Make Orwell Fiction Again (Hunter Biden Edition)

A family member commented on a sticker on the back-window of my van by affirming the idea of “Make Orwell Fiction Again.” (Click to Enlarge) [This will be a continuing series to address this idea]

However,  knowing that his only form of news is essentially late-night [political] comics, CNN, and NPR… he meant it in a differing way than both the novel, and I meant it. So, below will be the beginning of a series of articles with small excerpts that I will continually add to in other posts. And note as well that what we have is a marriage of Orwell as well as Huxley as expressed in the quote from Joshua Charles’ book, Liberty’s Secrets: The Lost Wisdom of America’s Founders, found here: Orwell vs. Huxley (Big Tech Update)

MOST MEDIA EXCLUDES CONSERVATIVE IDEAS

Only a society that can effectively block and censor news, and shut down free expression is the kind the sticker refers to. Non-conservative ideas and news stories can be found readily in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC, NPR, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, etc.

In fact, almost every newspaper WITH THE EXCEPTION of the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, and the New York Post, and at times FOX NEWS, have a more conservative leaning bias and news stories to be considered.

One example is that years ago the L.A. Times carried columns by Dennis Prager (and other conservative voices). Today they carry zero.

TWITTER/FACEBOOK CENSOR MAJOR NEWS STORY

THE NEW YORK POST was censored for many weeks… scrubbed from Twitter as well as Facebook. Here is what my past Twitter looked liked when trying to share the story:

This was all common knowledge [for the most part] because of Peter Schweizer’s March 2019 book, “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends“. And the NEW YORK POST had a wonderful article that Facebook, Twitter, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, NYT, WaPo — essentially ignored or censored.

EVEN LEFTIE GLENN GREENWALD CENSORED

Armstrong and Getty cover Glenn Greenwald resigning from the “free speech” news outlet he founded. The article mentioned them of Glenn’s is this one: “Article on Joe and Hunter Biden Censored By The Intercept”. [As an aside, I added MUCH MORE of the Tucker interview.]:

In Glenn’s article, this stood out (SUBSTACK):

….The U.S. media often laments that people have lost faith in its pronouncements, that they are increasingly viewed as untrustworthy and that many people view Fake News sites are more reliable than established news outlets. They are good at complaining about this, but very bad at asking whether any of their own conduct is responsible for it.

A media outlet that renounces its core function — pursuing answers to relevant questions about powerful people — is one that deserves to lose the public’s faith and confidence. And that is exactly what the U.S. media, with some exceptions, attempted to do with this story: they took the lead not in investigating these documents but in concocting excuses for why they should be ignored.

As my colleague Lee Fang put it on Sunday: “The partisan double standards in the media are mind boggling this year, and much of the supposedly left independent media is just as cowardly and conformist as the mainstream corporate media. Everyone is reading the room and acting out of fear.” Discussing his story from Sunday, Taibbi summed up the most important point this way: “The whole point is that the press loses its way when it cares more about who benefits from information than whether it’s true.”…

50 FORMER SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS WERE WRONG

The NEW YORK POST opines on the recent “discovering” of an old story: “Liberal media ‘snuffed out’ Hunter Biden coverage until after election to help defeat Trump: critics” . But a must read article is this one over at RED STATE: “Ric Grenell Blows Up, Big Time, the Group That Should Be Most Ashamed of What They Did on the Hunter Biden Story

So we’ve all been talking a lot about the investigation into Hunter Biden and how the mainstream media seems to have finally caught up to the fact that yes, it’s real and it’s Russian disinformation as some tried to claim before the election.

Now that they think Joe Biden won, they’re free to just say “oh, well, here’s this thing.”

Never mind that they consciously suppressed it from the American people and completely failed in their supposed job prior to the election.

We saw a lot of conservatives chastising the media today for what they did.

But I wanted to talk about another group.

We expect the Democrats to cover for Biden. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told CNN it was a “smear” straight from the Kremlin. CNN’s Jeff Zucker said in his morning conference call to impress upon people this stuff about Hunter was just more “Russian disinformation.” A lot of mainstream media has become little more than Democratic operatives at this point.

There’s a group that we don’t expect and for sure shouldn’t be playing this game and that’s the intelligence community.

But they have and they did in this instance as well.

There were 50 former senior intelligence officers who signed a letter saying that Hunter Biden’s emails had all the signs of a Russian disinformation campaign……

MEDIA “DISCOVERED” STORY AFTER BIDEN ELECTED

Except the story was [and still is] 100% true. It was Russian disinformation UNTIL BIDEN WON, then the media discovered it’s veracity.

After the New York Post’s reporting was dismissed and characterized by members of the media as a “baseless conspiracy theory,” a “smear campaign,” and “Russian disinformation,” Wednesday’s announcement from Hunter Biden was ultimately too much for the media to ignore.

All three major networks’ evening newscasts addressed the controversy, with “NBC Nightly News” spending the most time on the subject, clocking in at roughly one minute and 16 seconds of coverage while “CBS Evening News” came in a distant second, with roughly 45 seconds of coverage, followed by ABC’s “World News Tonight” with roughly just 30 seconds. 

CNN anchor Jake Tapper reported the breaking news as it happened during his program, which was quite the opposite tone that he took during the election when he dismissed the allegations against Hunter Biden as “too disgusting” to repeat on-air.

Tapper’s colleagues Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper also mentioned the explosive development on their shows, while CNN anchors Erin Burnett, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon avoided the subject….

(FOX)

  • Jake Tapper declares Hunter Biden claims ‘too disgusting’ to repeat on CNN: ‘The rightwing is going crazy’ — CNN is among other major news outlets that continue to downplay the growing Biden controversy (FOX)
  • CNN boss, political director spiked Hunter Biden controversy, audiotapes reveal: ‘We’re not going with’ story — Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe vowed he will release ‘raw recordings’ of the over 50 conference calls every day until Christmas. (FOX)
  • Ric Grenell calls out CNN’s Jake Tapper for belatedly covering Hunter Biden story — ‘This story broke in October. You didn’t do it then,’ former acting DNI scolded the CNN anchor (FOX)

1984 JUMPS TO #1 ON AMAZON AMID EXPANDED CENSORSHIP

JUST THE NEWS notes the jump to #1 of 1984 on Amazon

As “big tech” companies have moved to silence conservative voices on the Internet, mega-marketer Amazon reports on Sunday that its overall top-selling book is 1984, a decades old novel that portrays a society completely controlled by government “Thought Police.”

The spike in sales comes amid a rush of shutdowns in which these moves occurred in rapid succession:

  • Twitter on Friday booted Donald Trump from its platform and erased the entire history of his tweets;
  • Facebook deleted a grassroots organization for disenchanted Democrats, WalkAway;
  • Apple and Google banned the messaging platform Parler from its app stores;
  • and Amazon said it imminently will ban Parler, which is used by many conservatives, from company servers.

As of Sunday morning, Amazon book sales showed that the top-selling book is the dystopian novel published by George Orwell more than 70 years ago. The classic novel, published in 1949, depicts how government Thought Police eavesdrop on citizens in their own homes, searching for heresy of any kind. Anyone whose beliefs deviate from the official norm are declared “unpersons” who never existed.

Reviewers on Amazon drew parallels between the book’s plot and current events in the United States.

“Born and living in communist Romania I went through the same ordeal described in 1987,” wrote Constantin Turculet, who is listed as making a verified purchase. “After 40 years I managed to escape to America, only to find after 35 years of living in freedom that this country is pushed toward the same horror scenario I thought mankind will never forget.”

CLICK TO ENLARGE

  • Later ages are always surprised by the casual brutality of totalitarian regimes. What those innocent ages neglect is the unshakeable (though misguided) conviction of virtue that animates the totalitarians. The historian John Kekes, writing about Robespierre in City Journal some years ago, touched on the essential point. If we understand Robespierre, “we understand that it is utterly useless to appeal to reason and morality in dealing with ideologues. For they are convinced that reason and morality are on their side and that their enemies are irrational and immoral simply because they are enemies.” That is the position of conservatives in American culture today. (AMERICAN GREATNESS)

WARNINGS YEARS AGO

Tammy Bruce’s book, “The New Thought Police: Inside the Left’s Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds,” was an important salvo in all this. Not the first book, but one of the most relevant for it’s day. Tammy has noted for years the censorship of the Left, one example is an older post:

Well, this explains why I never got a response to my #AskPOTUS questions, “What’s wrong with you?” and “What meds are you on?”

Via Washington Examiner.

A former Twitter CEO took measures to ensure messages critical of President Obama wouldn’t circulate too widely on the platform during a 2015 question-and-answer session, according to a new report.

The incident allegedly occurred during a May 2015 “#AskPOTUS” event on the platform, when former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo purportedly ordered the creation of an algorithm to suppress the messages and used employees to manually scrub any critical content missed by the software.

Costolo kept the decision secret from company executives for fear that someone might object, several sources told Buzzfeed….

Related: NY Observer: Tech Companies Apple, Twitter, Google, and Instagram Collude to Defeat Trump

The tech companies are just emboldened now. That’s all.

TONY BOBULINSKI AND LEFTIE LEGAL SCHOLAR, JONATHAN TURLEY

Yep, there were MANY disgusting videos on Hunter Biden’s laptop: him sexually abusing underage girls, including a family member, smoking crack, etc. But what was more disgusting was covering up a real news story [evidence of pay to play in the Ukraine and China] by almost all news outlets (print or media), as well as the censoring of it on social media. However, as Jonathan Turley notes wisely about NPR….. the designation as “a distraction” shows a bias rather than a news outfit, video precedes Turley’s article for context:

Tony Bobulinski will attend Thursday night’s debate as guest of President Trump.

JONATHAN TURLEY [Lefty Legal Scholar] notes this about Tony Bobulinski giving AMPLE evidence of who “the big guy” is:

A former business partner to Hunter Biden, Tony Bobulinski, has made a bombshell statement that not only are the emails on the Biden laptop authentic but the reference to giving a cut to “the big guy” was indeed a reference to former Vice President Joe Biden. More emails are emerging that show Hunter Biden referring to his family as his asset in these dealings.

The emails that have attracted the most attention refer to an actual meeting of Joe  Biden with these foreign figures and one referring to a proposed equity split of “20” for “H” and “10 held by H for the big guy?” Bobulinski confirms that “H” was used for Hunter Biden and that his father was routinely called “the big guy” in these discussions.

Another email Bobulinski being instructed by James Gilliar not to make any mention of the former veep’s involvement: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid.”

 Bobulinski said he was brought on as CEO by Hunter Biden and James Gilliar and stated that he believes Joe Biden was lying in denying any knowledge of these dealings, stating Hunter “frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals.”  He added that “The Biden family aggressively leveraged the Biden family name to make millions of dollars from foreign entities even though some were from communist controlled China.”

His statement reads in part:

I am the CEO of Sinohawk Holdings which was a partnership between the Chinese operating through CEFC/Chairman Ye and the Biden family. I was brought into the company to be the CEO by James Gilliar and Hunter Biden. The reference to “the Big Guy” in the much publicized May 13, 2017 email is in fact a reference to Joe Biden. The other “JB” referenced in that email is Jim Biden, Joe’s brother.

Hunter Biden called his dad ‘the Big Guy’ or ‘my Chairman,’ and frequently referenced asking him for his sign-off or advice on various potential deals that we were discussing. I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business. I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true, because it wasn’t just Hunter’s business, they said they were putting the Biden family name and its legacy on the line.

I realized the Chinese were not really focused on a healthy financial ROI. They were looking at this as a political or influence investment. Once I realized that Hunter wanted to use the company as his personal piggy bank by just taking money out of it as soon as it came from the Chinese, I took steps to prevent that from happening.

This is obviously just one side and the documents do not show a direct role or benefit for Joe Biden. However, it would seem that between the FBI statement and this witness statement, there is ample foundation for media scrutiny.  Yet, organizations like NPR has dismissed the story on Thursday as a “distraction.”

[….]

I have written for years that Hunter Biden was clearly influence peddling and he contradicted his father’s denial of any knowledge of his dealings.  The media can continue to hold its breath for weeks to try to avoid the obvious in this story.  That could well guarantee Biden the presidency but it will destroy the media’s credibility for years.

