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FTR #1122 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now: Fireside Rant about the Covid-19 Outbreak

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FTR #1122 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment

Intro­duc­tion: This broad­cast updates, in a admit­ted­ly stri­dent mode, the Covid-19 out­break. We begin with dis­cus­sion of Mod­er­na, Inc.

Mod­er­na Inc. is one of the DARPA-fund­ed com­pa­nies that has been autho­rized to begin test­ing of vac­cines. As dis­cussed by Whit­ney Webb, Mod­er­na Inc. is get­ting a green light to devel­op its mRNA vac­cine (mRNA 1273) for pre­vent­ing Covid-19 infec­tion. The West­ern Edi­tion of The New York Times con­tains infor­ma­tion NOT con­tained in the online man­i­fes­ta­tion of the arti­cle. 

Although vac­cines that inject nucle­ic acid–either DNA or mes­sen­ger RNA–into cells have been seen as promis­ing, they have NEVER been admin­is­tered to humans. The tri­als for the Mod­er­na vac­cine appear to be “fast-tracked.” 

We have done numer­ous pro­grams about the polio vac­cine and how that “fast-tracked” (and con­se­quent­ly insuf­fi­cient­ly vet­ted) vac­cine was con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed with the SV40 can­cer-caus­ing mon­key virus.

In the con­text of the desta­bi­liza­tion of Chi­na (cov­ered in many pro­grams and a key ele­ment of analy­sis in assess­ing the Covid-19 out­break), we note that the col­laps­ing of economies abroad, includ­ing the U.S., will sig­nif­i­cant­ly and adverse­ly affect Chi­na’s export-ori­ent­ed econ­o­my.

It may lead to the col­lapse of the Chi­nese econ­o­my eagerly–and financially–anticipated by J. Kyle Bass, Tom­my Hicks Jr. and Steve Ban­non.

An op-ed col­umn fur­ther devel­ops the poten­tial dan­ger to Chi­na’s econ­o­my posed by the Covid-19 out­break. ” . . . . While Chi­na is no longer cen­ter stage, as the virus spreads world­wide there are renewed fears that the cri­sis could cir­cle back to its shores by hurt­ing demand for exports. Over the last decade China’s cor­po­rate debt swelled four­fold to over $20 tril­lion — the biggest binge in the world. The Inter­na­tion­al Mon­e­tary Fund esti­mates that one-tenth of this debt is in zom­bie firms, which rely on gov­ern­ment-direct­ed lend­ing to stay alive. . . .”

Next, we tack­le the sub­ject of an esca­lat­ing media war between Chi­na and the U.S.

Trump’s label­ing of Covid-19 as “the Chi­nese virus” is appar­ent­ly in response to sug­ges­tions in Chi­nese social media and some pub­lished mate­r­i­al point­ing to the U.S. and/or nation­al secu­ri­ty ele­ments with­in and/or asso­ci­at­ed with it as the source of the virus.

In FTR #1109, we exam­ined Don­ald Trump’s deal­ings with Deutsche Bank, key “sui­cides” in con­nec­tion with the bank’s records on Trump and Jared Kush­n­er, Trump’s claims of exec­u­tive priv­i­lege in attempts to keep the records secret, the appar­ent destruc­tion of those records by Deutsche Bank and the track­ing of the case to a deci­sion by the Supreme Court.

Now, the Covid-19 out­break may delay that deci­sion indef­i­nite­ly.

As high­light­ed above, Don­ald Trump has been label­ing Covid-19 the “Chi­nese virus” in response to Chi­nese inti­ma­tions (cor­rect in their main con­tention in our opin­ion) that the U.S. is the point of ori­gin of the virus.

An arti­cle in The Asia Times pro­vides more depth on the grow­ing media war between the U.S. and Chi­na.

Key points of dis­cus­sion and analy­sis:

  • Chi­na now open­ly views the U.S. as a threat: ” . . . . For the first time since the start of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in 1978, Bei­jing open­ly regards the U.S. as a threat, as stat­ed a month ago by For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi at the Munich Secu­ri­ty Con­fer­ence dur­ing the peak of the fight against coro­n­avirus. . . .”
  • Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has dropped ver­bal clues as to the Chi­nese view of the ori­gin of the Covid-19: ” . . . . Bei­jing is care­ful­ly, incre­men­tal­ly shap­ing the nar­ra­tive that, from the begin­ning of the coro­n­avirus attack, the lead­er­ship knew it was under a hybrid war attack. The ter­mi­nol­o­gy of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping is a major clue. He said, on the record, that this was war. And, as a counter-attack, a ‘people’s war’ had to be launched. More­over, he described the virus as a demon or dev­il. Xi is a Con­fu­cian­ist. Unlike some oth­er ancient Chi­nese thinkers, Con­fu­cius was loath to dis­cuss super­nat­ur­al forces and judg­ment in the after­life. How­ev­er, in a Chi­nese cul­tur­al con­text, dev­il means ‘white dev­ils’ or ‘for­eign dev­ils’: guai­lo in Man­darin, gwei­lo in Can­tonese. This was Xi deliv­er­ing a pow­er­ful state­ment in code. . . .”
  • A Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry offi­cial cit­ed the Mil­i­tary World Games in Wuhan as a pos­si­ble vec­tor­ing point. (We believe this is pos­si­ble, although we sus­pect the Shin­cheon­ji cult and a USAMRIID asso­ci­a­tion with a Wuhan viro­log­i­cal insti­tute as oth­er pos­si­ble vec­tors.) IF, for the sake of argu­ment, fas­cist ele­ments (CIA, Under­ground Reich or what­ev­er) chose the US mil­i­tary ath­letes as a vec­tor, it would have been alto­geth­er pos­si­ble to do so with­out attract­ing atten­tion. Mil­i­tary ath­letes are in superb con­di­tion and, if infect­ed with one of the milder strains of Covid-19, their robust immune sys­tems might well leave them asymp­to­matic, yet still con­ta­gious, or mild­ly ill at worst. They could then com­mu­ni­cate the virus to oth­er mil­i­tary ath­letes, who would then serve as a vec­tor for oth­er coun­tries. ” . . . . Zhao’s explo­sive con­clu­sion is that COVID-19 was already in effect in the U.S. before being iden­ti­fied in Wuhan – due to the by now ful­ly doc­u­ment­ed inabil­i­ty of the U.S. to test and ver­i­fy dif­fer­ences com­pared with the flu. . . .”
  • Author Pepe Esco­bar reit­er­ates the con­tention that the vari­ants of the virus in Italy and Iran are dif­fer­ent from the vari­ants that infect­ed Wuhan, an inter­pre­ta­tion whose sig­nif­i­cance is debat­ed by sci­en­tists.
  • The arti­cle high­lights the shut­ter­ing of Ft. Det­rick, which has now been par­tial­ly re-opened. ” . . . . Adding all that to the fact that coro­n­avirus genome vari­a­tions in Iran and Italy were sequenced and it was revealed they do not belong to the vari­ety that infect­ed Wuhan, Chi­nese media are now open­ly  ask­ing ques­tions and draw­ing a con­nec­tion with the shut­ting down in August last year of the “unsafe” mil­i­tary bioweapon lab at Fort Det­rick, the Mil­i­tary Games, and the Wuhan epi­dem­ic. Some of these ques­tions had been asked– with no response – inside the U.S. itself. . . .”
  • Esco­bar also notes Event 201, which we high­light­ed in FTR #‘s 1111 and 1112” . . . . Extra ques­tions linger about the opaque Event 201 in New York on Octo­ber 18, 2019: a rehearsal for a world­wide pan­dem­ic caused by a dead­ly virus – which hap­pened to be coro­n­avirus. This mag­nif­i­cent coin­ci­dence hap­pened one month before the out­break in Wuhan. Event 201 was spon­sored by Bill & Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion, the World Eco­nom­ic Forum (WEF), the CIA, Bloomberg, John Hop­kins Foun­da­tion and the UN.  The World Mil­i­tary Games opened in Wuhan on the exact same day. . . .”
  • We note that, although we have not been able to con­clu­sive­ly prove that CIA was one of the spon­sors of the event, a for­mer Deputy Direc­tor of the Agency was a key par­tic­i­pant. Hav­ing reached such a lev­el of promi­nence with­in the agency, one nev­er “leaves” alto­geth­er. It is prob­a­ble that there was Agency par­tic­i­pa­tion.
  • Fur­ther dis­cus­sion notes the pos­si­ble use of a coro­n­avirus as part of a psy-op: ” . . . . The work­ing hypoth­e­sis of coro­n­avirus as a very pow­er­ful but not Armaged­don-pro­vok­ing bio-weapon unveils it as a per­fect vehi­cle for wide­spread social con­trol — on a glob­al scale. . . .”
  • Esco­bar alleges that Cuba has devel­oped an anti-viral that is promis­ing against the virus: ” . . . . The anti-viral Heberon – or Inter­fer­on Alpha 2b – a ther­a­peu­tic, not a vac­cine, has been used with great suc­cess in the treat­ment of coro­n­avirus. A joint ven­ture in Chi­na is pro­duc­ing an inhal­able ver­sion, and at least 15 nations are already inter­est­ed in import­ing the ther­a­peu­tic. . . .” 
  • Quot­ing Ital­ian ana­lyst San­dro Mez­zadra, Esco­bar notes the Covid-19 out­break as a social Dar­win­ian psy-op: ” . . . .We are fac­ing a choice between a Malthu­sian strand – inspired by social Dar­win­ism – ‘led by the John­son-Trump-Bol­sonaro axis’ and, on the oth­er side, a strand point­ing to the “requal­i­fi­ca­tion of pub­lic health as a fun­da­men­tal tool,’ exem­pli­fied by Chi­na, South Korea and Italy. There are key lessons to be learned from South Korea, Tai­wan and Sin­ga­pore. The stark option, Mez­zadra notes, is between a ‘nat­ur­al pop­u­la­tion selec­tion,’ with thou­sands of dead, and ‘defend­ing soci­ety’ by employ­ing ‘vari­able degrees of author­i­tar­i­an­ism and social con­trol.’ . . .”
  • Like many ana­lysts, Escobar–correctly in our opinion–notes that the Covid-19 out­break threat­ens the glob­al econ­o­my and may col­lapse the deriv­a­tive mar­ket. That this may be intend­ed to mask an over­val­ued equi­ties mar­ket seems prob­a­ble to us.

