CORONA Main Coronavirus thread

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Trump: Michigan’s ‘Do-Nothing AG’ Dana Nessel Unfairly Hostile to Ford
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dana-nessel-gretchen-whitmer
Dana Nessel/Facebook
JOSHUA CAPLAN22 May 2020348

President Donald Trump on Friday accused Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) of “viciously threatening” the Ford Motor Company over his decision not to wear a face mask for part of his visit to the automaker.

“The Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan, Dana Nessel, is viciously threatening Ford Motor Company for the fact that I inspected a Ventilator plant without a mask. Not their fault, & I did put on a mask,” President Trump wrote on social media. “No wonder many auto companies left Michigan, until I came along!”

The president wrote in a subsequent tweet: “Do nothing A.G. of the Great State of Michigan, Dana Nessel, should not be taking her anger and stupidity out on Ford Motor – they might get upset with you and leave the state, like so many other companies have – until I came along and brought business back to Michigan. JOBS!”

On Thursday afternoon, President Trump toured Ford’s Rawsonville plant, where he wore a mask during a private viewing of three Ford GTs. When it came time to the public part of the tour, the president took off his mask.

“Bill Ford encouraged President Trump to wear a mask when he arrived. He wore a mask during a private viewing of three Ford GTs from over the years,” Ford said in a statement. “The President later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit.”

TMZ published a photo of President Trump in a mask during the private part of the tour.

Following President Trump’s tour, Nessel called the president a “petulant child, who refuses to follow the rules” and said he is no longer welcome in Michigan.

“Today’s events were extremely disappointing, and yet totally predictable. I will say that, understanding of course that his own doctor, Dr. Fauci, recommends the wearing of masks in public and closed spaces. The CDC makes that recommendation and in Michigan, that is the law, and a court just upheld that hours ago,” she told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “And even in Ford, it’s there own policy. The president is like a petulant child, who refuses to follow the rule, and I have to say, this is no joke.”

Earlier in the day, she threatened to “take action” against Michigan company that would welcome the president and “allows him inside [its] facilities and puts our workers at risk.”
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Donald Trump Demands Governors Open Churches, Calls Them ‘Essential’
White House

CHARLIE SPIERING22 May 20201,279

President Donald Trump announced Friday at a surprise briefing at the White House new detailed federal guidelines allowing churches to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today, I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogues, and mosques as essential places that provide essential services,” Trump said, announcing the release of new Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential but have left out churches and other houses of worship,” Trump said. “That’s not right.”

Trump said he wants every governor to reopen all churches “right now.”
“If there’s any questions, they’re going to have to call me, but they will not be successful in that call,” Trump said.

The president made a brief announcement about churches and left the podium as Dr. Deborah Birx detailed information about the fight against the coronavirus.
Earlier in the week, reports noted that the White House disputed guidelines from the Centers for Disease Controls as too strict, withholding official federal guidance for a few days.

Since then, Trump has repeatedly called for governors to allow churches to reopen.

“The churches are not being treated with respect by a lot of the Democrat governors,” Trump commented to reporters as he left the White House for a trip to Michigan on Thursday afternoon. “I want to get our churches open, and we’re going to take a very strong position on that very soon.”

The president confirmed that the new guidelines would apply to churches, synagogues, and mosques.

Despite many churches holding services online, President Trump remarked Thursday that it was not the same as attending in person.

“It’s wonderful to sit home and watch something on a laptop, but it can never be the same as being in a church and being with your friends,” Trump said during an event with black leaders on Friday.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Will The Political Class Ever Be Held Liable For What They've Done?
Fri, 05/22/2020 - 16:25

Authored by James Bovard via The American Institute for Economic Research,
Politically-dictated lockdowns and prohibitions have recently destroyed tens of millions of American jobs. Politicians have effectively claimed a right to inflict unlimited economic damage in pursuit of zero COVID-19 contagion. The perverse incentives driving the policy have multiplied the harm far beyond the original peril.


Almost 40% of households earning less than $40,000 per year have someone who lost their job in recent months,
according to the Federal Reserve. The Disaster Distress Helpline, a federal crisis hotline, received almost 900% more phone calls in March compared to a year ago. A recent JAMA Psychiatry analysis warned that stay-at-home orders and rising unemployment are a “perfect storm” for higher suicide rates. A California health organization recently estimated that up to 75,000 Americans could die from “despair” as a result of the pandemic, unemployment, and government restrictions.

In the name of saving lives, politicians have entitled themselves to destroy an unlimited number of livelihoods. Politicians in many states responded to COVID-19 by dropping the equivalent of a Reverse Neutron Bomb – something which destroys the economy while supposedly leaving human beings unharmed. But the only way to assume people were uninjured is to believe their existence is totally detached from their jobs, bank accounts, and mortgage and rent payments.

Politicians have vaccinated themselves against any blame for the economic carnage by touting experts who said it was all necessary. Over the past 90 days, government bureaucrats have become a new priesthood that can sanctify unlimited sacrifices in the name of the public health.

COVID policymakers have written themselves the same letter that Cardinal Richelieu, the 17th century French statesman, purportedly gave to his agents: “The Bearer of This Letter Has Acted Under My Orders and for the Good of the State.” This carte blanche was sufficient to place murders and other crimes above the law and beyond reproach in France. In contemporary America, the same exoneration is achieved by invoking “science” and “data.”

Oregon Governor Kate Brown banned residents from leaving their homes except for essential work, buying food, and other narrow exemptions, and also banned all recreational travel. Six Oregon counties have only one confirmed COVID case, and most of the state has minimal infections. But schools, businesses, and other activities were slammed shut by government command.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer imposed some of the most severe restrictions, prohibiting anyone from leaving their home to visit family or friends. COVID infections were concentrated in the Detroit metropolitan area, but Whitmer shut down the entire state – including northern counties with near-zero infections and zero fatalities, boosting unemployment to 24% statewide. Her repression provoked fierce protests, and Whitmer responded by claiming that her dictates saved 3,500 lives. Whitmer exonerated herself with a statistical formula that was painfully ethereal compared to the stark physical devastation in Michigan.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s shutdown order resulted in the highest rate of unemployment in the nation – 33%. But according to Sen. Rand Paul, COVID’s impact in Kentucky “has not been worse than an average flu season.” But that did not stop Beshear from banning people from attending church services and sending Kentucky State Police to attach notices to car windshields ordering church attendees to self-quarantine for 14 days and reporting them to local health departments.

Shutting down entire states, including vast uninfected rural swaths, is the economic equivalent of burning witches or sacrificing virgins to appease angry viral gods. Because politicians have no liability for the economic damage they inflict, they have no incentive to minimize the disruptions they decree. Trillions of dollars of new deficit spending will be vexing American workers for many years.

The state of Missouri has sued the government of China, claiming it is liable for the losses inflicted by the virus that apparently originated in Wuhan, China. Most observers predict that lawsuit will go nowhere. But, thanks to sovereign immunity, it would be even more hopeless for American citizens to sue American politicians for the damage that their shutdown orders have inflicted on their businesses, paychecks, and lives..

Sovereign immunity creates a two-tiered society: those above the law and those below it; those whom the law fails to bind and those whom the law fails to protect.

This legal doctrine almost guarantees that no politician will face any personal liability for their shutdown dictates.

Even New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who callously compelled nursing homes to accept COVID patients, will have no legal culpability for a policy that contributed to more than 5,000 nursing home deaths in his state. Pennsylvania Health Czar Rachel Levine issued a similar order, contributing to thousands of nursing home deaths, and then removed her own 95-year-old mother from a nursing home to keep her safe.

Politicians presume they are blameless for destroying jobs as long as the victims receive temporary unemployment compensation. Actually, it is worse than that: politicians claim a right to seize a slice of the paychecks of people still working to recompense people whose jobs they destroyed. Would a private corporation be able to escape punishment for breaking people’s legs by giving free crutches to its victims?

“Better safe than sorry” is damned risky when politicians have no liability for what they ravage. There is no way that politicians can compensate American citizens for all the damage they have inflicted in this pandemic. This COVID shutdown catastrophe should be a permanent black mark against the political class and the experts who sanctified each and every sacrifice.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB
"We're Gonna Do It God's Way!" - Baltimore Pastor Rips Up Cease-And-Desist Letter

Fri, 05/22/2020 - 15:45

A Baltimore County pastor ripped up a cease-and-desist order mid-sermon Wednesday evening after county officials threatened him with a fine earlier in the week for holding in-person services.

Calvary Baptist Church's pastor, Stacey Shiflett, tweeted a video clip of the sermon, where he was seen ripping up the cease-and-desist order that informed him if the church continued to conduct services, a $5,000 fine would be applied.



Last week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan lifted restrictions on religious gatherings, allowing Churches to reopen at 50% capacity. Hogan left it up to each county government to apply additional restrictions.

This is where things get complicated for the pastor -- since Hogan has opened up churches on a state level with reduced capacity, Baltimore County is one of several counties in the state that informed all religious institutions to remain closed because of the lack of COVID-19 testing.

Shiflett has since become infuriated with the county's decision to keep churches closed, in which he can be heard at a sermon Wednesday evening denouncing county officials:
"With this cease-and-desist letter in my hand, the Bible says to the New Testament church 'not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is, but so much more as you see the day approaching,' and the closer we get to Jesus coming back, the more church we ought to be having, not less church.
"Now that's God's parameters," he added. "So I'm tearing up this cease-and-desist order right here, and I'm telling you right now, we're gonna do it God's way! God tells us how to worship Him, nobody else gets to do that."
View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1263429917456379909
.57 min

In a blog post on the church website, Shiflett said, "CHURCH IS ESSENTIAL - and to say otherwise is an offense to Almighty God and every churchgoer in this state."

Baltimore County spokesman Sean Naron said the county "has no desire to prevent free exercise" of religion.
"[The] Baltimore County Executive's Order was issued to prevent a clear and present danger of harm — the spread of COVID-19 through close proximity of the public in large gatherings, such as at a church service," said Naron.
Calvary Baptist's legal representative David Gibbs III told WJZ Baltimore: "If Walmart's open, it's time for the churches to be open."

Gibbs said the pastor does not anticipate closing his doors anytime soon: "I don't plan on shutting the church. If they fine us, I'm not paying it. It's unconstitutional. They don't have a leg to stand on."

Shiflett's fight with county officials is outlined in our latest piece titled ""Land Of The Free?" - The Polarizing Politics Of A Pandemic Exposed."

The Archdiocese of Baltimore described a plan in early May to reopen Catholic churches in two phases.

