of the origin and evolution of pathogenic coronaviruses in Nature Reviews: Microbiology. Minnesota had a CEIRS award for one funding cycle.
  • Columbia University School of Public Health, Eco-Health Alliance and CAS Institute of Virology published a few days ago on the results of surveillance of human animal interactions and bat coronavirus spillover potential in rural southern China. Columbia is a current CETR holder.

In a heavily redacted response email, Chen writes: “Thanks Dr. Western. Eco-health has NIAID grant which has collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS, studying the coronaviruses in wild animals, focusing on bats, in China. One of the key Chinese collaborators is Dr. Zhengli Shi, who works on coronaviruses.”

On February 6, 2020, Han Koo, an executive assistant to the Director of NIH who works in the Office of Grants Administration (OGA), emails Chen and Matthew Brown, then-Director of the NIH China Office: “We need POCs [points of contact] of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and The Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) ASAP.”

Later in the chain Chen writes: “In 2018, NSF [the U.S. National Science Foundation] and NSFC [the National Science Foundation of China] had a joint initiative on Ecology and Evolution of infectious diseases. A workshop was held prior to the initiative (NIH is one of the participants to this initiative. Many participants of the workshop are from CAS institute including WIV [Wuhan Institute of Virology] scientists. NIAID grant to EcoHealth is studying coronaviruses in animals including bats. The grant has different countries as collaborators in addition to China.” A colleague then responds: “Thanks! Do you recall who the US and Chinese PIs [principal investigators] are on that coronavirus vector/reservoir grant are?” Chen replies: “See the attachment I prepared previously. This grant is on bat [redacted].”

In an October 20, 2017, email exchange following Chen’s submission of a situation report, NIAID official James Meegan tells Chen: “Jim LeDuc at U Texas Medical Branch, Director of the Galveston BSL4, works closely with them [Wuhan Institute of Virology]. In 1986 Jim and I spent the year on and off in Wuhan setting up a virology lab and studying Hantavirus infections and treating patients with ribavirin. We trained many, and some later came to the States. I think that helped it on its way to becoming a center for virology.”

Further in the exchange, Chen writes, “The [Wuhan] lab will be operational soon. The visit has been arranged through one of our grantees. I know Jim LeDuc has been worked with WIV and had done some training. [Redacted.] Also, I was told only certain viruses can be worked in this lab. [Redacted]” Handley then tells Chen: “Please make a very careful and full report on what you learn during this visit. It will be a very important interaction and one that many are interested in. Please share your report with us before it goes into any other reporting. We will be glad to engage directly or via grantees in whatever will help ensure safe operations.”

On March 4, 2020, Greg Folkers, Fauci’s chief of staff, emails an academic paper titled “On the origin and continuing evolution of SARS-COV-2”, published in National Science Review on March 3, 2020, to David Morens and other unidentified officials within NIAID, and asks in his cover note: “David, this may come up in ASF’s [Anthony S. Fauci’s] 10:00 hearing [likely referring to House Appropriations Committee hearings held on March 4, 2020, on NIH budget requests.] What do you make of this paper and the attendant press coverage?” Folkers highlights within the report two passages. One reads: “Our results suggest that the development of the new variations in functional sites in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike seen in SARS-COV-2 and viruses from pangolin SARS-CoVs are likely caused by mutations and natural selection besides recombination.” The second highlighted passage reads: “Although the L type (~70%) is more prevalent than the S type (~30%), the S type was found to be the ancestral version. Whereas the L type was more prevalent in the early stages of the outbreak in Wuhan, the frequency of the L type decreased after early January 2020.” Morens replied, but his response is entirely redacted.

Five years prior to the outbreak, in an October 30, 2014, report titled “Wuhan,” Chen informs Ken Earhart that she had met with a Chinese official from Wuhan. Chen reports that his office “is similar to what I am doing here seeking, facilitating, and promoting international scientific collaborations for scientists in Wuhan.” She continues that this official was asked by an organization put together in part by the Wuhan Institute of Virology “to help the members in the organization increase scientific exchanges between the members and international ID [infectious disease] experts.”

