#pandemic

Tiananmen Square Hairdresser protests against the totalitarians

Anyone would think Salem, Oregon hairdresser Lindsey Graham must have been using arsenic in the hair dye and sulphuric acid for facial treatments at her salon to have the authorities send child protective services to her home to interrogate her 6-year-old stepson and check bathroom sanitation was up to scratch.

This is the police state gone mad. How vile can governments be to take such actions to force compliance in a completely unrelated matter? The state fined her $14,000 for reopening and as the owner of the building (technically Graham is too) is threatening to terminate her lease.

The state’s draconian stay-at-home laws are forcing some to take drastic measures to feed their families and prevent self-made businesses from folding. As a self-employed organization, we too know how hard it is to build and sustain a client base.

How bad are things in Oregon?  It ranks 45th out of 50 states for COVID infections at 20% the national average per head of population and deaths at 85% below the rest of the country. Some will argue the measures are working. Others, like Graham, would argue that the lockdown laws are inappropriate given the salon staff wear masks and latex gloves.

While we never advocate people to break laws, the question is whether locking up normally obedient citizens when they can do the maths and work out 99.997% of the state’s population hasn’t died from coronavirus.

Forget that the number of people with COVID19 hospitalized in Oregon has fallen 63% in the last month to May 12th to 57 people. Fifty-seven. In a state of 4.3 million. So 99.999% of Oregon’s residents aren’t in hospital for this virus yet the state thinks it is justified to interrogate toddlers, threaten to rip up leases and fine citizens $14,000.

Graham has a Go Fund Me page which has raised $59,000 to help her business and legal costs. Seems like 1,200 donors want to send a “Go F**k You” message to the state’s Democratic Party Governor Kate Brown. They’re sick of the despotic behaviours of tyrants exercising powers based on hysteric assumptions and punishing normally law-abiding citizens who only have good intentions to provide for themselves rather than wait for the state to hand down morsels.

This is the point. Citizens are fast learning that politicians are only too happy to exercise these newfound powers based on junk science. It is truly amateur hour. Naturally, when politicians on fat taxpayer-funded salaries say they are “in this together” their words don’t resonate with those that actually work in the real world.

Crass

Crass. In New York’s Times Square a ‘Trump Death Clock‘ tabulates the tragedy of those who have succumbed to coronavirus on a 56 foot LED display.

Regardless of how people judge POTUS’ handling/mishandling of the crisis to date, how about some dignity for the dead?

Although filmmaker Eugene Jarecki, the person behind the sign, talked up the importance of documenting preventable COVID19 deaths (he argues had Trump acted on March 9th when only 26 deaths were recorded instead of 87 deaths when he eventually advised people to practice social distancing a week later), where was his ‘Obama Death Clock‘ when the 44th president announced a ‘national emergency‘ on October 24th, 2009, a full 6 months after WHO’s declaration of a Level 5 pandemic when US deaths were over 1,000?

Apart from the rank hypocrisy, we still think showing some respect for those lost is the only appropriate thing to do rather than use it for political point scoring.

EU commissioned pandemic comic book scarily accurate

Infected

In 2012, the EU commissioned and published a comic book titled ‘Infected‘. It tells the tale of the magic of unelected globalists saving the world from a pandemic. It is eerily close to what we are experiencing today, apart from the fact that unelected globalists have bungled the response as evidenced by the resignation of the EU’s top scientist who criticised Brussel’s response to the Covid-19.

On page 3, the comic starts out inside a lab in China experimenting with deadly pathogens which have no cure. We are assured in the following pages as to the security, safety and surveillance measures in place to avoid any outbreak of a virus.

On page 5, a time traveller goes back to warn them of the catastrophe in the future caused by a pandemic. He seems to be wearing a suicide vest which actually holds vials of the vaccine which can save the planet.

On page 11, evil capitalists look at ways of exploiting the virus to profit from a pandemic. One individual working with an underworld group wants to sell the vaccine to the highest bidder among pharmaceutical manufacturers. He guns down the armed escort holding the captured time traveller (who was time warped inside the secure lab) to get hold of a test tube so they can sell it for mass manufacture.