THIS CENSORSHIP PUSHED BIDEN INTO THE “WIN” COLUMN

It did guarantee a Biden victory BTW:


OMISSION


Click to enlarge:

(CNS NEWS)


…For the post-election surveyThe Polling Company interviewed 1,750 Biden voters in seven swing states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, six of which (excluding North Carolina) were called for Biden. The voters were asked about their knowledge of eight news stories, all of which the liberal media had downplayed or censored.

The survey showed “a huge majority (82%) of Biden voters were unaware of at least one of these key items, with five percent saying they were unaware of all eight of the issues we tested,” reported the MRC.

For instance, despite the #MeToo movement and the media coverage it garnered, the survey found that 35.4% of Biden voters were unaware of the serious allegations of sexual assault made by Tara Reade against Joe Biden. Reade had worked for Biden in the 1990s.

“If they had known about Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations, 8.9% told us they would have changed their vote — either switching to Trump or a 3rd party candidate, not voting for any presidential candidate, or not voting at all,” said the MRC.

“By itself, this would have flipped all six of the swing states won by Biden (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin), giving the president a win with 311 electoral college votes,” said the organization.

Another important story buried by the major media was the Hunter Biden laptop story, which showed that Joe Biden was aware of his son’s business dealings in the Ukraine and in Communist China.

Yet 45.1% of Biden voters said they were unaware of the laptop story.

“According to our poll, full awareness of the Hunter Biden scandal would have led 9.4% of Biden voters to abandon the Democratic candidate, flipping all six of the swing states he won to Trump, giving the President 311 electoral votes,” reported the MRC.

Similar results were found when Biden voters were asked about the other six censored stories – Kamala Harris’s radical left-wing policies; positive economic and job reports; Middle East peace deals brokered by Trump; energy independence; and the swift vaccine production as a result of Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.

“Looking at all eight of these issues together, our poll found that a total of 17% of Biden’s voters told us they would have changed their vote if they had been aware of one or more of these important stories,” reported the MRC.

“This would have moved every one of the swing states into Trump’s column, some by a huge margin,” said the MRC. “The President would have trounced Biden in the electoral college, 311 to 227.”

The MRC noted that the Biden voters who said they would have voted differently had they been properly informed by the media, did not have to vote for Trump for the president to have won a second term.

“Just by choosing to abandon Biden, these voters would have handed all six of these states, and a second term, to the President — if the news media had properly informed them about the two candidates,” said the MRC. (Emphasis added.)

(SEE NEWSBUSTERS)

RUSH LIMBAUGH: The MSM “Discovers” the Hunter Biden Story

This was all common knowledge [for the most part] because of Peter Schweizer’s March 2019 book, “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends“. And the NEW YORK POST had a wonderful article that Facebook, Twitter, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, NYT, WaPo — essentially ignored or censored.

Some previous uploads speaking to the censorship are these:

The NEW YORK POST opines on the recent “discovering” of an old story: “Liberal media ‘snuffed out’ Hunter Biden coverage until after election to help defeat Trump: critics” . But a must read article is this one over at RED STATE: “Ric Grenell Blows Up, Big Time, the Group That Should Be Most Ashamed of What They Did on the Hunter Biden Story

So we’ve all been talking a lot about the investigation into Hunter Biden and how the mainstream media seems to have finally caught up to the fact that yes, it’s real and it’s Russian disinformation as some tried to claim before the election.

Now that they think Joe Biden won, they’re free to just say “oh, well, here’s this thing.”

Never mind that they consciously suppressed it from the American people and completely failed in their supposed job prior to the election.

We saw a lot of conservatives chastising the media today for what they did.

But I wanted to talk about another group.

We expect the Democrats to cover for Biden. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told CNN it was a “smear” straight from the Kremlin. CNN’s Jeff Zucker said in his morning conference call to impress upon people this stuff about Hunter was just more “Russian disinformation.” A lot of mainstream media has become little more than Democratic operatives at this point.

There’s a group that we don’t expect and for sure shouldn’t be playing this game and that’s the intelligence community.

But they have and they did in this instance as well.

There were 50 former senior intelligence officers who signed a letter saying that Hunter Biden’s emails had all the signs of a Russian disinformation campaign……

Are Voting Machines Vulnerable To Hacking/Fraud

(As an aside, I “hear” CNN and other networks and Democrats mention that Republicans and Donald Trump are undermining Democracy. In fact, 4-years of the Democrat Presidential candidate saying Trump is an illegitimate President and Democrats entire lie about Russian Collusion based on a lie about Trump’s involvement with Russia based on a knowable fake dossier which was the brainchild of Hillary. Democrats Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost!)

This was an excellent audio by Larry Elder… I add to the resources both in the audio as well as below:

MORE RESOURCES

  • (NEW YORK TIMES) How I Hacked an Election | NYT – Opinion;
  • (PBS NEWS HOUR) PBS Special on Dominion Voting Systems in Georgia 2020 – October 26, 2020;
  • (SYMANTIC) I Bought a Voting Machine Online … Then Hacked It;
  • (FUSION) A Hacker Shows Us How Easy it is To Manipulate Voting Machines;
  • (CNN BUSINESS) We Watched Hackers Break Into Voting Machines;
  • (NBC) ‘Online and vulnerable’: Experts find nearly three dozen U.S. voting systems connected to internet
  • (CEO SMARTMATIC) Election Company: Venezuela Result was Tampered;

[SIDE NOTE: for last video… election auditors were kept out in many swing state districts that had large Biden “vote dumps”].

Twitter’s Maoist Revolution (This Is How Freedom Dies)

I heard about the “Twitterverse” not even allowing a story by the NEW YORK POST to grace their site. When I got home I tried it. And sure enough, the story would not post. So I tried it again early this morning… nope:

I just tried it again this evening. HUGH HEWITT in his first hour played Tucker Carlson and then the President… I also include a call from Detective Tom – as – he asks good questions as usual.

The real story now as well is the idea that Twitter and Facebook can control what they feel is a hoax and what is genuine news. As the NEW YORK POST reasonably asks: “If ‘unreliable’ is the issue, why did social media never block anti-Trump stories?” Indeed… they continue:

….Misinformation? Lack of authoritative reporting? The story explained exactly The Post got the material, and the supporting evidence. Yet the past four years have seen left-of-center outlets devote millions of column inches to anti-Trump stories that turned out to be utter bunk — yet neither Facebook nor Twitter took similar action as part of any “standard process”:

  • Remember when four CNN reporters claimed, in June 2017, that James Comey was about to dispute in congressional testimony Trump’s claim that the FBI director had reassured the president he wasn’t under investigation? Comey did no such thing, but did Twitter and Facebook censor the story? Nope.
  •  Or recall when The Guardian newspaper concocted a story, seemingly out of thin air, about Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort and WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange meeting at Ecuador’s embassy in London? There was no such meeting, as the special counsel’s report confirmed. So did Facebook or Twitter block that story? Nope, you can still post the debunked nonsense on either platform.
  •  Or remember when The Atlantic published a several-thousand-word story suggesting that then-Sen. Jeff Sessions had lied when he said he didn’t meet the Russian ambassador as a Team Trump surrogate, but as a routine matter? The Mueller report debunked The Atlantic decisively with its finding that the meeting in question didn’t “include any more than a passing mention of the presidential campaign.” So is The Atlantic story blocked as misinformation? Nope.
  •  Or how about when the McClatchy news agency claimed that Trump attorney Michael Cohen had secretly traveled to Prague to meet with his Kremlin handlers? “Cohen had never traveled to Prague,” the Mueller report found. So is the McClatchy report blocked? You know the answer — of course it isn’t.
  •  Then there was BuzzFeed’s big bombshell that fizzled: a major story claiming that Trump had ordered Cohen to lie to Congress. The Mueller report’s verdict: “The president did not direct [Cohen] to provide false testimony. Cohen also said he did not tell the president about his planned testimony.” Did Facebook and Twitter block the link or otherwise “reduce distribution” pending fact-checking? Of course not. You can still post the lies freely.
  • Then there was the biggest of whopper of all: the salacious — and utterly discredited — Steele dossier, first reported by David Corn of Mother Jones and later published by BuzzFeed. Blocked by Big Tech? Ha!

The Post will continue to chase the truth wherever it takes us. But this episode should alarm ­every American. A very few people can unaccountably shape what you read.

This is how freedom dies.

The New York Post has published two bombshell stories that raise more questions over whether Joe Biden abused his power as the vice president of the United States for the financial benefit of his family. It’s a made-for-TV tale of foreign business dealings, money, corruption, and power – and the social media gods really, really don’t want you to read it.

Heather Mac: Racist Police & Legal Graffiti (Larry Elder | John Hinderaker)

Larry poses this question to Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute.

Here is NATIONAL REVIEW discussing the indecent, as well as the 40-minute lecture she and Larry discussed in the opening of the above video:

Yesterday (July 30th) American Experiment hosted Heather Mac Donald for an online presentation on the conjunction of crime, race and policing, a topic on which Heather is acknowledged to be the country’s leading expert. Her presentation is a comprehensive refutation of the myth of “systemic bias” in policing. The data prove the opposite. Here is yesterday’s program, in its entirety: (Support  the MN Police)

Here is Heather’s NEW YORK POST article in part:

Mayor Bill de Blasio has canceled a graffiti-eradication program that cleaned private buildings, thus deliberately sending the city back to its worst days of crime and squalor.

Nothing sent a stronger signal in the late 1980s that New York was determined to fight back from anarchy than the transit system’s campaign against subway graffiti. That campaign was based on broken-windows policing, a theory that recognizes that physical disorder and low-level lawlessness, such as graffiti, turnstile-jumping and litter, telegraph that social control has broken down. That low-level lawlessness invites more contempt for norms of behavior, including felony crime.

The subway authority declared victory over the graffiti vandals in 1989, even as privately funded business-improvement districts were increasing graffiti cleanup in retail corridors across the five boroughs. Inspired by broken-windows theory, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, serving then under Mayor David Dinkins, removed the squeegee men who menaced helpless drivers queuing for the city’s bridges and tunnels. And with the mayoralty of Rudolph Giuliani in 1994, public-order maintenance entered the city’s governing philosophy.

The steepest crime drop of any big city in the country — nearly 80 percent over three decades — followed. Newly restored storefronts and avenues cleared of aggressive panhandlers invited a flood of tourists and new residents.

[….]

To a progressive, by contrast, graffiti is a “political statement,” as The New York Times recently put it, a courageous strike against stultifying bourgeois values. It represents urban grit and resistance to corporate hegemony. The property owner whose building has been unwillingly appropriated is a non-entity, the tagger is the vibrant anti-capitalist soul of the city.

The official reason for the termination of the graffiti-removal program, which allowed building owners and residents to report graffiti to 311 and receive city ­assistance in removing it, was New York’s straitened coronavirus ­finances.

That justification is unpersuasive. The administration found the resources this June to pay city workers to paint massive Black Lives Matter logos on the road in front of Trump Tower and on avenues in Harlem and Brooklyn, in the process putting the government’s imprimatur on a political viewpoint; de Blasio himself, on the taxpayer’s dime, joined the BLM paint-in on Fifth Avenue to make sure that President Trump understood the taunt against him.

And when two women scattered black paint on those BLM logos to protest anti-cop hatred, de Blasio’s administration found further resources to arrest and charge them with criminal mischief — for graffiti vandalism, no less — and to repaint the BLM slogans.

[….]

The decision to bow to the vandals will accelerate the city’s slide back to being ungovernable, a slide terrifyingly exemplified by ongoing violence against police officers. Ending graffiti cleanup shows that the understanding of what made the city governable was never universally shared.

Infection Fatality Rate Percentages of The Wu Flu (Updates)

STANFORD has released a new paper where they look at their own studies as well as “23 studies with a sample size of at least 500 have been published either in the peerreviewed literature or as preprints as of June 7, 2020.” In this they find confirmation to strongly say:

In the paper, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, Ioannidis surveyed 23 different seroprevalence studies and found that “among people <70 years old, infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00-0.23% with median of 0.04%.” 

The median fatality rate of all cases, he writes, is 0.26%, significantly lower than some earlier estimates that suggested rates as high as over 3%. 

In the paper, Ioannidis acknowledges that “while COVID-19 is a formidable threat,” the apparently low fatality rate compared to earlier estimates “is a welcome piece of evidence.”