In a September 5, 2017, situation report, Chen informs her colleagues that she had “attended a ‘Belt and Road’ High Level Meeting for Health Cooperation: towards a Health Silk Road.” She also reported:

Last week USAID, CDC, ESTH [Environment, Science, Technology, and Health] and I met with Gates Foundation, initially planned to talk about global Malaria eradication efforts to see if there is any area we can work together. But we ended talking in general Chinese policies and the foundation’s current strategies in China — capacity building to help China raise its national standards and leverage China’s resource to help others. One of the examples for raising the national standards is to help China FDA for its reform. Gates foundation has managed to work out a mechanism with China FDA to provide fund[ing] to China FDA for placing experienced Chinese-Americans who had worked at US FDA for many years to work in China FDA as senior consultants….

On the approach for leveraging China’s resource to help others, Gates Foundation is working with Chinese government on donations to its neighboring countries and African countries such as anti-malaria medicines, bed nest, diagnostics etc. More specifically, it helps Chinese companies to gain pre-qualification on medications so that Chinese company manufactured drugs can be sold outside China, helps the Chinese to establish bilateral collaboration with specific countries in Africa, teaches the Chinese how to do resource mobilization, and helps raise China’s voice of governance by placing representatives from China on important international counsels as high level commitment from China.

Chen goes on to describe numerous other ways the Gates Foundation was helping the Chinese government by, for example, helping “Chinese companies gain pre-qualification on medications so that Chinese company manufactured drugs can be sold outside China.” Chen continues: “Just met with a group from the Global Virome Project (GVP) which is funded partially by USAID. The head of the project, Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance, is an NIAID funded PI. His collaborator at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China has done excellent work on corona viruses in Chinese bat populations.”

A heavily redacted October 26, 2017, email released to Judicial Watch in a previous production includes a newly released response from Handley. The email chain begins with Chen sending a trip report to her colleagues regarding her visit to the BSL4 Lab in Wuhan. She notes: “My contact who helped arrange the visit is Dr. Zhengli Shi, who is a Chinese collaborator on a NIAID grant to EcoHealth for SARS like corona virus project.” She continues: “The P4 lab is located in a new developing zone about one hour car ride from the current institute location in central Wuhan city. The location will be the new campus for the entire institute in the near future (a lot of construction is going on right now). Since we are not allowed to take photos so only the photo from the outside is attached.”

Newly released in this production of HHS documents is Handley’s reply in the email chain: “This is a sensitive subject and will be of interest to others.”

Later in the exchange, Handley tells Chen, “Please send us by e-mail your full report on the visit and then we can decide what to do with the information.” After Chen emails Handley the report, he writes: “There is enough good information in your report that it needs to be shared in some form or another.”

On July 18, 2016, Chen sends an “activity update” to top NIAID officials, summarizing her activities for the prior three weeks. In a discussion of the Chinese needing assistance with conducting clinical trials of new medicines, Chen notes: “GSK’s [Glaxo Smith Kline’s] Zhi Hong (the head of the GSK anti-infective program and led the GSK center for infectious diseases and public health in Beijing) met with Dr. Fauci on Monday, the 11th, asking for NIAID support for this clinical trial network in China. I know Dennis [presumably Dennis Dixon, Chief of NIAID Bacteriology and Mycology] and Carl [possibly Carl Dieffenbach, Director of NIAID AIDS Research] attended the meeting with Fauci. I don’t know the outcome of the meeting.” Further along, Chen writes: “I met with EcoHealth Alliance, a NY based non-profit organization on health. They have a R01 grant from DMID [Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases] on identifying SARS-like coronaviruses in China. They partner with Dr. Shi Zhengli at Wuhan Institute of Virology. I visited Dr. Shi over a year ago. She took bat samples in caves in certain regions of China, isolated and identified viruses and found some viruses are similar to SARS by sequencing. Now [redacted]. We are talking about close animal-human close contact in densely populated city.” Chen also mentions an upcoming meeting of “Chinese NIH Alumni” and talks about NIH Director Francis Collins discussing with the head of Peking University Medical School “about the establishment of a Chinese NIH Alumni as there are so many Chinese researchers trained and worked at NIH in the past.”

