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Posts tagged ‘COVID-19’

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Lord of the Sand-Flies

A.F. BRANCO on November 30, 2021 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-lord-of-the-sand-flies/

Dr. Fauci says you shouldn’t be allowed to criticize him because as he says “I am science”.

Fauci, I Am Science
Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021.

Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 – $5.00 – $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 – it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – At Your Command

A.F. BRANCO on November 29, 2021 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-at-your-command/

Fearing outrage and retribution from China, W.H.O. Change the name of the new COVID variant from Xi to Omicron.

XI Variant Now Omicron
Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021

Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 – $5.00 – $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 – it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Daniel Horowitz Op-ed: Sweden obliterates the lie of ‘vaccines’ as ticket to ending pandemic


Commentary by DANIEL HOROWITZ

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-sweden-obliterates-the-lie-of-vaccines-as-ticket-to-ending-pandemic/

It is now undeniable that in almost every part of North America, Europe, and East Asia, the pandemic is more prolific than it ever was before a single person was vaccinated, even though most of those countries have nearly every adult vaccinated. Thus, it is impossible to deny that vaccinologists like Geert Vanden Bossche and Luc Montagnier were correct when they predicted that mass vaccination with a suboptimal, non-sterilizing vaccine in middle of a pandemic would create vaccine-mediated viral enhancement. It’s hard to imagine how people who pushed this strategy didn’t see this coming.

The typical retort to this allegation is that it’s all the fault of “the Delta” and that somehow things would have been even worse without the shots. The problem with this assertion is that we are seeing the sharpest waves ever in the most vaccinated countries. Also, the fact that Sweden has never gotten a Delta wave demonstrates that natural immunity alone would have ended this pandemic.

Central and Eastern Europe are now on fire from the latest wave of the virus, which some researchers suspect is no longer Delta. Putting the variant aside, every single European country has gotten at least one wave of the virus — to varying degrees of severity — since Delta proliferated in June. The one exception is Sweden. The Scandinavian country now has the second lowest case rate in all of Europe, but more importantly, unlike Spain, which is the lowest, the Swedes never experienced a single Delta wave (as Spain did in July).

Even other Scandinavian countries like Iceland and Norway, which seemed nearly impervious to this virus until the past few months, are suffering their largest waves to date.about:blank

As you can see, even the Scandinavian countries or other countries that currently have low case rates all had one or two Delta waves since June – except for Sweden.

It is self-evident that Sweden’s natural immunity was able to preclude any major Delta wave — the only country in Europe to accomplish this feat. Although Sweden currently has a high vaccination rate — slightly higher than that of the U.S. — the Swedish government didn’t start its vaccination drive until much later than the U.S., U.K., and other countries that have had two Delta waves.

According to the narrative of the masters of the universe, Sweden should have been particularly vulnerable to Delta, while the U.K. should have coasted through it. Instead, the opposite occurred.about:blank

Let’s look at the vaccination curves of Sweden and Ireland and then compare their case rates over the past 4-5 months.

As you can see, the two countries have similar vaccination curves, but Ireland wound up jabbing an even greater percentage of its population. What are the results?

Thus, it wasn’t the vaccination success that stemmed the tide of this variant in Sweden, because Ireland should be doing even better. It’s that Sweden was lucky to have achieved herd immunity before the disastrous vaccination campaign made the pandemic worse. With most of the population likely already immune, they are not harmed by any form of vaccine-mediated viral enhancement.

If we look at other countries that have higher vaccination levels than Sweden, among them some of the most vaccinated countries on earth, they have all done worse than Sweden since the mass vaccination commenced in the spring. This includes both countries like Belgium that already had the virus bad, as well as countries like Iceland and Singapore, which never seemed to have a problem prior to the mass vaccination.

Case rates:

Vaccination rates:

What is abundantly clear is that a vaccine that, to begin with, doesn’t stop transmission and gradually wanes is not a vaccine and, in fact, makes the virus learn to grow stronger and more durable. “Delta” was not inevitable, nor are the coming variants. Sweden could have declined to vaccinate a single person and its curve would have looked the same, because it’s clear from its contrast to every other country as a stark control group that its population’s greater natural immunity is the active ingredient responsible for the country’s success. The mass vaccination, on the other hand, is now the greatest obstacle to ending this pandemic in countries that have not achieved herd immunity through prior infection.

Let’s not forget that Sweden conducted the most comprehensive long-term study of vaccine effectiveness in the world and found that after 6-7 months, “no effectiveness could be detected” from the Pfizer shot. In fact, the study found negative efficacy after 210 days for those over 50, which harmonizes with what we are seeing before our very eyes throughout the world. For some older adults, the shots are as much as -77% effective, and the numbers seem to drop every month.

As one retired California nurse asked of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, “Why do the protected need to be protected from the unprotected by forcing the unprotected to use the protection that didn’t protect the protected in the first place?”

Daniel Horowitz Op-ed: Irish county with 99.7% vaccination rate has highest COVID case rate


Commentary by DANIEL HOROWITZ | October 28, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-irish-county-with-99-7-vaccination-rate-has-highest-covid-case-rate/

With 99.7% of adults in the Irish county of Waterford having received the COVID shots, they have the highest per-capita case rate of COVID anywhere in the country. Are they now going to suggest it’s the fault of the 0.3%?!

The Irish Times reported last week that with one Waterford city district at a 14-day incidence rate of 1,486 cases per 100,000 of the population, Waterford has the highest incidence rate of anywhere in Ireland. The COVID case rate is three times the national average, which in itself has been increasing steadily in recent weeks, despite 91% of Irish adults being vaccinated. However, Waterford takes the cake.

“Waterford has the highest rate of vaccination in the country with 99.7 per cent of adults over the age of 18 (as registered in the last census) fully vaccinated,” reports the Irish Times. “The county has gone from having one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 infection in Ireland to one of the highest.”

How can a vaccine that is this leaky, and apparently even counterproductive, continue to be pushed on a population even if it had zero side effects? How many more examples of this do we need to see?

According to Our World in Data, most Irish began to get vaccinated in April/May, which is exactly when we saw a reversal of fortunes, with more cases than we’ve seen in months.about:blank

What else have we seen rise at the same time? You got it. COVID cases.

about:blank

And no, it’s not just mild cases. Ireland has the highest number of people in the hospital with COVID since March, and the trajectory is getting worse. This is with the highest vaccination rate in the EU – over 90% of those over 16 – and it’s particularly bad in the most vaccinated county of Ireland. The state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Tony Holohan, said he was “increasingly worried about the rising incidence of the disease nationwide” and that the primary focus “must be to protect the most vulnerable from Covid-19.” He then proceeded to blame the unvaccinated! Gee, if just 9% of those over 16 in the country are unvaccinated and just 0.3% in the worst area, what percentage of the vulnerable do you think are not vaccinated?! And wasn’t the vaccine designed to protect “the most vulnerable?”

At some point, there is nowhere to run or hide from the botched vaccine that not only fails to stop transmission, but causes viral immune escape and makes more virulent variants. A recent analysis of the emergent A.30 strain published in Nature shows that “the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 variant A.30 is heavily mutated and evades vaccine-induced antibodies with high efficiency.” This is what happens when you “shoot at the king and miss,” so to speak, by fighting a virus with weak, narrow-spectrum, and waning antibodies. We’ve gone backward. U.K. data already shows that the vaccinated are infected at a greater rate per capita – in some cohorts twice the rate – for every age group over 30.

It’s becoming clear that not only does this vaccine create greater transmission, but it also fails to protect against critical illness, especially for those who need the protection the most. Even the studies that continue to rely on old data – before the vaccines fully waned – show that the protection against critical illness doesn’t really work for the immunocompromised.

new study from Sweden published as a preprint in the Lancet claims that the vaccine efficacy against serious illness is still holding up. There’s just one catch. “The effectiveness against severe illness seems to remain high through 9 months, although not for men, older frail individuals, and individuals with comorbidities,” conclude the authors. Well, isn’t that why we needed a vaccine in the first place? Even the Swedish study shows that after 210 days, there is zero efficacy against symptomatic infection, after which there seems to be negative efficacy. Researchers found just 52% efficacy against severe illness in all men after six months, which means you can no longer count on it for protection.

It’s also important to remember that many people in Sweden – more than most other countries – already had the infection, possibly asymptomatically. So, it’s possible that the efficacy of the shots is being overstated because some of those people benefited from natural immunity.

Thus, where are we nine to 12 months after the shot? Negative efficacy against symptomatic infection for all, as witnessed by the hard data in places like the U.K. and Ireland, and very low and spotty efficacy for serious illness, going down to zero for those who need it the most. But this is not cost-free. Who is to say that the effectiveness against severe illness won’t go negative as well, following some sort of pattern of antibody dependent disease enhancement? Moreover, who’s to say more mass vaccination of children and boosters for adults won’t create even more viral immune escape that will strengthen the virus and subject people to the risks of the shots without even protecting them for another month against these new self-perpetuated mutations?

This week, the Irish parliament was issued a “stark” warning from health officials about the growing threat of the virus. During sane times, policy leaders would reject the definition of insanity by engaging in introspection and changing course from existing failed policies. Yet in their warped minds, no matter how much the vaccines make the virus worse, you can always vaccinate more! So long as there is a single human being who didn’t receive the latest number shot, there’s always a way to project the viral enhancement on those who didn’t create it.

Mark Levin: DeSantis was right, and Fauci was wrong


Reported by BLAZETV STAFF | October 21, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/shows/levintv/ron-desantis-mark-levin?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

On “LevinTV” this week, BlazeTV host Mark Levin explained why he believes Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ responses to COVID-19 — whether prioritizing care for the elderly and nursing home facilities from the very beginning of the pandemic, refusing to issue mask and vaccine mandates, or fighting the federal government’s attempt to cap the distribution of antibody treatments to his state — have been way out in front of any other political leadership. Could this be a preview of the 2024 presidential election?

Levin pointed out that the Harvard-educated governor studies the most current COVID data on a daily basis and makes his decisions accordingly, as opposed to leaders who blindly follow the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci or comply with the political narrative of the day. As a result, Florida’s current (as of Monday, Oct 18, 2021) COVID death rate (per 100,000) is one of the lowest in the country.

Watch the video clip below to hear Mark Levin break it all down:

Disclaimer: The content of this clip does not provide medical advice. Please seek the advice of local health officials for any COVID-19 and/or COVID vaccine related questions & concerns.

Daniel Horowitz Op-ed: Horowitz: The $cience of remdesivir vs. ivermectin: A tale of two drugs


Commentary by DANIEL HOROWITZ | October 18, 2021

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/horowitz-the-cience-of-remdesivir-vs-ivermectin-a-tale-of-two-drugs-theblaze-2655321861.html/

A tale of two drugs. One has become the standard of care at an astronomical cost despite studies showing negative efficacy, despite causing severe renal failure and liver damage, and despite zero use outpatient. The other has been safely administered to billions for river blindness and now hundreds of millions for COVID throughout the world and has turned around people at death’s doorstep for pennies on the dollar. Yet the former – remdesivir – is the standard of care forced upon every patient, while the latter – ivermectin – is scorned and banned in the hospitals and de facto banned in most outpatient settings. But according to the NIH, a doctor has the same right to use ivermectin as to use remdesivir. And it’s time people know the truth.

Although the NIH and the FDA didn’t officially approve ivermectin as standard of care for COVID, it is listed on NIH’s website right under remdesivir as “Antiviral Agents That Are Approved or Under Evaluation for the Treatment of COVID-19.” It is accorded the same status, the same sourcing for dosage recommendations, and the same monitoring advice as remdesivir … except according to NIH’s own guidance, remdesivir has a much greater potential for severe reactions in the very organs at stake in a bout with acute COVID.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the details.

As you can see, they admit that remdesivir causes renal and liver failure! One of the symptoms is “ALT and AST elevations,” which are indications of liver damage. Is that really the drug you want when someone is at risk for a cytokine storm and thrombosis? They even have a monitoring requirement for these side effects. Also, it does have some drug interactions as well.

Now, let’s move on to the ivermectin side effects.

Notice how the NIH is essentially saying it has no side effects by the fact that it prefaces the section by noting the drug is “generally well tolerated,” a distinction not accorded to remdesivir. Then it proceeds to list the same boilerplate GI and nausea warnings on every drug under the sun. There are almost no drug interactions and ZERO specific guidance for monitoring!

Just looking at the NIH’s own table, why in the world would remdesivir be the expensive mandatory standard of care and ivermectin, buttressed by 64 studies, be relegated to hemlock status even for patients about to die and with no other options?

Yes, we get the message – every one of those studies is supposedly low-powered, a fraud, and all the thousands of doctors turning people around on ivermectin are some how frauds even though they have nothing to gain and everything to lose from pushing it. But if that is our standard for ivermectin, it raises the obvious question about remdesivir. How could remdesivir not only be approved but made the standard of care when it has negative efficacy in trials, has a negative recommendation from the WHO, and, by the NIH’s own admission, causes liver and kidney failure?

Even if the medical establishment dismisses the preponderance of evidence and reality of the past 18 months, with ivermectin saving so many people, just from a safety standpoint, why would they not allow people to at least try something this safe while forcing on them a dangerous drug like remdesivir? In addition, these are the same hospitals that administer Olumiant, which has a rare FDA black box warning for blood clots, even though these very patients are at high risk for a pulmonary embolism and other clotting disorders?

In other words, there is no way anyone can justify the war on ivermectin (and every other cheap treatment that has been and will be proposed) as being rooted in anything related to medicine and science. If that were the case, the medical establishment would be dead set against remdesivir and Olumiant. Moreover, to the extent remdesivir has any efficacy that is worth its risk, it would be outpatient during the viral stage. There is quite literally no scientific way remdesivir can work in the pulmonary inflammation stage. Unlike ivermectin, which tones down inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1beta and IL-10 as well as tumor necrosis factor alpha, remdesivir has no anti-inflammatory qualities.

However, remdesivir does have a lot of political science behind it. Aside from having the weight of Big Pharma pushing it (and it was concocted by UNC-Chapel Hill, curiously the same institution at the center of the coronavirus gain-of-function research), hospitals get a 20% bonus for using it!

Gee, is there any wonder hospitals will fight patients in court – including those whom they already recommend to remove from life support – to not even try ivermectin as a last resort?! So much for the desire to flatten the curve of hospitalizations. They want people in the hospital! If they really cared about the run on hospitals, they’d promote treatments that work early and outpatient so that nobody would need to come to the hospital.

For more information, watch this devastating contrast of ivermectin vs. remdesivir.

Here’s one other strong piece of evidence that this is not about any shortcoming of ivermectin, but stems from unrelenting war on anything off patent that might work, in order to run interference for expensive, dangerous, and ineffective tools of big pharma. Let’s go back to that NIH chart of potential antiviral drugs for COVID. There is actually a third one on that list aside from remdesivir and ivermectin.

Nitazoxanide, much like ivermectin, is a (potentially) cheap off-patent anti-parasitic that has been praised for years as a very safe, broad-spectrum anti-parasitic mechanism and is written about glowingly in studies. And it actually has an even longer and more direct precedent of research and clinical use against viruses than even ivermectin. It is the standard of care for norovirus and rotavirus in Brazil and has shown promise against not just flus and hepatitis, but coronavirus colds, SARS, and MERS. This research has been known even in the media for well over a year! Gee, we have an antiviral that is so safe it’s given to young kids for viral diarrhea and has been known to work against coronaviruses. Yet our government has refused to pursue any meaningful research for 18 months!

Originally, it was as cheap as ivermectin, but one company seems to have bought it up, and now it is prohibitively expensive in the U.S. However, were the government to promote it, this off-patent drug could easily be mass-produced for pennies on the dollar and costs just a few dollars for a full regimen in Mexico and Brazil.https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=BMDC5574376707

Notice that, just like with ivermectin, the NIH prefaces the side effects section on nitazoxanide by saying it is “generally well tolerated” and then proceeds to list the boilerplate of typical minor side effects that are disclosed for every drug under the sun. Anyone merely looking at this NIH page alone can see how the government and medical establishment’s treatment of remdesivir vs. every other therapeutic that has been tried is built upon control, greed, and something much darker than that. Now, just remember, these are the same people who will look you in the eye and say the shots are 100% effective and carry zero risk. It’s all in the $cience.
What is self-evident from the NIH’s disclosure, which was updated as late as July 2021, is that ivermectin and nitazoxanide work for a lot more than just parasites. It’s primarily the political parasites that fear that those drugs.

Daniel Horowitz Op-ed: Iowa conservatives introduce gold standard bill to fight the dangerous COVID mandate


Commentary by DANIEL HOROWITZ | October 15, 2021

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/horowitz-iowa-conservatives-introduce-gold-standard-bill-to-fight-the-dangerous-covid-mandate-theblaze-2655316302.html/

There is nothing free-market about “private” businesses joining in the violation of the Nuremberg Code. In fact, the entire concept of a rushed therapeutic that wanes quickly and causes a shocking number of known and unknown injuries never would have gotten off the ground under the free market. Socialism, subsidization, monopolization, government using taxpayer funding to create, market, coerce, censor, and reshape society with the shot — all the while being exempt from legal liability — are the only reasons why any business even under 100 employees, much less a larger business, would be mandating it at this point. The only effective, prudent, fair, and free-market position is to use equal and opposing force to restore the balance of the free market. It’s show time for the state legislatures.

Legislative bodies throughout the country are meeting over the next few weeks to debate measures that would counter the mandates being illegally promulgated by the Biden administration. Most GOP-controlled states are going to take some form of action, but the question is whether they will take the right action or be intimidated by the visceral response of the big business and health care cartel that has become a giant arm of government tyranny. Several Iowa lawmakers have put together a bill that is the gold standard of what other red states should adopt this coming week.

The crux of the bill, Iowa SF 193, sponsored by Sens. Guth, Johnson, Schultz, Whiting, and Carlin, categorically bans all human rights violations in relation to “Pfizer” government mandates. It prohibits an employer from failing or refusing to hire, discharge, penalize, or otherwise discriminate against an employee with respect to compensation or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on the employee’s vaccination history or the refusal of the employee to receive a vaccine or provide proof of immunity. It provides a cause of action in court to anyone discriminated against, along with a prescribed remedy of back pay plus 10% from the employer.

This is what we do in the context of every other form of discrimination, including when employers legitimately terminate problematic workers. So, until we get rid of all those laws and the EEOC at the federal level, we don’t need to hear about “the free market.”

Next, rather than providing an exception to this rule for hospitals and health care settings, this bill specifically bans any discrimination against health care workers or discrimination on the treatment side for patients in a health care setting. It spells out every form of medical professional, including medical students and residents. Importantly, this bill bars any health care provider licensing authority from denying or revoking a license to any applicant because they decline the shot.

At this point, it is abundantly clear that the shots provide no more protection against transmission than not having the shots, which makes any form of any mandate unjustified, even if we are to believe one can govern another’s body. For example, in health care settings, where health organizations are arguing that they must protect cancer patients who didn’t get the shot, those patients are at least as likely to get the virus from a supposed vaccinated person as from an unvaccinated person, especially if the latter individual already had the virus. Moreover, research has consistently shown that people within 14 days of the first or second shot are the most vulnerable to catching COVID because of the suboptimal levels of antibodies. Having thousands of health care workers suddenly get the shots within a period of a few weeks would expose those patients to the most risk in health care settings.

Another important provision of the Iowa bill is that it bars all insurance companies from discriminating against those who don’t get the shot. This means they cannot reject; deny; limit; cancel; refuse to renew; increase the premiums for; limit the amount, extent, or kind of coverage available to; or otherwise adversely affect eligibility or coverage for the group health policy, contract, or plan for health insurance.

We’d all love to live with a market in which any providers can offer any insurance plan they wish. But that ship sailed with Obamacare. The only things worse than full socialist mandates are half-manipulated mandates, which induce totalitarianism in addition to socialism. Thanks to Obamacare, we cannot start our own insurance companies because of the actuarily insolvent mandates. Yet the same government that pushed universal coverage now gets to manipulate the government-sponsored “private” monopoly companies to bar coverage for large groups of people based on zero scientific evidence. Repeal Obamacare, and then we will remove this provision. Until then, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Next, the bill bars any owner or manager of a public accommodation from discriminating in services against someone who has not taken the shot. Again, this virus has been used as an excuse to prohibit all landowners from evicting anyone, including those who are disruptive, destructive, and late on rent. We will not allow the socialists to use their control over the “private” sector to suddenly encourage them to discriminate against people with no cause. I’m fine with ending most discrimination laws. But if we are going to have them, the worst outcome is for government to manipulate a perfectly perverse standard of who is subject to them and who is exempt from them. When businesses can deny services or employment to those with HIV or with certain sexual behaviors, or thwart Obamacare, Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, OSHA, and ADA regulations, then come back to me about “the private sector can do what they want.”

More provisions of SF 193 include the following:

  • A prohibition on including someone’s immunization status on their driver’s license.
  • Expansion of the exemption process for vaccine requirements in schools related to existing vaccines.
  • Anyone administering the vaccine must obtain written consent from the patient prior to reporting the administration of the vaccine or immunization to the statewide immunization registry.

At present, all private businesses over 100 employees are on the hook for a looming federal mandate to require a shot that the government has essentially created and manipulated with taxpayer funding that the free market never would have sustained. Both government and the pharmaceutical companies are exempt from liability. This is not free market; this is fascism. As such, for any state to merely pass a neutral law without providing equal and opposing force to prohibit (rather than exempt from) the federal mandate is not an exercise in free market ethos but in submission to totalitarianism.

How come none of these business and health organizations cried bloody murder about “rights of the private sector” when governors placed the ultimate regulation on them – a crippling shutdown or cumbersome capacity mandates? In this case, they are not regulating affirmative expensive compliance measures – just simply a dictate to apply existing discrimination and health privacy law to where it’s needed most in order to counter Nuremberg violations by the federal government. Private business owners don’t need to lift a finger and spend any time or money on this. Just don’t harass your workers. “Well, we’re scared of COVID,” they are saying. In that case, you have the shot, so what do you care about someone else not getting it?https://playlist.megaphone.fm/?e=BMDC5574376707

The private sector or free market did not conjure up the riskiest and leakiest shot in history or mask-wearing; it was all induced by the federal government through fear, intimidation, misinformation, threats, and censorship. In the case of big business and health care, there has been downright collaboration with the federal government at every stage – a violation of the ultimate antitrust principles. Therefore, every state has an obligation to interpose between the federal coercion and the safety of the people. Allowing every business in every state to remain a conduit for that federal tyranny is not respect for private rights. It’s collaboration with a very dark tunnel of tyranny. We don’t want to discover what’s on the other side.

Amish survived COVID-19 better than most by not locking down, ceasing church gatherings: report


Reported By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter | Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/amish-survived-covid-19-better-than-most-by-not-locking-down.html/

Amish
An open Amish Buggy makes its way to town. | Getty Images

The Amish community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has made it through the coronavirus pandemic without experiencing a catastrophic loss of life despite their refusal to adopt many of the safety precautions portrayed as necessary to prevent widespread loss of life, according to a new report. While officials in most U.S. cities ordered businesses and churches to close for several months in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Amish continued working and never stopped worshiping together at church. 

On her news magazine series “Full Measure” Sunday, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson reported on the Amish community’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which differed significantly from the approach taken by the rest of the country.

She described the Amish as a “Christian group that emphasizes the virtuous over the superficial.” In an effort to live a “virtuous” life, many in the group refrain from driving and using electricity. 

Attkisson traveled to Lancaster County, well-known for its large Amish population, to talk to locals about how they handled the pandemic. One person she spoke to, an Amish Mennonite named Calvin Lapp, explained: “There are three things the Amish don’t like: And that’s government; they won’t get involved in government. They don’t like the public education system; they won’t send their children to education. And … they also don’t like the health system.” 

“Those three things are all part of what COVID is,” he said. Attkisson noted that “after a short shutdown last year, the Amish chose a unique path that led to COVID-19 tearing through at warp speed.” The community gathered for a religious celebration in May 2020, where they all took communion. 

Lapp then described how the Amish take communion: “They dunk their wine into a cup, and they take turns to drink out of the cup. So you go the whole way down the line and everybody drinks out of that cup, so if one person has coronavirus, the rest of the church is going to get coronavirus.” 

While he acknowledged that “everybody got coronavirus,” Lapp defended the community’s approach: “It’s a worse thing to quit working than dying. But to shut down and say that we can’t go to church, we can’t get together with family, we can’t see our old people in the hospital, we got to quit working … it’s going completely against everything that we believe.”

About a year after the coronavirus pandemic first broke out in the U.S., national news outlets and The Associated Press wire service reported that the Lancaster County Amish community had reached herd immunity, meaning that “a large part of the population had been infected with COVID-19 and became immune.” However, precise data is difficult to come across because the Amish were hesitant to publicize coronavirus cases in their community. 

Steve Nolt, a scholar on Amish and Mennonite culture, told Attkisson that in some cases, “Amish people … refused to go to the hospital, even when they were very sick because if they went there, they wouldn’t be able to have visitors, and it was more important to be sick, even very sick, at home and have the ability to have some people around you than to go to the hospital and be isolated.” 

Nolt added that “even those who … believed that they had COVID tended not to get tested. Their approach tended to be ‘I’m sick, I know I’m sick, I don’t have to have someone else tell me I’m sick,’ or a concern that if they … got a positive test, they would then be asked to really dramatically limit what they were doing in a way that … might be uncomfortable for them.” 

“There’s no evidence of any more deaths among the Amish than in places that shut down tight. Some claim there were fewer here,” Attkisson maintained. “That’s without masking, staying at home” or taking the coronavirus vaccine. 

Lapp highlighted that the absence of a prolonged shutdown meant that the Amish “made more money in the last year than we ever did” as the rest of the country experienced economic hardships because of lockdowns. He described 2020 as “our best year ever.” 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Unleashed

A.F. BRANCO on October 13, 2021 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-unleashed/

People are moving on and living their lives in spite of Dr. Fauci’s contention.