“Decision-makers can use measures that will try to avert having the virus infect people and settings who are at high risk of severe outcomes,” he writes. “These measures may be possible to be far more precise and tailored to specific high- risk individuals and settings than blind lockdown of the entire society.”

(JUST THE NEWS)

MY NUMBERS

Keep in mind in March I noted that the rates would be from 0.03% to 0.25% — not to brag or anything, but I am in the 23-studies lane-lines. I just couldn’t differentiate between age groups, but that was assumed as the average age of deaths.

And as states are going over death certificates, they are dropping by at least 25% in deaths by Covid-19. And some independent groups are helping “catch” the inflated number, like Pennsylvania’s “Wolf administration was caught this week adding up to 269 fake deaths to the state totals on Tuesday” (CITADELPOLITICS). Or this short example (PJ-MEDIA)

  • On Thursday, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a report by the Freedom Foundation that they have included those who tested positive for COVID-19 but died of other causes, including gunshot injuries, in their coronavirus death totals. This calls into serious question the state’s calculations of residents who have actually died of the CCP pandemic.
  • Last week, after it was reported that, like Washington, Colorado was counting deaths of all COVID-19 positive persons regardless of cause (which had resulted in the inclusion of deaths from alcohol poisoning), the Colorado Department of Health and Environment began to differentiate between deaths “among people with COVID-19” and “deaths due to COVID-19.”

Just one more of the many examples I could share is the New York Times getting 40% wrong of their “died from Covid-19 under 30-years old” front page news story. Mmmm, no, they didn’t die of Covid. As states figure this out, the inflated counts (like when Colorado did this — fell by 25%: lots more on this below).

CONTRACTED TWICE?

In a recent conversation two items came up that are worth updating for friends and family. The first deals with if a person can get the WuFlu twice. FORBES has a good article on this:

…Whenever I lecture on the Covid-19 outbreak, someone always asks me, “Can I get infected twice?” This is a natural concern. After all, if someone suffers through the prolonged fever, hacking cough, and profound weakness and misery caused by the virus, one small positive aspect might be not having to suffer through it a second time.

Such fears were ratcheted up after there were reports in Korea about people who had recovered from illness and tested negative, only to have a later test come up positive again. This prompted fear of new spread, even from recovered victims. Back in early March, a mayor in Texas, blasted the CDC for releasing a recovered patient from isolation, only to have that patient test positive again after release.

As a health care provider, the last thing you want to do is tell someone they are cured and release them back into the community, only to learn later that they started a whole new chain of virus transmission. Fortunately, a new study from the South Korean Center for Disease Control helps to answer part of the question. They studied patients who tested negative upon recovery, but in later tests became positive again. Could they spread the virus again?

It turns out, despite the positive test, they found that none of them were secreting live, infectious virus. It was a quirk of the rapid tests, which sample for low levels of genetic material, not whole virus. They concluded that the recovered patients had residual genetic fragments that still triggered the tests to turn positive. Those individuals were no longer contagious.

This was a relief. In other good news, a new draft paper reports that monkeys that were infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus developed antibodies and were protected from illness when exposed to the virus a second time. It’s a small study, but it offers a glimmer of hope that once infected, there is immunity to re-infection….

The second issue was regarding animals being able to contract the virus.

ANIMALS

CNN has a good short response to this:

Q: Could I infect my pets with coronavirus, or vice versa? Can someone get infected by touching an animal’s fur? Should I get my pet tested for coronavirus?

A: There have been some reports of animals infected by coronavirus — including two pets in New York and eight big cats at the Bronx Zoo.

Most of those infections came from contact with people who had coronavirus, like a zoo employee who was an asymptomatic carrier.

But according to the CDC, there is no evidence animals play a significant role in spreading the virus to humans. Therefore, at this time, routine testing of animals for Covid-19 is not recommended.

As always, it’s best to wash your hands after touching an animal’s fur and before touching your face. And if your pet appears to be sick, call your veterinarian.

More “known” examples from the CDC:

  • A small number of pet cats and dogs have been reported to be infected with the virus in several countries, including the United States. Most of these pets became sick after contact with people with COVID-19.
  • Several lions and tigersexternal icon at a New York zoo tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after showing signs of respiratory illness. Public health officials believe these large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was infected with SARS-CoV-2. All of these large cats have fully recovered.
  • SARS-CoV-2 was recently discovered in mink (which are closely related to ferrets) on multiple farms in the Netherlands. The mink showed respiratory and gastrointestinal signs; the farms also experienced an increase in mink deaths. Because some workers on these farms had symptoms of COVID-19, it is likely that infected farm workers were the source of the mink infections. Some farm cats on several mink farms also developed antibodies to this virus, suggesting they had been exposed to the virus at some point. Officials in the Netherlands are investigating the connections between the health of people and animals as well as the environment on these mink farms.

(The below is from June 19th)

COMPARED

MAROON numbers are death rate, and the BLUE numbers are hospitalization rates. Rated by placement as well. This is merely for comparison to decide if $1.1 trillion lost for every month of the economic shutdown and the long-term damage on the U.S. economy, shrinking it by $7.9 trillion over the next decade.

  • [1] The 1918-19 “Spanish Flu” Pandemic675,000 died in the United States, some victims died within mere hours or days of developing symptoms.
  • [2] The 1957-58 “Asian Flu” Pandemic116,000 deaths were in the US. Most of the cases affected young children.
  • [3] The 1968 “Hong Kong Flu” Pandemic 100,000 deaths occurred in the United States
  • [12](9) The 2009 H1N1 Pandemic — About 80% of those deaths are believed to have been people younger than 65 — which is unusual. During typical seasonal influenza epidemics, 70-90% of deaths occur in people over 65. 274,000 hospitalizations, and 12,469 deaths in the United States due to the virus.
  • [9](7) 2010-2011 flu season 290,000 influenza-related hospitalizations and 37,000 flu-associated deaths
  • [6](3) 2012-2013 flu season56,000 deaths is the CDC estimate. 571,000 influenza-related hospitalizations
  • [8](6) 2013-2014 flu season 347,000 influenza-related hospitalizations, and 38,000 flu-associated deaths
  • [7](2) 2014-2015 flu season 591,000 influenza-related hospitalizations, and 51,000 flu-associated deaths 
  • [11](8) 2015-2016 flu season 280,000 influenza-related hospitalizations, and 23,000 flu-associated deaths
  • [8](4) 2016-2017 flu season 500,000 influenza-related hospitalizations, and 38,000 influenza-associated deaths
  • [5](1) 2017-2018 flu season — The CDC estimates that between 46,000 and 95,000 Americans died due to influenza during the 2017-18 flu season. This resulted in an estimated 959,000 hospitalizations and a middle-ground of 61,099 deaths.
  • [10](5) 2018-2019 flu season490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200 deaths from influenza 
  • [4](10) Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) — With the adjusted numbers that I believe the flu (a bad influenza season assumed to be novel influenza on untested patients), I would bet we are at about 80,000 or less deaths from The WuFlu. US Coronavirus Hospitalizations is at a current level of 229,212.

Steven Crowder takes to the streets of Dallas to have real conversations with real people. In this installment, Steven discusses the COVID19 death count and the fake news surrounding it.

Crowder is posted above as an UPDATE to support my contention below:

(The below is from May 24th, 2020)

Here are some updated numbers, from CONSERVATIVE REVIEW — and I will post a portion of an older post [recently updated] underneath this (also, if the graphics are not linked to ENLARGE, I will link to the Twitter accounts associated with the graphics):

The CDC just came out with a report that should be earth-shattering to the narrative of the political class, yet it will go into the thick pile of vital data and information about the virus that is not getting out to the public. For the first time, the CDC has attempted to offer a real estimate of the overall death rate for COVID-19, and under its most likely scenario, the number is 0.26%. Officials estimate a 0.4% fatality rate among those who are symptomatic and project a 35% rate of asymptomatic cases among those infected*jump, which drops the overall infection fatality rate (IFR) to just 0.26% — almost exactly where Stanford researchers pegged it a month ago.

(Ethical Skeptic)

Until now, we have been ridiculed for thinking the death rate was that low, as opposed to the 3.4% estimate of the World Health Organization, which helped drive the panic and the lockdowns. Now the CDC is agreeing to the lower rate in plain ink.

Plus, ultimately we might find out that the IFR is even lower because numerous studies and hard counts of confined populations have shown a much higher percentage of asymptomatic cases. Simply adjusting for a 50% asymptomatic rate would drop their fatality rate to 0.2% – exactly the rate of fatality Dr. John Ionnidis of Stanford University projected.

More importantly, as I mentioned before, the overall death rate is meaningless because the numbers are so lopsided. Given that at least half of the deaths were in nursing homes, a back-of-the-envelope estimate would show that the infection fatality rate for non-nursing home residents would only be 0.1% or 1 in 1,000. And that includes people of all ages and all health statuses outside of nursing homes. Since nearly all of the deaths are those with comorbidities.

The CDC estimates the death rate from COVID-19 for those under 50 is 1 in 5,000 for those with symptoms, which would be 1 in 6,725 overall, but again, almost all those who die have specific comorbidities or underlying conditions. Those without them are more likely to die in a car accident. And schoolchildren, whose lives, mental health, and education we are destroying, are more likely to get struck by lightning.

[….]

To put this in perspective, one Twitter commentator juxtaposed the age-separated infection fatality rates in Spain to the average yearly probability of dying of anything for the same age groups, based on data from the Social Security Administration. He used Spain because we don’t have a detailed infection fatality rate estimate for each age group from any survey in the U.S. However, we know that Spain fared worse than almost every other country. This data is actually working with a top-line IFR of 1%, roughly four times what the CDC estimates for the U.S., so if anything, the corresponding numbers for the U.S. will be lower.

(Read Horowitz’s full article)

FURTHER TWITTER DEBATE

I wanted to expand the Twitter graphic and link above a bit, I spent some time going through the comments and many of the conversational offshoots. I figured this collection (ending with my comment) sums up the issue in a lot less time:

(Click once to get large graphic, click again to blow it up)

There is a fascinating “official” continuation of this convo with more detail (linked in below Twitter graphic):

Great, great stuff. All this vindicates my own early numbers,

…all the “anti-body” studies,

…this more recent stuff,

…as well as all the Facebook discussions/debates between myself, friends, family, and complete strangers.

...AND,

…as I show below, this number will get lower upon investigation of common sense assumptions if never investigated.

REASON has their article discussing the issue of IFR and America compared to Europe (see also BLOOMBERG’S article):

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the current “best estimate” for the fatality rate among Americans with COVID-19 symptoms is 0.4 percent. The CDC also estimates that 35 percent of people infected by the COVID-19 virus never develop symptoms. Those numbers imply that the virus kills less than 0.3 percent of people infected by it—far lower than the infection fatality rates (IFRs) assumed by the alarming projections that drove the initial government response to the epidemic, including broad business closure and stay-at-home orders.

The CDC offers the new estimates in its “COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios,” which are meant to guide hospital administrators in “assessing resource needs” and help policy makers “evaluate the potential effects of different community mitigation strategies.” It says “the planning scenarios are being used by mathematical modelers throughout the Federal government.”

The CDC’s five scenarios include one based on “a current best estimate about viral transmission and disease severity in the United States.” That scenario assumes a “basic reproduction number” of 2.5, meaning the average carrier can be expected to infect that number of people in a population with no immunity. It assumes an overall symptomatic case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.4 percent, roughly four times the estimated CFR for the seasonal flu. The CDC estimates that the CFR for COVID-19 falls to 0.05 percent among people younger than 50 and rises to 1.3 percent among people 65 and older. For people in the middle (ages 50–64), the estimated CFR is 0.2 percent.

That “best estimate” scenario also assumes that 35 percent of infections are asymptomatic, meaning the total number of infections is more than 50 percent larger than the number of symptomatic cases. It therefore implies that the IFR is between 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent. By contrast, the projections that the CDC made in March, which predicted that as many as 1.7 million Americans could die from COVID-19 without intervention, assumed an IFR of 0.8 percent. Around the same time, researchers at Imperial College produced a worst-case scenario in which 2.2 million Americans died, based on an IFR of 0.9 percent.