Several miles away, in Baltimore City, Mayor Jack Young extended the stay-at-home orders and limited public gatherings.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Connecticut Hires $2 Million "Reopening Consultant"... & Other Absurdities

Fri, 05/22/2020 - 14:55

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,
Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.


The United Nations takes a page from 1984 with a list of offensive words

According to the United Nations, the word “wife” is apparently offensive to some people. So is “husband”.

Their reasoning? Those words are not gender-neutral. So to “create a more equal world,” the UN has published an initial list of 14 words they want you to stop using… as well as the acceptable substitute.

The word manpower is offensive, naturally, because it relies on the base “man”. And anything that has to do with a man is offensive and terrible in this new world of ours.

So instead of “manpower”, the UN wants you to say “workforce”.
Same with congressman. Though frankly the word ‘congress’ should be far more offensive than ‘man’. But nevertheless, the UN wants you to say ‘legislator’.

Instead of husband or wife, the UN wants you to say “spouse.”
In regards to this website, somehow “Sovereign Gender Fluid Homo Sapien” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Click here to see the UN’s ridiculous tweet.
* * *
Oregon lockdown lifted… for a few hours

A judge ruled that Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s lockdown order could only go so far.

After 28 days, emergency decrees in Oregon require legislative approval. But Governor Brown did not receive that approval.

So a group of Oregon churches who were forced to close due to the shelter-in-place order sued the government. And the judge ruled in their favor– the entire state lockdown was ruled illegal, and the judge ordered that it be immediately lifted.

But that only lasted a few hours.

Governor Brown immediately appealed the ruling and took it to the state’s Supreme Court.

While the lower court’s ruling wasn’t overturned, the Supreme Court did cave to the Governor’s emergency motion to keep the lockdown in place while the lawsuit continued.

Of course, the Governor could have just called the legislature back to approve her lockdown order… or perhaps she was too afraid that the voters’ representatives would take her newfound power away?

It was a safer bet to let the Supreme Court decide, since Governor Brown appointed five of the seven justices.

Click here to read the full story.
* * *
Connecticut hires $2 million ‘reopening consultant’

There’s a lucrative new business opportunity in the Land of the Free: consulting state and local governments about how to re-open their economies.
How lucrative, you ask?

Well, the State of Connecticut has hired a consulting company to advise them on how to reopen the state after lockdown ends.

The state will pay a target of $2 million, which means it could end up being more.

But don’t worry, says Connecticut’s governor, because the state will likely be reimbursed by the federal government.

And why not?

The Fed is printing trillions of dollars worth of magic money.

What’s a measly $2 million to pay consultants to tell politicians how to stop being dictators?

Click here to read the full story.
* * *
New York tax revenue down $8 billion, or 68% compared to last April

Weird how when you shut down the economy, somehow the tax revenue stops flowing.

Tax revenue is down 68%, or almost $8 billion, compared to last April.

New York is now facing a yearly budget gap of $13.3 billion.

But New York did receive over $5 billion from the federal government’s CARES Act, and the city is already whining for more federal money.

Why did anyone ever work at all, when we could have just been printing money this whole time?

Click here to read the full story.
* * *
Restaurants are starting to collect customer info for contact tracing

Many American cities are considering forcing restaurants to collect information from patrons to assist in “contact tracing.”

That way, if someone who visited the restaurant is diagnosed with coronavirus, authorities can contact people who may have been exposed.

Customers must provide information like their name, phone number, address, and other contact information.

This is already required in some places, like Auckland, New Zealand. And it has already turned creepy.

One said she thought nothing of leaving her phone number, email address, and physical address at a Subway restaurant she visited.

Then she received a Facebook message, an Instagram request, and a text from a Subway staff member who wanted to take her on a date.

She was especially concerned because her home address was also available to the overzealous man.

And as creepy as that is, this is just one aspect of the privacy issues.
The government will also be able to track your whereabouts.

And unlike the creepy man from Subway, the government won’t let you ignore its advances.

Click here to read the full story.
* * *
Kansas City churches forced to keep records of attendees

It’s not just restaurants being forced to collect information on customers.
Churches in Kansas City, Missouri are now required to keep a list of church attendees.

That way, the state can look at the list for contact tracing if someone from the church tests positive for coronavirus.

The rule requires churches and synagogues to “record the names, contact information, and approximate entry/exit time of all customers who are on premises for more than 10 minutes.”

If a not-so-deadly virus can erase all the most basic rights– from assembly to religion– were we ever really free to begin with?
Click here to read the full story.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

COVID-19 Lawsuits Begin

Fri, 05/22/2020 - 14:10

Submitted by Market Crumbs,

While many people have been able to work from home amid the coronavirus shutdowns, employees in industries that have been deemed essential have continued to go to work.

In doing so, these employees have been exposed to COVID-19 and in some cases have passed away. As a result, employees at various companies are now starting to take legal action against their employers.



On Tuesday, a group of McDonald's employees in Chicago filed a class action lawsuit against the company, alleging McDonald's failed to adopt government safety guidelines for the coronavirus, therefore endangering themselves and their families.

According to the lawsuit, McDonald's did not provide adequate hand sanitizer, gloves and masks or notify employees when another employee became infected with the coronavirus. The employees are seeking an injunction that will make McDonald's stop requiring employees to reuse masks, require face coverings for customers and require McDonald's to notify employees if a coworker contracts the coronavirus.

McDonald's pushed back on the claims, saying they are inaccurate.
"Crew and managers are the heart and soul of the restaurants in which they work, and their safety and well-being is a top priority that guides our decision making," McDonald's said in a statement. "These include wellness checks, protective barriers, adhering to social distancing guidelines for customers and crew, using gloves and masks, increasing the frequency of hand washing and moving to contactless operations."
In California, McDonald's employees filed administrative actions with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health alleging unsafe work conditions.

The lawsuit against McDonald's is just the latest in a recent string of lawsuits filed against corporations as a result of the coronavirus.

The family of a Walmart employee filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company last month, alleging he told store managers he had symptoms of the coronavirus and was ignored.

Wrongful death lawsuits have also been filed against JBS S.A. and Tyson Foods, after an employee passed away at each company's meat processing facilities as a result of the coronavirus.

As instances of people passing away as a result of contracting the coronavirus while at work become more common, it's likely these lawsuits may just be the beginning of more to come.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

FAA Approves Cargo To Ride In Passenger Seats

Fri, 05/22/2020 - 13:40

Authored by FreightWaves,
U.S. airlines will soon fly temporary freighters with cargo, instead of passengers, in the seats.


Since domestic passenger carriers began operating some aircraft in cargo-only mode two months ago, they have been largely restricted to loading freight in the lower hold where baggage and shipments normally ride. On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an exemption allowing airlines to carry cargo on seats.

Airlines had requested a two year break from existing regulations, but the FAA said the exemption is only valid through the end of 2020. The petition was filed by Airlines for America (A4A) on behalf of its members, so interested carriers must still submit a letter of intent and receive specific authorization from the agency.

The FAA determined the exemption was justified to ensure critical shipments for the COVID-19 response are not delayed at a time when most passenger flights have been suspended, creating severe capacity shortages for freight. Permitting the use of seats to increase aircraft efficiency “supports the sustainment of this critical component of the U.S. transportation infrastructure during the public health emergency and while passenger demand remains depressed, which may persist past the public health emergency,” the decision said.

There is too much market uncertainty at the moment to grant regulatory relief beyond Dec. 31, the FAA said, adding it will consider an extension at a later date depending on conditions.

The FAA has yet to rule on a separate A4A petition for permission to remove seats from passenger aircraft and load cargo on the floor.

More than 150 airlines around the world are using “ghost” freighters — no passengers, just cargo — in some form, according to industry experts.

International aviation authorities have been quicker than the FAA to authorize cabin modifications for cargo. Many airlines have been loading cargo in seats for several weeks. Others, such as Icelandair, Lufthansa, Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic, have already made many flights with passenger seats removed.

Industry officials say using the seats adds about 30% more volumetric capacity, and six to seven extra tons, for cargo flights compared with just the lower hold. That can be a significant benefit when so many shipments now involve lightweight goggles, gloves and other protective medical equipment.

However, not all flights are good candidates for cargo in the passenger cabin and some airlines don’t bother because loading is labor-intensive. Individual boxes must be handled and secured, in contrast to the lower deck, which has wide doors for palletized freight.

Last month, the FAA approved the use of overhead bins, storage closets and under-seat areas for storing boxes and mail pouches on cargo-only flights.
United Airlines has begun using the stowage spaces for lightweight pieces. Delta Air Lines officials have previously expressed interest in putting cargo in seats and gutting interiors to make room for larger loads. As previously reported, Alaska Airlines is ready to implement flights with cargo in seats and American Airlines says it intends to make use of the cabin for cargo.

The FAA’s latest exemption comes with several conditions, including a weight limit of 50 pounds per seat and 20 pounds per space under a seat, extra fire extinguishers and at least two crew members riding in the cabin to detect any potential fire, and an empty row in twin-aisle planes to allow access to both sides.

In related news, Cathay Pacific last week said in its latest newsletter that it has received special approval from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department to use the passenger cabin to carry cargo. On Boeing 777 passenger jets, workers load via the passenger door using a catering truck to lift the boxes, then manually secure them into seats. The airline is also seeking approval to put cargo in the cabin of its Airbus fleet.

And earlier this month, Dubai-based Emirates said it started using stowage bins and seats of its Boeing 777-300 extended-range jets to optimize cargo operations.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Why Those COVID-19 Models Aren't Real Science

Fri, 05/22/2020 - 12:40

Authored by Gary Galles via The Mises Institute,

Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Americans have been told countless times that public policy was based on Science (with a capital S) and that the public should just obey the scientists.


But the accuracy of their predictions and the consequent appropriateness of policies seems to have been little better than Ask Dr. Science and the 0 percent accuracy rate of its answers.

In fact, the massive errors in measurement that have been part and parcel of the scientific COVID Kops show should bring us back to what Lord Kelvin said about science and measurement:
“If you cannot measure it, then it is not science” and “your theory is apt to be based more upon imagination than upon knowledge.”
To get an idea of how serious the COVID measurement problems are, one need only look to the two medical experts most commonly appearing on our TV screens.
Dr. Anthony Fauci recently testified his belief that its death toll is “almost certainly higher” than reported, because “there may have been people who died at home who did have COVID, who were not counted as COVID because they never really got to the hospital.”
In contrast, the Washington Post recently reported that Deborah Birx believes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) accounting system is double counting some cases, boosting case and mortality measurements “by as much as 25 percent.” And what could be a clearer statement of the measurement problems than Birx’s assertion that “there is nothing from the CDC that I can trust”?
The mangled measurements have been with us from the beginning of the COVID crisis.