On page 20, the comic sets the scene of an interview with the UN Special Envoy on Influenza, Pandemics, Food Security and MOI, Mr De La Mancha in a wet market in Asia. He tells a group of reporters that we can trace the origin of most pandemics back to animals which are then spread unknowingly by people jet-setting around the world.

Our fearless UN envoy is suddenly attacked by a monkey who scratches  his skin and infects him. Hours later he starts seeing the effects of the virus from his hotel room. De La Mancha knows he must ‘self-isolate.’ Unfortunately, before he could do so so it spread to the camera crew and journalists who flew home.

On page 35 our time traveller tells de la Mancha’s assistant, Chang Wenling, about the future where the media reports that the international health organisations failed to act quickly enough to prevent the spread.

On page 37 the comic book tells of how self-isolation led to depression and that after years of lockdown people started to break the law and meet up with each other.

Chang and the time traveller fly to Asia to find de la Mancha to give him the vaccine and he is saved. He reports back to the globalist bodies to convince them of his recovery. The globalists at the EU and UN then pat themselves on the back and talk of ‘One Health’ and the importance of it.

The High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy says to the journalists assembled,

One Health belongs to its actors and builds upon existing capabilities and resources: key political actors, UN technical agencies, the World Organisation for Animal Health, regional bodies, academia, development partners and others. Its success will depend on flexible networking…

One journalist questions the additional burden on the EU taxpayer. She replies,

One Health is not about adding an additional layer of external actions – which would indeed require additional funding. It is basically about working for health in a more integrated way and thinking differently at the policy-making and planning stage.

The comic ends with virologist Chang falling in love with the time traveller. She is heartbroken with the prospect that he must return back to where he came from soon only to learn that it was a one-way journey and that he’ll die before he was born. They embrace and kiss.

How strange that fiction in 2012 has turned out to be so real. Had the EU commissioned this comic in 2018, we can be assured the comic wouldn’t have been approved unless the time traveller had been non-binary asylum seeker instead of a a blonde haired, blue-eyed white hetero toxic male. Don’t scoff. Marvel Comics has already headed down the path of identity politics with its latest characters, Safespace and Snowflake.

Trust CNN to put Greta on a panel of coronavirus experts

Close down our universities immediately. Climate activist Greta Thunberg proves that a 17yo truant can be an expert on pandemics too. Who needs a tertiary education? At least the only thing we learnt is that CNN has even less credibility.

Experts inside YouTube ride roughshod over medical opinion

Erickson

The video of Bakersfield-based microbiology experts, Drs Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, discussing a contrarian view on COVID19 that YouTube took down is still available on this link.

In what world are we living where a video channel prioritises a groupthink generated political opinion that overrides medical experts who have based their findings on available hard data, not wildly inaccurate models? The video was taken down for a ‘violation of community standards.’ You can read the YouTube statement here.

We would understand this if the doctors had no medical training and were pushing wild conspiracy theories. They simply weren’t. All that happened was a sensible presentation of data coupled with opinions based on their background as microbiologists. They think the fears have been overblown.

If you listen to the dialogue, the hard data confirms what we had been saying about the statistics of the pandemic. The doctors compared the data of an open Sweden vs a closed Norway and concluded the data discrepancies of COVID19 were statistically insignificant.

Many of our readers know we are contrarians by nature. We are more curious about what we might be missing rather than just accepting what is commonly reported. When opinions support the data, it isn’t an exercise in confirmation bias. We are genuinely interested as to whether the arguments sound convincing enough to validate them. We are even more concerned when the other side of the debate seek to shut it down rather than expose the flaws in Erickson and Massihi’s thinking.

Is the dissenting view more widespread than the media given credit for? After all the data is a moving feast. We are learning about COVID19 on a daily basis so sticking to the thinking of 2 months ago may not be relevant if the course shifts. Why are governments setting fixed future dates? Why not open up when the data supports it? Hardly any science in politically driven decision making.

An ER doctor in Wisconsin confirmed Drs Erickson and Massihi’s view that it isn’t about science. He wondered why someone in a hazmat suit was taking his temperature when there were next to no patients inside, something that is borne out by the data with so many beds available. Should we fear politics more than the pandemic?

