#WuFlu

Forget what Trump says. Just pay attention to the restless natives

Investor: Peasants Will Be Out With Pitchforks if We Don't Start ...

Unless Joe Biden runs with Michelle Obama as his VP, we still think Trump gets reelected in an electoral college and popular landslide. Yes, we can hear many laughing out loud. We are used to it as we were when we said he would win back in 2015. For all of the same reasons, only amplified. People are tired of the status quo.

Up until the time of the State of the Union speech in February this year, it felt like his second coronation was a formality. Nancy Pelosi knew it when she tore up his speech. Has coronavirus really changed all that?

The prevailing sentiment perpetuated by the mainstream media is that Trump’s catastrophic bungling of coronavirus will kill off any chance he has of winning 2020. To think that Joe Biden is the mouth-watering alternative despite having served under a president whose policies were repudiated in 2016 by the electoral college.

FNF Media thinks that Americans are pragmatic people when push comes to shove and that American exceptionalism is a good thing. They want the dream. They don’t live to be stuck in poverty assessed welfare. Sure, we non-citizens can scoff at their right to bear arms or hosting World Series which exclude other nations but ultimately we don’t get a say. That is a matter for them. If they don’t like it, it is up to them to change their government to fix things. Trump would never have been elected were it not for decades of failed administrations who didn’t deliver that gave birth to him.

Despite all of Trump’s often ridiculous bluster during the coronavirus outbreak, none of it was out of character for the last 3.5 years. The mainstream media has beamed more deranged coverage than ever. People have become numb to the constant drone that they hate him, especially when he trolls them with their own hypocrisy. Let’s be clear, were the likes of CNN truly resonating with the masses, the ratings would reflect people attuned with the rhetoric. This is simply not happening. In fact, the opposite.

Sadly during this crisis, Americans have seen the utterly shameless exploitation of their livelihoods by the ugliest partisan politics seen during any crisis of this scale. They see straight through the pork barrelling. Do liberal-leaning citizens honestly believe that gender diversity on boards and airline emissions regulations are ‘must have’ pieces of legislation in order to pass a $2.2 trillion rescue package designed to protect them? Do they believe a $250 billion supplemented boost to small businesses to support the income of workers should be held back until more identity politics driven data collection is fast-tracked? When people see Nancy Pelosi parading her $24,000 refrigerators filled with $13 a pint ice cream punnets on late-night TV they aren’t amused. 

Is it any wonder so many more Americans are taking to the streets to protests the lockdowns imposed by the states’ governors? As we pointed out in the COVID19 data, those infected and those who tragically met their fate from this deadly virus are relatively minuscule. More and more Americans are seeing this. Very few of us know anyone who has caught it outside of a few celebrities and the UK PM. This is why social distancing is fraying nerves in American households. They can’t easily quantify what is going on using their own experiences.

If anything, these protests point out that Americans are still happy to play the risk/reward ratio if their economic security can be maintained. America hasn’t fluked being 25% of the global economy on 5% of the world’s population for nothing. They would chance contracting coronavirus if that meant being able to feed their families.

Which brings us to China. Trump’s political and media enemies may have cuddled up to China since he took office, but the shambolic WHO response to this crisis and the misinformation emanating from the communist propaganda apparatus will rile 22 million who are on the unemployment queue. More and more Americans can see through an Ethiopian Marxist WHO chief appointed by a Portuguese socialist both serving the communist dictatorship with a president for life.

This activity is red meat to Trump’s base and he knows it. He doesn’t need to say anything. It is becoming self-evident.

Suspending funding for WHO was the right thing to do. WHO is a failing bureaucracy in desperate need of reform. What is the point of funding a body that is supposed to have independence enshrined in its charter when in reality it runs strict political agendas geared to the whims of its ideological brothers in Beijing?

How many leaders of other countries are throwing up two fingers at China in the face of all the revelations about when they knew and how they covered it up? Macron? Merkel? Trudeau? Crickets.