Mild cases were (and still are) frequently undetected. That means that we have undercounted how many people have (or have had) the disease. It also means that we have overestimated the risk of contagion, which is perhaps the most crucial determinant of COVID’s risk to others.

Early on, there were a very limited number of tests and many of the first ones were faulty. So, as increasing numbers are being tested, especially systematically, rather than just targeting those who are already suspected of having COVID, we must disentangle the portion of the uptick of reported cases, and the implied downward adjustment of the odds of death and the risk of spread, caused by testing more of the population to determine whether there is an increasing incidence of the disease. When tests for COVID antibodies started to be done, it also suggested that more had already been exposed, changing the critical numbers again. And then there are questions about herd immunity, including whether sheltering at home actually undermines its development.

Similarly, the constantly updated numbers of COVID cases in particular areas overstated the risk to others, since those who have gotten better and are not a potential source of contagion are still included in those counts.

This continuing evolution of what Science tells us reveals that what we are being told at any given time is highly likely to be revised, if not reversed, soon, and perhaps repeatedly.

That should make us leery of all claims, including forecasts, premised on the truth of current Science. And if that weren’t bad enough, even the accuracy of the basic data has been compromised.

In some places, reported COVID deaths have included everyone who has it when they die, overstating (to a degree that we can’t know without more detailed information than we now have, and may ever have, for many cases) COVID risks. The director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, illustrated the problem when she said, “if you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death….[E]ven if you died of clear alternative cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death.” Further, the miscounting is often not due to judgments about shades of gray. For instance, Colorado counted a man who died of acute alcohol poisoning (his blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.55, when 0.30 is considered lethal) as a COVID death. And when the state recounted to include only deaths caused by COVID, its total fell from 1,150 to only 878.

New York has also counted as COVID deaths cases involving flulike symptoms, even when postmortem COVID tests have been negative. CDC guidance explicitly advises that “suspected” cases, even in the absence of test evidence, can be reported as COVID deaths. That is why the New York Times could report that on April 21 the city death toll was augmented by “3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus but had never tested positive.”

Then there is also lots of evidence that bears on appropriate COVID policy. For instance, Charles Murray has demonstrated that “The relationship of population density to the spread of the coronavirus creates sets of policy options that are radically different in high-density and low-density areas,” so that “too many people in high places, in government and the media, have been acting as if there is a right and moral policy toward the pandemic that applies throughout America. That’s wrong.”

Randal O’Toole has also cited studies finding that “mass transportation systems offer an effective way of accelerating the spread of infectious diseases,” that “people who use mass transit were nearly six times more likely to have acute respiratory infections than those who don’t,” that New York City subways were “a major disseminator—if not the principal transmission vehicle—of coronavirus infection,” and that there is “a strong state‐by‐state correlation between transit and coronavirus,” to ask why mass transit systems were not shuttered to stop the harm. Elsewhere, he noted that “The head of New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority was infected by the virus and the head of New Jersey Transit actually died from it.”

All this evidence reveals that the COVID Science and conclusions Americans were supposed to follow unquestioningly have been incredibly incomplete or wrong, with the stability of quicksand. Such Science is too frail a reed to depend on in making policies with multitrillion dollar price tags. What it does support is much more humility, reflecting Kelvin’s recognition that:
When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science.
 

Troke

TB Fanatic

Will The Political Class Ever Be Held Liable For What They've Done?
Fri, 05/22/2020 - 16:25

Authored by James Bovard via The American Institute for Economic Research,
Politically-dictated lockdowns and prohibitions have recently destroyed tens of millions of American jobs. Politicians have effectively claimed a right to inflict unlimited economic damage in pursuit of zero COVID-19 contagion. The perverse incentives driving the policy have multiplied the harm far beyond the original peril.


Almost 40% of households earning less than $40,000 per year have someone who lost their job in recent months,
according to the Federal Reserve. The Disaster Distress Helpline, a federal crisis hotline, received almost 900% more phone calls in March compared to a year ago. A recent JAMA Psychiatry analysis warned that stay-at-home orders and rising unemployment are a “perfect storm” for higher suicide rates. A California health organization recently estimated that up to 75,000 Americans could die from “despair” as a result of the pandemic, unemployment, and government restrictions.

In the name of saving lives, politicians have entitled themselves to destroy an unlimited number of livelihoods. Politicians in many states responded to COVID-19 by dropping the equivalent of a Reverse Neutron Bomb – something which destroys the economy while supposedly leaving human beings unharmed. But the only way to assume people were uninjured is to believe their existence is totally detached from their jobs, bank accounts, and mortgage and rent payments.

Politicians have vaccinated themselves against any blame for the economic carnage by touting experts who said it was all necessary. Over the past 90 days, government bureaucrats have become a new priesthood that can sanctify unlimited sacrifices in the name of the public health.

COVID policymakers have written themselves the same letter that Cardinal Richelieu, the 17th century French statesman, purportedly gave to his agents: “The Bearer of This Letter Has Acted Under My Orders and for the Good of the State.” This carte blanche was sufficient to place murders and other crimes above the law and beyond reproach in France. In contemporary America, the same exoneration is achieved by invoking “science” and “data.”

Oregon Governor Kate Brown banned residents from leaving their homes except for essential work, buying food, and other narrow exemptions, and also banned all recreational travel. Six Oregon counties have only one confirmed COVID case, and most of the state has minimal infections. But schools, businesses, and other activities were slammed shut by government command.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer imposed some of the most severe restrictions, prohibiting anyone from leaving their home to visit family or friends. COVID infections were concentrated in the Detroit metropolitan area, but Whitmer shut down the entire state – including northern counties with near-zero infections and zero fatalities, boosting unemployment to 24% statewide. Her repression provoked fierce protests, and Whitmer responded by claiming that her dictates saved 3,500 lives. Whitmer exonerated herself with a statistical formula that was painfully ethereal compared to the stark physical devastation in Michigan.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s shutdown order resulted in the highest rate of unemployment in the nation – 33%. But according to Sen. Rand Paul, COVID’s impact in Kentucky “has not been worse than an average flu season.” But that did not stop Beshear from banning people from attending church services and sending Kentucky State Police to attach notices to car windshields ordering church attendees to self-quarantine for 14 days and reporting them to local health departments.

Shutting down entire states, including vast uninfected rural swaths, is the economic equivalent of burning witches or sacrificing virgins to appease angry viral gods. Because politicians have no liability for the economic damage they inflict, they have no incentive to minimize the disruptions they decree. Trillions of dollars of new deficit spending will be vexing American workers for many years.

The state of Missouri has sued the government of China, claiming it is liable for the losses inflicted by the virus that apparently originated in Wuhan, China. Most observers predict that lawsuit will go nowhere. But, thanks to sovereign immunity, it would be even more hopeless for American citizens to sue American politicians for the damage that their shutdown orders have inflicted on their businesses, paychecks, and lives..

Sovereign immunity creates a two-tiered society: those above the law and those below it; those whom the law fails to bind and those whom the law fails to protect.

This legal doctrine almost guarantees that no politician will face any personal liability for their shutdown dictates.

Even New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who callously compelled nursing homes to accept COVID patients, will have no legal culpability for a policy that contributed to more than 5,000 nursing home deaths in his state. Pennsylvania Health Czar Rachel Levine issued a similar order, contributing to thousands of nursing home deaths, and then removed her own 95-year-old mother from a nursing home to keep her safe.

Politicians presume they are blameless for destroying jobs as long as the victims receive temporary unemployment compensation. Actually, it is worse than that: politicians claim a right to seize a slice of the paychecks of people still working to recompense people whose jobs they destroyed. Would a private corporation be able to escape punishment for breaking people’s legs by giving free crutches to its victims?

“Better safe than sorry” is damned risky when politicians have no liability for what they ravage. There is no way that politicians can compensate American citizens for all the damage they have inflicted in this pandemic. This COVID shutdown catastrophe should be a permanent black mark against the political class and the experts who sanctified each and every sacrifice.
Well, there are cultures where the first duty of the incoming adm is to try and then hang the outgoing adm. For some reason, those cultures never seem to have a incoming immigrant problem.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB
White House Weighs Economic Retaliation Against China As Hassett Warns "All Options Are On The Table"

Fri, 05/22/2020 - 12:25

While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slams China over its planned 'National Security' law, which clearly aims to suppress all political dissent and "foreign influence" in Hong Kong, while hinting that the special trade status enjoyed by the city-state might soon be revoked, White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett appears on CNN Friday to play 'bad cop' to Pompeo's 'good cop'.


As Huawei scrambles to find suppliers not based in the US, Hassett insisted that the White House is "absolutely not going to give China a pass" and is already considering any and all forms of economic punishment, including, presumably, more laws to force the de-listing of Chinese companies on US exchanges, or even the cancellation of US debt held by Beijing.
"We’re absolutely not going to give China a pass. All the options are on the table," Hassett said.
He added that the new law was a "scary move" as it shows Beijing is starting to care less and less about the objections of the West.
"And that’s going to be very costly to China and the people of Hong Kong. So, yeah, I think it is a very difficult, scary move and that it is something that people need to pay close attention to," he said.
Ultimately, a less-free Hong Kong will hurt the city-state's status as a financial hub.
"If Hong Kong stops being Hong Kong, the open place it is, then it is no longer going to be the financial center that it is."
For some reason, CNN chose not to share the clip of Hassett discussing the potential to economically punish China. However, it did share clips where he discussed the potential May unemployment rate, which Hassett said could be as high as 22%...

View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1263832807471710208
4:52 min

...as well as a clip where he said there 'probably will' be another White House stimulus bill, something President Trump himself has said, though the president has noted that he's in "no rush" to pass the legislation.