Are governments following a herd mentality which uses poorly interpreted data as opposed to considering herd immunity based on medical science? The economic fallout will likely be way worse than any impacts of the virus itself. As we wrote earlier this week, governments carry zero responsibility for their actions because they can hide behind telling us it was for our own good. We bear the lot in terms of consequences. A terrible equation.

We believe that groupthink is the more dangerous pathogen in society. Whether financial crises or topics such as climate change, dissenting voices have repeatedly been terminated, especially by media outlets. Surely if the data sits with the prevailing sentiment, why not pick the bones out of Erickson and Massihi’s statement and debunk it with more prescient facts? In what world does it help to suppress information? Defeat data with data. This is why we remain contrarians.

The medical discussion surrounding the live clinical data of Erickson and Massihi makes plausible sense. We have all grown up learning that a baby gnawing a dog lead helps its body work out how to fight future infections. The doctors argue that keeping people locked down decreases one’s immunity to fight against COVID19.

The Bakersfield doctors believe that preventing the body from being able to combat coronavirus by not being exposed to it could have the opposite of the intended effect when people start to mingle again. Many people may not even know they have it. So when those people who caught it in a supermarket could restart the process. Does the government return to lockdown again and restart the negative loop?

These doctors claimed to have done the majority of testing for Kern County, California. The data backs up what is being experienced around the world positive test rates for infection are far higher than what is being reported but the death rates are way lower. Having said that, these two owners of seven clinics noted (some might argue somewhat selfishly) that the amount of people getting tested is way lower than their installed capacity. Irrational fear has been keeping people away. Then we are surprised when the natives get restless?

The two doctors recommend putting kids back into school. Slowly reopen other businesses and eventually sporting venues. The doctors questioned how it is OK to go to Costco but not a small cafe. It is reverse logic. There is a far higher exposure in a large business than a local cafe.

The adverse economic impacts don’t match the behaviour of the coronavirus in their opinion. Until a vaccine is found, the human body has the best chance of defeating it. Erickson and Massihi argued that 94% of the people recorded as dying from coronavirus had comorbidities – heart failure, immunodeficiencies, HIV etc. The death toll related to COVID19 alone is a speck.

The doctors added that there has been a sharp rise in domestic violence, child abuse, suicide, depression or mental health issues during the stay home orders. The campaign of fear exacerbated by the media is viewed as a far bigger problem than the coronavirus itself. Massihi suggested that people are becoming afraid to see the doctor for completely non-virus related reasons for fear of catching COVID19 by going to seek medical help. He argued that someone with symptoms of appendicitis avoiding the doctor for fear of contracting coronavirus may die of sepsis.

We don’t pretend to be doctors for a second. We offer no medical opinions here. We merely question why a social media channel decides it knows better than medical experts?

We understand a private business has the freedom to act in ways it sees as best for shareholders, but this seems far more sinister –  using its power to shut down free speech. Perhaps the doctors should sue YouTube for violating their first amendment rights. If there was ever a need for control over media censorship, this makes a great test case.

Media bias, fake news & censorship

We have argued for some time that media bias is a large problem. The GDELT Project conducts research which outlines the number of times that certain topics are mentioned by the major TV networks. Left or right-wing media, we can be assured that it is not the principle that matters, but the side.

Take the Brett Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations before his confirmation. CNN mentioned his name over 15,000 times, mostly in the negative. Fox News talked of him some 24,000 times, mostly in the positive.

Despite the more credible evidence that came out with respect to Epstein (surrounding Prince Andrew) and Weinstein we saw these networks devoted mere fractions of the attention vs Kavanaugh. 18% to be precise.

So now that sexual assault allegations have come out with respect to presidential candidate Joe Biden, we can see the mainstream media has all but ignored it, especially after the 1993 video resurfaced.

It doesn’t need to be the US media either. The Chinese media has a damning trend with respect to COVID19. It is a dark zone of statistics about who knew what when. This chart lists the number of “censored posts”.