1. Mod­er­na Inc. is one of the DARPA-fund­ed com­pa­nies that has been autho­rized to begin test­ing of vac­cines. 

“Bats, Gene Edit­ing and Bioweapons: Rec­cent DARPA Exper­i­ments Raise Con­cerns Amid Coro­n­avirus Out­break” by Whit­ney Webb; The Last Amer­i­can Vagabond; 1/30/2020.

 . . . . The sec­ond phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­ny that was select­ed by CEPI to devel­op a vac­cine for the new coro­n­avirus is Mod­er­na Inc., which will devel­op a vac­cine for the nov­el coro­n­avirus of con­cern in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the U.S. NIH and which will be fund­ed entire­ly by CEPI. The vac­cine in ques­tion, as opposed to Inovio’s DNA vac­cine, will be a mes­sen­ger RNA (mRNA) vac­cine. Though dif­fer­ent than a DNA vac­cine, mRNA vac­cines still use genet­ic mate­r­i­al ‘to direct the body’s cells to pro­duce intra­cel­lu­lar, mem­brane or secret­ed pro­teins.’ Moderna’s mRNA treat­ments, includ­ing its mRNA vac­cines, were large­ly devel­oped using a $25 mil­lion grant from DARPA and it often touts is strate­gic alliance with DARPA in press releas­es. . . .

2. As dis­cussed by Whit­ney Webb, Mod­er­na Inc. is get­ting a green light to devel­op its mRNA vac­cine (mRNA 1273) for pre­vent­ing Covid-19 infec­tion. The West­ern Edi­tion of The New York Times con­tains infor­ma­tion NOT con­tained in the online man­i­fes­ta­tion of the arti­cle. 

Although vac­cines that inject nucle­ic acid–either DNA or mes­sen­ger RNA–into cells have been seen as promis­ing, they have NEVER been admin­is­tered to humans. The tri­als for the Mod­er­na vac­cine appear to be “fast-tracked.” 

We have done numer­ous pro­grams about the polio vac­cine and how that “fast-tracked” (and con­se­quent­ly insuf­fi­cient­ly vet­ted) vac­cine was con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed with the SV40 can­cer-caus­ing mon­key virus.

“Test­ing on Humans Begins For an Exper­i­men­tal Vac­cine” by Denise Grady; The New York Times; 3/17/2020; p. A12 [West­ern Edi­tion].

The first test­ing in humans of an exper­i­men­tal vac­cine for the new coro­n­avirus began on Mon­day, the Nation­al Insti­tute of Aller­gy and Infec­tious Dis­eases announced.

The main goal of this first set of tests is to find out if the vac­cine is safe. If it is, lat­er stud­ies will deter­mine how well it works.

The tri­al was “launched in record speed,” Dr. Antho­ny Fau­ci, the institute’s direc­tor, said in a state­ment. . . .

. . . . Mod­er­na uses genet­ic mate­r­i­al — mes­sen­ger RNA — to make vac­cines, and the com­pa­ny has nine oth­ers in var­i­ous stages of devel­op­ment, includ­ing sev­er­al for virus­es that cause res­pi­ra­to­ry ill­ness­es. But no vac­cine made with this tech­nol­o­gy has yet reached the mar­ket. . . .

. . . . The tri­al will enroll 45 healthy adults ages 18 to 55. Each will receive two shots, 28 days apart. Mod­er­na calls the vac­cine mRNA-1273. . . 

. . . . If the vac­cine then appears safe, he said, Mod­er­na will ask the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion for per­mis­sion to move ahead to the next phase of test­ing even before the first stage is fin­ished. The sec­ond round of test­ing, to mea­sure effi­ca­cy as well as to ver­i­fy safe­ty, will include many more par­tic­i­pants.

3. In the con­text of the desta­bi­liza­tion of Chi­na (cov­ered in many pro­grams and a key ele­ment of analy­sis in assess­ing the Covid-19 out­break), we note that the col­laps­ing of economies abroad, includ­ing the U.S., will sig­nif­i­cant­ly and adverse­ly affect Chi­na’s export-ori­ent­ed econ­o­my.

It may lead to the col­lapse of the Chi­nese econ­o­my eagerly–and financially–anticipated by J. Kyle Bass, Tom­my Hicks Jr. and Steve Ban­non.

“Chi­na’s Path Back to Work Is Clut­tered With Hur­dles” by Kei­th Brad­sh­er; The New York Times; 3/13/2020; pp. B‑1, B‑5 [West­ern Edi­tion].

4. This op-ed col­umn fur­ther devel­ops the poten­tial dan­ger to Chi­na’s econ­o­my posed by the Covid-19 out­break. ” . . . . While Chi­na is no longer cen­ter stage, as the virus spreads world­wide there are renewed fears that the cri­sis could cir­cle back to its shores by hurt­ing demand for exports. Over the last decade China’s cor­po­rate debt swelled four­fold to over $20 tril­lion — the biggest binge in the world. The Inter­na­tion­al Mon­e­tary Fund esti­mates that one-tenth of this debt is in zom­bie firms, which rely on gov­ern­ment-direct­ed lend­ing to stay alive. . . .”

“Zom­bies Could Kill the Econ­o­my” by Ruchir Shar­ma; The New York Times; 3/17/2020; p. A25 [West­ern Edi­tion].