Such projections had a profound impact on policy makers in the United States and around the world. At the end of March, President Donald Trump, who has alternated between minimizing and exaggerating the threat posed by COVID-19, warned that the United States could see “up to 2.2 million deaths and maybe even beyond that” without aggressive control measures, including lockdowns.

One glaring problem with those worst-case scenarios was the counterfactual assumption that people would carry on as usual in the face of the pandemic—that they would not take voluntary precautions such as avoiding crowds, minimizing social contact, working from home, wearing masks, and paying extra attention to hygiene. The Imperial College projection was based on “the (unlikely) absence of any control measures or spontaneous changes in individual behaviour.” Similarly, the projection of as many as 2.2 million deaths in the United States cited by the White House was based on “no intervention”—not just no lockdowns, but no response of any kind.

Another problem with those projections, assuming that the CDC’s current “best estimate” is in the right ballpark, was that the IFRs they assumed were far too high. The difference between an IFR of 0.8 to 0.9 percent and an IFR of 0.2 to 0.3 percent, even in the completely unrealistic worst-case scenarios, is the difference between millions and hundreds of thousands of deaths—still a grim outcome, but not nearly as bad as the horrifying projections cited by politicians to justify the sweeping restrictions they imposed.

“The parameter values in each scenario will be updated and augmented over time, as we learn more about the epidemiology of COVID-19,” the CDC cautions. “New data on COVID-19 is available daily; information about its biological and epidemiological characteristics remain[s] limited, and uncertainty remains around nearly all parameter values.” But the CDC’s current best estimates are surely better grounded than the numbers it was using two months ago.

recent review of 13 studies that calculated IFRs in various countries found a wide range of estimates, from 0.05 percent in Iceland to 1.3 percent in Northern Italy and among the passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess cruise ship. This month Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis, who has long been skeptical of high IFR estimates for COVID-19, looked specifically at published studies that sought to estimate the prevalence of infection by testing people for antibodies to the virus that causes the disease. He found that the IFRs implied by 12 studies ranged from 0.02 percent to 0.4 percent. My colleague Ron Bailey last week noted several recent antibody studies that implied considerably higher IFRs, ranging from 0.6 percent in Norway to more than 1 percent in Spain.

Methodological issues, including sample bias and the accuracy of the antibody tests, probably explain some of this variation. But it is also likely that actual IFRs vary from one place to another, both internationally and within countries. “It should be appreciated that IFR is not a fixed physical constant,” Ioannidis writes, “and it can vary substantially across locations, depending on the population structure, the case-mix of infected and deceased individuals and other, local factors.”

[….]

If you focus on hard-hit areas such as New York and New Jersey, an IFR between 0.2 and 0.3 percent, as suggested by the CDC’s current best estimate, seems improbably low. “While most of these numbers are reasonable, the mortality rates shade far too low,” University of Washington biologist Carl Bergstrom told CNN. “Estimates of the numbers infected in places like NYC are way out of line with these estimates.”

But the CDC’s estimate looks more reasonable when compared to the results of antibody studies in Miami-Dade CountySanta Clara CountyLos Angeles County, and Boise, Idaho—places that so far have had markedly different experiences with COVID-19. We need to consider the likelihood that these divergent results reflect not just methodological issues but actual differences in the epidemic’s impact—differences that can help inform the policies for dealing with it.

IMMUNITIES

Of course there is another twist in the whole story morning glory… even with the vaccine, the virus itself is disappearing naturally as more and more people are naturally getting immune to it through contact (most react with no or minor symptoms), the vaccine will be useless by the time it is produced. (Which is why they will in the end FORCE this on us, to vindicate the monies spent and a need to recoup costs.)

This is because the HERD IMMUNITY rate may be much lower that some have been saying:

Why Herd Immunity To Covid-19 Is Reached Much Earlier Than Thought (JUDITH CURRY)

In my view, the true herd immunity threshold probably lies somewhere between the 7% and 24% implied by the cases illustrated in Figures 4 and 5. If it were around 17%, which evidence from Stockholm County suggests the resulting fatalities from infections prior to the HIT being reached should be a very low proportion of the population. The Stockholm infection fatality rate appears to be approximately 0.4%,[20] considerably lower than per the Verity et al.[21] estimates used in Ferguson20, with a fatality rate of under 0.1% from infections until the HIT was reached. The fatality rate to reach the HIT in less densely populated areas should be lower, because R0 is positively related to population density.[22] Accordingly, total fatalities should be well under 0.1% of the population by the time herd immunity is achieved. Although there would be subsequent further fatalities, as the epidemic shrinks it should be increasingly practicable to hasten its end by using testing and contact tracing to prevent infections spreading, and thus substantially reduce the number of further fatalities below those projected by the SEIR model in a totally unmitigated scenario.

Herd Immunity May Only Need 10-20 Per Cent Of People To Be Infected (SPECTATOR UK)

The usual health warnings apply. Gomes’ work is theoretical modelling and, in common with a lot of material on Covid-19 that is being pre-published at the moment (including Ferguson’s paper of 16 March), it has not been peer-reviewed. But it is interesting that it gives an estimate for herd immunity of between 10 and 20 per cent, because that echoes real-life experience. The closest we have to a controlled experiment on the spread of Covid-19 was the cruise ship Diamond Princess, where the disease was able to spread uncontrolled in January, and almost all were later tested for the disease. Out of the 3,711 passengers and crew, 712 – or 19 per cent – were infected.

If herd immunity really is achieved at between 10 to 20 per cent it could mean that many parts of the world are approaching it – or are there already. A study of 1,000 residents in the North West German town of Gangelt in early April suggested that 14 per cent had already been infected (many without even knowing it). A study of 1,300 New Yorkers in late April suggested that 21 per cent have been infected.

Some other posts of mine noting herd immunity:


% Asymptomatic Expressions %


* I also believe the CDC to be waay off in their assessment of the asymptomatic expressions of this virus. They say it is 35%, I say this is way too low. I would posit the lowest is 50%, whereas the highest is between 80% and 86%. My guess is closer to 80%. Here are some examples to support my statements:

[/color-box]

When an outbreak of coronavirus in a Boston homeless shelter prompted officials to do more testing, the results caught them off guard. Of the 146 people who tested positive, all of them were considered asymptomatic.

“These are larger numbers than we ever anticipated,” said Dr. Jim O’Connell, president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. “Asymptomatic spread is something we’ve underestimated overall, and it’s going to make a big difference.”

(CNN)

Dr. Michael Para with OSU said the mass testing was a critical step.

“A large number were positive, but what is amazing is how many people were positive and had no symptoms at all. They were feeling fine,” he said.
Mass testing at the Marion Correctional Institution, for example, revealed that approximately 96 percent of inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic, Chambers-Smith added.

Para said clinicians looked at what they had found and they are now testing the people who were negative to see if they have turned positive.

“Going forward we are going to test specific individuals who are showing symptoms, who are being released, etc.,” he said. “By testing inmates on release, we can notify local health departments whether or not a person is COVID-19 positive.”

(FOX19)


MORE


from an old post of mine

[1] “There are probably 25 to 50 people who have the virus for every one person who is confirmed” — Dr. Marty Makary

Here is my uploaded (truncated) video of Dr. Makary (John Hopkins) being interviewed by YAHOO FINANCE (see their FULL video at YouTube HERE):

[2] 86% of infections went undocumented — Science Journal

Here, the NEW YORK POST (March 17, 2020) notes the journal article by saying:

“Stealth” coronavirus cases are fueling the pandemic, with a staggering 86% of people infected walking around undetected, a new study says.

Six of every seven cases – 86% — were not reported in China before travel restrictions were implemented, driving the spread of the virus, according to a study Monday in the journal Science.

“It’s the undocumented infections which are driving the spread of the outbreak,” said co-author Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University Mailman School, according to GeekWire.

Using computer modeling, researchers tracked infections before and after the Chinese city of Wuhan’s travel ban.

The findings indicated that these undocumented infections with no or mild symptoms — known as “stealth” cases — were behind two-thirds of the reported patients.

“The majority of these infections are mild, with few symptoms at all,” Shaman said, Mercury News reported. “People may not recognize it. Or they think they have a cold.”…

This information likewise calls into question the “official numbers of deaths” being attributed to the CDC as well as supporting the idea that many more persons have the WU FLU, making the death rate percentages even smaller than being discussed above. I am repeating the below because I think it is crucially important!

Enjoy:


other PERTINENT information


MAY I ALSO NOTE that I believe the deaths from The Rona are a bit overstated, while Dr. Birx noted that the CDC may be inflating the death toll by 25%, I provide a couple other examples to support my claim.

UPDATED INFO – Real Quick 

On Thursday, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a report by the Freedom Foundation that they have included those who tested positive for COVID-19 but died of other causes, including gunshot injuries, in their coronavirus death totals. This calls into serious question the state’s calculations of residents who have actually died of the CCP pandemic.

(PJ-MEDIA)

First up, Dr. Birx setting the stage for this with how deaths are coded:

Another example comes from Dr. Ngozi, Director of public health Illinois. She explains how ALL deaths are counted as Covid-19 even if the patient was diagnosed to have die from another disease:

Adapted from the above video description is important (via 4 TIMES A YEAR)

“Should “COVID-19” be reported on the death certificate only with a confirmed test? COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death.” (CDC): “Deborah Birx, a physician who’s leading the White House’s coronavirus task force, said Alabama’s strategy conflicts with CDC’s approach to tallying Covid-19-realted deaths. “[W]e’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality,” she said. “[I]f someone dies with Covid-19, we are counting that as a Covid-19 death.” (ADVISORY)

As many have pointed out, there is a big difference between dying WITH the virus and FROM the virus.

Note Dr. Birx’s similar wording to what Italy was doing:

“‘We’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality….” “The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.”

Italy, unlike the CDC, corrected its error:

“The age of our patients in hospitals is substantially older – the median is 67, while in China it was 46,” Prof Ricciardi says. “So essentially the age distribution of our patients is squeezed to an older age and this is substantial in increasing the lethality.” 

A study in JAMA this week found that almost 40 per cent of infections and 87 per cent of deaths in the country have been in patients over 70 years old.

[….]

But Prof Ricciardi added that Italy’s death rate may also appear high because of how doctors record fatalities. 

“The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

“On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three,” he says. 

[….]

If further testing finds more asymptomatic cases spreading undetected, the mortality rate will drop. 

(TELEGRAPH)

Here is more information from Daniel Horowitz over at CONSERVATIVE REVIEW:

1) The shocking inflation of COVID-19 death numbers: From day one, we were warned that states are ascribing every single death of anyone who happens to test positive for the coronavirus — even if they are asymptomatic — to the virus rather than the clear cause of death. Now, thanks to a lawsuit in Colorado, the state was forced to revise its death count down by 23 % over the weekend — from 1,150 to 878. The state is now publishing numbers of deaths “with” COVID-19 separate from deaths “from” COVID-19. As I reported on Thursday, county officials started accusing the state’s department of health of reclassifying deaths of those who tested positive for the virus but died of things like alcohol poisoning as COVID-19 deaths just to insidiously inflate the numbers. This revision in Colorado is a bombshell story that, of course, will remain unknown to most Americans. Every state needs to do this, and if they did, we would find an across-the-board drop in numbers by at least 25%, the same %age by which Dr. Birx reportedly believes the count is being inflated, according to the Washington Post. For example, in Minnesota, state officials are now admitting that every single person who dies in a nursing home after testing positive is now deemed to have died from the virus, never mind the fact that 25% of all natural deaths in a given week occur in nursing homes and that most cases of COVID-19 are asymptomatic, which means more often than not, they died exclusively of other causes.

(there are five other points made by Horowitz)

TO WIT… Dennis Prager’s guest is Dr. Joel Hay, who is a professor in the department of Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy at the University of Southern California. Both give examples of cancer deaths being coded Covid:

And my third evidence to support my contention a nurse is filmed commenting on the percentages of deaths at NYC hospital. In my posts point #2 (the video still up amazingly) notes that every death cert in NYC-hospital is coded as Rona. In fact, 99% of deaths from that hospital were coded Rona during a period — AN IMPOSSIBLE statistic (https://tinyurl.com/y9awsuor — my site)

A CLEARER PICTURE blog comments on the above indirectly:

….In New York City, around 12,000 people have supposedly died from COVID-19 at the time of this writing. That’s 22% of all alleged U.S. deaths.