Trump is almost alone in publicly smashing China’s complicity in all of this. Governments around the world may be staying mute over China’s deceit but we can be assured this is not lost on the peons. They have had enough of staying at home. They are sick of facing oppressive sanctions imposed by those they voted in.

The media can sell this as xenophobia or any other form of identity politics but the fact is Trump’s 2016 campaign warned of China. He spoke of bringing jobs back. He spoke of being screwed over on trade with China. He was right.

We all know many Americans are hurting. They want prosperity returned. While the media conflates his term as merely sorting out his billionaire 1%ers, the reality is he has helped the Bottom 50% by a much larger margin. They will know this lived experience, which in politics will ultimately be the most important factor. Trump’s bluster won’t matter. His record up until coronavirus kicked off will.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED) reported the net worth of the bottom half of the population was $1,070,183mn at the start of 2017. As of the third quarter of 2019, it was 1,668,034mn. That’s an increase of 55.86%. The Top 1%, had $29,955,829mn. In 3Q 2019, it was $34,533,370mn, or 15.3%. Under Obama, net worth for the Bottom 50% declined from $1.7 trillion in 1Q 2009 to $1.1 trillion, down 35% over his two terms. Democrats should be outraged that the ultra-wealthy did much better under Obama with a 100% gain in net worth under his term vs the paltry 15.3% so far under Trump.  Source: FRED Top 1% and Bottom 50%.

This might explain why the “forgotten” wanted large scale change and will continue to support those who can facilitate it.

All coronavirus has done is exposed the despicable bile of partisan politics. Witnessing a concerted effort to remove Trump in the midst of an untold financial tsunami will not sit well with people. This isn’t about partisanship. They will want someone that can deliver. If it comes with all of Trump’s vulgarity then so be it. After all, a man that can win an election with ‘p*ssy grabbing’ on the ticket can produce miracles.

So there is Trump’s election strategy in a nutshell – “China, China, China!”

Good luck with Joe Biden telling Americans that President Xi has America’s best interests at heart! How can he say this when his former boss was not greeted with red carpet, a mobile stairway or a welcoming committee of important dignitaries on his final state visit to China?

Forget the polls. Forget the media spin. Coronavirus has hit the raw nerve of patriotism and the one person who is accused of constantly lying will be the only one speaking the truth. Americans are at a crisis point. Best not question their loyalty to Old Glory.

We may hate the idea of a new cold war but that is up to Americans to decide. We are at their mercy. Ultimately it is best to have a strong America given China’s soft power expansion.

WHO’s official 2017 pandemic playbook says it all

WHOTWO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has bungled its response during the coronavirus crisis. Politics always seems to trump principle. This cartoon is particularly blunt.

In mid-January, WHO happily parroted Chinese propaganda which said, “preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China.” This, instead of independent verification by WHO.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised China’s “transparency” despite whistleblower doctors being silenced by the propaganda machine. Several have sadly ended up dying.

Ghebreyesus even took potshots at governments looking to close borders to quarantine themselves on the basis of “unnecessarily interfering with international travel and trade” and “increasing fear and stigma.”

The interesting thing is that Director-General was reading straight from WHO’s very own 2017 playbook, ‘Pandemic Influenza Risk Management [PIRM]- A WHO guide to inform and harmonize national and international pandemic preparedness and response‘.

On travel, the report noted,

The International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) seeks to limit the public health measures taken in response to disease spread to those “that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks, and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade.” This aligned with China’s rhetoric.

On member state cooperation,

Under the Framework, Member States are responsible for (1) ensuring the timely sharing of influenza viruses with human pandemic potential with Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS); (2) contributing to the pandemic influenza benefit-sharing system, including by working with relevant public and private institutions, organizations and entities so they make appropriate contributions to this system; and (3) continuing to support GISRS.” p.16

China covered up the extent of the problem by destroying lab samples taken in December causing the unexplained viral infections in Hubei province. Imagine what might have happened if China had been open and honest at the offset? How lucky to have a WHO that pushed China’s narrative that the spread of COVID-19 was slow?