. . . . . On Wall Street, bulls still hold out hope that the worst can pass quick­ly and point to the encour­ag­ing devel­op­ments in Chi­na. The first cas­es were report­ed there on Dec. 31, and the rate of growth in new cas­es peaked on Feb. 13, just sev­en weeks lat­er. After ear­ly loss­es, China’s stock mar­ket bounced back and the econ­o­my seemed to do the same. But the lat­est data, released today on retail sales and fixed invest­ment, sug­gest the Chi­nese econ­o­my is set to con­tract this quar­ter.

While Chi­na is no longer cen­ter stage, as the virus spreads world­wide there are renewed fears that the cri­sis could cir­cle back to its shores by hurt­ing demand for exports. Over the last decade China’s cor­po­rate debt swelled four­fold to over $20 tril­lion — the biggest binge in the world. The Inter­na­tion­al Mon­e­tary Fund esti­mates that one-tenth of this debt is in zom­bie firms, which rely on gov­ern­ment-direct­ed lend­ing to stay alive.

In oth­er parts of the world, includ­ing the Unit­ed States, calls are grow­ing for pol­i­cy­mak­ers to offer sim­i­lar state sup­port to the frag­ile cor­po­rate sec­tor. No mat­ter what the pol­i­cy­mak­ers do, the out­come is now up to the coro­n­avirus, and how soon its spread starts to slow.

The longer the coro­n­avirus con­tin­ues to spread at its cur­rent pace, the more like­ly it is that zom­bies begin to die, fur­ther depress­ing the mar­kets — and increas­ing the risk of wider finan­cial con­ta­gion. . . .

5. Trump’s label­ing of Covid-19 as “the Chi­nese virus” is appar­ent­ly in response to sug­ges­tions in Chi­nese social media and some pub­lished mate­r­i­al point­ing to the U.S. and/or nation­al secu­ri­ty ele­ments with­in and/or asso­ci­at­ed with it as the source of the virus.

“Trump Calls It the ‘Chi­nese Virus.’ Crit­ics say that’s Racist and Provoca­tive.” by Katie Rogers, Lara Jakes and Ana Swan­son; The New York Times; 3/19/2020; p. A11 [West­ern Edi­tion].

 . . . . at the White House brief­ing on Tues­day, Mr. Trump told reporters that he was attach­ing “Chi­na” to the name of the virus to com­bat a dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign pro­mot­ed by Bei­jing offi­cials that the Amer­i­can mil­i­tary was the source of the out­break.

“I did­n’t appre­ci­ate the fact that Chi­na was say­ing that our mil­i­tary gave it to them,” Mr. Trump said. “I think say­ing that our mil­i­tary gave it to them cre­ates a stig­ma.” . . . .

. . . . And last week, Zhao Lijian, a Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesman, shared the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that the Unit­ed States was behind the virus. “It might be US army who brought the epi­dem­ic to Wuhan,” he said on Twit­ter. “Be trans­par­ent! Make pub­lic your datea! US owe us an expla­na­tion!” . . . .

6. In FTR #1109, we exam­ined Don­ald Trump’s deal­ings with Deutsche Bank, key “sui­cides” in con­nec­tion with the bank’s records on Trump and Jared Kush­n­er, Trump’s claims of exec­u­tive priv­i­lege in attempts to keep the records secret, the appar­ent destruc­tion of those records by Deutsche Bank and the track­ing of the case to a deci­sion by the Supreme Court.

Now, the Covid-19 out­break may delay that deci­sion indef­i­nite­ly.

“The Coro­n­avirus May Keep Trump’s Deutsche Bank Records Under Wraps For­ev­er” by Jere­my Stahl; Slate.com; 3/16/2020.

On Monday, the Supreme Court took the drastic step of postponing upcoming oral arguments for an indefinite period of time in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In its press release on the decision, the court noted that arguments in 1918 were postponed due to the flu pandemic and the argument calendar was shortened in 1793 and 1798 due to yellow fever outbreaks.

Even if the once-in-a-century postponement is not unprecedented, these particular circumstances may be. Three of the cases that have been postponed in the March 23–25 and March 30–April 1 sessions revolved around extraordinary assertions of executive power by the Trump administration to keep third-party records of the president’s finances from congressional and local investigators.

Nobody knows how long such extraordinary measures might be necessary to protect the public from COVID-19, but President Donald Trump said on Monday that experts had advised him that they might be necessary through “July, August.” If the cases that have been bumped get moved into the fall calendar and Trump loses the November election, these cases could then easily be moot.

7b. As high­light­ed above, Don­ald Trump has been label­ing Covid-19 the “Chi­nese virus” in response to Chi­nese inti­ma­tions (cor­rect in their main con­tention in our opin­ion) that the U.S. is the point of ori­gin of the virus.

An arti­cle in The Asia Times pro­vides more depth on the grow­ing media war between the U.S. and Chi­na.

Key points of dis­cus­sion and analy­sis:

  • Chi­na now open­ly views the U.S. as a threat: ” . . . . For the first time since the start of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in 1978, Bei­jing open­ly regards the U.S. as a threat, as stat­ed a month ago by For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi at the Munich Secu­ri­ty Con­fer­ence dur­ing the peak of the fight against coro­n­avirus. . . .”
  • Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has dropped ver­bal clues as to the Chi­nese view of the ori­gin of the Covid-19: ” . . . . Bei­jing is care­ful­ly, incre­men­tal­ly shap­ing the nar­ra­tive that, from the begin­ning of the coro­n­avirus attack, the lead­er­ship knew it was under a hybrid war attack. The ter­mi­nol­o­gy of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping is a major clue. He said, on the record, that this was war. And, as a counter-attack, a ‘people’s war’ had to be launched. More­over, he described the virus as a demon or dev­il. Xi is a Con­fu­cian­ist. Unlike some oth­er ancient Chi­nese thinkers, Con­fu­cius was loath to dis­cuss super­nat­ur­al forces and judg­ment in the after­life. How­ev­er, in a Chi­nese cul­tur­al con­text, dev­il means ‘white dev­ils’ or ‘for­eign dev­ils’: guai­lo in Man­darin, gwei­lo in Can­tonese. This was Xi deliv­er­ing a pow­er­ful state­ment in code. . . .”
  • A Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry offi­cial cit­ed the Mil­i­tary World Games in Wuhan as a pos­si­ble vec­tor­ing point. (We believe this is pos­si­ble, although we sus­pect the Shin­cheon­ji cult and a USAMRIID asso­ci­a­tion with a Wuhan viro­log­i­cal insti­tute as oth­er pos­si­ble vec­tors.) IF, for the sake of argu­ment, fas­cist ele­ments (CIA, Under­ground Reich or what­ev­er) chose the US mil­i­tary ath­letes as a vec­tor, it would have been alto­geth­er pos­si­ble to do so with­out attract­ing atten­tion. Mil­i­tary ath­letes are in superb con­di­tion and, if infect­ed with one of the milder strains of Covid-19, their robust immune sys­tems might well leave them asymp­to­matic, yet still con­ta­gious, or mild­ly ill at worst. They could then com­mu­ni­cate the virus to oth­er mil­i­tary ath­letes, who would then serve as a vec­tor for oth­er coun­tries. ” . . . . Zhao’s explo­sive con­clu­sion is that COVID-19 was already in effect in the U.S. before being iden­ti­fied in Wuhan – due to the by now ful­ly doc­u­ment­ed inabil­i­ty of the U.S. to test and ver­i­fy dif­fer­ences com­pared with the flu. . . .”
  • Author Pepe Esco­bar reit­er­ates the con­tention that the vari­ants of the virus in Italy and Iran are dif­fer­ent from the vari­ants that infect­ed Wuhan, an inter­pre­ta­tion whose sig­nif­i­cance is debat­ed by sci­en­tists.
  • The arti­cle high­lights the shut­ter­ing of Ft. Det­rick, which has now been par­tial­ly re-opened. ” . . . . Adding all that to the fact that coro­n­avirus genome vari­a­tions in Iran and Italy were sequenced and it was revealed they do not belong to the vari­ety that infect­ed Wuhan, Chi­nese media are now open­ly  ask­ing ques­tions and draw­ing a con­nec­tion with the shut­ting down in August last year of the “unsafe” mil­i­tary bioweapon lab at Fort Det­rick, the Mil­i­tary Games, and the Wuhan epi­dem­ic. Some of these ques­tions had been asked– with no response – inside the U.S. itself. . . .”
  • Esco­bar also notes Event 201, which we high­light­ed in FTR #‘s 1111 and 1112” . . . . Extra ques­tions linger about the opaque Event 201 in New York on Octo­ber 18, 2019: a rehearsal for a world­wide pan­dem­ic caused by a dead­ly virus – which hap­pened to be coro­n­avirus. This mag­nif­i­cent coin­ci­dence hap­pened one month before the out­break in Wuhan. Event 201 was spon­sored by Bill & Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion, the World Eco­nom­ic Forum (WEF), the CIA, Bloomberg, John Hop­kins Foun­da­tion and the UN.  The World Mil­i­tary Games opened in Wuhan on the exact same day. . . .”
  • We note that, although we have not been able to con­clu­sive­ly prove that CIA was one of the spon­sors of the event, a for­mer Deputy Direc­tor of the Agency was a key par­tic­i­pant. Hav­ing reached such a lev­el of promi­nence with­in the agency, one nev­er “leaves” alto­geth­er. It is prob­a­ble that there was Agency par­tic­i­pa­tion.
  • Fur­ther dis­cus­sion notes the pos­si­ble use of a coro­n­avirus as part of a psy-op: ” . . . . The work­ing hypoth­e­sis of coro­n­avirus as a very pow­er­ful but not Armaged­don-pro­vok­ing bio-weapon unveils it as a per­fect vehi­cle for wide­spread social con­trol — on a glob­al scale. . . .”
  • Esco­bar alleges that Cuba has devel­oped an anti-viral that is promis­ing against the virus: ” . . . . The anti-viral Heberon – or Inter­fer­on Alpha 2b – a ther­a­peu­tic, not a vac­cine, has been used with great suc­cess in the treat­ment of coro­n­avirus. A joint ven­ture in Chi­na is pro­duc­ing an inhal­able ver­sion, and at least 15 nations are already inter­est­ed in import­ing the ther­a­peu­tic. . . .” 
  • Quot­ing Ital­ian ana­lyst San­dro Mez­zadra, Esco­bar notes the Covid-19 out­break as a social Dar­win­ian psy-op: ” . . . .We are fac­ing a choice between a Malthu­sian strand – inspired by social Dar­win­ism – ‘led by the John­son-Trump-Bol­sonaro axis’ and, on the oth­er side, a strand point­ing to the “requal­i­fi­ca­tion of pub­lic health as a fun­da­men­tal tool,’ exem­pli­fied by Chi­na, South Korea and Italy. There are key lessons to be learned from South Korea, Tai­wan and Sin­ga­pore. The stark option, Mez­zadra notes, is between a ‘nat­ur­al pop­u­la­tion selec­tion,’ with thou­sands of dead, and ‘defend­ing soci­ety’ by employ­ing ‘vari­able degrees of author­i­tar­i­an­ism and social con­trol.’ . . .”
  • Like many ana­lysts, Escobar–correctly in our opinion–notes that the Covid-19 out­break threat­ens the glob­al econ­o­my and may col­lapse the deriv­a­tive mar­ket. That this may be intend­ed to mask an over­val­ued equi­ties mar­ket seems prob­a­ble to us.

Chi­na Locked in Hybrid War with U.S.” by Pepe Esco­bar [Asia Times]Con­sor­tium News; 3/18/2020.

Among the myr­i­ad, earth-shat­ter­ing geopo­lit­i­cal effects of coro­n­avirus, one is already graph­i­cal­ly evi­dent. Chi­na has re-posi­tioned itself. For the first time since the start of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in 1978, Bei­jing open­ly regards the U.S. as a threat, as stat­ed a month ago by For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi at the Munich Secu­ri­ty Con­fer­ence dur­ing the peak of the fight against coro­n­avirus. 

Bei­jing is care­ful­ly, incre­men­tal­ly shap­ing the nar­ra­tive that, from the begin­ning of the coro­n­avirus attack, the lead­er­ship knew it was under a hybrid war attack.

The ter­mi­nol­o­gy of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping is a major clue. He said, on the record, that this was war. And, as a counter-attack, a “people’s war” had to be launched.

More­over, he described the virus as a demon or dev­il. Xi is a Con­fu­cian­ist. Unlike some oth­er ancient Chi­nese thinkers, Con­fu­cius was loath to dis­cuss super­nat­ur­al forces and judg­ment in the after­life. How­ev­er, in a Chi­nese cul­tur­al con­text, dev­il means “white dev­ils” or “for­eign dev­ils”: guai­lo in Man­darin, gwei­lo in Can­tonese. This was Xi deliv­er­ing a pow­er­ful state­ment in code.

When Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry, voiced in an incan­des­cent tweet the pos­si­bil­i­ty that “it might be US Army who brought the epi­dem­ic to Wuhan” – the first blast to this effect to come from a top offi­cial – Bei­jing was send­ing up a tri­al bal­loon sig­nal­ing that the gloves were final­ly off. Zhao Lijian made a direct con­nec­tion with the Mil­i­tary Games in Wuhan in Octo­ber 2019, which includ­ed a del­e­ga­tion of 300 U.S. mil­i­tary.

He direct­ly quot­ed U.S. CDC Direc­tor Robert Red­field who, when asked last week whether some deaths by Coro­n­avirus had been dis­cov­ered posthu­mous­ly in the U.S., replied that “some cas­es have actu­al­ly been diag­nosed this way in the U.S. today.”

Zhao’s explo­sive con­clu­sion is that COVID-19 was already in effect in the U.S. before being iden­ti­fied in Wuhan – due to the by now ful­ly doc­u­ment­ed inabil­i­ty of the U.S. to test and ver­i­fy dif­fer­ences com­pared with the flu. 

Adding all that to the fact that coro­n­avirus genome vari­a­tions in Iran and Italy were sequenced and it was revealed they do not belong to the vari­ety that infect­ed Wuhan, Chi­nese media are now open­ly  ask­ing ques­tions and draw­ing a con­nec­tion with the shut­ting down in August last year of the “unsafe” mil­i­tary bioweapon lab at Fort Det­rick, the Mil­i­tary Games, and the Wuhan epi­dem­ic. Some of these ques­tions had been asked– with no response – inside the U.S. itself.

Extra ques­tions linger about the opaque Event 201 in New York on Octo­ber 18, 2019: a rehearsal for a world­wide pan­dem­ic caused by a dead­ly virus – which hap­pened to be coro­n­avirus. This mag­nif­i­cent coin­ci­dence hap­pened one month before the out­break in Wuhan.

Event 201 was spon­sored by Bill & Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion, the World Eco­nom­ic Forum (WEF), the CIA, Bloomberg, John Hop­kins Foun­da­tion and the UN.  The World Mil­i­tary Games opened in Wuhan on the exact same day.

Irre­spec­tive of its ori­gin, which is still not con­clu­sive­ly estab­lished, as much as Trump tweets about the “Chi­nese virus,” COVID-19 already pos­es immense­ly seri­ous ques­tions about biopol­i­tics (where’s Fou­cault when we need him?) and bio-ter­ror.

The work­ing hypoth­e­sis of coro­n­avirus as a very pow­er­ful but not Armaged­don-pro­vok­ing bio-weapon unveils it as a per­fect vehi­cle for wide­spread social con­trol — on a glob­al scale.   

Cuba Ris­es as Biotech Pow­er

Just as a ful­ly masked Xi vis­it­ing the Wuhan front­line last week was a graph­ic demon­stra­tion to the whole plan­et that Chi­na, with immense sac­ri­fice, is win­ning the “people‘s war” against COVID-19, Rus­sia, in a Sun Tzu move on Riyadh whose end result was a much cheap­er bar­rel of oil, helped for all prac­ti­cal pur­pos­es to kick-start the inevitable recov­ery of the Chi­nese econ­o­my. This is how a strate­gic part­ner­ship works.