View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1263831821328044033
6:29 min

In a separate interview with Fox Business, Hassett said China would see "a lot of economic harm" over this decision, and also predicted it would "backfire" against Beijing, and trigger "capital flight" problems in Hong Kong, potentially forcing a devaluation of HKD (much to the delight of one Kyle Bass).
"They’re going to see a lot of economic harm from what they’re doing, because if I had capital to invest, would you really want to invest it in a place where they’re basically, you know, sneering at the rule of law the way they are right now?” he said Friday in an interview on Fox Business Network.
“I would expect that they’re going to have serious capital flight problems in Hong Kong, if they follow through this, they will no longer be the financial center of Asia, and that they themselves will pay very very heavy costs,” he added.
Yesterday, China's National Party Congress supported a resolution to allow the Standing Committee - China's most-senior legal authority - to draft a new "National Security" bill to prohibit political dissent, "terrorism" and "foreign influence." Demonstrators during the unrest in Hong Kong last fall were frequently branded as "terrorists" by the mainland press.
 

danielboon

Veteran Member
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoalOxsNexc
4:14 min
Why has Brazil been so badly hit by coronavirus?
•May 22, 2020


Guardian News
The spread of coronavirus has been catastrophic in Brazil, with the country now ranking third for infections behind only the US and Russia. The infection rate has been growing rapidly in Latin America, and as global infections passed 5 million, Brazil reported a record 19,951 cases on 20 May, according to the ministry of health, taking total infections to 291,579. From a sceptical president to a healthcare system on the verge of collapse, the Guardian's Tom Phillips explains the factors that have put Brazil at risk of becoming the next epicentre of the virus

__________________--

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMh8wdpAhNg
2:18 min
Brazil buckles under coronavirus crisis, Mexico reels from potentially higher death toll l ABC News
•May 20, 2020


ABC News

Officials reported just over 1,300 deaths in Mexico City, but an anti-corruption group examined death certificates and said the numbers could be three times higher.
Just what D.D said Brazil and Mexico would implode
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

COVID Kills Hospitality Industry, Crushes NYC Hotels, Triggers CMBS Implosion
Fri, 05/22/2020 - 09:15

The global hospitality industry is facing one of the worst crashes in history, and New York City, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the US, has seen its tourism industry decimated. With no rebound in sight, the second great depression for commercial real estate is ahead and could lead to a massive default wave of shopping malls and luxury hotels.

Judging by the ongoing collapse in commercial real estate, as we recently noted, CMBX 6, which track 25 commercial-mortgage-backed securities with high exposure to 2012 shopping mall loans, has tumbled during lockdowns, resulting in a handsome payout for the likes of Carl Icahn, McNamara and others who were short the tranche.


Last week we said, "keep a close eye on CMBX 9" with its "outlier exposure to hotels which have quickly emerged as the most impacted sector from the pandemic, this may well be the next big short."

The various CMBX series are shown in the chart below, with CMBX 9 most notable for its 17% exposure to hotels.


While the broader market has rebounded, CMBX 9 has experienced a swan dive.


Several key observations in the Manhattan hotel industry have been seen this month, suggest the tide is turning for the industry. Let's start with the newest piece of information is that The Times Square Edition, a newly constructed multi-million dollar hotel located in Midtown Manhattan, is set to pull the plug on operations by late summer.

Marriott International Inc. operates the hotel under the Edition brand, says it "has provided advance notice to employees, government officials and union officials" that all operations on the property will grind to a halt on August 13.

This suggests Marriot doesn't see a V-shaped recovery in the tourism industry this year. Maybe Marriot is taking advice from Scott Minerd, the CIO of Guggenheim Investments, who recently said a recovery in the economy could take upwards of "four years."


Bloomberg reviewed new documents in the ongoing foreclosure proceeding show Marriot informed owner Maefield Development in March that "a cash shortfall due to the outbreak could put the developer in default on its contract with the lodging giant."

Moody's Investors Service valued the mixed-use property at more than $2.4 billion in 2018 -- considering the economic crash and commercial real estate implosion, the value of the property is likely much lower.



Even when New York City reopens, hotels in Manhattan generally rely on international travel and large conferences, which are several things that may not return to 2019 activity trends for several years. This has made it challenging for hotel operators to cover debt payments and labor costs, suggesting defaults and closures could be dead ahead.

Jonathan Falik, CEO at JF Capital Advisors, recently told Bloomberg that too many rooms are empty in the city and warns not all hotels will survive.

Read: NYC Hotel Loans Defaulting At Alarming Rate As Room-Rates Plunge, Tourism Tumbles

Last week, Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. wrote down its Hilton Times Square hotel to less than its $77 million mortgage. Sunstone is currently in discussions with lenders to either restructure or handover the property.

Data firm Trepp said $1 billion dollars in late payments were seen in CMBSs used to finance New York hotels. The second great depression in commercial real estate has arrived, many shopping malls and hotels may not survive.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

"Social Distancing Walls" - Gym Reveals Future Layout In Post-Corona World

Fri, 05/22/2020 - 05:30

With all 50 states taking the first steps into a post-corona world by reopening crashed economies -- Connecticut will join the reopening party by Wednesday -- fitness centers will have to restore customer trust with social distancing in mind.

Many gyms, health clubs, and yoga studios are still closed, but the ones that are reopening have adopted strict social distancing rules and new sanitation protocols. The pandemic has led to wild consumer shifts, essentially transferring the whole workout experience from a retail setting to at-home, forcing some gyms during lockdowns to file for bankruptcy as operators were left struggling to pay rent in their large retail locations.

Latest gym bankruptcies:
A major problem with fitness centers has developed, they must restore confidence among customers because, in a post-corona world, at-home workouts, such as Peloton has dominated the scene -- and will like continue to be the preferred workout of choice for the remainder of the year, or at least until there's a proven vaccine.

To get a glimpse of how gyms in the US could restore confidence among customers -- Twitter handle Ben Lucas tweets a picture of how his gym in Hong Kong has installed social distancing walls around exercise machines.

Social distancing walls at Hong Kong gym. h/t Ben Lucas

According to CNBC, who dug deeper into the story, they said the Hong Kong gym is at Pure Fitness in Quarry Bay. A representative of the gym said, "dividers help to stop the spread of the virus when 1.5-meter distance, in line with Hong Kong government's suggestion, cannot be easily maintained."

Here's another view of Pure Fitness' social distancing walls, this time around treadmills.

Social distancing walls at Hong Kong gym. h/t CNBC & Pure Fitness HK

Back to the US, the White House Guidelines for Opening Up America indicates that gyms are in the first phase of reopening "can open if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols." CNBC says gyms in Georgia, Iowa, Tennessee and Oklahoma, have already opened.

Kevin Heffernan, professor of human performance at Syracuse University, said gyms have stacked exercise machines tightly into a close space. "They're not ideally designed for social distancing," he said.
"You generate a lot of sweat, and people are breathing really hard," Heffernan said, which could lead to a transmission of the virus.
To get a view of how a sneeze travels in an indoor space - watch how a single cough disperses across several supermarket aisles in this simulation. Now just imagine if that was in a gym...

View: https://youtu.be/WZSKoNGTR6Q
.48 min

Gyms have an uphill battle in winning the support of customers -- social distancing walls around exercise machines are likely coming to America. At the moment, who in their right mind would step foot into a gym when they can easily take a Peloton class in the comfort of their own home and not worry about COVID-19 carriers...
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

The Slippery Slope To Despotism: Paved With Lockdowns, Raids, & Forced Vaccinations

Fri, 05/22/2020 - 00:05

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,
“You have no right not to be vaccinated, you have no right not to wear a mask, you have no right to open up your business… And if you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor's office and plunge a needle into your arm.”
- Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor
You have no rights.
That’s the lesson the government wants us to learn from this COVID-19 business.

Well, the government is wrong.


For years now, the powers-that-be—those politicians and bureaucrats who think like tyrants and act like petty dictators regardless of what party they belong to—have attempted to brainwash us into believing that we have no right to think for ourselves, make decisions about our health, protect our homes and families and businesses, act in our best interests, demand accountability and transparency from government, or generally operate as if we are in control of our own lives.

We have every right, and you know why? Because we were born free.
As the Declaration of Independence states, we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights—to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness—that no government can take away from us.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped the government from constantly trying to usurp our freedoms at every turn. Indeed, the nature of government is such that it invariably oversteps its limits, abuses its authority, and flexes its totalitarian muscles.

Take this COVID-19 crisis, for example.
What started out as an apparent effort to prevent a novel coronavirus from sickening the nation (and the world) has become yet another means by which world governments (including our own) can expand their powers, abuse their authority, and further oppress their constituents.

Until now, the police state has been more circumspect in its power grabs, but this latest state of emergency has brought the beast out of the shadows.
We are on a slippery slope to outright despotism.

This road we are traveling is paved with lockdowns, SWAT team raids, mass surveillance and forced vaccinations. It is littered with the debris of our First and Fourth Amendment freedoms.

This is what we have to look forward to in the months and years to come unless we can find some way to regain control over our runaway government.

The government has made no secret of its plans.
Just follow the money trail, and you’ll get a sense of what’s in store: more militarized police, more SWAT team raids, more surveillance, more lockdowns, more strong-armed tactics aimed at suppressing dissent and forcing us to comply with the government’s dictates.

It’s chilling to think about, but it’s not surprising.
We’ve been warned.

Remember that Pentagon training video created by the Army for U.S. Special Operations Command? The one that anticipates the future domestic political and social problems the government is grooming its armed forces to solve through the use of martial law?

The chilling five-minute training video, obtained by The Intercept through a FOIA request and made available online, paints a dystopian picture of the future bedeviled by “criminal networks,” “substandard infrastructure,” “religious and ethnic tensions,” “impoverishment, slums,” “open landfills, over-burdened sewers,” a “growing mass of unemployed,” and an urban landscape in which the prosperous economic elite must be protected from the impoverishment of the have nots.

But here’s the kicker: what they’re really talking about is martial law, packaged as a well-meaning and overriding concern for the nation’s security.

This COVID-19 crisis is pushing us that much closer to that dystopian vision becoming a present-day reality.

For starters, let’s talk about the COVID-19 stormtroopers, SWAT team raids and ongoing flare-ups of police brutality.

With millions of dollars in stimulus funds being directed towards policing agencies across the country, the federal government plans to fight this COVID-19 virus with riot gear, gas masks, ballistic helmets, drones, and hi-tech surveillance technology.

Indeed, although crime rates have fallen dramatically in the midst of this global COVID-19 lockdown, there’s been no relief from the brutality and violence of the American police state.