On October 12, 2016, Chen sends a “High” importance email to senior NIAID officials Handley, Bernabe and Dixon regarding an upcoming conference in China. Chen notes: “Another topic under session 1, Zoonotic Disease Characterization and Prevention, has some relevance to us. NIAID funded George Gao at CAS [Chinese Academy of Sciences] for avian flu (I think it was on avian flu genetics in birds) and we have grant from RDB funding coronavirus survey in bats. The Chinese collaborator is Wuhan Institute of Virology, a CAS institute too. The request for zoonotic diseases is from a Chinese agency I don’t know, AQSIQ. [Redacted.]” Dixon replies: “Thanks Ping. I see the topic of ‘prevention and control’ by your name. While we have occasional projects in that realm, they are at the border of our mission area relative to CDC who list their name that way sometimes in reverse order.”

In a January 20, 2017, situation report, Chen discusses the Global Virome Project “to identify viruses present in wildlife with potential crossing over to humans … Following the identification of the viruses is the development of vaccines to protect human population. China has huge capacity for vaccine development (I think it has 7 national owned vaccine manufacturing facility and over 30 private vaccine making companies.) [Redacted] One of the partners in this project is EcoHealth Alliance. Peter Daszak from EcoHealth Alliance is one of the leaders of GVP and he has NIAID grant from RDB looking at the coronaviruses in bat populations in China in collaboration with Wuhan Institute of Virology. He came to visit me once in the Embassy. This grant has direct connection with the purpose of GVP.”

In a July 7, 2017, situation report, Chen informs her colleagues: “RDB [NIAID’s Respiratory Disease Branch] has a grant to EcoHealth which has a Chinese collaborator at WIV working on finding similar SARS viruses in bat populations and then look for human exposures to the viruses carried by the bats in the villagers near the caves. USAID funds the same organization and they do more virus seeking projects in China.”

On May 27, 2018, Chen emails colleague Nancy Boyd, forwarding her an announcement sent to Chen by people at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which Chen describes as “China’s only publicly known P4 lab.” Chen adds: “I copied Gayle [Bernabe] at OGR and she can forward to programs officers with the P4 pathogen portfolio.”

“These emails provide extraordinary and troubling information about Fauci’s agency partnership with China and its monitoring, concerns and funding for the Wuhan Institute,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Gates Foundation should also explain the government report about its assistance to and advocacy for China.”

In July, Judicial Watch obtained records from NIAID officials in connection with the Wuhan Institute of Virology revealing significant collaborations and funding that began in 2014. The records revealed that NIAID gave nine China-related grants to EcoHealth Alliance to research coronavirus emergence in bats and was the NIH’s top issuer of grants to the Wuhan lab itself.

In June, Judicial Watch announced that it filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the State Department for information on the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Also in June, Judicial Watch obtained records from HHS revealing that from 2014 to 2019, $826,277 was given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research by the NIAID.

In March, Judicial Watch publicly released emails and other records of Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane from HHS showing that NIH officials tailored confidentiality forms to China’s terms and that the WHO conducted an unreleased, “strictly confidential” COVID-19 epidemiological analysis in January 2020. Additionally, the emails reveal an independent journalist in China pointing out the inconsistent COVID numbers in China to NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Special Projects Lane.

In October 2020, Judicial Watch uncovered emails showing a WHO entity pushing for a press release, approved by Fauci, “especially” supporting China’s COVID-19 response.

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This article was published on August 25, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from Judicial Watch.

There Are Better Ways to Fight COVID-19 Than Mask Mandates

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Even though policy should be based on accurate data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is failing to accurately justify its guidance that vaccinated people wear masks.

The data clearly show that the vaccine helps people more than previous interventions, including mask mandates, and that the risk of dying from COVID-19 for the vaccinated is extremely low.

The CDC should follow the science, be transparent, and base all guidance on the data.

Originating in India, the delta variant is now the primary strain of COVID-19 here in the United States. A number of states, including Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas, have been experiencing surges in new cases and hospitalizations.

Given such concerns, the CDC investigated the delta variant’s spread last month. In a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released on July 30, a number of researchers examined COVID-19 spread last month during a variety of festivities in Barnstable County, Massachusetts.