The chess­board is chang­ing at break­neck speed. Once Bei­jing iden­ti­fied coro­n­avirus as a bio-weapon attack the “people’s war” was launched with the full force of the state. Method­i­cal­ly. On a “what­ev­er it takes” basis. Now we are enter­ing a new stage, which will be used by Bei­jing to sub­stan­tial­ly recal­i­brate the inter­ac­tion with the West, and under very dif­fer­ent frame­works when it comes to the U.S. and the EU.

Soft pow­er is para­mount. Bei­jing sent an Air Chi­na flight to Italy car­ry­ing 2,300 big box­es full of masks bear­ing the script, “We are waves from the same sea, leaves from the same tree, flow­ers from the same gar­den.” Chi­na also sent a hefty human­i­tar­i­an pack­age to Iran, sig­nif­i­cant­ly aboard eight flights from Mahan Air — an air­line under ille­gal, uni­lat­er­al Trump admin­is­tra­tion sanc­tions. 

Ser­bian Pres­i­dent Alek­san­dar Vucic could not have been more explic­it: “The only coun­try that can help us is Chi­na. By now, you all under­stood that Euro­pean sol­i­dar­i­ty does not exist. That was a fairy tale on paper.” 

Under harsh sanc­tions and demo­nized since for­ev­er, Cuba is still able to per­form break­throughs – even on biotech­nol­o­gy. The anti-viral Heberon – or Inter­fer­on Alpha 2b – a ther­a­peu­tic, not a vac­cine, has been used with great suc­cess in the treat­ment of coro­n­avirus. A joint ven­ture in Chi­na is pro­duc­ing an inhal­able ver­sion, and at least 15 nations are already inter­est­ed in import­ing the ther­a­peu­tic.  

Now com­pare all of the above with the Trump admin­is­tra­tion offer­ing $1 bil­lion to poach Ger­man sci­en­tists work­ing at biotech firm Cure­vac, based in Thuringia, on an exper­i­men­tal vac­cine against COVID-19, to have it as a vac­cine “only for the Unit­ed States.”

Social Engi­neer­ing Psy-Op?

San­dro Mez­zadra, co-author with Brett Neil­son of the sem­i­nal “The Pol­i­tics of Oper­a­tions: Exca­vat­ing Con­tem­po­rary Cap­i­tal­ism,” is already try­ing to con­cep­tu­al­ize where we stand now in terms of fight­ing COVID-19.   

We are fac­ing a choice between a Malthu­sian strand – inspired by social Dar­win­ism – “led by the John­son-Trump-Bol­sonaro axis” and, on the oth­er side, a strand point­ing to the “requal­i­fi­ca­tion of pub­lic health as a fun­da­men­tal tool,” exem­pli­fied by Chi­na, South Korea and Italy. There are key lessons to be learned from South Korea, Tai­wan and Sin­ga­pore.

The stark option, Mez­zadra notes, is between a “nat­ur­al pop­u­la­tion selec­tion,” with thou­sands of dead, and “defend­ing soci­ety” by employ­ing “vari­able degrees of author­i­tar­i­an­ism and social con­trol.” It’s easy to imag­ine who stands to ben­e­fit from this social re-engi­neer­ing, a 21st cen­tu­ry remix of Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death.”

Amid so much doom and gloom, count on Italy to offer us Tiepo­lo-style shades of light. Italy chose the Wuhan option, with immense­ly seri­ous con­se­quences for its already frag­ile econ­o­my. Quar­an­tined Ital­ians remark­ably react­ed by singing on their bal­conies: a true act of meta­phys­i­cal revolt. . . .

. . . . Not even tril­lions of dol­lars rain­ing from the sky by an act of divine Fed mer­cy were able to cure Covid-19. G‑7 “lead­ers” had to resort to a video­con­fer­ence to real­ize how clue­less they are – even as China’s fight against coro­n­avirus gave the West a head start of sev­er­al weeks.

Shang­hai-based Dr. Zhang Wen­hong, one of China’s top infec­tious dis­ease experts, whose analy­ses have been spot on so far, now says Chi­na has emerged from the dark­est days in the “people’s war” against Covid-19. But he does not think this will be over by sum­mer. Now extrap­o­late what he’s say­ing to the West­ern world.

It’s not even spring yet, and we already know it takes a virus to mer­ci­less­ly shat­ter the God­dess of the Mar­ket. Last Fri­day, Gold­man Sachs told no few­er than 1,500 cor­po­ra­tions that there was no sys­temic risk. That was false.

New York bank­ing sources told me the truth: sys­temic risk became way more severe in 2020 than in 1979, 1987 or 2008 because of the huge­ly height­ened dan­ger that the $1.5 quadrillion deriv­a­tive mar­ket would col­lapse.

As the sources put it, his­to­ry had nev­er before seen any­thing like the Fed’s inter­ven­tion via its lit­tle under­stood elim­i­na­tion of com­mer­cial bank reserve require­ments, unleash­ing a poten­tial unlim­it­ed expan­sion of cred­it to pre­vent a deriv­a­tive implo­sion stem­ming from a total com­mod­i­ty and stock mar­ket col­lapse of all stocks around the world.

Those bankers thought it would work, but as we know by now all the sound and fury sig­ni­fied noth­ing. The ghost of a deriv­a­tive implo­sion – in this case not caused by the pre­vi­ous pos­si­bil­i­ty, the shut­ting down of the Strait of Hor­muz – remains.

We are still bare­ly start­ing to under­stand the con­se­quences of Covid-19 for the future of neolib­er­al tur­bo-cap­i­tal­ism. What’s cer­tain is that the whole glob­al econ­o­my has been hit by an insid­i­ous, lit­er­al­ly invis­i­ble cir­cuit break­er. This may be just a “coin­ci­dence.” Or this may be, as some are bold­ly argu­ing, part of a pos­si­ble, mas­sive psy-op cre­at­ing the per­fect geopolitl­cal and social engi­neer­ing envi­ron­ment for full-spec­trum dom­i­nance.

Addi­tion­al­ly, along the hard slog down the road, with immense, inbuilt human and eco­nom­ic sac­ri­fice, with or with­out a reboot of the world-sys­tem, a more press­ing ques­tion remains: will impe­r­i­al elites still choose to keep wag­ing full-spec­trum-dom­i­nance hybrid war against Chi­na?  

 

 

 

Discussion

4 comments for “FTR #1122 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now: Fireside Rant about the Covid-19 Outbreak”

  1. Pres­i­dent Trump raised eye­brows with his call for the US to end the lock­downs and ‘reopen’ for busi­ness by East­er as the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic plays out. It was the kind of state­ment that was unam­bigu­ous­ly opti­mistic. The ques­tion was whether or it was a plau­si­bly opti­mistic pro­pos­al or just more Trumpian gaslight­ing. So it’s worth not­ing that Trump’s Depart­ment of Jus­tice may not share that opti­mism. Quite the oppo­site. At least that’s what we can infer based on some rather chill­ing requests of Con­gress made by the DOJ for new judi­cial pow­ers in response to the coro­n­avirus.

    The new pow­ers the DOJ is request­ing may seem rea­son­able in the con­text of the virus but they’re also new pow­ers that could fun­da­men­tal­ly strip away core civ­il right. Like habeus cor­pus, i.e. the right of some­one arrest­ed to be brought before judge or court. Accord­ing to civ­il rights advo­cates, if these changes are approved, you could be arrest­ed dur­ing a nation­al emer­gency and be held with­out a right to go before a judge until the nation­al emer­gency is declared over, which is obvi­ous­ly a pret­ty huge poten­tial vio­la­tion of core civ­il rights. Espe­cial­ly since nation­al emer­gen­cies can be declared in response to civ­il dis­or­der.

    A sec­ond request that would restrict the right to a pub­lic tri­al involves the abil­i­ty to man­date that video tele­con­fer­enc­ing be used for court pro­ceed­ings with­out pri­or approval of the defen­dant. So you might get a tri­al, but it won’t nec­es­sar­i­ly be in a pub­lic court.