Around 7,000 of the NYC deaths attributed to COVID-19 have been thoroughly investigated to determine if there was another serious life-threatening illness present

Take a deep breath if doing so hasn’t been outlawed where you live.

99.2% of those 7,000 New Yorkers who supposedly died from the virus had another antecedent life-threatening illness. For all intents and purposes, that’s all of them.

How is it even remotely possible that 7,000 NYC deaths attributed to COVID-19 were investigated and virtually every single one of them found to have involved at least one other life-threatening illness if the virus is in and of itself deadly?

Most strains of coronavirus that affect humans are common cold viruses.

In light of the apparent almost universal prevalence of at least one other deadly disease among the alleged NYC deceased…

And in light of all the factors massively inflating the bogus death tally we’re being fed every day…

What reason do we have to believe COVID-19 is actually killing anyone?

No one knows how many Americans have really died of COVID-19….

However, we are starting to find out that “pure” deaths caused by Covid-19 exclusivelt is low (DAILY WIRE):

On Tuesday, San Diego county Supervisor Jim Desmond said after digging into the data that he believes only six of the county’s 194 coronavirus-identified deaths are “pure” coronavirus deaths, meaning they died from the virus, not merely with the virus.

Desmond was seemingly ruling out deaths from individuals with preexisting conditions.

“We’ve unfortunately had six pure, solely coronavirus deaths — six out of 3.3 million people,” Desmond said on a podcast, Armstrong & Getty Extra Large Interviews, according to San Diego Tribune. “I mean, what number are we trying to get to with those odds. I mean, it’s incredible. We want to be safe, and we can do it, but unfortunately, it’s more about control than getting the economy going again and keeping people safe.”

Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten suggested Wednesday during a press briefing that Desmond was being callous, noting that their liberal identification of COVID-19 deaths is uniform with coding nationwide.

“Their life is no less valuable than someone’s life who does not have underlying medical conditions,” Wooten said. “This is not just San Diego. This is how this is done throughout the entire nation in terms of identifying who has died of COVID-19.”

Also note that all the anti-body tests are showing a larger infected population than previously considered. REASON.COM previously noted the Stanford study that between “48,000 and 81,000 residents of Santa Clara County, California are likely to have already been infected by the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.” Stanford University has revised the numbers to better fit the assumption (via MERCURY NEWS):

In a revised analysis of a startling study published last month, they now estimate that 2.8% of Santa Clara residents were previously infected by the virus but didn’t know it.

That implies that the county had up to 54,000 infections — many more than the 1,000 confirmed cases in the county at the time.

“This suggests that the large majority of the population does not have antibodies and may be susceptible to the virus,” concludes the research paper, published in the online report medRxiv….

MY COMMENTS FROM MY FACEBOOK ABOUT THE ABOVE

So, Stanford settled on a number in early April… when there were 1,000 CONFIRMED cases were known in Santa Clara, there were 54,000 infected. To REALLY understand the percentages you would have to follow those 1,000 KNOWN cases from that time and compare the 55,000 cases to those deaths. (BTW, Stanford took the lower path on stats; so there could be a larger number.) Here is part of the article… but know that with the flu shot, there are more deaths by the flu than The Rona, without a “Rona shot.”

UPDATE (trying to figure out deaths per infections): Okay, let us apply the 98% survive who are known to have it and are hospitalized stat I have heard for some time. So 2% of the 1,000 is 20. 20 deaths from that early April figure of 55,000. Right? Gives you… 0.036%


UPDATES!


A friend on FACEBOOK has been a light in the war-torn field of The Rona (Wu Flu) battle of infection rates. Here are two posts of his [combined with a response to a friendly comment from one of his peeps] followed by some recent articles (links to papers will be in graphics):

Here’s a new meta-study from Stanford of all of the antibody testing that’s happened.

This puts the Wu Flu anywhere between 7x LESS deadly than the flu and 2.8x MORE deadly than the flu (making it a little worse than a bad flu season like 2018). And that’s assuming that this doesn’t follow SARS 1 and just disappear.

The data behind this is really solid, and the author is well-respected. Unlike those stupid models we were using, this is really real data.

We don’t do contact tracing, social distancing, mask-wearing, or lockdowns for the seasonal flu, and this looks like a watered down seasonal flu that got 100000000x more media attention and governors sending sick people to nursing homes to boost up the death rate.

The original post (OP) on this second strain was a graphic. I will link to the Kent County (Michigan site through it. Here is my FB description of the following: “A person named B.M. wrote on a friends Facebook wall the following regarding “contact tracing.” (The original post had to do with hiring government employees to trace citizens with Covid.)”

(See also this BRIDGE article)

  • [A reader of JP’s noted] Actually, contact tracing sounds like a legitimate work of government. Rather than quarantining the healthy, quarantine the sick and monitor those exposed to the disease.

JP responded:


Sorry in advance for the novel! Heh, I started thinking of other interesting things to add and just decided to run with it.

Contact tracing might work for illnesses that don’t spread very easily (it probably would have exterminated HIV, according to what I’ve read; I’m no expert but it seems reasonable), but for upper respiratory stuff like colds and flus (and the Wu Flu), it’s pretty much doomed, especially with up to 10% of the whole country already having the it.

The original point of the lockdowns (which don’t seem to have worked; lockdown and non-lockdown countries and states have almost identical statistics) was to slow the spread to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. It wasn’t to stop spread, since even the CDC admits that after about 1% of people are infected with a contagious disease, you can’t really close the door on it anymore. Contact tracing is a relatively invasive way of closing the door on a virus, so I don’t think it will work here**.

The data points to a much less lethal bug, though. Stanford’s meta analysis of all of the large-scale antibody testing shows an IFR (Infection Fatality Rate) between 7 times less than the seasonal flu and 2.8 times more. It’s probably in the middle, making it slightly less lethal than regular seasonal flus. And since we know it has been in the US at least since January (probably since December or earlier), the R? (Basic Reproduction Number or Rate) is also much lower than people originally thought. So it spreads like the flu and is as deadly as the flu.

The main difference seems to be the 24/7 media terrorizing of citizens, the complete ignorance most of us (that’s me, too) had in the real pneumonia/influenza deaths each year, and the downright evil policy of many Democrat governors of sending the sick to recover (while contagious) at nursing homes, boosting the deaths by up to 50%.

Sorry for the novel!! Reading every little bit about this thing has become an unfortunate hobby of mine. I’m of the mind now that the best strategy is to fight the fear instead of the virus and to get back to normal in virtually every way. If this is anything like it’s older brother SARS, it will die out in the next couple of months. But if not, keeping everyone from immunity just means extending the risk.

** I think contact tracing may -appear- to work because I think we are naturally bottoming out cases. Same, in my mind, for other measures.

One final bit: I’ve followed lots of different predictions to see who might get things most accurately to see what they did differently. This guy’s been right on (it’s been almost scary) using SARS as a comparison instead of the Spanish Flu (since this bug is SARS 2). This is a really good visual of the whole thing:

(Click to enlarge)

ALSO, a short bit from Bruce Carrol:

“If you are waiting for a “cure” for COVID-19, you’ll never leave your home again.

Even the flu vaccine (not vaccine, flu shot. There is a vaccine for the Polio, not HIV or SARS) results in 60-80,000 deaths every season.

We have to stop the fearmongering and start learning to live with a new virus in a string of new viruses that have emerged for tens of thousands of years.

Boomers and Millennials aren’t that special of a species.”

— Bruce Carroll (Co-founder of the gay Republican group GOProu, and founder of GAYPATRIOT)

TO WIT…

The SPECTATOR USA has an excellent article backing up the above conversation, entitled, “Stanford Study Suggests Coronavirus Might Not Be As Deadly As Flu: All their estimates for IFR are markedly lower than the figures thrown about a couple of months ago” (This was a SPECTATOR UK original piece –  FYI)

One of the great unknowns of the COVID-19 crisis is just how deadly the disease is. Much of the panic dates from the moment, in early March, when the World Health Organization (WHO) published a mortality rate of 3.2 percent — which turned out to be a crude ‘case fatality rate’ dividing the number of deaths by the number of recorded cases, ignoring the large number of cases which are asymptomatic or otherwise go unrecorded.

The Imperial College modeling, which has been so influential on the UK government, assumed an infection fatality rate (IFR) of 0.9 percent. This was used to compute the infamous prediction that 250,000 Britons would die unless the government abandoned its mitigation strategy and adopted instead a policy of suppressing the virus through lockdown. Imperial later revised its estimate of the IFR down to 0.66 percent — although the March 16 paper which predicted 250,000 deaths was not updated.

In the past few weeks, a slew of serological studies estimating the prevalence of infection in the general population has become available. This has allowed Prof John Ioannidis of Stanford University to work out the IFR in 12 different locations.

They range between 0.02 percent and 0.5 percent — although Ioannidis has corrected those raw figures to take account of demographic balance and come up with estimates between 0.02 percent and 0.4 percent. The lowest estimates came from Kobe, Japan, found to have an IFR of 0.02 percent and Oise in northern France, with an IFR of 0.04 percent. The highest were in Geneva (a raw figure of 0.5 percent) and Gangelt in Germany (0.28 percent).

The usual caveats apply: most studies to detect the prevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the general population remain unpublished, and have not yet been peer-reviewed. Some are likely to be unrepresentative of the general population. The Oise study, in particular, was based on students, teachers and parents in a single high school which was known to be a hotspot on COVID-19 infection. At the other end of the table, Geneva has a relatively high age profile, which is likely to skew its death rate upwards.

But it is noticeable how all these estimates for IFR are markedly lower than the figures thrown about a couple of months ago, when it was widely asserted that COVID-19 was a whole magnitude worse than flu. Seasonal influenza is often quoted as having an IFR of 0.1 to 0.2 percent. The Stanford study suggests that COVID-19 might not, after all, be more deadly than flu — although, as Ioannidis notes, the profile is very different: seasonal flu has a higher IFR in developing countries, where vaccination is rare, while COVID-19 has a higher death rate in the developed world, thanks in part of more elderly populations.

The Stanford study, however, does not include the largest antibody study to date: that involving a randomized sample of 70,000 Spanish residents, whose preliminary results were published by the Carlos III Institute of Health two weeks ago. That suggested that five percent of the Spanish population had been infected with the virus. With 27,000 deaths in the country, that would convert to an IFR of 1.1 percent.

This backs up of course some excellent article by Daniel Horowitz:

A CLEARER PICTURE has a great post about this as well, I suggest if you like what you see you check out that blog weekly.

For one thing, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx have both explicitly stated that anyone dying WITH the virus is counted as dying FROM it. Since 4/5 of COVID-19 infections are mild and 1/2 appear to show no symptoms at all, the official U.S. death tally is bound to include many in which it played little or no role.

The CDC has made matters much worse by insisting that doctors list COVID-19 on death certificates without a positive test confirming its presence and even absent any medical justification at all. A willingness to “assume” it was a factor is all that’s officially required. And hospitals now reap enormous financial rewards for making the assumption.

(Click To Enlarge)

Those in charge couldn’t have possibly shown less interest in determining the real number of Americans who would still be alive if not for having contracted COVID-19. It’s unlikely that ours is the only country in which the data has been turned into garbage by a perfect storm of inflating factors. As hard as it may be to accept, the odds are pretty much nil that we’ll ever know how deadly the virus we were made to spend months obsessively fearing really was.

Even on the inflated numbers we’re getting, however, it isn’t anywhere near 10 times deadlier than the flu; as Dr. Fauci claimed on March 11, while ginning up support for his novel public health strategy of extinguishing our rights and wrecking the economy. But, of course, a few weeks later, we learned that even Fauci didn’t believe a word of the lie he so effectively used to terrorize a nation of over 300 million people into suicidal obedience.

Though perhaps you haven’t heard. You see, on March 26, Dr. Fauci shared his true opinion with his peers in the pages of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine:

The overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%).

Dr. Anthony Fauci, March 26, 2020 New England Journal of Medicine

In case you’re wondering, the parenthetical remark is his, not mine. Moreover, when Sharyl Attkisson contacted the journal about the strange discrepancy between what Fauci was scaring the public with and the substantially less alarming take his learned colleagues heard, she discovered his article had been submitted “many weeks ago.”….