While the majority of the country has been social distancing under varying degrees of lockdowns, it’s been business as usual for the nation’s SWAT teams and police trained to shoot first and ask questions later.
In Kentucky, plain-clothed cops in unmarked cars used a battering ram to break down Breonna Taylor’s door and carry out a no-knock raid on her home after midnight. Fearing a home invasion, the 26-year-old emergency medical technician and her boyfriend—who had been in bed at the time of the invasion—called 911 and prepared to defend themselves. Taylor’s boyfriend shot one of the intruders—later identified as police—in the leg. Police fired at least 20 shots into the apartment and a neighboring home, killing Taylor. The drug dealer who was the target of the late-night raid lived 10 miles away and had already been arrested prior to the raid on Taylor’s home.
In Illinois, police opened fire in a subway station, shooting a 33-year-old man who allegedly resisted their attempts to tackle and arrest him for violating a city ordinance by passing between two cars of a moving train. Ariel Roman, a short-order cook, claimed he was suffering from an anxiety attack when he was “harassed, chased, tackled, pepper-sprayed, tasered and shot twice” by police.
In Maryland, police dispatched on a nuisance call to break up a crowd of neighborhood kids( half of them teenagers, and the other half youngsters around 4 and 5 years old) gathered in an apartment complex parking lot opened fire on a 29-year-old man seen exiting his car with a gun. An eyewitness claimed “the officer pointed a flashlight and his gun at the group immediately and began chasing and shooting a minute or two after getting out of the patrol car.”
Police reportedly shot the man after he threw down his gun and ran in the opposite direction.
In Virginia, more than 80 local, state, and federal police agents risked spreading COVID-19 to “a highly vulnerable population” when they raided a low income, public housing community in an effort to crack down on six individuals suspected of selling, on average, $20 to $100 worth of drugs.
In Texas, a SWAT team backed up with a military tank Armored Personnel Carrier raided Big Daddy Zane’s Bar whose owner and patrons were staging a peaceful First and Second Amendment protest of the governor’s shutdown orders.
Police have even been called out to shut down churches, schools and public parks and beaches that have been found “in violation” of various lockdown orders.

Now there’s talk of mobilizing the military to deliver forced vaccinations, mass surveillance in order to carry out contact tracing, and heavy fines and jail time for those who dare to venture out without a mask, congregate in worship without the government’s blessing, or re-open their businesses without the government’s say-so.

There are rumblings that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will start thermal screenings to monitor passengers’ temperatures in coming weeks. This is in addition to the virtual strip searches that have become routine aspects of airport security.

Restaurants in parts of the country are being tasked with keeping daily logs of phone numbers, emails, and arrival times for everybody who participates in dine-services, with no mention of how long such records will be kept on file, with whom they will be shared, and under what circumstances.

With the help of Google and Nest cameras, hospitals are morphing into real-time surveillance centers with round-the-clock surveillance cameras monitoring traffic in patients’ rooms. Forget patient privacy, however. Google has a track record of sharing surveillance footage with police.

And then rounding out the power-grabs, the Senate just voted to give police access to web browsing data without a warrant, which would dramatically expand the government’s Patriot Act surveillance powers. The Senate also voted to give Attorney General William Barr the ability to look through the web browsing history of any American — including journalists, politicians, and political rivals — without a warrant, just by saying it is relevant to an investigation. If enacted, privacy experts warn that the new provisions threaten to undermine the free press by potentially preventing the media from exposing abuses of power or acting as a watchdog against political leaders.

If we haven’t already crossed over, we’re skating dangerously close to that line that keeps us on the functioning side of a constitutional republic. It won’t take much to push us over that edge into a full-blown banana republic.

In many ways, this is just more of the same heavy-handed tactics we’ve been seeing in recent years but with one major difference: this COVID-19 state of emergency has invested government officials (and those who view their lives as more valuable than ours) with a sanctimonious, self-righteous, arrogant, Big Brother Knows Best approach to top-down governing, and the fall-out can be seen far and wide.

It’s an ugly, self-serving mindset that views the needs, lives and rights of “we the people” as insignificant when compared to those in power.

That’s how someone who should know better such as Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard law professor, can suggest that a free people—born in freedom, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, and living in a country birthed out of a revolutionary struggle for individual liberty—have no rights to economic freedom, to bodily integrity, or to refuse to comply with a government order with which they disagree.

According to Dershowitz, who has become little more than a legal apologist for the power elite, “You have no right not to be vaccinated, you have no right not to wear a mask, you have no right to open up your business… And if you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor's office and plunge a needle into your arm.”

Dershowitz is wrong: while the courts may increasingly defer to the government’s brand of Nanny State authoritarianism, we still have rights.

The government may try to abridge those rights, it may refuse to recognize them, it may even attempt to declare martial law and nullify them, but it cannot litigate, legislate or forcefully eradicate them out of existence.

Up to now, we’ve been largely passive participants in this experiment in self-governance. Our inaction and inattention has left us at the mercy of power-hungry politicians, corrupt corporations and brutal, government-funded militias.

Wake up, America.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, these ongoing violations of our rights—this attitude by the government that we have no rights—this tyrannical movement that is overtaking our constitutional republic and gaining in momentum and power by the minute—this incessant auction block in which government officials appointed to represent our best interests keep selling us out to the highest bidder—all of these betrayals scream for a response.

To quote the great Rod Serling: “If we don't listen to that scream—and if we don't respond to it—we may well wind up sitting amidst our own rubble, looking for the truck that hit us—or the bomb that pulverized us. Get the license number of whatever it was that destroyed the dream. And I think we will find that the vehicle was registered in our own name.”
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

China Is Hoarding PPE Again As It Braces For COVID-19's "Second Wave"
Thu, 05/21/2020 - 23:45

A while back, we reported on one notable US Intel leak claiming Beijing deliberately waited until Jan. 22 to warn the world about the possibility of a widespread outbreak (before that, Beijing insisted there was no evidence of human to human transmission, implying that this would likely be an isolated incident) so the CCP would have time to grab up all the PPE and other vital supplies.

That was why, when the tidal wave of infections finally hit in the US, a sudden and inexplicable shortage of PPE forced nurses and doctors in some of the most notorious hotspots - including NYC - to work without masks and gowns. Many used garbage bags, or used one disposable mask for a week or more.



Now, Fox News reports that the CCP appears to be gobbling up all the capacity once again as businessmen complain about suppliers warning about being unable to process new orders.
China’s Communist Party is again seizing factory lines churning out the world’s supply of medical safety gear — sparking fears the country is preparing for a second wave of the coronavirus, American traders in China told The Post.
New Yorker Moshe Malamud, who has done business in China for over two decades, was moving tens of millions of pieces of protective gear to the U.S. at the height of the crisis but said suppliers in recent weeks had been overwhelmed with orders from the Chinese government.
“I was placing a larger order with one of the bigger distributors and he tells me, ‘I can complete this order but after this we’ve been contracted by the Chinese government to produce 250 million gowns,'” said Malamud, who lived in China for a decade before founding aviation company M2Jets.
Thermometer makers have also been inundated with government orders.
He said he heard a similar story about another manufacturer making thermometers.
"We hear how China is up and running and the virus is past them, so I asked, 'What are they ordering 250 million gowns for?' and of course no one is talking."
"I’ve been hearing this a lot from other manufacturing institutions that say, 'We can give you a little bit, but basically we’re concentrated between now and the end of the summer manufacturing stuff for the Chinese government in anticipation of a second wave,'" he continued.
Last month, leading U.S. manufacturers of medical safety gear told the White House that China had prohibited them from exporting goods as the crisis mounted, a Post report revealed.
Beijing has already forced some 108 million Chinese in northeastern Jilin Province back under "partial lockdown" following another outbreak. They're also carrying out a mass-testing campaign in Wuhan.

Although Dr. Anthony Fauci has repeatedly warned that the US should brace for a second wave of the virus, a second wave isn't a foregone conclusion. As NYT opinion columnist Nicolas Kristof wrote in his column published in Thursday's paper, "epidemiology is full of puzzles." In 2003, the WHO feared a deadly resurgence of SARS that fall. But instead, the virus petered out. As Dr. Fauci explained once several months ago, we know little for certain about the virus, and because of this, it's important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

And if the outbreak in Brazil continues to rage out of control, the possibility that Brazilians could reinfect the entire Western Hemisphere is looking increasingly plausible.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

We're All In This Together... But Not In The Way You Think
Thu, 05/21/2020 - 23:25

Authored by Robert Blumen via The Mises Institute,

We are all in this together. No, by that I do not mean what Andrew Horney calls “all those cloyingly saccharine, feel-good public service announcements being delivered by famous faces on television and social media platforms, telling us "we're all in this together." We are all interdependent through the production of goods and services that constitutes the market order.

Some critics of the current crisis see it as yet another case of the rich getting one over on the rest of us. I will argue that this cannot be correct, because the rich as well as the poor (and the middle class) depend on the freedom to produce, and are all harmed by the lack of it.



Angelika Albaladejo writes, "The Rich Are Getting Richer," citing a new report that “shows that some American billionaires are making substantial gains during the global health crisis.” Wilamette Week asks, "How Will the Rich Get Richer During the Pandemic-Fueled Economic Collapse?"

Israel Shamir in "Deep Pockets Love Lockdown" suggests that the rich do not like the widespread availability of travel:
No more travels for us. The very rich folks will regain their solitary possession of Venice, the Côte d’Azur, and all the other elite destinations so recently inundated by mass tourism. Once again they will have it as good as they had it in the 19th century. Travel is a luxury, and ordinary people do not deserve luxury. They tried to keep us away by making travel as unpleasant as possible with body searches, but it didn’t help. If this global pandemic doesn’t stop us, they are simply going to cut us off.
The greatest influence on everyone's standard of living is the overall production of the society they live in. Under the current prohibitions, some businesses gain market share—a larger piece, but sliced from a much smaller pie. The rich, who enjoy and can afford luxury goods, depend on the productivity of all members of society for these goods. Those who can afford to fly first class, or perhaps in their own private planes, depend on the engineering advances from the mass production of airplanes that have reduced the cost and made private jets "affordable." Time-shared private aviation costs in the low six figures.

High-end travelers rely on the proliferation of airports made possible by the masses of middle-class travel worldwide; on the sizable labor pool of skilled pilots with commercial air travel experience to fly their private planes; on the development of air traffic control through the management of millions of flights annually; and on the gradual improvements in air traffic control to improve air travel safety.

Fine hotels where the rich stay in suites exist nearly everywhere due to middle-class and business travel. International brands are able to bring quality hotels online and up to international standards quickly due to experience operating in many global markets, and they are able to staff new hotels with experienced managers from existing properties, where they have honed their skills.

The private chefs that the rich hire to cook for them emerged from a vast food service industry consisting of culinary schools and fine restaurants even in small- to mid-market cities, where chefs learn their craft. The ingredients are available because of demand to feed the millions. Restaurants are often funded by investors who either specialize in the restaurant sector or made their money in another business. The top-tier chefs who work privately for wealthy people have reached the top of a competitive pyramid through years of restaurant experience, travel, studying under other experienced chefs, and trying out different restaurant concepts to develop recipes and techniques. The Gordon Ramseys of the world stand atop a vast competitive pyramid of chefs.

The writers who suggest that the lockdown is another means for the rich to get richer, perhaps by buying up discounted assets in a financial panic and eventually monopolizing all commerce, lack an understanding of capital markets.