Fauci and Football
Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021

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A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

New study finds aspirin can significantly cut COVID risks — and even death


Reported by SARAH TAYLOR | October 11, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/study-aspirin-cut-covid-risks/

A new study finds that simple, over-the-counter aspirin may be able to protect COVID-19 patients from extreme risk, including the need for mechanical ventilation, the Jerusalem Post reported.

New research from George Washington University has determined that treating COVID patients with aspirin reduced the risk of severe illness by nearly half. The report noted that an aspirin regimen in more than 400 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the United States cut the need for ventilation by 44%, slashed ICU admission by 43%, and reduced overall in-hospital mortality rates by 47%.

Dr. Jonathan Chow, one of the study’s researchers, said, “As we learned about the connection between blood clots and COVID-19, we knew that aspirin — used to prevent stroke and heart attack — could be important for COVID-19 patients. Our research found an association between low-dose aspirin and decreased severity of COVID-19 and death.”

A low-dose aspirin regimen has long been touted as potentially lifesaving for people at risk of heart attack or stroke or who are afflicted by blood clotting issues. Chow added, “Aspirin is low-cost, easily accessible, and millions are already using it to treat their health conditions. Finding this association is a huge win for those looking to reduce risk from some of the most devastating effects of COVID-19.”

This isn’t the only study professing the possible benefits of aspirin in COVID patients. Earlier in October, Medical Express reported that researchers from the University of Minnesota and Basel University in Switzerland came to the same conclusion. The researchers’ findings were published in Lancet’s Open Access eClinical Medicine and revealed that patients on blood thinners before getting COVID were admitted less often to the hospital despite being older and having more chronic medical conditions than their peers. The findings also revealed that blood thinners — whether started before or after COVID-19 infection — reduced death by nearly half.

Lead author Sameh Hozayen said, “We know that COVID-19 causes blood clots that can kill patients. But, do blood thinners save lives in COVID-19? Blood thinners are medications prescribed to prevent blood clots in patients with a prior blood clot in their lungs or legs. They also prevent blood clots in the brain secondary to abnormal heart rhythms, like atrial fibrillation. Blood thinners are the standard of treatment in these diseases, which is why we looked at data to see if it impacted hospitalizations related to COVID-19.”

“We already know that overwhelmed hospitals have a higher risk for death among their patients, so reducing hospitalization may have a positive impact during a COVID-19 surge,” Hozayen added.

“Unfortunately, about half of patients who are being prescribed blood thinners for blood clots in their legs, lungs, abnormal heart rhythms or other reasons, do not take them,” Hozayen continued. “By increasing adherence for people already prescribed blood thinners, we can potentially reduce the bad effects of COVID-19.”

Joe Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Doesn’t Exist. It’s Just A Press Release


Reported By Joy Pullmann | OCTOBER 7, 2021

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/joe-bidens-vaccine-mandate-doesnt-exist-its-just-a-press-release-2655247218.html/

Yes, we’ve heard all about Joe Biden’s alleged vaccine mandate for private companies employing 100 or more people. It was all over the news even before he announced it on September 9. His announcement has jeopardized the employment of millions of Americans and increased worker shortages in critical domains such as health care.

There’s only one problem. It’s all a mirage. Biden’s so-called vaccine mandate doesn’t exist — at least, not yet. So far, all we have is his press conference and other such made-for-media huff-puffing. No such rule even claiming to be legally binding has been issued yet.

That’s why nearly two dozen Republican attorneys general who have publicly voiced their opposition to the clearly unconstitutional and illegal mandate haven’t yet filed suit against it, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General confirmed for me. There is no mandate to haul into court. And that may be part of the plan.

According to several sources, so far it appears no such mandate has been sent to the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs yet for approval. The White House, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Department of Labor haven’t released any official guidance for the alleged mandate. There is no executive order. There’s nothing but press statements.

Despite what you may have been falsely led to believe by the media fantasy projection machine, press statements have exactly zero legal authority.

“There is nothing there yet that gives employers any mandate,” Stephanie McFarland, spokeswoman for the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, told me Oct. 6. “The president made an announcement on this asking OSHA to do it, but we’ve not yet seen anything come from it yet,” she also said. When the state agency gets any further information, she said, they’ll review it.

To impose the public perception of a mandate, the Biden administration is following an unusual rule-making process it also employed earlier this year, called an emergency temporary standard (ETS). The spring ETS rule took nearly six months to issue. Meanwhile, companies are telling reporters their vaccine mandates will have at the latest December deadlines. (For those who can’t calendar, that’s four months after Biden’s non-existent mandate was proclaimed. According to OSHA, an ETS takes up to six months to go into effect after the initial mandate is issued in the Federal Register — which, again, for the proclaimed 100-employee mandate hasn’t happened yet.)

Lawyers for big business were blunt about their love for this mandate mirage: “Everybody loves this cover,” Minneapolis employment lawyer Kate Bischoff told Bloomberg Law in September. “Many were already looking down the road at doing this, but the fact that they get to blame Biden is like manna from heaven.”

Using the ETS procedure instead of normal federal rule-making processes both allows the Biden administration to push its demands faster and without any public input or requirement of responding to public input, which is normally required of even legally laughable federal rule-making like this one would be. That is part of why ETS rules have been overwhelmingly overturned in courts.

“OSHA has used that legal authority only 10 times in 50 years,” David Rivkin Jr. and Robert Alt wrote in the Wall Street Journal in September. “Courts have decided challenges to six of those standards, nixing five and upholding only one.”

There are many other reasons any federal vaccine mandate would be obviously illegal and unconstitutional, Rivkin and Alt write, including that “The states have plenary police power to regulate health and safety. Congress has only those limited powers enumerated in the Constitution. That wouldn’t include the authority to impose a $155 fine (today’s equivalent of the $5 at stake in Jacobson) on an individual who declines to be vaccinated, much less to prevent him from earning a livelihood.”

But who needs the Constitution when you have an American people conditioned for compliance with even wildly outlandish things the screen people insist they must think and do?

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal published a letter from Bruce Atkinson making several excellent observations about the nonexistent mandate, including the following:

The mandate’s nonexistence shields the Biden administration from legal challenges that may ultimately restrict the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s authority. Yet the mandate is still effective at compelling industries and companies into compliance, as it leaves room for any eventual issuance to target noncompliant entities. This implied cudgel is particularly effective on industries and companies that are dependent on federal spending or the goodwill of federal regulators. The nonexistent mandate also allows so-inclined state and local governments and companies to issue their own mandates, seemingly in lockstep with Washington.

The Biden White House has been well-served by presenting a nonexistent mandate as a done deal.

Now, let me see, what presidential administration does all this remind you of? Why, that of Mr. “Pen and Phone” himself, Barack Obama.

His also wildly unconstitutional Deferred Action for Child Arrivals was simply a two-page memo, for example, but it is still allowing some 616,000 people to simply ignore major U.S. laws, and could easily be reinstated by courts as litigation continues nearly a decade later. It seems that, given such unchecked gains from openly lawless actions Democrats have turned into standard operating procedure over the years, Joe Biden feels free to reduce that constitutional contempt to simply a phone now.

What this “government by press release” also allows is for Republicans like Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb to complain about Biden’s tyranny while using zip, nada, zilch of their elected authority to stop it. Holcomb has used the same executive rule-by-decree throughout the lockdown era without effective restraint by a supermajority-Republican state legislature, even telling the press churches were required to deliver Christ’s Body and Blood his way while quietly keeping that part out of his executive orders, surely because government dictating religious exercise is obviously unconstitutional and would quickly have generated lawsuits.

All this allows weak Republicans and evil Democrats to shadowbox each other for the cameras while ordinary Americans suffer under their abdicated leadership. By the time Republican attorneys general get around to filing lawsuits over any eventually issued legal documents that fulfill Biden’s promises, the vast majority of people not wanting government to force them into medical procedures will likely be unemployed, forcibly injected with treatments that have almost no track record, forced from their education paths, provided with fake documents like these citizens are beneath COVID-rule-exempt illegal aliens, and all the rest.

This is how weak Republicans keep letting Democrats go right on gleefully disemboweling our rights just like they have nearly 50 million of the American unborn. Gee, thanks, “public servants.” Tell me another one about how you love American liberties and the Bill of Rights. I’ll believe that when I see you sacrificing anything substantial to fight for them.

What Democrats are doing as Republicans stand down yet again is a moral and constitutional abomination. Not even the fig-leaf pose of a pen signing balderdash-filled documents is needed for today’s Democrats. Whatever they say, you do. You have no rights or say in the matter, no possibility for objecting to even them forcibly injecting things into your own body and the bodies of your children.

These people believe they are royalty, and too many Americans are acting like they’re these losers’ serfs instead of citizens endowed by God with inalienable rights, including the right to consent — through elected representatives, not never-elected dictatorial bureaucrats — to rules that restrict our rights, everyday lives, and human dignity.

Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her newest ebook is a design-your-own summer camp kit, and her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Sign up here to get early access to her next full-length book, “How To Control The Internet So It Doesn’t Control You.” A Hillsdale College honors graduate, @JoyPullmann is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books.

Dr. Fauci declares Americans should ‘give up’ individual freedom ‘for the greater good of society’


Reported by CHRIS ENLOE | October 04, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/fauci-americans-give-up-individual-freedom/

Dr. Anthony Fauci declared last week that people hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine should “give up” their individual freedoms “for the greater good of society.”

After delivering a lecture via livestream at McGill University, which is located in Montreal, Fauci fielded several questions. One question asked Fauci how to approach “the value of individual freedom within the context of this global pandemic.”

First, Fauci took the opportunity to bash Fox News and other right-leaning media outlets. Then, he bashed individual freedom, framing vaccination as one’s responsibility toward others.

“I think what people have to appreciate, that indeed you do have personal liberties for yourself and you should be in control of that,” Fauci began. “But you are a member of society, and as a member of society, reaping all of the benefits of being a member of society, you have a responsibility to society.”

“I think each of us, particularly in the context of a pandemic that’s killing millions of people, you have got to look at it and say, ‘There comes a time when you do have to give up what you consider your individual right of making your own decision for the greater good of society,'” he explained.

“There is no doubt that that’s the case,” Fauci added.

The importance of vaccination, Fauci later explained, is that unvaccinated people “inadvertently” and “innocently” transmit COVID-19 to people who are vulnerable to hospitalization or death. He compared living unvaccinated to a person recklessly driving 95 mph on a highway.

“If I get hurt, that’s my problem. No! It’s somebody who you might kill’s problem, also,” Fauci said.

Earlier in the interview, Fauci said people opposed to the vaccine need to be convinced to get vaccinated by a “trusted messenger,” suggesting clergymen, family members, and sports figures.

During an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Fauci said “it’s just too soon to tell” whether Americans should gather together for the Christmas holiday.

“We’ve just got to concentrating on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time,” Fauci said.

In that same interview, Fauci praised California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who last week announced all California students age 12 or older will be required to get vaccinated. Fauci implied every state should follow Newsom’s lead.

“People need to realize that having a vaccine requirement for schools is not a new, novel thing that is very peculiar or specific to COVID-19. We’ve been doing this for decades,” Fauci said. “My own children could not have gone to school if they had not gotten vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella. So when we see pushback on that, it’s as if this never happened before. It’s actually ongoing with other vaccines. So, let’s do it with a virus that’s very, very serious.”

Daniel Horowitz Op-ed: New study shows denial of ivermectin is a crime against humanity


Commentary by DANIEL HOROWITZ | October 01, 2021

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/horowitz-new-study-shows-denial-of-ivermectin-is-a-crime-against-humanity-theblaze-2655204407.html/

“How can I get hold of ivermectin in case I get sick?” is probably the most common email inquiry I receive daily. It’s a shame we didn’t make this safe, Nobel prize-winning drug as available as we do needles in San Francisco for the injection of dangerous drugs. Perhaps we can ask the Mexican cartels to get into ivermectin production.

In all seriousness, given the data behind ivermectin, it is shocking how our government refuses to even embark on a study. In the meantime, insurers refuse to cover it and pharmacists refuse to dispense it — and that’s if you can get hold of a doctor willing to prescribe it.

Until now, despite dozens of studies and doctors all around the world with no financial gain at stake vouching for its efficacy, our government has balked at ivermectin because, it claims, the studies are too small. Well, the Argentinian Provincial Ministry of Health just published the results of a retrospective study of a trial of over 21,000 participants. The results were unmistakable among those participants above age 40, all non-vaccinated. Overall, when adjusting for confounding factors like less healthy people joining the ivermectin group, those in the ivermectin group had a 66% lower ICU admission rate and a 55% lower mortality rate than those in the control group. Anyone in the ivermectin group was treated with a dose of 0.6mg per kg of weight one time a day for five days.

This is just the latest study, but the key is to look at the preponderance of the evidence. A meta-analysis posted earlier this week of 65 total studies netted the following pooled results.

As the author notes, while many of the studies are small sample sizes, taken together, “The probability that an ineffective treatment generated results as positive as the 65 studies is estimated to be 1 in 403 billion.”

So many people, including actor Louis Gossett Jr., are human testimonies to ivermectin being more than a theoretical statistical benefit. They are alive today, even after having used it at a late stage. The war on ivermectin and the embargo against early treatment are truly a crime against humanity.

Ultimately, it’s important to keep in mind that this has never been about any one treatment. Imagine if along with making ivermectin cheap and available;

  • our government had helped empower people to raise their vitamin D levels and
  • exercise more rather than gaining a ton of weight over the pandemic.
  • Imagine if our government had encouraged doctors to treat this early and often with a cocktail of several drugs plus made the monoclonal antibodies available for everyone the minute they came out, over one year ago,
  • in addition to the successful nasal irrigation techniques using povidone-iodine sprays.

Well, then the reduction in mortality would have been closer to 100%.

Vitamin D alone could have saved anyone who has gotten seriously ill recently, a year and a half after our government should have been encouraging people to take high-dose supplements. There are now at least 113 studies vouching for the correlation between high vitamin D levels and positive outcomes. The results of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of eight vitamin D studies showed that the risk of COVID mortality for people with D levels at 50 ng/ml is close to zero.

Then, of course, there is exercise and obesity. Weight is such a strong factor in determining risk of serious illness that BMI is now being used as a way of vetting people for eligibility for the monoclonal antibodies. Yet our government encouraged a lifestyle that caused obesity to skyrocket. The rates have gone up so quickly that, according to the latest CDC data, 16 states now have obesity rates of 35% or higher, an increase of four states in just one year.

Rather than encouraging people, in addition to seeking early COVID treatment, to pound vitamins, exercise, and eat right — which would induce a cascading confluence of benefits in every other area of health and wellness — they placed all of their eggs in the vaccine basket. Now what do they have to offer those people getting infected despite taking on so much known and unknown risk from the shots?

Finally, more than any one drug or therapeutic, it’s about the art of practicing medicine, which involves having a competent doctor prescribe the right course of action for the right patient for the given symptoms at the right time. Every primary care doctor should have been encouraged, rather than discouraged, to treat this virus early with their respective patient workloads. Each drug alone might have a 30%-60% efficacy rate, but a good doctor putting it all together achieves close to 100% success.

Drs. Brian Tyson and George Fareed posted a summary of their patient outcomes after treating thousands of COVID patients in Imperial County, California, since last March. Out of 6,000 patients they treated, they never lost a patient who came to them within the first week of symptoms. What Dr. Tyson explains is so simple, yet eloquent:

“We started seeing inflammation, so we used anti-inflammatories,” Dr. Tyson explains. “We saw blood clots, so we used anti-coagulants. We saw patients having trouble breathing, so we used asthma medications. … It wasn’t just one drug. It was the art of what we see and how those patients responded to what we gave them.” As Tyson notes, if you are not in favor of early treatment, that’s fine, but why do you have to attack others who try to treat the virus? “If I’m wrong, people are still going to die,” asserted Tyson. “But if I’m right, how many thousands of lives would have been saved?”

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Life in Amerika

A.F. BRANCO on September 22, 2021 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-life-in-amerika/

A vaccine mandate over a virus with over a 99% survival rate means we’re no longer a free country.

Vaccine Mandate Tyranny
Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021.

Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Daniel Horowitz Op-ed: Now that vaccinated people need the monoclonal treatments, Biden admin and media attack the treatment


Commentary by DANIEL HOROWITZ | September 20, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-now-that-vaccinated-people-need-the-monoclonal-treatments-biden-admin-and-media-attack-the-treatment/

For those of you who couldn’t believe that the government’s war on ivermectin and every other treatment was rooted in a sinister motivation, its new attack on the monoclonal antibodies should indelibly cement the terrifying thought in your mind. The government and the media are now using the same attack pattern on the monoclonal antibody treatment that they used on hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin now that it has become popular with people desperate for treatment – vaccinated and unvaccinated alike.

On Sept. 14, the Biden administration announced that the feds would be cutting the number of monoclonal treatments per week in the southern states and reallocating them as part of a broader plan to start rationing the treatments. For example, in Florida, HHS issued an allocation for the week of Sept. 13 of 3,100 doses of BAM/ETE treatments and 27,850 doses of REGN-COV. As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a press conference last week, this would effectively reduce Florida’s allocation by 50%. The federal agency did this without any warning or indication that there was a shortage.

Then, last Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki explained the move as follows“Our supply is not unlimited and we believe it should be equitable.” HHS then followed up with an explanation of the policy of “equity.”

But wouldn’t you focus on where it’s needed at a given time rather than blind “equity”? Also, Biden promised just days earlier during the announcement of his vaccine mandate to boost monoclonal distribution by 50%.

Well, here is the answer to the enigma: In that same announcement, Biden warned, “If these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way.” Is the federal takeover of the monoclonals his ace in the hole? And why wouldn’t the government just produce more? We have spent trillions of dollars on welfare, shutdowns, and vaccines that failed so miserably that people who already got the shots still need the monoclonals! So why not put the funding into the monoclonals?

Well, if you are trying to ascertain the motivation of government always watch carefully for its stenographers in the media to follow up with the psy-ops on the general public, which will reveal the true messaging. Once you read this New York Times article, you will see clearly that this is really not about “equity” or some concern over supply. In an article titled, “They shunned COVID vaccines but embraced antibody treatments,” the NYT essentially frames the monoclonals as some right-wing solution that is only for those who didn’t want to get the vaccine.

Some Republican governors have set up antibody clinics while opposing vaccine mandates, frustrating even some of the drugs’ strongest proponents. Raising vaccination rates, scientists said, would obviate the need for many of the costly antibody treatments in the first place. The infusions take about an hour and a half, including monitoring afterward, and require constant attention from nurses whom hard-hit states often cannot spare.”It’s clogging up resources, it’s hard to give, and a vaccine is $20 and could prevent almost all of that,” said Dr. Christian Ramers, an infectious disease specialist and the chief of population health at Family Health Centers of San Diego, a community-based provider. Pushing antibodies while playing down vaccines, he said, was “like investing in car insurance without investing in brakes.”

Except it’s simply not true. The vaccines are no longer working, especially for those who got them early on — particularly the elderly — and many of the people who got them badly need treatment. As Gov. DeSantis reported, the majority of those seeking monoclonals are vaccinated, a fact I have verified in the facility closest to me in Baltimore. Here are the statistics the Florida government publicized at last week’s press conference:

At our Broward site, 52% of the patients that have received treatment have been vaccinated, 69% of those over 60 that have received treatment at the Broward site had been vaccinated. In Miami Dade almost 60% of everybody that’s been treated at the Tropical Park site has been vaccinated. And 73% of the patients treated at the state site in Tropical Park that are over the age of 60 have been vaccinated.

So again, it’s the exact opposite of what the media and the Biden administration are saying. The vaccines cost a fortune and failed. Now these same people need treatment. The same government officials rationing the monoclonals have already scared 99% of doctors away from prescribing and pharmacists from filling cheap off-patent drugs that have cured the few people who can access them. The monoclonals are made by the cool kids at big pharma and are approved by the government. Except our government paid them off up front and then refused to even make the public aware of their existence. Thus, even things produced by big pharma are now attacked, so long as they actually work and people begin successfully using them.

It’s so cute to watch the government and media suddenly become concerned about expensive treatments after spending billions on the vaccines. There is a simple solution, and that would be mass production of ivermectin and encouraging all physicians to treat everyone early with it and other cheap drugs. But now that the government has essentially banned them, the monoclonals are the only show in town. This is where the Biden administration wants to place Americans they don’t like into a death trap.

Texas Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough warned that this is not about a lack of supply. “The manufacturer has confirmed supplies are ample but due to the Defense Production Act, the White House and its agencies are the only entities who can purchase and distribute this treatment,” wrote Keough on Facebook.

With the war on any and all forms of early treatment, ask yourself this question: Does our government really want the pandemic to end?

CHRIS PANDOLFO and LEON WOLF Op-ed: Cash, COVID, and cover-up, part 3: ‘You will have tasks that must be done’


Commentary by CHRIS PANDOLFO and LEON WOLF | September 16, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/cash-covid-and-cover-up-part-3-you-will-have-tasks-that-must-be-done/

Click here for part 1 of this series: Cash, COVID, and cover-up, part 1: The questions we should have asked of Fauci about the origins of COVID-19

Click here for part 2 of this series: Cash, COVID, and cover-up, part 2: The gain-of-function controversy

On Jan. 27, 2020, EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak sent an email to Dr. David Morens, a subordinate of Dr. Anthony Fauci at NIAID, that contained a not-very-subtle warning. Fauci had not yet been appointed to former President Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force and was thus largely unknown to the public at large at this point. Daszak would later become perhaps the most prominent public scientific figure in the world to denounce the lab-leak theory.

He was also, perhaps not coincidentally, the link between U.S. taxpayer dollars and research funded at the Wuhan Institute of Virology — it was through his EcoHealth Alliance that the WIV had received NIAID grants.

As the coronavirus pandemic was emerging in Wuhan and scientists began looking for the source of the outbreak (some of whom were considering the possibility that the virus might have leaked from the WIV), Daszak alerted Morens to a rather explosive fact: The NIAID had, in fact, been funding the WIV indirectly. Not only that, Daszak provided Morens with a handy list of talking points that Fauci could use, if he saw fit, if he was asked about what, exactly, the NIAID had been funding at the WIV.

“Great info, thanks,” Morens replied. “[Dr. Fauci] doesn’t maintain awareness of these things and doesn’t know unless program officers tell him, which they rarely do, since they are across town and may not see him more than once a year, or less.”

It is reasonable to assume that, prior to this point, Fauci may not have personally known that NIAID had funded research at the WIV that any reasonable person would have concluded constituted gain-of-function research. However, he certainly knew after this heads-up from Daszak — who was aggressively shaping the public message even this early in the pandemic.

+++++++++

The first officially reported human cases of COVID-19 were identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, although there is evidence the virus was circulating and infecting people at the Wuhan Institute of Virology before December. At the beginning of the month, patient zero, a 55-year-old man from Hubei, went to the hospital with pneumonia-like symptoms. Though the outbreak would later be traced to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, patient zero had not been there. In the next few weeks, more patients would present themselves to the hospital with similar symptoms, and on Dec. 8, 2019, the Wuhan City Health Committee and the World Health Organization reported that 41 people had been tested and confirmed positive for a new viral disease that would come to be called COVID-19.

Reports of this novel coronavirus were of immediate interest to Drs. Fauci, Baric, Daszak, and the other virologists, researchers, and public health officials who had dedicated their lives to studying, controlling, and preventing infectious disease. Their jobs, after all, were to guide the public response to a pandemic. But the circumstances surrounding the outbreak of the virus, and the possible, though unproven, connection of its origins to dangerous gain-of-function research — which those involved had an ideological and financial stake in — created a conflict of interest that perhaps motivated their public statements and compromised their official response to COVID-19.

To say that the government has not been voluntarily forthcoming about its response to the COVID-19 pandemic would be to engage in massive understatement. Only a bevy of repeated FOIA requests filed by media and nonprofit organizations, combined with the incessant prying of the DRASTIC internet sleuths, have uncovered as much information as we now have. And what we have represents only a small fraction of the total: enormous portions — perhaps the majority — have been redacted, including entire lengthy emails.

We, ordinary members of the public, remain largely in the dark about what these men and women did and said to each other as they scrambled to formulate a public response to the largest public health emergency in recent memory. For that matter, it seems that another key person appears to have been kept in the dark: former President Donald Trump, who was, if you will recall, the boss of virtually all the government officials involved in these communications. And yet, one searches through these hundreds of pages of released emails in vain for any indication that the president was consulted or even informed about deliberations that were occurring regarding how his administration would handle what would come to be his defining crisis.

While we might know but little of the full picture, what we do know does not look good. In the early days of the pandemic, a group of scientists led by Fauci, Farrar, and Daszak held a number of teleconferences and meetings, over which there remains a blanket of almost total secrecy. The end result of these initial teleconferences is that all the participants would emerge to publicly declare the lab-leak theory a conspiracy, including some (like Dr. Kristian Andersen), who had just days earlier announced that the virus looked potentially engineered.

In the months following these internal discussions, Fauci, Dasak, and other public officials and influential members of the scientific community would coordinate a messaging campaign to discredit the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 leaked from the Wuhan lab. Discussion of the lab-leak theory would be shut down in public spaces by their repeated insistence that such questions were conspiracy-theory, fringe ideas that promote disinformation during a global pandemic.

They instead advanced the hypothesis that COVID-19 had natural, or zoonotic origins — that the virus began in some animal host, possibly bats or pangolins, and evolved to become transmissible among humans. This became the prevailing narrative accepted by the media, and those who questioned its truthfulness were smeared as conspiracy theorists and in some cases de-platformed by tech companies for contradicting the opinions of respected, scientific experts and organizations — read: the views endorsed and promoted by government officials like Fauci.

Here is how the plan unfolded.