    Anoth­er new request is to change the law so peo­ple with COVID-19 can’t apply for asy­lum. Yep. It’s not clear why hav­ing COVID-19 should block some­one from get­ting asy­lum but that’s what Will Bar­r’s DOJ wants to hap­pen.

    The arti­cle notes that these changes are unlike­ly to be approved by Con­gress as long as the Democ­rats con­trol the House. So the requests aren’t real­ly an imme­di­ate threat to the judi­cial process­es in the US but more just anoth­er sign of how the Trump admin­is­tra­tion would like to exploit this nation­al emer­gency to fur­ther its agen­da. An agen­da that involves poten­tial­ly sus­pend­ing habeus cor­pus:

    Politi­co

    DOJ seeks new emer­gency pow­ers amid coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic

    One of the requests to Con­gress would allow the depart­ment to peti­tion a judge to indef­i­nite­ly detain some­one dur­ing an emer­gency.

    By BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN
    03/21/2020 01:01 PM EDT

    The Jus­tice Depart­ment has qui­et­ly asked Con­gress for the abil­i­ty to ask chief judges to detain peo­ple indef­i­nite­ly with­out tri­al dur­ing emer­gen­cies — part of a push for new pow­ers that comes as the nov­el coro­n­avirus spreads through­out the Unit­ed States.

    Doc­u­ments reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to law­mak­ers on a host of top­ics, includ­ing the statute of lim­i­ta­tions, asy­lum and the way court hear­ings are con­duct­ed. POLITICO also reviewed and pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed on doc­u­ments seek­ing the author­i­ty to extend dead­lines on merg­er reviews and pros­e­cu­tions.

    ...

    The move has tapped into a broad­er fear among civ­il lib­er­ties advo­cates and Don­ald Trump’s crit­ics — that the pres­i­dent will use a moment of cri­sis to push for con­tro­ver­sial pol­i­cy changes. Already, he has cit­ed the pan­dem­ic as a rea­son for height­en­ing bor­der restric­tions and restrict­ing asy­lum claims. He has also pushed for fur­ther tax cuts as the econ­o­my with­ers, argu­ing it would soft­en the finan­cial blow to Amer­i­cans. And even with­out pol­i­cy changes, Trump has vast emer­gency pow­ers that he could deploy right now to try to slow the coro­n­avirus out­break.

    The DOJ requests — which are unlike­ly to make it through a Demo­c­ra­t­ic-led House — span sev­er­al stages of the legal process, from ini­tial arrest to how cas­es are processed and inves­ti­gat­ed.

    In one of the doc­u­ments, the depart­ment pro­posed that Con­gress grant the attor­ney gen­er­al pow­er to ask the chief judge of any dis­trict court to pause court pro­ceed­ings “when­ev­er the dis­trict court is ful­ly or par­tial­ly closed by virtue of any nat­ur­al dis­as­ter, civ­il dis­obe­di­ence, or oth­er emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.”

    The pro­pos­al would also grant those top judges broad author­i­ty to pause court pro­ceed­ings dur­ing emer­gen­cies. It would apply to “any statutes or rules of pro­ce­dure oth­er­wise affect­ing pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-tri­al, tri­al, and post-tri­al pro­ce­dures in crim­i­nal and juve­nile pro­ceed­ings and all civ­il process and pro­ceed­ings,” accord­ing to draft leg­isla­tive lan­guage the depart­ment shared with Con­gress. In mak­ing the case for the change, the DOJ wrote that indi­vid­ual judges can cur­rent­ly pause pro­ceed­ings dur­ing emer­gen­cies but that their pro­pos­al would make sure all judges in any par­tic­u­lar dis­trict could han­dle emer­gen­cies “in a con­sis­tent man­ner.”

    The request raised eye­brows because of its poten­tial impli­ca­tions for habeas cor­pus — the con­sti­tu­tion­al right to appear before a judge after arrest and seek release.

    “Not only would it be a vio­la­tion of that, but it says ‘affect­ing pre-arrest,’” said Nor­man L. Reimer, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Crim­i­nal Defense Lawyers. “So that means you could be arrest­ed and nev­er brought before a judge until they decide that the emer­gency or the civ­il dis­obe­di­ence is over. I find it absolute­ly ter­ri­fy­ing. Espe­cial­ly in a time of emer­gency, we should be very care­ful about grant­i­ng new pow­ers to the gov­ern­ment.”

    Reimer said the pos­si­bil­i­ty of chief judges sus­pend­ing all court rules dur­ing an emer­gency with­out a clear end in sight was deeply dis­turb­ing.

    “That is some­thing that should not hap­pen in a democ­ra­cy,” he said.

    The depart­ment also asked Con­gress to pause the statute of lim­i­ta­tions for crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tions and civ­il pro­ceed­ings dur­ing nation­al emer­gen­cies, “and for one year fol­low­ing the end of the nation­al emer­gency,” accord­ing to the draft leg­isla­tive text.

    Trump recent­ly declared the coro­n­avirus cri­sis a nation­al emer­gency.

    Anoth­er con­tro­ver­sial request: The depart­ment is look­ing to change the Fed­er­al Rules of Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure in some cas­es to expand the use of video­con­fer­ence hear­ings and to let some of those hear­ings hap­pen with­out defen­dants’ con­sent, accord­ing to the draft leg­isla­tive text.

    “Video tele­con­fer­enc­ing may be used to con­duct an appear­ance under this rule,” read a draft of poten­tial new lan­guage for Fed­er­al Rule of Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure 5(f), cross­ing out the phrase “if the defen­dant con­sents.”

    “Video tele­con­fer­enc­ing may be used to arraign a defen­dant,” read draft text of rule 10©, again strik­ing out the phrase “if the defen­dant con­sents.”

    Reimer said forc­ing peo­ple to have hear­ings over video rather than in per­son would threat­en civ­il lib­er­ties.

    “If it were with the con­sent of the accused per­son it would be fine,” he said. “But if it’s not with the con­sent of the accused per­son, it’s a ter­ri­ble road to go down. We have a right to pub­lic tri­als. Peo­ple have a right to be present in court.”

    The depart­ment also wants Con­gress to change the law to explic­it­ly say that peo­ple with COVID-19 — the ill­ness caused by the nov­el coro­n­avirus — are not includ­ed among those who may apply for asy­lum. And the depart­ment asked for the same change regard­ing peo­ple who are “sub­ject to a pres­i­den­tial procla­ma­tion sus­pend­ing and lim­it­ing the entry of aliens into the Unit­ed States,” accord­ing to the draft leg­isla­tive lan­guage.

    Layli Miller-Muro, the CEO of the Tahir­ih Jus­tice Cen­ter, which advo­cates for women and girls flee­ing vio­lence, said the lan­guage would block any­one on a pres­i­den­tial trav­el ban list from seek­ing asy­lum in the U.S.

    “I think it’s a human­i­tar­i­an tragedy that fails to rec­og­nize that vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple from those coun­tries are among the most per­se­cut­ed and that pro­tect­ing them is exact­ly what the refugee con­ven­tion was designed to do,” she said.

    The asy­lum request comes as the Trump admin­is­tra­tion says it will begin deny­ing entry to all migrants ille­gal­ly cross­ing the U.S. south­ern bor­der, includ­ing those seek­ing asy­lum.

    “I hope we come out of this with a sense of one­ness, inter­con­nect­ed­ness,” Miller-Muro said of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic. “Bor­ders can’t pro­tect us. Virus­es do not care.”

    ———-

    “DOJ seeks new emer­gency pow­ers amid coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic” by BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN; Politi­co; 03/21/2020

    Doc­u­ments reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to law­mak­ers on a host of top­ics, includ­ing the statute of lim­i­ta­tions, asy­lum and the way court hear­ings are con­duct­ed. POLITICO also reviewed and pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed on doc­u­ments seek­ing the author­i­ty to extend dead­lines on merg­er reviews and pros­e­cu­tions.”