Financier and political advisor Bernard Baruch is reported to have gone to cash, to have shorted the US stock market in the late 1920s leading up to the crash of 1929, to have advised friends to do the same, and to have made millions on the trade. Kennedy family patriarch Joseph P. is reported to have done likewise, realizing that the market was at a top when shoeshine boys gave him stock tips.
Fortunes have been made by shorting bubbles before market crashes or buying up assets on the cheap in the aftermath—but does that benefit "the rich"? This ignores that for every Bernard Baruch who sold millions of dollars in assets there had to be another buyer who bought them near the top and suffered the losses that Baruch avoided.

Those who own most of the assets are by definition "the rich." A rich person is someone whose property consists mostly of capital goods—directly owned, through businesses or through stocks and bonds, which are claims on capital goods. When Baruch wishes to sell $1 million in assets, which, as Dr. Evil has observed, used to be a lot of money, there must be a buyer who has that much cash on hand to pay for them. This buyer can only be another rich person, or an organization that represents a large number of individuals—a pension fund, a life insurance company.

Collectively all assets are at all times owned by someone. "The rich" as a whole can not exit asset ownership, because there is no external population of Martians who will take those assets off their hands (unless the Fed buys the entire stock and bond market, which I don’t rule out, and perhaps the Fed governors are from another planet).

Most of the world’s wealth is in capital goods; those who own the most of them are the rich. When markets are repriced—downward—the rich as a whole suffer most of the market value losses. Those who cashed out at the top benefit at the expense of those who held the assets on the way down. And anyone, at any size, who has cash finds that the purchasing power of their cash has gone up when measured in terms of assets. The position of small investors who have cash on hand improves relative to the rich when asset markets crash. Even those who do not invest in capital goods at all find their position improved in relative terms, because the ability of the rich to bid for consumption goods by offering capital goods has diminished.

At any moment in time, the upward or downward price movements in capital markets are a zero-sum game. But there is a more fundamental way in which we are interdependent. The capital goods underlying financial assets derive their market value from their role in the production of consumer goods. The value of a corporation is derived from consumer demand for its products. Many of the rich became so by starting a business that they still own which grew by satisfying consumer demand. Others have sold a business or inherited wealth which they try to preserve through the ownership (direct or indirect) of capital goods through financial assets.

And from where do consumers derive their ability to demand? We know from Say’s law that consumers demand by supplying their own production to the market. Everyone who works and produces a good or a service, by supplying it to the market, demands some other good or service. In the general glut debate, the proponents of Say’s law used it to show that because every instance of supply constitutes a demand, and vice versa, aggregate supply and aggregate demand are not only equal, but simply different ways of looking at the totality of transactions that occur in the market as a whole.

The demand that the rich depend on to support the valuation of their assets is largely not from other rich people demanding Cartier jewelry, Rolex watches, yachts, and custom basement wine cellars. It is largely from the mass market of consumers through division of labor, which provides the goods and services that we all depend on. The ability of the poor and middle classes to demand comes mostly from their wages, which they earn through their contribution to the production of a range of goods and services. Their supply in turn constitutes the demand for other—different—goods and services, which supports the valuations of businesses, and therefore financial assets.

And although the rich consume higher-quality goods and services than the rest of us, they depend equally on the flow of goods and services, the division of labor, and the development of new products. Although they may cherry-pick the best off the top, there has to be a chocolate sundae underneath to support the cherry.

Most mass consumer goods start out as luxury goods. Then, as the manufacturers work out the kinks and capital investment enables production at a larger scale, these goods become mass market goods. The 1987 movie Wall Street featured actor Michael Douglas in the role as a hedge fund titan. In one scene he is shown carrying what at the time passed for a mobile phone (a luxury good only available to the super rich) about the size of a large brick. When I have traveled in low- to middle-income countries (back in the days when we were allowed to travel more than one hundred yards from our residences), smartphones were ubiquitous. While it is true that the middle class and eventually low-income consumers benefit from the adoption of new products by the rich, the fall in these goods' costs also makes the rich man’s dollar go further. Improvements in the design and function of the products through generations of products and mass production make better products available to all classes.

Even the government depends on the market, innovation, progress, and falling costs for its nefarious objectives. Governments would like to surveil us all—even more than they already do. According to the BBC News, “More than a million Australians have downloaded a coronavirus contact tracing app within hours of it being released by the government.” The plan is clear enough, but if no people can afford a modern mobile phone with GPS any longer and lack the ability to pay for their data plan, this effort might fall a bit short. The phone, the network, and the existence of either wifi or a mobile signal nearly everywhere are due to carriers' vast capital investment and the dramatic fall in these technologies' prices. We can all afford these things because of our participation in the market, producing other goods and services.

I will be the first to say that I do not understand why our insect overlords are attempting to damage social trust (through "snitch" portals) and to destroy our civilization itself through the prohibition of commerce, education, healthcare, athletics, professional sports, entertainment, dating and family formation, the arts, music, dining, family gatherings, religious observance, and all other forms of civilized life.

Nor can I explain the "mask hysteria" that is spreading like a highly contagious virus on social networking websites such as NextDoor.com.

Without an explanation that makes any sense, where does that leave us?

What keeps me up at night is that we have not yet seen the end game, and that when we do it may be worse than what anyone can imagine.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

"It Felt Like A Death": 20% Of Illinois Restaurants Will Go Out Of Business In Coming Months
Thu, 05/21/2020 - 21:05

Last week we reported that as much as a quarter of US restaurants will go out of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a forecast by OpenTable, which reported that total restaurant reservations and walk-in customers have fallen 95% over the previous year ending May 13.



For restaurant owners in Illinois this dismal forecast is already coming true. According to CBS, Illinois restaurants - reeling in the coronavirus crisis - are doing anything they can to survive, and while many are trying to reinvent themselves, for others time to close shop. CBS cites a "frightening" number from the Illinois Restaurant Association: In spite of all the take out and delivery services they now offer, restaurant sales are down 80%, and thousands of restaurants are in jeopardy of never opening again.

“The restaurant industry, we’ve kind of alway been up against it anyways,” said Joe Frillman, owner of Daisies Restaurant. “The statistics are never in our favor to begin with.”

Once known for its dine in homemade pastas, the kitchen at Daisies in Logan Square has pivoted to pay the bills: "It’s all to go now, so the whole business model has changed,” said Frillman who debuted a new concept last weekend. His dining space became a farmer’s market with fresh produce,- meal kits and specialty products.

"We had over 150 people come out to support us,” he said. “I was kind of blown away. We didn’t really know what to expect."

But for every hopeful moment like these, there are thousands of others from restaurants on the brink of closing. Jeanne Roeser, in business since 1996, was forced to close her two popular brunch destinations, Toast. Each sat only a handful of diners, and an eventual scaled back reopening didn’t add up.
“It felt like a death,” said Roeser, owner of Toast Restaurant. “It felt like going through the grieving process, which I still am. Any time I thought about it, and I looked at the prospects, it just, in my gut, didn’t feel like it was something that would be workable”
According to The Illinois Restaurant Association there were 25,851 restaurants operating in the state in March, and it estimates that 20%, or nearly 5,200 restaurants, will go out of business in the coming months because of COVID-19.
“I think it’s an undercount,” said Roeser.
“I think that’s generous,” said Frillman. “I think would be a best case scenario.”
“Independent restaurants bring wealth to the city, culturally, economically,” said Roeser.
For those whose livelihood is on the line, the push forward against the odds must go on: "It’s not whether or not you’re not going to make it,” said Frillman. “It’s you are always constantly doing whatever you can to make it."

Alas, there’s an even more important number to keep in mind: About 600,000 people work in Illinois’ restaurant industry and about half have been laid off.

Restaurants find the prospect of resuming dine in service especially frustrating. Stay-at-home orders are expected to ease on May 29, with much of the state moving from stage two to stage three of Gov. JB Pritzker’s plan to reopen the state. That allows salons and health clubs to reopen with restrictions, but not restaurants for dine in. Owners argue theirs is a business accustomed to strict health protocols, and with social distancing and scaled back capacity they should be allowed to reopen at stage three.
 

Grouchy Granny

Senior Member
Ok - that's it! And yes, I am extremely grouchy today. I am totally sick of COVID whatever version. I'm tired of being a prisoner in my own house without the freedom to shop, go wherever I damn well please, and see my friends without being politically correct and "social distancing. Also tired of wearing the damn mask like I'm a wannbe robber.

I have had enough of this shite to last the rest of my natural life, however long the fates may decree it is.

Just venting because we're pretty much helpless unless Smith and Wesson steps in.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

COVID Showdowns Brewing Across Illinois As Angry Residents, Sheriffs Reject Lockdown

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 19:25

Residents of Illinois fed up with the country's strictest COVID-19 restrictions are starting to revolt - with protests against Chicago's cordoned-off lakeshore and no-parking zones around churches, according to Breitbart's Warner Todd Huston.


Last Sunday, the city’s first gay mayor sent the Chicago Police Department (CPD) out to erect new signs around the neighborhood of Philadelphia Romanian Church to suddenly create long stretches of new “No parking/tow warning” zones around the building.
Lightfoot also sent the CPD to prowl around outside several of the city’s churches to hand out parking violations, Chicago’s CBS affiliate reported.
The mayor’s campaign against churches comes on the heels of statements by several church officials across the city saying they had no intention of submitting to the mayor’s orders to shut down their houses of worship. -Breitbart
Elsewhere in the state, growing numbers of Illinois residents are coming out in opposition to Gov. Pritzker's (D) lockdown policies which were found by WalletHub to be the harshest in the country - including a provision which would jail business owners for up to a year for refusing to obey.

Pritzker's restrictions are so - restrictive, that DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick announced that he has no intention of enforcing them, according to the report.

"I just can’t do this anymore. I stand with our citizens and businesses of DuPage County who have offered no trouble or no resistance to any rule we put upon them, no matter how strange," Mendrick wrote on Facebook. "I will not victimize lawful residents of DuPage County trying to put food on their children’s table. I’m so proud of our DuPage citizens who have done everything right from the beginning. All I can say is thank you."


Joining Mendrick is Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird, who similarly said he has no intention of enforcing Pritzker's order to break up gatherings or shut down businesses since "the Governor's Executive Order is not a law."

The city of Gibson in Central Illinois also won't be enforcing the restrictions - announcing that they will not make misdemeanor arrests of individuals or business owners for violating the EO.
In addition, downstate Madison County reopened its businesses despite the orders.
In reply to these officials, Gov. Pritzker warned he would send the state police in to enforce his rules.

Counties that try to reopen in defiance, may not be reimbursed by FEMA for damages they cause because they ignored the law,” Pritzker said adding, “Local law enforcement and the Illinois State Police can and will take action.”