The authors made a number of claims, including that 74% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 after the festivities were fully vaccinated.

Not surprisingly, this statistic made the news headlines. For example, the day the study was released, an article on CNBC.com reported: “CDC study shows 74% of people infected in Massachusetts Covid outbreak were fully vaccinated.”

Given how much attention the analysis had gotten, my colleague Norbert Michel and I decided to take a look at the study in critical detail. After all, public policy should be informed by credible and accurate analysis.

We found that the study failed to look at the question at hand with sufficient rigor and does not provide support for the study’s main recommendation about mask wearing among the vaccinated.

Among the 469 who tested positive, 74% indeed had been vaccinated. However, as we discussed in our report, the data that this estimate is based on are not representative of the Barnstable attendees, let alone of the entire country. Therefore, it would be a mistake to use those estimates to make inferences of the broader American population. 

>>>Read Kevin Dayaratna and Norbert Michel’s report: A Statistical Analysis of COVID-19 Breakthrough Infections and Deaths

Second, there’s a more fundamental question the authors neglected to look at: Infection rates in the broader context of the number of people who actually attended the festivities, both vaccinated and unvaccinated.

We also examined this question, making a variety of assumptions on available data and information. Assuming an attendance of 60,000, as has been suggested by a number of people, and a vaccination rate of 90% of attendees, we found the following infection rates.

Of course, as it’s difficult to know the actual vaccination rate, we reestimated the above percentages under a variety of other assumptions as well.At the time of publication, the state of Massachusetts and Barnstable County had adult vaccination rates above 74%, and Provincetown itself had a rate of 90%.As the festivities may have included some out-of-state visitors as well, we decided to estimate the percentage of infections under vaccination rates between 60% and 98%.

So, there you have it, under all such assumptions, less than 2% of the vaccinated attendees caught COVID-19.  Irresponsible reporting suggesting that 74% of those vaccinated caught the virus, however, needlessly causes panic and will only increase vaccine hesitancy.Although some research has indicated that the vaccines may have slightly less efficacy in preventing infection against the delta variant than prior variants, the vaccines are nevertheless highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death.Furthermore, as a result of the CDC’s “study” on Barnstable, Massachusetts, one of the policy recommendations is that the fully vaccinated continue to wear masks in areas of high disease proliferation.However, as Michel and I have illustrated in prior work, mask mandates do not meaningfully impact case proliferation. In an earlier Heritage Foundation special report, we statistically examined the impact of an executive order signed by Kansas’ Democratic governor, Laura Kelly, allowing each of the state’s 105 counties to take part in an optional mask mandate last year.Our analysis did find slightly less case growth at times in the cases in which masks were mandated.  However, on a monthly basis, those differences were not statistically significant and, most alarmingly, per capita cases and deaths continued to grow in both groups through most of the second half of last year.

Vaccines, on the other hand, have been largely successful, as is evident by the steep drops in case counts, followed by increases in vaccination rates over the years. Bottom line: Unlike masks, the statistics on vaccine efficacy are solid and well-established.

Of course, there will continue to be breakthrough cases, but the CDC’s own data indicate that the truth is the vaccines have had over 90% efficacy against hospitalization and death.Not surprisingly, however, among the unvaccinated, COVID-19 can still be quite deadly, especially for the elderly and those with chronic conditions.  The following chart puts those odds in perspective with other causes of death.

As the chart illustrates, however, the odds of dying of COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated, although not zero, are slim to none. In fact, those under 65 have significantly higher odds of getting struck by lightning.>>>Read Kevin Dayaratna and Norbert Michel’s report: A Statistical Analysis of COVID-19 Breakthrough Infections and DeathsBottom line: Mask mandates on the vaccinated will only increase vaccine hesitancy and thus only prevent our country from putting this pandemic behind us.One of the best ways to encourage the vaccine hesitant to reconsider is not mandates, but rather to equip them with good statistical analysis, so they can work with their doctors to make informed decisions. The CDC would do well to fix this failure.

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This article was published on August 29, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from DailySignal.