+++++++++

The chain began in late December 2019. On Dec. 31, 2019, at 8:16 a.m., Dr. Baric emailed Daszak with the subject line, “RE: have you heard any news on this? maybe as many as 27 cases with 7 severe in wuhan—ards like pneumonia.” The email contained an update from ProMed, an email list that provides readers all over the world with crowdsourced disease alerts, on the latest news regarding an emerging pneumonia-like disease reported in Wuhan.

Daszak, a zoologist, was the leader of the only U.S.-based nonprofit organization researching coronavirus evolution and transmission in China. He is also a strong proponent of and fundraiser for gain-of-function research. For years, his organization has received federal funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and its sub-agency the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to support research on bat coronaviruses conducted in China. He was on friendly terms with Wuhan researcher Dr. Shi Zhengli, as well as NIAID Director Fauci, and had contacts with both of their colleagues.

He replied to Baric indicating that his EcoHealth colleague Hongying Li was feeding him information on the pneumonia cases in what appeared to be real time. Daszak’s emails were made public as part of a records request from U.S. Right to Know.

On Jan. 6, 2020, Daszak replied to an email from Erik Stemmy, the program officer for the Respiratory Diseases Branch Division of Microbiology and Infections Diseases at NIAID, indicating that he had some off-the-record information on the viral outbreak in China. Chinese scientists on Jan. 12 published the genetic sequence of the virus causing the outbreak. EcoHealth Alliance analyzed the Chinese data and determined the virus was related to SARS. Daszak wrote another email to Stemmy informing him that the new virus is “close to SARSr-CoV Rp3 that we published from our past NIAID work. This came from a Rhinolophus bat in S. China.” He added that Baric was “already working to reconstruct and rescue the virus in the lab from the sequence, so he can do further work on it.”

It would appear that Daszak had early access to information Shi’s research team wouldn’t make public until Jan. 23, when they reported the genetic sequence for SARS-CoV-2 was 96.2% similar to a previously discovered bat coronavirus called RaTG13. Daszak confirmed as much in another Jan. 9 email exchange with NIAID senior scientific adviser Dr. David Morens, who had emailed Daszak asking if he had any “inside info on this new coronavirus that isn’t yet in the public domain.”

“Yes — lots of information and I spoke with Erik Stemmy and Alan Embry yesterday before the news was released,” Daszak replied. “Erik is my program officer on our coronavirus grant specifically focused on China.” These emails were obtained by Judicial Watch.

Later in a Jan. 27 email, Daszak sent Morens talking points on EcoHealth Alliance’s work with the Wuhan lab for Fauci to mention “when he’s being interviewed re. The new CoV.” He highlighted that NIAID had been funding research at the Wuhan lab through EcoHealth Alliance for “the past 5 years” and that the work involves identifying “cohorts of people highly exposed to bats in China” and determining “if they’re getting sick from [coronaviruses].”

Daszak also pointed out the “results of our work,” which included the discovery of “SARS-related CoVs that can bind to human cells (Published in Nature), and that cause SARS-like disease in humanized mouse models.” He was referring to Baric and Shi’s 2015 collaborative gain-of-function study.

From the beginning, Daszak sought to influence the messaging around his work in China, casting it in the most positive light.

“Great info, thanks,” Morens replied. “[Dr. Fauci] doesn’t maintain awareness of these things and doesn’t know unless program officers tell him, which they rarely do, since they are across town and may not see him more than once a year, or less.”

The early work of scientists to identify SARS-CoV-2 and trace its origins inevitably attracted the attention of the media. Science magazine published an article on Jan. 31 detailing those efforts, covering Shi’s work and leaning in to the emerging hypothesis that the virus occurred naturally in bats and made the leap to infect humans. The article also briefly discussed “conspiracy theories” linking China’s coronavirus research to weapons research. At the time there were unsubstantiated claims that China engineered the virus at the Wuhan lab as a bioweapon, but soon the “conspiracy theory” label would be expanded to any suggestion that the virus originated in the lab, no matter how credentialed those promoting the idea were or how carefully they avoided drawing conclusions.

The Science article did note that there were concerns about the Wuhan lab’s security and gain-of-function research. Dr. Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University and a critic of gain-of-function experiments, was quoted suggesting that data on SARS-CoV-2 was “consistent with entry into the human population as either a natural accident or a laboratory accident.”

The mere suggestion that it was possible for COVID-19 to come from a laboratory accident drew immediate, fierce attack from Daszak.

“Every time there’s an emerging disease, a new virus, the same story comes out: This is a spillover or the release of an agent or a bioengineered virus,” Daszak told Science. “It’s just a shame. It seems humans can’t resist controversy and these myths, yet it’s staring us right in the face.”

This unjustified, angry reaction to a reasonable point was a prelude to what was to come.

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At 8:43 p.m. on Jan. 31, the Science article was emailed to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who in turn forwarded it to several of his NIH colleagues and associates, including Dr. Jeremy Farrar, the director of the London-based Wellcome Trust megacharity, and to Dr. Kristian Andersen, a respected virologist at Scripps Research. Fauci’s emails were made public via a Freedom of Information Act Request from BuzzFeed News.

Andersen, who had studied the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, wrote back praising the article but adding an astounding claim: He had analyzed the genetic sequences from China and determined that “some of the features (potentially) look engineered.” He told Fauci that “after discussions earlier today, Eddie, Bob, Mike and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory,” before adding that “those opinions could still change.” According to reporter Nicholas Wade, Eddie is Edward C. Holmes of the University of Sydney, Bob is Robert F. Garry of Tulane University, and Mike is Michael Farzan at Scripps Research.

Andersen would later walk back what he said privately, claiming that he and other scientists strongly considered the lab-leak possibility before evidence convinced them that the natural origins theory was more likely.

But in that moment, Fauci was told the unanimous opinion of several well-respected virologists was that the virus causing a growing pandemic was possibly engineered. The fact that the viral outbreak happened just 20 miles away from a laboratory conducting coronavirus research, research his agency may have funded, put him into action.

The next morning, Saturday, Feb. 1, Fauci sent an urgent email to NIAID principal director Hugh Auchincloss, writing, “It is essential that we speak this AM. Keep your cell phone on … read this paper as well as the e-mail that I will forward to you now. You will have tasks today that must be done.” Attached was a copy of Baric’s and Shi’s 2015 collaborative gain-of-function study, which stated in its acknowledgements that it was funded by NIAID and exempted from a moratorium on funding for gain-of-function research that was in effect at the time. Fauci also forwarded the study to the Wellcome Trust’s Farrar. Fauci told Farrar the study was “of interest to the current discussion.”

Auchincloss replied a few hours later: “The paper you sent me says the experiments were performed before the gain of function pause but have since been reviewed and approved by NIH. Not sure what that means since Emily is sure that no Coronavirus work has gone through the P3 framework. She will try to determine if we have any distant ties to this work abroad.”

NIAID was tied to that work. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that NIAID awarded a 10-year grant to Peter Daszak to study bat coronaviruses in the East, and that between 2014 and 2019, $826,300 had been sub-awarded by EcoHealth Alliance to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Did NIAID fund an experiment at the Wuhan lab that engineered this new SARS-like virus? This would be the question on Fauci’s mind as he prepared for a teleconference later that day with well-known and highly respected global virologists to discuss the emerging pandemic.

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The teleconference was organized by Jeremy Farrar, who like Fauci is an enormously important gatekeeper of billions of dollars for medical research. Information to be discussed on the call would be “shared in total confidence and not to be shared until agreement on next steps,” a Feb. 1 email blast Fauci received explained. Farrar would lead the conference and present the “introduction, focus, and desired outcomes.” Andersen would be summarizing what he and the other virologists had analyzed about the virus. What was said exactly is unknown, as an email summary of the call was redacted, as well as notes taken by Ron Fouchier, the Dutch scientist who authored a highly controversial gain-of-function study in 2011.

What is known is that following this conference call, the public campaign against the lab-leak theory intensified. Many of the participants who voiced concerns that the virus looked engineered abruptly changed their positions.

Andersen, for example, was recruited by Daszak to consult on drafting a “statement in support of the scientists, public health and medical professionals of China.” Just four days after writing to Fauci about the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 virus looks “engineered,” Andersen in a Feb. 4, 2020, email recommended to Daszak that the statement “be more firm on the question of engineering.”

“The main crackpot theories going around at the moment relate to the virus being somehow engineered with intent and that is demonstrably not the case,” he wrote, reversing his position.

Farrar, meanwhile, was contacted by NIH Director Francis Collins on Feb. 2 about the need to get in touch with World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Let me know if I can help get through his thicket of protectors,” Collins wrote to Farrar, copying Fauci on the email. “Really appreciate us thinking through the options …,” he said in another email, before a redacted line.

Later that day, Farrar emailed Fauci and Collins, writing: “Tedros and [WHO representative in China Dr. Bernhard Schwartländer] have apparently gone into conclave … they need to decide today in my view. If they do prevaricate, I would appreciate a call with you later tonight or tomorrow to think how we might take forward.” At the end of the email, Farrar wrote “meanwhile” and included a link to a ZeroHedge article published that day that reported on claims that COVID-19 was engineered in the Wuhan lab.

The very next day, Tedros delivered a speech to the WHO executive board stating the need to “combat the spread of rumors and misinformation.”

“We have worked with Google to make sure people searching for information about coronavirus see WHO information at the top of their search results,” Tedros said. “Social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Tencent, and TikTok have also taken steps to limit the spread of misinformation.”

On that same day, ZeroHedge was banned from Twitter for publishing a “coronavirus conspiracy theory.”

The campaign was beginning to work.

Meanwhile, Daszak worked in the background to recruit more colleagues and associates to sign his statement, which was intended to authoritatively discredit the lab-leak hypothesis. In emails, Daszak wrote that he wanted the statement to “not be identifiable as coming from any one organization or person” but rather to be seen as “simply a letter from leading scientists.” He also emphasized how important it was “to avoid the appearance of a political statement.”

Baric, a leading gain-of-function researcher, was also consulted for the draft, but Daszak told him it would be best if he didn’t add his name to it “so it has some distance from us and therefore doesn’t work in a counterproductive way.” Baric agreed in reply, writing, “otherwise it looks self-serving and we lose impact.”

Likewise, Andersen did not sign the final product. He later claimed in a since-deleted tweet that he didn’t attach his name to the letter “because I (+ coauthors) found it premature to conclude there was no lab leak without carefully analyzing available data first.” He has never explained why it was not “premature” for him to help draft the statement.

The completed statement was published in the Lancet on Feb. 19 with 27 prominent public health scientists signing on to condemn “conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”

The importance of this event cannot be overstated.

The Lancet letter was instrumental in shaping the media narrative condemning all discussion of the lab-leak theory as conspiratorial, fringe, and otherwise harmful. To quote a landmark Vanity Fair article about the investigation into the origins of COVID-19, Daszak’s Lancet letter “effectively ended the debate over COVID-19’s origins before it began.”

Farrar, also a signatory of the Lancet statement, was working behind the scenes to discredit the lab-leak hypothesis, too. A spokesman for his office told the Daily Mail in June that Farrar recruited five scientists to author a letter to the scientific journal Nature Medicine that would argue for the natural origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Two of those scientists, Andersen and Holmes, attended the Feb. 1 teleconference and had before that conference believed the virus looked “potentially” engineered.

Incredibly, Farrar admits to the fact that he signed the Lancet letter even though, by his own estimation, he was “50-50” on the question of the lab-leak theory after the Feb. 1 teleconference with Fauci, and he further admits now that he cannot definitely make a statement one way or the other. Perhaps most astonishingly, Farrar’s memoir “Spike,” which discusses his ruminations at length about the lab-leak theory, fails to even mention the Lancet letter or his signature on it.

Not content with relying on the Lancet letter, the scientists who were involved in the mysterious Feb. 1 teleconference launched other avenues of attack. On Feb. 26, 2020, Emerging Microbes and Infections published another influential article titled, “No credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering of SARS-CoV-2.” The paper was written by Shan-Lu Liu, Linda J. Saif, Susan R. Weiss, and Lishan Su. Christian Drosten, Germany’s leading COVID-19 expert and a participant in Farrar’s conference call, sits on the editorial board for EMI. This paper, if possible, represented an even more obvious exercise in wagon-circling and hiding conflicts of interest.

Lishan Su, it should be noted, was a colleague and coworker of Dr. Ralph Baric at UNC up until 2020, a fact not mentioned in the paper even though the primary purpose the paper served was to exonerate Baric and his work. Even more astonishingly, Baric was consulted beforehand about what the paper should say. According to emails unearthed by U.S. Right to Know, Baric was provided with an advance copy of the paper by Su and asked for comments and revisions.

Perhaps understanding how bad such an arrangement would look, Baric responded to Su’s request that he review the paper by saying, “sure, but I don’t want to be cited in (sic) as having commented prior to submission.” Su agreed to keep Baric’s name out of the paper, and Baric agreed to redline the paper that would exonerate him. Bizarrely, Baric attempted to claim in one comment that the SHC014-MA15 virus that he created with Shi decreased the pathogenicity of the virus, rather than increased, as it clearly did. Baric’s comment confused the authors of the EMI paper, who ultimately rejected that particular edit.

The paper was finished on Feb. 13, 2020, and Shan-Lu Liu, who also serves as EMI’s editor-in-chief, wrote a bizarre email recommending publication of what he described as “timely commentary… perfectly written” from himself to … himself.

Unsurprisingly, the paper, which never disclosed Baric’s involvement, was published a couple weeks later.

But between the time the article was finalized and the time it was published, the paper’s authors privately expressed doubts to each other about its conclusions, even as EMI was rushing to expedite publication of the commentary and waiving customary publication fees. Shan Lu acknowledged to Weiss in a Feb. 16 email that they “could not rule out the possibility” that the virus escaped from the lab, which led to changes to the paper that focused on refuting the idea that the virus had been engineered in a lab, as opposed to merely having escaped from the lab. But some of the papers’ authors continued to harbor doubts about this possibility, as well.

On Feb. 16, Weiss emailed Shan-Lu Liu, still expressing her “doubt” that the virus was engineered in the lab, but noting regarding the distinctive furin cleavage site, “lineage B Bat viruses generally do not have the furin site.”

Five days later, Shan Lu responded, “Susan, I completely agree with you, but rumor says that furin site may be engineered. Importantly, the virus RNA sequence around the furin site (288 nt), before and after, has 6.6 % differences, but with no amino acid changes at all.”

Weiss then responded, “Henry and I have been speculating- how can that site have appeared at S1/S2 border- I hate to think to [sic] was engineered- among the MHV strains, the cleavage site does not increaser pathogenicity while it does effect entry route (surface vs endosome) . so for me the only significance of this furin site is as a marker for where the virus came from- frightening to think it may have been engineered[.]”

None of these doubts or concerns would be mentioned when, five days later, the paper, “No credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering of SARS-CoV-2,” was released.

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On Mar. 6, Andersen emailed Fauci, Farrar, and Collins announcing that his letter had been accepted by Nature Medicine and would be published shortly. He encouraged them to provide comments or suggestions about the paper or its press release. Two days later, Fauci replied, “Nice job on the paper.”

This third article, “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2,” was published March 17. Farrar’s name was not attached to it. “We do not believe any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible,” the authors wrote, in what would became the most-cited scientific document discrediting the lab-leak hypothesis. National media outlets seized on the letter, often referring to it as a “study,” as the final word on COVID-19’s origins. Anyone who offered a contrary opinion, including President Donald Trump, was dismissed as ignorant, anti-science, conspiracy-minded, and racist as far as the media were concerned. And they’d be censored on social media too.

The Proximal Origins letter was championed by opponents of the lab-leak theory.

Daszak used the letter in interviews and on social media to forcefully attack “conspiracy theorists” calling for investigations into the Wuhan lab.

Fauci, who by now was the chief spokesman for the White House at the daily coronavirus response briefings and the nationally recognized face of the government’s pandemic response, endorsed the letter on April 18 and publicly rejected the lab-leak hypothesis. Fauci did not mention that he was involved with the authors.

In an email after that press briefing, Daszak wrote to Fauci with glowing praise for his remarks.

“I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Daszak wrote.

“From my perspective, your comments are brave, and coming from your trusted voice, will help dispel the myths being spun around the virus’ origins,” he added.

Daszak was thrilled because the most important and influential voice during the pandemic said that “science” had determined SARS-CoV-2 was not engineered in a lab. As far as he knew, the lab-leak theory was defeated. The United States government would support that conclusion in an April 30 statement endorsing the “scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.”

The actual evidence presented by the “Proximal Origins” paper, however, was almost farcically thin. The bulk of the paper discussed the basis for a possible zoonotic origin of the virus — which will be discussed in greater detail in subsequent parts of this series. As for the scientific evidence discrediting the possibility that the virus was engineered, Andersen and his fellow authors raised exactly two points.

First, the paper claimed, “While the analyses above suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may bind human ACE2 with high affinity, computational analyses predict that the interaction is not ideal7 and that the RBD sequence is different from those shown in SARS-CoV to be optimal for receptor binding7,11. Thus, the high-affinity binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to human ACE2 is most likely the result of natural selection on a human or human-like ACE2 that permits another optimal binding solution to arise. This is strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is not the product of purposeful manipulation.”

Stripped of dense scientific language, the authors essentially argue that, while SARS-cov-2 is extremely effective at infecting human cells, it is not as effective as it could be, and thus if someone was trying to engineer a virus that was as infectious as possible, they would have done better. This may or may not constitute “strong evidence” that the virus was engineered specifically as a bioweapon, but it ignores the fact that viruses are engineered by the scientists who perform gain-of-function research for a whole host of reasons, including to develop vaccines and treatment modalities. It also ignores the somewhat obvious fact that a person who was, in fact, seeking to create a bioweapon might want to maintain some plausible deniability that it was not, in fact, an intentional bioweapon.

Second, the paper claimed, “Furthermore, if genetic manipulation had been performed, one of the several reverse-genetic systems available for betacoronaviruses would probably have been used. However, the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone.” This contention, however, is definitely four words too short, because it fails to finish, “that we know of.” The idea that the genomic database — particularly of backbones that might have been generated in Wuhan — can be relied upon for completeness is absolutely ludicrous given what we know now. For just one example, the infamous chimeric virus created by Baric and Shi in their 2015 paper was “inadvertently” not uploaded to any databases until after the current pandemic began and people began asking uncomfortable questions.

But, while the actual contentions of the paper were laughably weak, they were hidden behind a patina of dense scientific lingo and an air of authority and certainty, which was enough to convince the media and social media companies.

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There were still voices arguing that the lab-leak theory shouldn’t be dismissed. Trump drew fire for contradicting his administration with claims that he had seen evidence that COVID-19 originated in the Wuhan lab. When the media demanded the president offer proof, he said he was “not allowed” to share the evidence with them. Already antagonized by the president, the national media doubled down on their efforts to declare him a liar, as well as anyone who agreed with him.

In the months following, Fauci and other public health officials continued to dismiss the lab-leak theory as a conspiracy theory. In May, Columbia University virologist and Proximal Origins author Ian W. Lipkin thanked Fauci for his “efforts in steering and messaging.”

As summer drew to a close, the lab-leak theory appeared to be thoroughly discredited. Gain-of-function research was safe. In August 2020, NIAID awarded 11 new grants with a total first-year value of $17 million to 10 participants for a global network to investigate viruses and other deadly pathogens emerging in the wild. Kristian Andersen and Peter Daszak, who worked with Fauci on messaging about the origins of the coronavirus, were among the recipients of this funding.

Only recently, more than a year after the beginning of the pandemic, is discussion of the lab-leak theory permitted in the mainstream because proponents of the natural origins theory have been unable to prove their claims. In May 2021, several influential scientists including Dr. Ralph Baric, the leading coronavirus researcher in the United States, signed a letter in Science magazine calling for a full investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter acknowledged that both the natural origins and lab-leak theories “remain viable” and that the two theories “were not given balanced consideration” at the onset of the pandemic.

Further demonstrating that discussion of the lab-leak theory is now officially acceptable, a declassified summary of a U.S. intelligence report on the origins of the coronavirus requested by President Joe BIden and released last Friday did not draw definitive conclusions but left open the possibility that the virus was leaked from the Wuhan lab.

Discussion of both theories should be welcomed, as it is of paramount importance to learn how the coronavirus pandemic began so that a future pandemic can be prevented or stopped before millions of lives are lost.

What is troubling is that there was no obvious, science-based reason for any of the officials and scientific experts involved to want to prevent public discussion of the theory last year after the onset of the pandemic. Preventing public discussion of alternate theories of the virus’ origin served no scientific purpose at all. It did not advance our understanding of the virus or how to treat it.

There is, however, a clear political purpose to preventing discussion of the lab-leak theory, one that served the interests of the scientists involved in promoting and funding coronavirus research in China and, to the shame of journalists responsible for holding the powerful accountable, one that went unscrutinized for more than a year as the pandemic raged.

Daniel Horowitz Op-ed: CDC endorsed use of ivermectin … for Afghan refugees!


Commentator DANIEL HOROWITZ | September 03, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-cdc-endorsed-use-of-ivermectin-for-afghan-refugees/

“I have long been convinced that Nature has all the solutions we need to solve our past … that will be the primary source of the treasures and solutions that we seek.” ~Professor Satashi Omura, Nobel co-laureate for the discovery of ivermectin

Looking at 2019 CDC guidance, one has to wonder if one of the reasons why there is such a run on ivermectin is because our own government is using it. And no, not for horses, but for refugees. Yet these same government agencies are running a blood libel-style smear campaign against the drug and its users by misleading people into conflating it with a veterinarian version of the drug, leading many people to think it’s some sort of poison for humans. In the process, they are leaving thousands of COVID patients without any other options for treatment.

It’s not clear whether the hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees will be forced to get vaccinated like American international travelers, but one thing is clear: They will likely get the ivermectin that most Americans can no longer access. It turns out that in 2019, the CDC issued guidance for refugees from Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East to be given ivermectin pre-emptively for potential infections.

The CDC advises the International Organization for Migration (IOM) physicians who screen the refugees for departure, and U.S. doctors who treat them upon arrival, to prescribe “all Middle Eastern, Asian, North African, Latin American, and Caribbean refugees” with ivermectin and albendazole.

To the extent the government even screens refugees for COVID, will officials suspend ivermectin treatment for a refugee who has COVID alongside a parasitic infection? After all, we are told that somehow one of the safest drugs in the history of humanity suddenly turns unsafe if you want to use it for another ailment. Or perhaps Americans can self-identify as refugees and then obtain prescriptions for this lifesaving drug. The question now is whether the rest of the media that ignored ivermectin’s success for 17 months will continue to call the drug a “horse dewormer” even as it’s administered to Afghan refugees.

The revelation of this CDC guidance demonstrates that ivermectin is not some obscure drug, much less an animal drug that was used one time for humans in Africa many years ago. The agency feels it is needed today in most parts of the world. To suggest that it is not safe is a scandalous lie. Perhaps doctors will have to start punching in the prescription code for abortion or suggest it’s for an Afghan refugee in order to get the prescription filled:

In reality, anyone who thinks that somehow one of the safest and most successful drugs of all time cannot work for other ailments is woefully uninformed. I trust Professor Omura, the man who won the Nobel Prize for developing ivermectin for Merck, over the company itself, which now stands to benefit from an expensive drug it is developing, with which the cheap ivermectin, which is off patent, would interfere.

In March, Omura wrote in the Japanese Journal of Antibiotics that he hopes “ivermectin will be utilized as a countermeasure for COVID-19 as soon as possible.” Ten years ago, Omura observed: “Ivermectin has continually proved to be astonishingly safe for human use. Indeed, it is such a safe drug, with minimal side effects, that it can be administered by non-medical staff and even illiterate individuals in remote rural communities, provided that they have had some very basic, appropriate training.”

Any sampling of the internet will reveal a unique degree of reverence for this drug among all of the (pre-political) literature on ivermectin. For example, in 2017, Nature’s Journal of Antibiotics observed the following about the fact that ivermectin held promise outside use just as an-antiparasitic agent:

Today, ivermectin is continuing to surprise and excite scientists, offering more and more promise to help improve global public health by treating a diverse range of diseases, with its unexpected potential as an antibacterial, antiviral and anti-cancer agent being particularly extraordinary. …

Moreover, whereas ivermectin-resistant parasites swiftly appeared in treated animals, as well as in ectoparasites, such as copepods parasitizing salmon in fish farms, somewhat bizarrely and almost uniquely, no confirmed drug resistance appears to have arisen in parasites in human populations, even in those that have been taking ivermectin as a monotherapy for over 30 years.

As for the drug’s exact mechanism of action against COVID, Dr. Ryan Cole, a brilliant Mayo Clinic-trained pathologist, listed eight different mechanisms in an exclusive interview with TheBlaze:

1. Inhibits binding at ACE2 and TMPRSS2, keeping the virus from entering our cells.

2. Blocks alpha/beta importin (the virus cell taxi), keeping it from getting to the nucleus.

3. Blocks the viral replicase zipper (RdRp).

4. 3-Chimotrypsin protease inhibition (keeps the virus from assembling).

5. Ivermectin strengthens our natural antiviral cell activity by increasing our natural interferon production (this counters SARSCOV2 activity, which inhibits cellular interferon).

6. Decreases IL-6 and other inflammatory cytokines through NF Kappa Beta downregulation, taking the patient from a cytokine storm to calm.

7. Binds NSP14, necessary for viral replication, and blocks it (equals less virus).

8. Most important mechanism is inhibiting binding to CD147 receptor on red cells, platelets, lung, and blood cell lining. Ivermectin keeps the virus from binding here and decreases deadly clotting.

For those who want a more detailed explanation of each of these mechanisms, Dr. Cole has provided me with important links and videos, which I posted together in this twitter thread:

So, the next time you hear any media figures refer to ivermectin as an animal medicine, just remember that they are regarding people from three continents as something less than human. And now, they are treating every American – increasingly those who are also vaccinated – as subhuman beings who don’t deserve any treatment until it is too late.