(READ IT ALL)

 

 

Bubba Smollett, NASCAR Hate Hoax (Mark Dice)

See the SUPERCUT of the MSM via TWITTER

  • As reliably as children being fooled by Santa Claus, the news media has once again been duped by an obviously false story that fit their favorite narrative about race. Last year, it was the Jussie Smollett fiasco, which I was one of the first media commentators to call out as lacking credibility. Today, in a very different but similar story, we have learned that, contrary to an enormous amount of media outrage and moralizing, black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not the victim of a noose-related hate crime. (NEW YORK POST)

While I like their rants (Paul Watson, Mark Dice, and others) and these commentaries hold much truth in them, I do wish to caution you… he is part of Info Wars/Prison Planet and Summit News network of yahoos, a crazy conspiracy arm of Alex Jones shite. Also, I bet if I talked to him he would reveal some pretty-crazy conspiratorial beliefs that would naturally undermine and be at-odds-with some of his rants. Just to be clear, I do not endorse these people or orgs.

Trump Acted Quickley On Coronavirus (TIMELINES PART DEUX)

A friend – in response to a challenge, posted multiple stories about Trump’s response to the Coronavirus to my single post detailing the timeline of the Trump admins response here: Trump Acted Quickley On Coronavirus (TIMELINES)

This was his firing away as if to make a point:

JIM

  • 10 times Trump and his administration were warned about coronavirus (AXIOS)
  • Trump’s daily briefings warned about COVID-19 at least a dozen times before the US outbreak, but he ‘failed to register’ the threat (BUSINESS INSIDER)
  • Trump was warned in January of Covid-19’s devastating impact, memos reveal (THE GUARDIAN)
  • Trump Was Warned About Virus Threat In More Than A Dozen Intelligence Reports In January, February (KAIESER HEALTH NEWS)
  • Trump Received Intelligence Briefings On Coronavirus Twice In January (NPR)
  • Trump Aide Warned Early on of Deadly US Coronavirus Outbreak (VOA NEWS)

(The italicized articles are completely debunked by information below – the others are highly questionable, the ones that have unnamed sources that is, and other portions of them are called into question by the timeline below.)

Besides the obvious question of, “which Western leader do you look to as a shining example of reacting in January to the crisis?” I could have easily responded to these papers who spread stories from a single anonymous source as if they are all different stories based on different [again, unnamed] sources, which, their practice of has undone almost all their stories [one example, another, and another] on the Russian Collusion Hoax, like this,

  • Memory Hole: What the Media Wants You to Forget About Their Biased Coronavirus Coverage (PJ-MEDIA)
  • The Media’s Top Lies and Spins About COVID-19 (REAL CLEAR POLITICS)
  • The Top 10 Lies About President Trump’s Response to the Coronavirus (PJ-MEDIA)
  • The China Virus Pandemic: COVID-19 Response and Recovery (PATRIOT POST)
  • Pollak: Democrats Pushed Impeachment While Coronavirus Spread (BREITBART)
  • China hid extent of coronavirus outbreak, US intelligence reportedly says (CNBC)
  • China deliberately hid coronavirus, admonished whistleblowers (WASHINTON TIMES)
  • Fauci points to China for late realization coronavirus was his ‘worst nightmare’ (WASHINGTON EXAMINER)
  • China admits to destroying coronavirus samples, insists it was for safety (NY POST)
  • China confirms US accusations that it destroyed early samples of the novel coronavirus, but says it was done for ‘biosafety reasons’ (BUSINESS INSIDER)
  • China pressured WHO to delay global coronavirus warning: report (NY POST)
  • China’s president Xi Jinping ‘personally asked WHO to hold back information about human-to-human transmission and delayed the global response by four to six WEEKS’ at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, bombshell report claims (THE DAILY MAIL)

MY OWN SITE:

However, this does nothing to prove or disprove a point. So, I merely went to the first point made in his first linked article at AXIOS, quoting the NYTs:

AXIOS:

On Jan. 18, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar first briefed Trump on the threat of the virus in a phone call, the New York Times reports. Trump made his first public comments about the virus on Jan. 22, saying he was not concerned about a pandemic and that “we have it totally under control.”

NEW YORK TIMES:

Even after Mr. Azar first briefed him about the potential seriousness of the virus during a phone call on Jan. 18 while the president was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Mr. Trump projected confidence that it would be a passing problem.

“We have it totally under control,” he told an interviewer a few days later while attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. “It’s going to be just fine.”

(NEW YORK TIMES)

Now, much like the Left’s favorite thing to do, they take Trump out of context and use this false context to create a straw man and then bludgeon it. Why did Trump say it was going to be fine? Because, according to the WALL STREET JOURNAL, Alex Azar “oversold his agency’s progress in the early days and didn’t coordinate effectively across the health-care divisions under his purview.” Trump could only report what Alex told him on the 18th.

But this January 18th discussion is not proven to have even taken place, all we have again are unnamed sources: Azar told several associates that Trump thought his warnings were ‘alarmist’, according to The Washington Post” (DAILY MAIL). And again, NEWSMAX discusses that WALL STREET JOURNAL article, saying:

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar waited weeks to brief President Donald Trump on the coronavirus threat and oversold the progress of developing an effective test for the virus, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

The newspaper said that as of Jan. 29, Azar had assured Trump the coronavirus outbreak was under control. And during the meeting with Trump, Azar said the government had never mounted a better interagency response to a crisis.

But that isn’t the only story to the story. I do not think this even reported by anonymous sources actually happened. The same people that wrongly reported using anonymous sources are now the same people using anonymous sources.

News media figures advancing “Trump-Russia collusion” narratives are now spreading misinformation about President Donald Trump and the coronavirus outbreak as part of a “permanent coup,” […..]

The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources, recently alleged that Trump was issued repeated warnings about the coronavirus through a dozen classified daily briefings between January and February.

“An article in the Washington Post … said that in [his] presidential daily briefings, Trump repeatedly ignored warnings of the coronavirus,” Smith recalled. Acting DNI Richard Grenell tweeted at the authors of this piece. [He] said. ‘That’s not true. We told you this is not true, and yet you only included our denial in the ninth paragraph.’”

Smith continued, “So these two Washington Post journalists were a core Russiagate conspiracy team. Again, unfortunately, we’re seeing the same thing unfold again and again, and that’s why the title of the book is The Permanent Coup.”

(BREITBART)

And the LEGAL INSURRECTION does a bang-up job on the same subject:

According to the Washington Post, the president’s classified daily briefings included “warnings about the novel coronavirus in more than a dozen classified briefings prepared for President Trump in January and February, months during which he continued to play down the threat.”

The unnamed sources were foregrounded, while an actual named source refuting the claim was not mentioned until paragraph eight:

A White House spokesman disputed the characterization that Trump was slow to respond to the virus threat. “President Trump rose to fight this crisis head-on by taking early, aggressive historic action to protect the health, wealth and well-being of the American people,” said spokesman Hogan Gidley. “We will get through this difficult time and defeat this virus because of his decisive leadership.”

As if that’s not bad enough, it’s only in the ninth paragraph that WaPo gets around to noting that the suggestion the president ignored his presidential daily briefing (PDB) has been denied by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the office responsible for the PDB.

  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is responsible for the PDB. In response to questions about the repeated mentions of coronavirus, a DNI official said, “The detail of this is not true.” The official declined to explain or elaborate.

So WaPo contacted the DNI about claims the president ignored Wuhan coronavirus warnings in Jan/Feb PDB’s, and the DNI responded that the “detail of this is not true.” What do they need to explain here?  Maybe WaPo needs to provide its list of questions so that we can make that determination ourselves?  I’m pretty sure the context would greatly improve our understanding of the DNI responseand undermine the WaPo smear, thus the absence of said context.

It’s not actually clear what the point of the WaPo article is except to smear the president with the false implication that his administration ignored the Wuhan coronavirus until March.  This smear is completely and demonstrably false.

Of course, the mindless, anti-Trump stenographers who make up the legacy and leftstream media “covered” the questionable story, all linking to this flimsy WaPo hit piece that provides no evidence to support—and that actually refutes—its own claim.

  • Business Insider: “Trump’s daily briefings warned about COVID-19 at least a dozen times before the US outbreak, but he ‘failed to register’ the threat”
  • CNN: “The intelligence community did its job, but Trump didn’t do his”
  • MSN: “Trump reportedly ignored intel briefings on coronavirus threat”
  • NYMag: “Trump Informed of Coronavirus Threat in January in Briefings He’s Known Not to Read: Report”
  • CNN (again): “Washington Post: US intelligence warned Trump in January and February as he dismissed coronavirus threat”

Setting aside for the moment the fact that a global pandemic of this sort is new to everyone in the world and that no one, including top virologists, has answers, keep in mind that the first U.S. death from Wuhan coronavirus was reported on February 29th in Seattle.

What was Trump doing about the Wuhan coronavirus in January and February when he was supposedly ignoring the potential crisis?

Oh, right, setting up a coronavirus task force and issuing travel restrictions on China, well before the first U.S. death occurred.  How did he know to take these actions if he was ignoring his daily briefings?  Weird, right?

(READ THE REST – EXCELLENT POSTit includes a timeline as well)

Mollie Hemingway says it best:

Hemingway began by noting that the “Russia narrative” predates the Mueller probe, having begun circulating during the 2016 election after the creation of the infamous Clinton campaign-funded Steele dossier, which pushed the theory that then-Republican candidate Donald Trump was a “Russian agent.”

“We have, for the last three years … frequently [witnessed] hysteria about treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election,” Hemingway told the panel. “The fact [is] that there are no more indictments coming and the fact [is] that all of the indictments that we’ve seen thus far have been for process crimes or things unrelated to what we were told by so many people in the media was ‘treasonous collusion’ to steal the 2016 election.”

“If there is nothing there that matches what we’ve heard from the media for many years, there needs to be a reckoning and the people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government who were not critical and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable,” she added.

THE FEDERALIST has a printing of the HHS timeline for January that shows that the propositions made by these Leftist newspapers are not revealing the whole timeline to their readers:

The Wall Street Journal should do a lot better; they asked Azar for the truth. He gave it to them. They chose not to report it. For those who want to know, here is HHS’s offical timeline of what happened in January:

December 31: CDC, including Director Robert Redfield, learns of a “cluster of 27 cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology” reported in Wuhan, China.
January 1: CDC begins developing situation reports, which are shared with HHS.
January 3: Director Redfield emails and speaks on the phone with Dr. George Gao, Director of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
January 3: Director Redfield speaks with Secretary Azar, and HHS notifies the National Security Council (NSC).
January 4: Director Redfield emails Dr. Gao again and offers CDC assistance, stating, “I would like to offer CDC technical experts in laboratory and epidemiology of respiratory infectious diseases to assist you and China CDC in identification of this unknown and possibly novel pathogen.”
January 6: At the request of Secretary Azar, Director Redfield sends formal letter to China CDC offering full CDC assistance.
January 6: CDC issues a Level 1 Travel Watch for China.
January 6: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci begins doing interviews on the outbreak.
January 7: CDC establishes a 2019 nCoV Incident Management Structure to prepare for potential U.S. cases and to support the investigation in China or other countries, if requested.
January 8: CDC distributes an advisory via the Health Alert Network, which communicates to state and local public health partners, alerting healthcare workers and public health partners of the outbreak.
January 9: CDC and FDA begin collaborating on a diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus.
January 10: China shares viral sequence, allowing NIH scientists to begin work on a vaccine that evening.

JANUARY 11: FIRST DEATH REPORTED IN CHINA
JANUARY 13: 41 CASES IN CHINA, FIRST CASE REPORTED OUTSIDE CHINA

January 13: NIH shares their vaccine sequence with a pharmaceutical manufacturer.
January 14: The National Security Council begins daily Novel Coronavirus Policy Coordination Council meetings.
January 14: WHO tweets: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.”
January 17: CDC and Customs and Border Protection began enhanced screening of travelers from Wuhan at three airports that receive significant numbers of travelers from that city, expanded in the following week to five airports, covering 75–80 percent of Wuhan travel.
January 17: CDC hosts its first tele-briefing on the virus, with Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who emphasizes “this is a serious situation” and “we know [from the experience of SARS and MERS that] it’s crucial to be proactive and prepared.”
January 17: CDC posts interim guidance, updated regularly in the coming weeks and months, for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens for the novel coronavirus, includingbiosafety guidelines for laboratories.
January 18: CDC publishes interim guidance on how to care for novel coronavirus patients at home who do not require hospitalization.
January 20: The Chinese government confirms human-to-human transmission of the virus.