Nearly 8,700 Criminals Arrested At Southern Border In Past 10 Months, Including Repeat Sex Offenders

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Over the past 10 months, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents have arrested 8,691 known criminals who have entered the U.S. illegally through the southern border. Combined, they have committed 12,685 crimes in the U.S., according to federal data.

Because Border Patrol agents do not have access to criminal records from other countries, they rely on information reported in the National Crime Information Center database. Many individuals arrested by Border Patrol are registered sex offenders who were previously convicted and served time in U.S. prisons. They were released and deported only to reenter the U.S. again illegally this year.

The NCIC is a centralized automated database designed to share information among law enforcement agencies including outstanding warrants for a wide range of offenses. Based on information from NCIC, Border Patrol officers have made previous arrests of individuals wanted on charges of homicide, escape, money laundering, robbery, narcotics distribution, sexual child abuse, fraud, larceny, and military desertion.

In a recent Laredo, Texas, Border Patrol Sector report, among a group of 20 apprehended this week, one was a Honduran national and registered sex offender with an extensive criminal history. He was convicted of lewd lascivious battery and sexual activity with a minor in 2017 in Florida and was deported in October 2020.

His arrest, the Laredo Sector said in a news release, “continues to highlight the dangers that illegal immigration poses to our country especially by those individuals who have been previously convicted for sexual misconduct. These dangerous criminals increasingly continue to endanger our communities and show a lack of regard for our country’s laws.”

In another apprehension, Laredo agents detained a Mexican national wanted for allegations of rape out of Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“Sexual violence can have serious psychological, emotional and physical effects on a survivor. CBP collaborates with other law enforcement agencies to bring those allegedly committing these offenses to justice,” Acting Laredo Port Director Alberto Flores said.

In another arrest in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector, agents apprehended a convicted murderer from El Salvador. He spent three years in prison in the 1990s for a murder in California, was released, and in 2005 was imprisoned again for “re-entry of a deported alien,” according to border patrol.

They also arrested a Mexican national who had been previously arrested for first degree attempted sexual abuse of a child in Lexington, Kentucky. He was sentenced to one year in prison, registered as a sex offender, and then deported only to reenter the U.S. illegally this month and be caught.

Agents also arrested a Honduras national who had been arrested in 2011 in New York City for raping an 8-year-old girl multiple times. He was sentenced to four years in prison, released, and subsequently deported in June 2015. In another arrest, an El Salvador national had a 2009 conviction for sexual battery in Georgia. The individuals were apprehended after attempting to reenter the U.S. illegally this month.

This fiscal year, RGV agents working in the busiest sector in Texas also arrested more than 140 migrant gang members affiliated with 10 different street gangs.

The Del Rio sector reported a 1,400% surge in the number of sex offenders apprehended by its border agents this year compared to last year.

In the El Centro Sector of California, a registered sex offender with previous felony conviction for child molestation in Atlanta, Georgia, was arrested. He had been previously deported and was caught upon illegal reentry.

The El Centro Sector has so far arrested and/or removed 38 individuals either convicted or wanted on sexual offense charges so far this fiscal year.

As of June 30, Border Patrol agents had arrested 353 illegal immigrants on charges of sex-related crimes, many with prior convictions involving minors. By comparison, during the same period in fiscal year 2020, agents had only apprehended 55 such criminals. The difference represents an increase of 542%.

The Biden administration directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to cancel Operation Talon, a nationwide operation conducted by ICE to remove convicted sex offenders illegally in the U.S.

In February, attorneys general from 18 states wrote a letter to Biden, expressing outrage over cancelling Operation Talon, citing criminal statistics.

Between October 2014 and May 2018, they note, ICE arrested 119,752 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions, many with prior convictions for sex-related offenses. They included 5,565 sexual assault convictions, 4,910 child molestation convictions, and 675 child exploitation and child pornography or sexual performances convictions.

“The cancellation of this program effectively broadcasts to the world that the United States is now a sanctuary jurisdiction for sexual predators. This message creates a perverse incentive for foreign sexual predators to seek to enter the United States illegally and assault more victims, both in the process of unlawful migration and after they arrive,” the attorneys general wrote.

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This article was published on August 25, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Center Square.