Cash, COVID, and cover-up, part 2: The gain-of-function controversy


Reported by LEON WOLF, and, CHRIS PANDOLFO | September 01, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/cash-covid-and-cover-up-part-2-the-gain-of-function-controversy/

It is not accurate to say that Dr. Anthony Fauci has never faced tough or aggressive questioning during this pandemic. Although he has largely been fêted uncritically by the legacy media, he has on occasion faced tough or aggressive questioning when, for instance, he has been called to testify before angry Republican members of Congress, and in occasional interviews, he has been confronted regarding public health experts’ flip-flopping on the desirability of wearing face masks. And Fauci is certainly aware of criticism that has been raised against him online, because he often responds to it (albeit usually in friendly forums).

In all the times, however, that Fauci has been publicly questioned or doubted, he has kept his cool. At most, he has slightly raised his voice and spoken insistently, but he has generally not allowed his temper to show.about:blank

Except once.

On that one occasion, Fauci was testifying before a Senate Health Committee hearing, and his one singular explosion came in response to a question posited to him by Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky:

The specific suggestion that finally sent Fauci over the top was the idea that gain-of-function research, which was funded by the NIH, may have caused the pandemic. While the exchange was briefly noted on social media because of the unusual fervor of Dr. Fauci’s response, it largely passed beneath the waves of public attention. That is because, until very recently, almost no one outside the scientific community understood what gain-of-function research is or why it matters.about:blank

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As the testy exchange between Fauci and Paul suggests, Fauci and his agency have engaged in some extremely fine hair-splitting about what, exactly, constitutes gain-of-function research. In bureaucrat-ese, it is entirely possible that Fauci believed he was answering Paul’s question truthfully because of some obscure distinction that would be lost on the average person.

For the purposes of this article, we will use Dr. Paul’s definition, which is the definition the ordinary person would attach to it: namely, any research that intentionally makes viruses more transmissible among mammals, and particularly among humans.

The ordinary person, for that matter, would likely be shocked that this kind of research has been going on at all. Probably, the ordinary person would be horrified to learn that for years, scientists have been monkeying around with deadly viruses that exist in nature for the express purpose of making them capable of infecting human cells. Scientists, however, have claimed that such research is necessary to allow them to develop treatments and preventive vaccines for these viruses, assuming that some of them will inevitably make the evolutionary jump to become transmissible among humans.

Whatever the possible benefits of gain-of-function research, it obviously comes with risk. And one particular experiment, conducted in 2011, involved so much obvious risk that even many research scientists began to raise the alarm about the possibility of a catastrophe if a lab accident occurred.about:blank

The research, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and at the University of Wisconsin, involved experiments on the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, which had an astonishing estimated 60% fatality rate. The scientists involved had successfully made the virus transmissible via respiratory droplets among ferrets, which were the best simulation for human transmissibility. It was the first time this deadly bird flu was able to cause airborne infections in mammals.

As the Washington Post detailed in its in-depth examination of gain-of-function research and the safeguards on it that were established — and subsequently undercut by Fauci and NIH Director Francis Collins — the bird flu experiments caused immediate concern. A peer reviewer of the confidential study flagged the experiments for the Obama administration, observing that if the details of these experiments were published, they could “provide a recipe for terrorists.”

Collins’ staff at the NIH assigned the agency’s biosecurity board to assess the risk from these experiments. Another of the scientists interviewed by the Post, who at the time served as chairman of the board, recalled that his colleagues were worried about publishing the gain-of-function study, since “you could kill 4 billion people in a flash, because these viruses go around the world.”

On Nov. 30, 2011, the board unanimously recommended that the “general conclusions” of the experiments be published but without “details that could enable replication of the experiments by those who would seek to do harm.”

“Fauci and Collins responded by working privately to reverse the biosecurity board’s recommendation — while publicly defending the need for the research, according to interviews and records,” the Post reported last week.

Indeed, Fauci, Collins, and their colleague Gary Nabel co-wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post defending the gain-of-function research, arguing the dangerous experiment was worth the risk and that “the scientists, journal editors and funding agencies involved are working together” to limit knowledge of how to engineer a deadly pathogen “to those with an established and legitimate need to know.” They argued that such experiments would be conducted in high-security labs, with safeguards to protect against accidental release.

The bureaucrats successfully lobbied the board to reverse its earlier recommendation, and after that, the full H5N1 gain-of-function study was published without redactions. From his position as director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci, in the years following, continued to throw support and taxpayer funding behind gain-of-function research projects.

But the publication of the study ignited heated debate in the scientific community over gain-of-function research, and pressure began mounting on the Obama administration to cut off federal funding for such experiments. The Department of Health and Human Services moved in 2013 to establish more oversight over NIH funding for such experiments, creating a committee that would review research proposals referred to it by the NIH. The contempt Collins and Fauci had for oversight of their work can be noted by the dismissive name they assigned to the new oversight board, which was dubbed the “Ferrets Committee” by Collins.

Additionally, high-profile lab accidents during this time involving anthrax and smallpox, as well as the Ebola virus scare in 2014, convinced the Obama White House that gain-of-function experiments were too controversial to continue. In October 2014, the administration announced a moratorium on funding for gain-of-function research for influenza, SARS, and MERS viruses.

And the leading expert on coronaviruses in the United States, if not the world, realized at that moment that federal funding for the gain-of-function experiments in his North Carolina lab had just dried up.

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Dr. Ralph S. Baric is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina. As a world-renowned virologist and leader in the research field of coronaviruses, animal models, antibodies, and mutant strains of viruses developed in his lab are used in coronavirus labs around the country. A colleague once described Baric to NPR as “the big cheese” in his field.

He’s authored hundreds of scientific papers and since 1986 has received more than $93 million from NIAID to fund his various research projects. Baric’s work has included gain-of-function experiments, though he has repeatedly insisted over many years that he has never created new, more dangerous versions of viruses that can infect humans in his lab.

When the Obama administration’s moratorium on gain-of-function research went into effect, Baric was working on several projects in his lab. “It took me 10 seconds to realize that most of them were going to be affected,” he told NPR in November 2014.

Baric and others in his field pushed back against the federal government’s decision. As the Post reported, he wrote to the NIH’s biosecurity board that November that gain-of-function experiments “are a documented, powerful tool” for developing public health intervention methods to contain and control a potential pandemic. The goal of his research was to develop a universal vaccine that would protect against all potential viruses related to SARS. In his lab, he created artificial SARS-like viruses to explore how coronaviruses in the wild might evolve to attack human cells and study how vaccines might be developed that could teach human immune cells to fend off SARS-like diseases.

His arguments reached sympathetic ears at the NIH. Baric’s work received an exemption, and his various projects were allowed to proceed with federal funding.

Among those projects was a collaborative effort with China’s “bat woman,” Shi Zhengli, a lead researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For years, Shi’s team had worked in the field to collect coronavirus samples from bat species. In 2012, her researchers collected a virus called RaTG13, which scientists now believe is the closest known relative of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. It should be noted that Shi did not call it RaTG13 at the time — but more on that later. She had also discovered the genome of another new virus called SHC014, a close relative of the original SARS virus.

A June report from the MIT Technology Review recounted how Baric approached Shi in 2013 after a meeting and asked her for the genetic data on SHC014. He wanted to take the “spike” gene from SHC014 and transplant it to a copy of the SARS virus he already possessed in his lab. Doing so would create a new chimeric virus that would demonstrate whether the spike protein of SHC014 was capable of attaching to human cells. Shi agreed to collaborate, and the two scientists began working together.

A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence” was published by Baric and Shi in 2015. Using mice as test subjects, the researchers “generated and characterized a chimeric virus” by inserting the spike protein from SHC014, a Chinese rufous horseshoe bat virus, into the molecular structure of the 2002 SARS virus, creating a new pathogen. The acknowledgments of the study noted it was funded with grant money from Fauci’s NIAID and that “experiments with the full-length and chimeric SHC014 recombinant viruses were initiated and performed before the [gain-of-function] research funding pause and have since been reviewed and approved for continued study by the NIH.”

Five years after the publication of this study in Nature Medicine, on May 22, 2020, a stunning correction was added to Baric’s paper revealing that the viral sequence for the mouse-adapted SHC015-MA15 virus had not been deposited in the NIH’s genetic sequence database at the time that the study was published. Incredibly, the article was published without that genetic sequence, in apparent contradiction of the journal’s reporting standards.

Dr. Baric did not respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze on why he waited five years to make this correction.

A spokesperson for Nature Medicine said, “Maintaining the integrity of the scientific record is of primary importance to us as and as soon as we became aware of this issue we worked with the authors to publish a correction.”

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Baric’s gain-of-function work was not the only study granted an exemption by the NIH. The Obama administration’s moratorium contained a clause granting exemptions “if head of funding agency determines research is urgently necessary to protect public health or national security.” At NIH Director Collins’ discretion, virtually every gain-of-function study that applied for an exemption reportedly received one. The moratorium existed only on paper, and officials at the NIH worked behind the scenes to have even those illusory restrictions on funding gain-of-function studies revoked.

They succeeded in 2017, when the long-ignored moratorium was officially lifted by the Trump administration. It was replaced with a new HHS oversight body called the Potential Pandemic Pathogens Control and Oversight (P3CO) Framework. This review board is supposed to critically evaluate requests for federal funding for research projects that involve enhancing deadly pathogens. But an April report from the Daily Caller revealed that some NIH research grants were evading review by the P3CO Framework.

Specifically, Fauci’s NIAID awarded $600,000 to the nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance, which then provided that U.S. taxpayer money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to fund Shi’s bat coronavirus research.

That award to EcoHealth Alliance and its transfer to the Wuhan lab have been the subject of Sen. Rand Paul’s various tense exchanges with Fauci when the NIAID director testified before the U.S. Senate. In one exchange in March, Fauci stated under oath that the “NIH has not ever, and does not now, fund ‘gain of function research’ in the Wuhan Institute.”

But that’s not what State Department officials believe.

In late 2017, the State Department sent health and science officials from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing to Wuhan to investigate the WIV’s lab conditions after learning that Chinese researchers had discovered several new viruses in bat caves. These viruses had a spike protein that could potentially make them dangerous to humans, and U.S. officials were concerned that gain-of-function experiments were being conducted in the newly designated top-level biosafety laboratory (BSL-4) in Wuhan, Josh Rogin reported for Politico.

The embassy’s team met with Shi and would later report in a 2018 cable that the Wuhan lab “has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”

U.S. government officials would come to believe that Chinese labs were performing gain-of-function experiments “on a much larger scale than was publicly disclosed,” according to Rogin.

How did this happen? Well, after Shi collaborated with Baric between 2013 and 2015, the Chinese scientists on her team used the techniques she learned from Baric to continue gain-of-function studies on their own. Baric’s lab at UNC and Shi Zhengli’s at WIV became “more like competitors,” with both “in a race to identify dangerous coronaviruses, assess the potential threat, and develop countermeasures like vaccines,” according to the MIT Technology Review.

The problem is that Shi’s lab in Wuhan did not share the same safety protocols as Baric’s lab in the U.S. observes, as the State Department determined in its 2018 cable. And the Chinese government isn’t exactly transparent about the work its scientists are doing. If the Wuhan lab conducted gain-of-function experiments under unsafe conditions, the Chinese wouldn’t report that fact to the international community.

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Against this backdrop, virologists in the United States confronted the emerging COVID pandemic in late 2019 and early 2020. And a cadre of scientists who had, for years, pooh-poohed the potential dangers of the research they had conducted and/or funded were met with an explosive revelation: A group of researchers, led by respected virologist Kristian Andersen, Ph.D., had studied the emerging genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and had determined that it looked “potentially” genetically engineered.

Andersen’s email, which was sent on Jan. 31, 2020, at 10:32 p.m. to Fauci and Jeremy Farrar, stated, “On a phylogenic tree the virus looks totally normal and the close clustering with bats suggest that bats serve as the reservoir. The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at the the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.”

Andersen’s email to Farrar and Fauci set off a flurry of activity that will be discussed in great detail in the next part of this series, but before examining how the relevant scientists reacted, it is important to examine why.

Fauci, in particular, had been arguing publicly for years that gain-of-function research was safe, and he had furthermore acted to circumvent oversight of such research in ways that might provoke some uncomfortable questions, as demonstrated by the number of government agency heads who stonewalled Washington Post reporters who sought to assess exactly how much oversight had occurred over gain-of-function research during Fauci’s tenure.

If it turned out that this virus was, indeed, the result of a laboratory accident in a lab conducting a type of research that Fauci and others had been publicly insisting was safe, then the recriminations would be very severe indeed.

And if, even worse, that research had funded by a grant approved by Fauci’s agency, the end of that particular play would not be hard to predict: Not a single red cent would ever be allocated to anyone, public or private, for this kind of research for a long time — maybe ever again. In fact, forget whether such research would ever be funded, it might well become illegal. If the public at large became aware that scientists had been doing bizarre research to make viruses significantly more deadly than COVID transmissible, there is no telling how difficult the unwashed bureaucrats who were responsible for the tiresome “Ferrets Committee” might make all their lives.

And so, faced with the threat of the extinction of their entire profession, the world’s prominent virologists, joined by the man who was responsible for funding so many of them, sat down to formulate a response.

Cash, COVID, and cover-up, part 1: ​The questions we should have asked of Fauci about the origins of COVID-19


Reported by LEON WOLF and CHRIS PANDOLFO | August 31, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/cash-covid-and-coverup-part-1-the-questions-we-should-have-asked-of-fauci-about-the-origins-of-covid-19/

Less than two years ago, an outbreak of a new, flu-like virus that would eventually be known as COVID-19 began in Wuhan, China. Today, almost 5 million people globally have died from this pandemic, and we are no closer to understanding how it began.

Well, that’s not entirely true. We are closer, but only by virtue of being allowed to ask in public a rather inconvenient question: Was a foreign lab that received U.S. taxpayer funding for years responsible for the start of the spread of this pandemic?

For months, this question was considered publicly taboo, prohibited from discussion (except as a topic of derision as a wild-eyed conspiracy theory) by a group of scientists who were, incredibly, some of the same people who should have been under the most intense scrutiny. The bizarre tableau would not have played out in any other walk of life. If ExxonMobil had conducted drilling operations that resulted in a massive oil leak, the media would not have refused to investigate the cause of the leak because respected scientists who happened to be employed by ExxonMobil insisted that it was not ExxonMobil’s fault.

And yet, incredibly, that appears to be exactly what happened to the most significant question that has faced our generation. The very people who stood to lose the most were allowed to hastily exonerate themselves, and for months — when important information should have been uncovered — social media companies and the media actually covered for them and are still covering for them today.

The decision to rule this topic out of bounds was made in late January 2020, just a few days after the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in Washington state. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has perhaps done more to shape coronavirus response policy than any other person in America, was a central figure in those discussions.

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It is difficult, after all that has happened over the last two years, to remember a time when Dr. Fauci was not famous, but it is important to remember that when the discussions that would shape the investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic began, the men and women who conferred with him were not conferring with the celebrity who would soon come to dominate American media coverage. They were, rather, conferring with a bureaucrat — one whom a vast, overwhelming majority of Americans could not have picked out of a lineup when he was announced as a member of then-Vice President Mike Pence’s coronavirus task force on Jan. 29, 2020.

But just because he wasn’t famous doesn’t mean he wasn’t powerful. Not only is he literally the highest-paid employee of the entire federal government, but Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provides billions of dollars for research projects in the United States and around the world. NIAID was responsible for doling out nearly $3 billion annually in federal taxpayer dollars to research scientists between fiscal years 2017 and 2019. In FY 2021, NIAID received an annual budget of $6,067,071,000. The agency plans to fund another $3.8 billion in research grants this year, 62% of its budget.

The director of NIAID wields enormous power and influence over which research projects receive that funding, which scientists will be paid to continue their work, and which therapies, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and other technologies get developed in the competitive field of infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. And Fauci is the longest-serving head of NIAID, having been appointed director in 1984 and supervising research both within and without the agency from that position for nearly four decades since.

So, while the average American might never have heard of Dr. Anthony Fauci prior to sometime in February or March 2020, the people who study viruses for a living certainly had. Not only had they heard of him, but they were also acutely aware that he was in charge of the funding upon which a significant portion of their livelihood depends. Risking the disfavor of Fauci was not a move many in the field of infectious disease research would make.

Another important individual in that field was Dr. Jeremy Farrar, director of the megacharity known as the Wellcome Trust. With an annual total disbursement budget of over $11 billion — a significant portion of which is spent on infectious disease research — Farrar also represented an enormously important gatekeeper of medical research funding. The Wellcome Trust had a financial endowment of £29.1 billion, or just over $40 billion, in 2020, making it the fourth wealthiest charitable foundation in the world.

Both Fauci and Farrar would play key roles in shaping the public response to questions about the origins of COVID-19. And they would serve — whether willfully or not — to stamp out questions that would have tended to implicate recipients of their funding largesse — and thus ultimately themselves. Somehow, very few people in the media found this worthy of curiosity, much less rigorous investigation.

Indeed, when Fauci finally faced aggressive questioning on the subject, from Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, CNN’s Jake Tapper exemplified the approach of most of the media by treating Paul’s questions as scandalous in and of themselves and not worthy of even being repeated on air. Thus has our watchdog media completely failed to fulfill its responsibility to hold powerful bureaucrats in government accountable.

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Although the particulars of the lab-leak theory, as it would come to be called, would not be fleshed out for several months after the pandemic began, when COVID-19 introduced itself to the world in late 2019, it did not take long for a couple of salient facts to begin circulating on the internet. The first was that Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID outbreak, was home to a virology lab that had been the subject of a scathing State Department report that blasted the lab for inadequate security procedures, saying the Wuhan Institute “has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”

The second was that one of the lab’s top scientists, Shi Zhengli, had for years led a team of researchers into the field to collect dozens of coronavirus samples in the wild. Her virus-hunting expeditions took her deep into bat caves, earning her the nickname “bat woman,” a fact that was of particular interest in early 2020 because Chinese scientists had published a paper showing the SARS-CoV-2 virus was 96% identical to a previously discovered bat coronavirus.

A video released by Chinese state media just weeks before the first official reports of COVID-19 cases in Wuhan also gained attention. The video showed Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention staff (not to be confused with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a separate lab) collecting virus samples from horseshoe and pipistrelle bats in caves found in China’s Hubei province. The video demonstrated that Chinese scientists had been handling bats and collecting virus samples similar to SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 pandemic was linked to Wuhan, and right there next to the city were a laboratory and a health institute that studied coronaviruses.

Given that the early scientific evidence strongly pointed to bats as the original host animal of what would become COVID-19, this led many to naturally wonder, “Could this lab have been the source of the pandemic?”

Topping it all off, the lab in question, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was funded by taxpayer dollars that were funneled to it via the nonprofit organization EcoHealth Alliance, whose president, Peter Daszak, is one of the leading scientific voices discrediting the possibility that the virus came from the lab. Daszak’s nonprofit received at least $15.2 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health since 2005, according to the NIH’s RePORTER website. Between 2014 and 2019, EcoHealth Alliance directed at least $600,000 in NIH sub-grants from Fauci’s NIAID to study bat coronaviruses in collaboration with the Wuhan lab, a fact confirmed by Fauci himself in testimony given to Congress.

In June, Daszak recused himself from a U.N.-partnered commission investigating the origins of COVID-19 because of his apparent conflict of interest. Meanwhile, Fauci served as a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force all through 2020, is now the top White House adviser on the coronavirus response, and continues to be sought after by the media as an expert authority on all things related to a pandemic that possibly has origins tied to research his agency funded.

It is almost unimaginable that the above series of facts alone did not lead to months of endless public interrogation of Fauci. Every media organization and governmental watchdog in the country should have immediately been calling for nonstop investigations — especially given the eagerness of the press to tar anyone connected with the Trump administration. The national media spent endless hours speculating, without any factual basis, about the contacts with Russia of every obscure member of Trump’s team. Surely they would have interest in whether the man who was fast becoming the face of the Trump response to coronavirus was complicit, even indirectly, with the release of the virus into the world?

It turned out they would not. Somewhere along the line, Fauci became synonymous with “science” for many liberals and other opponents of President Trump. Perhaps nothing shielded Fauci from criticism or even investigation more effectively than the fact that, while he was nominally a member of the Trump administration, he was erected in the minds of liberals as the COVID foil to Trump.

Fauci himself encouraged this deification, telling MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, “So if you are trying to get at me as a public health official and a scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you’re attacking science. And anybody that looks at what is going on clearly sees that, you have to be asleep not to see that.” Fauci became the scaffolding upon which the entire edifice of COVID-fighting measures favored by Democrats was built, and to attack him was seen as an indication that you probably sided with the “anti-science” crazies who think the virus is fake.

And the story of how this prevented the press from questioning Fauci or anyone else associated with him about how this pandemic began is one of the most regrettable failures of investigative journalism in all of history. But even more bizarre, as evidence has begun to mount that the very people who set forth to immediately stamp out all discussion of the lab-leak theory were a) the very people who would be implicated if the lab-leak theory proved true and b) were beholden to Fauci, the press seems curiously uninterested.

Only recently have cracks begun to appear in the façade, such as last week’s surprising Washington Post article that finally began asking government officials in various health agencies some difficult questions about exactly what level of oversight was exercised over the increasingly risky research being funded by taxpayer dollars. A shocking number of government officials absolutely stonewalled even the Post’s inquiries.

This series is not intended to prove that the lab-leak theory is true. That can probably never be known with any certainty at this point, thanks largely to the intentional destruction of evidence by the Chinese government. But it is intended to ask questions that every person in the entire world should be interested in — and it seeks to encourage the public and the politicians who are theoretically accountable to them to demand answers that should have been demanded long ago.

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Over the next days and weeks, this series will investigate what we know, what we don’t know, and what we may never know about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part 2 will examine the “gain of function” controversy and what we know about the research that was done on coronaviruses by Shi Zhengli, Ralph Baric, and others and the evidence regarding the structure of the virus that has led many to wonder if COVID-19 was, in fact, engineered in some way.

Part 3 will examine the early response to the pandemic by the group of scientists who would be responsible for shutting down any discussion of the lab-leak theory and the decision to control the message.

Part 4 will examine the scientific arguments put forth by opponents of the theory and the issues they have either glossed over or failed to examine.

Part 5 will track the effort that was made by social media companies to silence any questions about the theory as conspiracy theories.

Finally, part 6 will discuss the current state of knowledge and suggest a path forward for the debate.

The trail of suffering left across the globe by the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant measures that have been undertaken to attempt to slow its spread are almost incalculable. Millions have died, millions more have suffered severe diseases, and almost everyone has been severely economically and emotionally impacted. Perhaps most devastatingly, so many of those who died during the pandemic had to die alone, isolated from friends and loved ones by fear of the contagion. The full downstream effects of this catastrophe cannot even be guessed at, and the possibility remains that the mutations of the virus may make it virtually undefeatable by vaccines in the long term.

In the face of all this human suffering, humanity deserves answers. We must do everything in our power to determine why this happened, so that we can do everything in our power to prevent it from happening again. The search for answers must be inexhaustible, and any person who might possibly be involved in any way should be an appropriate subject of aggressive investigation. After all that COVID-19 has done, humanity deserves no less. And it certainly deserves more than legacy media and social media companies have given it thus far. We will attempt to find those answers.

DANIEL HOROWITZ OP-ED: Horowitz: 15 studies that indicate natural immunity from prior infection is more robust than the COVID vaccines


Commentary by DANIEL HOROWITZ | August 25, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-15-studies-that-indicate-natural-immunity-from-prior-infection-is-more-robust-than-the-covid-vaccines/

It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the pandemic. The debate over forced vaccination with an ever-waning vaccine is cresting right around the time when the debate should be moot for a lot of people. Among the most fraudulent messages of the CDC’s campaign of deceit is to force the vaccine on those with prior infection, who have a greater degree of protection against all versions of the virus than those with any of the vaccines. It’s time to set the record straight once and for all that natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is broader, more durable, and longer-lasting than any of the shots on the market today. Our policies must reflect that reality.

It should be noted that this exercise is not even necessary now that our own government concedes that immunity from the vaccines, particularly the Pfizer shot, wanes each month. With the Mayo Clinic researchers suggesting, based on old data that likely got even worse since, that Pfizer’s efficacy against infection is only 42%, there is no reason to even attempt to compare this degree of immunity to the near-perfect immunity of prior infection, even against Delta. It should be obvious to any intellectually honest person that an unvaccinated individual with prior infection is exponentially safer to be around than someone who had the vaccines but not prior infection.

Remember, a significant portion of the population already got infected, and when the latest Delta wave is over in the South, the region will likely reach clear supermajorities of the population with immunity, as was found in India following the circulation of this very contagious strain of the virus.

Now consider the fact that studies have shown those with prior infection are associated with 4.4x increased odds of clinically significant side effects following mRNA vaccination. Thus, it is as scandalous as it is unnecessary to vaccinate those with prior infection, even if one supports vaccination for those without prior immunity. But as you can imagine, that would take a massive share of the market off the table from the greedy hands of Big Pharma.

To that end, it’s important to clarify once and for all, based on the current academic literature, that yes, people with prior infection are indeed immune, more so than those with vaccines. Here is just a small list of some of the more recent studies, which demonstrate the effectiveness of natural immunity — even from mild infection — much later into the pandemic than the study window of the vaccines:

1) New York University, May 3, 2021

The authors studied the contrast between vaccine immunity and immunity from prior infection as it relates to stimulating the innate T-cell immunity, which is more durable than adaptive immunity through antibodies alone. They concluded, “In COVID-19 patients, immune responses were characterized by a highly augmented interferon response which was largely absent in vaccine recipients. Increased interferon signaling likely contributed to the observed dramatic upregulation of cytotoxic genes in the peripheral T cells and innate-like lymphocytes in patients but not in immunized subjects.”