Figure

The global media’s focus only got interested post-January 20th when China finally admitted the virus spread beyond its borders. The chart below documents the frequency of mentions of coronavirus, SARS or pneumonia.

After Trump’s Jan 31st travel ban, global media interest waned until late February when countries like Italy and Iran were experiencing logarithmic infection rates. March 12th marks the day of WHO’s declaration of a pandemic.

Figure

The media may throw shade at the relative handling by governments (especially the US) but they need only reflect on their perfect 20-20 hindsight.

Which sums up much of media today – reactive, not proactive. So much for the in-depth investigative journalism that made waves in the past, now it is all Bout chasing clickbait.

This recent article from ABC News which led with the title, ‘Maryland agency receives more than 100 disinfectant use calls‘ bears this out.

No mention of the title was contained in the written content.

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 195,000 people worldwide.

Over 2.7 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 890,000 diagnosed cases and at least 51,017 deaths.

Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

The video content made no mention of the title either. But hey, why would anyone wish to link the content to the sensationalist headline?

Shameless.

Dr Tedros’ maiden WHO speech

WHOTWO

We attach a link to Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ maiden speech on July 3rd, 2017. Here are some of the goals he outlined for this deeply compromised organisation:

Let me start with the moral centre of our work, with this simple but crucial statement: WHO’s work is about serving people, about serving humanity. It’s about serving people regardless of where they live, be it in developing or developed countries, small islands or big nations, urban or rural settings.”

His leadership has shown a blatant bias toward China, not only praising its leadership but its transparency.

Health emergencies will also be the litmus test for WHO. This topic is also closely related to universal health coverage because our goal is to prevent outbreaks from becoming epidemics at their roots. And this happens at the country level, based on strong health systems which robustly implement the International Health Regulations.

Coronavirus has exposed its complete amateur execution and dereliction of duty. Furthermore, an independent review highlighted that progress at the WHO wasn’t fast enough. It wasn’t prepared for COVID19.

If you read the report of the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee prepared for the World Health Assembly, you will see that they think WHO has made progress in implementing reforms, but they also think that it’s not fast enough. We mustn’t let this happen. I have met with the leaders of the Health Emergencies Programme and I am committed to making sure the world is prepared for the next epidemic.

The culture of results has been self-evident. Any CEO in the corporate world with such a woeful track record would be sacked by their board if they hadn’t resigned already.

Value for money? Surely he jests. No direct confirmation and independent verification of the problem in Wuhan. Pure acceptance of Chinese propaganda at its word and ironically from a nation that ignores UN SDGs with no consequence. Although WHO mentioned a get out of jail free card in a later manual to cope with pandemics that “ethical considerations will be shaped by the local context and cultural values.

Dr Tedros mentioned WHO needed to be run like a performance-driven business.

WHO must deliver value for money. This requires first and foremost that we develop a culture of results. We are very fortunate to have the Sustainable Development Goals.

As to resource mobilization among donors, one could argue that countries like the US are paying according to the WHO chief’s mentality. No confidence. No money.

A key priority for me is to enhance our approach to resource mobilization among donors, old and new. And that has to start by building confidence among partners, that WHO will deliver results and impact. I want WHO to be synonymous with results.”

FNF Media has raised the extreme level of travel costs in a previous post which Dr Tedros admitted was out of line. To his credit, he has knocked that bill from $202 million to $191.7 million since taking the helm.

My second example from my engagement is, among a lot actually, the recent uproar over travel costs. I am reviewing the situation thoroughly and will ensure that our resources are used efficiently. We have to be good stewards of our resources.”

Note that travel is reported in the 2018 audited financials as “The cost of travel includes both WHO staff and non-staff participants in meetings, consultants and representatives of Member States paid by the Organization. Travel expenses include airfare, per diem and other travel-related costs.

That reads like a lot of fully-funded offsites in swank hotels and flying at the pointy end of aircraft.

He closed his speech with,

My friends, we have a historic opportunity to make transformational improvement in world health. Let’s do it. Let us do it for every woman and child who died when they didn’t have to die. And for every child who failed to reach her full potential. For every victim felled by an outbreak, for every small islander who is faced with the threat of climate change.