Individual business owners have also defied the governor’s threats.
A gym owner in Moline, a city on the border with Iowa, straight west of Chicago, reopened his business on Monday in direct defiance of Pritzker’s orders.

Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler helped usher through a resolution that “basically declared all businesses and churches essential.”

“I did the Zoom classes for a while. Rented out all my equipment and, you know, you reach a point where enough is enough, and somebody’s got to say something,” said Chris Ninotta, owner of Omni Strength. “I can’t do it any longer. I’m a single father, and that’s where my loyalty lies, and there’s no man or government on earth that’s gonna tell me I gotta, you know, do this.” -Breitbart
In short, you can only push people so far - even in liberal Illinois.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

America's Largest Mall On Verge Of Default After Missing Two Loan Payments

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 19:05

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, US malls were in a crisis, with vacancies in January hitting a record high.


However, in the post-corona world, commercial real estate has emerged as one of the most adversely impacted sectors (perhaps because the Fed has so far refused to bail it out), with the number of new delinquencies soaring to a record high in recent weeks.



The gloom facing malls has also helped push the Big Short trade, which was the CMBX Series 6 BBB- tranche (the one with the most exposure to malls), to a fresh all time low last week.


And now, the implosion of the US retail sector has reached the very top, because according to Bloomberg The Mall of America, the largest US shopping center, has missed two months of payments for a $1.4 billion commercial mortgage-backed security, in confirmation that no business is immune to the devastating consequences of the coronavirus.

"The loan is currently due for the April and May payments," according to a report filed by the trustee of the debt, Wells Fargo & Co., which is also the master servicer for the loan. "Borrower has notified master servicer of Covid-19 related hardships."




Mall owners reported rock-bottom April rent collections, including about 12% for Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc., roughly 20% for Brookfield Property Partners LP and 26% for Macerich. Retailers and their landlords, hurt by competition from online stores before coronavirus-spurred shutdowns made things worse, are struggling to make rent and mortgage payments.

The 5.6 million-square-foot (520,000-square-meter) mall was ordered closed on March 17, and has announced plans to begin reopening on June 1, starting with retailers, followed later by food services and attractions, such as the mega-mall’s aquarium, cinema, miniature golf course and indoor theme park.

"Reopening a building the size of Mall of America is no small task, but we are confident taking the necessary time to reopen will help us create the safest environment possible," the mall said in a statement on its website.

The Mall of America is owned by members of the Ghermezian family, whose holdings also include the West Edmonton Mall, a 5.3 million-square-foot complex in their Canadian hometown, and American Dream, a 3 million-square-foot mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

"Revolutions And Wars": What According To Ray Dalio Comes After "Printing Money"

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 18:25

Having seemingly conquered the world of finance, Ray Dalio and Howard Marks have been competing who can be a more productive writer in recent weeks, and just two weeks after writing a lengthy thesis on the rise and fall of fiat currencies (which had no less than 43 mentions of gold for obvious reasons), Dalio is back to discussing one of his favorite topics, namely the rise and fall of empires, among which the US and China, over the last 500 years.

The third chapter of his "Changing World Order" series (preceded by Chapter 1 “The Big Picture in a Tiny Nutshell”, and Chapter 2, “The Big Cycle of Money, Credit, Debt, and Economic Activity” and its appendix “The Changing Value of Money"), takes a closer look at the rise and fall of the Dutch, British, and American empires and their reserve currencies and, in what will spark howls of outrage from both sides of the discussion, touches on the rise of the Chinese empire, which Dalio views as the next ascendent superpower "to bring us up to the present."

Dalio's latest 10,000-word essay (a 50 minute read according to LinkedIn) concludes that empires - just like humans - have a typical life cycle that ultimately come to an end.

And while we will focus on the specific case of the US vs China in a subsequent post, we wanted to highlight the big picture, or what Dalio deems the key events in the "Big Cycle" behind empires' rise and fall, for one specific reason: we find ourselves in the phase - namely "printing money and credit" - which according to Dalio is immediately preceding the far more troubling phase of "revolutions and wars."

Here is Dalio summarizing his stylized empire "boom bust" cycle:
Just as there is a human life cycle that typically lasts about 80 years (give or take) and no two are exactly the same but most are similar, there is an analogous empire life cycle that has its own typical patterns. For example, for most of us, during the first phase of life we are under our parents’ guidance and learn in school until we are about 18-24, at which point we enter the second phase. In this phase we work, become parents, and take care of others who are trying to be successful. We do this until we are about 55-65, at which time we enter the third phase when we become free of obligations and eventually die. It is pretty easy to tell what phases people are in because of obvious markers, and it is sensible for them to know what stages they are in and to behave appropriately in dealing with themselves and with others based on that. The same thing is true for countries. The major phases are shown on this chart. It’s the ultra-simplified archetypical Big Cycle that I shared in the last chapter.
In brief, after the creation of a new set of rules establishes the new world order, there is typically a peaceful and prosperous period. As people get used to this they increasingly bet on the prosperity continuing, and they increasingly borrow money to do that, which eventually leads to a bubble. As the prosperity increases the wealth gap grows. Eventually the debt bubble bursts, which leads to the printing of money and credit and increased internal conflict, which leads to some sort of wealth redistribution revolution that can be peaceful or violent.
Typically at that time late in the cycle the leading empire that won the last economic and geopolitical war is less powerful relative to rival powers that prospered during the prosperous period, and with the bad economic conditions and the disagreements between powers there is typically some kind of war. Out of these debt, economic, domestic, and world-order breakdowns that take the forms of revolutions and wars come new winners and losers. Then the winners get together to create the new domestic and world orders.
And in case there is any confusion who Dalio expects the next war to be with, he makes it clear:
That is what has repeatedly happened through time. The lines in the chart signify the relative powers of the 11 most powerful empires over the last 500 years. In the chart below you can see where the US and China are currently in their cycles. As you can see the United States is now the most powerful empire by not much, it is in relative decline, Chinese power is rapidly rising, and no other powers come close.

Confused? In case that chart is a bit confusing, for simplicity Dalio offsers another chart showing the same lines as in that chart except for just the most powerful reserve currency empires (which are based on an average of eight different measures of power that we explained in Chapter 1 and will explore more carefully in this chapter).



Still confused? Here is the bottom line: While we the US is doing this to pretend its economy and markets aren't collapsing...


... China is creating videos titled "peace behind me, war in front of me."
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Posted for fair use.....

New infections show virus accelerating across Latin America

By DAVID BILLER and CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN
an hour ago

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic accelerated across Latin America on Friday, bringing a surge of new infections and deaths, even as curves flattened and reopening was underway in much of Europe, Asia and the United States.

The region’s two largest nations — Mexico and Brazil — reported record counts of new cases and deaths almost daily this week, fueling criticism of their presidents, who have slow-walked shutdowns in attempts to limit economic damage.

Brazil reported more than 20,000 deaths and 300,000 confirmed cases, making it the third worst-hit country in the world by official counts. Experts consider both numbers undercounts due to the widespread lack of testing.

The virus “does not forgive. It does not choose race or if you are rich or poor, black or white. It’s a cruel disease,” Bruno Almeida de Mello, a 24-year-old Uber driver, said at his 66-year-old grandmother’s burial in Rio de Janeiro.

Infections rose and intensive-care units were also swamped in Peru, Chile and Ecuador, countries lauded for imposing early and aggressive business shutdowns and quarantines. Many experts said the rising death toll across Latin America showed the limits of government action in a region where millions labor in informal jobs and many police forces are weak or corrupt and unable to enforce restrictions.

Many governments — even those where the virus is still on the rise — say they must shift their focus to saving jobs that are vanishing as quickly as the disease can spread. In the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, unemployment is soaring.

The Federal Reserve chairman has estimated that as many as 1 in 4 Americans could be jobless, while in China analysts estimate around a third of the urban workforce is unemployed.


More on the Pandemic:
Meanwhile, the virus is roaring through countries ill-equipped to handle the pandemic, which many scientists fear will seed the embers of a second global wave of infections.
India saw its biggest single-day spike since the pandemic began, and Pakistan and Russia recorded their highest death tolls. Most new Indian cases are in Bihar, where thousands returned home from jobs in the cities. For over a month, some walked among crowds for hundreds of miles.

Also in Russia, state news agencies reported that the authoritarian leader of the southern region of Chechnya was taken to a Moscow hospital with suspected COVID-19 symptoms. Ramzan Kadyrov, 43, has run predominantly Muslim Chechnya with an iron fist since 2007. The Kremlin has relied on him to keep the North Caucasus region stable after two devastating separatist wars. The Chechen parliament speaker insisted that Kadyrov was healthy and denied the reports, which cited an unidentified medical source.

Back in Brazil, Vandelma Rosa had all the virus’ symptoms, but her death certificate reads “suspected of COVID-19,” according to her grandson, because her hospital lacked tests to confirm. That means her passing did not figure into the death toll, which marked its biggest single-day increase Thursday: 1,181.

President Jair Bolsonaro has scoffed at the seriousness of the virus and actively campaigned against state governors’ attempts to impose limits on citizens’ movements and commerce.

Bolsonaro fired his first health minister for siding against him in backing governors’ stay-at-home recommendations and restrictions on activity. His second minister resigned about a month later after openly disagreeing with Bolsonaro about chloroquine, the predecessor of the anti-malarial often touted by U.S. President Donald Trump as a viable coronavirus treatment.

“In Rio de Janeiro, you see people going out normally, without a mask, in some neighborhoods. They aren’t believing in this disease. And it’s sad that in other countries people believe, but not here,” de Mello said. “You need to lose someone in your family to be able to believe.”

On Thursday, opposition lawmakers and other detractors protested in front of Congress in the capital, Brasilia. They called for Bolsonaro’s impeachment, alleging criminal mishandling of virus response. Two of them displayed a Brazilian flag, defaced with hundreds of tiny black crosses to represent the dead.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador downplayed the threat the virus posed for weeks as he continued to travel the country after Mexico’s first confirmed case. He let his health advisers take the lead on the crisis, but continued insisting that Mexico was different, that its strong family bonds and work ethic would pull it through.
Mexico passed 6,000 confirmed deaths on Wednesday. The country has recently reported more than 400 deaths a day, and new infections still have not peaked. Many deaths categorized as “atypical pneumonia” are suspected of being COVID-19 but not included in the official count. The true count may be several times higher.