The study further notes: “Analysis of B and T cell receptor repertoires revealed that while the majority of clonal B and T cells in COVID-19 patients were effector cells, in vaccine recipients clonally expanded cells were primarily circulating memory cells.” What this means in plain English is that effector cells trigger an innate response that is quicker and more durable, whereas memory response requires an adaptive mode that is slower to respond. Natural immunity conveys much more innate immunity, while the vaccine mainly stimulates adaptive immunity.

2) Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, May 24, 2021, published in Nature

The media scared people last year into thinking that if antibody levels wane, it means their immunity is weakening, as we are indeed seeing with the vaccines today. But as Nature wrote, “People who recover [even] from mild COVID-19 have bone-marrow cells that can churn out antibodies for decades.” Thus, aside from the robust T-cell memory that is likely lacking from most or all vaccinated individuals, prior infection creates memory B cells that “patrol the blood for reinfection, while bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) hide away in bones, trickling out antibodies for decades” as needed.

It’s therefore not surprising that early on in the pandemic, an in-vitro study in Singapore found the immunity against SARS-CoV-2 to last even 17 years later from SARS-1-infected patients who never even had COVID-19.

3) Cleveland Clinic, June 19, 2021

In a study of 1,359 previously infected health care workers in the Cleveland Clinic system, not a single one of them was reinfected 10 months into the pandemic, despite some of these individuals being around COVID-positive patients more than the regular population.

4) Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle/Emory University, Washington, July 14, 2021, published in Cell Medicine

The study found that most recovered patients produced durable antibodies, memory B cells, and durable polyfunctional CD4 and CD8 T cells, which target multiple parts of the virus. “Taken together, these results suggest that broad and effective immunity may persist long-term in recovered COVID-19 patients,” concluded the authors. In other words, unlike with the vaccines, no boosters are required to assist natural immunity.

5) University of California, Irvine, July 21, 2021

The authors conclude: “Natural infection induced expansion of larger CD8 T cell clones occupied distinct clusters, likely due to the recognition of a broader set of viral epitopes presented by the virus not seen in the mRNA vaccine” (emphasis added).

6) University of California, San Francisco, May 12, 2021

Conclusion: “In infection-naïve individuals, the second dose boosted the quantity but not quality of the T cell response, while in convalescents the second dose helped neither. Spike-specific T cells from convalescent vaccinees differed strikingly from those of infection-naïve vaccinees, with phenotypic features suggesting superior long-term persistence and ability to home to the respiratory tract including the nasopharynx.”

Given that we know the virus spreads through the nasopharynx, the fact that natural infection conveys much stronger mucosal immunity makes it clear that the previously infected are much safer to be around than infection-naive people with the vaccine. The fact that this study artfully couched the choices between vaccinated naive people and vaccinated recovered rather than just plain recovered doesn’t change the fact that it’s the prior infection, not the vaccine, conveying mucosal immunity. In fact, studies now show that infected vaccinated people contain just as much viral load in their nasopharynx as those unvaccinated, a clearly unmistakable conclusion from the virus spreading wildly in many areas with nearly every adult vaccinated.

7) Israeli researchers, August 22, 2021

Aside from more robust T cell and memory B cell immunity, which is more important than antibody levels, Israeli researchers found that antibodies wane slower among those with prior infection. “In vaccinated subjects, antibody titers decreased by up to 40% each subsequent month while in convalescents they decreased by less than 5% per month.”

8) Irish researchers, published in Wiley Review, May 18, 2021

Researchers conducted a review of 11 cohort studies with over 600,000 total recovered COVID patients who were followed up with over 10 months. The key finding? Unlike the vaccine, after about four to six months, they found “no study reporting an increase in the risk of reinfection over time.”

9) Cornell University, Doha, Qatar, published in the Lancet, April 27, 2021

This is one of the only studies that analyzed the population‐level risk of reinfection based on whole genome sequencing in a subset of patients with supporting evidence of reinfection. Researchers estimate the risk at 0.66 per 10,000 person-weeks. Most importantly, the study found no evidence of waning of immunity for over seven months of the follow-up period. The few reinfections that did occur “were less severe than primary infections,” and “only one reinfection was severe, two were moderate, and none were critical or fatal.” Also, unlike many vaccinated breakthrough infections in recent weeks that have been very symptomatic, “most reinfections were diagnosed incidentally through random or routine testing, or through contact tracing.”

10) Israeli researchers, April 24, 2021

Several months ago, Israeli researchers studied 6.3 million Israelis and their COVID status and were able to confirm only one death in the entire country of someone who supposedly already had the virus, and he was over 80 years old. Contrast that to the torrent of hospitalizations and deaths we are seeing in those vaccinated more than five months ago in Israel.

11) French researchers, May 11, 2021

Researchers tested blood samples from health care workers who never had the virus but got both Pfizer shots against blood samples from those health care workers who had a previous mild infection and a third group of patients who had a serious case of COVID. They found, “No neutralization escape could be feared concerning the two variants of concern [Alpha and Beta] in both populations” of those previously infected.

12) Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, published in Journal of Experimental Medicine

Many people are wondering: If they got only an asymptomatic infection, are they less protected against future infection than those who suffered infection with more evident symptoms? These researchers believe the opposite is true. “Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2–infected individuals are not characterized by weak antiviral immunity; on the contrary, they mount a highly functional virus-specific cellular immune response,” wrote the authors after studying T cell responses from both symptomatic and asymptomatic convalescent patients. If anything, they found that those with asymptomatic infection only had signs of non-inflammatory cytokines, which means that the body is primed to deal with the virus without producing that dangerous inflammatory response that is killing so many hospitalized with the virus.

13) Korean researchers, published in Nature Communications on June 30, 2021

The authors found that the T cells created from convalescent patients had “stem-cell like” qualities. After studying SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells in recovered patients who had the virus in varying degrees of severity, the authors concluded that long-term “SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell memory is successfully maintained regardless of the severity of COVID-19.”

14) Rockefeller University, July 29, 2021

The researchers note that far from suffering waning immunity, memory B cells in those with prior infection “express increasingly broad and potent antibodies that are resistant to mutations found in variants of concern.” They conclude that “memory antibodies selected over time by natural infection have greater potency and breadth than antibodies elicited by vaccination.” And again, this is even before getting into the innate cellular immunity which is exponentially greater in those with natural immunity.

15) Researchers from Madrid and Mount Sinai, New York, March 22, 2021

Until now, we have established that natural immunity provides better adaptive B cell and innate T cell responses that last longer and work for the variants as compared to the vaccines. Moreover, those with prior infection are at greater risk for bad side effects from the vaccines, rendering the campaign to vaccinate the previously infected both unnecessary and dangerous. But the final question is: Do the vaccines possibly harm the superior T cell immunity built up from prior infection?

Immunologists from Mount Sinai in New York and Hospital La Paz in Madrid have raised serious concerns. In a shocking discovery after monitoring a group of vaccinated people both with and without prior infection, they found “in individuals with a pre-existing immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the second vaccine dose not only fail to boost humoral immunity but determines a contraction of the spike-specific T cell response.” They also note that other research has shown “the second vaccination dose appears to exert a detrimental effect in the overall magnitude of the spike-specific humoral response in COVID-19 recovered individuals.

As early as March 27, among the many accurate statements Dr. Fauci made before he became a political animal, he declared he was “really confident” in the immunity conferred by prior infection. That was long before 17 months of data and dozens of studies confirmed that. Yet, today, there are thousands of doctors and nurses with infinitely better immunity than what the vaccines can confer who are losing their jobs during a staffing crisis for not getting the shots. Just know that the big lie about natural immunity is perhaps the most verifiable lie, but it is likely not the only lie with devastating consequences we are being told about the virus, the vaccines, and alternative treatment options.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Bubble Boy

A.F. BRANCO on August 3, 2021 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-bubble-boy/

People are growing more and more distrustful of Dr. Fauci and what he has to say.

Flip Flop Fauci

Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021

Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Superspreader In Chief

A.F. BRANCO on July 30, 2021 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-superspreader-in-chief/

Biden’s open border policy has become a major super-spreader event while he imposes more restrictions on American citizens.

Joe Biden is A Super Spreader
Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021.

Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Censored COVID Vaccine Victims Demand Answers In Private Facebook Group


Reported by By Alicia Powe | Published July 6, 2021

Read more at https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/07/censored-covid-vaccine-victims-demand-answers-private-facebook-group/

As Big Tech, the Biden Administration, Hollywood, politicians, employers and health care providers around the nation galvanize the public to undergo Covid vaccination, the number of casualties who have died or suffer life-threatening effects from the experimental mRNA injections continues to climb. Those who don’t want to be herded into the mass drug trial are told to just “get on with it” so we can “safely” move on with our lives.

Despite the unrelenting effort to censor “vaccine hesitancy,” thousands who are experiencing the vaccines’ ill effects are resorting to a private Facebook group to sound the alarm on the medical malpractice.

In post after post, over 25,900 members of the private Facebook group “The COVID 19 Vaccine Victims & Families Group” detail the horrific health abnormalities they have suffered, including strokes, blood clots, excessive bleeding, needle-like pain in their limbs and paralysis, after receiving Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines.

Mgid
Mgid

Irrespective of the heartbreaking testimonies, Facebook inserts a disclaimer on each of the group members’ posts to assure users the vaccines are “safe” and “effective.”

“COVID-19 vaccines go through many tests for safety and effectiveness and are then monitored closely,” the notification states, citing the World Health Organization.

The notification directs users to Facebook’s COVID-19 information Center, which promotes the vaccine and provides locations offering vaccines in each state.

According to the CDC’s own data, the number of deaths linked to vaccines skyrocketed in 2021.

According to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System database, over 1,750 Americans died from vaccines during the first 3 months of 2021.

That number is now at 6,997.

Americans experiencing bizarre Covid vaccine injury have no legal recourse in a U.S. court of law. Drug companies have total immunity from liability if you die from their vaccines.

In February, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar of the outgoing Trump administration invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act declaring COVID-19 to be “a public health emergency warranting liability protections for covered countermeasures.” The 2005 law assures companies “cannot be sued for money damages in court” over injuries related to the administration or use of products to treat or protect against Covid until 2024, unless there’s “willful misconduct” by the company

The Food and Drug Administration, which provides and approves the pharmaceutical companies’ products for mass distribution, has sovereign immunity for authorizing the vaccine for emergency use.

“You also can’t sue the Food and Drug Administration for authorizing a vaccine for emergency use, nor can you hold your employer accountable if they mandate inoculation as a condition of employment,” CNBC reports.

Alicia Powe

Alicia is a multimedia reporter. Alicia has written for numerous outlets, including the Gateway Pundit, InfoWars, World Net Daily, Townhall.com and Media Research Center, where she exposed public corruption, fraud and abuse in government, media and Big Tech. She has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She served as a War Room analyst for the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee. She also served in the Correspondence Department of the George W. Bush administration. Alicia is originally from New York City and currently resides in Washington D.C.Tags: covid 19

Damning US intelligence says researchers at Wuhan lab hospitalized with COVID-like symptoms in fall 2019


Reported by CHRIS ENLOE | May 24, 2021

Read more at https://www.theblaze.com/news/damning-us-intelligence-wuhan-lab-covid-symptoms/

Xiong Qi/Xinhua via Getty Images

Three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough with COVID-like symptoms in November 2019 that they required hospitalization, according to a damning American intelligence report.

The intelligence, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, adds weight to the Wuhan lab leak theory, which suggests the COVID-19 pandemic originated inside China’s only Biosafety level-4 laboratory.

The intelligence is particularly significant because it suggests COVID-19 was spreading in China much earlier than China has admitted. China’s communist government traced patient-zero to a man who became sick on Dec. 8. But if researchers at the Wuhan lab were hospitalized one month prior, the virus was likely spreading even earlier than previously believed.

One official familiar with the intelligence described it as “of exquisite quality.”

“The information that we had coming from the various sources was of exquisite quality. It was very precise. What it didn’t tell you was exactly why they got sick,” the official told the Journal.

Another official told the Journal that while the intelligence was potentially significant, it needed further corroboration to be definitive. The intelligence corroborates a fact sheet released by the State Department in the final days of the Trump administration, which cited classified intelligence and suggested COVID-19 may have escaped from the Wuhan lab via infected researchers. That report said, “U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and seasonal illnesses.”

China’s Foreign Ministry bucked the intelligence, and continued to suggest COVID-19 originated in the United States. “The U.S. continues to hype the lab leak theory,” the foreign ministry told the Journal. “Is it actually concerned about tracing the source or trying to divert attention?” China’s communist government has infamously refused transparency with investigations surrounding the pandemic’s origins.

“The Wuhan Institute hasn’t shared raw data, safety logs and lab records on its extensive work with coronaviruses in bats, which many consider the most likely source of the virus,” the Journal noted.

China has pointed to wet markets in Wuhan as the source of the pandemic. A spokeswoman for the National Security Council reiterated concerns about the pandemic’s origins, but declined to comment further.

“We continue to have serious questions about the earliest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, including its origins within the People’s Republic of China,” the spokeswoman said. “We’re not going to make pronouncements that prejudge an ongoing WHO study into the source of SARS-CoV-2. As a matter of policy we never comment on intelligence issues.”

The Wuhan lab leak theory has been widely denounced as a conspiracy theory despite a lack of evidence disproving the possibility. In fact, aside from equally plausible origination theories, only the World Health Organization has said it was “extremely unlikely” COVID-19 came from the laboratory. But their conclusion came after a rushed investigation in which access to critical data was tightly controlled by Chinese authorities.

Indeed, 18 high-profile scientists published a letter this month calling for more investigations into the lab leak theory, saying, “Theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable.” The group even responded to the WHO’s conclusion, which they rebuked because, as they explained, the WHO did not give the Wuhan lab leak theory “balanced consideration,” writing, “Only 4 of the 313 pages of the report and its annexes addressed the possibility of a laboratory accident.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, also said this month that he is no longer convinced COVID-19 originated naturally.

Daniel Horowitz Op-ed: Horowitz: The biggest COVID lie right now: No immunity from prior infection


Why should the estimated one-third of Americans who have already contracted the virus still be treated like ticking time bombs? How much longer will the government get away with denying the science behind immunity from infection?

The isolation of all human beings as a strategy to deal with this virus began with the novel assumption of mass asymptomatic spread, a hypothesis now disproven by studies on transmission. Now, the mandatory masking and isolation are continuing without question based on a shocking lie that the one-third of the country who have already gotten the virus – despite the masks and lockdowns, by the way – are not immune to the virus.

As more and more studies have come out showing that prior infection confers long-lasting immunity – not just the 90 days we are told by the government – the purveyors of panic and tyranny have sought to use the focus on several supposedly new variants to deny the presumed immunity from prior infection. However, a new comprehensive study from Harvard Medical School and Boston University researchers should put this latest myth to rest.

The researchers took blood samples from people who had the virus from March 3 to April 1, 2020, long before the new variants were discovered, which allowed them to presume they all had the original Wuhan strain. They found the S-specific memory B cells “conferring robustness against emerging SARS-CoV2 variants” – the U.K. (B117) & South African (B1351) variants.

“Loss of protection against overt or severe disease is not an inevitable consequence of a waning serum antibody titer,” wrote the authors. “This atlas of B cell memory therefore maps systematically a crucial component of the long-term immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

In other words, the inherent immune system full of B cells (in addition to T cells) provides robust immunity not just long after the antibody titers wane from the original infection, but also against emerging strains of the virus.

There has been much discussion over whether the vaccine confers immunity against the new variants, but the more important fact is that previous infection confers such immunity, as is the case with nearly every virus. Indeed, cases have plummeted in South Africa and England precisely since the new variants have been discovered, which would be difficult without natural immunity from the prior waves working against the new variants.

In Denmark, the U.K. variant composes roughly three-quarters of all cases, yet the country is averaging one death per day over the past 7 days. The same holds true for a number of states in America.

A retrospective observational study of 14,840 COVID-19 survivors in Austria found just a 0.27% reinfection rate during the second wave. “Protection against SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection is comparable to the highest available estimates on vaccine efficacies,” concludes the study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation.

It’s also important to remember that, as with other viruses, immunity doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t test positive again, but that you won’t experience serious symptoms even if you do. The goal is not to prevent colds and flus, but to pre-empt serious illness and death. “With follow‐up on mortality available until December 23, only one 72‐year‐old woman died two days after her tentative re‐infection diagnosis,” observed the authors of the Austrian study. “She was not hospitalized and according to her medical records her cause of death (‘acute vascular occlusion of an extremity with rhabdomyolysis’) was not causally attributed to COVID‐19.”

As the Los Angeles Times reported already in February, with an estimated 35% of Americans already infected (up to 50% in Los Angeles!), “the biggest factor” driving the plummeting of cases “paradoxically, is something the nation spent the last year trying to prevent.” That is herd immunity. As illogical as it was to lock down all Americans last year, regardless of whether they were sick, it’s downright insane to continue masking people who already had the virus AND have no current symptoms.

We’ve already learned from reams of medical research that asymptomatic individuals rarely drive outbreaks. Coupled with already having been infected, the likelihood of a recovered COVID patient both getting the virus and transmitting it is so low that it makes further masking of these people unconscionable.

With this thought fresh in your mind, now consider the insane abuse our government continues to foist upon kids by masking them seven hours a day in school. You can have a child who already had the virus and currently has no symptoms, yet he is still forced to wear a mask. What’s worse, with mass testing of children, yet extremely low rates of infection in recent weeks, the chance of false positives is extremely high. Last week, Professor Jon Deeks, a biostatistician from the University of Birmingham, told the U.K. Telegraph, “It seems likely that over 70% of positive test results are false positives, potentially many more.”

So, children continue to be masked or even removed from school with no symptoms, based on faulty testing, predicated on a false assumption of mass asymptomatic spread – when so many of them already have immunity. In other words, this cycle can go on forever.

Just how big a lie is mass asymptomatic spread? Last month, the Federalist’s Georgi Boorman trenchantly observed how the CDC mistakenly admitted that its entire premise of masking and isolating asymptomatic people is based on a lie. While finally acknowledging in its Jan. 29 report the fact of insignificant levels of spread in schools, the CDC let the following genie out of the bottle:

“Children might be more likely to be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 than are adults. … This apparent lack of transmission [in schools] is consistent with recent research (5), which found an asymptomatic attack rate of only 0.7% within households and a lower rate of transmission from children than from adults. However, this study was unable to rule out asymptomatic transmission within the school setting because surveillance testing was not conducted” (emphasis added).

So, when it comes to explaining why children rarely spread the virus, the CDC settled on the principle that children usually get infected asymptomatically, which means very little transmission! That would apply to adults who don’t have symptoms, too, but the CDC will never concede that point. In fact, the low rate of transmission in that study includes both asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases. Nevertheless, despite the CDC admitting that kids, especially young kids, are not vectors of spread, it updated its guidance to continue recommending that children as young as two, aka babies, wear masks at child care facilities except for when they are eating and sleeping!

Which raises the question: With so many people already having had the virus and feeling healthy, what is the legal justification for using the police power of quarantine against those people? There is none, and there never has been a legitimate constitutional authority, yet they’ve done it anyway. In other words, if we don’t end this tyranny now, it will never end, because quarantine and masking are no longer a means but an end.

New medication to treat COVID-19 could quickly turn pandemic on its head: ‘It may be the holy grail’


Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel said over the weekend that experimental drug molnupiravir could “be the future” of coronavirus treatment, according to a Monday report from Fox News. Siegel predicted the at-home therapeutic, which could hit the U.S. market in four to five months, could be enough to turn the pandemic on its head and prove to be the “holy grail” of COVID-19 treatment.

On Sunday’s “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Siegel said, “It may be the holy grail on this because it was just studied in phase two trials and it literally stopped the virus in its tracks. And there wasn’t any virus found in the patients that were studied.”

First-stage testing on the drug, which is from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, showed “promising signs of effectiveness in reducing the virus in patients,” the outlet noted. The drug, according to Fox, would be used at home as a five-day treatment, not unlike how Tamiflu is prescribed to combat the effects of influenza.

“This might be the future once the vaccine really gets control over the pandemic and we just start seeing isolated cases,” he said. “By then, this drug might be ready and this might be the drug for over the next several months.”

Siegel has also predicted that the United States will be “free of the coronavirus pandemic by the summer.”

“This is the very first pill that we have that’s something that we might be able to use in our armamentarium against COVID as a therapeutic,” he added.

On Saturday, Mint reported that the antiviral drug causes quick reduction in the virus.

In a statement from the companies, William Fischer, associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, said, “The secondary objective findings in this study, of a quicker decrease in infectious virus among individuals with early COVID-19 treated with molnupiravir, are promising and if supported by additional studies, could have important public health implications.”

“At a time where there is unmet need for antiviral treatments against SARS-CoV-2, we are encouraged by these preliminary data,” Wendy Painter, chief medical officer of Ridgeback, added in the statement.

Andrew Cuomo’s COVID Reign Has Been Devastating, And It’s Time For A Reckoning


Reported by Mike Lawler  15, 2021

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/andrew-cuomos-covid-reign-has-been-devastating-and-its-time-for-a-reckoning-2650539894.html/

Andrew Cuomo’s COVID Reign Has Been Devastating, And It’s Time For A Reckoning

A few weeks ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, without a hint of self-awareness, said, “Incompetent government kills people. More people died than needed to die in COVID.” Sadly, I couldn’t agree more.

While many in corporate media glorified Cuomo’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping create a cult of personality for him among Democrats across the country, an examination of his decision-making reveals that he failed New Yorkers on many fronts.

Cuomo was given near-unilateral emergency powers to tackle the pandemic, with the state legislature forfeiting all decision-making and responsibility to the governor and his team. Thus, Cuomo’s decisions and the repercussions of his actions fall squarely on his shoulders. First, and most jarring, is the revelation that the Cuomo administration’s decided to cover up the true cost of their Department of Health order on March 25 that sent COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes. That fateful order was subsequently deleted from the state’s Department of Health website in the beginning of the cover-up by the Cuomo administration.

Following that order, tens of thousands of nursing home residents lost their lives and the Cuomo administration moved into overdrive on blocking transparency efforts, shutting down inquiries at every turn, and even releasing a phony report absolving them of any responsibility. Two weeks ago, we learned in a report by New York Attorney General Tish James, a Democrat, that Cuomo’s administration hid the true cost to lives of this non-scientific order, under-counting nursing home deaths by almost 50 percent. Just this weekend, we learned the Cuomo administration intentionally hid and withheld information from federal authorities.

We need a full, thorough, and independent investigation with subpoenas to Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, the governor’s staff, and the governor himself.

It also speaks volumes that for months on end, the governor stonewalled transparency efforts by families that lost loved ones while mocking their efforts. His cruelty in this regard was on full display in January when he said “Who cares?” when asked about the death toll.

We care, governor. Those families deserve answers and justice.

Second, Cuomo’s administration forced out many of the public health experts who should have been developing New York’s vaccine plan, deciding instead to recruit expensive consulting firms. This led to an incredibly slow, ineffectual, and confusing rollout of the vaccine. My legislative office is still receiving daily calls from seniors older than 80 who simply cannot get an appointment no matter how hard they look.

While media outlets continue to sing Cuomo’s praises, the reality on the ground is that his top-down, Soviet-esque management style has hampered the efficacy and speed of the vaccine rollout, tying local health departments in knots. Every county health department in New York already has a mass vaccination plan, yet the governor refused for weeks to let them use those plans, instead of forcing them into the system created by his high-priced and high-brow consulting firms, all at taxpayers’ expense.

Third, Cuomo’s extensive lockdowns and subsequent non-scientific decisions to limit capacity in houses of worship shut down indoor dining, and restrict in-person learning (even temporarily) have hurt millions more. Setting unconstitutional caps on houses of worship was rejected by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, a case that shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place. Many houses of worship, spanning all types of faiths, were already setting limits on themselves to ensure the health and safety of their worshippers. Recommending that they be shut down or capped was ludicrous, and an affront to the basic right to freedom of religion in our nation.

Another group whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by Cuomo’s insatiable desire for control is restaurant owners and restaurant workers. Shutting down indoor dining in New York City made zero sense at the time, with people being infected at less than 1.5 percent (lower than the state positivity rate) when dining indoors. Now, Cuomo has reopened dining when the infection rate has climbed significantly.

These decisions are not being made based on science, but what the governor “feels” is the right move. That is a recipe for disaster that cannot be allowed to continue. Cuomo’s actions are driven by his need for control, his ego, and his ability to legislate freely, as Democrats in the state legislature have completely abdicated all their duties as a co-equal branch of government.

Finally, it’s clear that New York students are rapidly falling behind other students around the globe. The lack of in-person interaction and learning is having devastating impacts on our children’s academic and social futures, as they are not learning the important lessons we all learned in grade school. To the governor’s credit, he didn’t outright ban in-person learning, but he certainly hasn’t been a champion for it either. Hybrid-learning programs are still leaving our kids behind, and his silence on this subject is deafening. I’d hazard a guess he’s spent more time bashing former President Trump at his press conferences than he has talked about the needs of our students.

In short, the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of disastrous for the millions of New Yorkers who call the Empire State home. While CNN, MSNBC, and other major news outlets remain busy pumping up Cuomo’s ego and image to the American public, Americans need to hear that his decisions cost tens of thousands of New Yorkers their lives, hundreds of thousands of students their educational advancement, and millions of New Yorkers their livelihoods.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mike Lawler is a member of the New York Assembly.

My Wife Shared This with Me. It was on her Facebook Account


HUG YOUR SUPERHERO

I’ve lost a year with my kids battling over school and I’m done.

My seven year old and I were in the midst of our usual asynchronous day battle. I had his writing homework in my hand from school. He’d written several full, well-thought-out sentences.

But he won’t do the same for me, at least not without a fight.

I told him he didn’t have to write about his best day like his teacher asked, he could write about his worst. He could write about whatever he wanted as long as he wrote a few sentences.

He said he’d get in trouble. He said he was doing a bad job in first grade. He was on the brink of tears but didn’t know why.

And it hit me.

Instead of getting frustrated and pushing the assignment, I sat down with him at his desk in his superhero bedroom.