Do any UN bodies functions without mentioning climate change even though research shows that islanders are far less at threat of rising sea levels?

In conclusion, the most important remedy Dr Tedros made in his speech was:

“Candour is the best medicine for any organization.

Time to stop the world’s biggest welfare cheat

WHO are you

Being a welfare cheat is not a bad way to describe the United Nations.

In 2000, twenty-nine UN agencies employed a total of 48,500 staff. Scroll forward to the latest figures in 2018 and that has blown out to near as makes no difference, 110,000 across 38 distinct agencies. In 20 years time, one imagines the UN will be aiming to be twice the size with a whole new raft of agencies seeking new funding.

What the UN tends to do is conceive new agencies within its womb and then give birth to them leaving them to make their own way, generally by “small” under the radar voluntary payments under “trust” which grow exponentially over time. To its credit, the UN nails bureaucracy.

The more puzzling question is how can our governments be so blind as to keep encouraging this welfare cheat to claim more benefits for its ever extended family? What is the return on all that investment?

One should be disturbed at the way the UN lists the voluntary payments made by individual countries as an “honour roll.” That somehow we are not worthy unless we play ball. Cash for access? Not exactly. That all depends on who you are.

Analysing the UN “regular budget” papers reveals that prompt payment is encouraged. Australia just missed out on a podium position as it was the 4th nation to remit its full-year contribution on January 11th, 2019. All US$61 million.

China might have been a bit late to wire its 2019 contribution of US$343.7 million to the UN coffers but it is seen as the future. The United States was conspicuous by its absence from the honour roll board figures despite chipping in US$674.2 million in 2019. Mind you, this excludes all the other voluntary payments made to other UN bodies and peacekeeping units.

Is it any wonder that Trump wants to defund it. Can you name one other charity that treats its #1 philanthropic patron which contributes twice the amount of any other country in aggregate – 24% of the total – with such disdain? It is not as though the US has reduced its generosity over the past two decades. On the contrary. It has grown proportionally.

The World Health Organization (WHO) deserves particular attention. It has grown from 3,672 staff at the turn of the century to 8,153. The USA gifted WHO over $281 million in 2018 or 10% of its total income. In 2000 the US gave $148 million.

What gives? WHO has more than doubled its staff levels. In 2018, it raked in $2.9 billion in income, more than twice that of eighteen years ago. Yet with all these extra resources, it couldn’t provide superior intelligence much less improved outcomes. It reminds us of the Australian fire services during the recent bushfires.

How was it that WHO couldn’t give any sensible or consistent guidance about how the world needed to prepare for coronavirus? Why did it tell us there was no risk of human-to-human contact? Surely if those nations that volunteer 10s if not 100s of millions of dollars for a subscription service had the correct information, borders would have been shut way sooner and the devastation mitigated.

For if WHO had done its own homework in Wuhan, it would never have criticised Trump’s travel ban “on the basis of “unnecessarily interfering with international travel and trade” and “increasing fear and stigma.“, something that was lazily just dug out of the pandemic playbook from 2017. Since when have ever pandemics played to a one size fits all prescription?

Why was WHO blindly parroting whatever came out from Beijing’s propaganda ministry instead of using its $190 million annual travel budget to investigate China’s watered-down claims for itself? Why did it take so long to call a pandemic? One assumes that pandering to its future is the way to keep the gravy train going, even if it unnecessarily costs countless lives.

What do all these surplus to requirement staff across UN bodies actually do for all the extra money lobbed at them?

UNICEF has more than trebled its workforce since 2000. Over 1/3rd of its $6.7bn income in 2018 was spent on “cash assistance.” If cash transfers are the largest expense line, should we just settle for the notion that we need 3x the number of staff to administer it? Most of this cash is distributed to countries that rank amongst the worst in terms of corruption. The audited accounts talk about fraud mitigation strategies. That makes sense when only $438,000 is detected and $15,000 recovered on $2.3 billion of cash assistance. At 0.02% of funds misappropriated, any major bank would blush with performance figures like that.