    As Rahm Emman­nuel once famous­ly declared dur­ing the 2008 finan­cial cri­sis (recent­ly reit­er­at­ed regard­ing the coro­n­avirus), “nev­er let a cri­sis go to waste.” It was some­thing he . And it’s advice Trump’s Jus­tice Depart­ment appears to have tak­en to heart with requests like the pow­er to pause court pro­ceed­ings, includ­ing “any statutes or rules of pro­ce­dure oth­er­wise affect­ing pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-tri­al, tri­al, and post-tri­al pro­ce­dures in crim­i­nal and juve­nile pro­ceed­ings and all civ­il process and pro­ceed­ings.” A paus­ing pre-court pro­ceed­ings is basi­cal­ly an end to habeus cor­pus. You may not have a right to a tri­al, at least not as long as the nation­al emer­gency is in place:

    ...
    In one of the doc­u­ments, the depart­ment pro­posed that Con­gress grant the attor­ney gen­er­al pow­er to ask the chief judge of any dis­trict court to pause court pro­ceed­ings “when­ev­er the dis­trict court is ful­ly or par­tial­ly closed by virtue of any nat­ur­al dis­as­ter, civ­il dis­obe­di­ence, or oth­er emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.”

    The pro­pos­al would also grant those top judges broad author­i­ty to pause court pro­ceed­ings dur­ing emer­gen­cies. It would apply to “any statutes or rules of pro­ce­dure oth­er­wise affect­ing pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-tri­al, tri­al, and post-tri­al pro­ce­dures in crim­i­nal and juve­nile pro­ceed­ings and all civ­il process and pro­ceed­ings,” accord­ing to draft leg­isla­tive lan­guage the depart­ment shared with Con­gress. In mak­ing the case for the change, the DOJ wrote that indi­vid­ual judges can cur­rent­ly pause pro­ceed­ings dur­ing emer­gen­cies but that their pro­pos­al would make sure all judges in any par­tic­u­lar dis­trict could han­dle emer­gen­cies “in a con­sis­tent man­ner.”

    The request raised eye­brows because of its poten­tial impli­ca­tions for habeas cor­pus — the con­sti­tu­tion­al right to appear before a judge after arrest and seek release.

    “Not only would it be a vio­la­tion of that, but it says ‘affect­ing pre-arrest,’” said Nor­man L. Reimer, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Crim­i­nal Defense Lawyers. “So that means you could be arrest­ed and nev­er brought before a judge until they decide that the emer­gency or the civ­il dis­obe­di­ence is over. I find it absolute­ly ter­ri­fy­ing. Espe­cial­ly in a time of emer­gency, we should be very care­ful about grant­i­ng new pow­ers to the gov­ern­ment.”

    Reimer said the pos­si­bil­i­ty of chief judges sus­pend­ing all court rules dur­ing an emer­gency with­out a clear end in sight was deeply dis­turb­ing.

    “That is some­thing that should not hap­pen in a democ­ra­cy,” he said.
    ...

    A sec­ond request would also lim­it that right to a tri­al. At least a pub­lic tri­al. Video­con­fer­enc­ing could be used instead with­out the defen­dants’ con­sent:

    ...
    Anoth­er con­tro­ver­sial request: The depart­ment is look­ing to change the Fed­er­al Rules of Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure in some cas­es to expand the use of video­con­fer­ence hear­ings and to let some of those hear­ings hap­pen with­out defen­dants’ con­sent, accord­ing to the draft leg­isla­tive text.

    “Video tele­con­fer­enc­ing may be used to con­duct an appear­ance under this rule,” read a draft of poten­tial new lan­guage for Fed­er­al Rule of Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure 5(f), cross­ing out the phrase “if the defen­dant con­sents.”

    “Video tele­con­fer­enc­ing may be used to arraign a defen­dant,” read draft text of rule 10©, again strik­ing out the phrase “if the defen­dant con­sents.”

    Reimer said forc­ing peo­ple to have hear­ings over video rather than in per­son would threat­en civ­il lib­er­ties.

    “If it were with the con­sent of the accused per­son it would be fine,” he said. “But if it’s not with the con­sent of the accused per­son, it’s a ter­ri­ble road to go down. We have a right to pub­lic tri­als. Peo­ple have a right to be present in court.”
    ...

    So that’s two DOJ requests involv­ing the cur­tail­ment of a right to a pub­lic tri­al. It’s more than a bit omi­nous.

    And then there’s the pro­pos­al to ban any­one with COVID-19 from seek­ing asy­lum. As activists note, this move would basi­cal­ly ban any asy­lum seek­ing from a coun­try on the pres­i­den­tial trav­el ban list. And this request hap­pens to come at a time when the admin­is­tra­tion has already sig­naled that it’s going to ban asy­lum seek­ers if they ille­gal­ly cross the bor­der so it seems like the kind of request that’s large­ly designed to pro­vide polit­i­cal cov­er for an exist­ing pol­i­cy:

    ...
    The depart­ment also wants Con­gress to change the law to explic­it­ly say that peo­ple with COVID-19 — the ill­ness caused by the nov­el coro­n­avirus — are not includ­ed among those who may apply for asy­lum. And the depart­ment asked for the same change regard­ing peo­ple who are “sub­ject to a pres­i­den­tial procla­ma­tion sus­pend­ing and lim­it­ing the entry of aliens into the Unit­ed States,” accord­ing to the draft leg­isla­tive lan­guage.

    Layli Miller-Muro, the CEO of the Tahir­ih Jus­tice Cen­ter, which advo­cates for women and girls flee­ing vio­lence, said the lan­guage would block any­one on a pres­i­den­tial trav­el ban list from seek­ing asy­lum in the U.S.

    “I think it’s a human­i­tar­i­an tragedy that fails to rec­og­nize that vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple from those coun­tries are among the most per­se­cut­ed and that pro­tect­ing them is exact­ly what the refugee con­ven­tion was designed to do,” she said.

    The asy­lum request comes as the Trump admin­is­tra­tion says it will begin deny­ing entry to all migrants ille­gal­ly cross­ing the U.S. south­ern bor­der, includ­ing those seek­ing asy­lum.
    ...

    For­tu­nate­ly, since these are all requests being made to Con­gress, it’s unlike­ly they’re be approved giv­en the Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­trol of the House:

    ...
    The move has tapped into a broad­er fear among civ­il lib­er­ties advo­cates and Don­ald Trump’s crit­ics — that the pres­i­dent will use a moment of cri­sis to push for con­tro­ver­sial pol­i­cy changes. Already, he has cit­ed the pan­dem­ic as a rea­son for height­en­ing bor­der restric­tions and restrict­ing asy­lum claims. He has also pushed for fur­ther tax cuts as the econ­o­my with­ers, argu­ing it would soft­en the finan­cial blow to Amer­i­cans. And even with­out pol­i­cy changes, Trump has vast emer­gency pow­ers that he could deploy right now to try to slow the coro­n­avirus out­break.

    The DOJ requests — which are unlike­ly to make it through a Demo­c­ra­t­ic-led House — span sev­er­al stages of the legal process, from ini­tial arrest to how cas­es are processed and inves­ti­gat­ed.
    ...

    So these DOJ requests prob­a­bly aren’t going to become law dur­ing the cur­rent COVID-19 out­break. At least not in 2020. If the GOP retakes con­trol of the House in 2021 who knows what might hap­pen. But, for now, these DOJ requests appear to be more aspi­ra­tional than any­thing else. Kind of like Trump’s dra­con­ian annu­al fed­er­al bud­get pro­pos­als. Doc­u­ments that tell us what the Trump admin­is­tra­tion would like to do if it had the uni­lat­er­al pow­er to do so. Like the mas­sive cuts in for­eign aide pro­posed in the bud­get pro­pos­al just put for­ward last month. The Trump admin­is­tra­tion can’t actu­al­ly last for­eign aid in the mid­dle of a glob­al pan­dem­ic do that on its own. That’s up to Con­gress. But the admin­is­tra­tion would clear­ly like to slash for­eign aid. It’s in the damn bud­get pro­pos­al.