I said “you won’t get in trouble and you can’t fail first grade. In fact, you’re kind of a superhero yourself.”

He sat up in his chair just a little and looked at me with disbelief.

I said, “Do you know that no kids in the history of kids have ever had to do what you’re doing right now? No kids in the history of kids have ever had to do school at home, sitting in their bedroom, watching their teacher on a computer. You and your friends are making history.”

A visible weight lifted from his seven year old shoulders, “What does that mean?”

I told him it means I haven’t given him nearly enough credit for rolling with the punches. I told him how proud I am of him and his friends. That kids this year are doing the impossible and they’re doing a really great job.

I apologized for not saying it sooner and more often. A little tear fell down his cheek.

We’ve thanked everyone from healthcare workers to grocery store employees but we haven’t thanked the kids enough for bearing the burden of what we’ve put on their shoulders this year.

We’ve said kids are resilient, and they are. But they are the real superheroes in this whole scenario for having ZERO say in their lives but doing their best to adjust every day.

We closed his school-issued laptop and spent the rest of the day playing. This was supposed to be temporary and here we are a year later still trying to hold our head above water.

This is our home and I won’t turn it into a battle ground anymore over something we can’t control. Something that no longer makes sense.

Hug your little superheroes today and don’t forget to cut them the slack we’ve given everyone else.

Join me in the trenches at

Christine Derengowski, Writer

!!

 

WATCH: Tucker Carlson reveals that illegal immigrants aren’t being tested for COVID-19 before being released into the general population


Reported by The Post Millennial, |

Carlson said that the Biden administration is “releasing thousand of foreign nationals” into American neighborhoods without making sure that they are COVID-free before doing so. He noted that people from countries with high infection rates “are being sent forth into the population as though COVID isn’t real.” This, he says, is the policy of the Biden administration.

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki “didn’t care enough to answer the question” as to whether or not this is the case. The program is a result, Carlson said, of a Biden Executive Order basically authorizing the “catch and release” of illegal immigrants. He quoted a border control worker who said definitively that they do not test immigrants before releasing them into the US. Sheriff Leon Wilmot, who works in border control, sent a message to Sen. Krysten Simena, saying “This is a particularly dangerous approach, as there is currently no protocol for testing any of these people for the Covid-19 virus.”

Wilmot also said “…Nor is there any support being offered by the federal government to house, feed, medically treat or transport these immigrants.”

Carlson said that this was basically only the tip of the iceberg with regard to the Biden administration’s plans for integrating illegal immigrants into society at large, including criminal offenders. Much of these new orders have to do with the feeling that protecting Americans against illegal immigrants is racist, and that the only reason Americans are opposed to criminals staying on the American side of the border instead of being deported is because of racism.

Carlson showed a panel of leftist journalists who intoned that concept and refused to note any additional issues with illegal immigration into the US. He quoted an ICE memo that said “Effective immediately Convictions would include: Drug based crimes, simple assault, DUI, money laundering, property crimes, fraud, tax crimes… gang tattoos.”

Nigeria’s Christians trapped between COVID-19 and terrorism, human rights leader says


Reported By Jackson Elliott, Christian Post Reporter

A man observes damaged property following a Fulani herdsmen attack in Nigeria. | ECCVN

The combination of COVID-19 and the rise in terrorist activity in Nigeria has left Christians in that country in peril, said Nigerian human rights group leader Dalyop Solomon.

“Life became very, very brutish. You will wish you had not been born in this part of the world. There was no way out. There was no way out,” the CEO of the Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria told The Christian Post. “Behind us are the Egyptians, in front of us is the Red Sea.”

Nigeria’s government has advised Christians to stay in their homes to avoid COVID-19, said Solomon. But if they remain locked down at home, they cannot escape when groups of terrorists attack them. The government fails to respond to these attacks, which have increased in frequency across Nigeria. In 2020, human rights groups estimated that over 2,200 Christians were murdered by radical Islamist militants.

“Prior to this time, the attacks were only concentrated in a few communities, but we can see now it has become very pervasive. Only a few states were not touched by terror attacks. They have expanded the attacks to become land grabs,” he said.

The attacks during the pandemic are also having long-term consequences. Many Nigerians rely on farming to survive. Since radical Fulani militants often destroy or plunder crops when they attack, farmers’ livelihoods are destroyed, said Solomon. COVID-19 restrictions prevent them from leaving their homes to plant new crops.

“Both two seasonal farming’s we have in Nigeria have been aggravated by the actions of Fulani hitmen grazing [cattle] into farm crops that are about to be harvested,” he said. “Having expended the little an individual has for harvest for the family, just overnight all those dreams are shattered by the barbaric activities of the herders. There won’t be food for the families, and government is not providing food security.”

Between COVID-19 and Fulani raids on crops, it’s likely only one in five Nigerian farms harvested what it planted this year, Solomon explained. The nation has never seen such widespread destruction of crops, and Nigerians will likely face famine in 2021.

Other news outlets have also reported about the concerns over the potential for famine. When Islamists kill farmers, people fear to go out and plant their fields.

Starvation drives people to despair, Solomon said. People turn to robbery, prostitution and selling children into slavery to survive.

“A single pandemic ought to have made us united to see how we can survive this tragic development. But it’s rather turned out to be that COVID-19 has unleashed terror attacks,” he said.

The United States added Nigeria to its list of countries that have engaged in or tolerated ongoing egregious religious persecution. Government inaction suggests that Nigeria’s pandemic response has hidden motives, Solomon believes.

Nigerians hold a sign urging for an end to killings. | ECCVN

“It appears to be politically framed,” he said of the pandemic in Nigeria, which has affected around 90,000 people and led to 1,311 deaths. “People affected began to wonder whether it is true that COVID-19 is as real as the way it has been globally reported, or if it is a ploy to instill fears in the minds of the people so militias will have a soft target to unleash hideous crimes on unsuspecting individuals.”

Farmers who report attacks by Islamists don’t receive justice from the government, Solomon said. Instead, they single themselves out for attacks by the terrorists.

“Unless the Nigerian government is purposeful in its approach and its action to tread the path of justice so every individual is treated equally as a member of the human family, I have not seen the prospect of having a secure nation. I have not seen the prospect of having a nation run right. I have not seen the prospect of having a country that will thrive economically,” he said.

After receiving death threats from Islamist terrorists for his human rights work, Solomon spent most of the Christmas season in hiding. He said the threats make him feel more sad than afraid.

“That one has to go hide out simply because of telling the truth, it’s quite a sad experience,” he said. “This is not the intention of God for man. The truth is God Himself, and one cannot speak God in a situation because some individuals fear that their hideous activities will be exposed.”

Solomon asked for Christians around the world to put pressure on the Nigerian government to do justice.

“Please, as a matter of conscience, faith and love for people under persecution I ask for an intervention and provision of relief materials. Christians in Nigeria need humanitarian aid to cushion the impact of alarming destruction that has been meted out on Christendom as a whole,” he said.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Royal Sham

Many hypocritical blue state Governors are all about rules for thee but not for me, policies.

Blue State Hypocrite GovernorsPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco Cartoon ©2021.
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

US official: ‘Growing body of evidence’ coronavirus came from Wuhan lab


A top United States official said recently that the “most credible” theory for how the coronavirus pandemic started is that the pathogen escaped from a Chinese laboratory. U.S. deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger told British parliamentarians last week that even Chinese leaders have started to acknowledge that the virus did not originate in the Wuhan wet market as initially reported. Instead, he said, it likely escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology located just 11 miles away.

“There is a growing body of evidence that the lab is likely the most credible source of the virus,” Pottinger said during a Zoom conference about China, according to the Daily Mail. “Even establishment figures in Beijing have openly dismissed the wet market story.”

Whether the virus escaped by “leak or accident,” he could not confirm.

The theory has been widely disseminated since earlier this year, when citizen investigators used publicly available information to make the case.

Reporters noticed all-too-coincidental job openings posted by the lab in November and December 2019 — right as mysterious pneumonia-like cases were popping up in Wuhan — which requested scientists to come “research the relationship between the coronavirus and bats” and indicated that help was needed to handle a dangerous leak.

That is not to mention the fact that the lab was the first in all of China to achieve BSL-4 clearance, or the level of bioresearch safety required to study the world’s most dangerous pathogens. Though some thought that clearance was granted prematurely.

Shortly after the discovery of the job postings, a pair of leaked State Department cables from 2018 found that U.S. officials visiting the lab were so concerned about its “serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators” in concert with its study of “SARS-like coronaviruses in bats” that they felt the need to notify the U.S. government.

According to the Daily Mail, Pottinger’s confidence in the theory comes as a result of conversations the U.S. has had with a whistleblower from the Wuhan lab.

“I was told the US have an ex-scientist from the laboratory in America at the moment,” said former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith, who attended the meeting. “That was what I heard a few weeks ago.”

“I was led to believe this is how they have been able to stiffen up their position on how this outbreak originated,” he added.

Pottinger’s comments come as a team of experts from the World Health Organization prepare to travel to Wuhan to investigate the pandemic’s origins, though some critics fear the investigation won’t reveal anything given the organization’s coziness with China.

David French Joins NYT, New Yorker In Bashing Christians On Christmas


Reported by Nathanael Blake DECEMBER 28, 2020

So much for peace on earth and goodwill to men. America’s legacy media elites used the Sunday before Christmas for extra Christian-bashing, with white evangelicals the preferred targets.

Writing in The New Yorker, Michael Luo complained that “white evangelical Protestants, once again, overwhelmingly supported President Trump in the election,” and that “churches, particularly conservative ones, fought lockdown orders and rebuffed public-health warnings.”

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof interviewed leftist pastor Jim Wallis, with the conversation quickly turning to accusations that “White evangelicalism has destroyed the ‘evangel.’” At The Dispatch, Time columnist David French concluded that much of the scorn white evangelical Christians receive is deserved. He says the world often “rejects Christians because Christians are cruel.”

Yeah, well, merry Christmas to you too.

To be sure, Christians should humbly accept correction if it is deserved, even when the word of reproof is delivered by pagans. But the above writers’ broad indictments against American evangelicals do not withstand scrutiny. Although each criticism has particular errors, they are united by two shared mistakes. The first is a failure to account for differences of denomination and devotion. Lumping Pentecostals, Presbyterians, and prosperity-gospel preachers together is sloppy, as is neglecting to distinguish between those who are committed churchgoers and those who are only nominally evangelical.

It might be said that these varieties of white evangelicals have in common an overwhelming political support for Donald Trump, but this retort only highlights the second error shared by these writers: the assumption that voting for Trump was necessarily immoral.

It is easy to pick out Trumpian words and deeds that are not compatible with the gospel. It is also easy to do the same with his Democratic opponents and their policies. Asserting that voting for Trump is a moral stain on evangelicals, without weighing the alternatives, presumes what is in question. This error is shared by each writer (and Kristof’s interview subject), but each finds some unique ways to express it.

Luo, for instance, unfavorably compares the response of today’s Christians to the pandemic with Christians’ response to past plagues. But although he is correct that reckless churches should be rebuked, he makes no effort to distinguish between the reckless and those cautiously meeting in person, or to value preserving the gathering of believers. Nor does he quantify how many churches are foregoing precautions, or show how many of these congregations fall under the “white evangelical” category.

He suggests that, to eliminate risk, Christians should forgo all in-person meeting, and he dismisses the religious liberty claims that have been raised against capricious government restrictions on churches. But if the casinos, strip clubs, and abortion clinics are getting better treatment than churches, then anti-Christian discrimination has replaced public health policy.

Furthermore, even from a secular public health perspective, eliminating church services would do more harm than good, as churchgoing seems to have been essential to helping many Americans make it through the difficulties of this year. We are physical beings, not disembodied minds who can live in the cloud indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Kristof and his interview subject Wallis presume that technocratic welfare-statism is the obvious way to care for the poor and oppressed, so they dismiss anyone who disagrees with them as bad Christians. This complacent assumption of moral and political rectitude precludes them from understanding those they condemn.

Thus, although Kristof recently wrote a column of questions about Christians and abortion, he seems to have ignored the many responses explaining its paramount importance as a political issue for conservative Christians. His indifference is particularly notable at Christmas, because Luke’s advent narrative emphasizes the humanity of both the unborn John the Baptist and of Jesus. And if the unborn are human, then Christians cannot support the party of abortion on demand.

Kristof and Wallis’s reflexive acceptance of the left’s shibboleths of the moment also leads to ridiculous anachronisms such as declaring Jesus a “person of color.” This conceptual colonization of first-century Israel by modern American racial concepts is odious and misleading—“person of color” makes no sense in that context.

It is, indeed, worse than the depictions of a blond, blue-eyed Jesus (are there many of those?) that Wallis complains about. Portrayals of Jesus and other biblical figures in local style and appearance have been a common, if inaccurate, artistic practice across centuries and cultures.

Race is also central to French’s condemnation of his fellow white evangelicals. In his telling, they are guilty of “some outright racism” but perhaps even more of being seduced by a “Christian nationalism” that “will always minimize America’s historic sins and the present legacy (and reality) of American racism.” French is, for instance, upset that more white evangelicals do not believe that racism is an “extremely” or “very serious” threat to “America and America’s future.”

But even if white evangelicals are wrong in their assessment of the depth and danger of America’s racial problems, this is not enough to condemn them as cruel. It is, in fact, precisely the sort of issue on which Christians may reasonably disagree.

Furthermore, the data French cites does not account for crucial factors such as whether respondents are regular churchgoers or merely culturally evangelical. In addition, French ignores education and class in his analysis, even though the study he relies on emphasizes the importance of these factors in understanding the politics of white evangelical subgroups.

French’s article, like the others, is mostly an impressionistic interpretation of white evangelicalism in America. By their reckoning, white evangelicals have become reckless plague-bearers with no regard for the poor and oppressed, and their cruelty rightly earns them the world’s opprobrium.

There may be some individuals who match this grim depiction, but as a general description of tens of millions of evangelicals, it is obviously untrue. Look around the country and evangelical churches are holding services with masks, distancing, and lots of hand sanitizer. Evangelicals, both individually and corporately, are caring for those in need in their communities and around the world, and treating people of all races with dignity and respect.

In this Christmas season, French, Kristof, and Luo should stop building evangelical strawmen to burn in effigy. Instead, they, like all of us, should contemplate and rejoice in the miracle of God become man to save His people from their sins.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nathanael Blake is a Senior Contributor at The Federalist. He has a PhD in political theory. He lives in Missouri.

5 Big Things We Learned About Our Elites In 2020


Reported by John Daniel Davidson DECEMBER 28, 2020

5 Big Things We Learned About Our Elites In 2020

For as difficult as the past year has been, from politics to the pandemic, it has at least helped to illuminate and clarify certain things about the state of our country.

Above all, 2020 has illuminated and clarified the relationship between America’s elites—in government, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, corporate America and the corporate press—and everyone else. In short, our elites believe, contra Thomas Jefferson, that most people were born with saddles on their backs while a favored few were born booted and spurred to ride them, legitimately.

The rigors and suffering of the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the perseverance, resilience, and generosity of the American people, but also exposed—sometimes in mind-boggling detail—the greed, hypocrisy, and indifference of our elites.

We like to think we live in a country where everyone, rich and poor alike, is equal before the law. But we know now, thanks to the exigencies and emergencies of 2020, that isn’t true—or at least it’s only true sometimes, when the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to weigh in and enforce equal treatment.

But left unchecked, as many of our leaders were over the past year, we all know what they will do. In no particular order, then, here are the five big things we learned about America and its elites in 2020.

1. Democrats Don’t Care About Science—Or Religious Liberty

This year we learned Democrats aren’t the “party of science,” and in fact don’t care about science at all—especially if it gets in the way of their policy agenda or the exercise of emergency powers.

How else do you explain the actions of Democratic governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo and California’s Gavin Newsom? They both tried to ban indoor religious gatherings based the unscientific belief that people are more likely to contract COVID-19 in a church than in a liquor store or a Lowe’s. In both cases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such restrictions were unconstitutional because they singled out houses of worship for unequal treatment.

Lost in the media coverage of these and similar cases was the disturbing fact that these governors weren’t basing their pandemic-related restrictions on science or data. When a Los Angeles judge earlier this month struck down an outdoor dining ban issued by county health officials, he noted that the county hadn’t presented any scientific evidence justifying the ban or even done a basic cost-benefit analysis on the effects of shutting down more than 30,000 restaurants.

“It’s not rational to make a decision without doing everything you’re supposed to do, and you haven’t,” the judge said. “You’re imposing restrictions but there’s no reason to believe it will help with ICU capacity.” In all these cases, science had nothing to do with the attempted shutdown. Power and prejudice did.

2. Lockdowns For Thee But Not For Me

Speaking of Newsom, he became the poster boy for elite hypocrisy when he was photographed at a fancy Napa Valley restaurant with a bunch of wealthy and powerful friends right after imposing harsh pandemic-related lockdowns on much of the state.

He wasn’t alone. All over the country, elected officials—almost all of them Democrats—were spotted flouting their own pandemic rules and restrictions. My colleague Tristan Justice catalogued some of the most high-profile instances.

There was Austin Mayor Steve Adler telling residents to stay home—and threatening them with more restrictive measures if they didn’t comply—while he was vacationing in a Mexican resort town.

There was Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who boarded a flight for Houston to visit his daughter for Thanksgiving right after telling residents to “avoid travel if you can.”

There was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, mask-less, visiting a shut-down hair salon in San Francisco, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot doing the same thing—then getting caught mask-less in the streets with a bullhorn at a rally celebrating Joe Biden’s victory. Her excuse (they all have excuses) was that the “crowd was gathered whether I was there or not.”

On and on, all over the country. The mayors of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, D.C., all of them Democrats, all of them caught flouting their own lockdown orders.

We can conclude two things from this. The first is that our ruling elites, despite their grave intonations and warnings, don’t really believe the coronavirus is very dangerous or that their lockdown orders are necessary—at least not for them. The second is that they hate you and think you’re stupid.

3. Lockdown Elites Don’t Care If Small Businesses Die

The elites’ hypocrisy went beyond their personal behavior. It also affected the pandemic policies they supported and imposed. Especially in blue states and cities, elected officials opted for pandemic restrictions that disproportionately harmed small businesses and working families, while giving generous carve-outs and exemptions to special interests.

Nothing illustrated this better than a viral video by a distraught restaurant owner in Los Angeles, who was justifiably upset over an outdoor dining ban that shuttered all bars and restaurants but exempted the film and television industry. Angela Marsden, owner of the Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill in Los Angeles, had spent tens of thousands of dollars to create an outdoor dining space that complied with Centers for Disease Control and county health guidelines in an attempt to save her business, only to have the rules changed on her without warning.

The real slap in the face, though, was an outdoor dining area for a television production set up not 50 feet from her restaurant. The two dining spaces were nearly identical. The only difference is that she, a small business owner, wasn’t powerful or important enough to get an exemption.

4. Silicon Valley Wants You to Shut Up

Another disturbing revelation in 2020 was that Big Tech doesn’t care about free speech or the free exchange of ideas, and will, given the right circumstances, censor what you can read and share on their platforms according to criteria they invent out of thin air.

We saw this over and over again, not only with COVID-19 commentary and reporting but with coverage of the presidential election and the many instances of fraud and illegal electioneering that were documented in the days and weeks after the vote. Twitter and Facebook in particular were aggressive in their censorship of any opinions or information that challenged their chosen narratives about the pandemic and the election.

Again, science and data and verifiable facts didn’t factor into these decisions. Experts like former White House advisor Scott Atlas were censored by Twitter for sharing studies that showed the ineffectiveness of masks. Amazon did the same thing to former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson’s booklet on the ineffectiveness of masks.

On election night, Twitter repeatedly censored President Trump but not former Vice President Joe Biden. Facebook “fact-checkers,” some of them funded by China and Russia, repeatedly flagged content critical of Democrats.

Most infamously, Twitter and Facebook conspired with corporate media before the election to impose a blackout on coverage of the Hunter Biden scandal, including an unprecedented move by Twitter to suspend The New York Post’s account for breaking the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop and emails. This was done rather straightforwardly to shield voters from the Biden family’s corruption. After the election, the FBI confirmed that it is in fact investigating Hunter Biden.

5. Elites Are Okay With Chaos and Violence From the Left

Another glaring instance of elite hypocrisy in 2020 was the reaction to riots and looting in American cities throughout the spring and summer. Because Democrats and corporate media agreed with the ideology and politics driving this violence, and approved of groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) that were fomenting it, they excused it. Over and over, reporters and commentators characterized violent riots and urban unrest as “mostly peaceful protests,” sometimes even while showing images of burning buildings and mayhem in the streets.

By contrast, peaceful and orderly protests of pandemic lockdown orders in the spring were reported as dangerous and threatening, not because they were actually dangerous or threatening but because the protesters were mostly conservatives and Republicans who thought governors and mayors were overstepping their authority. At the same time, these same outlets downplayed or simply refused to report on the many instances of violence, including shootings, perpetrated by Antifa rioters and BLM demonstrators across the country.

When armed groups began showing up at these BLM “protests” to protect property and businesses from being looted and burned down, major outlets like The New York Times pretended the gunplay and violence started with the right, not the left. Biden’s deputy campaign manager even went on air and accused Trump of “inciting violence,” as if the mere fact of Trump presidency justified widespread violence and rioting.

We learned from all this that the left is prepared to burn down cities to seize power, and will make excuses for rioters and looters as long as it serves their political and ideological agenda.

That’s of a piece with everything else we’ve learned about our elites in 2020. They don’t really care about the things they claim to care about. They don’t care about science or data or even keeping us safe during a pandemic. They don’t care about small businesses or working families or getting kids back to school. They don’t care about free speech or the free exercise of religion or anything else that hinders their power—and they certainly don’t care about you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John is the Political Editor at The Federalist. Follow him on Twitter.

Today’s TWO Politically INCORRECT Cartoons by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Porkulus

Pelosi and the Democrat’s priorities seem to be everyone and everything but Americans who are hurting.

COVID Prk BillPolitical cartoon by A. F. Branco ©2020.

A.F. Branco Cartoon – Privilege Alert!

AOC feels she’s essential and therefore needs to be put in front of the line ahead of the elderly.

08 Vac Priority LI 1080Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Rick Warren: COVID-19 has ‘revealed a fundamental weakness in the Church’


Reported By Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post Reporter 

(Screengrab Saddleback Church)

Many churches across the U.S. are scrambling in the wake of COVID-19 because they’ve focused solely on worship instead of other aspects of ministry, Pastor Rick Warren of the California-based Saddleback Church has said.

“COVID revealed a fundamental weakness in the Church,” the pastor recently told Relevant magazine in an interview. “Most churches only have one purpose: worship. And if you take worship away, you’ve got nothing. They’re in a hurry to get back to worship because that’s all they’ve got.”

But the 20,000-member Saddleback Church is built not on one purpose, but on five,” Warren explained.

“You take one circle out, we’ve still got four other circles. We’ve got ministry going on. We’ve got mission going on. We’ve got fellowship going on. We’ve got discipleship going on. Those all stand on their own.”

As a result, removing worship didn’t shut the church down, The Purpose Driven Life author contended. In fact, Saddleback’s seen over 16,000 people come to Christ since March — and is continuing to see about 80 new conversions a day.

“We’re in revival,” he said.

When the pandemic first hit, Saddleback’s leadership “looked around and made a list of all the different problems that COVID was creating,” and then met those needs.

“For instance, the first one was food,” Warren said, adding that Saddleback partnered with every school district in Orange County to develop “food pantry pop-ups.” Now, the church is the largest food distributor in Southern California,” having served over 3.5 million pounds of food to over 300,000 families.

“We teach our people that every member of the church is a minister,” Warren said. “Everybody’s a missionary too. You’re a witness. Those people already know how to share their faith. When people would pull up they’d talk to them about the Lord.”

“Of those 16,000 people who have come to Christ, over 12,000 of them have come through personal, one-on-one witnessing by my members. Not led to Christ by my sermons. By one-on-one evangelizing.”

Though California’s strict limits on church attendance during the pandemic have angered churches across the state, Warren stressed that he doesn’t believe places of worship are being discriminated against.

“They might have a discrimination case if theaters weren’t closed, football games weren’t closed … But they are,” he added. “We’re not being discriminated against. This is a safety issue. Regal Cinemas closed down 650 theaters. Disney laid off 28,000 people. We’re not being discriminated against.”

Suggesting that “some churches are willing to gamble the health of their people,” Warren said he is not.

“The good shepherd prays for his sheep, cares for his sheep. One day I will be responsible. I don’t want to be a super-spreader. I’m not doing this out of fear; I’m doing this out of love. You wear a mask for love your neighbors, yourself.”

Researcher Warren Bird, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, previously told The Christian Post that as the COVID-19 pandemic fades away, the churches that “do small groups well” will most likely be “stronger” than those that do not.

“In light of the pandemic, so much of church health today depends on a vibrant, small group system underneath the big gatherings, whether they’re in person or online,” he said.

“Much like in the pandemic, the churches that are most threatened are those with preexisting health conditions,” Bird explained. “The churches that are going to have the hardest time re-surfacing will be ones that depended solely on the Sunday morning gathering. They will have a hard time re-gathering, rebuilding momentum, and reestablishing their mission as a church.”

As many as one in five churches could permanently close due to shutdowns stemming from the pandemic, David Kinnaman, president of the prominent Christian research organization Barna Group, recently said.

As time passes, Kinnaman said that “we’ll look back at this pandemic as a fundamental change to the way Americans” handled church attendance.

Exponential CEO Todd Wilson recently said that “what is church” is “going to become “one of the key questions coming out of COVID,” as the digital way many are currently worshiping is “more of a missionary impulse for evangelism.”

“Personally, I’m predicting it’s going to become more of a debate, not less, as we move into the future,” he said. “It seems like the new normal is going to involve greater digital than pre-COVID. … All of a sudden, churches are going to think about, ‘Why do I even have a physical building? Why do I need it? Why not be completely digital?’”