To get a grasp of how children move onto their own welfare teat, the UNFCCC, aka the climate change cult, had a $99m budget in 2018 to feed 738 mouths. When it was spun out of the parent UN in 2011/2012 it had a $30m budget across 461 staff. For 2020-21, the UNFCCC is looking for $177 million. Within that, $31.2 million is set aside for “complementary activities broadly mandated as beneficial to achieving UNFCCC objectives and goals.” Another $21 million for IT and data. Of course, it requires $36.3 million in “oversight and administration

Governance and oversight have never been a strong suit at the UN. UNAIDS gave us a perfect example of how sacred cows are protected by the parent.

Independent experts concluded that UN AIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé,  had been responsible for creating a toxic environment that promoted “favouritism, preferment and ethical blindness.” Sidibé accepted no responsibility for any sexual harassment, bullying or abuse of power that occurred under his watch.

The investigation started after Sidibé’s deputy was accused of forcibly kissing, groping and trying to drag a colleague into his Bangkok hotel room in 2015.

In a survey of the 670 staff members at the UN agency conducted by independent investigators, 18 admitted they had experienced some form of sexual harassment in the previous year and a further 201 said they were on the wrong end of workplace abuse.

One staff member went on the record saying, “U.N.AIDS is like a predators’ prey ground…You have access to all sorts of people, especially the vulnerable: You can use promises of jobs, contracts and all sorts of opportunities and abuse your power to get whatever you want, especially in terms of sexual favours. I have seen senior colleagues dating local young interns or using U.N.AIDS resources to access sex workers.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who made it clear he had a zero-tolerance policy with regards to sexual harassment when he took office,  refused to fire him. Despite his term ending in January 2020, Sidibé has offered to quit in June 2019 in order to ensure a stable transition period! In what world does a person outed for turning a blind eye to such a poisonous culture get to leave on his own terms?

Perhaps the economic devastation that will result from coronavirus will be the perfect excuse for countries to drastically wind back payments to these UN bodies. There appears overwhelming evidence that more money doesn’t always buy better outcomes much less lift ethical behaviour. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

If only we could find a cure for both

Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) reared its ugly head in the attached video. Yes, we get many people hate President Trump. If only the producers actually cared about the facts of what has actually been done in dealing with COVID19 compared to previous pandemics they may have reconsidered. Even if he had managed a perfect delivery the nitpickers would have found fault.

We do not deny that Trump’s unnecessary and flippant deliveries could be more presidential but none of it is remotely out of the bounds of expectations. This is the nature of the beast. Perhaps it would be more concerning if he stepped out of character?

For the record, Trump announced a ‘national emergency‘ on March 13th after 41 deaths had been recorded. WHO had declared a pandemic just two days earlier. Trump had restricted travel from China on January 31st, despite media outrage that this move was based solely on xenophobia. Where have the retractions been now that so many countries are following his lead?

When swine flu (H1N1) got out of control, WHO announced a level 5 pandemic on 29th April, 2009. Obama announced a ‘national emergency‘ on October 24th, 2009, when the death toll was over 1,000. A full 6 months after WHO.

CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases, 274,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the United States due to H1N1. The death toll for coronavirus in the US has just gone north of 4,000.

An estimated 151,700 to 575,400 died from H1N1 worldwide in 2009. 47,000 have died so far from COVID-19. Preventing death by discovering advanced antiviral treatments should be front and centre of the media’s attention, no? Shouldn’t a cure be all that matters?

People’s lives are being materially impacted. Losing loved ones. Being put under financial stress due to job losses. Real-world problems. Yet the social and mainstream media are obsessed with fuelling TDS narratives for purely clickbait purposes. Trust in the media continues to slide.

Ironic that Trump’s approval rating continues to climb despite the media onslaught.

Whether the media wants to confect stories of a rift between Trump and Dr Fauci or drum up racist narratives, all of it takes priority over finding a solution. 

Perhaps the producers might make a video about the Democrats trying to block an emergency $2 trillion rescue package unless aircraft emissions standards, corporate board diversity targets or wind/solar tax credits were included. Who knew the latest March 2020 Gallup ‘Trust in Congress’ poll fell to 22% from 27% in December?

Perhaps we will have journalistic integrity when the media learn to love America more than they hate Trump.