JANUARY 21: FIRST U.S. CASE CONFIRMED (FROM TRAVEL)[1]

January 21: CDC activates its Emergency Operations Center.
January 21: The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, or ASPR) begins holding market research calls with industry leading diagnostics companies to gauge their interest in developing diagnostics for the novel coronavirus and to encourage initiating development activities.
January 21: CDC holds its second tele-briefing on the virus, with officials from Washington State, to discuss the first U.S. case, and Dr. Messonnier, who notes “CDC has been proactively preparing for an introduction of the virus here” and that a CDC team was deployed to Washington.
January 21: CDC posts interim guidance, updated regularly in the coming months, on how to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in homes and other settings.
January 21: Secretary Azar discusses coronavirus with Lou Dobbs on Fox Business Network, noting “we have been heavily engaged at the outset” of the outbreak, with the CDC and the rest of HHS working under the President’s direction to develop testing and alert healthcare providers.
January 22: Secretary Azar signs a memorandum from CDC Director Redfield determining that the novel coronavirus could imminently become an infectious disease emergency, which allows HHS to send a request to the Office of Management and Budget to access $105 million from the Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund.
January 22: FDA, working with test developers, shares an authorization application template with a diagnostic test developer for the first time.
January 22: ASPR stands up an interagency diagnostics working group with BARDA, CDC, FDA, NIH, and the Department of Defense (DOD).
January 22: HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement began flagging any children referred from China for risk assessments and, if indicated by their travel and exposure history, for quarantine for up to 14 days before being placed in the general community of the shelter. Screenings expanded to children referred from Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea on March 2.

JANUARY 22: ALL OUTBOUND TRAINS AND FLIGHTS FROM WUHAN CANCELED

January 23: ASPR convenes a Disaster Leadership Group (DLG), to align government-wide partners regarding the outbreak situation, communications strategies, and the potential medical countermeasure pipeline. The same week, conversations begin with manufacturers of N95 masks, enabling mask production on U.S. soil to rise from about 250 million a year in January to about 640 million a year in March.
January 24: ASPR forms three government-wide task forces—on healthcare system capacity and resilience, development of medical countermeasures (diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines), and supply chains—as part of work under Emergency Support Function 8 of the National Response Framework.
January 24: CDC hosts its third tele-briefing on the virus, with Dr. Nancy Messonnier and officials from Illinois, where CDC has deployed a team to respond to the second U.S. case, from travel. Dr. Messonnier notes, “We are expecting more cases in the U.S., and we are likely going to see some cases among close contacts of travelers and human to human transmission.”
January 24: CDC publicly posts its assay for the novel coronavirus, allowing the global community to develop their own assays using the CDC design.
January 25: Five days before WHO’s declaration of a public health emergency of international concern, Secretary Azar preemptively notifies Congress of his intent to use $105 million from the Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund.

JANUARY 26: FIVE U.S. CASES CONFIRMED, ALL TRAVEL-RELATED

January 26: ASPR holds first meetings of healthcare resilience, medical countermeasure development, and supply chain task forces, which continue several times a week or daily in the coming weeks.
January 27: In a Washington, D.C., speech, Secretary Azar shares that HHS is “proactively preparing for the arrival of the novel coronavirus on our shores,” noting that “the novel coronavirus is a rapidly changing situation, and we are still learning about the virus.” “While the virus poses a serious public health threat, the immediate risk to Americans is low at this time,” Azar says, noting that he spoke on the morning of January 27 with China’s Minister of Health and WHO Director-General Tedros speak to discuss the novel coronavirus.
January 27: CDC hosts a tele-briefing with Dr. Nancy Messonnier, who notes that new travel recommendations are coming and that “there may be some disruptions” to Americans’ lives as a result of the public health response, but that “this virus is not spreading in the community” in the U.S.
January 27: CDC and State Department issue Level 3 “postpone or reconsider travel” warnings for all of China.
January 27: FDA begins providing updates about processes for approval and authorization to developers of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and other countermeasures for the novel coronavirus.
January 27: CDC’s Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases, Jay Butler, holds a call with the nation’s governors on the novel coronavirus.
January 28: HHS hosts press briefing by Secretary Azar, Dr. Fauci, Director Redfield, and Dr. Messonnier. Azar says, “Americans should know that this is a potentially very serious public health threat, but, at this point, Americans should not worry for their own safety.” He underscores, “This is a very fast moving, constantly changing situation…. Part of the risk we face right now is that we don’t yet know everything we need to know about this virus. But, I want to emphasize, that does not prevent us from preparing and responding.”
January 28: CDC posts interim guidance, updated regularly in the coming months, for airline crews regarding the novel coronavirus.
January 29: The White House announces the establishment of the Coronavirus Task Force, which begins daily meetings.
January 29: CDC hosts a tele-briefing with Dr. Messonnier, who notes that “despite an aggressive public health investigation to find new cases [in the U.S.], we have not.”
January 29: CDC posts infection prevention and control recommendations for novel coronavirus patients in healthcare settings, updated regularly in the coming months.
January 29: The Chinese government sends email to HHS acknowledging offer of U.S. expert assistance; HHS begins soliciting nominees for mission from across the department.
January 29: ASPR, CDC, FDA, NIAID, and DOD host a listening session with industry—1,468 participants—on medical countermeasure development, health system preparedness, supply resilience, and medical surge needs.
January 29: The first repatriation flight from Wuhan, China arrives at March Air Reserve Base in California, beginning the safe repatriation of Americans and marking the first use of federal quarantine power in more than 50 years. The operation eventually totals more than 3,000 repatriations, with citizens from Wuhan and passengers from cruise ships. Repatriated Americans praise the work of the quarantine teams—including a couple who spent an extended honeymoon at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

JANUARY 30: SIXTH AND SEVENTH CASES CONFIRMED IN THE U.S., CLOSE CONTACTS OF TRAVEL-RELATED CASE

January 30: CDC hosts a tele-briefing with Director Redfield, Dr. Messonnier, and officials from Illinois, where a sixth case is identified, in a spouse of a confirmed case who had traveled to China. Director Redfield notes that most cases around the world outside of China are close contacts of travelers, and “the full picture of how easy and how sustainable this virus can spread is unclear.” (A seventh case is identified later that evening.)
January 30: Department of State issues Level 4 warning, “do not travel,” for all of mainland China.
January 30: The Trump Administration hosts a call with Secretary Azar, Director Redfield, Dr. Fauci, and others with the nation’s governors to present the Administration’s action plan on responding to the outbreak.
January 30: In an appearance on Fox News, Secretary Azar notes that, whether the WHO declares a public health emergency of international concern (declared January 31), “That doesn’t change anything about what we are doing here in the United States.The President is ensuring that we are proactively preparing and also taking the necessary steps to prevent or mitigate any potential further spread here in the United States.”
January 30: Trump Administration budget officials begin discussions about funding needed for development of vaccines and therapeutics, purchases of Personal Protective Equipment for the Strategic National Stockpile, surveillance and testing, and state and local support.
January 30: ASPR launches a coronavirus portal to receive market research packages and meeting requests from industry stakeholders interested in developing or manufacturing medical countermeasures.
January 31: At the recommendation of his public health officials, President Trump issues historic restrictions on travel from Hubei and mainland China, effective February 2.
January 31: Secretary Azar signs a declaration of a nationwide Public Health Emergency, which allowed HHS to begin using a range of emergency authorities and flexibilities, and, together with other subsequent declarations, would allow emergency flexibilities for healthcare providers. At a White House briefing, he notes, “The risk of infection for Americans remains low, and with these and our previous actions, we are working to keep the risk low. It is likely that we will continue to see more cases in the United States in the coming days and weeks, including some limited person-to-person transmission.”
January 31: CDC hosts a tele-briefing with Dr. Messonnier, who notes possible reports of asymptomatic transmission and says, “We are preparing as if this were the next pandemic, but we are hopeful still that this is not and will not be the case.”
January 31: FDA holds a virtual meeting with American Clinical Laboratory Association about the emergency use authorization application process.

Yes, Trump acted as soon as the news of the virus was available. And as we know from the results, stringency of lockdowns did not translate into how many deadly infections there were:

(Click Graphic To Enlarge)


While not a gauge of whether the decisions taken were the right ones, nor of how strictly they were followed, the analysis gives a clear sense of each government’s strategy for containing the virus. Some — above all Italy and Spain — enforced prolonged and strict lockdowns after infections took off. Others — especially Sweden — preferred a much more relaxed approach. Portugal and Greece chose to close down while cases were relatively low. France and the U.K. took longer before deciding to impose the most restrictive measures.

But, as our next chart shows, there’s little correlation between the severity of a nation’s restrictions and whether it managed to curb excess fatalities — a measure that looks at the overall number of deaths compared with normal trends.

(BLOOMBERG)

Wuhan Virus Hysteria

I was asked the following question on Facebook by a friend of the family (my oldest son’s friend to be exact,). She asked:

  • Alright Sean, what do you think of this whole virus deal? I’m personally not really worried about it, pretty sure I already had the dang thing, just curious!

The short answer is “I am not worried.” Democrats are twice as likely to freak-out about this than are Republicans. (I assume #NeverTrumpers are in the same “Democrat boat.”) HOWEVER, I will say this is the best argument for what the nation is doing writ large (even if I still disagree with it somewhat) — from my Facebook:

Okay. So the best argument I’ve heard so far came from Ben Shapiro for the course of action that we are taking as a country towards the Coronavirus (the Wuhan Virus). And it’s simple, unlike past flues you could have this for a few days and not realize you have it before the symptoms kick in. During this time you are highly contagious. Brand new studies show that it can be in the air from you breathing for up to 3 hours in a confined space (say, a room or elevator etc); and it can stay on surfaces for up to 3 days. Now, Italy has more beds per thousand people in hospitals and healthcare systems than does America. Since our Baby Boomer population can be more prone for serious complications in reaction to this, we stand a chance at burdening our emergency rooms/hospitals to well past it’s limits (Italy is at 200% plus capacity and are sending people home essentially to die). So all these precautions are not to “stop” Coronavirus, but to “slow” it’s spread to help alleviate the impact on our health care network. And by slowing it we are allowing a chance for a vaccine to hit the shelves in time to mitigate this flu as it gets worse.

I will answer with the following links (many to my own posts) and updates — I will try and keep it brief, but you know me. First, I am a fan of MICHAEL FUMENTO. I read his book, “The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS: How a Tragedy Has Been Distorted by the Media and Partisan Politics.” And ever since he has been the harbinger to media miscalculations and hysteria. AMERICAN THINKER noted Fumento from an earlier article, quoting:

It’s called “drama,” which is badly needed, because there appears to be nothing very special about this outbreak of the 2019-nCoV or Wuhan ­virus. It should actually be called the DvV, or Déjà vu Virus, because we have been through these hysterias before. Over and over. Heterosexual AIDS, Ebola repeatedly, the H1N1 swine flu that was actually vastly milder than the regular flu and, especially, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

[snip]

Wuhan is repeatedly labeled “deadly” — but so is every other ­virus most people know about.

Mr. Fumento’s most recent article deals with the virus in an updated fashion: “Coronavirus Going To Hit Its Peak And Start Falling Sooner Than You Think” — In it he notes the following “Law”

(UPDATE… this article was published the 8th of March, and probably uses information from March 4th)

China is the origin of the virus and still accounts for over 80 percent of cases and deaths. But its cases peaked and began ­declining more than a month ago, according to data presented by the Canadian epidemiologist who spearheaded the World Health Organization’s coronavirus mission to China. Fewer than 200 new cases are reported daily, down from a peak of 4,000.

Subsequent countries will follow this same pattern, in what’s called Farr’s Law. First formulated in 1840 and ignored in ­every epidemic hysteria since, the law states that epidemics tend to rise and fall in a roughly symmetrical pattern or bell-shaped curve. AIDS, SARS, Ebola — they all followed that pattern. So does seasonal flu each year.