    And that’s how we should prob­a­bly view these DOJ requests to con­gress. It’s a sig­nal of what the Trump admin­is­tra­tion would do if it did­n’t have to share pow­er with Con­gress. And that appar­ent­ly includes poten­tial­ly sus­pend­ing or lim­it­ing the right to a pub­lic tri­al.

    But also keep in mind that, had the GOP retained con­trol of the House in 2018, we would have GOP con­trol of both cham­bers of Con­gress and the like­li­hood of these DOJ requests being grant­ed by Con­gress would be much high­er. Espe­cial­ly these days when the GOP is seem­ing­ly inca­pable of defy­ing Trump. That’s why these DOJ requests aren’t just aspi­ra­tional. They’re a warn­ing about what to expect dur­ing future nation­al emer­gen­cies where the GOP has full con­trol of the White House and Con­gress. Espe­cial­ly if the nation­al emer­gency is wide­spread civ­il dis­obe­di­ence over a gov­ern­men­tal pow­er grab.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 25, 2020, 3:11 pm
  2. Pepe Esco­bar, author of Asia Times arti­cle cit­ed at begin­ning of the writ­ten descrip­tion, in con­ver­sa­tion with Max Blu­men­thal and Ben Nor­ton of Mod­er­ate Rebels and The Gray­zone. Esco­bar dis­cuss­es the arti­cle, oth­er aspects of the out­break that Dave Emory has been high­light­ing, and more. Very much worth a lis­ten:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYf5h0wOV1Q

    Posted by person | March 30, 2020, 8:18 am
  3. The next two arti­cles sug­gest that a sub­stan­tial­ly high­er por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion has been infect­ed by the virus that caus­es COVID19. The first arti­cle sug­gests that rough­ly 50 times as many peo­ple have had expo­sure. As of today, April 20 we have 785,000 con­firmed cas­es in the US. This would sug­gest that 39 mil­lion had been infect­ed or more than 10% of the pop­u­la­tion.  The arti­cle does not state when the sam­pling occurred. It also has not been peer reviewed.  Below is anoth­er arti­cle pub­lished April 9, about a high­ly infect­ed town town in Ger­many which found 15% — this was more than a week ear­li­er.

    The first arti­cle is an April 7, 2020 Guardian Arti­cle Anti­body study sug­gests coro­n­avirus may be far more wide­spread than pre­vi­ous­ly thought
    It states:

    “The study from Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, which was released Fri­day and has yet to be peer reviewed, test­ed sam­ples from 3,330 peo­ple in San­ta Clara coun­ty and found the virus was 50 to 85 times more com­mon than offi­cial fig­ures indi­cat­ed.

    At the time of the study, San­ta Clara coun­ty had 1,094 con­firmed cas­es of Covid-19, result­ing in 50 deaths. But based on the rate of peo­ple who have anti­bod­ies, it is like­ly that between 48,000 and 81,000 peo­ple had been infect­ed in San­ta Clara coun­ty by ear­ly April – a num­ber approx­i­mate­ly 50 to 80 times high­er.

    That also means coro­n­avirus is poten­tial­ly much less dead­ly to the over­all pop­u­la­tion than ini­tial­ly thought. As of Tues­day, the US’s coro­n­avirus death rate was 4.1% and Stan­ford researchers said their find­ings show a death rate of just 0.12% to 0.2%.

    Even with the adjust­ed rate of infec­tion as found by the study, only 3% of the pop­u­la­tion has coro­n­avirus – that means 97% does not. To reach herd immu­ni­ty 50% or more of the pop­u­la­tion would have to be infect­ed and recov­ered from coro­n­avirus.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/17/antibody-study-suggests-coronavirus-is-far-more-widespread-than-previously-thought?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    April 9, Dai­ley Mail, UK Sci­en­tists say many more peo­ple than pre­vi­ous­ly thought could have acquired coro­n­avirus immu­ni­ty after dis­cov­er­ing 15% of peo­ple in city dubbed ‘Ger­man Wuhan’ could be car­ry­ing anti­bod­ies

    This Dai­ley Mail arti­cle sug­gest that this is not an anomolie. It states

    “Sci­en­tists study­ing Gan­gelt, the town at the cen­tre of Ger­many’s first big out­break dubbed the ‘Ger­man Wuhan’, dis­cov­ered that as many as 15 per cent of peo­ple may have already been infect­ed with the virus and acquired immu­ni­ty. 

    If 15 per cent of peo­ple do have anti­bod­ies, then Ger­many’s actu­al death rate could be as low as 0.37 per cent. 

    This is five times low­er than the cur­rent lev­el.”

    https://mol.im/a/8206831

    Posted by Mary Benton | April 20, 2020, 6:53 pm
  4. This next April 20, 2020 ABC News arti­cle titled

    “Why are so many COVID-19 patients also see­ing blood clots?” includes the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion:

    “Doc­tors in hot spots across the globe have begun to report an unex­pect­ed preva­lence of blood clot­ting among COVID cas­es, in what could pose a per­fect storm of poten­tial­ly fatal risk fac­tors.

    “In the begin­ning of the out­break, we start­ed only giv­ing them med­i­cine to pre­vent clots. We saw that it was­n’t enough,” Dr. Cristi­na Abad, an anes­the­si­ol­o­gist at Hos­pi­tal Clíni­cos San Car­los in Madrid, told ABC News. “They start­ed hav­ing pul­monary embolisms, so we start­ed [full] anti­co­ag­u­la­tion on every­one.”

    But symp­toms of a wors­en­ing COVID infec­tion mir­ror those of a severe clot in the lung, which, doc­tors have said, fur­ther blurs the lines of a diag­no­sis already dif­fi­cult to clar­i­fy. More obser­va­tion and research will be required.”

    https://abcn.ws/2KqauXj

    Addi­tion­al­ly, a sep­a­rate arti­cle (which was not peer reviewed) stat­ed:

    “A promi­nent Israeli math­e­mati­cian, ana­lyst, and for­mer gen­er­al claims sim­ple sta­tis­ti­cal analy­sis demon­strates that the spread of COVID-19 peaks after about 40 days and declines to almost zero after 70 days — no mat­ter where it strikes, and no mat­ter what mea­sures gov­ern­ments impose to try to thwart it.”

    http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20200415-top-israeli-prof-claims-simple-stats-show-virus-plays-itself-out-after-70-days

    What is inter­est­ing are the sim­i­lari­ies with the Nazi nov­el Ser­pen­t’s Walk pub­lished in 1991:

    “The vec­tors . . . agents of trans­mis­sion . . . for Pacov‑1 are exten­sive. It trav­els through the air, the water, or direct­ly from per­son-to-per­son and is high­ly con­ta­gious. It spreads for hun­dreds of miles, if con­di­tions are opti­mal. Pacov‑1 pro­duces only a mild, flu-like infec­tion that dis­ap­pears with­in a day or two. Pub­lic health author­i­ties would over­look it, nev­er con­sid­er it a seri­ous epi­dem­ic, and even if they did they’d have to look care­ful­ly to iso­late it. Once a vic­tim is over the ‘flu,’ Pacov‑1 becomes dor­mant and almost unde­tectable. A month or two lat­er, you send in the sec­ond stage: Pacov‑2 is also a virus, just as con­ta­gious as the first, and just as harm­less by itself. It reacts with Pacov‑1 to pro­duce a pow­er­ful coag­u­lant. . . . you die with­in three min­utes. No warn­ing, no vac­cine, no cure. Those not exposed to both stages remain unharmed. . . . Pacov‑2 goes inert, like Pacov‑1 with­in a week or two. Then you get your victim’s coun­try, all his prop­er­ty, in undam­aged con­di­tion. . . . and a lot of corpses to bury.’ . . . .”

    Posted by Mary Benton | April 20, 2020, 7:15 pm

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