“At some point, we’ve got to go through that question of, ‘What, physically, is church?”

Horowitz: Comprehensive analysis of 50 states shows greater spread with mask mandates


For months, we’ve been lectured to by the political elites that cases of coronavirus are spreading too quickly and that we must wear masks to stop the spread. The obvious fault with their act of desperation is that they can no longer mask the fact that most parts of the country have already been fully masked for months — long before the ubiquitous spread this fall.

Researchers at RationalGround.com, a clearinghouse of COVID-19 data trends run by a grassroots group of data analysts, computer scientists, and actuaries, did an analysis of all 50 states divided by those that had mask mandates and those that did not. Justin Hart, co-founder of the website, posted the results in a Twitter thread and shared with me the data analysis:

They studied the number of cases over a 229-day period from May 1 through Dec. 15 and divided the results of the two study groups by days with mask mandates and days without mask mandates. The non-mandate data group includes both states that never had a mandate and those that did at some point, but data set included only the days they did not have a mask mandate.

The results: When comparing states with mandates vs. those without, or periods of times within a state with a mandate vs. without, there is absolutely no evidence the mask mandate worked to slow the spread one iota. In total, in the states that had a mandate in effect, there were 9,605,256 confirmed COVID cases over 5,907 total days, an average of 27 cases per 100,000 per day. When states did not have a statewide order (which includes the states that never had them and the period of time masking states did not have the mandate in place) there were 5,781,716 cases over 5,772 total days, averaging 17 cases per 100,000 people per day.

The reverse correlation between periods of masking and non-masking is remarkable.

The 15 states that did not have a statewide mask mandate for the duration of this analysis were Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming.

Importantly, for purposes of this study, the analysts gave the mask mandate states a 14-day grace period from the time of implementation in order to begin counting cases against mask efficacy. This gives time for the existing spread from the original policy to become obsolete, in order to more accurately assess the efficacy of the mandate. Proponents of the mask mandate might suggest that mask mandates were often imposed once cases already spread quickly, so there is a negative bias of increased cases in those areas (or times) that had mandates in place. However, there was no evidence of any reduction in cases or even better outcomes many weeks later. In fact, Ian Miller, one of the researchers at RationalGround.com, found that three counties in Florida (Manatee, Martin, and Nassau) that allowed the mandate to expire after having implemented it had fewer cases per capita than those counties that kept the mandate.

Nor has the mandate worked in states where it was implemented long before the surge in cases began.

California is the ultimate example of a state that had a mask mandate in place forever — long before its turn for spread hit in earnest.

The simple reality is that there is no legitimate data showing the mandates worked.

My first question when reading this analysis was that perhaps there is a bias in case counts against those areas with mask mandates because, by definition, most areas without them are more conservative and tend to have lower population density. After all, dense areas seem to be associated with more spread, and therefore, those areas must be judged by a different standard.

First, it’s important to recognize that over the past few months, as the virus has spread rapidly to the low-population states and counties, the gap between the urban and rural areas has really closed as the virus appears to be giving everyone equal treatment. Also, included in the top-line number of 17 cases per 100,000 in the non-mask states are also the larger states that did eventually adopt a mandate, but had prior days without the mandate in which the cases were counted among the non-mandate data set. Thus, the study is more apples-to-apples than simply taking places that never had a mandate vs. those that always did over the entire study period.

More fundamentally, this study analyzed Florida by county data and shows no correlation between mask mandates and fewer cases, even adjusting for population density. Gov. Ron DeSantis has notoriously declined to issue a statewide mandate in the Sunshine State; however, of the 67 total counties in Florida, 22 have implemented an executive mask order at some point during the study period. Two of them (Miami-Dade and Osceola) were in effect for the entire period, while the other 20 began in the spring, summer, or fall.

What are the results?

When counties did have a mandate in effect, there were 667,239 cases over 3,137 days with an average of 23 cases per 100,000 per day. When counties did not have a countywide order, there were 438,687 cases over 12,139 days with an average of 22 cases per 100,000 per day.

Did population density play a role?

When you isolate only the top 12 most populous counties in the state (>500,000), eight of them had effective mask orders implemented at some point during the study period, and four never had a countywide order (Brevard, Lee, Polk, and Volusia). When the eight did have an order in effect, there were 24 cases per 100,000 a day. On the other hand, during the days when mandates were not in place (which is never in four counties, and some weeks in seven of the other eight except for Miami-Dade), there were 17 cases per 100,000 per day.

We can turn the numbers upside down and inside out, but no matter how we examine them, there is no evidence of masks correlating with reduced spread. If anything, the opposite is true. And it sure as heck is not because of a lack of compliance.

It’s self-evident that the virus does what it does naturally and follows a very mechanical pattern regardless of state policies.

The burden is on those who want to violate the Constitution with such a draconian mandate for the rest of our lives to present affirmative evidence that their religious symbol works. The phony “fact checkers” will always find ways to show that we can’t prove beyond a shadow of doubt that masks will never work. But while they force us to prove 100% that they don’t work, mandates don’t have to prove any efficacy at all, even as 2-year-olds are forced to have their faces covered on planes.

We used to all scoff at the Islamic fundamentalist for believing that if they just waged jihad a little harder, they’d earn their 72 virgins. Well, those people can learn a thing or two about faith from the mask fundamentalists who believe it’s never too late for masks to magically stop a virus after months of failure.

Today’s TWO Politically INCORRECT Cartoons by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Outer Limits

Governor Walz says outside dining only in the dead of winter below zero.

Outside Dining Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.

A.F. Branco Cartoon – Helping Hand

The Media continues to run defense for President-elect Biden and ignore the gravity of recent scandals.

Joe Biden Family CorruptionPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Small Businesses Like Mine Didn’t Cause COVID, But Governments Are Making Us Pay For It


Small Businesses Like Mine Didn’t Cause COVID, But Governments Are Making Us Pay For It

Back in 2000, I left my job in San Francisco working for an entrepreneur named Bruce Carlisle. From scratch, Bruce had co-founded an online advertising agency named SFInteractive, eventually growing the business to 200 employees. I successfully started his analytics department, and then flew the coop. Los Angeles was calling me, and I’ve never looked back. The day I left, I made a pact with myself to never work for anyone else. I saw what Bruce had created and set out to create something of my own. Outside of a short stint working for the city of Malibu and a Christmas gig at Williams Sonoma in L.A., that’s exactly what I’ve done.

In 2003, my wife and I were expecting our first child, and we hadn’t figured out how to pay for her arrival yet. We were both freelancing reading movie scripts for film companies. It was enough for the two of us, and a lot of fun, but we didn’t have enough steady income to raise a family.

A wise acquaintance once said to me, “Every baby comes with its own basket of bread.” Interesting idea, I thought. Sometime after, almost on cue, my old roommate from New York reached out and asked if I knew anyone who could sell French tours on the internet to Americans.

After some serious convincing on my part (I’d never worked in travel before), my roommate vouched for me and we got the contract. Our business and child arrived at virtually the same time. We were off to the races.

For almost 20 years now my wife, Laura, and I have run Link Paris, a small boutique French travel company. We’ve had our ups and downs, but we survived the great recession in 2008, the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris in 2015 and 2016, and the reality of giant competitors eventually moving into our niche.

On the upside, we’ve served more than 80,000 happy customers and in 2014 we were voted the “Best Online Tour Operator” by the French Government Tourist Office. We truly love this business and our customers.

Our No. 1 product is a day trip from Paris to visit the landing beaches in Normandy. It is a destination every American should see if he or she visits France. We are very proud to have helped so many people visit this hallowed ground.

Now, here we are, 10 months into COVID. Our revenue is down more than 99 percent. We’ve had a total of two clients since March — a father and daughter who were receiving medical treatment in Paris. They, and others like them, are among the very few Americans allowed abroad.

We’re still standing, but how much longer can we? How much longer can any disrupted small business last? We are hurting in my industry and many others.

This is a horrible virus and I fully understand and support the fight against it. The worry is that the government is implicitly saying to us, and a million other small businesses, that we’re simply collateral damage of the pandemic. “Yes, you had a decent life, but that is over now. You need to accept your limited prospects and move on. Tough break. But, you know, the virus.”

Yes, there has been some aid. The Paycheck Protection Program helped, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan helped even more. But, after ten months of zero revenue, it isn’t enough.

To complicate matters, the Small Business Administration lowered the maximum EIDL loan amount from $500,000 to $150,000 in April — although not before people like Rep. Ilhan Omar’s husband, Tim Mynett, and others got their loans approved for the full amount.

Mynett’s company made $2.2 million this year from Omar’s reelection campaign. Where exactly did he suffer an “economic injury?” I’m sure there are many examples on the other side of the aisle as well. This isn’t a partisan issue, but the point is the same: the well-connected aren’t just barely getting by — they’re thriving.

Indeed, we wouldn’t have even received the EIDL loan if it hadn’t been for a Reddit user who helped us, along with a thousand other people, resubmit our application. When I originally submitted, I’d had made an error, and the SBA was so overwhelmed at the time that amending an application was near impossible — until I found the EIDL subreddit and an anonymous user named Cue378. He (or she) knew exactly what to do and we got it fixed. When someone else started a GoFundMe page for this person as a thank you, more than $100,000 was raised.

In the end, we received a loan. We are grateful for it, but compare it to the $500 million credit facility that our main competitor (Trip Advisor) initiated, and it’s essentially nothing. That is the unintended, or intended, consequence of all of this. The big and connected are getting much stronger, while the small are having their dreams destroyed.

No small business could’ve prepared for this. What started as “15 days to slow the spread” has turned into something far different. I get it — six weeks to beat the Germans in World War I turned into four long years of trench warfare. Things change.

But Washington needs to give small businesses a genuine, real chance to survive. Big business may do the heavy lifting, but we make up 45 percent of America’s GDP. Small business is the lifeblood of this economy. Don’t let us bleed dry.

John Romano is the co-founder and operator of LinkParis.com, a small boutique French travel company.

John MacArthur: World ‘perfectly suited for the Antichrist to come’ amid COVID-19 chaos


Reported By Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post Reporter 

Pastor John MacArthur announced during the Shepherd’s Conference held earlier this month that next year’s conference will include a summit on biblical inerrancy. Photo taken March 7, 2014. | Grace Community Church

Grace Community Church Pastor John MacArthur has warned that today’s world is “perfectly suited for the Antichrist to come” amid the chaos and “lawlessness” stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

MacArthur, whose Sun Valley, California-based church has repeatedly sparred with authorities over COVID-19 worship restrictions, said on Sunday that world governments “have done something that’s never been done in human history” by making the pandemic issue and the response “global.”

“Now we are a global world. And that is a setup that we’ve been waiting for through redemptive history since the Lord promised that there would come, in the future, an Antichrist who would have a global government,” the 81-year-old pastor said.

“We literally have such power over people globally that we can shut them down so they can’t function,” he said.

“This suits the world of Antichrist. As you look at the book of Revelation, there’s the mark of the beast, the number, and if you don’t have that, you don’t buy, you don’t sell, you don’t exist. Everything about you, they know — the people who have access to all your data. They know all of it. You can go out of existence virtually any moment [and] somebody decides that. This is the kind of world that appears to be perfectly suited for the Antichrist to come, bring a certain amount of peace, [and] the world falls at his feet.”

MacArthur, who also runs a syndicated Christian teaching radio and television program, described the Antichrist as the “instrument of Satan,” adding: “And of course, all hell breaks loose, and in that time of the Great Tribulation, God’s judgment comes, at the end of which Christ returns.”

The pastor said that while he’s not predicting that “the Lord is coming soon,” the unrest seen today reflect those prophesied in Scripture.

“The Bible says in the End Times there will be lawlessness. And there is lawlessness [today] and an escalating lawlessness and an effort to create more lawlessness by taking restraints away,” he said. “This is a world that could find itself in such absolute chaos that the right satanic leader who promises to fix everything could be given the title of king of the world. That Antichrist, aided by the false prophet, is what we see in the book of Revelation.

“We have the kind of weaponry that could destroy a third of the population, a fourth of the population, as you see in the book of Revelation,” he continued. “We have the kind of technology that can literally erase people out of existence. So, it’s just up to us to be sure that we’re looking at the signs of the times.”

MacArthur and his megachurch have made headlines in recent months after the church decided to resume in-person services in violation of California’s ongoing public health and court orders.

“I’ve been here 50 years; the church is 63 years old, and this church has never had any kind of mandate from the government to close,” MacArthur said in an interview with Billy Hallowell in August. “So when they came up with this mandate it seemed to be so rare and so unusual that we were listening.”

Upon hearing dire predictions about the death toll, MacArthur said it was “enough to make anybody with common sense” pause and take steps to ensure no one was endangered. The church initially moved to a live stream model and closed down in-person services — but within a few weeks, MacArthur said parishioners started showing up again.

Listen to MacArthur explain why his church is defying orders on the Edifi with Billy Hallowell podcast

Despite facing the prospect of fines and the threat of jail time as a result of his refusal to comply with coronavirus regulations, MacArthur has maintained that it’s the church’s biblical responsibility to stay open and hold worship services.

“Of course, my biblical hero apart from the Lord Jesus Christ is the Apostle Paul,” MacArthur said in September. “And when he went into a town he didn’t ask what the hotel was like. He asked what the jail was like because he knew that’s where he was going to spend his time.”

“So I don’t mind being a little apostolic — if they want to tuck me into jail, I’m open for a jail ministry,” he continued. “I’ve done a lot of other ministries and haven’t had the opportunity to do that one. So bring it on.”

Churches across the U.S. have grappled with how to operate amid ever-changing circumstances presented by state government lockdowns in response to COVID-19.

Ed Young, founding and senior pastor of Fellowship Church, told The Christian Post that the spiritual ramifications of refusing to meet outweigh the hype of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Look at our culture. There is so much going on right now spiritually, especially among young people facing depression, anxiety, and attempting suicide,” Young, who leads the evangelical megachurch in Grapevine, Texas, said. “I have counted the cost of not opening our church versus opening, and I believe that risk and faith go hand in hand. It’s critical to reopen churches.”

But Christian geneticist and U.S. National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins recently advised most churches to postpone in-person services due to COVID-19 until at least summer 2021, when most Americans are expected to have had the opportunity to get vaccinated.

“I know people are tired of hearing these messages and having to be acting upon them, but the virus does not care that we are tired. The virus is having a wonderful time right now spreading through this country, taking advantage of circumstances where people have let their guard go down. We need to be just absolutely rigorously adherent to things that we know work. But they don’t work unless everybody actually sticks to them faithfully without exception,” Collins said.

“Churches gathering in person is a source of considerable concern and has certainly been an instance where superspreading has happened and could happen again. So I think most churches really ought to be advised, if they are not already doing so, to go to remote, virtual kinds of services. That’s the way I’m having my experiences as a churchgoer,” he said.

Sent to Me by A Friend


Imagine you were born in 1900.

When you’re 14

World War I begins

and ends at 18 years old

with 22 million dead.

Shortly after, a global pandemic

Flu called ‘Spanish’ “,

kills 50 million people.

You come out alive and free

You are 20 years old.

Then, at 29, you survive the global economic crisis that started with the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange, causing Inflation, Unemployment, and Hunger.

At 33, the nazis come to power.

You turn 39 when World War II starts and ends at 45 During the Holocaust (Holocaust), 6 million Jews die.

There will be over 60 million deaths in total.

When you’re 52, the Korean War begins.

At age 64, the Vietnam War begins and ends at age 75

A boy born in 1985 thinks his grandparents have no idea how difficult life is, but they have survived several wars and disasters.

A boy born in 1995 and now 25 years old thinks it’s the end of the world when his Amazon package takes over three days to arrive or when he doesn’t get more than 15 likes for her photo posted on Facebook or Instagram. ….

In 2020, many of us live comfortably, have access to different sources of home entertainment, and often have more than we need.

But people complain about everything.

However, they have electricity, phone, food, hot water, and a roof over their heads.

None of this existed before.

But mankind survived far more disastrous circumstances and never lost the joy of living.

Maybe it’s time to be less self-escaped, stop complaining, and stop crying.

Lockdowns Have Caused More Children To Drop Out Of School Than Americans Have Died Of COVID


Lockdowns Have Caused More Children To Drop Out Of School Than Americans Have Died Of COVID

The past nine months have seen more than a quarter-million Americans die from the coronavirus. Each and every death represents a tragedy — a life cut short, an empty place at the family table this holiday season, children mourning their parents, even parents mourning their children.

But a separate and ongoing tragedy has also struck at countless more than another quarter-million Americans: Children who have disappeared from school following last spring’s COVID-19 closures. survey conducted by CBS’s “60 Minutes” found that among 78 of the largest school districts in the country, at least 240,000 students remained unaccounted for when school resumed, in many cases virtually, this fall. This number doesn’t, of course, include the many other children schools have lost in other districts.

Each and every one of those cases also represents a tragedy. Indeed, it’s a slow-moving crisis. Every child who doesn’t return to school to complete his or her education represents dreams unfulfilled. It means diminished career prospects, lower earnings, an increased risk of trouble with law enforcement or substance misuse, more expense to society through the criminal justice and welfare systems, and on, and on, and on.

Just as these students have fallen through the proverbial cracks, however, policymakers do not seem to be doing nearly enough to solve the problem.

Obstacles to Online Learning

In their reporting on these missing children, “60 Minutes” spoke with one of them, a high school senior in Tampa, Fla. named Kiara. Kiara said she had moved around town eight or nine times since elementary school; her stepfather lost her job when the pandemic hit, and she was currently living in a motel.

A school district administrator said Kiara had been a good student before the pandemic but started failing classes when learning went virtual. Listening to her describe her situation, it’s not hard to figure out why her performance suffered:

Not having that teacher to really talk to was kinda difficult and just me not having a laptop at the time was difficult doing it on my phone. Just such a small screen. …

[Doing virtual learning via her phone] was very difficult because my phone is really skinny. At the time, I didn’t have glasses so I’d have to, like, slide to the left and slide to the right and slide up. So it was just really iffy. …

Definitely, I definitely come outside [to escape her crowded motel room]. I’ll sit here and study. But sometimes, you know, the mosquitoes are coming, you know. It’s hard.

At times, Kiara would walk a mile to a nearby park to get some peace and quiet to complete her work — but the park didn’t have WiFi or an electrical outlet. She said she would “try to make it work as best I could,” but it doesn’t take a doctorate in education to realize why any student’s performance would suffer in that environment.

In some respects, Kiara represents one of the luckier victims of the school shutdowns. She has big dreams — she wants to become a dental hygienist, and eventually a dentist — and fought through the obstacles the COVID-19 closures put in her path. But it’s sadly understandable to see how some families and some children would just give up.

Enrollment Down, and It’s Not All Homeschooling

Across the country, public school enrollment has declined for the current academic year. Outside D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland’s public school enrollment declined by 3,300, or about 2 percent, this fall; on the other side of the Potomac River, Fairfax County, Virginia’s enrollment declined by nearly 5 percent. In Missouri, public school enrollment dropped 3.2 percent statewide, with a 31 percent drop in preschool enrollment and a nearly 10 percent decline in kindergarten enrollment.

These changes represent two distinct trends — both ends of the proverbial barbell. In Montgomery County, Fairfax County, and other wealthy enclaves, the enrollment declines come from affluent families enrolling their children in private schools to escape another year of virtual or hybrid learning in public education. At the other end of the spectrum, children like Kiara in families facing financial and other logistical difficulties dropped out of virtual learning entirely.

Open the Schools

The chaos children like Kiara continue to face with virtual learning — a national scandal if there ever was one — argues for a major expansion of school choice, so that no child faces these kinds of obstacles again. Thankfully, Ohio just enacted a major expansion of school choice, giving students an early Christmas present; other states should follow suit (in the interests of full disclosure, I have worked on a variety of projects advocating for school choice; however, no clients had input into this article).

Until every parent has access to school choice, school districts should start taking steps to reopen their classrooms to in-person instruction. There are fine and valid disagreements to be had over the necessity of business closures during the pandemic, but the idea that bars should remain open yet schools remain closed runs counter to any sense of logic, not to mention good public policy.

The future of hundreds of thousands of children lies in the hands of policymakers and school officials coming up with a plan to open their doors as soon as possible, and keep them open. Kiara and students like her deserve far better than what they have received during the past nine months — and they deserve it now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chris Jacobs is founder and CEO of Juniper Research Group, and author of the book, “The Case Against Single Payer.” He is on Twitter: @chrisjacobsHC.

Feds Canceling Tests Will Hide For Years How School Shutdowns Screwed Kids


Feds Canceling Tests Will Hide For Years How School Shutdowns Screwed Kids

A federal agency is canceling congressionally mandated nationwide tests scheduled for 2021, ending the only way to reliably measure the effect of different school shutdowns across state lines until approximately 2023,  the agency’s commissioner announced the day before Thanksgiving.

“The change in operations and lack of access to students to be assessed means that NAEP will not be able to produce estimates of what students know and can do that would be comparable to either past or future national or state estimates,” said James Woodworth, the commissioner of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, in a Nov. 25 statement.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is a biannual test in reading and math that Congress requires states to participate in to get federal K-12 funding. Because states water down their tests to hide how poorly many American children are educated, and NAEP uses higher standards separated from politically manipulated policies such as teacher evaluations, it is considered the nation’s “gold standard” test. It has operated since 1969, and its next test window is early 2021.

Usually the test results fully come out in the calendar year after they are collected, meaning the postponement likely eliminates this important window into national achievement until 2022. That’s three years of hiding the truth about how governors have damaged American kids and our nation’s future while foreign competitors have kept their children in school because COVID is a low risk for young people.

On July 31, the NAEP’s governing board passed a resolution urging the commissioner to carry out the tests as legally mandated. It noted “in a time of such unprecedented disruption to education and assessment, there is a need to collect reliable and valid data to understand and compare student achievement across the nation, states, select large urban districts, and various student subgroups to support effective policy, research, and resource allocation.” It also noted that NCES had developed plans to safely administer the tests, and Congress was considering additional funding to make that possible.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has continued to require states to follow the law and administer their own annual tests. Yet she wrote in a Nov. 24 letter to Congress that she directed NAEP to cancel the 2021 tests as a consequence of governor and schools’ decisions to create chaotic schooling environments that complicate testing.

“The 2021 NAEP tests would have shed light on the significant learning loss following the school closures last spring and the widespread failure to reopen schools this fall,” DeVos wrote. “While the data would have been helpful, the much more valuable and actionable measures of learning loss will be the annual assessments required of states by the Every Student Succeeds Act. I strongly believe that states should implement their own assessments on schedule in spring 2021, given that they do not face the same constraints as NAEP and have ample time to plan for successful test administration tailored to their unique circumstances.”

In addition to participating in the biannual NAEP, federal law requires states to administer their own tests annually as a condition of receiving federal funds.  Woodworth noted that states will still be conducting their own tests this coming spring, asserting that is safer than having NAEP personnel do it.

He made no mention of having considered ways to still achieve the law’s objective of transparency in exchange for public funding for education by measures such as asking states to build NAEP questions into state assessments, having local teachers proctor their own classes for the NAEP tests, or using remote proctoring, which is common in higher education.

Historically, Republicans have made deals with Democrats to increase federal funding for K-12 in exchange for so-called “accountability” measures, most of which are tied to tests. With no consistent and reliable test results for nearing a decade now — testing was also both disrupted and rendered less useful with the massive Common Core overhaul President Obama forced on the nation — Democrats once again continue to achieve their objectives while requiring Republicans to forfeit theirs.

It’s long past time for Republicans to stop playing this game and release states from federal education meddling. It only works as a ratchet to the left. If states and federal agencies can ignore federal law “because pandemic,” and the Obama administration could ignore the law “because ‘progress,’” states can ignore federal education law because the U.S. Department of Education is unconstitutional.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her newest ebook is “The Family Read-Aloud Advent Calendar,” and her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” A Hillsdale College honors graduate, @JoyPullmann is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books.

Today’s TWO Politically INCORRECT Cartoons by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – You’re A Vile One

Keith Ellison is the Grinch who stole law and Order from the people of Minnesota.

Keith Ellison GrinchPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020

A.F. Branco Cartoon – Wrecking ball

The Left is using COVID-19 as an excuse to destroy our constitutional civil liberties.

02 Crushing LI 1080Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Church Leaders Who Cancel Christmas Services Are Clinging To Government Lies, Not Christ


Church Leaders Who Cancel Christmas Services Are Clinging To Government Lies, Not Christ

The Supreme Court’s ruling last Wednesday against discriminatory targeting of religious groups with COVID-19 restrictions marked a significant victory in the ongoing battle to preserve religious liberty. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, hostile stakeholders in public office have assaulted the first freedom through superciliously labeling religious services “nonessential.” Christians in much of the country now find themselves in the demeaning and intolerable position of being allowed to worship only in the manner and on terms dictated by politically motivated governors.

Respecting authorities’ claims about an unknown disease made sense early in the outbreak, but now after better scientific information shows many initial fears are false. Yet politicians refuse to come clean while ignoring their own rules forbidding us from fulfilling our Christian duties. So it is time for us once again to assert that church is the most essential activity, period. Instead of valiantly fighting in the vanguard, however, many religious leaders have quickly retreated.

It is one thing for a church leader to prayerfully consider the individual needs of his church, striving to maintain unity among members in disagreements, protecting the health of the vulnerable, and offering stability amid uncertainty. It is quite another for shepherds to forsake the assembling of their flocks and enable the propaganda that congregating freely to worship God is selfish and “could kill grandma.” This unbiblical stance also overlooks the hypocrites in public office and the media who don’t even play by their own silly rules and ignore the data, for much lesser purposes than the health of our souls.

Many such religious leaders are neglecting the soul-saving mission of the church. The notion that being a good Christian requires indefinite cessation of communal worship — and for Catholics, the suspension of the sacraments — to prevent the spread of illness is a falsehood that has confused the faithful and undermined religious freedom.