Clearly, flu is vastly more contagious than the new coronavirus, as the WHO has noted. Consider that the first known coronavirus cases date back to early December, and since then, the virus has ­afflicted fewer people in total than flu does in a few days. Oh, and why are there no flu quarantines? Because it’s so contagious, it would be impossible.

As for death rates, as I first noted in these pages on Jan. 24, you can’t employ simple math — as everyone is doing — and look at deaths versus cases because those are ­reported cases. With both flu and assuredly with coronavirus, the great majority of those infected have symptoms so mild — if any — that they don’t seek medical attention and don’t get counted in the caseload.

Furthermore, those calculating rates ­ignore the importance of good health care. Given that the vast majority of cases have occurred in a country with poor health care, that’s going to dramatically exaggerate the death rate….

(His articles for the NYP can be found HERE)

BEFORE posting audio of Michael Medved and Dennis Prager discussing the above article with Michael Fumento… I wish to post the latest audio by Dr. Drew Pinsky discussing the issue. (See two previous posted videos from Doc Drew, HERE.) . And he says listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci, whereas Michael Fumento notes in the Medved audio that Fauci has been wrong on every case since the heterosexual AIDS scare. Even with this note, Doc Drew is waay better in his reporting than the Washington Post or CNN:

Celebrity doctor Dr. Drew slams the media for “reprehensible” coverage of the coronavirus spread in the US and tells Americans to “stop listening to journalists” and instead focus only on information provided by the CDC and other health entities.

Okay, here are the two partial audio interviews with Michael Fumento:

  • Michael Medved interviews Michael Fumento (March 12th) regarding his NEW YORK POST article entitled, “Coronavirus going to hit its peak and start falling sooner than you think“. I include this article because Medved adeptly notes Dr. Anthony Fauci’s assessment to get Fumento’s reaction. And these two have been “locking horns” since the “heterosexual AIDS” scare Fumento being the hands down winner since the 80’s.

I think much of this is hysteria. I think also Trump knowing the media well and how Democrats would weaponize this issue, got a jump on this disease/flu season, and against his cabinet’s advice — withing three weeks after this strain was identified… put into action the most aggressive controls yet. (See my post on this HERE.) All while the media and Democrats called him racist for his actions:

Could you imagine the reaction if Trump had just blown this off? HoooBoy!


BONUS! Media Standards



BONUS! Science Time


Despite the real threat of coronavirus, Ebola, and influenza, Dr C explains why most viruses are good for you, and good for the environment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AKA, the “Pompous Little Twit”

John and Ken had me cracking-up today reading from a New York Post article and Patrick Moore’s Twitter.

Gay and Coming Out As Conservative

Dennis Prager reads from a New York Post article penned by a gay man admitting his coming out as a conservative is tougher than coming out to his family as gay.

Here is some of the NEW YORK POST article:

When Out magazine assigned me an interview with the Breitbart.com rabble-rouser Milo Yiannopoulos, I knew it would be controversial. In the gay and liberal communities in particular, he is a provocative and loathed figure, and I knew featuring him in such a liberal publication would get negative attention. He has been repeatedly kicked off Twitter for, among other things, reportedly inciting racist, sexist bullying of “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones. Before interviewing Yiannopoulos, I thought he was a nasty attention-whore, but I wanted to do a neutral piece on him that simply put the facts out there.

After the story posted online in the early hours of Sept. 21, I woke up to more than 100 Twitter notifications on my iPhone. Trolls were calling me a Nazi, death threats rolled in and a joke photo that I posed for in a burka served as “proof” that I am an Islamophobe.

I’m not.

Most disconcertingly, it wasn’t just strangers voicing radical discontent. Personal friends of mine — men in their 60s who had been my longtime mentors — were coming at me. They wrote on Facebook that the story was “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” A dozen or so people unfriended me. A petition was circulated online, condemning the magazine and my article. All I had done was write a balanced story on an outspoken Trump supporter for a liberal, gay magazine, and now I was being attacked. I felt alienated and frightened.

I laid low for a week or so. Finally, I decided to go out to my local gay bar in Williamsburg, where I’ve been a regular for 11 years. I ordered a drink but nothing felt the same; half the place — people with whom I’d shared many laughs — seemed to be giving me the cold shoulder. Upon seeing me, a friend who normally greets me with a hug and kiss pivoted and turned away.

Frostiness spread far beyond the bar, too. My best friend, with whom I typically hung out multiple times per week, was suddenly perpetually unavailable. Finally, on Christmas Eve, he sent me a long text, calling me a monster, asking where my heart and soul went, and saying that all our other friends are laughing at me.

I realized that, for the first time in my adult life, I was outside of the liberal bubble and looking in. What I saw was ugly, lock step, incurious and mean-spirited.

Still, I returned to the bar a few nights later — I don’t give up easily — and hit it off with a stranger. As so many conversations do these days, ours turned to politics. I told him that I’m against Trump’s wall but in favor of strengthening our borders. He called me a Nazi and walked away. I felt awful — but not so awful that I would keep opinions to myself.

And I began to realize that maybe my opinions just didn’t fit in with the liberal status quo, which seems to mean that you must absolutely hate Trump, his supporters and everything they believe. If you dare not to protest or boycott Trump, you are a traitor.

If you dare to question liberal stances or make an effort toward understanding why conservatives think the way they do, you are a traitor.

It can seem like liberals are actually against free speech if it fails to conform with the way they think. And I don’t want to be a part of that club anymore….

(read it all)

To Live Like a King ~ Fidel Castro’s Extravagant [Capitalist] Lifestyle

See as well my previous post,

Here is part of the Wall Street Journal article Dennis is reading from:

…The legend of Castro as a great revolutionary who sacrifices for his people is preserved by keeping the details about his life a state secret. Sánchez’s account shows the real Castro: vengeful, self-absorbed and given to childish temper tantrums—aka “tropical storms.” “The best way of living with him,” Sánchez wrote, “was to accept all he said and did.”

The book is timely. The Obama administration has just removed Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism amid sharp criticism from exiles. Their concerns are sensible: Though Castro is now rumored to be feebleminded, the intelligence apparatus he built—which specializes in violence to destabilize democracy and trafficks in drugs and weapons—remains as it has been for a half century.

Sánchez witnessed firsthand Castro’s indifference to Cuban poverty. The comandante gave interminable speeches calling for revolutionary sacrifice. But he lived large, with a private island, a yacht, some 20 homes across the island, a personal chef, a full-time doctor, and a carefully selected and prepared diet.

When a Canadian company offered to build a modern sports-facility for the nation, Castro used the donation for a private basketball court. Wherever he traveled in the world, his bed was dismantled and shipped ahead to ensure the comfort he demanded.

Castro was obsessed with spreading his revolution. Outside of Havana was a secret camp called Punto Cero de Guanabo where, Sánchez wrote, Cuba “trained, shaped and advised guerrilla movements [and organizations] from all over the world.” Recruits from places like Venezuela, Colombia, Chile and Nicaragua practiced hijacking airplanes and learned to use explosives.

“The Chile of Salvador Allende at the start of the 1970s,” Sánchez wrote, “was without doubt the country in which Cuban influence had penetrated most deeply. Fidel devoted enormous energies and resources to it” and he infiltrated it heavily with Cuban intelligence operatives.

Sánchez learned about what had happened in Chile from Castro’s notorious revolutionary spymaster Manuel Piñeiro, who “was always hanging around the presidential palace” talking about it.

The Cuban regime “penetrated and infiltrated [Allende’s] entourage” with the objective of creating “an unconditional ally in Santiago de Chile.” Marxists “ Miguel Enríquez, the leader of [Chile’s] Movement of the Revolutionary Left, and Andrés Pascal Allende, co-founder of that radical movement and also nephew of President Allende” were Castro protégés who trained in Cuba…

(WSJ)

(Click to Enlarge)

...BBC Interviews Sánchez

The public image of Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro is that of the exemplary and frugal leader, but his bodyguard of 17 years claims it was a sham….

John Simpson interviewed Mr Sanchez for BBC’s Newsnight programme.

In May the New York Post did a larger article on this topic. In it we find more details bout this extravagant lifestyle and the “equality” Castro achieved was built on the murders of engineers, journalists, priests, gays, and other free-market believers that threatened Castro in dumbing down his population for the express purpose of easily controlling:

Few, meanwhile, know that Fidel has had at least three children out of wedlock, including one with his personal interpreter and longtime mistress, Juanita.

Castro may not be as ostentatious as Khadafy or Saddam Hussein, but he’s rich beyond most people’s dreams. His simple appearance is due more to laziness than austerity. Castro, who rarely wakes before 10 a.m. or 11 a.m., is happy not to wear a suit and confessed that the main reason he has a beard is so he did not have to shave every day.

But there were plenty of perks to being the depository of Cuba’s wealth. He has his own private basketball court where he never lost a game. And his own private hospital housing two people full-time simply because they shared his blood type.

At Punto Cero, each member of his family possessed his or her own cow, so as to satisfy each one’s individual tastes, since the acidity and creaminess of fresh milk varies from one cow to another. And so the milk would arrive on the table, each bottle bearing a number, a little piece of paper scotch-taped onto the bottle, corresponding to each person’s cow.

Antonio’s was No. 8, Angelito’s No. 3, and Fidel’s No. 5, which was also the number he wore on his basketball shirt.

There was no question of deceiving him: Fidel possessed an excellent palate that could immediately detect if the taste of milk did not correspond to that of the previous bottle.

Perhaps most extravagantly, Fidel Castro has his own secret island.

Ironically, he has John F. Kennedy to thank for it. In April 1961, a group of CIA-trained exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs and tried to overthrow the Cuban government. It was a complete fiasco.

In the days following the failed attack, Fidel came to explore the region when he encountered a local fisherman with a wrinkled face whom everyone called El Viejo Finalé. He asked Old Finalé to give him a tour of the area, and the fisherman immediately took him on board his fishing boat to Cayo Piedra, a little “jewel” situated 10 miles from the coast and known only to the local inhabitants.

Fidel instantly fell in love with this place of wild beauty worthy of Robinson Crusoe and decided to have it for his own. The lighthouse keeper was asked to leave the premises and the lighthouse was put out of action and later taken down.

To be precise, Cayo Piedra consists of not one island but two, a passing cyclone having split it in half. Fidel had, however, rectified this by building a 700-foot-long bridge between the two parts.

The southern island was slightly larger than its northern counterpart, and it was here, on the site of the former lighthouse, that Castro and his wife, Dalia, had built their house: a cement-built, L-shaped bungalow arranged around a terrace that looked out to the east, onto the open sea.

While ordinary Cubans suffered, this is where Castro would relax.

On the west side of the island, facing the setting sun, the Castros had built a 200-foot-long landing stage for his personal yacht. The Aquarama II, decorated entirely in exotic wood imported from Angola, had four engines from Soviet navy patrollers, a gift from Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. At full throttle, they propelled Aquarama II at the phenomenal, unbeatable speed of 42 knots, or about 48 miles an hour.

To allow Aquarama II to dock, Fidel and Dalia had also had a half-mile-long channel dug; without this, their flotilla would not have been able to reach the island, surrounded by sand shoals.

The jetty formed the epicenter of social life on Cayo Piedra.

A floating pontoon, 23 feet long, had been annexed to it, and on the pontoon stood a straw hut with a bar and barbecue grill.

From this floating bar and restaurant, everyone could admire the sea enclosure in which, to the delight of adults and children alike, turtles (some 3 feet long) were kept. On the other side of the landing stage was a dolphinarium containing two tame dolphins that livened up our daily routines with their pranks and jumps.

Fidel Castro also let it be understood, and sometimes directly stated, that the revolution left him no possibility for respite or leisure and that he knew nothing about, and even despised, the bourgeois concept of vacation. Nothing could have been further from the truth…

[….]

The Cuban economy, which derived almost 80% of its external trade from the eastern bloc, was collapsing like a house of cards and households were surviving on the breadline while the GNP had decreased by 35% and electricity supplies were seriously inadequate.

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro sipped his whiskey on the rocks and ate fresh fish in the shade of his secret island.

(NYPost)