Indeed it is the chief of WHO that calls the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and for declaring a pandemic. The PIRM report stated,

The responsibility of determining a PHEIC lies with the WHO Director-General under Article 12 of the IHR (2005). The determination of a PHEIC leads to the communication of temporary recommendations…During the period of spread of human influenza caused by a new subtype, based on risk assessment and appropriate to the situation, the WHO Director-General may make a declaration of a pandemic.”  p.14

Why did it take till March 10 for the Director-General to declare a pandemic? 64 days after the start. 118,000 people had caught COVID-19 by then. Now the number stands at 351,000.

At least there is a get out of jail free clause in WHO’s 2017 PIRM report,

Ethics do not provide a prescribed set of policies; rather, ethical considerations will be shaped by the local context and cultural values.” p.18

We guess it must be ok in WHO’s mind that China’s ethics are shaped by the culture of the Communist Party.

As to the question of the effectiveness of social distancing? WHO concluded with this vague paragraph,

Nevertheless, measures that have been associated with containment such as social distancing, hand/respiratory hygiene and judicious use of antiviral drugs may be effective in mitigating the impact of outbreaks of a new influenza subtype in individual countries. These measures are most likely to be successful and are better supported by data demonstrating effectiveness when implemented in specific local (smaller scale) circumstances, e.g. households and closed or semi-closed institutions. Although there is no evidence of any wider population-level containment effect, these measures may reduce the spread and overall impact of the pandemic and could be considered as part of a country’s national preparedness plan, depending on available resources.” p.62

Has there been an overreaction on social distancing which is likely to produce catastrophic economic side effects? If hygiene and antiviral drugs are effective, does social distancing have any impact at all? If not, aren’t governments submitting companies and employees to unnecessary hardship?

Assuming one self-isolates for 14 days, if one catches COVID-19 the first day out of quarantine was there any point to the first 14?

In Japan, peak hour trains to work remain as crowded as normal yet the country isn’t registering a severe outbreak of the disease. Close quarter drinking parties below the cherry blossoms are in full swing, yet no real signs of mass contagion. Japanese are meticulous with hygiene. Is it a factor? Japan has 1,046 cases and 44 deaths so far.

South Korea’s success would seemingly be driven by the sheer number of tests conducted on its population (270,000) which has made controlling out who needs to be isolated easier, as opposed to social distancing and hoping for the best. South Korea has tested 5,200 people per million population vs America at 74, according to the Centre for Disease Control. We don’t profess to hold any expertise in virus containment, but the data seems to bear out highly inconsistent results.

Yet it doesn’t escape the immutable fact that UN bodies, in general, have terrible track records. Why do so many countries want to entrust sovereign laws to UN groups that can’t keep their own houses in order?

In the last audited set of accounts (Dec 2018), WHO operates on a $2.9bn budget of which $931.22 million is paid in salaries across 8,153 staff or an average of $118,000 each. Although in the FY2018 financial year, expenditures totalled $2.5 billion, leaving a $442 million surplus after financial revenue. 

WHO spent $191.7 million on travel, $178 million on operating expenses and $177 million on medical supplies and materials. Medical supplies and materials are mainly purchased and distributed by WHO including vaccines, medicines, medical supplies, hospital running costs, fuel, as well as related shipping costs.

Contracted services look an interesting line item at $781 million. Medical research activities and security expenses are also included in contractual services. 

Despite Ebola in 2014, MERS in 2012, H1N1 Swine Flu in 2009 and SARS in 2002 it is hard to ignore the fact that with over 8,150 well-paid staff members WHO can’t construct a better policy prescription in limiting the spread other than provide sketchy anecdotal data on what methods seemed effective in containing the spread? Perhaps China can loan some propaganda ministry staff to better shape the responses. That’s right, they already have.

Let’s not forget that Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus proposed former Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe as a WHO ambassador in 2017. It is not hard to see where the lack of judgment comes from.