Armando Sepulveda, manager of San Cristobal Mauseleum in the massive Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec, said his burial and cremation business has doubled in recent weeks.
“The crematoriums are saturated,” Sepulveda said Thursday. “All of the ovens don’t have that capacity.” Families scour the city looking for funeral services that can handle their dead “in desperation,” because the hospitals cannot hold the dead for long, he said.

The Mexican government has shifted its attention to reactivating the economy.
Mining, construction and parts of the North American automotive supply chain were allowed to resume operations this week, but analysts predict a massive economic contraction in an economy that had already entered a technical recession before the pandemic.

The pandemic reaches from Latin America’s mega-cities deep into the Amazon jungle.
The Colombian town of Leticia, which lies along the Amazon River at the border of Brazil and Peru, has nearly 1,300 cases. Residents are reeling from both the illness and a sudden loss of income, much of which came from tourism. Families have begun placing red cloth flags outside humble homes with tin roofs to show they are going hungry.
Authorities in Colombia have pointed a finger at Brazil to explain the sudden rise in infections there, and President Iván Duque has imposed strict measures aimed at keeping cases out, including militarizing the border. But with many informal crossing points, it is nearly impossible to completely seal Colombia off.

In Chile, more than 90% of intensive care beds were full last week in the capital, Santiago, where the main cemetery dug 1,000 emergency graves to prepare for a wave of deaths despite a strict, early quarantine. Ecuador’s government declared a 2 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew in March, among other measures, but cases have swamped medical and mortuary services in the city of Guayaquil and, now, in the capital, Quito.

Hundreds of people can be seen violating the curfew daily in Ecuadorian cities, many selling goods on the streets to earn enough to buy food.

Other rule-breakers aren’t needy. A doctor treating coronavirus in a hospital in northern Quito said he had treated members of a family who threw a Mother’s Day barbeque despite the restrictions. The family’s mother and her brother died of coronavirus, and seven relatives are hospitalized. The doctor spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

Peru has 2.5 intensive-care beds per 100,000 people, one quarter of the global standard. With almost 109,000 confirmed cases and more than 3,100 dead as of Thursday night, Peruvian media showed images of patients slumped in wheelchairs receiving oxygen. Doctors say most patients are shopkeepers, taxi drivers or street vendors.
___
Sherman reported from Mexico City. Associated Press writers Michael Biesecker in Washington; Franklin Briceño in Lima, Peru; Gonzalo Solano in Quito, Ecuador; Eva Vergara in Santiago, Chile; and Christine Armario in Bogota, Colombia, contributed.
Full Coverage: Virus Outbreak
___
Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and Understanding the Outbreak.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Posted for fair use.....

Mexico Ranks 10th in Coronavirus Fatalities
by Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby22 May 20204

2:42


The climb in Coronavirus-related deaths in Mexico elevates the nation to the number 10 spot globally. Despite widespread allegations of under-counting cases and mislabeling causes of death, the country managed to bump Canada and the Netherlands in a matter of days.
Some of the alarming figures come from Mexico’s daily news conference where Undersecretary of Health Hugo Lopez Gatell revealed a total of 6,510 fatalities and 59,567 confirmed cases nationwide since the pandemic started. Since Monday, Mexico added 1,333 new deaths.
Al 21 de mayo de 2020 hay 59,567 casos confirmados, 12,905 confirmados activos y 33,291 sospechosos por #COVID19. Se han registrado 108,980 negativos, 6,510 defunciones confirmadas, 769 defunciones sospechosas y fueron estudiadas 201,838 personas. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/VSEKxifhr1
— Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez (@HLGatell) May 22, 2020
The number 9 global spot in fatalities is held by Iran with 7,300 deaths. Just like China, the Middle Eastern nation stands accused of suppressing true totals.
The climbing death toll in Mexico comes as Lopez Gatell and staff are widely accused of downplaying the pandemic. A recent study by a Mexican NGO revealed that in Mexico City alone, officials only documented one-third of the Coronavirus-related fatalities. Lopez Gatell also admitted that some of his figures only accounted for cases in government hospitals. The discrepancy in counts pushed some states to release their own.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on
Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.
 

Texican

Live Free & Die Free.... God Freedom Country....

Last updated: May 23, 2020, 02:12 GMT 9:12 pm CST

United States
Coronavirus Cases----------------1,645,094
Deaths---------------------------------97,647

Will there be over a 100,000 deaths this weekend?


Texican....
 

Ogre

Veteran Member
For comparison purposes, the numbers of deaths by themselves are meaningless. The important metric is the percentage of deaths in relation to the population.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnOyFhEg4Ac
48:22 min
Post-Coronavirus: Getting 'Back To Work' Won't Be Easy
•Premiered 3 hours ago


Peak Prosperity Dr. Chris Martenson - pathologist
America and other countries around the world who have flattened their infection curves are now starting the process of "getting back to work". In the process, we are all finding out that, while easy to say, it's complicated to do. Who, exactly, is allowed to go back to work when, and under what conditions? What will the new health safety guidelines be? And how will they be implemented and enforced? Not surprisingly, we're see mixed results so far: some good, some bad, some egregious. We will get our countries 'back to work'. How successful we are at remains an open question. Don't forget to get your free download of Peak Prosperity's book Prosper!.
_______________________ LINKS FROM THIS VIDEO:
China Mfg Facility covid routines https://youtu.be/xpn7LoHEg94 List of vaccine efforts https://www.who.int/blueprint/priorit... Lancet HCQ “Study” https://www.thelancet.com/action/show...
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpZt9-obF_I
25:57 min
China's unusual move; Province ramps up virus control measures; HK residents fear end of freedom
•Premiered 2 hours ago

China in Focus - NTD

For the first time in 30 years, China is not setting a goal for economic growth this year. Top politicians also asked all levels of the government to cut spending. Beijing is accelerating the process of its new legislation on Hong Kong. Hong Kongers worry this could lead to an end of the city's autonomy and freedom. One lawmaker speaks with us about the despair and string of hope. In an unusual move, Chinese leaders didn’t use the word ‘peaceful’ when talking about ruling Taiwan. A shift from its standard practice for the past decades. China’s hard-hit northeastern province, Jilin, ramps up its control and prevention measures against the virus. And China’s Luckin Coffee sees its share prices plunge on the US stock exchange. Banks who loaned money to the company are now filing court orders against it.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY7PCYLl8pY
7:49 min
12 Lawsuits now filed against Gavin Newsom for violating your constitutional rights
•Streamed live 68 minutes ago

Mark Meuser CA Attorney - Constitution, Election and Political law
Today, I filed my 12th lawsuit against Gavin Newsom for violating Californian's fundamental constitutional rights. Newsom is depriving Californians of their liberties, property, and ability to make a living. In this video, I will give a quick update of all 12 lawsuits and what is going on. https://www.dhillonlaw.com/covid-19-l...
 

Doomer Doug

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Yep, Daniel while we up here in CONUS have been dealing with Blue State morons, and the Trump and CDC/WHO and China show, Mexico, Central America and South America have collapsed into total chaos. Brazil in particular is right on the edge of system collapse, Chile has food riots, Mexico is burning dozens of corpses a day, Peru and Ecuador are stacking rotting corpses outside of graveyards.

Brazil, well we are going to see what happens when a society collapses up close and personal.


Record virus infections, deaths are ravaging Latin America
By DAVID BILLER and CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN
2 hours ago

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A surging coronavirus is ravaging parts of Latin America, setting records for cases and deaths Friday in some countries in the world’s most unequal region even as the pandemic’s march slows in much of Europe, Asia and the United States.

Latin America’s two largest nations — Mexico and Brazil — reported record numbers of infections and deaths almost daily this week, fueling criticism of their presidents, who have slow-walked shutdowns in an attempt to limit economic damage.

Brazil reported more than 330,000 confirmed cases as of Friday, surpassing Russia to become the nation with the second-highest number of infections, behind only the U.S., according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Brazil also has recorded more than 21,000 deaths, though experts believe the true numbers are higher.
 

marsh

Has No Life - Lives on TB

California schools can’t reopen without federal dollars, say state’s education leaders
In a time of budget cuts and emergency costs, state superintendent Tony Thurmond says more funding is needed for supplies, sanitation and smaller classes


State Superintendent Tony Thurmond speaks via livecast on Thursday, Mat 21. Photo: Facebook Live screenshot

By ARIELLA PLACHTA | aplachta@scng.com | Los Angeles Daily News
PUBLISHED: May 21, 2020 at 10:31 a.m. | UPDATED: May 21, 2020 at 10:53 a.m.

California schools cannot reopen safely in the fall with such modifications as facemasks, smaller class sizes and frequent sanitation without additional funding, said state Superintendent of Instruction Tony Thurmond in a web conference with local school leaders Thursday, May 21.

His plea came days after Gov. Gavin Newsom projected budget cuts for public schools by some $19 billion over two years as local school districts face mounting pandemic-related costs like technology purchases and food distribution.

“We agree with you that we cannot ask schools to do more with less,” said Thurmond at the launch of a conference call for teachers, principals and administrators to share best practices. “We understand that adding social distancing conditions are unavoidable expenses but must be provided for the safety of our students. Clearly we need the assistance of the federal government.”

On Wednesday, Thurmond announced that most schools across the state will open in August or September with public health modifications ranging from staggered playtime to physical barriers and spread out seating in classrooms and busses. Some school districts may offer a combination of in-person and distance learning.

The Center for Disease control released guidelines Tuesday for schools to safely reopen and an online tool for how school leaders can make decisions to do so. They include suggestions for modified classroom layouts, like having students sit facing one direction instead of toward one another, staggered playtime and serving meals in classrooms instead of cafeterias.

Tack on additional school nurses and counselors to address greater student need in the ongoing pandemic, said San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten, and the burden is simply too large a burden for schools to bear while facing budget cuts on top of longstanding financial challenges.

“Right now the current budget plan is a current recipe for more distance and less learning,” said Marten, speaking on behalf of a coalition of urban districts that has formed to advocate for more funding in recent days.

“This August we want to get back to school and we want to go back safely. We want to open for families everyday because that’s the only way our parents can get back to work … This is not politics, this is math. We cannot absorb a 10 percent cut in funding at the same time we’re trying to do more to open safely.”

The coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close across California in mid-March, disrupting the education of 6 million students and leaving educators in a scramble to provide remote instruction. A persistent “digital divide” between students with and without access to technology emerged, especially in rural districts and those serving students from low income families.

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom said schools could physically open as early as July. Thurmond said the state Education Department will not mandate when schools open, and local school districts will have discretion.

But whether there will be adequate COVID-19 testing and contact tracing available is an open question, said Thurmond. So is whether schools can provide enough protective equipment, cleaning supplies and training necessary to implement public health guidelines.
 
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