Supreme Court Upholds Religious Liberty

In the case brought by the Orthodox Jewish group Agudath Israel of America and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Supreme Court held that “the restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.” In a concurring opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch posed a pertinent rhetorical question: “Who knew that public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?”

Gorsuch held that “the only explanation for treating religious places differently seems to be a judgment that what happens there just isn’t as ‘essential’ as what happens in secular spaces.” He warned that “in too many places, for far too long, our first freedom has fallen on deaf ears.”

For several months now, elected officials and many church leaders around the country have flagrantly ignored religious liberty. States such as California, Oregon, and Washington have witnessed a new wave of post-election crackdowns on religious services. In San Diego County, churches are currently prohibited from holding indoor services. Meanwhile, a San Diego court just issued a temporary order exempting coronavirus restrictions from applying to a strip club, ruling that such entertainment constitutes “constitutionally protected speech.”

In Oregon, new restrictions limit faith-based gatherings to a maximum of 25 people regardless of church size but allow businesses to continue operating at a reduced percentage of their total capacity. Archbishop of Portland Alexander Sample rightly argued that allowing a measly 25 worshipers in a cathedral that can seat 1,000 isn’t data-driven and doesn’t make sense.

The Church Is Essential

expressed concern back in May about politicians labeling religious services “nonessential” and allowing the state to determine on what terms churches can hold services. At that time, Washington bishops effectively thumbed their noses at President Trump for declaring that state governments should allow houses of worship to reopen.

The bishops instead hitched their wagon to Gov. Jay Inslee’s rogue horse. Hence six months down the road, Inslee again targeted Washington churches as part of his latest round of arbitrary fiats. Church capacity is reduced to 25 percent, and congregational and choral singing is prohibited.

Meanwhile, the very authorities who tut-tut and wag fingers clearly don’t adhere to or believe in the merits of their own nonsense rules. Sanctimonious public officeholders have lectured us about keeping business closed, taking unemployment on the chin, staying home, and wearing masks while they visit salons, attend private dinners, and jet off out of state for holidays with family. The duplicity of notorious mask shamers such as CNN’s Chris Cuomo and White House correspondents Kaitlan Collins and Jonathan Karl has similarly been on display.

The hypocrisy is not limited to the secular sphere. Pope Francis condemned peaceful lockdown protests despite the World Health Organization’s warning against using lockdowns as the primary means of controlling the virus. Francis believes that closing churches, businesses, and schools, and forcing people out of work are all “necessary for people’s protection.” He has even canceled public celebration of Christmas liturgies at the Vatican.

Yet Francis didn’t appear particularly worried about Wuhan virus transmission when, free from any semblance of social distancing and masks, he enjoyed a cozy chat about poverty and social justice with a group of handsomely paid NBA players and fellow pals of the Chinese Communist Party. Evidently, on protecting the freedom to assemble, to provide for one’s family, and even to freely worship, government-imposed restrictions are non-negotiable, but when it’s about racial and economic politics, the holy grail of neo-Marxists, lockdowns are a suggestion only.

Against this backdrop, Christians should be prepared for the usual suspects in public office and the press, facilitated by an array of religious leaders, to crack down on Christmas celebrations. We will no doubt hear more of the “we do this not out of fear but out of love” mantra. Given, however, that the survival rate is 94.6 percent for those 70 years and older and between 99.5-99.997 percent for those 69 and younger, rapid breakthroughs in therapeutics have been announced, three reportedly effective vaccines are on the way, and government authorities are flouting their own restrictions, the “love thy neighbor” lecture is becoming as tedious as it is false.

Christians Need Church to Obey God’s Commands

The Gospels tell us the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. We cannot fulfill the second greatest commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves if that love is not solidly founded in an encounter with God. This means gathering with the faithful in sung praise and thanksgiving, as we read in Psalms and was the custom from the earliest church, as well as explicitly commanded in scripture.

The Greek word for church, “ekklesia,” comes from the Old Testament and originally referred to the assembly of the people of Israel. When St. Paul first used the term, he intended it as the new community of believers in Christ. This “ekklesia” is not a human association borne of common interests and beliefs but a summoning by God himself.

For Catholics, the encounter with God is achieved even more profoundly through the sacrament of the Eucharist. Jesus is literally and wholly present — body and blood, soul and divinity — under the appearances of consecrated bread and wine. Whatever way you look at it, religious services are essential, and church leaders should say so.

Religious leaders must get their priorities straight. No doubt, pastors are genuinely concerned for the health of the most vulnerable in their communities and trying to accommodate the confusion and fears of their congregants. Some must feel their hands are tied by unsupportive leadership. Still others, I suspect, find themselves effectively cornered by congregants whose political indoctrination runs deeper than their catechesis.

Nevertheless, the role of preachers is to win souls for Christ, not to protect us or themselves from physical infirmity. St. Paul urges a return to God through Christ and cautions against domination by earthly pleasures and preoccupations. In other words, if, as St. Ambrose of Milan taught, we have a wound to heal, Christ is the doctor; if we are parched by fever, he is the spring; if we fear death, he is life; and if we are in darkness, he is light.

After a dismal year, and in sober anticipation of Joe Biden’s threatened “dark winter,” it is more important than ever for Christians to unite in praise of the Light that shines in the darkness and which the darkness has never put out. We should demand that our religious leaders mark the Nativity with fitting pomp and ceremony and refuse to support churches whose pastors spread or cower behind the lie that the celebration of Christmas is nonessential.

ABOUT TYHE AUTHOR:
Carina Benton is a native Australian living in Washington state. She is a practicing Catholic and has taught for many years in Catholic and Christian schools. She is a mother of two young children.
Photo Pikist

Japan: Number of October Suicides Exceeded All COVID-19 Deaths Throughout 2020


Reported by  

Japan has seen more of its people die in one month from suicide than from total COVID-19 deaths in 2020.

Japan’s National Police Agency reported that 2,153 people committed suicide in the month of October, while fewer than 2,000 people have died from COVID-19 all year. While it is true that Japan has historically had high rates of suicide compared to other nations, suicides had generally decreased throughout 2020.

Despite the high number of suicides in October, the Japanese have avoided implementing draconian lockdowns and restrictions for the most part, though they have been seeing record high numbers of cases in the month of November. Thus it should be interesting to see what their suicide numbers for this month look like.

Meanwhile, in Canada, a CBC reporter recorded herself stalking church attendees on Sunday:

Why Is Big Media Hiding That Illinois Has Far More COVID Cases Than Florida? Because Illinois Has A Democrat In Charge And Tighter Lockdowns


NOVEMBER 27, 2020 By 

Why Is Big Media Hiding That Illinois Has Far More COVID Cases Than Florida? Because Illinois Has A Democrat In Charge And Tighter Lockdowns

COVID-19 cases in the United States are growing, but the media is selectively covering the states with the highest numbers.

On Tuesday, the United States reported there were at least 2,216 new COVID-19 deaths and approximately 178,200 new cases. Some states, despite strict coronavirus mandates and guidelines meant to prevent spread, are suffering from the most cases and deaths. Instead, however, big news seems to be focused on continuing to shame GOP politicians for refusing to completely shut down their states again.

Nearly every week in June and July, mainstream media news outlets singled out and slammed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for rising COVID-19 numbers as the state remained largely open and unmasked. Headlines such as “Florida shatters US record for new single-day Covid-19 cases,” “Florida’s governor just can’t seem to get it right on coronavirus,” “Florida Shatters Record For New Coronavirus Cases, Orders Bars To Close,” “Florida shatters records with over 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in single day,” “Disney World reopens even as coronavirus cases soar in Florida and across U.S.,” “In Florida, COVID-19 Death Toll Keeps Rising,” “Florida invited the nation to its reopening — then it became a new coronavirus epicenter,” ran rampant across news websites and broadcast programs.

Months after outlets such as CNN, NPR, the Washington Post, and others continually targeted Florida for increasing coronavirus cases, the corporate media ignored Illinois, which recorded 15,415 cases in just one day. That’s more than Florida ever reported in a single day, yet Florida is singled out for negative news attention.

“This is despite Illinois’ population being 40% lower,” Youyang Gu, creator of a COVID-19 projection website reported.

 

While Illinois continues to see climbing cases and deaths, outlets such as MSNBCNPR, and CNN are choosing to hyper-focus on states with Republican leaders such as Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, who have chosen different COVID-19 mitigation techniques.

Instead of noting these significant trends in Illinois, CNN chose to publish another article on Florida, focusing on the fact that case numbers continue to rise after reopening even though daily new deaths in the state are down.

While Illinois enacted mask mandates, closed restaurants, and discouraged people from holiday travel and gatherings, Gu notes that the state is still experiencing an exceptional amount of cases and deaths per capita compared to states with much higher populations such as Florida, California, and Texas.

 

“We hear a lot of the talk about how the deaths in Florida were ‘preventable’. What about the ones in Illinois?” Gu questioned.

“I don’t want to spark a political debate here. I just hope that more people can recognize that the news we consume online can be inherently biased. They often serve to fuel division (and clicks),” he wrote.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.
Photo Covid, mask, testing, coronavirus, ppe, nurse

Politicians Aren’t Canceling Their Celebrations And Gatherings, And Neither Am I


Reported by Dana Loesch NOVEMBER 20, 2020

Politicians Aren’t Canceling Their Celebrations And Gatherings, And Neither Am I

My parents and in-laws haven’t seen their grandkids in nearly a year. Because we live states apart, the most time we spend together is during the holidays and a week in the summer. Due to the lockdown this year, the grandparents have only been able to see our kids during video calls.

It could be worse; some dear friends of ours buried a parent during the lockdown with no guests or funeral, and the grandchildren had to stay away. Family bonds do more than just unite people with the same origin or name, however. Those bonds hold us up and together during times of struggle and grief.

These painful life events can shape our perspectives for the remainder of our time on Earth. I learned a lot about dealing with grief when I attended family funerals growing up. When my grandmother passed away years ago, my cousins and I stood solemnly together as we watched our aunts and uncles say their final graveside goodbyes.

When our uncles walked my grandpa to her casket, we witnessed this quiet, strong man cry for the first time in our lives. I would not have been able to watch it without the rest of my family there. He didn’t just cry; his sobs shook his thin, 6’3” frame and threw him off balance. He leaned on the casket to help support his weight, and we gave him a moment before swarming him for comfort.

The sight was a shock that swept us into a new reality: We, the grandkids, wouldn’t be “the grandkids” in our family’s hierarchy much longer. Each generation took one step up that imaginary staircase with the death of our grandparents. Our kids assumed the step below us where we once stood. The presence of family makes that meeting with mortality easier to process.

I had just given birth to my second child when my grandfather passed away, living long enough to learn that his second great-grandson was on this Earth, miles away from him, but healthy. I didn’t get to attend his funeral because it was too soon after childbirth, the day I brought my baby home.

That night, I rocked my son to sleep in the solitude and darkness of his nursery and cried until there was nothing left in my soul to expend. That heavy sort of grief is meant to be borne by more than one. It took a long while to get past that.

Lockdowns Have Caused Immense Harm

That’s the closest experience I have to compare when I read about grief during lockdowns. This is why my heart truly breaks over stories from others who were forced by lockdowns and restrictions to endure this with their loved ones.

The emotional dam of a non-political, grief-stricken friend burst forth on Facebook after she read about politicians defending protest gatherings while she and her sister had to bury their father alone, just themselves, on a cold, clear March day earlier this year. The pain seems endless, and the lockdowns have predictably caused immense unintended consequences:

  • Depression rates for every age demographic have tripled.
  • Domestic abuse has increased globally.
  • Child abuse cases have increased.
  • Foster kids are in jeopardy.
  • Sixty percent of small businesses that closed during the last lockdown will not reopen, and others barely hanging on are giving up.
  • Even though schools aren’t superspreaders and medical professionals have been telling districts to reopen, many haven’t. New York City just closed its schools again.
  • Remote learning isn’t working, and our kids are falling behind — badly.
  • A new nickname has developed for an entire generation of kids: Generation COVID. And no, the kids are not alright.
  • People are turning to drugs and alcohol to cope.
  • Fatal drug overdoses have skyrocketed.
  • Deaths from non-coronavirus health issues have climbed since the start of the last lockdown as people don’t seek medical care for treatable illnesses. The lockdown could kill more than the virus.

‘Experts’ Have Given Us Every Reason Not to Trust Them

This is all to control the spread of a virus that science can’t yet predict. So-called experts told us “15 days to flatten the curve,” but many months later, they say we’re “in an elongated wave.” They still have no idea about immunity. Another study came out showing masks don’t actually reduce coronavirus infection rates. Dr. Anthony Fauci told us in the beginning not to wear masks:

Later, Fauci admitted he lied when he told people masks weren’t essential. Politicians and “experts” shouldn’t be surprised when their actions like these make reasonable people lose faith in their leadership and unwilling to follow their rules.

Many of us comforted ourselves through the dark, lonely spring and desolate summer with visions of family gatherings over the holidays. Now we’re told to skip those too or just have a “virtual Thanksgiving.” If you can’t do that, limit guests, make everyone wear masks, stay away from each other, and have everyone bring their own food — unless your name rhymes with Schmavin Twosome, that is:

California Medical Association officials were among the guests seated next to Gov. Gavin Newsom at a top California political operative’s opulent birthday dinner at the French Laundry restaurant this month.

CEO Dustin Corcoran and top CMA lobbyist Janus Norman both joined the dinner at the French Laundry, an elite Napa fine dining restaurant, to celebrate the 50th birthday of lobbyist and longtime Newsom adviser Jason Kinney, a representative of the powerful interest group confirmed Wednesday morning.

The rest of us would get fined for doing this.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker dodged a reporter’s question about his family’s Thanksgiving plans — they traveled to their second home in Florida — and it made the rounds on social media. Pritzker had to return to do damage control: “I was taken aback by yesterday’s question about my family’s holiday plans, in part because my wife and I were in the process of making the very hard decision that we may need to celebrate Thanksgiving apart from one another for the first time ever, and it was weighing heavily on my mind.”

He was “taken aback” that reporters, during a press conference about COVID-19 Thanksgiving plans, asked him if he was going to follow his own lockdown orders — especially knowing that Pritzker’s wife violated the last lockdown by fleeing to their multimillion-dollar equestrian estate in Florida?

We would be fined for this, but these Democratic governors are exempt from coronavirus and lockdown concerns, apparently. It’s not just governors, however. Don’t forget House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the shuttered salon.

Before her was Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her lockdown salon trip. Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser locked down residents while she attended Biden rallies. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo refused to wear a mask and self-quarantine.

California lawmakers lived it up in Maui during lockdown on the excuse of a “conference” (We all have to Zoom, why can’t they?). New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went to the gym while you were locked down at home. The Daily Caller compiled a list of hypocritical lawmakers violating lockdown, and you can find an additional great thread here.

Americans Are Sick of the Double Standard

We have all sacrificed, some more than others, and we are tired of the double standard. We are sick of bureaucrats leading us around, treating us like children instead of the employers whose tax dollars form their paychecks.

Americans are weary of speculation presented as science. We are tired of being told that our businesses are nonessential, that worker lives are nonessential, and that our kids and their wellbeing are nonessential. We are sick of hearing that any deviation from the mandates passed down to us by politicians who refuse to follow the rules means sentencing our neighbors to death.

I rejected that outright:

wrote about this accusation in April, noting that the intent of our elitist overlords is murky. Who are they to decide which workers are essential? By the politicians’ own rhetoric, those “essential” workers are actually “expendable,” since they are most susceptible to the same virus the electeds use to scare the rest of us into our homes.

For those maligning business owners as murderous monsters because they simply want to pay their bills consider this — certain businesses were declared essential: Food delivery is essential but cancer treatment isn’t. So you’re fine with risking the lives of delivery drivers to avoid picking up your pizza yourself? Is it acceptable to risk the lives of restaurant staff because you don’t want to make your own food? Is it acceptable to risk the lives and health stability of cancer patients as well as the livelihood of medical staff being furloughed around the country to demonstrate a devotion to saving lives? If you want to discuss murkiness of intent, this is it. By declaring that some people are essential, haven’t you already decided that some lives are expendable?

This is an awful virus. Unlike a military battle, this is a foe that will never be vanquished. We can vaccinate against it and build up our immunities, but just as with chickenpox, polio, and other illnesses before this virus, there is no cure, only prevention and acclimation. Overreaction is a lesser enemy, and moderation is an ally. There is a difference between reasonable concern and “Chicken Little” hysteria.

The hysteria is exhausting. We are tired of being told that contracting the virus means instant death when it emphatically does not — it has a 99.98 percent survivability rate. We are tired of being told that because some can’t venture out, no one should. Nothing in life is perfectly safe, including freedom. But freedom is a lot safer than the statist systems so many leftists champion.

It’s Time to Declare Our Freedom

As a daughter who doesn’t have much of her family left, whose kids are growing up faster than she can even capture with her phone camera, I am not going to miss out on life. I am not going to let my parents age out of this world while lying to my own heart that it’s OK if I missed an entire year or more with them. I am not going to tell my children that it’s alright if they don’t see their family anymore because we have to hide in our homes.

More than anything else, I am sick of being told I don’t have the right of risk when risk is part of freedom. I will not be lectured by people who say that eating in a restaurant with health protocols is riskier than shutting down the largest economy in the world. I won’t be bullied by bureaucrats who say it’s risker to reopen schools than to force an entire generation into lockdown for nearly a year, stunting them in every way but loneliness. I will not be shamed by lawmakers who don’t follow their own rules. I won’t be preached at by pundits too purposefully obtuse to see nuance over their partisanship.

I am going to host my parents for Thanksgiving, and I hope to host my in-laws for Christmas. I will continue living as a free and responsible American with liberties for which my family has taken bullets and mine shards, until the day comes that our government wants to stage a modernized version of 1776 by trying to end that perfectly wonderful freedom.

As Teddy Roosevelt said, “For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the sheltered will never know.” Freedom is beautiful and scary. It’s up to each of us to maintain it.

Dana Loesch is a nationally syndicated talk radio host of “The Dana Show” with Radio America and a best-selling author.

Science As God: Tech Hearing And COVID Show Us Exactly Where Censorship Is Headed


Science As God: Tech Hearing And COVID Show Us Exactly Where Censorship Is Headed

In all the back and forth of Tuesday’s Big Tech hearing, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons’ exchange with Twitter’s Jack Dorsey stood out most starkly, offering a window into the next step of the left’s long-championed Big Tech censorship of scientific dissent from liberal orthodoxy.

“You do, Mr. Dorsey, have policies against deep fakes or manipulated media, against Covid-19 misinformation, against things that violate civic integrity,” the Delaware senator began, “but you don’t have a standalone climate change misinformation policy. Why not?”

Our policies are living documents,”Dorsey replied. “They will evolve, we will add to them, but we thought it important we focus our energies and prioritize the work as much as we could.” And then:

Well, Mr. Dorsey… I cannot think of a greater harm than climate change, which is transforming literally our planet and causing harm to our entire world. I think we’re experiencing significant harm as we speak. I recognize the pandemic and misinformation about Covid-19 manipulated media also cause harm but I’d urge you to reconsider that because helping to disseminate climate denialism in my view further facilitates and accelerates one of the greatest existential threats to our world.

This has been ongoing for years in corporate media. In 2019, Chuck Todd pompously announced his show would no longer “give time to climate deniers.” Two years before that, when The New York Times’ Bret Stephens used his debut column to call out “The Climate of Complete Certainty” that seeks to shut down completely reasonable dissent, the paper faced vicious backlash labeling Stephens a “climate denier.” For more than a decade before this, more of the same — often trickling up, from activists to the reporters who sympathize to the powers that can truly silence voices.

Four years ago, reporters demanded then-President Barack censor fake news, pushing Press Secretary Josh Earnest into the awkward position of having to remind apparent journalists of the First Amendment four times. The targets that day were the Bat Boy-like farces they blamed for Her 2016 loss, but it was already obvious the definition of “fake news” would rapidly expand. Once President Donald Trump assumed office, corporate media and allied politicians bypassed the White House and turned to Silicon Valley, which fell in line quickly enough.

COVID-19 provided the first preview of the new alliance, where even doctors and scientists were censored for carefully — we once said “scientifically” — questioning the alarmists’ narrative of the day. At the same time, Democrats, corporate media, and even corrupt, foreign bodies like the World Health Organization have been permitted to push whatever information supports that day’s goal post.

Completely rational appeals are met with absurdities like “the science is decided,” as if constantly evolving experimentation in search of knowledge can be bottled into some oracle-like decree to support the mob’s latest demand. Rather than decided science, these decrees are mere hypotheses susceptible to support and opposition, but through the alliance of Democrats, corporate media, and Silicon Valley, they become unquestionable edicts ranging from No Business to Eternal Mask-Wearing to No Family For Thanksgiving.

Coons’s comments are a good reminder that what is COVID today is climate tomorrow. Indeed, COVID policy has offered Americans a perfect preview of what will happen if climate alarmists get their way: Science not as method, but as god. And not the strong and mysterious God of the Jewish and Christian faiths, but a shifting one, whose every dictum and desire is whispered to the kings and enforced at their whims.

Do you have a problem with that? You can take it up with The Science. And The Science is decided.

Christopher Bedford is a senior editor at The Federalist, the vice chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, a board member at the National Journalism Center, and the author of The Art of the Donald. Follow him on Twitter.

How Pennsylvania Democrats Deliberately Stoked 2020 Election Chaos


Reported By Jennifer Stefano  9, 2020

I can’t tell you how many texts I’ve received this week from friends and acquaintances across the country asking—usually in all-caps and peppered with profanity—what is going on in Pennsylvania? As a native Philadelphian, and from my current vantage in politically coveted Bucks County, I can see why Americans are demanding answers.

Ballots can be counted up to three days after Election Day? Mailed ballots with no postmark still qualify? Unsupervised drop boxes scattered across cities are entrusted to secure tens of thousands of votes?

Sadly, it’s all true. None of these practices inspires confidence that the standard of “one person, one vote” is being upheld. Nor were these practices valid in any prior general election in Pennsylvania.

Scratching your head as to why we chose the most consequential election in our lifetimes to run an experiment? Here’s what I’ve told my friends: the experiment was a wild success—once you understand that the chaos we’re witnessing was the plan all along, carefully orchestrated by Pennsylvania Democrats, including the governor, party activists, and the state Supreme Court. Here’s how it happened.

In Pennsylvania, Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf used the COVID-19 pandemic as cover for hurrying through new voting rules that bypassed reasonable deadlines or restrictions. The result? Many voters now have deep suspicion about wide-scale voter fraud in Philadelphia.

Republicans and Democrats have long understood the problems with mass mail-in ballots. The usual stages of ballot security are lost: unlike absentee ballots, some people are claiming they received unsolicited mail-in ballots, a practice Pennsylvania does not allow. Could it be ballots are being illegally sent or is it simply that voters forgot they signed up to get them?

Worse, it’s impossible to ensure the ballot is filled out by the voter or with her approval. And when the ballot is submitted, the chain of custody observing that ballot is broken. It’s a recipe for contested election results.

The seeds of public distrust were sowed in June, when Wolf decreed by executive order that mail-in ballots in the primary election could trickle in from certain counties for an extra week. The state Democratic Party followed up in July by suing to similarly extend the general election deadline for mail-in ballots. Their suit also sought to allow unprecedented “drop boxes” to collect mail-ins and to limit the number of election observers.

Wolf’s administration then asked the state’s elected Supreme Court, which is 5-2 Democratic-majority and has become notorious for partisan rulings, to grant all the Democrats’ requests—and they did on Sep. 17. The court went further than expected, granting the Democrats’ deadline extension, approving drop boxes and satellite “election offices” for ballot collection, and even ruling that postmarks could not be used to verify when ballots had been mailed.

In addition, the court removed the Green Party presidential candidate’s name from the state ballot over a technicality, a move that may have shifted Green Party votes to Joe Biden’s camp. In their decision, the justices acknowledged that the new deadline violated state law but claimed that “in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic” such laws could be dismissed.

It got worse. Sensing an opportunity, the Wolf administration pronounced that county officials “are prohibited from rejecting absentee or mail-in ballots based on signature comparison.” On Oct. 23, not long before Election Day, the court approved this last nail in the coffin of election integrity.

On Thursday, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey expressed concern about these unprecedented rule changes that fueled this week’s chaos, making clear that free and fair elections aren’t a partisan issue. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court will have to rule.

But on Oct. 28, the Supreme Court postponed any decision with a 4-4 ruling—excluding newly appointed justice Amy Coney Barrett—that returned the case to its court of origin. At the time, Justice Samuel Alito noted that it is likely “that the state Supreme Court decision violates the Federal Constitution,” opening a possibility that the justices will review the case post-election, with the potential outcome of eliminating thousands of illegal ballots.

On Friday, GOP state House Speaker Bryan Cutler, who noted that the election “confusion is a direct result of the court decisions,” called for a full audit before any certification of the results. Cutler also cited Pennsylvania’s 100,000 provisional ballots—cast when a voter’s eligibility is in question—that further indicated problems with the mail-in system.

Elections decided by the courts is a nightmare scenario for either political party. But Wolf refused to reform the state’s election procedures in concert with the legislature. In October, GOP lawmakers proposed compromise legislation, House Bill 2626, that included several, but not all, of the governor’s proposed changes to Pennsylvania voting laws. Wolf threatened to veto their bill in an all-or-nothing negotiation standoff.

To prevent a future election debacle in Pennsylvania, we need election integrity reform through the normal legislative process. Only legal votes should be counted, and controls should be put in place—like polling place verification and absentee ballot chain-of-custody at every stage.

But Democrats have resisted these reforms for years, creating the present chaos. The U.S. Supreme Court must respond accordingly and assure Pennsylvanians that their election was fair—regardless of the presidential outcome.

Jennifer Stefano is chief innovation officer and vice president at the Commonwealth Foundation, Pennsylvania’s free market think tank.

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